CAPA Initiatives are multi-year programs that respond to an urgent issue in the world. The goal of CAPA Initiatives is to build publics—communities of interest and involvement—around pressing problems. These initiatives creatively assemble the resources of Bennington College around a specific issue and connect them to external stakeholders and organizations. This includes courses from across disciplines at the college; extracurricular and Field Work Term opportunities for students; trainings and workshops for local and college community members; curated exhibitions and engaged social practices in art; conferences that convene stakeholders and advance new solutions; and publications or programs that extend the work of CAPA Initiatives into wider audiences. CAPA Initiatives are designed in collaboration with local, national, and/or international groups and result in public action to foster better infrastructure, enable and create sustainable design, and to promote human rights.
CAPA Conversations are semester to year-long public dialogues. The goal of CAPA Conversations is to foster discussion around a complex issue or emerging crisis—discussion that can ground and orient further interventions. CAPA Conversations provide a venue for Bennington College to learn about issues not otherwise covered in the curriculum; to workshop innovative solutions to entrenched problems; to bring officials and stakeholders into conversation; and to collaborate with existing groups outside the College. Members of Bennington College or the outside community initiate and organize CAPA Conversations with new proposals considered on a rolling basis. We are particularly interested in proposals that bring novel attention to policy shifts, complex systems, and practical innovations.