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CODA’s Annual Adventure

Publication Date: 2/10/2012

Each winter, a group of CODA (Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts) students travel on an “arts reconnaissance” trip to a different destination around the country. Last month, six CODA fellows, along with the program’s RSAP and the CODA director Liz Daggett, made the trip to Los Angeles to experience the city’s art and culture. While the group toured many of the city’s museums, they also spent time walking around viewing street art in places like Venice Beach.

“There was a great mix of high and low art on this trip,” says Daggett. “I think that has become a signature of these CODA trips, in that we want to experience not only the fine arts, but also art as people in the city experience it.”

In addition, the group visited the Getty Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Jurassic Technology as well as attended a performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Daggett says that the location of this year’s destination made the trip especially unique.

“This was a lot of people’s first trip to LA,” says Daggett. “This was maybe the furthest they’ve ever traveled. LA is such an international city, and since we tried to experience its diversity, there were many new experiences.”

In the past, the trips have had specific themes like “Globalization in Art” or “Surviving in the Arts. In LA, Daggett encouraged students to think about new ways to look at art.

“We talked about the process of interpreting and criticizing art,” says Daggett. “We discussed how to look at pieces and really think about the interpretation before jumping to a judgment. There’s a lot of personal responsibility that goes into being a good viewer of art.”

Daggett calls the trips “arts reconnaissance” because she hopes students return with new ideas for expanding the arts scene in Memphis. CODA fellow Emily Main ’12, who is originally from LA, says that seeing world-class art in large museums in her hometown furthers her appreciation for local art in Memphis.

“I love that Memphis’ scene is so up-and-coming,” says Main. “In LA, you see all this big name art in famous museums. I do think that the museums in Los Angeles are incredible, but my experience with artists and the arts in Memphis has always been more of a personal one. You feel closer to artists when you can walk up and talk to them in a gallery.”

Main says that especially for students who are pursuing careers in the area, the CODA trips provide new perspectives on how different cities participate in the development of the arts.

“It is important to see cities where the arts community is thriving, and to see how different places accept, promote and react to the arts in general.”

(information compiled by Rhodes Student Associate Lucy Kellison ’13)


Founded in 1848, Rhodes College is a private, coeducational college of liberal arts and sciences. It aspires to graduate students with a lifelong passion for learning, a compassion for others, and the ability to translate academic study and personal concern into effective leadership and action in their communities and the world.

Tags: Arts/Performances, Staff, Students


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