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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

June 2015

June 2015

Tenleytown Neighbors Attend WCL Update Meeting

WCL Update Meeting

Residents of the Tenleytown neighborhood, including representatives from Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3E, the Tenley Campus Neighborhood Association, and Tenleytown Historical Society last month attended a construction update meeting to hear about progress on the new Washington College of Law (WCL) at the historic Tenley campus.

A representative from the project’s general contractor, Whiting-Turner, provided information on the project’s schedule, recently completed traffic calming measures, and move-in plans. Neighbors also were introduced to several key WCL staff members who will interact regularly with neighbors once the project is complete.

The new Washington College of Law will support a student population of 2,000 and a faculty and staff of 500, provide 50 percent more space than its current location, and feature 312,000 square feet of facilities and parking for 400 vehicles. When construction is complete in September, WCL will be among the most technically advanced law schools in the country and the only one with a courthouse. Classes will be held at the new WCL beginning in January 2016.

The Tenley Campus is located one block from the Metro, giving the legal community, business leaders, government officials, and alumni better access to the law school while providing students with a direct line to the heart of Washington, D.C.

For additional information and regular updates on construction, please visit

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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

Neighborhood Movie Night, August 21

Monsters University

Mark your calendars now for August 21 and plan to bring a picnic and the whole family to campus for an outdoor screening of the animated classic, Monsters University.

The sequel to the popular Monsters, Inc., Monsters University unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.

Co-hosted by our neighbors at the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, the movie will be screened at the Woods-Brown Amphitheatre at 8 p.m. Free popcorn will be provided and all are welcome to attend. Rain location is the Mary Graydon Center Tavern.

For additional information, contact Andrew Huff, Director of Community Relations at (202) 885-2167 or

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Summer Camps at the Katzen Arts Center

Katzen Museum Evening

If you are looking for fun and creative activities for your children this summer, consider Imagination Stage or Levine’s Summer Music and Arts Day Camp. Both camps will hold summer sessions at AU’s Katzen Arts Center.

Imagination Stage returns to the Katzen Arts Center, June 15 - July 2, and is pleased to continue their week-long, half-day dance and acting camps for children in grades 7 – 10.

Campers are exposed to an intensive exploration of specific dance styles and acting techniques including Improvisation, Musical Theatre Dance: Grease, Acting 101, Hip-Hop, and more. Mix and match camps to create a full-day experience.

For more information or to register, visit here.

The Levine School of Music is teaming with the Katzen Arts Center to offer top-notch instruction within a fun and collaborative environment for campers ages 3-and-a-half to 12 and Teen Apprentices in grades 7 – 12. The program runs July 13 through July 31. The Summer Music and Arts Day Camp offers a rich educational program featuring singing, music instrument lessons for campers in first grade and above, along with dance, yoga, art, percussion, and an afternoon Music Theater program.

For more information or to register, please visit

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Meeting of Community Liaison Committee Slated for June 2

American University’s Community Liaison Committee (CLC) will hold a quarterly meeting on Tuesday, June 2.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Abramson Family Founders Room in the School of International Service (SIS) building on the university’s main campus (4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW). Neighbors are invited to join AU staff at 6:30 p.m. for pre-meeting coffee and conversation. Parking for the meeting is available in the SIS garage.

The CLC was established to foster positive relations and to maintain regular communication between the university and its neighbors. As specified in the D.C. Zoning Commission Order for AU’s 10-year Campus Plan, the CLC comprises individuals from neighboring community organizations and representatives from the university.

Additional information on the CLC, including meeting agendas and minutes can be found at

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National Building Museum Offers WCL Construction Watch Tour

Building Museum and WCL

On Saturday, June 27 at 10 a.m., the National Building Museum will conduct a members-only “construction watch” tour of Washington College of Law’s (WCL) new Tenley campus. American University’s Ferda Guzey, architects Tom Butcavage of SmithGroupJJR and Bob Kehoe of Whiting Turner, and a guide from the National Building Museum will lead the tour to show how the new facilities incorporate historical flourishes of the existing buildings with state-of-the-art modern elements. The tour also will explain how WCL is being built to meet the changing needs of legal education, and its efforts to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Attendees will be shown the works in progress of the new and renovated buildings which will form a connected complex of teaching spaces, legal clinic facilities, teaching courtrooms, law library, alumni center, faculty and staff offices, and student study and meeting spaces.

The National Building Museum is America’s leading cultural institution devoted to the history and impact of the built environment. The cost of the tour is $35 and is open only to members of the National Building Museum. For more information about the museum or to become a member, visit here.

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AU Encourages Bike To Work Day Everyday

May 15 was national Bike To Work Day. To commemorate the day, American University encouraged its staff, faculty, and students to ride their bicycles to campus.

The university’s AhealthyU program, set up by human resources to encourage healthy lifestyle practices for faculty and staff, sponsored a special breakfast for those who biked to campus, and conducted a raffle for participants featuring bike-themed prizes. In the week leading up to Bike To Work Day, the AhealthyU program hosted a bike-to-work workshop to inform staff of bike safety tips, convenient routes to take, and connected staff to bike together. The Jacobs Fitness Center also offered use of its showers for bike commuters. Additionally, Commuter Connections and the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) hosted nearly 80 pit stops where bikers could take a breather on their way to work in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Among the participants at AU, Tony Roane from the Washington College of Law commuted the furthest distance to campus by cycling 25 miles from Herndon, VA.

Bike To Work Day is not just a one-day event at AU. Currently, the university is working towards a Bike-Friendly University certification from the League of American Bicyclists. According to Landscape Architect Michael Mastrota, “As part of the effort to make AU bicycle-friendly for commuters to the university, old bicycle racks throughout campus are being replaced with new more secure models. The number of racks and more visible signage showing bicycle parking locations also are on the increase throughout campus.”

Additionally, bike commuters can register their bicycles with AU’s Department of Public Safety to receive commuter incentives and benefits.

Encouraging more people to bike to campus is part of the university’s efforts to promote healthy lifestyles, leave a smaller carbon footprint, as well to help reduce traffic on neighborhood streets.

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Area School Children Visit AU To Learn About Sustainability

School Visits

American University’s dedication to environmentalism and sustainability extends beyond its classrooms and campus. University students believe that it is important to spread the word and share what they have learned with the rest of the world. Locally, the university invites area schoolchildren regularly to the campus to learn about AU’s green efforts.

Showing that it is never too early to learn about caring for the environment, recently a group of pre-school students from the Community Preschool of the Palisades and their parents visited AU’s campus. The students, whose curriculum already includes learning about the environment, were treated to a day of tours and activities highlighting AU’s sustainability efforts and the importance of incorporating environmentally friendly practices with daily life.

Students took AU’s arboretum tour and learned about the many plants and animals that call AU’s campus home. They visited the university’s oldest tree, a majestic oak on the quad that is more than 100 years old. Two AU students from the AU Beekeeping Society gave a presentation on campus beekeeping, and the students got an up-close look at the bees at work in their hive. The children then completed a short craft activity where they made their own honey bee out of cardboard as a souvenir of their AU visit. They also expanded their knowledge of waste and recycling by naming the colors of AU's zero waste stations correctly, and touring the newly-renovated McKinley Building – parts of which were built using recycled materials.

"It's a wonderful experience for us to share our campus sustainability features with the local community. The excitement of these students was palpable, and working with them helps us see our daily work through new eyes, as it offers us a different perspective. It's a privilege to help inspire the next generation of environmental champions. We hope they will visit us again soon,” said Sustainability Coordinator Joshua Kaplan.

The Community Preschool of the Palisades’ visit is just one of many visits to AU by local schools this year, as sustainability and the environment become increasingly important components of primary school curricula. Other local schools to tour AU's campus recently to learn about sustainability include the Washington International School, Oyster-Adams Bilingual School, and Poolesville High School (MD).

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AU Students Demonstrate Their ‘Power 2 Save’ Energy in City-Wide Competition

A team of AU students swept the “Power 2 Save” competition against Georgetown University, George Washington University, and Catholic University of America. Student teams were challenged to deliver the most number of free energy assessments to small businesses.

Held over a five-week period from March through April, the competition was organized by the Green Impact Campaign, a nonprofit organization that specializes in helping small businesses improve energy use, and Nextility, a company that focuses on clean energy equipment installation and finds the best utility rates for small businesses.

Using mobile devices, teams conducted and recorded energy audits. Copies of the business’ utility bills were sent to Nextility to ensure that the businesses were getting the most competitive pricing for gas and/or electricity. If the rates weren’t the most competitive available, Nextility helped connect the businesses with new suppliers that offered a better rate.

In addition to a team prize of $500 cash, AU students were rewarded individually with various prizes ranging from Washington Nationals tickets to resumé and Linkedin profile reviews, Cava Mezze Grill gift cards, and even internships with some of the firms that sponsored the competition, including Environmental Defense Fund, AtSite, Inc., Lumen, Union Kitchen, and Nextility.

The four student teams reached 46 local businesses, identifying more than 635,000 kilowatt-hours and $125,000 of savings. The AU team performed 20 of the 46 assessments which secured a first-place victory since the runner-up performed only ten assessments.

Perhaps the biggest prize for the students was the experience. In addition to the opportunity to apply newly learned skills about energy conservation in the real world, students learned how to convey difficult ecological concepts to cautious business owners in easy-to-understand laypersons’ terms.

AU student Greta Zukauskaite, a public communications major, reflected, “I’ve learned through Power 2 Save that even in the smallest offices, there are so many actions that can be taken to reduce energy usage. Even small measures like installing task lighting or using computer sleep timers go such a long way.”

AU makes a concerted effort to manage energy use intelligently on campus as well as to teach smart energy behaviors to its community. In the academic realm, AU has many sustainability-focused courses and majors. In fact, there is even a green teaching program for faculty to opt into that guides them to deliver courses sustainably.

In addition to its many programs and events with students, AU’s Office of Sustainability created a robust Green Office (GO!) Program that encourages staff involvement. The GO! Program guides and teaches staff about green office practices, and offers an annual competition to reward them for their efforts.

Energy Education and Outreach Analyst, Josey Schwartz, said, “Doing energy management behind the scenes is far from enough. Although everyone isn’t an energy manager, everyone is an energy user, which is why we try to provide everyone on campus with at least a basic understanding of smart energy use.”

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Calendar of Events

Michael Gross: Abstraction

June 13 – July 26, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Michael Gross, painter and printmaker, offers expressive and emotionally filled works using a kaleidoscope of color. Gross creates art as “a means of grappling with the impulses and struggles that make up the way I see my place in the world.” Through his visual lexicon, which is devoid of ideological reference, Gross seeks to create order from chaos. His lyrical compositions of concatenated lines, textured surfaces and rich hues, invoke Abstract Expressionism and pay homage to artists who inspire his work: Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, and Jackson Pollock. Exhibit is curated by Myrtis Bedolla.

Outliers: Kurt Godwin and Betsy Packard

June 13 – July 26, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Curated by J.W. Mahoney, Outliers is a dialogue between two Washington-area artists who have been working outside the boundaries of mainstream contemporary art for more than three decades. These artists have effectively transformed ordinary objects, found images, and simple matter into fundamentally new conditions of meaning. Such expansions of art's real possibilities are what “outliers” do.

Realism Transformed: John Winslow's Wild New World

June 13 – August 16, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum

In the early to mid-1980s, masterful Washington realist John Winslow engineered a series of stunning changes in his work. Precisely defined spaces became ambiguous, right angles became swooping curves, and once-static figures left gravity behind to dance gracefully and crazily through the air. By radically recasting his art, Winslow set the stage for the surprising, vibrant, and equally masterful body of work that is the focus of this exhibition.

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition

June 13 – August 16, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima-Nagasaki, this powerful show will include 20 artifacts collected from the debris of the 1945 atomic bombings, as well as six large folding screens that depict the horrors of the event. The 1995 Nobel Peace Prize nominees, Iri and Toshi Maruki, created a total of 15 screens over 32 years from 1950. This exhibition, made possible by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, is meant to deepen understanding of the damage wrought by nuclear weapons and inspire peace in the 21st century. The exhibition also will feature Hiroshima Children's Drawings from All Souls Church Unitarian. The drawings present a story of hope and reconciliation.

Visvaldis Ziediņš Travels in the Imagination

June 13 – July 26, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Working quietly and in near obscurity during the dark days of the Latvian Soviet period, artist Visvaldis Ziediņš amassed a remarkable body of more than 3000 works. This survey brings his witty assemblages, sculptures, collages, and paintings to American audiences for the first time. These works reveal a vivid imagination unfettered by material and political pressures and bear comparison to contemporaneous explorations by such better known avant gardists as Pablo Picasso, John Cage, Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, Antoni Tapies, and Arman.

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