In this first message as Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Arts Institute, I want to say how honored and excited I am to be here, trusted with such a prestigious flagship in a world-renowned university that holds these ideals at its heart.

As an artist who seeks to understand and practice the arts through education and philosophy, I feel duty-bound to lead an Arts Institute that continues to provide a space where as a community, we come together as a tapestry of diverse, free and equal individuals who give meaning to the world through making, being, and doing.

In recognizing the prevalent value of the arts across the entire horizon by which a modern university works and sustains itself, the Arts Institute continues to position all the arts at the heart of the sciences, humanities, business, and any other aspect of higher education. As the 17th century philosopher Giambattista Vico reminds us, it is by making that we come to know the world, and it is this assumption of knowing by making that we understand the realities to which we respond as a University.

John Baldacchino, Director