The Bard Center

Photo by Pete Mauney
Photo by Pete Mauney '93, MFA '00
Since 1978 The Bard Center has developed pacesetting educational and scholarly programs with a recognized influence nationwide. The Center promotes the study of the liberal arts and sciences as they relate to issues of public planning and decision making in and beyond the Hudson River Valley. These programs enrich the intellectual, cultural, and social experience of Bard undergraduates and establish a network of academic and professional centers beyond the campus.

What We Do

The Bard Center sponsors lectures, seminars, conferences, and concerts on campus, bringing students into contact with prominent researchers, artists, musicians, scientists, and other leaders in fields that many undergraduates aspire to enter. An equally influential aspect of its activities is the shared learning experience of College and community members. Center projects in which students have participated have had an impact on such diverse and far-reaching pursuits as new directions in music and the arts, the development of health care in cities, solutions to functional illiteracy, and groundbreaking ecological research. Because the Center’s focus is intellectual in the broadest sense, rather than narrowly academic, it encourages students from their first year onward to share the mantle of social responsibility and leadership.

Bard Center Fellows

Bard Center fellows, who serve active terms of varying lengths, present seminars and lectures that are open to the public and teach or direct research by Bard undergraduates. Fellows are chosen on the basis of special achievement in the arts, sciences, literature, philosophy, history, or social studies. The following prominent scholars and artists currently serve as fellows:

Institute for Writing and Thinking

Founded in 1982, the Institute for Writing and Thinking (IWT) has been guiding teachers in developing and refining writing practices for more than 30 years. Through intellectually stimulating and practical workshops, conferences, and on-site consulting, IWT brings secondary and college teachers together and supports their efforts to make writing a central classroom practice. Expand for Institute for Writing and Thinking Expand

Bard Fiction Prize

The Bard Fiction Prize was established in 2001 and is awarded annually to an emerging writer who is an American citizen aged 39 years or younger at the time of application. In addition to a monetary award, the recipient is appointed writer in residence at Bard College for one semester. The prize, awarded each October, is intended to encourage and support young writers of fiction and to provide them with an opportunity to work in a fertile intellectual environment. Expand for Bard Fiction Prize Expand

Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series

The Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series originated in 1979 when Nobel laureate physicist Paul Dirac accepted an invitation from Bard professor Abe Gelbart and the Bard Center to deliver a lecture titled “The Discovery of Antimatter.” The talk presented a view of science rarely seen by the general public—as a record of personal achievement as well as a body of facts and theories. Expand for Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series Expand

Leon Levy Endowment Fund

The Leon Levy Endowment Fund was created in 1995 by the Bard College Board of Trustees, in recognition of more than a decade of transformative philanthropy by Leon Levy, founder of the Levy Economics Institute. Through grants in many areas, the fund supports Bard College’s academic excellence. Expand for Leon Levy Endowment Fund Expand

Cultural Programs:

+ Bard Music Festival

+ Lecture and Performance Series

+ Aston Magna

+ Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle


+ Bard Center Evenings