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October 2016 - AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

All-American Weekend Slated for October 21-23

All american weekend, October 21-23 2016

American University’s annual All-American weekend will take place October 21 – 23, with more than 50 events planned throughout the three days. Open to alumni, families, students, and community members, the weekend celebrates the memories, the fun, and the future of AU. The university anticipates increased activity around campus during this weekend, as families, alumni, and friends visit for the occasion.

The weekend is an opportunity for alumni and families to explore the campus together. Alumni can re-connect with friends they haven't seen in years, and families will discover more about student life here at AU.

All-American Weekend is hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations and Office of the Dean of Students, All-American Weekend.

For more information on alumni events, click here. For more information on events for parents and family members of current students, click here.


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AU Arboretum and Gardens Hosts Book Signing

Two people walking in AU Aboretum

American University’s Arboretum and Gardens will host renowned landscape designer Larry Weaner at 7 p.m. on November 1 at the School of International Service’s Founders Room on the Terrace Level for a talk, book signing, and reception.

Weaner is a proponent of understanding the ecological process of change in native landscapes and incorporating it into designs that can be applied to create beautiful, dynamic landscapes that require less labor and are more rewarding, aesthetically and environmentally. His ideas apply in any climate and will change the way one thinks about what a garden should do and be. As Weaner says, “Forget about non-stop weeding, fertilizing, and watering. It's time for a garden revolution!”

Famous for his meadows, Weaner is the founder of the educational program series New Directions in the American Landscape and his firm, Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, is known for combining ecological restoration with the traditions of fine garden design. He also has received the top three design awards from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. His latest book Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change was co-authored by Thomas Christopher.

To register for the talk, book signing, and reception, call 845.424.6500, ext. 212, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost for Garden Conservancy and Friends of American University Arboretum and Gardens members is $20. General admission is $25. Students may register for complimentary tickets

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AU Neighbor Takes Audit Program Beyond the Classroom

A group of ladies

Not too long ago, American University neighbor Beth Marcus happened upon President Neil Kerwin at the annual town hall meeting and asked why the university did not have a community audit program similar to other DC universities for their neighbors.

“Dr. Kerwin told me it was a good idea, and to my great surprise, such a program was put in place by the next semester,” recalled Marcus.

She took full advantage of AU’s Community Audit program by enrolling in several of the offered courses. Marcus took particular interest in the Art History 396: Washington, DC Architecture class. Marcus’ class studied and visited DC’s most unique buildings such as the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, the Supreme Court, The Islamic Center of Washington, and Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

As a result of taking the class and because Marcus is a volunteer docent at the National Archives, she had the opportunity to provide a museum tour for Professor Joanne Allen and the AU Art History Association of the National Archives.

After taking Marcus’ tour, Dr. Allen said, “Beth provided such an informative and fun tour of the National Archives. We all learned a lot about many periods of American history and about the general maintenance of the varied archival records.”

Marcus credits her added knowledge on the topic to the course she took through the Community Audit program.

Modeled after the Alumni Audit Program, the Community Audit program is coordinated by the Office of Alumni Relations in conjunction with the Office of Community Relations. The program offers adults ages 60 and older, who live in the 20016 zip code, the opportunity to attend university courses on a noncredit basis for a modest charge. Auditors may listen to the same lectures and work from the same texts as enrolled students.

For $100, $75 of which serves as a donation to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, neighbors are offered a rewarding way to enhance professional skills, take class with popular professors, or delve into a new hobby and pursue a commitment to lifelong learning. The donation to the Alumni Association Scholarship goes towards awarding an AU freshman legacy student every other year.

The Office of Alumni Relations has streamlined the registration process for auditing courses to improve the user experience for alumni and, with the help of the Office of Community Relations, has forged a new relationship to assist our neighbors.

“The community audit program is another great benefit for those that live close to the University,” said Andrew Huff, AU’s Director of Community Relations. “Our neighbors have some very interesting experiences and life stories, so I believe our students and professors will learn just as much from the neighbors as our neighbors will learn from the class.”

For additional information, please visit or contact Emily Walrath at 202-885-5962.

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Fall Brings AU’s Farmers’ Market Back to Campus

Fresh vegetables in baskets

Rain or shine, every Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., the quad space around the Mary Graydon building buzzes with activity as students, faculty, staff, and neighbors browse goods ranging from farm-fresh vegetables to homemade breads and desserts at AU’s farmers’ market. The market is a coordinated effort between AU and Pennsylvania-based Agora Farms, an intermediary for bringing Amish and Mennonite and “English” farm goods to AU’s campus, as well as to DC’s historic Eastern Market on Saturdays and Sundays.

Upper Crust Bakery also offers a variety of fresh breads including raisin pecan, harvest grain, pain de campagne, jalapeno cheddar, sourdough, challah, whole wheat, focaccia, black Russian, NY rye, artisan baguettes, and tea breads, as well as chocolate chip cookies, mini pies, and cobblers.

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 as well as the surrounding neighborhood. For additional information, please visit here.

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On Eve of Presidential Election, AU Museum Exhibits Explore American Identities


Early fall exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center’s Alper Initiative for Washington Art, are open September 6 through October 23.

  • It Takes a Nation: Art for Social Justice with Emory Douglas and the Black Panther Party, AFRICOBRA, and Contemporary Washington Artists is a wide-ranging exhibit of political and visual content providing a cross-generational conversation of social justice in America. On display for the first time in Washington, DC, is the art of Emory Douglas, the renowned radical sociopolitical artist who served as Minister of Culture and the primary artist and illustrator for the original Black Panther Party of the 1960s and 1970s. Through graphics, Douglas visualized the journey of the Black Panther movement from initial armed resistance against unconstitutional arrests and searches and oppressive policies, to the movement’s many community empowerment programs, conducted through the party’s 10-Point Platform for social justice.
  • DC members of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists, or AFRICOBRA, and other more contemporary D.C. artists respond to Douglas’ work with sculpture, paintings, photography, and multi-media installations. Their work examines the same social justice issues the Panthers fought for that are relevant today. Artists include: AFRICOBRA artists Jeff Donaldson, James Phillips, Akili Ron Anderson, Jae Jarrell, and Wadsworth Jarrell, along with Holly Bass, Graham Boyle, Larry Cook, Wesley Clark, Jay Coleman, Tim Davis, Jamea Richmond Edwards, Shaunté Gates, Amber Robles Gordon, Jennifer Gray, Njena Surae Jarvis, Simmie Knox, Beverly Price, Sheldon Scott, Stan Squirewell, Hank Willis Thomas, and Frank Smith.

    “When Emory Douglas began painting outrageous revolutionary images and messages, he and his peers were deemed enemy number one by Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover…Now, 50 years later, Emory Douglas exhibits worldwide and continues to collaborate with and inspire young people as they confront injustice. AFRICOBRA is one of the longest-running schools of art in the world, and younger generations continue to carry the torch of freedom and justice,” said exhibit curator Sandy Bellamy.
  • Resident Alien, an exhibit of artist Hung Liu’s work, focuses on the themes of refugees and heroines, reflecting Liu’s experience as an immigrant, woman, and American. Liu, who grew up in Maoist China, examines sacrifice, memory, and history through works that navigate the complex and never-ending tension between emigration (with its emphasis on leaving one’s homeland) and immigration (with its emphasis on arriving in a new place).

    Mostly known for paintings based on historical Chinese photographs, Liu’s subjects have included prostitutes, refugees, street performers, soldiers, laborers, and prisoners, among others. Her painting style is rooted in Socialist Realism, which she learned in China in the 1970s before coming to America in the mid ‘80s. She has since created a stripped down Socialist Realism, removing the propaganda and creating a catalog of her history.

    “Washing her subjects in veils of dripping linseed oil that both preserve and destroy the image, Liu has invented a kind of weeping realism that embodies ideas like the erosion of memory and the passage of time,” wrote observer Jeff Kelley.
  • Portal Screens: Connecting Northwest, DC to Milwaukee's Amani Neighborhood, is a live bi-directional video wall that acts like an open window connecting two locations across the world. The screen will connect museum audiences to Moody Park, located in the Amani Community in Milwaukee, which is grappling with issues of criminal justice. It has the highest rate of incarceration for African American males in the U.S. The exhibit is particularly timely as Americans continue a dialogue about the relationship between heavily policed communities and the police.

    Artist Amir C. Bakshi launched Shared-Studios in 2014 as a multidisciplinary art, design, and technology collective. Since its launch, his portal screens have connected more than 20,000 people in dialogue across more than two dozen sites. In one instance, President Barack Obama spoke to entrepreneurs around the world through a portal.

  • Silos is an exhibition of works by artists of color from Washington, DC and across the United States. Curated and on display as part of American University’s Studio Art Department Outside In colloquia, the exhibit explores themes of urban expressions, intersectionality, the prison industrial complex and the state-sanctioned violence against people of color, and the politics of representation, both racial and visual. Artists include Yaw Agyeman, Wesley Clark, Nathaniel Donnett, Duron Jackson, Wanda Raimundi Ortiz, Ellington Robinson, Stacy-Lynn Waddell, and Wilmer Wilson IV. 

  • Updraft America features Washington, DC sculptor (and former Senate aide) Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg whose work manifests Americans’ frustration with gridlocked partisan politics by taking an entire year of the official proceedings of the United States Congress, as documented in the Congressional Record, and folding each page into a paper airplane. From this mass of more than 10,000 airplanes, striped red or blue to connote the political divide, the uppermost planes rise into the air, as if taking flight, and as they do, their hues combine to become purple – the color of hope that we may bridge the political divide.

  • Todas las Manos is an interdisciplinary public art project that celebrates human rights and global justice, commemorating the 40th anniversary of the murders of former Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and co-worker Ronni Karpen Moffitt in Washington, DC on September 21, 1976. Letelier and Karpen Moffitt were killed by a car bomb explosion. Muralist Francisco Letelier, son of Orlando Letelier, worked in collaboration with youth participants from the Latin American Youth Center to create a large-scale mural in the museum’s sculpture garden. Todas Las Manos encompasses the participation of youth and adult collaborators in a month-long exchange that includes academics, researchers, visual artists, and poets.


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AU Students Launch TurboVote Registration Initiative

American Election Vote badge

Whether you support Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or a third-party candidate, partisan passions run high this campaign season. Yet American University students agree on the basic principle that everyone should make their voices heard and vote. As part of a new initiative, supported by the AU Student Government with assistance from College Republicans (AUCR) and College Democrats (AUCD), student leaders will use TurboVote, an online application designed to make voting easier, to register every voting-age AU student for the 2016 election.

“It’s an initiative to remind everyone who is related to the AU community to register, and then also to make a plan to vote,” said Valeria Ojeda, campaign director of the AU TurboVote initiative and also the AUSG Kennedy Political Union director.

In many ways, AU is an ideal place to reinforce and enhance electoral engagement. “We got involved in TurboVote because it is essential that AU College Republicans help the AU community remain the most politically active campus in the United States,” said Tom Hebert, president of AUCR. “TurboVote is a very effective way to get students engaged in politics, especially in such an exciting time.”

The TurboVote application provides people with voter registration information, key dates, and help in applying for an absentee ballot. It sends deadline reminders to each user, which can be especially helpful to harried college students balancing a busy schedule.

“I think as college students, we get caught up with our involvement in classes, clubs, and internships – especially in DC – and registering can slip our minds very easily,” said Ojeda. “It’s just a step-by-step process, and they email you updates. So if your registration deadline is coming up, they’ll send you week-in-advance notices, saying, ‘Have you done this yet?’”

A critical feature of TurboVote is that it offers students details about registering in DC or in their home state. Students who hail from swing states might prefer to vote there, as opposed to the District of Columbia (which is overwhelmingly Democratic and not competitive in presidential races). Also, students may want to cast a vote in U.S. House and Senate races, as well as state gubernatorial and local elections.

Morgan Stahr, president of AU College Democrats and involved in the TurboVote effort, would rather cast a vote in her native Pennsylvania, where Democrat Katie McGinty is trying to become the first woman ever to represent the Keystone State in the U.S. Senate. “It’s our first chance at a female senator. So, obviously, I want to make sure I vote for her,” Stahr said.

While DC has same-day voter registration, deadlines and rules in states vary considerably. TurboVote can guide students through the sometimes byzantine process. Through the TurboVote registration campaign, AU organizers will target about 7,000 students. Students who applied to be AU TurboVote Ambassadors, were dispatched to various campus locations throughout September to encourage fellow students to register. Team organizers also will utilize social and online media platforms to promote the TurboVote campaign.

TurboVote organizers emphasize the need to make this process nonpartisan. After an early conference call with TurboVote, Stahr and others concluded that this initiative would appeal to students of all political persuasions.

“We thought it would be better to do this as a group effort, because there’s not a lot of things that the AU Dems and AU College Republicans could collaborate on. There are only certain things that we can do together,” said Stahr.

Students noted that there were some issues, such as college affordability and health care, that affect Millennials across the political divide.

“We thought this would be a great opportunity to get as many people involved as possible,” added Stahr.

This is the first presidential election where most Millennials – defined as people born between 1981-1998 – will be of voting age. Pew Research Center reports that Millennials now match the Baby Boomers as the two largest generations in the U.S. electorate, with each comprising about 31 percent of the voting-eligible population. Yet with only 46 percent of eligible Millennials voting in 2012, college campus registration efforts will be significant in 2016.

“This election is incredibly important because there is a lot more at stake than in recent elections. The next president could potentially pick four Supreme Court justices, as well as make important decisions about our foreign policy and our role in the world,” said Hebert. “Many of the choices the next president makes will have a direct effect on Millennials for decades to come.”

Ojeda said they will likely conduct registration outreach to graduate students, faculty, staff, and possibly for AU students abroad. Although details are still to be worked out, organizers hope to get students to the polls on election day in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Organizers plan to leave no stone unturned. “We won’t just target the politically active students,” Ojeda said. “We want to engage all students, people of all interests, so that this is everyone’s election.”


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AU Basketball Season Tickets Now on Sale

Basketball player and referee

Season tickets for the 2016 – 17 American University men's and women's basketball teams are on sale now. Lock in the same great seat location for the entire regular season and postseason. The men's team will play 15 games in Bender Arena, while the women's squad will host 13 exciting home contests. To view the 2016 – 17 ticket brochure and order form, and to purchase season tickets, visit You also may call (202) 885-TIXX, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit the Bender Arena Box Office, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Individual game tickets to all men’s and women’s home games will go on sale to the general public on Friday, Oct. 21 at 9 a.m.

The men’s team will tip off regular season home play on Tuesday, Nov. 22, and the women’s team will do the same on Wednesday, Nov. 16.


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Women’s Soccer vs. University of Pennsylvania
October 4, 3 – 5 p.m.
Reeves Field

Women’s Volleyball vs. U.S. Naval Academy
October 4, 7 – 9 p.m.
Bender Arena

AU Farmers’ Market
October 5, 12, 19, 26 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Every Wednesday, the quad space around the Mary Graydon building buzzes with activity as students, faculty, staff, and neighbors browse goods ranging from farm-fresh vegetables to homemade breads and desserts at the AU Farmers’ Market. The market is a coordinated effort between AU and Pennsylvania-based Agora Farms. Upper Crust Bakery also offers a variety of fresh breads, including raisin pecan, harvest grain, pain de campagne, jalapeno cheddar, sourdough, challah, whole wheat, focaccia, black Russian, NY rye, artisan baguettes, and tea breads, as well as chocolate chip cookies, mini pies, and cobblers.

Men’s Soccer vs. Loyola University
October 5, 3 – 5 p.m.
Reeves Field

2016 Human Rights Film Series: When Elephants Fight
October 5, 7 p.m.
McKinley Building, Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater

Director Mike Ramsdell’s film was created in partnership with the #StandWithCongo campaign.The campaign – includes activists, filmmakers, political experts, and community organizers – attempts to solve conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The film highlights the conflict and how human rights have been affected in the aftermath. Free to attend.For more information:

Field Hockey vs. Liberty University
October 6, 2 – 4 p.m.
Jacobs Field

Women’s Volleyball vs. Lehigh University
October 7, 7 – 9 p.m.
Bender Arena

Women’s Volleyball vs. Colgate University
October 8, 2 – 4 p.m.
Bender Arena

The Gorenman Russian Project
October 8, 8 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center, Abramson Family Recital Hall
conception of Duron’s powerful site-specific installation featured in Silos. For more information, visit

2016 Human Rights Film Series: Enemies of the People
October 12, 7 p.m.
McKinley Building, Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater

From filmmakers Thet Sambath and Rob Lemkin, hear the story of the Killing Fields for the first time from the other side. Access to the Khmer Rouge has never been this close before. Free to attend.For more information:

Riffing on the Legacy of the Black Arts Movement
October 15, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Internationally acclaimed American concert pianist Yuliya Gorenman explores masterworks of Russian repertoire in the third concert of the Gorenman Russian Project with the music of Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Rimsky-Korsakov. Tickets: $10-25 -

Field Hockey vs. Michigan State
October 9, 12 – 2 p.m.
Jacobs Field

Women’s Soccer vs. Army West Point
October 9, 2 – 4 p.m.
Reeves Field

Artists Talk
October 11, 6 – 7 p.m.
Katzen AU Museum

Curator Jeffreen Hayes and artist Duron Jackson will discuss the 
Katzen AU Museum

A moderated artist’s talk featuring members of the Delusions of Grandeur Artists Collective in conjunction with It Takes a Nation. This dialogue seeks to engage in understanding of how the Black Arts Movement influenced the work of these contemporary artists, as well as explore the roles of African American artist collectives. Partcipants include: Shaunté Gates, Larry Cook, Amber Robles-Gordon, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, and Wesley Clark. Moderated by Kimberly Camp. This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required:

Men’s Soccer vs. Army West Point
October 15, 3 – 5 p.m.
Reeves Field

Cold Vengeance: The Epic Story of Humanity and Arctic
October 16, 4 – 5:30 p.m.
McKinley Building, Media Innovation Laboratory 100

Eli Kintisch is a Washington, DC-based correspondent for Science magazine who has traveled to seven Arctic nations since 2014. Last year, an article he wrote on how the Arctic might be affecting global weather was included in the annual Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology. From the region's dramatic exploration and settlement to its modern unraveling, the history of humanity and the Arctic is an adventure that's spanned twenty thousand years. Since 2013, Eli Kintisch has traveled thousands of miles to witness the thawing of the Arctic.  Kintisch will be at School of Communication to share his experience and story, as invited by fellow correspondent and faculty member Bill Gentile. Cost to attend: free. For more information:

2016 Human Rights Film Series: Fly By Light
October 19, 7 p.m.
McKinley Building, Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater
Directed by Ellie Walton, this documentary examines what happens when a group of inner-city teens based out of Washington, DC are taken to West Virginia for a peace education program. Their lives, of course, change dramatically, but how will this experience affect them upon returning home?Free to attend.For more information:

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
October 20 – 21, and 28, 8 – 10 p.m.; October 22, 29, 2 – 4 p.m., 8 – 10 p.m.;
Greenberg Theatre

This riotously funny musical farce combines the 2000-year-old comedies by Roman playwright Plautus with the infectious tunes and laugh-out-loud lyrics by musical theatre legend Stephen Sondheim. In this madcap, irreverent romp set in ancient Rome, a clever slave attempts to win his freedom by helping his master win the hand of the beautiful girl next door. But when the girl turns out to be a virgin courtesan sold to a formidable Roman Captain, fast-paced, slapstick hilarity ensues. RSVP Required: Tickets: $10 – $15.

Field Hockey vs. Colgate University
October 22, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Jacobs Field

Women’s Soccer vs. College of the Holy Cross
October 23, 12 – 2 p.m.
Reeves Field

Field Hockey vs. University of Delaware
October 23, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Jacobs Field

“Before the Flood” Screening
October 25, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
McKinley Building, Malsi Doyle & Michael Forman Theater
Leonardo DiCaprio and National Geographic’s new documentary is a call to action on climate change as it follows DiCaprio around the globe to bear witness to a changing climate and meet with experts on what must be done to save an inhabitable planet. The filmmakers and parties involved believe the film will help to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems, and native communities across the globe. Focus is given to what must be done today to transition our economic and political systems into environmentally friendly institutions. The film features appearances by President Barack Obama, Former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and Pope Francis. This is a special screening of the film before the film’s official premier on the National Geographic channel October 31. Bob Dreher, Senior Vice President of Conservation Programs at Defenders of Wildlife, will answer questions after the screening. Cost to attend: free. For more information:

2016 Human Rights Film Series: Community Voice Project
October 26, 7 p.m.
McKinley Building, Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater

Directed by Nina Shapiro-Perl, the Community Voice Project of American University has produced 75 films and digital stories. The purpose of these films is to shine a light on stories that are otherwise overlooked or under-appreciated, as well as bring students and community members together in a meaningful way.Free to attend.For more information:

Presidential Predictions: No Polls, No Pundits
October 27, 7 – 9 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center

Just a few days before the presidential election, Allan J. Lichtman, distinguished professor at American University, and Kenton White, adjunct professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Ottowa and chief scientist at Advanced Symbolics will discuss the campaigns, share their individual methodologies, and predict who they think will win, and why, and how they made their predictions without looking at a single poll.It is sure to be an evening of rousing dialogue, as these two distinguished scholars share their views and predictions on this extraordinary and unconventional election. Registration and ticket do not guarantee seating.This is a first-come, first-seated event.For more information:

Women’s Volleyball vs. College of the Holy Cross
October 28, 7 – 9 p.m.
Bender Arena

Field Hockey vs. Boston University
October 29, 12 – 2 p.m.
Jacobs Field

Women’s Volleyball vs. Army West Point
October 29, 4 – 6 p.m.
Bender Arena

Men’s Soccer vs. College of the Holy Cross
October 30, 1 – 3 p.m.
Reeves Field

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