Craig R. Harris, Ph.D.
Craig Harris is the Artistic Director of Interference Arts and is a composer, theater artist, writer and producer. Harris creates music, multimedia stage works, interactive sculptural environments, and creative story spaces. He has a decades-long commitment to arts-based community development, pursuing a wide variety of projects – incorporating new technological resources that serve artists; implementing publishing, conference and festival platforms to facilitate sharing of knowledge and collaboration; and advancing a variety of creative facilities development projects. He employs future visioning research approaches to examine current artistic practices, and to illustrate how improved technological resources could serve artists’ creative needs and audience experiences.
- GONE – the multimedia version, a series of videos and multimedia performance/installation pieces created in collaboration with visual artist Candy Kuehn, based on Harris’ keyboard suite GONE (2021).
- Legacy 121219, Legacy 50920 & Legacy 12620, keyboard improvisations based on the digital sampler instruments created Harris’ 2019 “Untether #4” Homewood Studios Concert (2019 & 2020).
- Legacy 111419, keyboard music created for and performed at the Homewood Studios solo keyboard concert series “Untether #4” (2019).
- Music Box Variations 1 & 2, keyboard music created for and performed at the Homewood Studios solo keyboard concert series “Untether #3 & #4” (2019).
- GONE, a keyboard suite performed at the Owatonna Art Center (2018) and at the Homewood Studios solo keyboard concert series “Untether #1 (2019).
- SenseAbility, revised production of multimedia dramatic work performed at the Art to Change the World “See. Say. DO!” exhibition (2018).
- Time is…, a full length ballet score commissioned by the dance theater company Off-Leash Area and performed at the Off-Leash Area Art Box (2017, revised 2019).
- Garden of Names – lead visual projection designer in collaboration with James Peitzman and Candy Kuehn for Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre (2018).
- SenseAbility, a multimedia dramatic work performed at Open Eye Theatre in their 2017 Platform Series (2017).
- Dancing on the Belly of the Beast, a full length ballet score commissioned by the dance theater company Off-Leash Area and performed at the Ritz Theater (2017).
- AfterWind, an electronic narrative soundscape commissioned by the dance theater company Off-Leash Area for their acclaimed main stage production (2016).
- Elijah in the Wadi, a multimedia dramatic work created with support from the Southwest Jewish Arts Council and the 2016 Right Here Showcase.
- Why We Laugh, adaptation and composition for a play and revived holocaust era cabaret performed at the Nine Gates Festival of Czech-German-Jewish Culture in Prague, and the Rafael Schachter Institute for Arts and Humanities at Terezin (2011). The USA premiere of this show was produced by Fortune’s Fools Theater Company in Minneapolis in 2015.
- Rubaiyat: a Life in a Day –projection design and design integration for Katha Dance Theatre (2014)
- ConVivir: 7 Dances to a More Compassionate World – visual projection design and design integration for Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre (2014)
- Making Light in Terezin – documentary film music score, premiered at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival (2013)
- Marcy Holmes Community Carillon Project, supported through a grant from the University of Minnesota (2012)
- Five Books Choral Suite, with grant awards from Rimon: MN Jewish Arts Council & the Howard B. and Ruth F. Brin Jewish Arts Endowment Fund (2012)
- It is She Who I See, full length multimedia performance work produced by Interference Arts at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis, MN (2012)
- Tzedakah Box Installations: Tzedakah Box II – Sabes JCC Shapiro Tychman Gallery Uncommon Visions exhibition (2011)
- Five Books – First Series, multimedia oratorio commissioned by and produced at the Sabes JCC Center for Jewish Arts and Humanities (2008)
- Elastic Soliton – music for narrative video installation by Joan Truckenbrod for the Sculpture Invasion Exhibition at the Koehnline Museum of Art, Oakton Community College (2007)
- Sleeping Beauty, full length ballet for piano, voices and electronic soundscape commissioned by Ballet of the Dolls (2003)
- The Red Shoes, full length ballet for piano, violin and electronic soundscape commissioned by Ballet of the Dolls (2001, revised 2002)
- The Hill Has Something to Say, for soprano, piano & soundscape, commissioned for soprano Renée Fleming premiered in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center (2000)
- Leonardo Live, a multimedia performance work for voice, live sampling and electronics, commissioned by the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Walker Art Center for production at the Science Museum’s new facility opening celebration, and at a Walker Art Center First Free Saturday event (2000)
- From Beyond – music for documentary video about the UFO experience (1996)
- Galileo’s First Glimpse, music video with visual artist Lorren Stafford (1995)
- Transgenic Bagel – music for interactive computer installation – Sonya Rappaport/San Francisco (1994)
- Cage’s Cages, a version of John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano, adapted for digital sampler – John Cage Memorial Festival (1993 & 1994)
- inDelicate Balance, digital soundtracks adapted for live performance at the International Symposium on Electronic Arts (1993)
- Charity Box (Tzedakah Box I) – multimedia installation with sculpture by Candy Kuehn for the ACM Multimedia Art Exhibition (1994)
- Configurable Space, multimedia performance-presentations and exhibitions (1986-1994)
- Pearl Speaks, for voice and electronic soundscape (1993)
- A Sharing Place – an interactive meditative installation for the Gutter Festival in San Francisco (1993)
- Fantasy and Fantastic Media, multimedia performance presentation (1992)
- SFEQ (San Francisco Earthquake), multi-channel soundscapes and Blues Ensemble (1991)
- inDelicate Balance, a computer music composition (1989)
- Threshold, video version with visual artists Beth Gafarian and Pat Byrne (1986)
- In Such an Hour, for orchestra and digital soundscape (1985)
- A Mad Tea Party, for orchestra, solo vocalists and chorus (1983)
- Threshold, for chamber ensemble and electronic soundscape (1983)
- Ah, Cappella, for Greek Chorus and Protagonist (1982)
Selected Awards and Honors
- Rimon: MN Jewish Arts Council Grants (2016 & 2012)
- Howard B. and Ruth F. Brin Jewish Arts Endowment Fund Grants (2016 & 2012)
- Next Step Fund grant, supported through a grant from The McKnight Foundation (2012)
- American Composers Forum Grant, with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation( 2000)
- Hanson Institute for American Music Grant (2000)
Creative Residencies – the Alaska Society for Technology Education Conference (2012); Banff Center for the Arts (1986 & 1988)
Guest Composer – Eastman School of Music Computer Music Center, 25th Anniversary Concert Series (2007); School of Music at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil (1995); Center for Art, Media, and Technology in Utrecht, Holland (1988)
Composer in the Schools – Minneapolis Public Schools: projects at Marcy Open School, Jefferson Public School & Whittier Public School (1996-2001)
Nonprofit Arts Leadership &
Arts-based Community Development
PROFILE: Reputation as a leader in the nonprofit arts field with unique experience facilitating community and organizational change.
Specific skills and expertise in:
- Creating and producing music, multimedia and interdisciplinary performances, installation projects, festivals and conferences;
- Strategic planning and problem-solving facilitation with emphasis on arts-focused community development;
- Research in new technology applications for creative purposes;
- Creative facilities and program development;
- Mentoring organizations through major organizational transformation;
- Creating effective strategic collaborations and partnerships across the private and public sectors;
- Cultivating, managing, mentoring and supervising staff; and
- Developing and managing budgets and funding sources.
Over thirty years of experience as an organizational and field leader, facilitating change for organizations in transition, supporting arts-based community development activities in local, national and international contexts, and creating/producing complex creative projects and events in the media arts realm.
- Led a $2.2 million cultural and economic capital development initiative to renovate an historic movie theater into a 240-seat multi-use performing arts venue supporting several dance and theater companies and revitalizing a neighborhood in transition.
- Managed organizational and programmatic growth for international organizations serving the emerging electronic arts disciplines.
- Led an initiative to raise over $800,000 to preserve a 60-acre art park and learning center through a nonprofit and public alliance, and to increase capacity of the host nonprofit entity to establish a sustainable model for program delivery and development.
- Managed organizational development and a leadership transition for an organization emerging as a premiere national play development lab.
- Presented papers and creative work at such international conferences and festivals as the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) and International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), and published in major field books, journals and electronic publications, including Leonardo, Computer Music Journal and Contemporary Music Review.
- Produced and co-produced many local, national and international festivals, conferences, symposia and special events focused on the realm where art, science and technology converge.
- Conducted long term research projects exploring the application of new technological resources in creative environments.
Interference Arts / Kolmon Enterprises, Inc. (1986 – present)
Managed and consulted on operational planning, program and organizational development, conference and festival direction, feasibility studies, and leadership cultivation initiatives for local, national and international projects, including such clients as Artspace Projects; University of Michigan Center for Performing Arts and Technology; School of Music at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Center for Art, Media, and Technology in Utrecht, Holland; The Banff Center for the Arts; Red Eye Collaboration Theater; Arts Center of Saint Peter.
Caponi Art Park (2010 – 2013)
Led an initiative to preserve the 60-acre art park through public ownership, to increase capacity of the nonprofit programming entity, to establish a sustainable model for program delivery and development, and to navigate through a founder/leadership transition.
The Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) (2012)
Served as artist in residence at the ASTE national conference to help the organization’s leadership and its 700 conference attendees develop a state-wide vision for the future of education and education technology.
The Playwrights Center (2007 – 2010)
Increased organizational capacity to deliver its programs to serve national and international constituencies as a premiere play development center; facilitated leadership transition.
Great River School (2005 – 2006)
Facilitated a turnaround for a public charter school through organizational restructuring, hiring school administrator, overseeing contract negotiations, and implementing major budget revisions.
Ballet of the Dolls & the Ritz Theater Foundation (1999 – 2006)
Helped build the dance-theater company to a new level of impact, with a heightened level of artistic and financial success; raised over $300,000 in funds for general operations, capacity building and program development; established strategic partnerships with presenters and local arts community to build and improve programs; led a $2.2 million capital theater renovation initiative; helped to transform a community in transition to fully emerge as a flourishing, sustainable cultural and economic center.
The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (ISAST) (1991 – 1994)
Facilitated enhanced international networking and collaborations in the emerging media arts field; successfully managed organizational development to increase capacity; co-produced annual festivals and conferences; preserved the twenty-five year old arts, science and technology field journal Leonardo by establishing a long term comprehensive publishing collaboration with MIT Press; launched significant new Leonardo Book Series; founded one of the Internet’s first web-based journal, Leonardo Electronic Almanac.
Yamaha Music Technologies (1988 – 1991)
Implemented and managed a hybrid computer system network and computer music studio serving a research facility designing new platforms for computer-based music instruments and resources; trained research staff in use of computer systems and music programs; consulted on future music technology design considerations.
The International Computer Music Association (ICMA) (1984-1988)
Facilitated enhanced international networking and collaborations in the emerging digital music field; collaborated to produce annual festivals and conferences; developed academic and creative publishing activities and resources for electronic communications across diverse disciplinary fields.
“Art and Innovation – the Xerox PARC Artist-in-Residence Program,” The MIT Press, edited by Craig Harris (1999)
“Configurable Space XIII – Creativity and Communication,” Proceedings of the 1995 Brazilian Symposium on Computer Graphics and Image Processing (1995)
“Computer Music in Context,” Contemporary Music Review, Harwood Academic Press, London, England (Volume 13, Part 2), edited by Craig Harris (1996)
“Configuring Hospitable Space – Fantasy and Fantastic Media,” Contemporary Music Review, Harwood Academic Press, London, England (Volume 13, Part 2, edited by Craig Harris) (1992)
“The Leonardo Almanac: International Resources in Art, Science and Technology,” The MIT Press, edited by Craig Harris (1993)
“Artistic Necessity, Context Orientation, Configurable Space,” Companion to Contemporary Musical Thought (London and New York: Routledge), Paynter, Howell, Orton and Seymour, ed., chapter 22 (1992)
Computer Music Association Source Book, Compiled and Edited by Craig Harris and Stephen Pope, Computer Music Association, 1987.
“An Integrated Software System for Set-Theoretic and Serial Analysis,” by Craig R. Harris and Alexander R. Brinkman, Journal for Computer-Based Instruction, Volume 16, Number 2 (1989).
“A Composer’s Computer Music System – Practical Considerations,” Computer Music Journal, Volume 11 Number 3 (1987).
“A Unified Set of Software Tools for Computer-Assisted Set-Theoretic and Serial Analysis of Contemporary Music,” Proceedings of the 1986 International Computer Music Conference (1986), Computer Music Association, San Francisco, CA.
Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester: Visiting Assistant Professor in Composition; Acting Director of the Computer Music Studio (1987)
University of Michigan School of Music: Visiting Assistant Professor in Theory (1987)
Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester: Research Associate (1986)
Education & Professional Development
Margolis Brown Actor Workshops and private coaching (2017 – 2019)
Kabuki Theater Workshop with Master Artist David Furumoto (2018)
James P. Shannon Leadership Institute (2007)
Nautilus Music Theater Composer-Librettist Studio (1997)
Ph.D. & Master of Music Composition: Eastman School of Music (1986 & 1983)
Bachelor of Music Composition: University of Toronto (1976)
Current: Leonardo Electronic Almanac – Editorial Advisory Board; Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Association Creative Places Committee; Art to Change the World Advisory Board
Former: Open Eye Figure Theater Board of Directors; Art to Change the World Board of Directors; Caponi Art Park, Board President; Great River School, Board President and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee; Minneapolis Plan for Arts and Culture – Technical Advisory Committee; Minnesota Dance Mapping Project Advisory Group; Marcy Arts Partnership Steering Committee