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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Clinic for Open-Source Arts (COSA) students in class



COSA hosts a yearly summit focused on bringing together a diverse group of users, developers, educators and other stakeholders for a particular tool, language, or type of creative coding practice to communicate, collaborate, and improve the tools and their accessibility. Each year the specific focus changes, to keep up with the tools that are in heavy use in the field and keep communities connected. The Summit brings together 10-50 people from around the world and also includes engaging DU students and the broader Denver community with workshops, class visits, conversations, and training students to become contributors.


These smaller gatherings are focused on meta-topics across tools and generate best practices to be shared out into the community. They tap into expertise on the DU campus as well as experts (academic and otherwise) around the globe who help document ways to improve how open-source tools function as communities and what new directions or tools might be needed in response to changes in the field.


COSA is also focused on open-source arts efforts within the University, including sending DU scholars and students to similar events at other institutions and coordinating smaller events on campus, such as hackathons and doc-sprints.


Processing Development Sprint 2014
In 2014, the University of Denver's Emergent Digital Practices program (EDP) hosted the six primary members of the Processing development team for almost a week. Processing is a free and open-source language developed at the MIT media lab focused on enabling visual artists to create with code. In the 15 years since it was created, it has been downloaded millions of times all over the world and is a part of nearly every university level digital art curriculum in the USA. During their time at DU, the Processing team was able to complete and publish their third major version. At the first Processing Community day at MIT in October 2017, they cited their time together in Denver as one of the most important since the inception of the project.

OpenFrameworks Education Summit 2015
In 2015, EDP hosted 18 artists, designers, and educators (half of them women) from around the world for the first ever OpenFrameworks Education Summit. The focus was to improve the accessibility and the teachability of the free and open-source tool, OpenFrameworks, while increasing the diversity of people involved in its support. During the Education Summit, the focus over the four days was to improve the educational documentation (the explanations of what each command does and how to use it) and to write numerous tutorials for new users.