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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

Book stacks in the university library

January 2011

Winter is an ideal time to curl up with a book or a Kindle reader, and also to visit the AU Library – the only university library in the area that is open to the public.  Recently, the library unveiled a new Web page with lots of useful information (it has about 625,000 books), search tools (visitors can use the library’s public catalog and databases in the reference area), and information on how neighbors can become a Friend of the Library.  You also can view the Archives and collections of rare books and manuscripts including landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s writings and plans.  In December, the Archives acquired the papers of Sally L. Smith that documented her work as an educator at American University and as founder and head of The Lab School of Washington and its innovative curriculum for teaching children with learning disabilities.

Tune into WAMU 88.5 for the latest news.  Don’t miss The Diane Rehm Show and her discussions with writer Eduardo Porter on his new book The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do (Jan. 6), and with Peggy Ornstein on her new book Cinderella Ate My Daughter (Jan. 27).  On The Politics Hour on Jan. 7, Kojo Nnamdi and Tom Sherwood welcome DC’s new Mayor Vincent Gray.  Be sure also to visit for more information about the launch of its new look and new slogan.  If you have some time to help, WAMU would welcome volunteers to answer phones, provide clerical help, and assist with hospitality during its winter membership campaign on February 12-18.  For more information, call (202) 885-1200.

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Join Us for Author Talks On Campus

Cover of the book

AU alum and author Dr. Robert Jenner (SIS/BS ’74) will discuss his book FDR’s Republicans: Domestic Political Realignment and American Foreign Policy (2009, Lexington Books) on Wednesday, January 12 from 7:15 p.m. – 9 p.m. in the AU Library Mudbox Café. Reception with author is at 7:15 p.m., followed by a book talk at 8 p.m., and book signing at 9 p.m. For information and to attend the reception ($15), call (202) 885-5902. On Monday, January 31, the School of Communications will host author Seth Mnookin at 8 p.m. in the Wechsler Theatre (3rd floor, Mary Graydon Center) to talk about his much-discussed book, The Panic Virus, that disproves a link between vaccination and autism. His talk is part of the school’s new Science in Society Film and Lecture Series.

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Winter Antiques Show Returns to AU

Logo of the 2011 Winter Antiques Show.

The popular Washington Winter Show returns to AU’s Katzen Arts Center on January 7-9 for the third year with 45 premier dealers in antiques and fine arts.  Show hours are from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday, January 7 and Saturday, January 8, and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 9.  This year’s show kicks off with an opening night VIP party on January 6, and features a luncheon/lecture “Verdura and Women of Style” with jewelry expert and historian Ward Landrigan, CEO of Verdura.  Saturday, January 8 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. is Jazz Night with hors d’oeuvres and music by the Levine School of Music Faculty Jazz Band.  On Sunday, January 9, sample food from several Georgetown restaurants while touring the show.  You also can bring your own item for an appraisal by dealers.  For more information about the show, tickets, special events, and appraisals, visit or call (202) 248-7159.

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"Yellow Ribbon Night" Men's Basketball Versus Army

AU fans with chests painted blue cheer on the Eagles in Bender Arena.

Each year, Phil Bender Day draws record-breaking numbers of AU fans to the stands.

Bring your family and friends and join us for “Yellow Ribbon Night” in Bender Arena on Wednesday, January 19, at 7:30 p.m., as we honor our veterans and cheer on our men’s basketball team as they play Army.  Tickets are $7-$15 and can be purchased online at or by calling AU Athletics at (202) 885-TIXX.  We also hope to see you at other games including Phil Bender Day on Saturday, January 29, at 4 p.m. when the men’s basketball team plays Lafayette University.  Also check out the women’s basketball team schedule for home games against Colgate, Holy Cross, and Navy this month.  Fans of wrestling also can watch AU versus UNC Greensboro and George Mason on January 9, and AU versus George Washington University on January 27.  Go Eagles!

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New Art Exhibition and Artist Reception at AU Museum

Katzen Arts Center plaza

Join us for a free artists’ reception at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center on Saturday, January 29, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. as we celebrate the opening of the museum’s Winter Exhibition. The new show features works by six women artists: Nicole Cohen’s Driving in Circles, Heather Wilcoxon’s The Dark and Humorous Mind of Heather Wilcoxon, Dafna Kaffeman’s What Could Be Sweeter Than Going To Paradise, Julie Linowes’ Stain, Marisa Bumgartner’s Grande Avenues, and Linn Myers’ Wall Drawings. Free parking is available under the Katzen building. For more information on the show and the participating artists, visit

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Metro SmarTrip Cards Available at the AU Bookstore

AU bookstore front desk with sign for purchasing SmarTrip Metro cards.

You can add money to your SmarTrip card or purchase additional cards at the AU Bookstore front desk.

Do you need to purchase a Metro SmarTrip® card or load more money onto a card you already have?  There’s no need to stand in line at Metro stations.  You can purchase SmarTrip® cards and load additional value onto existing cards on a new machine that Metro has installed in the AU Book Store adjacent Mary Graydon Center on campus.  While you’re there, check out the selection of fiction and non-fiction books, office supplies, and lots more.

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Martin Luther King Day of Service

AU students painting a mural as part of their volunteer service with a local DC non-profit.

AU students paint a mural as part of an indoor beautification effort with a local non-profit.

Many of our neighbors also are AU alums.  We hope you will consider joining more than 200 AU students, faculty, and staff on January 17, as we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King with a day of community service and reflection.  This year, we will volunteer at 10 different sites in the city that serve senior citizens, AIDS/HIV patients, youth development, and homeless communities.  We’ll also be participating in a Service Cup – a regional competition between universities to see which school can contribute the most community service this spring.  For more information, visit AU’s Center for Community Engagement and Service at or call Donald Curtis at (202) 885-7378.

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AU Grad Students Create Smithsonian Pre-Exhibition Web Site

National Museum of American History

Two AU grad students, working for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, have created the Smithsonian’s first pre-exhibition Web site.  The Web site – part of a new trend in museums – will allow visitors to interact with museum curators on blogs, watch videos, and browse items being assembled for the museum’s new American Enterprise exhibit that is scheduled to open in 2014.

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Online Student Publication Assesses "A City Divided"

Screen shot of the

This special online issue of the American Observer, AU's graduate journalism magazine, brings together video, images, and text to explore inequality in DC.

American Observer, the online publication of AU journalism graduate students, recently issued a special edition titled "A City Divided" that takes an in-depth look at community tensions in DC, and the issues that divided voters in the recent mayoral election. The multi-media site features a graphic of the city with the narratives embedded for different wards. Videos, audio, and podcasts feature stories on why and how the city is divided including views from barber shops in Ward 3 and Ward 8, as well as interviews with residents on the impact of gentrification and development on their communities. It’s well worth a look.

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January Events

Thursday, January 6 through Sunday, January 9. Washington Winter Antiques and Fine Arts Show. The show features more than 40 premier dealers from across the United States and Europe. Katzen Arts Center. For more information and tickets, visit

Saturday, January 8 at 2 p.m. Men’s home basketball game versus Lehigh University.

Sunday, January 9 at 5 p.m. Wrestling versus UNC-Greensboro & George Mason Universities.

Monday, January 10. Spring classes begin.

Wednesday, January 12 from 7-9 p.m. Talk with AU Alumni and author Dr. Robert Jenner (SIS/BS ’74) on his first book FDR’S Republicans: Domestic Political Realignment and American Foreign Policy (2009, Lexington Books). Mudbox Cafe in Bender Library. Reception with author at 7:15 p.m. ($15). Books for sale at 6:30 p.m., book talk at 8 p.m.; book signing at 9 p.m. For more information call (202) 885-5902.

Wednesday, January 12 at 7:30 p.m. Men’s home basketball game versus Bucknell University.

Saturday, January 15 at 1 p.m. Swimming and diving at Georgetown versus James Madison University.

Saturday, January 15 at 2 p.m. Women’s home basketball game versus Colgate University.

Sunday, January 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A Tale of Two Capitals: Dialogues on Contemporary Jewish challenges in Israel and the U.S. An interactive day of learning with professors from American University and Hebrew University. Ward Circle Building on the AU campus. Free parking in AU’s Nebraska Avenue parking lot. Co-sponsors include AU’s Center for Israel Studies, AU Jewish Studies Program, American Friends of Hebrew University, and the Jewish Federation of Washington. Cost is $25 and includes breakfast and lunch. For more information on this event and other programs, visit the Israeli Studies department home page or contact Laura Katz Cutler at (202) 885-3780 or by email at

Monday, January 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service. Some 250 AU alums, students, staff, and faculty will participate in a day of service and reflection by volunteering at 10 DC sites that support initiatives for youth, senior citizens, and overcoming poverty in the city. For information, and to participate, call AU’s Center for Community Engagement and Service at (202) 885-7378.

Wednesday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m. “Yellow Ribbon Night” Men’s home basketball game versus Army.

Saturday, January 22 at 1 p.m. Swimming and diving at George Mason University versus Army and Old Dominion.

Saturday, January 22 at 2 p.m. Women’s home basketball game versus Holy Cross University.

Wednesday, January 26 at 7 p.m. Women’s home basketball game versus Navy.

Thursday, January 27 at 7 p.m. Wrestling versus George Washington University.

Thursday, January 27 at 7 p.m. What Could Be Sweeter Than Going To Paradise – Two Artists in Conversation. American artist Mindy Weisel and Israeli artist Dafna Kaffeman discuss the connections between inspiration and the poetic and humanitarian possibilities of art. Kaffeman is head of Glass Studies at Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem and her smaller delicate pieces and dynamic, large-scale installations often deal with issues raised by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kaffeman is one of six women artists featured in the Winter Exhibition at the AU Museum from January 25 to March 13. AU Museum in the Katzen Arts Center. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.

Saturday, January 29 at 4 p.m. Phil Bender Day men’s home basketball game versus Lafayette University.

Saturday, January 29 from 6-9 p.m. Artists’ reception at the AU Museum to celebrate the opening of the new Winter 2011 Exhibit featuring six women artists. The AU Museum is located in the Katzen Arts Center. Free parking is available under the Katzen.

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For event details and a full list of all upcoming events, see the University Events Calendar.