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MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN:

Dear Colleagues:
With great excitement we share with you that by September of 2014, the DeVos Institute of Arts Management will relocate to the University of Maryland, College Park, joining the College of Arts and Humanities’ robust portfolio. The institute will continue its work in collaboration with the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, one of the nation's leading arts incubators. Joining the ranks of renowned arts partners the School of Music; School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies; the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library; and the Visiting Artist Program, the institute will continue to provide training to arts administrators and arts management consultation to cultural organizations, governments, and foundations nationally and internationally. There has been considerable interest in the college to  develop programs in arts management, and by adding the expertise of this new partner, we are even better positioned to shape the future of the arts worldwide. Through training, mentoring and scholarship of arts students, leaders and entrepreneurs we will be at the forefront of arts education. Over the next several months we will be discussing the details of this relationship with DeVos as well as with faculty and staff in the center and the college.  Please stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, you can learn more about our new partner by visiting the DeVos Institute of Arts Management online: http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/artsmanagement/.

Sincerely,

Bonnie Thornton Dill, Dean, College of Arts and Humanities

Martin Wollesen, Executive Director, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –The DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the Kennedy Center, a premier organization for training and supporting arts leadership, is moving to the University of Maryland. Michael M. Kaiser, a foremost expert in arts management, together with the current director Brett Egan, will lead the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland when the change becomes effective September 1, 2014.

Founded by Kaiser in 2001 after he became president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the DeVos Institute trains, supports and empowers arts managers and their boards. It has advised thousands of individuals, organizations, governments and foundations throughout the United States and in over 70 countries on six continents.

"Michael Kaiser and the DeVos Institute are the international gold standard in arts management education and consulting. To have them on our campus is an extraordinary boost to excellence and innovation in the arts at the University of Maryland," says its president Wallace Loh.

The DeVos Institute's offices, staff, and leadership team will relocate from the Kennedy Center to the university campus. At UMD, the institute will continue its important role in the arts community while working with the university on strategic initiatives in the arts.

"The Kennedy Center has been a remarkable home to the DeVos Institute and has allowed Brett Egan and me to build a sizeable education and consulting practice," says Kaiser. "I thank David Rubenstein and the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center for their unwavering support and Wallace Loh for his gracious invitation to join the University of Maryland. I look forward to increasing the institute's scope and record of service in our new home."

The DeVos Institute offers a variety of programs that provide practical training at all stages of professional development in the field, including fundraising, artistic planning, strategic planning and board development. Signature offerings include fellowships designed to prepare mid-career arts managers for executive positions and a robust board training program.

"We are very fortunate that one of the world's most well-known and well-respected arts administrators is bringing his 30 years of arts management experience and the DeVos Institute to the University of Maryland," says Mary Ann Rankin, UMD's senior vice president and provost.  "This is an extraordinary opportunity to expand arts programming and management training and to raise the profile of the arts at the University of Maryland to the highest levels."

Kaiser's extensive global leadership experience in arts management includes serving successfully as chief executive of the Royal Opera House in London, the American Ballet Theatre, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater before taking his position at the Kennedy Center. Besides founding and leading the institute, Kaiser played a key role in expanding its educational and artistic programming and oversaw major renovations to the Kennedy Center.

"Michael established the arts management training program when he arrived at the Kennedy Center in 2001 and he has nurtured it into a world-class institute," says Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. "We wish Michael the greatest of success as he guides his life's work to its full potential at the University of Maryland where the institute can benefit from the resources of a major educational institution. We look forward to future collaborations between the institute and the Center."

"Training and preparing arts managers to effectively lead artists and arts organizations is a powerful way to leverage creative talents for the benefit and enjoyment of all of us," state Betsy and Dick DeVos. "We're glad the institute's mission will continue to thrive at the University of Maryland as Michael and Brett guide the DeVos Institute to become the world's leading institution devoted to training arts managers."

Additional information about the DeVos Institute is available at www.DeVosInstitute.org.

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 $1.7 billion operating budget, secures $500 million annually in external research funding and recently completed a $1 billion dollar fundraising campaign.

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"Arial","sans-serif"">For Immediate Release, November 19, 2013

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A crowd of over 600 people filled the Dekelboum Concert Hall last night to hear actor and children’s author John Lithgow, who appeared as part of the University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities Worldwise Arts & Humanities Dean’s Lecture Series.

Known to millions as everything from a “Dirty Rotten Scoundrel” to a visiting alien, Lithgow charmed the audience with his erudite humor and his wisdom, drawing on his distinguished stage and screen career as well as his longtime commitment to American education.

In a conversation with Sheri Parks, UMD associate professor of American studies and former NPR host, Lithgow entertained the audience with a lighthearted and spirited defense of the arts and humanities.

“The humanities and arts are an indispensable part of a child’s education and development,” said Lithgow. “In an era where STEM subjects and test prep dominate the educational diet, it is essential students be provided their minimum daily allowance of this key source of nourishment and enrichment.”

Lithgow, the author of numerous children’s books, is also a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. As such, he encouraged the audience to join him in “seconding the motion” whenever the value of the arts and humanities is discussed.

The reason he said is “simple and inarguable: a society, or a nation, or a world that embraces the arts and humanities is a much better one.”

The commission’s report, “The Heart of the Matter,” released in June, has since sparked conversations across the country about the myriad reasons the humanities are vital to the future of our nation. Lithgow’s appearance at UMD added even more voices to the discussion.

Another component of the Dean's Lecture Series involves speakers interacting with students and faculty in smaller settings. Earlier in the day, Lithgow conducted a master class with UMD theatre students—a unique opportunity for them to learn from an Emmy and Tony Award winner.

“It was huge to have a seasoned professional come in and say they are doing the same work as you,” said Shane O’Loughlin, senior theatre major in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. “As artists we’re always creating, questioning and doubting if our work is right or good enough.”

Photos courtesy of John Consoli.
Class is in session with John Lithgow and students from UMD’s Theatre 425: The Actor’s Process II.

 About the University of Maryland College of Arts and Humanities

The College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland is home to over 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students, 14 academic departments, five independent research centers, and over 322 tenured and tenure-track faculty. The arts and humanities at the university cover the cultures of the world, past and present, in all their rich variety. Through teaching and research that investigates human experience, thought, expression and creativity, the college aims to educate global citizens who assess received opinion, make independent judgments, and value the transforming power of the imagination. The college is leading the way in interdisciplinary approaches to the arts and humanities by developing emerging fields like digital humanities, and offering area study programs that draw on multiple fields to open exciting, multifaceted views of such regions of the world as Latin America, the Middle East and East Asia. 

by Monette A. Bailey, Terp Magazine

If you don’t think the liberal arts involve hands-on work in the real world, think again. A new fund in the College of Arts and Humanities (ARHU) is encouraging innovative classes that will tackle problems like poverty, racism and gender equality.

A $150,000 gift from NFL Players Association President Domonique Foxworth ’04 and wife Ashley (Manning) ’06, provides seed money for faculty to plan the courses in which students design community outreach programs.

The Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative will complement existing efforts to apply arts and humanities skills—reading, writing, critical thinking and communication along with deep knowledge of culture, language and history—to real challenges. Among them are projects helping recent immigrants find their voice through poetry or using ancient Greek literature about war to help veterans discuss and make sense of their experience.

 A committee is reviewing ideas for courses; three will be introduced in Spring 2014.

“The root of many social problems is faulty thinking. The arts and humanities teach you to think both critically and empathetically,” says Michelle Rowley, associate professor of women’s studies and the project’s point person.

As an American studies major, Domonique took a social activism course that stimulated his interest in nonprofit work. After a stellar career on the Terps football team, he played cornerback for the Broncos, Falcons and Ravens, and retired with an injury in 2011. This fall he’s attending Harvard Business School.

Ashley, an English major who later graduated from Harvard Law School, also values a grassroots approach. Their initiative stemmed from conversations the couple had with ARHU Dean Bonnie Thornton Dill on how to nurture students to be more civically engaged citizens.

“We hope that students are going to be interested in helping others long after they leave school,” says Ashley.

by Liam Farrell, Terp Magazine 

It was a story conceived in one of the most primal ways possible, inspired amidst rainy nights, vivid dreams and shared ghost stories. By this fall, technology will allow people around the world to see how Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” grew from a teenager’s vision on the shores of Lake Geneva to a centerpiece of 19th-century British literature.

The Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) is a partner with the Bodleian Library at Oxford, England, and the New York Public Library in creating the digital Shelley-Godwin Archive, which has received a $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. When completed, it will have images of major works and correspondence from Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley and other writers in their circle.

Documents encompassing “Frankenstein” will be available in time for Halloween. With a longstanding debate surrounding how much of the story was written by Mary or husband Percy, students and scholars will be able to see original notebook pages in her handwriting and revisions he made.

“This allows people to understand the life of a literary work,” says Neil Fraistat, an English professor, director of MITH and Shelley scholar leading the project at Maryland.

Broader goals are to get students involved in curating online material by looking for transcription mistakes, encoding source material online and getting a critical appreciation for the documents. Then, people around the world can view original manuscripts and transcriptions side-by-side while annotating and sharing their own findings. “This is ultimately about the public and making them part of the humanities,” Fraistat says. “It allows us not just to project out what we do but to bring the public in to what we do.”

Perhaps the inspiration for the next great monster tale won’t come sitting around a campfire but in front of a computer screen

See the archive at shelleygodwinarchive.org.

10/5/13

by Broadwayworld News Desk,  broadwayworld.com

The University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) announced it will partner with the theatre departments of the Big Ten Conference schools to create a new playwriting and performance initiative. The group, known as the Big Ten Theatre Chairs plans to commission, produce and publicize as many as five new plays in an effort to influence the national dialogue about women playwrights and the sorts of scripts needed by university theatre programs for performing arts education.

The group plans to impact the dramatic underrepresentation of women playwrights in American theatre. In a recent study cited in the The New York Times, it was determined that of the 20,000 playwrights in the Dramatists Guild and on Doolee.com, an online database of playwrights, there were twice as many male playwrights as female ones, and that the men tended to be more prolific, turning out more plays. To draw attention to this imbalance and support greater gender diversity in the field, the Big Ten Theatre Chairs plan to commission women playwrights to write the initiative's first three plays.

The Big Ten Theatre Chairs also believe a need exists for a larger body of high-caliber plays with specific characteristics that make them effective tools for teaching theatre students. In response to this, they intend to commission the writing of plays that each feature up to eight roles, primarily for women actors, and predominantly for characters of an age that can be credibly played by college students.

To read more, please click here.

10/1/13

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland announced today it has received the George Meany Memorial Archive from the AFL-CIO, an extensive collection of documents, photographs, books and audio and visual recordings pertaining to this federation of labor unions based in Washington, D.C.

With materials that fill six miles of shelving, the collection is the largest such donation to the university and a boon to scholars of labor studies. Complementing other labor-related collections at the University Libraries, the AFL-CIO archive will establish the university as a top archival repository for labor history in North America.

The collection, appraised at $25 million, dates back to the mid-19th century and fills approximately 20,000 boxes.  The 40 million documents and other materials will help researchers better understand pivotal social movements in this country, including those to gain rights for women, children and minorities.

“This tremendous historic treasure covers some of the most vital periods of our history, and it needs careful exploration,” says University of Maryland President Wallace Loh. “U.S. labor history is an area of faculty strength for us, so I know it will get heavy use from the UMD community, as well as from scholars around the world. We are honored by the gift and the trust placed in our hands.”

“The archive is a game-changer for us,” says Patricia Steele, dean of UMD Libraries. “Because it is comprehensive and so rich in intellectual value, it vastly expands our ability to support researchers on this campus and beyond. The AFL-CIO collection offers unique opportunities for us to collaborate in innovative ways with academic departments, government agencies and partners from labor and industry. We are pleased leaders of the AFL-CIO placed such a high degree of confidence in us to provide a new home for their collection.” 

Additionally, Steele says, the AFL-CIO will also fund a position to support the collection by serving as a liaison with researchers, identifying components for digitization and partnering with interested groups. 

Transfer of the collection to UMD is complete. Materials will be accessible from Hornbake Library, the university’s library for special collections, which features comprehensive environmental controls, a large reading room and exhibition space. Special collections, identified as such because of their rarity or format, frequently distinguish a library’s unique offerings at a time when information is broadly available online.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, is the umbrella federation for U.S. unions, with 56 unions representing more than 12 million working men and women.
  
For more than 30 years the University Libraries have acquired archival resources that document the history of the labor movement in North America. Included in the collections are the archives of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union; the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America; the International Union of Marine Shipbuilding Workers of America; the International Labor Communications Association; and the Cigar Makers International Union.
 
UMD is situated within a key national research hub, and the UMD Libraries make up the largest university library system in the Washington D.C.-Baltimore area. The eight-library system supports the teaching, learning and research needs of students and faculty. 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland is launching a campus-wide, interdisciplinary research center designed to advance a deep understanding of language to promote human and technological solutions to real world problems.

The Maryland Language Science Center will combine the brain trust of the world's broadest and most integrated community of language scientists to connect answers to deep scientific problems—such as understanding how our brains make the richness of human language(s) possible—with solutions to real-world problems involving language in education, technology, health and security.

The center is a collaborative effort involving more than 200 language scientists, drawn from 16 departments and centers in six colleges across the university.

"Language is the foundation of what makes humans distinctive as a species. Without it, society, culture, and technology would simply not be possible," says Colin Phillips, a UMD professor of linguistics and director of the Maryland Language Science Center. "The formation of this new center will help us solve a variety of complex research problems that require the diverse expertise of faculty and students across the entire university."

Building on the established work of language scientists at the university, the new center will solve a variety of pressing global problems.  Some of this work includes early identification of language disorders in infants; narrowing education achievement gaps caused by ‘language poverty’; and building technology for information extraction and for real-time translation systems that emulate the feats of simultaneous interpreters.

"With the creation of the new Maryland Language Science Center, we are focusing on an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to language science and making it one of the university's strategic priorities," says Mary Ann Rankin, UMD's senior vice president and provost. "Through this unique collaborative model between the humanities and sciences, we will be able to create connections across campus between traditionally disparate areas and secure our spot at a global leader in language science research."

The Language Science Center will also serve as an incubator for development of new research areas that intersect with language, such as culture, genetics, automatic speech recognition, and K-12 language education.

To learn more about the Maryland Language Science Center, visit www.languagescience.umd.edu/launch.

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, Maryland is ranked No. 21 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report and No. 14 among public universities by Forbes. The Institute of Higher Education, which ranks the world’s top universities based on research, puts Maryland at No. 38 in the world, No. 29 nationally and No. 13 among U.S. public research institutions. The university is also one of the top 10 highest-rated D.C.-area employers, according to Glassdoor.com. Its faculty includes three Nobel laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, 49 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. The university is recognized for its diversity, with underrepresented students comprising one-third of the student population.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies(TDPS) is partnering with theatre departments at Big Ten Conference schools to create a new playwriting and performance initiative. The group, known as the Big Ten Theatre Chairs, plans to commission, produce and publicize as many as five new plays in an effort to influence the national dialogue about women playwrights and the sorts of scripts needed by university theatre programs for performing arts education.

The group plans to impact the dramatic underrepresentation of women playwrights in American theatre.  In a recent study cited in the The New York Times, it was determined that of the 20,000 playwrights in the Dramatists Guild and on Doolee.com, an online database of playwrights, there were twice as many male playwrights as female ones, and that the men tended to be more prolific, turning out more plays. To draw attention to this imbalance and support greater gender diversity in the field, the Big Ten Theatre Chairs plan to commission women playwrights to write the initiative’s first three plays.

The Big Ten Theatre Chairs also believe a need exists for a larger body of high-caliber plays with specific characteristics that make them effective tools for teaching theatre students.  In response to this, they intend to commission the writing of plays that each feature up to eight roles, primarily for women actors, and predominantly for characters of an age that can be credibly played by college students.

The program’s first commissioned dramatist, Naomi Iizuka, is one of the nation’s most acclaimed young authors and head of playwriting at University of California, San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Iizuka’s plays include 36 Views, Strike-Slip and Anon(ymous). Her work has been produced by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Joseph Papp Public Theatre and the New York Shakespeare Festival Actors’ Theatre. She is the recipient of a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Rockefeller Foundation MAP grant, an NEA/TCG Artist-in-Residence grant and Princeton University’s Hodder Fellowship. Her first draft of the commissioned work will be reviewed and discussed in October by the Big Ten Theatre Chairs in a meeting at Northwestern University.

“Iizuka is a generous and extremely collaborative artist,” said Leigh Wilson Smiley, director of TDPS.  “We are most excited to have this opportunity to support her creativity and enhance our students' experience with innovation through the development of a new play.”

A full draft of the new play will be completed by spring, 2014 and will be performed during the 2014-2015 season at one or more Big Ten schools.  The group plans to commission one play by a woman playwright each year for three years, and as the project progresses, will commit to additional years. If Iizuka's play is chosen for UMD’s TDPS 2014-2015 season, she will be invited to campus to workshop the play with TDPS students.

UPDATED: NOVEMBER 6, 2013

The College of Arts and Humanities
Office of Marketing and Communications
September 17, 2013

REMARKS BY DEAN THORNTON DILL TO ARHU FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS
Gildenhorn Recital Hall, Clarice Smith Center

State of the College Address 

Introduction| Building Community| Finances| Advancing our Common Purpose| Diversity|
Advocacy for the Arts and Humanities: "The Heart of the Matter"

Introduction

Just two weeks ago at the Clarice Smith Center’s 2013-14 season opener, we had the opportunity to experience the artistry of Harry Belafonte, as one of the narrators of jazz bassist Christian McBride’s four-part suite, The Movement Revisited. The performance culminated the symposium, “Civil War to Civil Rights, the Well-Being of a Nation,” a collaborative partnership between the Center, the College and the Schools of Public Health and Public Policy.  Mr. Belafonte recounted a story of an earlier visit to our campus.  Though I cannot tell the story with the emotion and impact of Mr. Belafonte, I want to share it with you now.

In the mid-1960’s Mr. Belafonte recalled performing in Cole Field house at the University of Maryland in an event that included remarks by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Belafonte commented that there were a number of security guards backstage and one had a very serious demeanor. This guard did not talk with others, smile or in any way engage his fellow officers or the guests but kept a menacing countenance. Later that evening when Mr. Belafonte returned to his accommodations, he was given an envelope that had been left there for him.  The envelope, he noted was odd, and unusually heavy.  When he opened it in his room, six bullets fell out onto the desk.  The note that accompanied them said something like this:  “These bullets are from the chamber of my service revolver.  I have carried them and been trained to use them to kill in an effort to protect. However, after what I heard and saw tonight, I have been transformed.  These bullets will never be in my possession or be used to kill another human being”.     

Mr. Belafonte’s story is a fitting tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington; an interesting insight into a possible connection between University history and the history of the nation.  But the element of the story I want to focus on is transformation, specifically the transformative power of ideas and alternative visions.

Transformation is one of the highest aspirations of our educational enterprise.  A stated aim of the College mission is to prepare our students to understand the transformative power of the imagination.  The booklet, Be Worldwise, the Dean’s Lecture Series and research video series encourages members of our community to transform themselves through knowledge, experiences and ideas gleaned from encounters with the values and perspectives of the arts and humanities. 

Transformation was among my goals when I took the position as dean.  While I hold no illusions that changes I might initiate would be as profound as the kind of transformation described by the security officer, I continue to focus on making our accomplishments more widely known and better understood both on campus and off. The Year in Review for 2012-13 is in preparation and will be released later this fall. And, though we will not launch another 8-part faculty video series this year, we are planning to take advantage of an important new video about the arts, humanities and social sciences as a way to showcase the importance of our work. 

From the outset, I have framed my goals as building community and advancing our common purpose.  Since then, I return each fall to give you an update on our progress; to announce new initiatives and to share my perspective on the overall well-being of the college. Today, I want to do just that.

Building Community 

As you know, we’ve faced difficult financial times over the past several years.  Nevertheless, we’ve taken a few important steps.  With the funds we received for merit and COLA for this fiscal year - after five years with neither, and with furloughs - we took deliberate steps to begin to address issues of salary compression. In collaborations between units and the office of the dean we were able to devise strategies and direct resources to make a small dent in this large problem. We know we cannot right the compounded problems of five or more years in one year, but we now have an approach that includes affirmative steps toward improving the situation.

Under the leadership of Laura Nichols (WMST), staff members in the College have been working over the past year to develop a formal staff group that would parallel the Collegiate Council. This group would meet regularly with the dean and help to create a sense of community for ARHU staff, identify opportunities for professional development, create new avenues for communication, and provide a means for staff to become more knowledgeable about and connected with the mission and vision of the College.  

Finances

The college budget continues to improve but the process is slow and it does not fully address the major challenges we face, especially when it comes to supporting our instructional load. The underfunding of our college relative to our contributions to undergraduate education is an old story. Over the last five years, ARHU has provided approximately one quarter of all undergraduate credit hours but received far less than its proportionate share of the state budget.   Part of my job is to identify these inequities and fight to overcome them.  And, while I have reason to believe the new provost understands and wants to address this, I don’t expect that it will happen this year. 

On the positive side, the college has made great strides both through sponsored research and gifts.  In the three most recent fiscal years, research award dollars have increased 18.5% thanks largely to the National Foreign Language Center, the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, the Department of Linguistics and MITH.  Our research support activities in the College have increased and we are offering grant-writing workshops and providing consultations in grant preparation. 

Last year, the University closed the Great Expectations capital campaign having raised a record $1 Billion.  ARHU raised over $59 million of that amount and doubled the number of ARHU donors that contributed to the prior campaign.  Our efforts to launch new programs and fulfill our visions are greatly enhanced by our ability to raise external dollars to support them.

Advancing our Common Purpose

Another important way we increase our impact and realize the programs we envision is through partnerships that promote research, scholarly and educational excellence.

I want to highlight a few of our successes.

Arts and Humanities Institute

The Arts and Humanities Institute is in development and will be a dynamic and synergistic locus for interdisciplinary and applied arts and humanities research and scholarship. Through an innovative adaptation of a design school model, the Institute will stimulate, represent, and share the dynamic intellectual enterprise of the College of Arts and Humanities. It will serve as an incubator for change encouraging new initiatives in programmatic development and scholarly excellence. It will provide a transdisciplinary arena for scholars in the arts and humanities to demonstrate the nimbleness and breadth of the college in consideration of and application to the most pressing questions of our time.  As an example, the Baltimore Think-a-thon, held in May in partnership with the UM Carey Law School, was a gathering of artists, scholars and Baltimore community leaders that identified and brainstormed solutions to the city’s most pressing social problems. 

Corcoran Partnership

Closely related is the Integrated Arts initiative in the Visual Arts.  As many of you know, earlier this year the University entered into an agreement to consider a partnership with the Corcoran Gallery and College of Art and Design in Washington D.C.  Throughout the summer, faculty in our departments of Art and Art History along with the directors of Driskell Center and the Art Gallery participated in a task force that engaged in an intensive process of review and due diligence. The report and recommendations will be forthcoming soon.  The outcome will depend on actions to be taken by Corcoran’s Board of Directors and the State Board of Regents.  At this point, President Loh is engaged in discussions with both groups.

This process has brought the strengths, challenges and opportunities involved in building the visual arts to the attention of the campus, and President Loh repeatedly says that a great university must be strong in the arts and humanities, not just in the sciences. He sees this partnership as having the potential to catapult our capacities and stature in this area. 

Regardless of the outcome with the Corcoran, the process has built cross-campus relationships and generated new ideas and energy that can strengthen internal partnerships and promote future collaborations between the visual arts the performing arts, the humanities, architecture, engineering, and the rest of the campus.  For ARHU, this Corcoran initiative has led to awareness of and engagement in the arts and humanities all the way up to the level of the State Board of Regents.

Language Science

Next week, Provost Rankin and VP for Research Patrick O’Shea will formally announce a major initiative in which ARHU plays a key role; the formation of the Maryland Language Science Center (launched September 27, 2013). The Center, led by our linguistics department, is a collaborative effort involving language scientists, drawn from 14 departments and centers in 6 colleges across the university. Its goal is to foster interdisciplinary research and training that will advance a deep understanding of language, promote global engagement and deliver world-class solutions to some of society’s most pressing language problems in education, technology, and health.  Please stay tuned for more details and the full announcement.

Graduate Studies in Interpretation and Translation

Earlier this month, we had a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication of the lab for the new Graduate Studies in Interpreting and Translation program in the Department of Communication. The official opening of this program with a first cohort of 25 students makes the University of Maryland the first public university in the United States to provide a comprehensive training program for interpreters and translators.  The program, which offers M.P.S. degrees and certificates, is an outgrowth of partnerships with the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund all of whom were represented by their top people in the field at the dedication.  The possibilities for this program, however, were cemented by a donor, Mr. Jack Cassell whose generous gift of state of the art equipment emerged from his belief that giving back to the industry in which he had made his living was “the right thing to do.”

Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative

This fall, we are also excited to launch the Foxworth Creative Enterprise Initiative funded by Domonique (AMST, ’04) and Ashley Foxworth (English ’06).  As young alumni of color, their support signals a new and important direction in giving to the College.  The Initiative will provide funds for the development of courses that bring students into a collaborative learning and working relationship with members of underrepresented communities on the Maryland campus and in its surrounding environs.  The announcement was sent out yesterday and I hope that those of you interested in creating such a course will go to the information session and submit a proposal.

Whether working in interdisciplinary partnerships or as independent scholars, our faculty continue to garner a number of prestigious national awards as well as important campus recognitions.  While you can learn about these in greater detail on the ARHU website or in the forthcoming Year in Review, I would like to acknowledge a few of them today.  In the past year a number our colleagues have received national awards including a Guggenheim, a Tony nomination, Year-long NEH Awards, along with numerous book awards.   Campus level awards that deserve special recognition are: Professors Robert Levine, who will be honored as a Distinguished University Professor and Marilee Lindemann, who will receive the Kirwan Undergraduate Education Award at the University Convocation on October 8th.  Professor Christina Hanhardt received the Undergraduate Studies Program Teaching Award; the Department of American Studies received the Ethnic Minority Achievement Award as Outstanding Instructional Unit and Professor Lisa Mar received their Outstanding Faculty Award. Professor Sangeeta Ray was awarded Outstanding Director of Graduate Studies and Professors Laura Demaria and Psyche Williams-Forson were named Graduate Faculty Mentors of the Year.  There are numerous other outstanding faculty accomplishments and I’m sure that there are some important awards that I have inadvertently overlooked.  Nevertheless, my goal here is not just to recognize individual colleagues but to demonstrate that accomplishment at the highest levels characterize our community.

You have met our thirteen (13) new faculty and as you can see from the bios in the program, we continue to attract to our campus people with stellar accomplishments and exceptional promise.  The responsibility of those of us who are seasoned faculty is to provide the resources, intellectual climate and mentoring that will permit the talents of our new faculty to bloom and encourage them to remain rooted in University of Maryland soil.  

Diversity

Linking our efforts to build community with our goals of excellence in education and scholarship is our Diversity Initiative.  Excellence in ARHU depends upon our having a diverse faculty, staff and student body along with an inclusive and supportive environment that nurtures growth and productivity.

In November 2011, I appointed a Diversity Task Force that has since examined available data, both quantitative and qualitative, and held a series of focus groups with undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff to assess the College’s current standing as related to diversity and inclusion.  Last spring they presented their report.  Using the data analysis and recommendations of that report, we have prepared an implementation plan.

The plan entitled Diversity, Inclusion and Equity: Task Force Report and College Implementation Plan outlines goals, objectives and actions in accordance with the three goals set forth in the university’s strategic plan for diversity, which focus on policies and structures; climate, and vision. The full Task Force report and College implementation plan will be posted online within the next couple of weeks, but I’d like to give you a few examples of what you will find when you read it:

The first Goal is: The College will provide the leadership and infrastructure needed to create a more diverse and inclusive College population.  The second, The College will create a climate in which diversity; inclusion and equity are valued and realized at both the College and Unit levels.  And the third, The College will develop a vision of diverse academic programs that make diversity and inclusion intentional in teaching and learning across the curriculum. 

Examples of implementation actions are that each member of the Dean’s senior staff  as well as unit heads are tasked with identifying specific actions related to diversity, inclusion and equity to be accomplished as part of their yearly goals.  A second example of an implementation action is for departments to have forward-looking discussions about curriculum, the anticipated make-up of their students and faculty and the relationship between them.

Be on the lookout for the announcement. I encourage you to review the plan carefully and share your ideas for implementation within your unit and within the college.

Finally, a key component of the College’s diversity efforts is our participation in the Advance Program.  ARHU’s Advance professor this year is professor Laura Rosenthal from the English Department. Laura will be working with the dean’s office, the Advance program, and most importantly with our faculty to help facilitate the college’s actions in addressing issues of diversity.  

Advocacy for the Arts and Humanities: "The Heart of the Matter"

Each year I’ve said something about advocacy for the Arts and Humanities because it is a major part of my work and the work of the college.  Our research and scholarship, our exhibitions and creative performances speak well for themselves to those who choose to listen, but increasingly we find that we must devise new ways to be heard over the din of a growing anti-intellectual and utilitarian discourse. 

Recently, debate and discussion about the future of the arts and humanities; it’s viability; it’s importance in this era of big data, technological innovation, and tight job markets increased in intensity after several Republican governors –in Texas, Florida and Wisconsin publically questioned the value of liberal arts instruction. They focused on majors in the arts, humanities and social sciences offered at public colleges and universities and they threatened to defund these programs.[1] As faculty and staff of the flagship university in our state it is important that we are aware of and engaged in this national discourse even as we critique its basic assumptions.  Our University’s mission, “to create and apply knowledge for the benefit of the economy and culture of the State, the region, the nation, and beyond,“[2] requires no less of us.

This year, we’ve chosen to approach our advocacy by engaging in a partnership with the American Academy of Arts and Sciences through dialogue on the report produced by their Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. That report, “The Heart of the Matter,” was created in response to a bipartisan request from members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that asked the commission to:  identify “the top actions that Congress, state governments, universities, foundations, educators, individual benefactors, and others should take now to maintain excellence in humanities and social scientific scholarship and education, and to achieve long-term national goals for our intellectual and economic well-being; for a stronger, more vibrant civil society; and for the success of cultural diplomacy in the 21st century?”[3]

Our participation in this dialogue will be highlighted through Be Worldwise: The ARHU Dean’s Lecture Series which will feature two members of the commission:  John Lithgow, the actor and Annette Gordon-Reid, professor of law, professor of history and professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.  

The Commission has produced a companion video that frames a conversation that we will continue throughout the year.  I want to close with a brief clip which I hope will inspire you to view the entire video on the college website, read the report, and join us in transforming public discourse on the arts and humanities. 

Thank you for your attention.  Let’s Party!

[1] Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/30/north-carolina-governor-joins-chorus-republicans-critical-liberal-arts#ixzz2eWDgsGeh
[2] Mission and Goals Statement, University of Maryland, College Park. Approved by the Board of Regents on February 1, 2006
[3] American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Heart of the Matter. Cambridge Ma: 2013, p 6.

 

8/22/13

By Virginia Terhune, Gazette.Net

Martin Wollesen plans to bring the same inventiveness to his new job as executive director of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College Park that he did to his previous job in California.

“I’m really excited about making the move,” said Wollesen, who succeeds Susie Farr on Oct. 1,

Farr is retiring after 14 years as executive director of the arts center at the University of Maryland,

Wollesen will be working with the UMD School of Music and also the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies. He will also be overseeing the visiting artists’ program, raising funds and finding new ways to connect students and the public to the arts at the university.

For the past nine years, Wollesen has been director of events and artistic director for ArtPower!, the program for visiting artists at the University of California in San Diego.

During his years there, he earned a reputation for innovation as a way to engage both nonperforming students and general audiences in music, dance, and film programs.

Read more here

 

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