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September 2017 - AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

Letter from the Director of Community Relations

With the beginning of the fall semester, AU's entire student body has now returned to the District. Some of them will move into private rental homes in your neighborhoods and we hope that you will welcome them.

To help ensure our off-campus students get off to a positive start in their new neighborhoods, we once again are conducting an enhanced orientation program to remind them of their responsibilities under AU's Student Conduct Code and District law. Topics will include responsibilities for yard maintenance, trash and snow removal, as well as an overview of the District's noise and alcohol laws. We also are informing them of their rights as tenants to a clean and safe living space, including the requirement that rental property owners obtain a Basic Business License (BBL) from the District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). The orientation messages are reinforced by a letter to all off-campus students from the associate dean of students.

Occasionally, some of our students demonstrate poor judgment in their conduct and mode of living and become a cause for concern to their neighbors. We want you to know that we are here to help in those instances. We expect AU students to be responsible and considerate neighbors, whether they live on or off campus.

If you have concerns, we urge you to report incidents in progress to AU Public Safety at (202) 885-2527. Public Safety is available 24/7 to take appropriate action on your complaints.

If you believe that students are violating District law, please do not hesitate to call the Metropolitan Police Department at 911.

If intervention by Campus Life staff seems to be the most appropriate response, you may call the Office of the Dean of Students at (202) 885-3300 (M-F, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) or file a complaint online at (click on the complaint form on the right).

We are here if you need us. In the meantime, please welcome your new neighbors to the community.


Andrew Huff
Director of Community Relations
American University

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SPA Joins DC Mayor to Launch Partnership

Mayor Muriel Bowser announcing The Lab @ DC

On July 20, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the creation of a new data research effort that will call on the expertise of social scientists to inform and improve policy. AU School of Public Affairs is a leading academic partner in the effort.

"By standing up a network of scientists inside DC government, we are infusing pragmatic, scientific thinking into our day-to-day operations," said Mayor Bowser. "The Lab @ DC allows us to know how well our policies and programs are working, and provides us the opportunity to learn while we act."

The Lab, which will use data and evidence to inform decision making across DC government, is funded by a $3.2 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a national non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of individuals by strengthening social, governmental, and economic systems. The Lab now has 15 dedicated scientists from a wide array of backgrounds with graduate-level training in psychology, economics, sociology, anthropology, and more.

SPA Interim Dean Vicky Wilkins, who spoke at the event, said, "We appreciate the unique opportunity The Lab @ DC gives our researchers to conduct studies and analyses on the very things that have the greatest impacts on their lives as residents of the District. The Lab allows us to use data, and not anecdotes, to define problems and create solutions."

City Administrator Rashad Young said the data-driving projects have great potential to redesign and improve government in Washington and across the country.

"You can't manage what you can't measure, and by using the scientific method we are getting the best possible measurements to inform how we manage the city," said Young. "That means we are learning from the evidence that exists in the world, while taking the next step of generating our own evidence so that we can know what works in the DC context."

One of the first efforts organized by the Lab @ DC was "Form-a-Palooza," a public workshop hosted at American University, where DC residents had an opportunity to review and address challenges with government forms. Attendees worked to improve five different forms - from the Departments of Motor Vehicles, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Human Services, Disability Services, and Energy and Environment - each selected for their rate of errors, omissions, and questions.

"Over the past several weeks, my administration has been highlighting how the government and the community can work hand-in-hand to make our city even better, and this event was a great example of how we are doing that," said Mayor Bowser. "At today's event, residents shared their ideas for making forms more efficient and easier to use. Now, my team will take those ideas and put them into action."

More information on future events and activities of the Lab @ DC is available on their website.

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AU President Kicks Off School Year

In her fall semester welcome video, President Burwell greets first-year students with a tour of American University's campus, where she meets a few special guests along the way:

  • First-year law students and Washington College of Law faculty and staff who fan out across DC to perform community service while getting acquainted - all part of the In My Back Yard initiative.
  • Regina Curran and Fariha Quasem, two new members of the Title IX staff, who talk about a new response protocol for Title IX cases that became effective August 1.

On-campus activities during Welcome Week included opening convocation, a midnight carnival, All-American BBQ, block party, welcome-back concert, and Celebrate AU.

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Community Liaison Committee Meets September 13

Community Liaison Committee

American University's Community Liaison Committee (CLC) will hold a quarterly meeting on Wednesday, September 13.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 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 7 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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Art All Night Returns to Tenleytown

Art All Night illustration with owl and moon

Art All Night, an annual celebration of contemporary art in all its forms, will take place on Saturday, September 23. Local businesses, community institutions, and public spaces transform into pop-up galleries and performance spaces for an evening of art across the city. Art Night events will take place in Dupont Circle, Shaw, North Capitol Street, Congress Heights, H Street, Van Ness, and Tenleytown.

Tenleytown Main Street has recruited nearly 30 artists and performers who work and live in the greater-Tenleytown area to celebrate the diverse and talented local artistic community.

Art displays will include photography, paintings, collages, sculpture, jewelry, and more. Performances will include live music, dance, literature readings, and even yoga. Art All Night attendees can celebrate their inner artists through interactive crafts and art projects, open dance and yoga mini-classes, and interaction with local artists.

Tenleytown Main Street needs your help to make Art All Night a success. Sign up today for one of the volunteer opportunities and help put Tenleytown on the map as an arts destination. All volunteers receive a free Art Night 2017 limited-edition T-shirt. Email Volunteer Coordinator Helen Gibson at for more information.

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DC Math Circle Now Open For Neighborhood Children

Geometric design made of circular fractals

The DC Math Circle opens this fall on the AU campus. Local children in the fifth through eighth grades who have an enthusiasm for mathematics are invited to participate. Students will be given a series of fascinating and challenging problems of the sort that they are unlikely to encounter at school. The math circle is not remediation, test preparation, or a contest. Rather, children will attempt to solve complex mathematical problems in a fun and social environment.

The circle will meet on Tuesdays from 6:30 - 8 p.m. from September 12 through November 14 at an on-campus location to be announced. Registered participants will receive more information. The cost to join the circle is a suggested donation of $100 per student for the semester. However, the donation is voluntary, and students will not be turned away for financial reasons. For more information, contact Professor Jeff Adler at (202)885-3361 or at To register, visit:

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Calendar and Upcoming Events

Women’s Soccer vs. George Washington University

September 3, 2 – 4 p.m.

Reeves Field

Arab Modern and Contemporary Works from the Barjeel Art Foundation

September 5, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum First Floor Exhibition

This exhibition, Between Two Rounds of Fire, The Exile of the Sea, draws on a diverse selection of works from the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates, that illustrate an array of technologies of conflict. Conflict is defined in a wider sense and refers to what takes place on either a sociological or psychological plane, through assertions of language, between histories or between peoples, and the body itself. The exhibition explores mechanisms of power and of the power of artists to employ them in their work.

I Am: East-West Arts Initiative Organized by CARAVAN

September 5, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum Third Floor Exhibition

I AM is a strategic peace-building exhibition organized by CARAVAN (a peace-building arts NGO) that showcases the insights and experiences of Middle Eastern women as they confront issues of culture, religion, and social reality in a rapidly changing world both in the Middle East and West. It addresses the critical and increasing need to create respect, develop understanding, and encourage friendship between the Middle East and West. 

Making a Scene: The Jefferson Place Gallery

September 5, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum First Floor Exhibition

September 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of The Jefferson Place Gallery, a small, cooperative gallery dedicated to showing the work of DC-area contemporary artists of the late 1950s. Founded in 1957 by five American University professors and their student Alice Denney, the gallery evolved quickly from an extension of AU’s pedagogy to an early supporter of the Washington Color School and now plays host to exhibitions featuring prominent national and international contemporary art figures, including Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. The exhibition includes works by the 11 founding gallery members.

Tethered To The Cradle: Kinetic Work by Christopher Carter

September 5, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum First Floor Exhibition

Christopher Carter's substantial and important sculptures are intended to invite viewer interaction, reflection, and contemplation. The ready-made forms draw on Carter's experiences and memories of his adolescence for their inspiration. The individual pieces comprising the totality of the work resonate and interact with each other, eliciting viewers to reflect on the weight and meaning of their own experiences of growing up. Carter is a contemporary American artist and sculptor of African-American, American Indian, and European descent who was born in New Mexico, grew up in Massachusetts, and lives and works as a full-time artist in Miami.

Twist Layer Pour: Sondra N. Arkin, Joan Belmar, Mary Early

September 5, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum Second Floor Exhibition

In Twist Layer Pour, the unexpected grouping of artists Sondra N. Arkin, Joan Belmar, and Mary Early, yields a dynamic, site-responsive meditation on systemized components and accumulated wholes. Step by step, link by link, their obsessive object-making becomes a metaphor for conscious and intuitive gesture, relational interconnectivity, and the passage of time. At once public and private, monumental and intimate, the works profess an unswerving passion for their chosen materials: steel wire, synthetic papers, and beeswax. Individual variances and details invite close attention while, in the aggregate, distilled shapes and rhythmic patterns emerge.

William Woodward: The Seven Deadly Sins

September 5, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum Third Floor Exhibition

For the past two decades, William Woodward has delved into the rich history and aesthetic possibilities of the seven deadly sins as a subject matter for our own time. The master drawings and narrative paintings in this exhibition continue the artist’s fascination with painting figures and animals, which began more than 25 years ago while painting his landmark 880-square foot circus mural at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. Woodward’s version of the sins owes a great deal to the films of Federico Fellini, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and the commedia dell’arte tradition. The artist tries to imagine, had these directors and actors been painters, how they might have depicted their subjects in whimsical and elusive ways rather than strident and explicit interpretations. In creating The Seven Deadly Sins, Woodward is not preaching about sin. Rather, he paints pictures that no one, including himself, had ever seen before.

AU Farmers’ Market

September 6, 13, 20, 27, 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. Girardot's Crumbs 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.

Yoga in the Galleries

September 6, 13, 20, 27, 10 a.m.

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Led by certified Kripalu Yoga teacher Eva Blutinger, this yoga class provides mental clarity and relaxation in the peaceful surroundings of our art galleries. Please bring a mat. Cost is $10 for non-members, $5 for museum members, and free for members at the Associates level and above. aumtickets.

Men’s Soccer vs. Marist College

September 7, 4 – 6 p.m.

Reeves Field

Women’s Soccer vs. Campbell University

September 8, 7 – 9 p.m.

Reeves Field

Gallery Talk: The Barjeel Art Foundation

September 9, 5 – 6 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Curators from the Barjeel Art Foundation, Karim Sultan and Mandy Merzaban, discuss the ideas and inspiration behind the current exhibition Between Two Rounds of Fire, The Exile of the Sea and the methods Arab artists employ to expose and comment on mechanisms of conflict. The exhibit is on view through December 17.

Early Fall Opening Reception

September 9, 6 – 9 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Mix and mingle with artists, curators, and fellow museum patrons at the opening of six new exhibitions: Tethered to the Cradle: Kinetic Work by Christopher Carter; William Woodward: The Seven Deadly Sins; Twist Layer Pour: Sondra N. Arkin, Joan Belmar, Mary Early; I AM; Between Two Rounds of Fire, The Exile of the Sea; and Making a Scene: The Jefferson Place Gallery.  Arrive early to hear a gallery talk by curators from the Barjeel Art Foundation from 5 – 6 p.m. Free and open to all. Free parking in the Katzen Arts Center garage.

Women’s Soccer vs. University of Vermont

September 10, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Reeves Field

Men’s Soccer vs. Binghamton University

September 11, 12 – 2 p.m.

Reeves Field

Black Lives from Campus to Congress: Intersections of Race, Politics, and Culture

September 12, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

SIS Founders Room

Celebrate the launch of AU's new major in African American & African Diaspora Studies, as professors James Peterson of Lehigh University and Ibram X. Kendi of American University explore how the drive to understand race and ethnicity in American society can help achieve social justice. Peterson is associate professor of English and director of Africana Studies at Lehigh University. Kendi is professor of History and International Relations, and director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. Registration required.

How To Raise Money with Chris Palmer

September 13, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Malsi Doyle/Michael Forman Theater, McKinley Building

Join veteran fundraiser Professor Chris Palmer for an intensive, interactive, and enjoyable workshop focused on learning the skills and techniques needed to raise money. Participants will learn how to build relationships with wealthy donors, foundation offices, and other gatekeepers, and make an ask. Free and open to the public. First come, first seated.

Music in the Museum

September 14, 7:30 – 9 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

INTERFERENCE new music collective, Ensemble-in-Residence at the Museum, returns this season for their first program of 2017/2018 featuring Russian and American music. Performers include Steve Antosca, computer; Nancy Jo Snider, cello; William Brent, computer; and Noah Getz, saxophone. This concert, sponsored in part by AU’s Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History, is designed to commemorate the 100 years since the Revolution of 1917. Free and open to the public.

Friday Gallery Tours

September 15, 22, 29, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Free, docent-led tours of the Spring Exhibitions are held every Friday through December 15. Tours highlight themes of the current exhibitions and last 45 minutes to one hour. Tours meet at the museum front desk at 11:30 a.m. No RSVP required. For more information, visit

Women’s Volleyball vs. Princeton University

September 15, 7 – 9 p.m.

Bender Arena

Women’s Volleyball vs. University of Iowa

September 16, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Bender Arena

Field Hockey vs. Bucknell Unversity

September 16, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Reeves Field

Women’s Volleyball: University of Iowa vs. Princeton University

September 16, 5 – 7 p.m.

Bender Arena

Women’s Volleyball vs. Howard University

September 16, 7 – 9 p.m.

Bender Arena

Field Hockey vs. Drexel University

September 17, 1 – 3 p.m.

Jacobs Field

Kids@Katzen Family Day

September 17, 1 – 3 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Families are invited for an art-filled afternoon inspired by the sculptural works of Christopher Carter, currently on view in the sculpture garden. The class includes an age-appropriate tour of the exhibition followed by a hands-on workshop for the whole family. Recommended for kids ages 5-12 and their guardians. Cost is $20 per family of four. Advance registration requested.

RSVP Required:

Drawing Tools You Can Use with Artist Beverly Ress

September 17, 2 – 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum First Floor Exhibition

This six-week class teaches the basic components of drawing representationally, translating the three-dimensional scene to the two-dimensional plane of paper. Taught by Beverly Ress, artist and teacher for more than 15 years. Classes meet on Sundays, September 17 through October 22 from 2 – 4 p.m. The cost of the course is $200. Students are invited for a private session for an additional fee. Space is limited. Enroll here:

Men’s Soccer vs. University of West Virginia

September 18, 3 – 5 p.m.

Reeves Field

Women’s Volleyball vs. Loyola University

September 22, 7 – 9 p.m.

Bender Arena


September 22 and 23, 8 – 10 p.m.

Greenberg Theatre

Overture, directed by Theatre/Musical Theatre Program faculty Sybil Williams, showcases works by AU’s incoming class of 2021. Through monologues, scenes, and song, the students reveal their passions, insecurities, and ambitions. Tickets: $5. RSVP Required:

Men’s Soccer vs. Boston University

September 23, 2 – 4 p.m.

Reeves Field

Artists Lecture with the James Renwick Alliance TIME CHANGE

September 24, 10 – 11 a.m.

Katzen AU Museum

In conjunction with the James Renwick Alliance’s Distinguished Lecture series on local artists, artist Alex Bernstein will discuss his cast and polished glass sculptures. This lecture will be held in the museum and is free and open to the public. AU Museum Associate Level Members and above are invited to register for an exclusive workshop at a discounted rate with the James Renwick Alliance. PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE: This lecture was scheduled originally for 2 p.m. More information available online:

Field Hockey vs. University of Pennsylvania

September 24, 1 – 3 p.m.

Jacobs Field

FRONTLINE: Q&A with Housing Documentary Producers

September 25, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Malsi Doyle/Michael Forman Theater, McKinley Building

A discussion with the producers of the most recent FRONTLINE documentary on housing.

Free and open to the public. First come, first seated.

Women’s Soccer vs. United States Naval Academy

September 27, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Reeves Field

Screening of "Juegos de Familia / Family Games" 

September 27, 6 – 9 p.m. 

Malsi Doyle/Michael Forman Theater, McKinley Building

A comedy directed by Belén Macías that follows a husband as he tries to get his wife back by befriending her lover and attempting to understand what happened to their marriage. Free and open to the public. First come, first seated. Screened in Spanish with English subtitles.

Gallery Talk with Joan Belmar, Mary Early, and Sondra N. Arkin

September 28, 6 – 7 p.m.

Katzen AU Museum

Join Joan Belmar, Mary Early, Sondra Arkin, and curator Sarah Tanguy for a discussion on their site-specific installations in Twist Layer Pour.

Field Hockey vs. College of the Holy Cross

September 30, 12 – 2 p.m.

Jacobs Field

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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