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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

AU Snowy Campus

March 2015

Neighbors Theatre

Neighbors Invited to an Afternoon at the Theatre

American University’s Office of Community Relations, in collaboration with the Katzen Arts Center, is pleased to announce another opportunity for AU neighbors to take advantage of the university’s offerings as part of Neighborhood Afternoon at the Theatre.

AU neighbors are eligible to reserve two tickets to the following performance at no cost, which will be followed by a special Q & A session with the production’s director and cast.

Saturday, March 28 (2 p.m.)

The Lower Depths

Greenberg Theatre

4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW

Subtitled "Scenes from Russian Life," this hallmark of socialist realism depicts the struggles and triumphs of impoverished lower classes. The theme of harsh truth versus comforting lie pervades the play, as characters deceive themselves about the crushing reality of their existence. This play ultimately celebrates the endurance of the human spirit and our need to believe in something better.

Tickets are limited and neighbors interested in attending either performance should email

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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

Women & Politics Institute’s 5K Race to Representation

5K for Representation

Join American University’s Women & Politics Institute to help raise awareness to close the gender gap in political leadership by running the fourth annual 5K Race to Representation. The race will take place on Saturday, March 28 at 8 a.m. on The Quad on the main campus. For more information and to register, visit All proceeds from the race go to the Women & Politics Institute.

The Institute provides young women with academic and practical training that encourages them to become involved in the political process. They also facilitate research that promotes better understanding of the challenges women face in the political arena.

Your participation will help the Institute to offer more courses, enroll more students, conduct more research, convene more special events, and ensure that more women will have a seat at all of the tables where the most important decisions are made. Sign up today!

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Neighbors Invited to Tour AU Museum

Katzen Night

From now through March 13, make your Friday afternoons more enjoyable with a docent-led tour of American University Museum’s current exhibitions. Learn about the current exhibitions and discuss your favorite works of art with fellow art seekers.

The tours are free and open to the public and begin at 12: 30 p.m. by the front desk on the first floor of the museum and last approximately one hour. Be sure to check calendar listings at for updates and more information on each tour.

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Meeting of Community Liaison Committee Slated for March 2

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

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Founders Room of the School for International Service (SIS) building on the university’s main campus (4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW). Parking for the event will be 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 latest 10-year Campus Plan, the CLC comprises individuals from neighboring community organizations and representatives from the university.

Additional information on the CLC can be found at

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"Books That Shaped America" Community Discussion Series Continues

Join us again for Books That Shaped America – conversations for the American University and metro-D.C. communities about books that have helped shape American society. Each discussion starts with a focal text, but the conversations stretch beyond the pages of the books themselves. Each discussion is led by a faculty or staff member from AU. Attendees are encouraged – but not required – to have read the featured text. Admission and parking are free for this series, and no RSVP is required to attend.

The Books That Shaped America series is co-sponsored by the American University Library and the Humanities Lab at American University. Upcoming events include: The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill

Tuesday, March 17, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library

Discussion Leader: Karl Kippola, Assistant Professor, Department of Performing Arts, College of Arts & Sciences Family Limitation by Margaret Sanger

Tuesday, March 31, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library

Discussion Leader: Mary Clark, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice Provost, Professor, Washington College of Law Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Tuesday, April 21, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Training & Events Room (115), Bender Library

Discussion Leader: Marianne Noble, Associate Professor, Department of Literature, College of Arts & Sciences

For additional information on the Books That Shaped America community discussion series, please visit

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Special Edition of Kids@Katzen March 8

Kids @ Katzen

A special edition of Kids@Katzen, inspired by the Photoworks Presence and Place exhibition currently on display at the AU Museum, will be offered on Sunday, March 8 at 1 p.m. at the Photoworks studio in Glen Echo Park, Maryland. In this special edition of Kids@Katzen, children will create their own photographs and learn about the effects of light and perspective in photography. They will watch as their photos appear in the darkroom and learn the basics of developing a photograph.

AU’s Kids@Katzen program offers children from the ages of 5 to 12 a unique opportunity to engage in art. Participants are introduced to an exhibition on view by participating artists and are then led in creating their own project inspired by the artwork.

Space is limited and RSVP is required by visiting or calling 202-885-1300. Cost is $10 per child and the event is recommended for ages 5 to 12. Photoworks studio is located at 7300 MacArthur Boulevard in Glen Echo, MD. Parking and public transportation are available. For more information, please visit:

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AU Hosts TEDx To Promote “Ideas Worth Spreading


American University’s Greenberg Theatre will host the second annual TEDxAmericanUniversity conference on April 17. The event will build on the spirit of “exploring our global future” theme and focus on “pollinators.”

A pollinator is defined as an agent of change who fosters the transfer of ideas in, and between, people leading to the cultivation of “ideas worth spreading.” TEDxAmericanUniversity will curate a conversation about the spread of ideas by pollinators.

A diverse group of speakers is expected to lead discussions shaped around ideas that are deemed to be worth spreading. Between sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the sessions and engage in conversation to help spark debate that will continue long after the event concludes.

The half-day event will begin at 1 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. with a reception to follow afterwards. While the event will be capped at 280 attendees, the talks will be filmed and made available on TED’s website and YouTube pages.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas via multiple initiatives. The world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give “the talk of their lives” in 18 minutes or less. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that brings people together to share a TED-like experience in a smaller setting.

For more information, visit

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Registration Open for SPExS Leadership, Empowerment and Development Program

SPEXs Open House

Do you want to write better? Lead better? Master digital and social media? Recharge your self-esteem? Switch professions, or re-enter the work force?

Registration is open now for AU's School of Profession and Extended Studies (SPExS) certificate program for adult women in transitional stages of their lives, called LEAD – Leadership, Empowerment and Professional Development. The certificate is earned by taking four courses, although students can opt to take individual courses as well. Courses will be taught both in Annapolis, Maryland and on AU’s D.C. campus.

Voices of Women

An immersion in the study of women authors through the ages with the purpose of self-reflection and re-direction in personal and professional lives.

Write Well (and get published)

This course offers instruction in journalistic style, feature article writing, the art of the memoir, blogging – and how to get published.

Women and Leadership

This course will help women lead more thoughtfully and effectively wherever they find an opportunity for leadership: in the workplace, in membership organizations, or in personal relationships. Women and Leadership will help participants to better understand the distinct challenges and opportunities women face when assuming a leadership role, and provide them with choices for their leadership. Mastering Digital and Social Media

In an ever-increasing digital world, leaders must master social media to spread their messages and enhance their clout. In this class, participants learn about the appropriate use of different social and digital media tools for both personal branding goals and organizational purposes. This course teaches the use of several different digital and social media tools to demonstrate expertise, promote a cause, product or organization, or reach a wide spectrum of audiences.

For registration and further information on instructors and courses, please visit: Space is limited, so enroll today.

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Second Annual Sustainability Awareness Basketball Game: A Win For Green And The Eagles


American University’s Second Annual Sustainability Awareness men’s basketball game on February 4 resulted in a 64 – 49 win over the Eagles’ Patriot League rival, Loyola University (MD). Meant to celebrate and bring greater awareness to the AU community’s commitment to sustainability, the event and game helped to educate fans about AU’s commitments to zero waste, carbon neutrality, and energy efficiency. The event was a collaborative effort between AU’s Office of Sustainability, Facilities Management, and the Department of Athletics and Recreation.

Presentations and exhibits at the event showed how the community can be more sustainable both on campus and at home. Sustainability-related activities before, during, and after the game included:

• An environmental club fair before the game that featured AU student organizations, including Eco-Sense, Take Back the Tap, Food Recovery Network, Green Eagles, AU Zero Waste, as well as AU Student Government and AU Dining; and giveaways and games of “trashketball.”

• Students were given commemorative “Blue is the New Green” Blue Crew t-shirts.

• Zero Waste stations were located throughout the arena to help attendees sort waste properly and help make Bender Arena a zero-waste arena. 

• A zero waste relay race was held during halftime, where two Eagles fans raced to sort a variety of commonly-discarded items properly, and then shoot a basket within the allotted time.

• Sustainability-related facts and trivia were featured on the video boards throughout the game.

"The American University community takes great effort to live and work sustainably every day, from helping us become a zero-waste campus to cutting our energy and carbon footprints," said Chris O’Brien, the director of the university’s Office of Sustainability. “We hope that students, faculty, staff, and fans in attendance that night learned how they can play a part in making our ambitious goals a reality and celebrating our success in sustainability and on the basketball court. We’re pleased with our continuing partnership with the Department of Athletics and Recreation to promote this effort.”

Making the day even more memorable, men’s basketball team captain John Schoof scored his 1,000th point, becoming only the 30th Eagles player to do so in program history.

Additional sustainability-related events are planned for this spring including the AU EcOlympics residence hall competition in March as well as Earth Month and Campus Beautification Day in April.

The Sustainability Awareness basketball game was sponsored by Progressive Waste, Big Stuff Inc. RSI, Ergo Can, The Victor Stanley Corporation, Duke Energy Renewables, and the DC Sustainable Energy Utility.

AU is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2020. Reducing energy consumption and sourcing energy from renewable sources are two major strategies toward meeting this goal by decade’s end. AU’s Zero Waste Policy is part of the university’s commitment to achieving zero waste being sent to landfill and incineration by 2020. Currently, AU recycles, composts, or otherwise diverts more than two-thirds of its waste from landfill and incineration, well on the way to meeting its ambitious goals.

Click here to see a photo album of pictures from the game. For more information about AU’s sustainability efforts, visit the American University Sustainability website.

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Holiday Shutdown Saves “Tons” of Energy

While many of us expended energy enjoying family and friends during American University’s recent annual winter holiday break, the university conserved tons of energy by closing down - 315 tons (coal equivalent) to be exact. The reduction was the result of the Facilities Management department’s Energy Curtailment program which was conducted between December 24 and January 2.

Initiated in 2012, the program requires university-wide coordination. Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment was set to minimal positions in buildings throughout the campus. Windows, doors, and other accesses were inspected to ensure secure closure. All lights, with the exception of safety and emergency lights were turned off. All sinks and faucets also were inspected to make sure there were no leaks.

Director of Energy & Engineering, David Osborne noted, "Winter Break Energy Curtailment is good practice and quite frankly just plain common sense. Most folks shut off appliances, lights, and set their thermostat back at home when they go on vacation, so why would the university do anything less?"

As a result of this comprehensive curtailment effort, the university saved 504,192 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 45,259 therms of natural gas. This means that ten days of curtailment energy savings – more than to 1.8 million kWh – were three times greater than last year’s total annual electricity production from our onsite solar panels.

To put it in another context, AU’s energy savings were equivalent to the same clean air benefits that 482 acres of U.S. forests provide in a year – a forest that size is roughly six times the size of AU’s campus.

The Energy Curtailment program is one of the ways that Facilities Management is able to reduce the university’s energy use and utility expenditures while supporting AU’s other missions like its strategic commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2020.

Energy savings have improved during each of the past four years that the Energy Curtailment program has been implemented. The success can be attributed to the continuous efforts of many students, faculty, and staff across campus. Facilities Management plans to continue its efforts to look for more ways to save even more energy in the years to come.

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Calendar of Events

Dean Byington: Buildings Without Shadows

Now through March 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Composed of a dense profusion of original and appropriated images, Dean Byington's paintings recall surrealist collage and the assemblage and psychedelic aesthetic of the late 1950s and early 1960s in the San Francisco Bay area where he has lived and worked since the mid-1980s. Byington’s works envelope the viewer in an enigmatic narrative that hovers between history, mythology, sociopolitical observations, and autobiography.

Identidad by Silvia Levenson

Now through March 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

In her exhibition Identidad, Silvia Levenson channels her identity as a survivor of the Argentinian Dirty War and her emotional connection to the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo to push the bounds of her skills as a refined glassmaker. "I feel that glass is the ideal medium for conveying this mixed feeling of beauty, fragility, and tension that represents our human condition." Identidad will pay homage to the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, a human rights organization founded in 1977 with the mission of locating children kidnapped during the repression.

Locally Sourced

Now through March 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum Second Floor Exhibition

This exhibition is the first of a four-part Do You Know Where Your Art Comes From? series curated by Victoria Reis, Executive & Artistic Director of Transformer. It is produced in collaboration with AU's Studio Arts Program Visiting Artists Program. Locally Sourced offers an in-depth look at the extensive collections of six regionally focused CSA (Community Supported Art) and Flat File programs that seek to grow recognition and support for artists in their communities. Featuring more than 300 works in a variety of media encompassing drawing, painting, hand silk-screens, digital prints, photography, collage, sculpture, and more, this comprehensive exhibition will span the entire second floor of the Katzen Art Museum. For more information, visit

Photoworks: Presence of Place

Now through March 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum First Floor Exhibition

Forty years ago, in a derelict building hidden among the abandoned amusement park rides of Glen Echo Park, four young photographers founded Photoworks with little more than a shared passion for the daily work of seeing, shooting, and printing images of lasting beauty and artistic integrity. Photoworks: Presence of Place will feature works by past and present members of the Photoworks community, faculty, and students who have distinguished themselves by the quality and integrity of their work. This exhibition is in memory of Elsie Hull Sprague, an artist with an MA in Film from the School of Communication, American University.

Phyllis Plattner: Gods of War!

Now through March 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Some wage war in the name of God. All fight with the belief that God is on their side. Phyllis Plattner's art is a painted meditation, appropriating images of war and religion from art history and photojournalism to contrast the opposing drives of violence and peace. This solo-exhibition features monumental, highly narrative altarpieces from Plattner's Legends and Chronicles of War series.

Lauren Adams: American Catastrophe Report

Now through March 31, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Rotunda, Second Floor

Artist Lauren Frances Adams has created American Catastrophe Report, an installation that acts as both homage and critique of the decorative frescoes in the United States Capitol Building, originally painted in the 19th century by Italian-born artist Constantino Brumidi. The site-specific artwork by Adams is installed in both the upper and lower rotunda in the center of the Katzen, less than six miles from where Brumidi's paintings are located. The prints forming American Catastrophe Report have the appearance of paintings due to the unique process Adams uses, where hand-painted originals are scanned digitally, then printed for long-term public display.

Sam Noto: Steel Sculpture, Anxiety, and Hope

Now through March 15, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Sculpture Garden

Sam Noto allows his materials to generate form and occupy space in a dynamic way. These large steel constructions, largely made of found materials, are both serious and playful and express the artist's improvisational technique.

Women’s Lacrosse vs. Johns Hopkins University

March 1, 1 - 3 p.m.

Jacobs Field

Yoga in the Galleries

March 4, 11, 18, 25 10 a.m.

Katzen Museum

Led by certified Kripalu Yoga teacher Eva Blutinger, this yoga class provides mental clarity and relaxation in the peaceful surroundings of art. Participants are required to bring mats. Winter sessions run every Wednesday from January 28 through April 29. $5 per class and free for museum members. Cash, credit, or check accepted:

Friday Gallery Tours

March 6, 13, 12:30 p.m.

American University Museum

Break up your Friday afternoon for a docent-led tour of American University Museum’s current exhibitions. Tours begin by the front desk on the first floor of the museum and last approximately one hour.


March 8, 1 – 3 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Expand your children's imagination by engaging them in a fun, creative art class inspired by the current exhibition Photoworks: Presence of Place. This special session of Kids@Katzen will take place at the Photoworks studio in Glen Echo, where children will learn about photography in a hands-on class. Children will create their own photographs and learn about the effects of light and perspective. They will learn the basics of developing photographs, as they watch their photos appear in the darkroom. There is a fee of $10 per child. Appropriate for ages 5-12. RSVP required one week in advance at, or call 202-885-1300.

Women’s Lacrosse vs. Mount St. Mary’s

March 11, 3 – 5 p.m.

Jacobs Field

Women’s Lacrosse vs. College of the Holy Cross

March 14, 1 – 3 p.m.

Jacobs Field

Books That Shaped America: The Iceman Cometh

March 17, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Bender Library Training and Events Room

Join us for Books that Shaped America, a special series of conversations for the local community and American University students, faculty, and staff. Attendees do not need to have read the book. Admission is free and no reservation is required.

A Discussion and Analysis of the Israeli Elections

March, 23, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Abramson Family Founders Room, SIS Building

A panel will analyze the March 17 Israeli elections. Panelists include Natan Sachs of the The Brookings Institution and The Forward's Washington bureau chief, Nathan Guttman.

RSVP required:

For more information, visit the event website:

EFF 2015: An Evening With Chris Palmer – Confessions of a Wildlife Film

March 24, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

McKinley Theater

Brought to you in partnership with the 2015 DC Environmental Film Festival, film producer Chris Palmer discusses his provocative new memoir, Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: The Challenges of Staying Honest in an Industry Where Ratings are King, in which he challenges broadcasters to raise their game. Illustrating his remarks with compelling clips, Professor Palmer will provide a thought-provoking perspective on wildlife filmmaking. His book will be available for signing and purchase following his presentation. He also will screen the winners of this year's Eco-Comedy Video Competition, co-sponsored by AU's Center for Environmental Filmmaking and The Nature Conservancy. Dr. Elizabeth Gray, director of The Nature Conservancy's MD/DC Chapter, will co-present the awards with Professor Palmer.

EFF 2015: Student Shorts

March 25, 7 – 9 p.m.

McKinley Theater

A number of student-produced short films (on climate disruption, wildlife poaching, the illicit trade in rhino horn, and other topics) will be shown, followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers on the opportunities and challenges of environmental filmmaking. The panel will be moderated by Chris Palmer and Sandy Cannon-Brown, and will include student filmmakers Jamey Warner, Vanina Harel, and others. Senior Video Producer Melissa Thompson from Greenpeace also will announce the winner of its student film competition and show the winning entry.

Visiting Writers Series: Poetry and Nonfiction Reading by Rigoberto González

March 25, 8 – 10 p.m.

Abramson Family Founders Room, SIS Building

Rigoberto González was born in Bakersfield, CA, and raised in Michoacán, Mexico. The son and grandson of migrant farm workers, González is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry and prose, including the acclaimed memoir Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa and the short story collection Men without Bliss. His most recent publications include the poetry collection, Unpeopled Eden, and a genre-bending memoir, Autobiography of My Hungers. Currently an associate professor of English at Rutgers University–Newark, González is the recipient of many grants and fellowships, including awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Society of America, and the Before Columbus Foundation. Known for his advocacy for marginalized literary voices, he serves on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. This event is free and open to the public.

EFF 2015: Ok, I’ve Watched the Film, Now What? Impact Filmmaking Panel

March 26, 7 – 9 p.m.

McKinley Theater

Brought to you in partnership with the 2015 DC Environmental Film Festival, Chris Palmer will host and moderate film clips and panel discussion, featuring Jody Arlington, co-founder, Impact Arts + Film Fund; Jon Fitzgerald, founder and CEO, CineCause; Sheila Leddy, executive director, The Fledgling Fund; James Redford, co-founder and chair of the Redford Center and director of Happening. How do we produce films that make a difference? This session will explore ways films can be turned into action, at both policy and personal levels. The panelists will consider the challenges of producing and distributing films that have a tangible and measurable impact on their audiences and society.

Women’s Lacrosse vs. Bucknell

March 28, 1 – 3 p.m.

Jacobs Field

EFF 2015: Of Oysters and Watermen: A Chesapeake Bay Program

March 28, 5 p.m.

McKinley Theater

World premiere of Chesapeake Villages. As one of the important centers of the U.S. seafood industry, the Chesapeake Bay has for centuries supported watermen, businesses, and communities all along its shores. Today, catches of Chesapeake seafood are down, mostly due to poor water quality, and some bayside towns now face an uncertain future. Chesapeake Villages tells the stories of three such villages and their residents: Deal Island, Crisfield, and Hoopers Island. This film was produced by Vanina Harel, Shayna Muller, Nick Zachar, their colleagues, and American University's Center for Environmental Filmmaking, in association with Maryland Public Television.

World premiere of Add One Back. Written and directed by Sam Sheline, this film tells the story of why one vegetarian decides to add aquaculture oysters to his diet. The foundation of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, oyster populations total less than one percent of their historic numbers. Aquaculture oysters play a key role in filtering the Bay's nutrient, sediment, and pollution. Supporting this unique local industry and its commitment to Chesapeake conservation has become a no-brainer.

A panel discussion will follow screenings. Panelists include student filmmakers for both films and Professor Mike English, who taught the Center for Environmental Filmmaking class where Chesapeake Villages was produced for Maryland Public Television.

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