DaVinci Days celebration returns to SIU

By Diamond Jones

A celebration of the university’s innovation and creativity in the fields of science, humanities and arts is returning to campus.

SIU’s DaVinci Days, previously called Creativity Week and before that Research Week, is administered from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and involves artistic presentations by students, faculty and staff. The events run from April 3 to April 7.

The events are open to the SIU and Carbondale public community.


“The idea is to get more people involved in the arts,” said Howard Motyl, coordinator and Interim Chair and Associate Professor, Radio, Television and Digital Media. “There’s research we’re doing here right under our noses that we should be proud of.”

Motyl said it was somewhat difficult to get people involved. He said he would walk around campus or listen to the radio to come up with ideas and find people to present. This worked out for the best when he came across a robotics team banner that said they were No. 1 in the country, then tracked down the advisor and suggested that he does a presentation during DaVinci days on leadership.

Other presentations will include live music from RTD students, leadership building, concerts from local musicians, a panel from the School of Art and Design, “Dawg Talk,” an honors program and a music festival. There will also be an undergraduate research symposium, where undergraduates work with faculty on a research project to present posters that will be judged.

“We really want to keep showcasing all the different kinds of research,” Motyl said. “Next year I want to reach out to more journalists, filmmakers and chemists.”

On April 5, the Edible Book Festival, one of the common events within the DaVinci Days, will return for its seventh year.

Students of SIU and the Carbondale community put their baking and creative talents to the test to turn best-selling books into enjoyable puns made out of cakes, which are voted on in different categories for the chance to win a Amazon fire tablet.

“It’s starting to become a tradition here,” said Sarah Prindle, first time festival coordinator and Humanities and Fine Arts Librarian. “Some years we get a lot of people, sometimes it’s a little quiet.”


Prindle said the category “Best Future Saluki” comes from the amount of younger kids in Carbondale who may not have well-shaped cakes but great ideas. She said the book festival creates a balance between the community and campus.

Motyl said he hopes the event will allow people to feel more prideful of SIU rather than disappointed at the recent budget cuts.

In this moment when we’re talking about a $30 million cut, people will see just how fruitful the research we have here on campus is,” Motyl said.

For more information on DaVinci Days and a complete agenda of the week’s events visit here.

Campus reporter Diamond Jones can be reached at [email protected], 618-536-3325 or on Twitter @_dimewrites.
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