Skip to main content

AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

Student Orchestra

February 2010

Fall in love with the arts on campus.


With Valentine's Day this month, it seems a perfect time to fall in love with the arts at AU.  February brims with events including an innovative production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a  poetry reading with Terrance Hayes, AU Symphony Orchestra performances of Mahler's Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, plus four new art exhibitions at the AU Museum, and the Washington Project for the Arts Art Auction Exhibition.  And don't forget the AU Museum gift shop for your Valentine's Day shopping. The popular Kids at the Katzen program for children five years and older is Sunday, February 7 at the Katzen Arts Center.  And for AU alums, there's a special Valentine's Day "chocolate and champagne" reception to fete alumni couples who met at AU.  For more information on all of these events, see the calendar below or go to the AU Web site and click on Performing Arts.

THANK YOU -- to neighbor Marion Kraskin who donated one of the three benches that have been installed at the new Spring Valley Triangle Park at Massachusetts Avenue and 47th Street.  And thanks to the neighbors who responded enthusiastically to our idea to host dinners in their homes with AU students. Our students love the idea.  "I would love to have dinner with a family in the neighborhood," said one student. "I've definitely miss home-cooked meals." 

Back to top

A New Partnership: The Smithsonian Associates at AU

Smithsonian Associates at AU

An exciting new partnership has been launched between AU and the Smithsonian Institution. Starting this April, The Smithsonian Associates at AU will bring the Smithsonian's popular Resident Associate programs to AU for lectures, performances, panels, and special evenings of learning. "We are very pleased to partner with the Smithsonian Institution to make the distinctive Resident Associate programs available to an even wider audience," says AU President Neil Kerwin. "Washington, DC, is a remarkable place to learn, and American University, like the Smithsonian, promotes and cultivates the intellectual and cultural resources of the nation's capital to educate citizens about the most pressing issues we face."  

Programs will include;

  • An Evening with White House Correspondents, and E.O. Wilson's First Novel: A Magical Story of Nature – an interview with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author about his first work of fiction
  • a discussion and reception with distinguished museum directors on The Future of Museums
  • a musical evening John Eaton and Friends, featuring pianist John Eaton and Rob Bamberger, host of WAMU's popular radio show Hot Jazz Saturday night and bass player Tommy Cecil.

A Jazz Appreciation month program will feature Paris-born saxophonist and composer Jerome Sabbagh and his group One, Two, Three: Jerome Sabbagh Trio.  Chris Palmer, wildlife filmmaker and AU faculty member, will discuss his new book Shooting in the Wild (Sierra Club Books, 2010.) For information on tickets, call (202) 633-3030 or go to the Smithsonian Resident Associate Program Web Site.

Back to top

AU To propose New Campus Plan for the next Ten Years

AU logo

AU is in the process of developing a new master facilities plan called a Campus Plan that will project its facilities development goals for the next ten years. All universities in the city are required to develop a Campus Plan that is approved by the city's Zoning Commission.  AU's current plan expires in mid-2011.  A Campus Plan Task Force comprised of more than 35 neighbors who live around the AU main campus, the Tenley campus, and the Washington College of Law in Spring Valley have been meeting with AU officials since last July to provide community input.  These meetings are open to the public.  Information about the new Campus Plan and meeting schedules and agendas are available on the AU Web site. To access this information, click on For additional information, contact Penny Pagano at (202) 885-2167.

Back to top

AU is Part of Nation's First Campus-Wide Sustainability Program

Sustainability Logo

AU is a charter participant and the first university in DC to join in a new national effort to encourage sustainability practices at colleges and universities around the country. The project called STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) provides a framework and reporting tool for gauging sustainability progress at the university.  In January, AU President Neil Kerwin signed new sustainability policies for AU that mandate green building, green cleaning, sustainable purchasing, and zero waste.  AU is also participating in a pilot program with the U.S. Green Building Council to develop a streamlined approach to green building certification for campuses.  A team is working to certify 30 AU campus buildings to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building-rating standards, including AU's new School of International Service, scheduled to open in May 2010 with LEED Gold certification.  This spring, AU will also install a wind turbine and steam turbine to reduce the university's carbon emissions.  In January, the university began composting kitchen waste.

Back to top

Reel Journalism Evening with Brian Williams

SOC Brian Williams and Nick Clooney at the Newseum's Reel Journalism

On the night that the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, NBC's evening news anchor Brian Williams was talking to a packed audience of AU neighbors and alums, news fans, and film buffs at a screening of the 1981 film Absence of Malice at the Newseum. (Williams gave the audience periodic updates throughout the evening as he checked with his office, and was on the ground reporting from Haiti days later.) The event was part of a popular marquee film series REEL Journalism – now in its second season -- co-produced by the Newseum and AU's School of Communications.  Veteran journalist Nick Clooney, the SOC-distinguished journalist in residence (and yes, he's George's dad) hosts the screenings of classic and contemporary films that depict the integral role of journalism in American life.  There's always a lively discussion following the screening with prominent filmmakers, actors, and journalists.  For more information on the REEL Journalism film series, go to and click on REEL Journalism under the picture.

Back to top

SIS Offers Summer Programs for Area High School Students

50 with the School of International Service seal (world map with leaves surrounding) in the zero

AU's School of International Service (SIS) sponsors a summer program Community of Scholars for area high school students interested in international relations. It's an engaging, fun opportunity for students to test their academic potential, learn from AU's scholars, and connect theory and policy in Washington, DC. The program offers specially designed three-credit college courses to outstanding high school students interested in enriching their summer with an exciting academic experience. Students can take classes in U.S. foreign policy, international conflict resolution, and global environmental politics and learn first-hand how ideas translate into action through guest speakers, policy briefings, and site visits to institutions such as the State Department. And the college credit they earn can also add value to college applications and résumés, and may be transferable to other accredited colleges and universities.  For more information, visit our Web site at, or e-mail, or call our office at (202) 885-2442.

Back to top

February Calendar of Events