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Title: Tessa and Telly: From Friendship to AU Sweethearts
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
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Abstract: For AU Sweethearts Tessa and Saliou Telly, it was friendship at first sight, not love.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 02/13/2015
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For AU Sweethearts Tessa and Saliou Telly, it was friendship at first sight, not love. But during their first two years at American University, that strong friendship blossomed into love.

Tessa hails from St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Saliou (who goes by Telly) was born and raised in Mali in West Africa. The couple first met in 1997 at STEP, AU’s Summer Transition Enrichment Program. STEP is a residential summer program that introduces incoming multicultural and first-generation college students to the AU community and helps them make the transition to college life.

When they met, Tessa says she was struck by Telly’s height. Telly came to AU on a full basketball scholarship, and at 6’8”, he certainly stood out in a crowd, but it was his silliness and similar culture that solidified their friendship.

Telly says he was first drawn to Tessa because she was modest, funny, and a “pretty Caribbean girl with sparkling silver wires in her mouth.” Those sparkling wires were Tessa’s braces, something Telly had never seen before.

Tessa says, “Through STEP we became very good friends… We shared very similar cultures. He also made fun of me, saying that I didn’t speak English because of my thick Caribbean accent. In fact, he would often joke that he taught me English. At the same time, I would say I taught him English because he was actually learning the language.”

Telly adds, “Being from a French speaking country, I was actually learning English at the time; however, others often asked me to interpret what Tessa was saying in her ‘slang’ or with a strong Caribbean accent. Needless to say, I spent most of that summer teasing her about that.”

Almost accidentally, their friendship turned into something more. One of Tessa’s homework assignments for her sophomore performing arts class was to see “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at Arena Stage. But by the time the assignment was nearly due, all of Tessa’s classmates had already seen the play, so she asked Telly to accompany her as a friend – or so she thought.

Telly understood the invitation differently. “I was told much later that this was not necessarily a date as I interpreted at the time; nonetheless, I still think it was a date,” he recalls.

To Tessa’s surprise, Telly made his first move and rested his hand on hers during the performance. “I thought, hmm, this is interesting,” Tessa says, adding, “When we left and entered the Metro, he stood directly behind me. I thought, hmm, even more interesting. One thing led to another, and we began dating.”

Telly says, “I can’t remember one thing from the play we saw but this was one of the most memorable dates we have had. It ignited the love that we have shared for more than 15 years now.”

Tessa and Telly spent the rest of their time at AU together. Some of their favorite memories are of late night walks on campus when they would discuss anything and everything. “We had a tradition where anytime there were fireworks in the city, we would go on the very top of the Butler Pavilion parking garage and watch the fireworks. We had great conversations and enjoyed spending these great moments with each other,” Tessa says.

Tessa and Telly have now been married for more than 10 years and are the proud parents of two beautiful girls, Alexa and Raquel. Alexa is almost six and Raquel is three, and they attended All-American Weekend with their parents in 2014. “It was great to bring them back to AU and show them where mommy and daddy met, and to introduce them to our fellow classmates and professors,” Tessa says.

Tessa, CAS/BS '01, CAS/MS '03, is the director of the Wellness Center at American University, where she interned as a student. Telly, CAS/BS '02, is a mechanical engineer and works for the Navy while pursuing his PhD at the University of Maryland. He says he will always be grateful to AU. 

“As a student athlete on full scholarship, AU has given me so much, and I owe many of my life successes to the school. However, meeting Tessa is without a doubt the best thing that the university has given me and I am most thankful for that.”

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Newsletter,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Alumni Weekend
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Title: AU Pep Band Appreciation Day
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Abstract: Pep Band Appreciation Day takes place on Saturday, February 14.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 01/23/2015
Content:

The American University Music Faculty and the Department of Athletics invite all alumni and friends of CAS and the AU Music Program to attend American University's 2nd annual Pep Band Appreciation Day basketball game, Saturday, February 14 at 2:00 p.m. in Bender Arena. 

The defending Patriot League Champion AU Eagles men's team will tipoff versus the Lafayette College Leopards. 

Pep Band Day is a fun opportunity to support both AU's talented music and band students, as well as cheer on our Eagles during their Patriot League play!

Student tickets are free with an AU ID.

All CAS alumni and friends can take advantage of a money-saving ticket discount for this game, saving up to $5 per ticket, by using the code BANDDAY15 at checkout at aueagles.com/tickets.

For more information, call 202-885-2617.

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Title: New at AU Museum: Argentine Glass and ‘Locally Sourced’ Art and More
Author: Rebecca Basu
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Abstract: Winter exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center open Jan. 24, 2015 and close March 15.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 01/22/2015
Content:

Winter exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center open Jan. 24, 2015 and close March 15.

Identidad showcases the work of Argentine glassmaker Silvia Levenson, featuring 116 intricate pieces of cast glass baby clothing, an homage to the social movement of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. The grandmothers lead a campaign to reunite missing grandchildren with their families following the Dirty War, a dark chapter in the country's history. In March 1976, after the overthrow of President Isabel Perón, a military dictatorship took hold for seven years. Many young pregnant women, believed to be political dissidents, were kidnapped, tortured and killed. Their children disappeared after birth and were later stripped of their identities and given up for adoption.

Levenson, who was 19 in 1976 and pregnant with her daughter, but not kidnapped, identifies as a survivor. She channels that identity and her emotional connection to the grandmothers to push the bounds of her skills as a glassmaker and produce the refined glass works of Identidad. "I feel that glass is the ideal medium for conveying this mixed feeling of beauty, fragility and tensions that represents our human condition," Levenson said.

Locally Sourced is the first exhibit in the four-part series "Do You Know Where Your Art Comes From?" curated by Victoria Reis, executive & artistic director of Transformer, a D.C.-based non-profit that promotes emerging artists. The exhibit, which features more than 300 small works in a variety of mediums, showcases the work of artists supported by Community Supported Art (CSA) and Flat File programs. Selected artists utilized silk, paint, sculpture, digital prints, collage, and other means. This exhibition will span the 2nd floor of the American University Museum. See more at http://www.transformerdc.org.

Phyllis Plattner: Gods of War! is a painted meditation appropriating images of war and religion to contrast the opposing drives of violence and peace. Plattner draws upon images of war from art history and photojournalism to capture the rationale of those who wage battles in God's name. This solo exhibition features monumental, highly narrative altarpieces from Plattner's Legends and Chronicles of War series.

Photoworks: Presence of Place brings together works of the past and present by members of the Photoworks community at Glen Echo Park in Washington, D.C., including faculty and students who have distinguished themselves by the quality and integrity of their art. Photoworks is a collaboration of artists started 40 years ago by four young photographers with a shared mission of seeing, shooting and printing images of lasting beauty and artistic integrity in their daily work. AU Museum Director and Curator Jack Rasmussen curated the exhibit, which is in memory of Elsie Hull Sprague, an artist who received an M.A. in Film from AU's School of Communication.

Dean Byington: Building Without Shadows is a collection of paintings composed of a dense profusion of original and appropriated images. Pieces reflect the 1950s and 1960s art culture of the San Francisco Bay Area, where Byington has lived and worked since the mid-1980s. His work recalls surrealist collage and the assemblage and psychedelic aesthetic of that time to envelope the viewer in an enigmatic narrative that hovers between history, mythology, sociopolitical observations and autobiography.

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Title: Book Notes: Leonard Bernstein and His Young People's Concerts
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Abstract: Performing Arts Professorial Lecturer Alicia Kopfstein-Penk publishes new book.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 01/20/2015
Content:

This month Rowman & Littlefield will publish Leonard Bernstein and His Young People's Concerts, a new book written by Performing Arts Professorial Lecturer Alicia Kopfstein-Penk. 

Kopfstein-Penk describes herself as an enthusiastic postmodernist. She has taught musicianship, guitar, music history, and general education classes at American University since 1998. As a performer, she has sung Bernstein at the Metropolitan Opera, Beatles at clubs, and classical guitar at the Kennedy Center. She is also a contributor to Soundboard and a podcast producer for the Washington National Opera. 

 

Leonard Bernstein and His Young People's Concerts  

Leonard Bernstein touched millions of lives as composer, conductor, teacher, and activist. He frequently visited homes around the world through the medium of television, particularly through his fifty-three award-winning Young People’s Concerts (1958-1972), which at their height were seen by nearly ten million in over forty countries. Originally designed for young viewers but equally attractive to eager adults, Bernstein’s brilliance as a teacher shined brightly in his televised presentations. And yet, despite the light touch of the “maestro,” the innocence of his audience, and the joyousness of each show’s topic, the turbulence of the times would peek through. 

In this first in-depth look at the series, Alicia Kopfstein-Penk’s Leonard Bernstein and His Young People’s Concerts illustrates how the cultural, social, political, and musical upheavals of the long sixties impacted Bernstein’s life and his Young People’s Concerts. Responding to trends in corporate sponsorship, censorship, and arts programming from the Golden Age of Television into the 1970s, the Young People’s Concerts would show the impact of and reflect the social and cultural politics of the Cold War, Vietnam, the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements, and the Counterculture. Bernstein cheerfully bridged classical and popular tastes, juxtaposing the Beatles with Mozart even as he offered personal, televised pleas for peace and unity. At the same time, the concerts reflect Bernstein’s troubled relationship as a professional musician with the dominance of atonality and his quest to nurture American music. 

 

Praise 

“Alicia Kopfstein-Penk has written a thrilling and vivid account of the element in Leonard Bernstein's work that touched more Americans than anything else he did: the musical education—and inspiration, too—of an entire generation.”
— Humphrey Burton, producer, director, and Bernstein biographer  

“Alicia Kopfstein-Penk is a master of archival research. In her recent study of Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts and their cultural significance she has painstakingly gone through a large body of material in rich detail. Her study is exhaustive and extensive, and will form the foundation for future scholarship on Bernstein and this important cultural legacy.”
— Elizabeth Wells, Mt. Alison University, author of West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical  

“For the general public, the Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic were one of the highest-profile parts of Leonard Bernstein’s remarkable career. The broadcasts have been considered by scholars for their educational content and value and as part of Bernstein’s work with the orchestra, but, until now, little work had been done in terms of putting them in the broader contexts of Bernstein’s life or the larger musical world. Alicia Kopfstein-Penk has done this beautifully in this study, combining dogged archival work in the Bernstein Collection at the Library of Congress with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bernstein bibliography and knowledgeable handling of related topics in American music, modern music, cultural contexts, and the medium of television.”
— The University of Kansas, Paul Laird, Director of Musicology Division, The University of Kansas, author of Leonard Bernstein: A Guide to Research 

 

For More Information 

Visit the Rowman & Littlefield website

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Title: Share Your AU Happily Ever After
Author: Rebecca Vander Linde
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Abstract: Add your story and photos to our AU Sweethearts Social Media Project!
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 01/16/2015
Content:

Every new American University student begins their journey expecting to find lifelong friends, make lasting memories, and – of course – get a world-class education. A lucky few find their soulmates along the way. In fact, we know there are at least 2,500 happy AU alumni couples.

Each February, we ask these couples to share their love stories as part of our AU Sweethearts Social Media Project. Below are some highlights from previous years. If you found your mate at AU, tell us your story and send us your photos. We will feature you and other AU couples in the next issue of Alumni Update and on social media. You can fill out this form or share stories and photos on Twitter and Instagram using #AUSweethearts.

Sarah Cooper, SPA-CAS/BA ’12, and Sam Miller, SOC-CAS/BA ’12, notably got engaged at commencement. The video of the proposal went viral and was even featured on the Today show.

Robyn (Slagle) Showanes, SOC/BA ’08, and James Showanes, SPA/BA ’08, met on Tenley Campus and now have a beautiful daughter named… Tenley!

Gerry Sommer, CAS/BA ’66, and Joni Palew Sommer, CAS/BA ’67, returned to Mary Graydon on the 50th anniversary of their meeting there.

Adam Dunn, SIS/BA ’07, and Mary (Turkowski) Dunn, SIS/BA ’07, were married on campus in Kay Spiritual Life Center.

Together for over 50 years, Dot (Murray) Waugaman, CAS/BA ’62, and Paul Gray Waugaman, CAS/BA ’61; SPA/MA ’66, love attending All-American Weekend together.

Lacey Yoder Phillips, SIS/BA ’08, and Landon Yoder, SIS/BA ’07, spent one Valentine’s Day together at a program on nuclear weapons and terrorist states, and they hadn’t even started dating yet. “So romantic... so SIS,” Lacey says.

Tyler Budde, CAS/BA ’10, and Ezree Mualem, CAS/BA ’09, went to the Founder’s Day Ball together for their first date. “Who knew we would be practicing for our first dance [at our wedding]?” says Ezree.

Read about more AU couples:

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Title: Top 5 Ways to De-Stress Now
Author: Patrick Bradley
Subtitle:
Abstract: Last fall stress you out? De-stress early in the semester with these recs!
Topic: Student Life
Publication Date: 01/16/2015
Content:

Spend a lot of time feeling stressed out last semester? Anxious? Hands shaking, hard to sleep, sweating, worried about so much you couldn’t stand it? You’re not alone; other AU students may be feeling the exact same way. What can you do? So many things!

The university has loads of stress-reducing options for the entire AU community. So, consider making a New Year’s resolution to tame your stress early this semester before midterms and finals roll around. 

Apart from keeping your academics and physical health in order, check out some of these great options to bring some more zen into your life:

1. Counseling Center

AU’s Counseling Center now offers far more than one-on-one counseling sessions, though they still do plenty of those as well. On Thursday afternoons from 3-3:45 p.m., the center opens its doors for its Relaxation for Mind & Body drop-in group. No need to sign up in advance, just come by for guided meditations, breathing exercises, and visualizations to calm your nerves.

Student in counseling session;

The Counseling Center also organizes group therapy on topics including stress management and self-insight. Of course, if you’re looking for a solo debrief with a counselor, they can help with that too. Just call or drop by to set up an intake appointment with one of their trained clinicians. For emergencies, the center also holds walk-in hours, weekdays from 3-5 p.m.

Additionally, the Counseling Center has a lot of helpful resources on their website, including a self-help library, anonymous mental health screenings, and videos that give you a glimpse into their center and services.

2. Fit to be Swell

Whether you’re into hitting the treadmill alone or hitting the court for an impromptu basketball game, Recreational Sports & Fitness has you covered for stress-reducing exercise. Interested in group exercise? Both the Jacobs and Cassell Fitness Centers host a number of group classes, ranging from yoga and Pilates to high intensity interval training and even a Bollywood dance cardio workout.

Group of yoga practitioners;

Classes not your thing? Then hop into the pool for some laps, grab some free weights at the gym, or shoot some hoops in Bender. If you’re looking for something more competitive, try out any of the club and intramural sports coordinated through rec fit. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to find your endorphins up and stress levels down.

3. Meditation Stations

Hoping to bring your thoughts to a higher, calmer plane of existence? Then grab a cushion, sit down, and meditate! AU offers several, weekly meditation sessions, two of which take place in the Kay Spiritual Life Center main sanctuary. Tuesdays at noon offer Juniper-style meditation, with discussion and practice facilitated by AU staff and faculty.

Group meditates;

On Wednesday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Buddhist chaplain Bhante Katugastota Uparatana leads AU community members in traditional, Buddhist meditation that soothes the body and mind as well as the soul. Beginner and seasoned meditators alike are welcome at either session.

Alternately, the Jacobs Fitness Center now also holds weekly one-hour meditation sessions, Tuesdays at noon. Learn the principles and techniques of seated meditation along with walking meditation and mindfulness training.

4. The Flaming Cupcake

Aside from great meditation options, the Kay Spiritual Life Center offers a lot of what it’s named for—spirit. Need some religious guidance or prayer to find grounding? Kay houses chaplains from more than two dozen faith groups. Whether you’re Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, or Secular Humanist, you’ll find someone to connect with for a heart-to-heart or soul-to-soul chat.

The Kay Center sanctuary with gospel choir at front and audience in pews;

What’s more, the Quad’s “flaming cupcake” also hosts a number of student-led spiritual groups that cook up potluck dinners with a healthy serving of community—both of which are sure to fill anyone’s spirit. Plus, the center is just a downright peaceful place to be between breaks in classes for a quiet moment or for an evening religious service.

5. Holistic Centre

Outside of the stressors of class, work, and internships, college can present various other barriers to healthy living. If you’re struggling with issues around alcohol, drugs, nutrition, sexual health, or body image, the Wellness Center is here for you. Located just beyond the Student Health Center in McCabe Hall, the staff there focuses on a holistic approach to wellness.

The Wellness Cabana student crew;

They have countless resources to help you with healthy choices and a more positive lifestyle so that you can perform to your optimal, stress-reduced self. Can’t visit their office? Then keep an eye out for their Wellness Cabana, bringing resources to you across campus.

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Title: Featured Database: Met Opera on Demand
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Abstract: Our featured database, Met Opera on Demand offers an extensive catalog of more than 500 performances, all available to watch instantly.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 12/09/2014
Content:

Whether you're a classical music buff looking for something new –or simply curious about opera, the AU Library has your daily dose of drama. From Aida to Die Zauberflöte, Met Opera on Demand offers an extensive catalog of more than 500 performances, all available to watch instantly. Since 2006, the Met has been filming select performances in high-definition (HD), meaning that some of the newer additions are available in this format. You'll be able to catch every detail of those glorious costumes and sets!

All of the Met Opera on Demand videos contain English subtitles, so you won't need to worry about missing any important details. Also, many recent HD additions to the Met Opera on Demand catalog contain subtitles in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

See iconic performances such as Wagner's Ring Cycle, without leaving your apartment (or spending hundreds of dollars on a ticket!) This collection includes operatic interpretations of Shakespearean works, like Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth, classic productions featuring the famous Luciano Pavarotti, and even contemporary works, such as Doctor Atomic.

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Title: CAPRI Initiative Launches at AU
Author: Patty Housman
Subtitle:
Abstract: Collaborative for Applied Perceptual Research and Innovation brings together science, art, and technology.
Topic: On Campus
Publication Date: 11/19/2014
Content:

With the launch of the Collaborative for Applied Perceptual Research and Innovation (CAPRI), American University now has one central interdisciplinary research hub where science, art, and experimental technology can come together. 

Founded by the College of Arts and Sciences, CAPRI breaks down traditional walls between university departments and disciplines. It provides opportunities for faculty in different fields to collaborate on new interactive technology tools in multimedia art, scientific research, and advanced data representation. 

 

Changing the World 

CAPRI is dedicated to the belief that developments in interactive technology over the next 30 years will change the world as much as the Internet has shaped the last 30 years, said Psychology Professor Art Shapiro.  

Interactive technology is already being used in research and teaching across American University. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The interactive experiences of the future will entertain us, educate us, keep us healthy, keep us safe on the roads, and help us manage nearly every aspect of our daily lives. 

At the same time, this technology is becoming accessible to more and more people. “You no longer have to be an engineer to use interactive technology,” said Shapiro. “So the goal of CAPRI is to help faculty and students push the technological envelope in their individual fields. We want to build up a culture of cutting-edge technological innovation across American University.”  

 

Across Departments and Disciplines 

Shapiro believes that one of the biggest questions for 21st century academics is “Are we going to organize ourselves by content or by methodology?” 

He believes it will be the latter. “The methodology and new technologies cut across disciplines in ways that could not have been imagined 50 years ago,” he said. “CAPRI is betting that the new interactive technology will cross our previous divisions. Faculty and students in different fields will come together to develop new tools and technologies to help their research and teaching.” 

Shapiro points to the work of Michael Bader, assistant sociology professor, who is mapping data about the civil rights movement and neighborhood demographics. Bader is using GIS (Geographic Information System) tools to identify this information and present it in the most engaging way. 

“The interactive mapping tools used by professor Bader,” said Shapiro, “can also be used by scholars in other disciplines. Once we see tools working in one field, we can adapt them for our own fields.” 

 

Inspiring Creativity and Innovation 

CAPRI will also offer events and demonstrations to showcase its new projects, spark creativity, and inspire new ways to collaborate using technology. 

Its first event, Magic and the Brain, drew more than 200 participants. Renowned neuroscientists Stephen Macknik and Susana Martinez-Conde discussed how magicians’ techniques can help neurologists better understand brain functions.  

The talk was followed by interactive demonstrations of cutting-edge AU projects that blend scientific research, art, and experimental technology. Shapiro presented interactive visual illusions. Performing arts professor William Brent focused on sound: visitors could control the brightness, loudness, and richness of sounds with their hand movements. And in physicist Jonathan Newport's demonstrations, visitors explored auditory illusions and created laser light shows using their voices. 

At the next event, Sounding Movement: Cross-mappings in Music and Dance, Brent, dancer Mirenka Cechova, and 'cellist NJ Snider will discuss how they use technology to create relationships between physical movement, acoustic/computer-generated sound, and video. This event takes place on December 7, at 3 p.m. in the Katzen Arts Center Studio Theatre.  

 

The Future: Projects and a New Home 

CAPRI will ultimately become an incubator for cutting-edge software and interface development for digital musical instrument design, medical testing, improved training procedures, and educational tools.  

It will also be a place for innovating technical solutions for real-world applications in a range of industries, ranging from museums and performing arts to assistive technologies for the partially disabled. 

In fall 2016, the university's state-of-the-art Don Myers Technology and Innovation Center will officially open, becoming home to CAPRI and also the Departments of Computer Science, Physics, and Mathematics and Statistics, and the new program in game design, offered jointly with the School of Communication. 

“In the new building, CAPRI will become an open collaborative laboratory, hosting students and faculty from departments across AU campus, as well as visiting researchers from around the world,” said Brent. “The work will be exceptionally public and visible—creating a space of interactive demonstrations and installations that the general public can freely explore. CAPRI’s exhibits will illustrate both what we know and are still exploring of human perception.”  

For More Information For more information about CAPRI, visit its website.

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Title: Five Questions for Art History Professor Helen Langa
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Abstract: Helen Langa discusses the fifth annual Feminist Art History Conference at AU.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 11/10/2014
Content:

American University’s Art History Program sponsored its fifth annual Feminist Art History Conference (FAHC) from October 31 to November 2. The conference brought together scholars and students from all over the world to share their research on art history, feminism, and gender studies.

Helen Langa was the director of the American University Art History Program from 2008 to 2014. Currently she teaches American and contemporary art at AU. Her research addresses women’s art, political art in the 1930s, and queer identity and representation.


This is the fifth year of the FAHC. How has the conference grown and evolved since 2009?

For our first conference, we received 70 proposals for scholarly papers, and this year we received 178.

We invited major scholars in varied fields of feminist art history as keynote speakers, ranging from Renaissance to recent African American Art. Each year we have had a strong number of international presenters and some international attendees. This year, there are 16 people speaking or attending from countries including Canada, South Africa, China, Japan, Israel, Italy, and Scotland, as well as several international scholars who are teaching this year in the United States.


Can you tell us a little about the keynote speaker?

This year’s keynote speaker, Lisa Gail Collins, is a professor of Art History at Vassar College. Professor Collins earned her PhD in American studies from the University of Minnesota and has taught at Vassar since 1998. Her talk, “Here Lies Love: Feminism, Mourning, and a Quilt from Gee’s Bend,” is drawn from her current book project on history, memory, creativity, and community.

The keynote this year was very moving and interesting because Professor Collins took a single quilt image and demonstrated how much you can do with the cultural contexts of a single work. This really illustrates how writing art history is not only the result of doing archival research, but can go much deeper by exploring a work’s social and cultural meanings. 


How is this conference unique amongst other art history conferences?

The opportunity for networking with other scholars in one's field who share feminist interests is very important. Younger scholars are able to connect with more established speakers and participants, and some professors who attend have encouraged their students to come to the conference or to apply to our graduate Art History Program.

Many art history conferences focus only on one specialized time period, or are not particularly welcoming to feminist research papers. The Feminist Art History Conference provides an invigorating and scholarly atmosphere, but also one of camaraderie, support, and opportunities for academic networking, and has drawn numerous participants to come back multiple times.


How does feminist art history fit into the curriculum or mission of the Art History Program?

Feminist theory is central to the curriculum of the Art History Program. When you look at the course catalog, there are very few courses focused specifically on "women artists." Rather, all of our courses include women's professional achievements and feminist feminist scholarship as an inherent component of the curriculum.


What might you say to young scholars interested in joining this field?

There are many kinds of scholarship possible within the realm of art historical research and writing, and the varied kinds of papers given at this conference serve as a great illustration that there is no one way to do art history.

For more information about the Feminist Art History Conference, visit the conference website.

For more information about AU’s Art History Program, visit the program website.

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Title: Rare Showing of Diebenkorn Works Among Late Fall Exhibits at AU Museum
Author: Rebecca Basu
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Abstract: Rare showing of Diebenkorn works on paper, pioneering land art, installations, sculpture, and 'Eugenic Minds' featured.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 11/07/2014
Content:

Late fall exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center open Nov. 8 and close Dec. 14.  

The Intimate Diebenkorn: Works on Paper 1949-1992 features more than 40 works by American painter Richard Diebenkorn, whose early work is associated with Abstract expressionism and the Bay Area Figurative Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. In what is the first show produced by the Diebenkorn Foundation, with AU its second museum stop in the country, the selected works —pencil and ink drawings on paper, collages of town paper, and watercolors —portray a richly intimate glimpse into the artist's evolution spanning more than 40 years. According to Museum Director and Curator Jack Rasmussen, "To see these intimate Diebenkorn drawings is to understand the core artistic values taught by AU's Art Department in the 50s, 60s, and 70s."

Prague, The City of Eugenic Minds, is made up of a documentary by Pavel Stingl, animations and paintings by Xénia Hoffmeisterová, and literary artwork by Patrik Ouředník. The show strives to offer timeless meditation upon the abuse of the human pinnacles of science and education. Secondly, it addresses the question of academic careerism, which under totalitarian regimes reaches self-destructive proportions. The exhibit was coordinated by Czech NGO Shoah Memorial Prague.

Sculpture Now 2014: WSG 30th Anniversary is a celebration of the Washington Sculpture Group's 30th anniversary. The notion of sculpture has evolved dramatically in the last 30 years. In 1978, the art theorist Rosalind Krauss declared that sculpture as a discipline had collapsed because of the wide range of practices. More recently Johanna Burton remarked that the category of sculpture had not collapsed but was rather "a state of being." This exhibition endeavors to respond to Krauss and Burton's speculations and prejudices with a selection of contemporary sculpture that highlights the vibrant state of sculpture today. Sculptural materials include steel, bronze, wood, stone, plastic, drywall, fabric, and more. The show is curated by Jack Rasmussen.

My Oyster #7: Michelle Grabner & Brad Killam is a collaboration of husband and wife Michelle Grabner and Brad Killam. For their My Oyster series, Grabner and Killam employ a large hanging support system to display a selection of their works. The project includes other artifacts that demonstrate their familial relationship to a life of art, including sculptures, working drawings, and other material. Grabner received the prestigious honor of having served as one of the curators for last year's Whitney Biennial in New York. The show was organized by AU art professor Tim Doud.

Ad Infinitum brings together the work of Clifford Borress, Ian Pedigo, and Letha Wilson, all asked to create new, site-specific works for this exhibition. Each artist will explore the relationship between form and context to investigate the possibilities of meaning embedded within aesthetic experience. They explore the space between discursive research-based practice and formal or heuristic approaches to installation, exhibition, and display of ideas. This exhibition was curated by Lauren Rice and Brian Barr.

Lay of the Land: Alan Sonfist & Karin F. Giusti. In 1965, Alan Sonfist began to create Time Landscape, a work of art that magically brought to life a primeval forest that once had what is now Manhattan. On the 50th anniversary of Time Landscape, Alan presents Surface Memory, paying homage to his original masterpiece and continuing to elucidate his childhood memories of the destroyed forest of his youth. Karin Giusti's Three Seasons at Black Forest Farm is a monumental, six-component installation utilizing sculpture and photography to meld both environment and time into a singular experience. Void of figures, except the artist's shadow, these photographs appear as kaleidoscopic membranes that embed love and loss into the context of an environmental, photographic experience.

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Title: Eighty Years of Music
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: The AU Choral Program celebrates its 80th anniversary.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 11/03/2014
Content:

The AU choral program is celebrating 80 years of singing, touring, and entertaining audiences across the nation, and the world.


Impacting the Field of Music

Since its founding by Professor James McLain in 1934, the AU choral ensembles have made a big impact in the Washington community. Many of the directors of the AU Chorus and AU Chamber Singers have had leadership roles in DC choral arts organizations, including the Cathedral Choral Society (founded in 1941 by Paul Callaway), The Choral Arts Society of Washington (founded in 1965 by Norman Scribner), and the Master Chorale of Washington (formerly the Paul Hill Chorale, founded by Paul Hill in 1967).   

“The ensembles’ directors have played an incredible part in building these groups,” said Daniel Abraham, director of choral activities since 2000. “I think this shows AU’s commitment to hiring excellent directors, and it also shows that AU faculty are striving to make their mark in the greater artistic community.”


Growing the Program

During his first semester as director, Abraham auditioned nearly150 singers, expanded the chorus, and chose a small group to become the new chamber singers. “It’s been so fulfilling to see the ensembles grow and evolve,” he said.

Abraham believes that the program has achieved a good balance. Students can participate in a large, symphonic-oriented chorus or a smaller, more intimate ensemble. “The AU Chorus has settled into a nice mix of undergraduates, graduate students, community members, alumni, and faculty. This bigger, mixed chorus juxtaposed against the smaller, more select chamber singers group ensures we can do large scale choral works, as well as more intimate works with a smaller, advanced group,” said Abraham.   

Abraham has no shortage of ideas for growing and advancing the program. In the future, he would like to expand the chamber singers and start a women’s chorus. “In chamber singers, having one or two more singers per part would help students learn more quickly and encourage them to sing out as an ensemble,” he said. “Founding a women’s chorus would create a group for students who could not find a place in AU chorus, and provide an opportunity to explore a different set of repertoire.”


Chamber Singers: On the Road

The chamber singers have a long tradition of cultural diplomacy through international performance. They have toured in South America and Mexico, Hungary and Romania, Spain and Portugal, and, most recently Russia.

Closer to home, they have performed at the Washington, D.C. Choral Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the 25th and 30th Anniversary of Mothers Against Drunk Driving “Celebration of Life” at the Ronald Reagan Center; and with the National Philharmonic.

 

Ambassadors and Life-Altering Experiences

Abraham points out that the ensembles act as ambassadors of the university—no matter where they perform. “Not only do our music ensembles tour and do outreach in the community, but there’s also an internal reach that’s really important,” he says. “The fact that students can see their classmates creating incredible music is an opportunity we need to continue to cultivate and promote.”   

More than anything, said Abraham, the chorus and chamber singers help AU create well-rounded, versatile students. Participating in high-quality music-making encourages students to develop new skills and perspectives, challenging them to question themselves and the world around them.   

“What a university does in terms of its arts says a lot about its character. I think universities who shy away from putting forward their artistic selves are not creating the most whole people they can,” he said. “These ensembles enable students to explore the arts in an interactive, experiential way, and give them experiences that can be really life-altering.”


For More Information

For more information about the American University Chorus and the American University Chamber Singers, visit the Choral Program website.

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Title: An Artful Relationship: Local Volunteers at AU Museum
Author: Carolyn Supinka
Subtitle:
Abstract: Volunteers are critical to the success of AU Museum initiatives.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 11/02/2014
Content:

The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center really values its relationships: with visitors, with artists, and with its volunteers.

“Many of the volunteers have been with us from the beginning,” said museum Director and Curator Jack Rasmussen. “We could not have opened the museum without them, and we could not be open today.”

The museum is the region’s largest university facility of its kind and has cultivated a unique relationship with its roughly 40 volunteers. Most of them live in the same zip code as the museum and have close ties with the university, either as alumni or as local artists. Their strong connection to the university art community allows them to spread the word about upcoming programs and events to communities off campus.  

"The AU Museum has been an eye-opening experience for me,” said volunteer Sandy Zuckerman. “As a volunteer, I have gained knowledge and appreciation of contemporary art in all its media forms. The education program is excellent, and my fellow volunteers bring so much talent and companionship that the museum is not just a Kunsthalle but a second home."  


Roles and Programs

Reception volunteers are the first to greet visitors as they enter the museum. Volunteers also serve as docents, leading tours for a wide variety of groups including visitors from high schools, senior centers, and DC art institutions. While docents learn about the exhibit from Rasmussen, they spend their free time doing extra research on each exhibition so they can provide visitors with up-to-date information and new perspectives about the art on display.  


Education

Many volunteers also play a strong role in designing and implementing museum programs. Volunteers work with Libby O’Kane, the museum’s visitor and operations specialist, to organize and run the Kids@Katzen program, which provides arts experiences and educational programming for children ages 5 to 12.  

“The Kids@Katzen committee is bringing the message of Katzen to the next generation,” said O’Kane, who coordinates the volunteer program. “As part of a learning institution, education is an essential part of our mission.” 

The volunteers are also very invested in their own learning. The learning program group, headed by volunteer Roxana Martin, works with museum staff to develop the annual agenda for volunteer education.  

“Working to establish a learning program on contemporary art for the volunteers was a milestone. I was able to combine both my experience as an educator and my interest in art,” said Martin. “The program meets both museum and volunteer needs.”  

Volunteers are provided with two educational opportunities each month. The first meeting consists of a director’s tour of the new exhibitions or lecture by a local art expert or artist. 

The second meeting is a class, or a field trip to a studio or collection. The volunteers work with museum staff to suggest artists, speakers, and field trips.  

"Being a volunteer allows me to flow in the currents of contemporary art, engage with the art-curious public, serially interact with the continually renewing crop of AU students—all quite invigorating,” said volunteer Ellen King.  


Community

Museum staff and volunteers both appreciate the unique artistic environment that is fostered through the museum. The staff members value the support and dedication of the volunteers, and the volunteers enjoy the chance to work alongside the staff and play an important role in the museum.  

“The museum is a tremendous resource for the volunteers and the community…it’s a continually changing exhibition format, so there’s always something new to learn, something new to engage in,” said Marie Kissick, who has volunteered at the museum since 2007. “This is a unique opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with museum personnel and faculty, and we are given back just as much as we give as volunteers.”  

To read more about volunteering, visit the museum website. To apply for a volunteer position, contact Libby O’Kane at museum@american.edu.

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Title: Strathmore President Receives AU Alumni Achievement Award
Author: Carolyn Supinka
Subtitle:
Abstract: Monica Jeffries Hazangeles returns to AU as Alumni in the KNOW speaker on October 25.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 10/20/2014
Content:

Monica Jeffries Hazangeles is leading the way for arts and cultural leaders. 

She received the American University Alumni Achievement Award on October 18, 2014, for her accomplishments as a forefront leader in the arts. She will be returning to campus on October 25 as a speaker for the Alumni in the KNOW Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series. This event will be presented as part of the Arts Management Program 40th Anniversary ceremonies. 

A Leader in the Arts 

In 2010, Jeffries Hazangeles was appointed president of Strathmore, the renowned arts organization in Bethesda, Maryland, where she has worked for the past 20 years. Strathmore offers a wide variety of arts programming and educational experiences, ranging from art exhibitions to musical and theater performances. 

“As president, in service to Strathmore’s mission, my goals are to see what others don’t, to say what others won’t, to boldly explore future possibilities, to fearlessly drive Strathmore where it’s not always comfortable to go, to influence and inspire, and to enable the success of each and every member of my team,” said Jeffries Hazangeles about her new role. 

In 2011 and in 2013, Jeffries Hazangeles was named one of Washington’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine for her work managing Strathmore’s performances and education programs. 

“She runs one of the most important arts organizations in the greater DC region, and really embodies a lot of the principles our program is funded on,” said Arts Management Program Director Ximena Varela. “Strathmore is deeply committed to cultivating cross-cultural understanding, and to promoting diversity in its audiences and programming.”

Back To Class 

Jeffries Hazangeles, who graduated from AU’s Arts Management Program in 1996, credits the program for providing her with the skills that helped her to pursue her passion for the arts. 

“The program helped me understand the breadth of the arts management field and the vast opportunities open to those wanting a career in arts management,” said Jeffries Hazangeles. “I was immediately connected to individuals with deep knowledge and experience, and organizations where I could gain hands-on skills.” 

AU’s Arts Management Program stood out from the rest to Jeffries Hazangeles when she was looking for a place to begin her studies and career as a leader in the arts. 

“It is the only program of its kind that includes an internship, comprehensive exams, and a thesis,” she said. “This academic rigor, combined with the program’s connections to arts institutions of all types, in the nation’s capital, distinguished the program from its peers.” 

She has maintained close ties with faculty and the AU campus, inviting current AU students to tour behind the scenes at Strathmore, and has acted as a guest speaker for several classes. 

“She is generous with her time, sharing her expertise both through her advisory council work with us, but also through workshops and serving on a number of important arts boards. She has served on our advisory council for several years,” said Varela.

Alumni In the KNOW, October 25 

Jeffries Hazangeles will share insights from her experiences at Strathmore as a distinguished alumni speaker for AU’s upcoming Alumni in the KNOW series. 

Her speech will take place on Saturday, October 25, at noon in the Katzen Arts Center Rotunda, as part of the 40th anniversary celebration for the Arts Management Program. 

Jeffries Hazangeles is looking forward to sharing perspectives from her career with students. Her advice applies to aspiring arts managers as well as students interested in pursuing a leadership position in any organization. 

“Say yes, more often than no,” she said. “Pursue joyful exhaustion in your work, and look for leadership that happens from within.” 

For more information, visit the Alumni in the KNOW series website or the anniversary website.

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newsId: FCEB2D20-B2C2-2E60-619E1689B65181A3
Title: U.S. College Students Fare Better than U.K. Students on Key Health Measures
Author: Rebecca Basu
Subtitle:
Abstract: U.S. college students do better than their counterparts in the United Kingdom when it comes to physical activity, a healthy diet and less smoking, according to new research.
Topic: Research
Publication Date: 10/16/2014
Content:

U.S. college students do better than their counterparts in the United Kingdom when it comes to physical activity, a healthy diet and less smoking, according to new research published in the latest issue of the journal Education and Health.

“Among U.S. students, we see greater consumption of fruits and vegetables, more participation in organized sports, and less smoking,” said American University Prof. Stacey Snelling, a lead study author. “Participation in organized sports and exercise could reflect the more formal focus on physical activity at the college level that we have in the U.S. The study shows that certain policies and laws in the U.S. are making an impact, particularly with regard to smoke-free campuses.”

More than twice as many college students in the U.K. identified as smokers -- 39 percent compared with 16 percent in the U.S. Tobacco- and smoke-free campuses are a growing trend in the U.S. There are 1,478 smoke-free campuses, according to the group American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation. Of these, 976 are 100 percent tobacco-free, and 292 prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere on campus.

Snelling and her colleagues examined data from a sample of self-reported health behaviors of university students in the U.S. and U.K. Data came from the American College Health Association, which collects survey information on student health behaviors, such as tobacco use, weight, nutrition and exercise, campus safety, and mental and physical health. Data was gathered in the U.K., using a survey with slight word changes in British English. Survey respondents were 23 or younger and mostly women. Snelling's colleagues included health economics Prof. Heather Gage and Peter Williams, a statistics consultant, of the University of Surrey, England.

Health education on campus

The health of college students is a growing concern in both countries. Increasing numbers of American students are reporting psychological problems to student counseling services. In the U.K., 29 percent of students have psychological distress that meets standards for clinical diagnosis.

An important takeaway from the study for both countries, Snelling said, is how to improve health education and wellness on college campuses.

“Health education programs on college campuses need to catch the attention of young folks. In the U.S. we have creative ways of reaching students through social marketing and peer-to-peer education, among other methods,” Snelling said. “But the study results raise the question of where we can improve, also in the U.S., on how colleges and universities can have more coordinated programming to address the whole student.”

Regarding fruit and vegetable consumption, college dorm policies in the U.S. are having an impact, the study found. Residence hall policies encourage nutritionally balanced meals, healthy eating and meal plans, for example. In contrast, students in England are more likely to prepare their own food, making eating healthy less convenient or more costly. U.K. students ate 1.5 fruits or vegetables per day compared with U.S. students who ate 3.5, the study found.

Both groups of students reported undertaking a breast self-exam at the same rate, but preventive care appointments, such as gynecological and dental, were greater for U.S. students.

Alcohol consumption and weight concerns

The sampling revealed similar findings for the numbers of students who consume alcohol and those with concerns about weight. More than half of students in both countries said they had exercised to lose weight in the last 30 days.

“Alcohol consumption remains a challenge for colleges and universities in both countries and continues to need addressing,” Snelling said. “The focus on weight is a reminder of the challenge in educating students that health is about fitness and nutrition and less about a number on a scale.”

In both countries, more students are entering higher education, with participation rates approaching 50 percent. Many students face financial pressures and concerns about succeeding in a competitive global job market. Struggle to follow health-enhancing behaviors affect the risk of chronic conditions in adulthood, as college is often the time in life where habits form that will continue through a lifespan.

“U.S. students in general reported better health, healthier lifestyles and more access to preventive services. This could reflect a difference in how the two countries approach health care,” Snelling said. “Regardless, academic achievement and health are highly related and healthier individuals are better learners. Universities need to work to create a culture that supports intellectual growth and promotes health.”

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Title: Alumnus Making DC History Come Alive
Author: Caitlin Friess
Subtitle:
Abstract: John Suau appointed executive director of the DC Historical Society.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 10/16/2014
Content:

John Suau was unanimously approved to become executive director of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., in March 2014, following a six-month search by the Society's board of trustees. 

Suau, who received his MA in arts management from AU, brings his range of international and domestic experience to a Society with a 120-year history of collecting, interpreting, and sharing the history of Washington, DC.

"John's innovative and problem-solving approaches embody the ethos of the AU Arts Management Program, where students learn to develop creative solutions to complex problems in all areas of the arts," said Ximena Varela, director of the Arts Management Program. "John's leadership in the Society heralds a new era in community engagement and exciting program development."

Suau says it seems fitting that he is back in Washington. "I am happy to return to DC, where I came in 1995 to complete my graduate studies at American University in arts management," said Suau. "While I have always benefited from my experiences in our nation's capital, it's of particular significance that my education and skills are being used to help rebuild one of the city's most important treasures, that of it's own history." 

 

A Career in Arts Management

Suau has served as executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, and as manager of meetings, professional education, and diversity for the American Alliance of Museums. His work has included the coordination of conferences on cultural tourism and sustainable communities;work with art galleries and publications;and the marketing of technology companies that assist museum, libraries, and archives with the shift to digital platforms. 

Suau is also the creator of two popular web publications of his own: Museum of the Day, which features global cultural institutions, and John the Museum Guy, which highlights visitor experiences. 

 

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Suau's work with the Society includes the redevelopment of the Society's headquarters in the Carnegie Library on Mt. Vernon Square—once closed due to expenses—thanks to a partnership with Events DC and the International Spy Museum. Plans are now in the works to transform the Society's former building into the new International Spy Museum, featuring new additions to the building as well as a visitor's center. Suau is also currently working with other partner organizations to make the Society more associated with the community, rather than a single building. 

"I am honored to have the opportunity to give back to the city that has always given me so much professionally," he said. "And I am pleased to report that the society is now working with AU's Kogod School of Business Administration to help it celebrate its 60th anniversary with a mural retrospective of businesses in Washington, DC."

 

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., is a community‐supported educational and research organization that collects, interprets, and shares the history of our nation's capital. Founded in 1894, the Society serves a diverse audience through its collections, public programs, exhibitions, and publications.

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Title: Arts Management Program Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Author: Jamie McCrary
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU and alumni mark the anniversary with events on October 24 and 25.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 10/09/2014
Content:

The Arts Management Program at American University is celebrating 40 years of training students to become successful arts and cultural managers in all areas of the visual and performing arts. AU will mark the program’s anniversary with a two-day celebration on October 24 and 25. 

On Friday, October 24, participants will explore the DC arts scene by visiting local theaters and art galleries. On Saturday, October 25, they will be greeted with a speech by alumna Monica Hazangeles, the president of Strathmore. The day continues with speed networking sessions, an interactive theater presentation, a tour of the AU Museum, and a cocktail party.  

For more information about this chance to connect, create, and celebrate the program’s 40 years of producing extraordinary arts managers, visit the event website.

Arts Management at AU 

The program offers a master’s degree and graduate certificate in arts management, as well as graduate certificates in international arts management and technology in arts management. Students benefit from collaborations with the likes of Sotheby’s in London, the U.S. State Department, major foundations, and executive education programs around the world. Closer to home, the program prepares students for internships and jobs at many of DC’s leading cultural institutions.

Arts management students take classes in marketing, fundraising, financial management, and cultural policy. “The reason programs like ours were founded is because people wanted to make sure arts organizations were being run effectively,” says director Ximena Varela. “It is not just about getting a degree in management. From the beginning, our program’s mission has been to serve the broader community.” 

Producing Extraordinary Leaders 

What best showcases the program’s strength, however, is the success of its alumni: nearly 100 percent of graduates find work within six months of graduation. With more than 450 alumni arts managers, AU has had a broad impact on the arts across the nonprofit, public, and private sectors and a presence in such organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Strathmore, and IMG Artists. In the last seven years, six of AU’s arts management graduates received Fulbright scholarships, making the program a top Fulbright contender. “One of the things that attracted me to the program was that our students and alumni are driven,” says Varela. “They’re problem solvers and make ideas happen in the field— they are out there doing things.”

Art Management's Growth 

The program emerged out of a series of meetings between performing arts professor Valerie Morris and National Endowment for the Arts staff about the need for management training programs for nonprofit arts leaders. Morris directed AU’s program from 1974 until 1998, during which time it grew to nearly 80 students.

Though the program has experienced much growth and change over its four decades, one thing has remained constant: its commitment to innovation. “The curriculum and the program have adapted through time,” Varela says. “We are focused on innovation, which means we anticipate what will happen in the field and make sure the program is aligned and ready for these changes.” 

Innovation

One such innovation was a complete restructuring of the curriculum in 2010, resulting in more international arts management perspectives in the classroom and a new study-abroad program with Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. Participants take classes at the institute for a semester and receive a diploma from Sotheby’s in addition to a master’s in arts management from AU. This offers students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the nonprofit arts world outside the United States and in different cultural settings.

“The program has grown tremendously over the last 40 years in size, scope, and reputation,” says arts management senior professorial lecturer Sherburne Laughlin. “I look forward to its growth over the next 40 years.”

Tags: College of Arts and Sciences,Performing Arts,Performing Arts Dept,Art Dept,Arts Management,Arts Management Pgm
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Title: ISIS in Iraq and Syria: Three Questions for Joe Young
Author:
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Abstract: The United States is leading an international coalition against the extremist group ISIS, which has seized parts of Iraq and Syria.
Topic: International
Publication Date: 10/02/2014
Content:

The United States is leading an international coalition against the extremist group ISIS, which has seized parts of Iraq and Syria. We asked Associate Professor Joe Young, who focuses on political violence and violent extremism, for insight into the jihadist group.

Q: How did ISIS, also known as Islamic State, become so powerful so quickly?

A: ISIS has deliberately attempted to govern parts of Iraq and Syria, giving the group access to revenues from oil fields, smuggled goods, taxing locals, and raiding financial institutions. After taking the northern Iraq city of Mosul, its finances ballooned. With ready volunteers drawn from inside and outside of Iraq and Syria, and a flow of resources, its power has grown quickly, but it is also not surprising. 

Q: Beyond the military campaign, how can the United States and its partners weaken groups like ISIS and counter violent extremism? 

A: The best way to counter ISIS, which may be different than other groups, is to focus on better governance in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, by resolving the civil war and allowing the Syrian people to govern themselves, the United States and the rest of the world would benefit by hopefully reducing a safe haven and territory for resource extraction for ISIS. Of course, after years of brutal fighting in Syria, most moderate voices that might be able to govern Syria in a more democratic manner have been silenced. In Iraq, the trick is to empower the Iraqi state in such a way as to improve capabilities to counter ISIS, but also in a way that is inclusive and does not isolate Sunnis, who are the basis of ISIS support in Iraq. 

Q: ISIS is dangerous--and wealthy. What is the best way to cut off funding for “terror corporations” like ISIS? 

A: I’m not sure I like the term terror corporation. ISIS isn’t just trying to make a profit and scare people, ISIS is trying to be the state. Like the mafia in the United States in the early 1900s, it is using ugly and brutal methods to establish control over populations in the region. It is more successful, again like the mafia, in places where state control is lacking. Until Syria and Iraq build strong, responsive state institutions, ISIS, or groups like it, will battle for how to govern people in the region. The ultimate goal, however, is to build strong institutions that are also constrained in their use of violence. It took the United States and Western democracies generations to figure this out (and we are still working on it).

Follow Professor Young on Twitter @JosephKYoung. To request an interview, please call (202) 885-5943.

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Title: Women on the Verge Opening October 16
Author:
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Abstract: A Q&A with performing arts professor Carl Menninger.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 09/26/2014
Content:

Writer, director, playwright, and assistant professor of performing arts Carl Menninger talks about directing the upcoming AU production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. 

A musical adaptation of Pedro Almodovar's beloved film by the same name, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is a story about women and the men who pursue them . . . finding them, losing them, needing them, and rejecting them. 

The play runs October 16-25 at the Greenberg Theatre.

 

Why did you choose Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown?
Our theatre season is a "Passport to the Arts." We are presenting plays and musicals that are translations of or were inspired by non-American writers. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is an adaptation of Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar's 1988 film of the same name. 

 

Tell us a little bit about the staging and production of this play.
The play takes place in numerous locations, there is a car chase scene through the streets of Madrid, a woman jumps off a balcony, a bed catches fire, a character makes a blender of gazpacho on stage. 

The original production tried to show the chaos and confusion of the plot by employing a complex set with projections, motorized vehicles, conveyor belts that transported actors and scenery across the stage, and numerous realistic sets. 

In our production, we hope to show the chaos and confusion that the characters feel it, but limit the action to a unit set (a single, stationary set) so as not to overwhelm the audience. The shifts in location and movement will be achieved through lighting and shifting furniture. 

 

Tell us a little bit about what is involved in producing a play?
The process begins with the directing presenting his vision/concept to the design team. With that information they create their designs. The actors are auditioned and the sets, sound and costumes are constructed during the rehearsal process. It all comes together when during technical rehearsals which usually begin the week before the show opens. That's it in a nutshell. 

 

What advice would you give students who want to pursue a career in theater?
I wrote a book titled Minding the Edge: Strategies for a Fulfilling, Successful Career as an Actor. The first critical step is to figure out what makes you fulfilled and determine your own definition of success. 

The other major factor is discipline. Actors who manage their careers like a business have a better chance of success than those who don't think and operate like a small business owner. 

 

What are the performance dates and ticket information?
Performance Dates:
October 16-18, 8 p.m.
October 24-25, 8 p.m.
October 18, 25, 2 p.m. 

Theatre: Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre
4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW

Tickets: For tickets and more information, call 202-885-ARTS or visit american.tix.com. Tickets are $15 regular admission and $10 for the AU community and seniors.

Tags: College of Arts and Sciences,Performing Arts,Performing Arts Dept,Theatre and Music Theatre
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Title: New Moves
Author: Carolyn Supinka
Subtitle:
Abstract: AU Dance Program partners with American Dance Institute.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 09/12/2014
Content:

American University’s Dance Program is setting things in motion with an exciting new partnership with the American Dance Institute (ADI). ADI is a Rockville-based performance venue for internationally renowned dance companies and choreographers, as well as a dance school. The Washington Post described it as “fast becoming one of the area’s leading presenters of choice experimental dance.” 

The partnership will offer free master classes for AU students, as well as opportunities to watch rehearsals and interact with ADI’s visiting dancers and choreographers. Melanie George, director of the American University Dance Program, will present pre-performance talks at ADI, and ADI will provide a venue for the AU Dance Program’s annual fundraiser. 

A Natural Partnership  

“An important part of being a student of dance is that you need to see multiple and varied dance performances. Dance is an art form that exists in the moment, and it never happens the same way twice, so seeing it live is critical for your understanding of the form,” said George. “The variety of artists they (the students) are exposed to will help them to cultivate diverse perspectives about dance. The palette from which they build their own aesthetic will be much wider because of that.”  

Steven Skerritt-Davis, director of institutional relations at ADI, said that his organization is thrilled to be partnering with American University. 

“When we had the idea to add an educational component to the incubator program, we thought the best way to do that was through a partnership with a university, and AU was a great pick,” he said. “AU is one of the premier institutions in the D.C. area, and we’re thrilled to be embarking on this partnership that aims to benefit dance students throughout the region.”  

As for what the partnership would bring in the future, Skerritt-Davis said, “We’re hoping it will give something to both dance students and the visiting artists. ADI is always evolving, so this is part of that…It’s a great synthesis of coursework and practical experience. We’re excited and we hope it continues and grows.” 

The partnership has three components: the Inside the Incubator series, master classes, and the Dr. Naima Prevots Guest Artist Fund.  

Inside The Incubator Series 

The Incubator at ADI is a unique dance residency program that gives visiting choreographers the time and space necessary to develop their work at ADI’s facilities. 

The AU partnership adds an educational component to the residency, giving AU dance students the opportunity to observe rehearsals and talk with the artists and choreographers. At the end of each residency, the choreographers will perform their work for the public, and Melanie George will present pre-show talks. AU students can receive a discount for all of the performances offered at ADI.

Master Classes  

As part of the partnership, AU will host a series of master classes taught by ADI’s visiting choreographers and dancers. Each of three master classes offered this fall will have room for about 25 students to attend. They will be taught by award-winning choreographers Vicky Shick and Aszure Barson, and by the Vertigo Dance Company. ADI will offer these classes on AU’s campus. They are open to students and the general public.  

Dr. Naima Prevots Guest Artist Fund 

ADI will provide the venue for the annual benefit performance of the American University Dance Program for the Dr. Naima Prevots Guest Artist Fund, in honor of Dr. Naima Prevots, the founder of the AU Dance Program. All proceeds go to bringing emerging and veteran artists to AU’s Dance Program. 

For More Information 

To read more about the upcoming performances at ADI, visit the ADI website.

To register for master classes, contact Melanie George at mgeorge@american.edu.

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Title: Announcing the 2014 AU Alumni Award Winners
Author: Traci Crockett
Subtitle:
Abstract: The AU Alumni Board announces the 2014 Alumni Awards recipients and the October 18 event details.
Topic: Alumni
Publication Date: 09/10/2014
Content:

American University is known for its accomplished alumni. AU graduates are thought leaders, business leaders, and world leaders. This year, the university's Alumni Association celebrates five outstanding alumni for their achievements.The American University Alumni Board and the Office of Alumni Relations are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Alumni Awards. Selected annually from nominations submitted by faculty, staff, and alumni from around the world, these awards are the highest honors presented to alumni by the Alumni Association. The 2014 Alumni Award winners are as follows:

Alumni Achievement Award – Barry Josephson, SPA/BA '78
The Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional accomplishments.

Barry Josephson is a film and television producer and is the owner and president of Josephson Entertainment, a production company. Mr. Josephson's producer credits include Life as We Know It, Bones, The Lady Killers, Like Mike, Enchanted, and Wild Wild West. He has earned two Golden Globe and three Oscar nominations plus a Critic's Choice Award for "Best Family Film." 

Prior to his film career, Mr. Josephson worked as a manager for musicians such as Paula Abdul, Patti Labelle, Morris Day, and Whoopi Goldberg. He also helped found Sandollar Films, whose productions included several of Dolly Parton's made-for-TV movies and specials and such feature films as Gross Anatomy and True Identity. Mr. Josephson is a member of the SOC Dean's Council, a member of the Entertainment and Media Alliance Leadership, and a former SOC Alumni Mentor;he previously taught as a guest lecturer in SOC's Summer in L.A. and Executive Suite courses. 

Alumni Achievement Award – Monica Jeffries Hazangeles, CAS/MA '96

Monica Jeffries Hazangeles was named president of Strathmore Hall in November 2010. She held several former positions with Strathmore, including executive vice president for administration, capital campaign director for the Music Center at Strathmore, and special events coordinator. Before joining Strathmore in 1994, Ms. Jeffries Hazangeles worked for The Smithsonian Associates and the Chamber Music Kansas City.

In 2011, Ms. Jeffries Hazangeles was named one of Washingtonian magazine's "100 Most Powerful Women." She has also served as a panelist for the Maryland State Arts Council. In addition to her MA in arts management from AU, Ms. Jeffries Hazangeles holds a BM in flute performance from the Florida State University, a MM in flute performance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Alumni Recognition Award – Mark Bergel, CAS/MS '87, CAS/PhD '96
The Alumni Recognition Award recognizes alumni who inspire the world around them through service to a philanthropic mission or the AU community.

Mark Bergel is founder and executive director of A Wider Circle, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that is dedicated to serving children and adults who are challenged by poverty, homelessness, and abuse by providing donated furniture and other goods, resources, and education. Prior to founding A Wider Circle in 2001, Dr. Bergel spent 15 years managing health and wellness initiatives and served as a part-time faculty member at AU. 

A nationally acclaimed speaker on poverty, health, and social connection, Dr. Bergel has been featured on national television and radio programs. In 2008, he received the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region's Linowes Leadership Award. He has also been voted one of People magazine and Major League Baseball's "All Stars Among Us" and has received the Dr. Augustus White III Award for Civic Engagement and Service, the Andrea Jolly President's Award, the Essence of Leadership Award at the Greater DC Cares Business and Nonprofit Philanthropy Summit, and in 2014 he was named a "CNN Hero."

Alumni Eagle Award – Jolene McNeil, SPA/BA '97
The Alumni Eagle Award recognizes alumni who have rendered outstanding service to the University and/or the Alumni Association.

Jolene McNeil is an associate director of meetings and conventions at the American Psychiatric Association. She was previously a meeting manager at Fernley & Fernley, a program and meeting planner at the Drug Information Association, a conference planner at the Child Welfare League of America, and a meetings and membership assistant at the General Federation of Women's Club. 

While a student at AU, Ms. McNeil was an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and president of the Black Student Alliance. She served on the reunion committee for her class and was most recently chair of AU's Black Alumni Alliance. She is also an Alumni Admissions Volunteer for the university.

Rising Star Award – Daniel Maree, CAS/BA '08
The Rising Star Award recognizes young alumni (those who received their undergraduate degree within the last 10 years) who are already making significant contributions to greater society through professional or philanthropic work.

Daniel Maree is the founder and chief executive officer of M-PWRD, LLC, the founder and executive director of the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, and the Grand Prize winner of the 2013 Do Something Awards. Mr. Maree created the Million Hoodies Movement in 2012 in response to the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Prior to launching M-PWRD and Million Hoodies he worked as a senior digital strategist for both Havas Worldwide and McCann-Erickson, where he had previously held the position of social strategy lead. He was also a communications consultant at The World Bank, special assistant to the founder of The Enough Project at The Center for American Progress, and special assistant to the executive vice president of Social Action and Advocacy at Participant Media.

Please join the Alumni Board and President Neil Kerwin, SPA/BA '71, in honoring these recipients at the 2014 Alumni Awards Dinner during All-American Weekend on Saturday, October 18 at 6 p.m. in the School of International Service Atrium. Tickets are $25 per person and include a cocktail reception and seated dinner. Special pricing is available for current AU students.

For more information about the 2014 Alumni Awards Dinner, contact Carlita Pitts, director of alumni programs, at 202-885-5921.

To learn more about the 2015 Alumni Awards nomination process, contact Isaac Thweatt, director of alumni outreach, at 202-885-5930.

Tags: Alumni,Alumni Board,Alumni Relations,Alumni Update,Alumni Weekend
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Title: American University Museum Early Fall Exhibits
Author: Rebecca Basu
Subtitle:
Abstract: Six new exhibitions open starting September 6.
Topic: Arts
Publication Date: 09/05/2014
Content:

Starting Saturday, September 6, six exhibitions open at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center—including works specially selected from the estate of the late gallerist H. Marc Moyens to be auctioned during American University's annual Fall for the Arts event.

From Russia with Love

Memorial Modeling, an installation exhibit, was made possible with support from AU's Initiative for Russian Culture. Artists Peter Belyi and Petr Shvetsov, two of the most important and original artists working in Russia today, encountered the collapse of the Soviet empire in their youth. As a result, they acquired a certain unifying view where they are suspicious of any new doctrine, instinctively sensing its instability and ephemerality. On display through Sunday, October 19.

Celebrating Marcel Duchamp

Readymade@100 is a juried exhibition of submissions by contemporary artists of "new" readymades that significantly expand upon Duchamp's original idea. The exhibition will be juried by Corcoran College of Art and Design Professor Mark Cameron Boyd. Readymades are ordinary, constructed items modified slightly, or joined with another item. Duchamp started the concept with his choice of commercially available objects for exhibit, such as "Bottle Rack" and his infamous "Fountain" urinal. It was Duchamp's location of these objects within the "art context" that began a century of debate about the definitions of art and established his influence on contemporary art. On display through Sunday, October 19.

Cuba Libre?

Bridging the Past, Present, and Future: Recent Works by Sandra Ramos showcases prints, video, collage, and installations by Cuban artist Sandra Ramos. Ramos reflects on the conflicting experiences of living in her beloved homeland with all of its many challenges. Viewers will be given a look at Cuban life today and some aspects of the impact and interaction of that country with the United States as seen through the sensitive eyes of one of its top creators. On display through Sunday, October 19.

Dangerous and Intriguing

Steel Sculpture: Anxiety and Hope, a sculpture exhibition by Sam Noto, is both serious and playful. In his large steel constructions, largely made of found materials, Noto allows his materials to generate form and occupy space in a dynamic way. Noto creates pieces of welded steel that are sometimes literally dangerous as well as formally intriguing.On display through March 15, 2015.

Photography by Washington Artists

Some Uses of Photography: Four Washington Artists continues AU Museum's fine tradition of showcasing Washington artists. The work of four artists—Jenn De Palma, Ding Ren, Siobhan Rigg, and Sandra Rottman—represents an ongoing dialog about craft, authenticity, the role of the artist, and other concerns that embody today's definition of photography. The exhibition curator Phyllis Rosenzweig was formerly curator of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. On display through Sunday, December 14.

Surrealist Art from the Estate of H. Marc Moyens

Estate Art of H. Marc Moyens is an exhibition and auction of items specially selected from the estate of the late gallerist H. Marc Moyens. Moyens and his partner, Komei Wachi, ran a gallery that bucked trends. When pieces of their collection exhibited at Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1969, one reviewer described the show as "creepy and menacing." It was not until 2006 that items from the collection were shown again at the AU Museum. By this time, the tone of critics had changed, and they embraced the provocative content. On display through Saturday, September 20—the date of the auction.

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