The MSU-IIT has gone a long way beyond its mandate of providing the scientific and technical expertise in these parts. Already known to many, the university has nurtured teacher-artists-organizers who have contributed significantly to the growth of the arts in the country.
The Institute, too, hosts robust development programs in culture and the arts nourished by groups like the Mindanao Creative Writers Group (MCWG), the Cultural Development Office (CDO), the Octave Choral Society (8va), Kalimulan Cultural Dance Troupe, and the Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG).
These groups and their programs nurture through the crucible of the College of Arts and Social Sciences and the administration of the Institute that have encouraged the nourishment of the nation’s soul.
Recently, poet Christine Godinez-Ortega, CASS Professor and Director of the Multi-media Center, was elected Vice Chair of the National Committee on Literary Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). She takes over the post of Prof. Steven Patrick C. Fernandez who represented Mindanao for 6 years in this body. Ortega sits for a term of three years.
Octava Founder Prof. Francisco Englis, CASS Professor, also served two terms with the National Committee on Music of the NCCA.
This summer, programs continue. The prestigious Iligan National Writers Program organized by the MCWG with funding support from the NCCA gathers Fellows from all over the country to open sessions on May 23 -27.
Last March 19 and 20, the MCWG led by Ortega assembled over 50 writers from Mindanao to gather for a historic summit at the Capitol University in CAgayan de Oro City.
The CDO directed by Zayda O. Macarambon conducts a Cultural Education course under the NCCA to support fellows from around Mindanao on a residency program to immerse participants in the various cultural environments of the island. The month-long program opens on May 1 in the Institute.
In opening a degree-granting Institute of Cultural Resource Management and Development (ICRMD), the IPAG, already acclaimed in the world stage, gears up for the second phase of the institute’s establishment. Supported by the NCCA, the program will be submitted for review and approval to university bodies before courses in Cultural Studies can commence.
This summer, too, provides time for the IPAG to conduct a Workshop on Dance for the Theatre starting on April 13 and culminating with a recital on May 7.
IPAG Director Fernandez was conferred the first Fr. Francisco Demeterio Award in Culture and the Arts by the Xavier U last March 25. The conferment gave him the opportunity to address the university’s 72nd Commencement. He travels extensively to lecture on his poetics and the dramaturgy that he and IPAG have developed.
The Institute supports the programs with the publication of books, research journals, online resources, multi-media materials, and regular performances that keep the advocacy at high speed and ensure the MSU-IIT’s leadership in national cultural development.