The extra day of Leap Year was a special one on campus. AU President Neil Kerwin welcomed D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and the presidents of universities across the city (see photo above) to our LEED Gold-certified School of International Service to sign a pledge as partners to promote sustainability and make the city “the greenest college town in America.” The Mayor’s College and University Sustainability Pledge, the first of its kind in the country, commits the nine schools and colleges to implementing sustainability plans in a number of ways including new construction, using renewable energy sources, increasing the tree canopy, and using tap water instead of bottled water. “The commitment made by our universities today demonstrates their dedication to making the District the most sustainable city in the country,” Mayor Gray said. “This partnership, coupled with our Sustainable D.C. efforts, is a major step forward in ensuring that the District is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable.” To read more about AU’s sustainability efforts, visit the Sustainability Office website.
This month begins with lots of exciting news, including AU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams playing in the Patriot League quarterfinals. You also can read below about a new home for WAMU. There are lots of events and activities for neighbors to enjoy including music, plays, and films, so check the Events Calendar. With the spring weather, AU’s campus Arboretum comes to life and is a popular place for neighbors to walk. We hope you will bring your family to Jacobs Field to watch women’s lacrosse. AU alums can visit the new Alumni Calendar for a schedule of events on campus.
Just off campus, a new restaurant, La Forchetta, at 3201 New Mexico Avenue is about to open. The latest news is that award-winning Italian chef Roberto Donna will be in charge of the kitchen.
This building located at 4401 Connecticut Avenue, NW will be the new home for WAMU 88.5, American University Radio.
WAMU 88.5 will have a new home soon. The public radio news and information station, licensed to AU and located in Tenleytown since 1993, will move about a mile away to new quarters at 4401 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. WAMU 88.5, which has close to 750,000 listeners in the greater Washington, D.C. area, is home to The Diane Rehm Show, The Kojo Nnamdi Show, and Metro Connection. In its new location, WAMU will occupy more than half of the seven-story, 96,000-square foot building – more than twice its current operating space. WAMU expects to broadcast from its new space – including street-level broadcast studios – in the first quarter of 2013. The remaining space in the building owned by AU will be used for other academic and administrative purposes, and also have space for community meetings. “We are pleased that WAMU will soon be housed in a facility to meet its current and future needs,” said AU President Neil Kerwin. “As a valuable service to the region, WAMU is one of the best examples of American University’s commitment to the multiple listeners in our D.C. community and beyond.”
Are you looking for a volunteer opportunity? Become a WAMU volunteer and join other neighbors who help in various departments around the station, answer phones during membership campaigns, and assist at community events. You’ll also receive the volunteer newsletter Air Waves. For information on the WAMU 88.5 volunteer program, visit http://wamu.org/support/11/07/29/volunteering.php.
Spring Arts at AU: Plays, Musical Performances, and Art Exhibitions
This is a busy month for the arts at AU with lots of choices including the AU Symphony Orchestra's Heaven, Hell, and the World In Between (March 3-4), Yuliya Gorenman’s Piano Project: Mozart Edition (March 24), the New Works Reading: Circus of Fallen Angels (March 22-24), the Spring Arts Colloquia featuring discussions with artists Jose Lerma (March 6) and Sharon Hayes (March 29), and the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (March 29-31). The Winter Exhibition also continues at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Check the newsletter Calendar of Events for performance information and tickets.
Our popular arts education program, Kids@Katzen, holds its next creative arts workshop on Sunday, March 4 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the AU Museum in the Katzen Arts Center. Recommended for children ages five to twelve, the workshop will allow kids to tour the museum and talk with artist Anil Revri about his process for creating art. After some practice, the children will create a work of art inspired by Revri’s process. The cost is $10 per child for materials, payable with phone registration at 202-885-1300. Free parking is available under the Katzen building. Works by Revri are featured in the current museum exhibition Faith and Liberation through Abstraction.
WAMU 88.5 and Lean & Hungry Theater Present "The Tempest"
Enjoy a very special event as classic Shakespeare is turned into a one-hour science fiction radio performance in this adaptation of The Tempest set in the future in the Naples Galaxy. This special live-to-air broadcast will be performed by the Lean & Hungry Theater (Washington, D.C.’s only radio drama company) before an audience and broadcast live on WAMU 88.5. Sunday, March 4 from 6 p.m. -7 p.m. from the Wilson High School Auditorium, 3950 Chesapeake Street, N.W. Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, live on a small planet where their spaceship crash landed after Prospero was ousted from his dukedom by his usurping brother, Antonio. With only Miranda, the hideous alien Caliban, and a computer program named Ariel for company, Prospero has waited for a change to get his revenge on Antonio and his ally, the Queen of the Naples Galaxy. See what Prospero concocts using his mastery of technology.
The audience is invited to stay after the performance for a post-production and audience interaction discussion, moderated by WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi. Tickets: $25 general admission. Because this is a live performance, audience members must be seated by 5:50 p.m. For tickets, visit http://thetempest.eventbrite.com. To learn more about Lean & Hungry Theater and its adaptations of classic dramatic works into “radio plays” for underserved areas, visit www.leanandhungrytheater.com.
Looking for a nearby place to swim and exercise? AU’s Jacobs Fitness Center offers community memberships that include access to exercise equipment, the Reeves Aquatic Center, and Bender Arena. Individual annual memberships are available for $850 and family memberships are $1,680 a year. The fitness center schedule, which follows the university calendar, is available online with day-to-day hours of operations. For more information, call 202-885-6267, visit the Jacobs Fitness Center website, or download their membership brochure.
AU received a 2011 Excellence in Landscape Award from the Landscape Contractors Association of Maryland, DC, and Virginia for its garden renovations at the Kogod School of Business on campus. Created on a 1.5-acre site bordering Massachusetts Avenue that previously was a parking lot, the Kogod Gardens now includes handicap-accessible walkways and promenades, two green roofs, a rain garden, large central lawn area, and extensive plantings. The main walkway, which connects the campus entrance to the center of campus, was required to meet fire accessibility codes. Click here to read more about the award.
DC’s Anacostia River and Eight Remarkable Community Stories
Students in Nina Shapiro-Perl's course, Community Documentary: Stories of Transformation, pose with community members following the screening of'RiverStories.' (Courtesy of Sharon Metcalf)
In her course Community Documentary: Stories of Transformation, AU anthropology professor and filmmaker-in-residence Nina Shapiro-Perl works with students to create short films that reveal life across the city. Their recent project River Stories evolved from a partnership between AU and the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum which wanted to document stories of residents of Southeast Washington and their connection to the Anacostia River. The result: eight stories captured in words, video, and photos by students working with eight community members. These remarkable stories, told in their own words, recall a clean river and a bounty of fish, and document their individual efforts to restore the river’s beauty and teach young people about the environment. One resident, a law librarian, still commutes to his job at the Library of Congress on the river in his boat. Another, a retired foreign service officer, runs the Organization for Anacostia Rowing and Sculling (OARS), a rowing program for at-risk teens. Shapiro-Perl describes them as “stories from the inside out” because they emerged from the private lives and memories of the subjects, and were coaxed into the world by students who worked closely with each community member. “This is the process,” Shapiro-Perl says, “that allows us to listen deeply to each other across the divides of neighborhood, class, race, and culture.”
The 2012 recipients of AU's Eagle Endowment Grants.
Each year, AU’s Eagle Endowment awards more than $5,000 in grants to individual students and student organizations for their initiatives “to advance human and civil rights through public and community service.” On January 31, nine new recipients received grants. Their works include: an art therapy program for homeless women living at My Sister’s Place, a college boot camp for veterans returning to college, a 10-week leadership institute for former male juvenile delinquents currently living at New Horizons transitional housing, a college student poll worker training program, a voter registration drive on the AU campus, a healthy youth program involving AU’s women’s club soccer team and the Tenleytown community to create a mentorship program to promote physical activity, a Kids on Campus Day with the D.C. Reads program, a Reading Leaders program to teach middle school students basic skills to read to younger children, and an alternative break program that will partner with City Gate to educate youth about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s use of non-violent conflict resolution using art to create a large mural.
Since its creation more than a decade ago, the Eagle Endowment has enjoyed the ongoing support of the campus community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni. If you would like to contribute to the Eagle Endowment, you can do so online.
Saturday, March 3, 1 p.m. AU Women’s lacrosse team plays Old Dominion at home. Jacobs field.
Saturday, March 3, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Gallery talk with artist Christobal Gabarron whose works are exhibited currently at the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Free and open to the public. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Saturday, March 3 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 4 at 3 p.m. The American University Orchestra presents Heaven, Hell, and the World In Between at Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center. Program includes chamber orchestra performance of Britten’s Soirees Musicales and Rossini’s Sins From My Old Age. The AU chamber chorus women and the full orchestra also explore Christopher Theofanidis’ Rainbow Body, a celestial chant by Hildegard von Bingen, and Antonin Dvorak’s earthly Symphony No 8. Tickets: $15 general, $10 seniors. For tickets call (202) 885-ARTS or visit www.american.edu/auarts. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Sunday, March 4, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Kids@Kazen: Free To Be Me. This is an arts education program for children, ages 5-12, at the AU Museum and Katzen Arts Center Rotunda. Kids will create their own work of art inspired by artist Anil Revri’s current exhibition at the AU Museum. Cost: $10 for materials, payable with phone registration. Call 202-885-1300 to attend. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Sunday, March 4, 7 p.m.ARPILLERAS – Fabric Art of Memory and Protest. An evening with Roberta Bacic in conversation with University Chaplain Joe Eldridge. Bacic will present and discuss arpilleras/traditional story cloths, the folk art of Chile’s desaparecideos (disappeared). As a collector, curator, and workshop leader, Bacic travels the world and tells of Pinochet’s human rights abuses in Chile as reflected in the art’s “power of stitching truth.” Co-sponsored by Art and Remembrance, the Center for Human and Humanitarian Law (AU’s Washington College of Law), and the Kay Spiritual Life Center. Free and open to the public. Abramson Family Founders Room at the School of International Service. Free parking is available at AU’s Nebraska Avenue parking lot.
Tuesday, March 6, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Spring Arts Colloquia presents Broadly Speaking: Working AcrossDisciplines featuring artist Jose Lerma. This lecture/discussion series brings together four artists whose interests and creative work transcend the tradition of working in a single medium. Lerma focuses on painting while fusing strategies taken from drawing, sculpture, and installation. Free and open to the public. Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Saturday, March 17, 1 p.m. AU women’s lacrosse team plays Colgate at home. Jacobs field.
Tuesday, March 20, 7 p.m. (6:30 p.m. reception/refreshments) The 7th Annual Spring 2012 Environmental Film Series features An Evening with Chris Palmer: The Best and Worst of Wildlife Films, with a discussion of his book. Palmer also will screen the winners of this year’s Eco-Comedy Video Competition, sponsored by the Sierra Club. Free and open to the public. No reservation required. Wechsler Theatre, 3rd floor, Mary Graydon Center. Free parking at AU’s Nebraska Avenue parking lot.
Wednesday, March 21, 4 p.m. AU women’s Lacrosse team plays George Mason at home. Jacobs field.
Wednesday, March 21, 7 p.m. The 7th Annual Spring 2012 Environmental Film Series presents the Student Environmental Short Film Festival. Screenings hosted by School of Communications Professors Chris Palmer and Sandy Cannon-Brown. Free and open to the public. No reservation required. Wechsler Theatre, 3rd floor, Mary Graydon Center. Free parking at AU’s Nebraska Avenue parking lot.
Thursday, March 22, 7 p.m. The 7th Annual Spring Environmental 2012 Film Series panel discussion Now What on the challenge of producing films that have an impact on their audiences. Moderated by Chris Palmer, featuring Diane MacEachern, founder and CEO, Big Green Purse; Steve Michelson, executive producer of Specialty Studios/Video Project; and Joanna Benn, senior officer, International Policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts. Wechsler Theatre, 3rd floor, Mary Graydon Center. Free parking at AU’s Nebraska Avenue parking lot.
Thursday, March 22 – Friday, March 23 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, March 24 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.New Works Reading: Circus of Fallen Angels. Play about a prison where detainees began their incarceration as children, and part of their rehabilitation is to continually rehearse a trapeze-based adaptation of Milton’s Paradise Lost. Story focuses on one young inmate who takes the revolutionary messages of the piece to heart and plans to overthrow the prison. Contains mature themes, discretion advised. Studio Theatre at the Katzen Arts Center. Tickets: $15 general, $10 seniors. For tickets, call (202) 885-ARTS or visit www.american.edu/auarts. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Friday, March 23, 7 p.m. The 7th Annual Spring 2012 Environmental Film Series presents DC Premieres:Dying Green, plus a discussion with filmmaker Ellen Tripler and the film’s star Dr. Billy Campbell. The film focuses on the revolutionary idea of using our own death to fund land conservation and create wildlife preserves. Free and open to the public. No reservation required. Wechsler Theatre, 3rd floor, Mary Graydon Center. Free parking at AU’s Nebraska Avenue parking lot.
Saturday, March 24, 8 p.m. Yuliya Gorenman, musician in residence at AU’s Department of Performing Arts, continues with her Piano Project: Mozart Edition. Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center. Tickets: $10 - $40. For tickets, call (202) 885-ARTS or visit www.american.edu/auarts. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m. The 7th Annual Spring Environmental 2012 Film Series presents Secrets Revealed: The Sometimes Complicated, Always Entertaining Journeys of a Wildlife Filmmaker. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Kevin Bachar, founder and director of Pangolin Pictures, shows clips to illustrate the major challenges facing wildlife filmmakers in the field. Free and open to the public. No reservation required. Wechsler Theatre, 3rd floor, Mary Graydon Center. Free parking at AU’s Nebraska Avenue parking lot.
Thursday, March 29, 6 p.m. Spring Arts Colloquia presents Broadly Speaking: Working AcrossDisciplines featuring artist Sharon Hayes. This lecture/discussion series brings together four artists whose interests and creative work transcend the tradition of working in a single medium. Free and open to the public. Abramson Family Recital Hall at the Katzen Arts Center. Free parking is available under the Katzen building.
Thursday, March 29, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Armed Forces Wheelchair Basketball Game. Bender Arena. A basketball team of wounded, recovering veterans from local military hospitals faces the local National Rehabilitation Hospital’s Ambassadors team. A $5 donation is suggested. The event raises money and awareness on behalf of our nation’s wounded veterans and individuals with disabilities. Sponsored by the AU chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. Proceeds from the event go to the fraternity’s Push America philanthropy.
Thursday, March 29 – Saturday, March 31, 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 31 at 2 p.m. Musical, The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee. Music and lyrics by William Finn. Originally directed on Broadway by James Lapin. Contains mature themes, discretion is advised. Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre. 4200 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Tickets $15 general, $10 seniors. For tickets call (202) 885-ARTS or visit www.american.edu/auarts.
Saturday, March 31, 1 p.m. AU women’s lacrosse team plays Lehigh at home. Jacobs Field.