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3/22/16

By Ashley O'Connor, The Diamondback

Photo courtesy of Victoria Robinson

In light of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities government agencies, a panel met with the University of Maryland's arts and humanities college to discuss the agencies' status and their place in the future.

Jane Chu, the 11th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and William Adams, the 10th chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, joined Bonnie Thornton Dill, the arts and humanities dean, for the discussion Tuesday evening at the Gildenhorn Recital Hall in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

"We want all Americans to have an opportunity to be involved in the arts," Chu said.

Sheri Parks, the college's associate dean for research, interdisciplinary scholarship and programming, moderated the conversation in front of about 40 people.

Parks asked the panelists how they believe the arts and humanities can be better integrated in today's society, in which the arts are commonly cut out of school budgets. Entering her current position, Dill said, she had to explain the value it has for students, families and future generations.

Chu said a major problem in declining arts education programs is a lack of participation.

"Eleven million Americans want to participate in the arts, but don't," she said.

Many people who have mobility difficulties could have trouble getting to arts and humanities centers, or feel there are challenges to bringing kids to access the arts, but these barriers can be broken down, Chu said. She mentioned she would like to see arts programs implemented in all public schools.

It's important to show that art education not only provides a skill set, but can also be correlated with better performance in other classes, Chu said. For example, she said, a recent study revealed a correlation between art classes and higher grades in science classes.

"The pipeline is about making kids able to think wisely and be creative, not necessarily like the arts," Chu said.

Read more here.

3/22/16

Written by Tom Hall & Rob Sivak, WYPR

If it’s true that every person has a story, is it also true that every city has one too?  What is Baltimore’s Story?  What narratives have emerged since the traumatic events following the death of Freddie Gray, and what do those narratives tell us about Baltimore’s identity?  Such questions are at the core of a new series of public events beginning Wednesday called Baltimore Stories: Narratives and the Life of an American City.

Joining Tom in the studio with a preview of this innovative, community-driven series are two of its guiding lights:  Sheri Parks, Associate Dean at the University of Maryland's College of Arts and Humanities in College Park, and Dr. Phoebe Stein, Executive Director of the MD Humanities Council.

Read more and listen to podcast  here 

The Baltimore Stories project has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is a collaboration between the University of Maryland, Maryland Humanities Council, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.

To learn more: go.umd.edu/BmoreStories

6137 McKeldin Library Special Events Room
Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

The day after the Public Forum, the Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy invites campus researchers and artists to

Gildenhorn Recital Hall, The Clarice
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 5:30 PM

The arts and humanities help us to understand the human experience and examine critical issues, such as power and in

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt is asking an important question for the world of professional golf after Tiger Woods’ victory at the Masters Tournament nearly 20 years ago: “Why haven’t more African Americans joined the game?” 

In collaboration with the University of Maryland’s Arts and Humanities Center for Synergy, Van Pelt is moderating a daylong symposium, “Race, Social Class and Professional Golf,” on Friday, March 4, to ask and address questions of race and social class in professional golf.

Van Pelt believes it is important that we engage in a dialogue on issues of race and culture and how we use language in framing controversial topics. As this year’s Masters Tournament approaches in April, questions of diversity in sports resurface in our conversations and in the media.

The symposium is free and open to the public. To register, click here.

Van Pelt has been covering golf for years. He kickstarted his sportscasting career at the Golf Channel and then moved on to ESPN, where he currently serves as a presenter for SportsCenter and is one of the network’s top golf correspondents. He covers major golf tournaments including the Masters Tournament and the U.S. Open.

This is an arts and humanities themed race discussion to support the campus’s initiative–The Maryland Dialogues on Diversity and Community–a series of events that aims to help advance discussions of identity, difference and commonality. The Maryland Dialogues (include link) emphasize issues of race and racism, not in isolation but in relation to issues of gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity and language, each of which will be the focus of future lectures and symposiums on campus.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Maryland’s Golf Course and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. 

Media space is limited; credentialed media only; advance media registration required.

WHEN:

Friday, March 4, 2016, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

9 a.m. – Welcome, Bonnie Thornton Dill, professor and dean, College of Arts and Humanities

Introduction: Scott Van Pelt, alumnus, ESPN commentator and anchor, SportsCenter

9:15 a.m. – Session 1: Journalists and industry officials

  • Steve Burkowski, reporter and producer, Golf Central, Golf Channel
  • George Bradford, alumnus, PGA golfer

10:30 a.m. – Session 2: Academics and authors

  • Othello Harris, sports sociologist, professor, University of Miami of Ohio
  • Jane Stangl, dean, first-year class, Smith College; sports sociologist, consultant to LPGA
  • Rose Harper, founder, Grass Ceiling Inc.; originator, Golf Digest Minority Golf Summit and PGA Tour Wives Association

Noon – Lunch break

1:30 p.m. – Session 3: The life and work of an African American golfer

  • Harold Varner III, PGA golfer

3 p.m. – Session 4: Q/A and action recommendations

  • Jon Guhl, Middle Atlantic executive director, PGA 
  • Clint Sanchez, executive director, The First Tee of Greater Washington, D.C.

WHERE:

University of Maryland Golf Course, 3800 Golf Course Road, College Park, MD 20742

MEDIA:

Media coverage of the event is welcome; however, space is limited and restricted to credentialed media who have pre-registered. Media badges will be distributed on site.

To register, media representatives should send email requests and RSVP to:

Nicky Everette, director of marketing and communications for the College of Arts and Humanities, at meve@umd.edu or 301-405-6714.

Please indicate: name(s) and position(s), media affiliation, credentials possessed [these will be required at check-in] and full contact information so we can confirm your request. We will email you a confirmation of your registration, along with parking and check-in details.

University of Maryland Golf Course
Friday, March 04, 2016 - 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

A daylong symposium investigating the issues of race and social class in professional golf.

Gildenhorn Recital Hall, The Clarice
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Come celebrate NEA and NEH's 50th anniversaries by discussing the societal impacts of the arts and humanities.

Written by Taylor Swaak, The Diamondback

Photo Courtesy of The Diamondback

Bergis Jules and Ed Summers developed a vision to efficiently amass millions of tweets and make them more accessible to the public after the social media explosion that followed Michael Brown's death in August 2014.

"The images and the videos were so powerful," said Jules, university and political papers archivist at the University of California, Riverside. "That got me thinking that there's something going on here, and we need to try and capture this as best as we can."

A year and a half later, The University of Maryland's Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities — in collaboration with UC Riverside and Washington University in St. Louis — announced Jan. 20 a $517,000 two-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the "Documenting the Now: Supporting Scholarly Use and Preservation of Social Media Content" project.

Read more here

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A $225,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded to the College of Arts and Humanities at University of Maryland (UMD) and the Maryland Humanities Council will fund a series of public programs that are designed to explore the way citizens of Baltimore are thinking about the narratives that influence the life and identity of the city. Major partners will include the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance

The initiative, Baltimore Stories: Narratives and the Life of an American City (Baltimore Stories), seeks to establish a model that utilizes humanities scholarship— literature, history, philosophy, communication, art and cultural studies—to produce print and digital materials that help frame and contextualize narratives of race in American cities. The project will also shine a spotlight on the ongoing, collaborative work being done in Baltimore neighborhoods by universities and non-profit organizations. 

“During the uprising, Baltimore residents had lively conversations about the stories that shape our perceptions of each other,” said Sheri Parks, co-project director of the initiative and associate dean for research and interdisciplinary programming in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland. “We are elated to use this grant as a platform to continue these conversations.”

 The NEH announced yesterday $21.8 million in grants, including $3.6 million devoted to new “Humanities in the Public Square” grants that support community discussions on the relevance of the humanities to civic life.  

“We are honored to answer the call that NEH Chairman Adams issued earlier this year to use the humanities to ‘take up the grand challenges of our time,’” said Phoebe Stein, co-project director of the initiative and executive director of the Maryland Humanities Council. “The equity that needs to be created here in Baltimore, and across much of the nation, can begin with the humanities as they give us contexts for understanding and addressing this inequity and the narratives that undergird it. The humanities facilitate the conversations that can ultimately contribute to solutions.”

The idea for Baltimore Stories was born from UMD’s third annual Baltimore ThinkAThon, which was held April 30, 2015 in the midst of the Baltimore protests. Over 100 participants from the state’s major cultural institutions gathered to demonstrate the efficacy of humanities-based ideas and methods in the real world.  Many proposed projects centered on the way stories shaped the understanding of the protests, and narrative emerged as a central concern.

“Narrative or the collectives of stories we tell ourselves and each other is also a major focus of the humanities, so we hope to help citizens investigate and contextualize the past, present and future to uncover truths and move communities toward reconciliation,” said Parks.

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
The University of Maryland is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 37,000 students, 9,000 faculty and staff, and 250 academic programs. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 49 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The institution has a $1.8 billion operating budget, secures $500 million annually in external research funding and recently completed a $1 billion fundraising campaign. For more information, visit www.umd.edu.

ABOUT THE MARYLAND HUMANITIES COUNCIL
The Maryland Humanities Council is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports educational experiences in the humanities that inspire all Marylanders to embrace lifelong learning, exchange ideas openly, and enrich their communities. For more information, visit www.mdhc.org. The Maryland Humanities Council is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Maryland, and the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES  
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

The following faculty have been selected as 2015-16 Foxworth Faculty. The grant will allow faculty to create and implement courses that utilize the arts and humanities to help contextualize and present pressing societal issues.

This initiative is made possible by the generosity of two college alumni, Domonique and Ashley Foxworth. Domonique, Class of 2004, is a graduate of American Studies and Ashley, ’06, is an English alumna. The Foxworth Initiative is intended to support learning that brings students in contact with their surrounding communities as partners and allies in practices that help transform and bring about social justice. Courses supported by the initiative provide students with skills and critical thinking that support continued community engagement beyond their college career. For more information, visit www.arhu.umd.edu/foxworth.

FOXWORTH FACULTY COHORT:

Faculty Lead: Karen Bradley, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies

Course: Essence, Identity, and Empowerment through the Arts: A Project for High Point High School

Social Issues: Adolescent identity, at risk youth

Approach: This course will focus on arts practices that develop habits of mind, heart and body/spirit in 14-25-year-olds. The primary purpose of this course is to train future arts educators for challenged students. These educators will learn to help students at risk of violence and anomie find voice and identity, and develop community through arts practices. UMD students will develop these skills in themselves and apply them to high school students at High Point High School. UMD students will design and lead arts experiences through methods, such as free drawing, acting exercises and slam poetry, while becoming advocates for arts integration in the school community.

Community Benefit: Students at High Point High School face issues of poverty, loss of community and identity, and oftentimes, trauma issues. UMD students will guide them toward access to focus, adaptability, a sense of self, self-efficacy and regulation skills, as well as organization, observation, analysis,, choice-making, predicting and communication skills via performance. In no way will every high school student achieve all of these, but they will be introduced to these concepts and experience practices that can lead to understanding and skill development. 

 

Faculty Lead: Audra Buck-Coleman, Department of Art

Courses: Advanced Graphic Design Principles: Design in Society and Three Dimensional Graphic Design

Social Issues: Adolescent identity, at-risk youth, social protest, structural racism and inequality

Approach: Over the course of two semesters, UMD senior graphic design students will collaborate with students from Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts, a public high school in West Baltimore. Together they will leverage their creative skills to respond to the media’s negative and one-dimensional portrayal of the Baltimore students and their community during last year’s uprising. They will produce a series of creative works that promote positive, well-rounded notions of the students’ identities and the Baltimore community and that address the timeless and timely issues of structural racism, identity, unrest and self-agency as they relate to the Baltimore uprising. Their works will be exhibited at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore from April through August 2016, coinciding with the first anniversary of Freddie Gray’s death. The exhibition will include participatory elements to engage audiences and add their insights to these important conversations.

Community Benefit: Through their interactions, the high school students’ personal narratives and opinions will reshape UMD students’ understandings about identity, privilege and representation. The Baltimore students will be empowered on various levels: they will be given an opportunity and a means with which to re-write narratives about themselves and their community; they will understand how to use creative means as productive expression; they will also gain knowledge regarding artistic practices and contemporary technology with hopes that these exposures may positively affect the way in which they imagine their education or professional endeavors beyond high school.

 

Faculty Lead: Roberta Z. Lavine, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Course: Spanish for Health Professions

Social Issues: Cultural competence shortages in health professions

Approach: This course will allow students to explore the need for Spanish-English cultural and linguistic competency in health-related contexts. Students will partner with the Health Center to focus on outreach for Spanish-speaking dining services workers on campus. In class and in the outreach experience, students will examine and develop their own cultural competency by exploring identities, critically analyzing and solving problems, learning collaboratively and meaningfully interacting with members of other cultures. They will learn with and from the targeted campus community to develop strategies to advance culturally and linguistically appropriate health services on campus.

Community Benefit: The two tangible types of benefits to the clients are gaining health literacy and understanding how to maintain wellness, in culturally appropriate interactions that value and involve the workers themselves. In a respectful and participatory environment, the chances of client follow-through on health interventions are increased. UMD students will be able to explore and analyze their multiple identities and have real-world experiences working with Latino communities.

 

Faculty Lead: Jason Kuo, Department of Art History and Archaeology

Course: Aging and Creativity: Older Artists in Our Community

Social Issues: Ageism

Approach: This highly experiential and interdisciplinary course will engage students in the experience of the maturing artist through studying literature, attending guest lectures and conducting interviews and site-visits with older artists in the community. Interviews with selected artists will allow students to assist in documenting the artists’ life and art. These tasks will incorporate the disciplines of art history, gerontology and museum studies for students to ultimately shape an exhibition at the Brentwood Arts Exchange devoted to arts created by people over the age of 65. This will involve applying the research and experience from throughout the course to select the works, design the space, organize public programs and publish the exhibition catalog, brochures and wall labels.

Community Benefit: The contemporary art world focuses its attention on young emerging artists, creating difficulty for maturing artists to enter or re-enter public view. The goal of this course is to help their art become better recognized, documented, publicly exhibited and appreciated by our community. Research has demonstrated that community-based cultural programs for older adults are effective in health promotion, disease prevention and reduction in the need for long-term care. UMD students will benefit from the intergenerational interaction by gaining perspective of the ageist practices in the art world and the creative vitality that can be found in the maturing artist community.

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