AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

Green Roof on AU's campus

March 2011

Spring officially begins later this month, along with the switch to daylight savings time, and our city becomes a special place graced with prolific greenery and blossoms. While AU’s gardens and arboretum come alive with color, there’s a lot happening here that may not be as visible to the eye or at eye level.

AU now is the greenest university in the nation, having recently earned a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). To earn its gold STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) rating among nearly 250 universities, AU has committed to a variety of green practices that include adding more green roofs on campus buildings (we will have seven this spring), the largest installation of solar panels in the Washington, DC area, and the largest urban solar hot water system on the East Coast.

AU is committed to being carbon neutral by 2020. According to Director of Sustainability Chris O’Brien, “The university’s goal is to eliminate negative impacts – no carbon, no waste. But our real aspiration is to increase positive impacts, healing some of the damage done to the environment, and restoring natural systems to better conditions.”

That includes working with our neighbors and their communities. Our sustainability team, which includes students, recently partnered with residents in McLean Gardens to develop ways to help prevent damaging storm water runoff in their community. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about sustainability efforts for your neighborhood.

Don’t forget that spring is a great time for Arboretum tours.

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Campus Plan Update

Architect's rendering of proposed East Campus (looking east from Nebraska Avenue intersection)

After releasing a draft of our 2011 Campus Plan to the community in January, AU plans to file its plan officially with the DC Zoning Commission this month. Once the plan is filed with the DC Zoning Commission, a copy will be made available for community review at the Reference Desk of AU’s Bender Library and at the Tenley-Friendship Library. The Zoning Commission will also set a series of dates for public hearings on the plan. The draft plan is online at american.edu/finance/fas/2011-Campus-Plan.cfm. We continue to have discussions with our neighbors about various aspects of the plan, and these may result in some revisions before the hearings take place.

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Music, Plays, Films and Much More...

Chamber Singers

Photo by Jeff Watts

It’s a busy month at AU and we hope you can join us to enjoy some of the wonderful events here, including an evening of Beethoven sonatas performed by acclaimed pianist Yuliya Gorenman (March 19), a production of William Shakespeare’s play Measure for Measure (March 24-26), the AU Chamber Singers’ Spain and Portugal Tour Preview (March 25-26) (pictured), and our Wind Ensemble’s program of Something Old, Something New (March 27). There are a number of free film screenings including the stunning documentary Countdown to Zero (March 15) about the escalating global nuclear arms crisis that won rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), with more than 600 members – many of them neighbors – offers great free lectures on Tuesdays, as well.

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New Italian Restaurant Planned for Former Balducci's Space

Antica Neapolitan Pizzeria is scheduled to open at 3201 New Mexico Avenue in the former Balducci's space.

We have signed a lease for a new Italian restaurant to open in the former Balducci’s space at 3201 New Mexico Avenue. The restaurant, Antica Neapolitan Pizzeria, plans to offer Neapolitan pizza prepared in wood-burning ovens as well as pasta dishes. The owner, who lives nearby in the Palisades neighborhood, anticipates a fall opening. We also are in discussions with another business that would offer healthy carry-out salads, sandwiches, soups, baked goods, yogurt, and ice cream. We look forward to having new tenants in this long-vacant space that will provide a variety of amenities for our community.

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The Farmers' Market is Back

farmer's Market

The farmers’ market at AU opens mid-month on the quad in front of the Ward building on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. We’ve missed their white tents and the wonderful breads, pastries, cookies, vegetables, fruits, and cheese. They have been a popular presence on the campus, and a resource for our neighbors. Join us to welcome them back for another season.

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March Events

Tuesday, March 8 at 10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.  Part of the Osher LifelongLearning Institute (OLLI) Speaker Series, Oriental rug and textile collector Wendel Swan discusses traditional color theory and how the selection and juxtaposition of colors offer new perspectives and nuances to their appearance. Free and open to the public. Temple Baptist Church, 3850 Nebraska Ave., N.W., Room 6/Lecture Hall.

Wednesday, March 9 at 3 p.m. AU women’s lacrosse team home game against Virginia Tech. Free and open to the public on the AU athletic field.

Wednesday, March 15 at 4 p.m. Book talk by Dr. Mitchell Bard on The Arab Lobby, How the Arab Lobby Influences U.S. Middle East Policy. Free and open to the public. Butler Board Room, Mary Graydon Center, Sixth floor. Books available for sale and signing. For more information, contact Laura Cutler, AU Center for Israel Studies at (202) 885-3780 or by e-mail at cutler@american.edu.

Saturday, March 12 at 1 p.m. AU women’s lacrosse team home game against Holy Cross. Free and open to the public on the AU athletic field.

Saturday, March 12 at 4 p.m. Gallery talk with artist Julie Linowes whose works are on exhibit at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Free and open to the public. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.

Tuesday, March 15 at 10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Part of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Speaker Series, acclaimed pianist Yuliya Gorenman discusses her journey to perform all 32 piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven. She also previews her final concert and performance of the last three sonatas on March 19. Free and open to the public. Katzen Arts Center.

Tuesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Film screening of the documentary Countdown to Zero. Free and open to the public at the School of International Service, Founder’s Room. Join us to see Academy Award-winning producer Lawrence Bender’s stunning documentary about the escalating global nuclear arms crisis that won rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, written and directed by Lucy Walker, features an array of important international experts and statesmen making the case for worldwide nuclear disarmament. Free parking at the Nebraska Ave. parking lot.

Thursday, March 17 at 7 p.m. Visiting Writers Series Fiction Reading features Amy Bloom. Free and open to the public. Butler Board Room, Mary Graydon Center, Sixth floor.

Thursday, March 17 at 7 p.m. Screening the film On Coal River at the Sixth Annual Spring Film Series presented by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Filmmakers for Conservation. Free and open to the public. No reservations needed. Wechsler Theater, Mary Graydon Center, Third Floor.

Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m. Join us for an evening of Beethoven sonatas. AU musician-in-residence and internationally acclaimed pianist Yuliya Gorenman performs the final concert in her series of eight programs devoted to playing all 32 of Ludwig van Beethoven’s sonatas. Abraham Family Recital Hall in the Katzen Arts Center. Free parking under the Katzen building. Tickets: $25. For tickets or more information, call (202) 885-ARTS or visit american.edu/auarts.

Tuesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. (Reception at 6:30 p.m.) An Evening with Chris Palmer: The Impact of Shooting in the Wild: An Insider’s Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom. Free and open to the public. No reservations needed. Palmer, who heads AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking, talks about the reaction to his book and the praise, interest, and controversy it provoked. Book signing after the program. He also will announce the winners of the Eco-Comedy Video Competition (co-sponsored with the Sierra Club) and show the winning entries. Wechsler Theater, Mary Graydon Center, Third floor.

Thursday, March 24 through Saturday, March 26 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 26 at 2 p.m. See Measure for Measure at the Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre. 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. William Shakespeare’s classic “problem play” is performed in a provocative contemporary setting. Directed by AU Professor Caleen Sinnette Jennings, co-chair of AU’s Department of Performing Arts. Tickets: $15 regular admission, $10 seniors. For more information or tickets, call (202) 885-ARTS or visit american.edu/auarts.

Tuesday, March 22 at 10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Part of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) Speaker Series, David Hamlin, series producer of the National Geographic Channel’s seven-hour television event Great Migrations which premiered worldwide in November 2010,will talk about the project. A crew of dedicated filmmakers and scientists traveled more than 240,000 miles in more than 20 countries, making it the most ambitious TV production in the history of the National Geographic Society. See excerpts from the series. Free and open to the public. Temple Baptist Church, 3850 Nebraska Ave., N.W., Room 6/Lecture Hall.

Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 at 8 p.m. AU Chamber Singers: Spain and Portugal Tour Preview. The performance features a repertoire based on the Spanish Diaspora including the Washington, DC premiere of the Baroque Mass Missa Ego flos campi created by 17th century Spanish-born composer Juan Gutierrez de Padilla. Abramson Family Recital Hall in the Katzen Arts Center. Tickets: $10 regular admission, $5 seniors. Free parking is available under the Katzen building. For more information or tickets, call (202) 885-ARTS or visit american.edu/auarts.

Saturday, March 26 at 1 p.m. AU women’s lacrosse team home game against Bucknell. Free and open to the public on the AU athletic field.

Wednesday, March 30 at 8 p.m. Visiting Writers Series Poetry Reading with Jericho Brown. Free and open to the public. Butler Board Room, Mary Graydon Center, Sixth Floor.

Sunday, March 27 at 8 p.m. AU Wind Ensemble spring concert: Something Old, Something New.  The program features both classic and newer original works for the symphonic band directed by Marc Boensel. Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center. Tickets: $10 regular admission, $5 seniors. For tickets call (202) 885-ARTS or visit american.edu/auarts.

Monday, March 28 at 1 p.m. Science and Society series presents film and lecture on Making Data Talk with authors David Nelson and Bradford Hesse. The authors will provide practical suggestions on how scientists and other health practitioners can better communicate important data to the public, policy makers, and the press. The event is sponsored jointly by AU’s School of Communication, College of Arts and Sciences, School of International Service and School of Public Affairs. Free and open to the public. Butler Board Room, Mary Graydon Center, Sixth floor.

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For event details and a full list of all upcoming events, see the University Events Calendar.