During a three-hour session on the changing relationships between audiences and the arts, approximately 700 attendees of the American Symphony Orchestra League’s conference in Nashville in June were encouraged to blog–right then and there–about what they were hearing.

Bill Ivey and Steven Tepper, director and associate director, respectively, of the Vanderbilt Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy, had worked with and conference organizers to create the blog. For two weeks leading up to the conference, 12 bloggers jumpstarted discussion about the upcoming session’s topic with their postings, in hopes of preparing conference attendees for the live blogging session June 21. The blog can be accessed at

“This was a chance to see if audiences could engage more deeply in the conversation if they had the opportunity to react, post questions and note potential contradictions in the middle of listening,” says Tepper.


Muhammad Yunus, PhD’71, has been called many things: visionary, world leader, Nobel Prize winner. Now there’s a new addition to the list: rock star. Yunus has teamed with the European musical duo The Green Children in support of their efforts to promote micro-credit, education and health care.He even makes an appearance in a music video, which can be viewed at To date, the group has raised more than $450,000, which will be used to build an eye hospital in Bangladesh.


Mel Ziegler is the new chairman of the studio art department at Vanderbilt. Ziegler had served on the University of Texas-Austin faculty since 1997.He was a member of the City of Austin Arts Commission from 2000 to 2006 and is known for his site-specific public art. Ziegler’s body of work in collaboration with late artist Kate Ericson is the subject of a major exhibit at the Kansas City Art Institute through October, which then moves to the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati from Nov. 10 to Jan. 13, 2008. Ziegler and Ericson worked together on major projects for the Seattle transit system and the historic district of Charleston, S.C.

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