Have a question about Shenandoah Conservatory’s ShenCoLAB?
Explore our list of Frequently Asked Questions below to learn more. Don’t see your question? Email the ShenCoLAB Taskforce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ShenCoLAB is a week-long event during which Shenandoah Conservatory students lead and participate in collaborative projects of their own design. The week is capped by a celebratory Festival of Arts, Ideas & Exploration that acts as a public showcase for the students’ work. During the week of ShenCoLAB, all regular conservatory classes and rehearsals are canceled and the majority of conservatory spaces and resources are turned over to the students, cultivating an environment of unity, engagement and creativity.
ShenCoLAB will be held Tuesday, May 7, through Saturday, May 11, 2024. Final performances/presentations will be held on Saturday afternoon and evening.
- To foster a greater sense of community between all parts of Shenandoah Conservatory
- To allow students the opportunity to work on projects they have always dreamed of
- To allow participants to try new things
- To foster creativity, teamwork and leadership
- To foster a sense of shared purpose in our community
- To help students develop skills that will serve them well in their future careers
- To set Shenandoah Conservatory apart from other arts schools
- To allow participants to expand their own artistry and creative horizons
- To allow participants to explore topics related to their field that would otherwise be inaccessible due to issues surrounding time and resources
Yes. Unless otherwise notified, all Shenandoah Conservatory classes, rehearsals and regularly scheduled lessons in all undergraduate and graduate programs are canceled during ShenCoLAB. See the next question for more information about non-conservatory-related classes and responsibilities.
All students will be expected to attend all of their non-conservatory courses as scheduled. Please be aware of the following:
- WORK STUDY / SU EMPLOYMENT RESPONSIBILITIES: Shenandoah Conservatory students are expected to continue fulfilling their Work Study and other paid Shenandoah University employment responsibilities during the ShenCoLAB dates unless they have reached an agreement with their supervisor for a change to their schedule. (Students: Please understand that such a change may or may not be possible.)
- INTERNSHIP or other PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES: Some Shenandoah Conservatory students (in programs such as music therapy or music education) may have ongoing professional commitments related to their studies that cannot be easily changed during the ShenCoLAB stretch. Those students are, of course, expected to maintain those commitments.
- LESSONS: While studio lessons are canceled for the Tuesday through Saturday session of ShenCoLAB, students MAY request a lesson with their studio teacher during that time. (NOTE: Students interested in scheduling a lesson during ShenCoLAB should work with their studio teacher to find a mutually agreed upon time; one that does not conflict with their ShenCoLAB responsibilities.)
- SU COURSEWORK: Please note that courses across Shenandoah University are not impacted by ShenCoLAB and Shenandoah Conservatory students are absolutely expected to meet all their obligations in courses (including class attendance) run by other Shenandoah schools (College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business, etc.).
Yes, graduate students are highly encouraged to participate in ShenCoLAB. Such an event is a perfect opportunity for all students to delve into their art and learn something new.
- Students propose projects via an online form
- A committee of students, faculty and staff will review the proposals and award approvals
- After proposals are approved, the ShenCoLAB Taskforce will meet with project leaders to provide preliminary guidance and ideas for project development
- Students will use the weeks leading up to ShenCoLAB to finalize plans and do any necessary final recruitment for projects
- At the same time, space assignments and final performance/presentation slots will be assigned
- All rehearsals and final preparation will take place during the ShenCoLAB week
- The final performance/presentation event will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2024
Yes. Existing student groups may submit proposals. Proposals that incorporate additional collaborators from outside of the existing student group are highly encouraged.
- Proposals may be exploratory, performative, meditative or any combination of the three
- Selection criteria include resources needed, adequate explanation of goals and likelihood for completion
- Proposals that involve greater numbers of participants will be given preference as concerns workspace and scheduling
At least two people (the proposer being one of those two) must be involved in a proposed project. While participants do not have to be from multiple programs, one of the key benefits of ShenCoLAB is the further building of collaborative relationships. As a result, projects that involve student participants from different programs are especially encouraged.
No. Students may sign up to participate as collaborators or festival volunteers.
Students who propose a project commit to working primarily on that single project. Project leaders may not collaborate on other projects. Students may only participate as a project leader or collaborator in one project during ShenCoLAB for several reasons. This limitation simplifies scheduling for the event and allows you to focus on one project that you can do well. This also prevents participants from spreading themselves too thin throughout the week and opens up opportunities for others to collaborate.
It is up to the members of each project to decide how decisions will be made.
Groups will have access to the following:
- Limited funds to pay for supplies that cannot be begged or borrowed. Funding is offered on a case-by-case basis and must be applied for via the ShenCoLAB Support Grant Form.
- Access to basic lighting/sound support in venues equipped with such technology. This does not include lighting and sound design (simple on/off only). If design is a part of your project, you should collaborate with a designer as part of your project.
- Access to all Shenandoah Conservatory teaching and learning spaces (except those rendered off-limits by ongoing productions)
- Faculty mentorship (required)
If theatrical design is a part of your project, you should collaborate with a designer as part of your project. Select elements will be available upon request and with approval at the start of ShenCoLAB.
Yes, so long as that space is first approved by the ShenCoLAB Taskforce.
Each group will be assigned an official time for their final performance/presentation. Based on time/space availability and the nature of the project, some groups may be scheduled to perform/present more than once during the day.
No, you cannot have access to the space day-of other than your load-in time which is assigned.
This is perhaps one of the first things your group should figure out. There are many different possibilities and everyone needs to be on the same page.
Yes, faculty mentors are required. Project leaders will ask a faculty member to mentor their project. The mentor will be available for consultation during your project rehearsal and presentation. They will check in intermittently to ensure your project is doing well and that any content warnings for the festival program are accurately communicated.
ShenCoLAB participants will be supported by various teams/offices, including scheduling, facilities, ticketing, promotions and front-of-house. Project leaders seeking assistance with management or technical support for their proposals should seek out student collaborators with those skills. Students are encouraged to sign up as a festival volunteer to further support their fellow creatives.
No. Students may choose whether or not to participate. At the very least, it is hoped that all students will attend the last day’s events to help each group celebrate its collaborative work.
Faculty can agree to be a mentor who facilitates one or more groups in their work, providing technical assistance, general support or both. Faculty can also volunteer to assist with Saturday’s festival.
No, but we sure hope they will!
Yes. Participation by a non-conservatory student, faculty or staff member is possible with the approval of the ShenCoLAB Taskforce. However, no participating individual from outside the conservatory is excused from her/his work or study responsibilities. This means that the inclusion of non-conservatory individuals in a performance may significantly impact scheduling.
As an arts teaching community, we must make time for experiences that support our students’ creative impulse and can further bring us together as a creative and collaborative community. We must value projects that stand to help further define students’ sense of purpose and agency in the arts.
Most outdoor performance spaces have fewer lighting and sound capabilities. Outdoor spaces also have more weather-dependent rehearsal and performance schedules. Indoor venues may be better for certain rehearsals and recorded performances.
The ShenCoLAB Taskforce comes together to strategically determine these details. A draft of the festival schedule is shared with project leaders in early April and the final schedule is publicly posted by mid-April.
Projects affected by inclement weather will be relocated to a pre-determined indoor location.
Livestreaming support is not available for this year’s ShenCoLAB and its culminating Festival of Arts, Ideas & Exploration.