The Realities Facing Art Schools Today: A Conversation With RISD President Rosanne Somerson

The Rhode Island School of Design is one of the world’s premiere art schools, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t face the same challenges all universities and colleges confront. We talk to the head of RISD to learn about how they’re adapting.

President Rosanne Somerson on campus at RISD (photo by Cary-Wolinsky, and provided by RISD)

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) was founded by women over a century ago, and it continues to be one of the leading art schools in the United States. Its current president, Rosanne Somerson, who is also an accomplished furniture designer, stopped by to talk about the institution and how it has pivoted to stay on top of the field, while serving an increasingly diverse student body.

We also discuss the RISD Museum and its recent attempt to repatriate an item in its collection, the financial realities that face students, and how arts education can help us solve some of the challenges of today.

A special thanks to musician Sophie Hintze for allowing us to use her unreleased song “Coffee in the Rain.” You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

This and more in the current episode of our weekly Art Movements podcast.

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