It looks like ASU President Michael Crow and Kanye West have decided to tag-team on James Turrell's Roden Crater Project.
ASU and its nonprofit foundation have entered into a partnership with Turrell to help complete his decades-long art project, construct a visitors center at the site near Flagstaff, and implement a multidisciplinary academic program around the massive work. This comes after Turrell invited Crow to visit the project last year, and after rapper, designer, and headline-grabber Kanye West donated $10 million to the project just last week.
The ASU Foundation aims to raise $200 million over the next two years to help fund the completion of the project and the construction of the visitor center over the next five years.
While the project has traditionally been closed off to the public, and access has been limited to major donors and supporters of the project, researchers and students might gain access to work for the first time.
ASU and the Skystone Foundation, the organization that operates the Roden Crater Project, are creating a pilot academic program which will include an online class developed by Turrell, and a few ASU students have already had the opportunity to visit the work in the fall semester in a new set of lab classes. A small number of students have also been able to enroll in spring classes that include visits to the project.
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Wanda Dalla Costa, a professor at the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, is currently instructing one of the new lab courses titled "Indigenous Stories and Sky Science" that looks at the intersection of art and science at the Roden Crater Project through collaboration with people from the Hopi and Navajo communities, as the crater is located on their ancestral lands.
Daniel Collins, a multidisciplinary professor at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, is also instructing one of the new field research courses offered at the school that allows students to visit the project.
Until the project and visitor center is completed, it looks like the only way to visit the project will be by contributing a large donation or enrolling in one of the new courses at ASU. Better start saving up.
Editor's note: The reporter is currently enrolled ASU student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.