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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

AU Spring 2014

April 2014

"Books That Shaped America" Series Continues

Books That Shaped America

The School of Professional and Extended Studies (SPExS) and the University Library are pleased to announce the continuation of Books that Shaped America, a special discussion series for the community and American University students, faculty, and staff. The series features selections from the Books That Shaped America list, compiled by the Library of Congress. Informal discussions about the influence of these books on the nation’s extraordinary literary heritage will be led by AU faculty and staff members.

On April 22 at 7 p.m., Assistant Professor Nimai Mehta of the School of Professional & Extended Studies will lead a discussion of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. The event will be held in the Bender Library, GRC Classroom.

Although mainstream critics reacted poorly to Atlas Shrugged, it was a popular success. Set in what novelist and philosopher Rand called “the day after tomorrow,” the book depicts a United States caught up in a crisis caused by a corrupt establishment of government regulators and business interests. The book’s negative view of government and its support of unimpeded capitalism as the highest moral objective have influenced libertarians and those who advocate for a smaller government.

Free, light refreshments will be served at the event. Attendees are not required to have read the book in advance.

For additional information on the Books That Shaped America series, please visit or call 202-885-3847.

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How to Contact Us

Office of Community Relations
(202) 885-2167

Public Safety
non-emergency: (202) 885-2527
emergency: (202) 885-3636
Community Incident Reporting Form

Dean of Students
(202) 885-3300

Parking & Traffic Office
(202) 885-3111

AU Celebrates Earth Month with Campus Beautification Day & Other Activities

Campus Beautification Day

April will find the American University campus bustling with activity, as we celebrate spring, Earth Month, and Campus Beautification Day. We invite our neighbors to join us.

As one of AU’s largest community events, Earth Month provides an opportunity for campus organizations, clubs, departments, programs, and offices to showcase their own active pursuits of sustainability. Earth Month activities will run throughout April, culminating on Earth Day on April 22 with the 21st annual Campus Beautification Day (CBD) celebration. Part of an enduring AU tradition, the day will be an opportunity to help beautify the campus by planting new trees, shrubs, and flowers. The activities planned will incorporate both campus beautification and sustainability goals, and will strive to build and strengthen the AU community by bringing together staff, faculty, students, and neighbors. The day also will include AU's annual Day of Sustainability Service activities in which students will give back to our local community through the removal of invasive species and trail restoration in a local park.

Other events during Earth Month include a lecture by National Geographic Senior Cartographer Rosemary Wardley; a networking event for alumni in AU's Green Alumni Network; and speakers, performances, workshops, festivals, and symposia across the AU community. All events will be open to neighbors and friends throughout the community. We look forward to seeing you on campus.

To learn more about Earth Month and to find a full schedule of events, updated daily, visit Please contact the Office of Sustainability at or 202-885-6262 with questions. You also may contact Andrew Huff, Director of Community Relations, at or (202) 885-2167.

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Neighbors Welcome at Chico Vive Conference

Chico Vive

Neighbors are invited to attend the Chico Vive Conference at American University on April 4, 5, and 6. The conference will bring together grassroots activists, NGOs, students, engaged scholars, applied scientists, policymakers, journalists, and others to discuss the development of the global grassroots environmental movement in the 25 years since environmental martyr Chico Mendes' death.

The conference will take place at American University's School of International Service. Participants will plan strategies for coordinated international actions, networks, coalitions, and initiatives to advance sustainability, defend the environment from depredation and climate change and protect the rights of its traditional inhabitants.

Planned events at the Chico Vive Conference include:

•Friday afternoon, April 4 – a panel discussion of Chico Mendes' story. Marina Silva, former rubber tapper and associate of Chico Mendes, who now serves as the Environment Minister of Brazil, will deliver the keynote address. A cultural performance will follow in the evening.

•Saturday, April 5 – grassroots activists from around the world will present their testimonies. Panels in the morning and afternoon will discuss the development of the global grassroots environmental movement since 1988. These panels will feature both activists and experts on land struggles, indigenous self-determination, human rights, and environmental conservation. Professor John Knox, the United Nations Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, will deliver a keynote address at lunch. More cultural events will take place in the evening.

•Sunday, April 6 – strategy workshops will take place in the morning. The conference will conclude with a mini-film festival in the afternoon.

A documentary photographic exhibition also will be on display at the conference venue from Friday to Sunday.

Seating is limited and registration is required at a cost of $50 for individuals and $150 for organizations. To register, click here.

For more information, please contact Linda Rabben at or log onto

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East Campus Neighbors Attend Pre-Construction Meeting

East Campus Meeting

American University held a pre-construction meeting with neighbors on March 11 to discuss the work that is set to begin on AU’s new East Campus. During the meeting, the construction project team was introduced, a timeline was presented, and the potential impact of construction on the neighborhood was discussed. The meeting was attended by residents of the Wesley Heights neighborhood, including representatives of the Westover Place Homeowners Association, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 3D, the Spring Valley/Wesley Heights Neighborhood Association, and the Neighbors for a Livable Community.

An issue of importance voiced by neighbors at Westover Place is the presence of a landscaped buffer on the southern end of the site. AU expressed its commitment to planting additional trees to help maintain a visual buffer between the two properties. There also were questions regarding worker parking. It was agreed that workers will not be permitted to park on neighborhood streets and would face dismissal from the project if they are found to be in violation of the agreement. There will be limited on-site parking for supervisors, while others will rely on carpool, shuttles, and public transportation. Attendees also heard from the project’s general contractor, Skanska, and were provided information on schedule, parking, work hours, and who to contact with additional questions or issues. The information can be found at

AU will continue to meet with neighbors as the project progresses to provide updates on construction and address any questions or issues. East Campus will be located on the 8.1-acre parcel of land across from the main campus on the corner of Nebraska and New Mexico Avenues.

Currently a 900-space parking lot, East Campus will comprise five buildings, including three residence halls and two connected academic buildings that will accommodate administrative offices and instructional space.

All buildings on East Campus will be designed for LEED certification. Groundbreaking is scheduled for the spring of 2014 with completion targeted for summer 2016.

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Spring Brings AU’s Farmers’ Market Back to Campus

Farmers' Market

Rain or shine, every Wednesday from 11a.m. – 4 p.m., AU’s farmers’ market has returned to the quad space around the Mary Graydon building. Students, faculty, staff, and neighbors can browse goods ranging from farm fresh vegetables to homemade breads and desserts.

The market is a coordinated effort between AU and Pennsylvania-based Agora Farms, an intermediary for bringing Amish, Mennonite, and “English” farm goods to American University’s campus, as well as to DC’s historic Eastern Market on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition, Upper Crust Bakery will offer myriad fresh breads, including raisin pecan, harvest grain, jalapeno cheddar, and others. Chocolate chip cookies, mini pies, and cobblers also will be sold.

In addition to supporting locally grown food, the convenience of having fresh food right on campus makes it a great benefit for the campus community and the surrounding neighborhood.

For additional information, please visit here.

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Calendar of Events

Members Only Tour

April 4, 5 p.m.

AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Members are invited to tour the spring exhibition early with museum director Jack Rasmussen, with a reception to follow. Not yet a member? Join now:

Gallery Talk: Double Mirror

April 5, 5 p.m.

AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Join curator Inhee Iris Moon for a talk on Korean and Korean-American artists’ exhibition called Double Mirror.

Artists’ Reception

April 5, 6 p.m.

AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Join the artists and curators for an Artists’ Reception.

Yoga in the Galleries

April 9 and 23, 10 a.m.

AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Led by certified Kripalu Yoga teacher Eva Blutinger, this yoga class is a great opportunity to de-stress and start your day with mental clarity, relaxation, and art. Please bring a mat.

AU School of Communication/National Gallery of Art Film Series

April 11, 13 & 18

McKinley Building, 2nd Floor

The National Gallery of Art & AU School of Communication will host a series of films related to iconic photographer, Garry Winogrand and the NGA exhibition of his photographic works. Winogrand was a street photographer known for his portrayal of life in New York City and the US from the 1950s to 1970s. The three-night film festival includes:

Friday, April 11, 7 p.m.: Everybody Street, with light refreshments before film

Sunday, April 13, 4:30 p.m.: Third Avenue: Only the Strong Survive and On The Bowery

Friday, April 18, 7 p.m: Jamel Shabazz Street Photographer

Free and open to the public. Questions? Contact Sharon Metcalf at

Showtime’s "Years of Living Dangerously"

April 15, 6:30 p.m.

McKinley Building, 2nd Floor

Join us for a screening of clips and panel discussion about Showtime’s eight-part climate change series Years of Living Dangerously, hosted by AU School of Communication, the Investigative Reporting Workshop and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking. IRW senior producer, Mishi Ebrahim, who produced parts of the series, will moderate a behind-the-scenes panel discussion about the production. Showtime will launch this groundbreaking series nationally beginning on Sunday, April 13. Light refreshments will be served before and after the screening.

Free and open to the public.

Program website:

Questions? Contact Don Mike Mendoza at

Members Only Tour & Panel

April 25, 5 p.m.

AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Members are invited to a sneak peek of the late spring exhibition with director Jack Rasmussen and a panel discussion on the impact of poetry on the creation of art and vice versa. Panelists include Michael Duncan, curator of An Opening of the Field and Linda Voris, AU Department of Literature professor.

Gallery Talk: An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle

April 26, 5 p.m.

AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Join curator Michael Duncan for a discussion on the remarkable artistic partnership of Jess, Robert Duncan, and their circle.

Late Spring Artists’ Reception

April 26, 6 p.m.

AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Join the artists and curators of An Opening in the Field for an Artists’ Reception.


April 27, 1 p.m.

AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Expand your child’s imagination by engaging your children in a fun, creative art class inspired by one of the current exhibitions. Children will create sculptures with the help of local artist BK Adams, whose work will be on display in the Sculpture Garden beginning on April 1. Be sure to bring an item for your child’s sculpture and an extra t-shirt or pair of jeans, as the kids will splatter paint their clothes like the artist himself. One week’s advanced registration suggested. The cost is $10 per child.

Athletics Schedule

April 5, 1 p.m.

Women's Lacrosse vs. Lafayette

Jacobs Field

April 19, 1 p.m.

Women's Lacrosse vs. Colgate

Jacobs Field

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