You are here: American University Community Relations Newsletter June 2018 Neighborhood Newsletter

AU in the Neighborhood

June 2018

Community Liaison Committee Meets June 7

Community Liaison Committee meeting

American University’s Community Liaison Committee (CLC) will hold a quarterly meeting on Thursday, June 7.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Abramson Family Founders Room in the School of International Service (SIS) building on the university’s main campus (4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW). Neighbors are invited to join AU staff at 6 p.m. for pre-meeting coffee and conversation. Parking for the meeting is available in the SIS garage.

The CLC was established to foster positive relations and to maintain regular communication between the university and its neighbors. As specified in the D.C. Zoning Commission Order for AU’s 10-year Campus Plan, the CLC comprises individuals from neighboring community organizations and representatives from the university.

Additional information on the CLC, including meeting agendas and minutes can be found at

Neighborhood Movie Night Slated for August 17

Promotional poster for the movie Coco

Mark your calendars now for August 17 and plan to bring a picnic and the whole family to campus for an outdoor screening of the animated hit movie, Coco.

The movie is the story of Miguel, an aspiring musician, who is confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music. He enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

The movie will be screened at the Woods-Brown Amphitheatre at 8 p.m. and will include a special performance by local legend The Great Zucchini. Free popcorn will be provided, and all are welcome to attend.

For additional information, contact Andrew Huff, Director of Community Relations at 885-2167 or

AU to Receive Works from Corcoran Art Collection

Artwork from the Corcoran collection

As part of one of the largest free art distributions in U.S. history, American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center has been offered nearly 9,000 works from the Corcoran Art Collection.

"American University Museum is excited about the opportunity to share this rich collection with our students, scholars, the Washington community, and beyond," said Jack Rasmussen, director and curator of AU Museum. "This collection will enhance the museum's longstanding commitment to exhibiting works by artists who hail from diverse backgrounds and encompass many artistic styles and ranges."

The proposed acquisition includes paintings, works on paper, photographs, sculpture, and textiles. Works by history's most masterful artists are represented, including Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt. Other prominent artists include 16th-century Italian painter Titian, a contemporary of Michelangelo; German Renaissance painter and printmaker Albrecht Durer; American artists Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and Andy Warhol; 18th-century British portraitist Thomas Gainsborough; French Impressionist Charles Francois Daubigny; and American sculptor Louise Nevelson.

Also included are works are by both modern and contemporary Washington, DC artists, including members of the Washington Color School and figurative artists Sarah Baker, Manon Cleary and Claudia DeMonte.

"William Corcoran's dedication to presenting works by American artists led to his collecting an exceptional body of 19th-century art from Washington D.C., representing the simultaneously national and local identities of art in the emerging capital city," Rasmussen said.

The proposed Corcoran gift also would supplement the museum's collection of work by female artists and artists of color, in alignment with the legacy of the American University Art History department as a leader in feminist art history and the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

American University has invested in a new storage facility in AU's Spring Valley Building where the paintings, prints, and sculptures would be housed. The university has upgraded its collections management software to accommodate the collection and will work with the registrars at the National Gallery of Art to incorporate data about the collection.

In support of this acquisition, American University has launched a funding initiative designed to update the museum's exhibition and storage space, to include a redesign of the second-floor galleries. Further investment also will include a study room for use by AU students, faculty, visiting scholars, as well as museum staff who will assess and care for the collection.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, one of the first private museums in the United States, was established in 1869 and expanded in 1880 to include the Corcoran College of Art and Design. It closed in 2014.

AU and Casey Trees Partnership Continues

A person works in a garden

American University and Casey Trees are pleased to announce the continuation of a decades-long partnership that to date has resulted in hundreds of trees planted on and around the AU campus. Next up for the university and Casey Trees is the planting of 100 donated trees along University Avenue. The new trees will be planted on both the university and public side of the existing fence and will enhance the natural wooded buffer between the street and campus.

American University’s Grounds Manager and certified arborist Stephanie Destefano said, “We appreciate the donation of these 100 new native trees to our collection. Trees are a very important component of our campus and we now have in excess of 3,000 trees and more than 200 species and varieties on display in our arboretum and gardens.”

Neighbors are invited to join in the planting, which will take place on Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9. Additional information and sign-up are available on the Casey Trees website at

Casey Trees is a D.C.-based nonprofit, established in 2002, committed to restoring, enhancing and protecting the tree canopy of the nation’s capital. To fulfill its mission, Casey Trees plants trees, engages thousands of volunteers of all ages in tree planting and care, provides year-round continuing education courses, monitors the city’s tree canopy, develops interactive online tree tools, and works with elected officials, developers, and community groups to protect and care for existing trees and encourages the addition of new ones.

Latitude: Washington Women's Arts Center 1975-1987 at the Alper Initiative

People standing in front of the Washington Women's Arts Center

Among the new exhibitions at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center this summer is Latitude: The Washington Women's Arts Center 1975-1987.

The exhibition features the art of former Washington Women’s Arts Center (WWAC) members and exhibitors. It will showcase 90-plus works produced over a decade and some of which are iconic of that time. The show brings back the energy, passion, and talent of members when the WWAC was, for many, “the only show in town.” Recent works by WWAC artists will be featured in a slideshow and select interviews with members will appear in an accompanying documentary, Voices from the Washington Women’s Arts Center. This exhibition is sponsored by the Alper Initiative for Washington Art.

The Washington Women’s Arts Center was created in 1975 as a non-profit organization that provided professional support and opportunities for women in the arts. Throughout its history, the WWAC also sponsored speakers, produced literary and visual arts journals, and collaborated with other organizations to raise the profile of women artists in the Washington D.C. area and around the country.

Calendar and Events

AU Farmers' Market

June 6, 13, 20, 27, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Quad Space in front of Mary Graydon Center

Every Wednesday, the quad space around the Mary Graydon building buzzes with activity as students, faculty, staff, and neighbors browse goods ranging from farm-fresh vegetables to homemade breads and desserts at the AU Farmers' Market. The market is a coordinated effort between AU and Pennsylvania-based Agora Farms. Girardot's Crumbs Bakery also offers a variety of fresh breads as well as chocolate chip cookies, mini pies, and cobblers.

Yoga in the Galleries

June 6, 13, 20, 27, 10 a.m.
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

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

Latitude: The Washington Women’s Arts Center 1975 – 1987

June 16 – August 12, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum

This exhibition features the art of former Washington Women’s Arts Center (WWAC) members and exhibitors. Curated by Françoise Yohalem, it will showcase 90-plus works produced between 1975 – 1987, some of which are iconic of that time. The show brings back the energy, passion, and talent of members when the WWAC was, for many, “the only show in town.” Recent works by WWAC artists will be featured in a slideshow and select interviews with members will appear in an accompanying documentary, Voices from the Washington Women’s Arts Center. This exhibition is sponsored by the Alper Initiative for Washington Art.

Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective

June 16 – August 12, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum

Originally curated by Anita O'Brien at the Cartoon Museum, London, the Ralph Steadman Retrospective offers phenomenal insights into the genius of one of the world's most acclaimed artists. This exhibition takes the viewer on a journey through Steadman's prolific career of more than sixty years, from the sketches he created as a student in the 1950s to present-day pictures. The retrospective showcases Steadman's legendary collaborations with maverick gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson; his illustrated literary classics such as Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island; and the inventive books he authored such as I Leonardo and The Big I Am. There also are illustrations from his children's books, which include No Room to Swing a Cat and That's My Dad, plus artworks from his travels with Oddbins Wine Merchants and his iconic packaging for Flying Dog Brewery.

Things Unseen: The Fluency of Abstraction

June 16 – August 12, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum

Exploring themes suggested by internationally-acclaimed artist Sam Gilliam, this exhibition features artists Adrienne Gaither, Alteronce Gumby, Allen Jackson, and David Smedley. These artists use abstraction as a conduit to express their keen observations. The broad implications of the exhibition signify the fluency of abstraction and its many interpretations. What is absent is present. The artists explore the unseen through abstract sculpture, painting, and photography.

Opening Reception

June 16 – August 12, 6 – 9 p.m.
Katzen Museum

Mix and mingle with fellow museum patrons and meet the artists and curators behind the four new summer exhibitions. Free and open to the public.

Screening of For No Good Reason

June 21, 4 – 6 p.m.
Katzen Museum

Made over the course of fifteen years, For No Good Reason explores the connection between life and art through the eyes of the last original gonzo visionary, Ralph Steadman. Take a trip through the wild and dark days of Steadman’s time with Hunter S. Thompson while munching on popcorn and sipping refreshments provided by Jim Caruso, CEO of Flying Dog Brewery. Shown in conjunction with the exhibition Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective.

“Pushing Boundaries” by Ellouise Schoettler

June 24, 2 – 3 p.m.
Katzen Museum

Local cable host, producer, and nationally-known storyteller Ellouise Schoettler will perform at the museum. A former member of the Washington Women’s Arts Center (WWAC), Schoettler has been an “eyewitness” to history of women artists. Taking the audience back to the 1970s Second Wave Women’s Movement and her experience in grassroots movements, Schoettler will describe an experience with the WWAC that had far-reaching effects for her political activism. “Pushing Boundaries” is a funny and sometimes poignant peek of how a 1950s housewife with I Love Lucy enthusiasm morphed into a National ERA activist. This event is free and open to the public.

Drawing Tools You Can Use With Beverly Ress

June 26, 2 – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum

This six-session class with artist Beverly Ress teaches the basic components of drawing representationally, translating the three-dimensional scene to the two-dimensional plane of paper. The cost is $200 for the entire course.

Art On Tap With Ralph Steadman

June 30, 12 – 2 p.m.
Katzen Museum

Bring your sketchbook for some lunchtime inspiration! Guests will tour Ralph Steadman: A Retrospective before enjoying refreshments while Skyping with Ralph.