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Wente launches new University Arts Council

by Oct. 4, 2019, 9:47 AM

Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente (Vanderbilt University)
Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente (Vanderbilt University)

Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente has established a new University Arts Council to advocate for the arts and related scholarship at Vanderbilt. The launch of the University Arts Council is one component of a dynamic and multifaceted plan to elevate the arts and humanities on campus and connect further to the broader community.

“Creative expression drives innovation and human connection, which are critical to all forms of scholarship,” Wente said. “The University Arts Council will help us develop new strategies to build awareness for Vanderbilt’s extraordinary arts-related programs and initiatives and encourage more cross-disciplinary collaborations. In its inaugural year, I am asking the council to further refine its scope and charge to determine what is needed to best promote the arts in a uniquely One Vanderbilt way.”

Bonnie J. Dow, dean of academic initiatives for the College of Arts and Science and professor of communication studies, has been named chair of the University Arts Council, and Carolyn Huebl, professor of violin, is serving as vice chair.

“I am honored to lead this new council, which will make strategic recommendations to Vanderbilt’s leadership for enabling the creation, pursuit and engagement of the arts on campus,” Dow said. Dow hopes to strengthen the university’s community art partnerships; she currently serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission and the Nashville Repertory Theatre.

Formation of the University Arts Council was a recommendation of the Art Governance Committee, chaired by Professor of Musicology Cynthia Cyrus, who was serving as vice provost for learning and residential affairs when the committee issued its report.

“I am grateful to Cynthia for her leadership and the work of the committee to design institutionally appropriate structures for promotion and governance related to Vanderbilt’s arts,” Wente said. “One of the council’s responsibilities will be to make recommendations on programming related to the university’s Educational Arts Collections, ensuring that they are leveraged to advance the university’s mission in discovery and learning.”

Bonnie Dow, dean of academic initiatives, Arts and Science (Vanderbilt University)

One of two subcommittees formed under the Arts Council will provide governance of the Educational Arts Collections. The collections are comprised of holdings of the Fine Arts Gallery, historical artifacts held by the university, indoor and outdoor art on university properties and art on loan to third parties. The subcommittee will be responsible for making recommendations on acquisitions, loans, deaccessions, and placement and creation of campus art. The subcommittee will also work closely with the University Library Committee, chaired by Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Musicology Joy Calico, as they develop a strategy for acquiring art for Vanderbilt’s Special Collections.

The second subcommittee will oversee the Arts and Humanities Rapid Response Micro-Grant Fund, reviewing funding requests for faculty to pursue time-sensitive projects that will amplify and advance the university’s arts and humanities. Launched in 2018, this micro-grant fund offers faculty the ability to carry out new collaborations, ventures, projects or outreach related to the arts and humanities. The application portal is now open, and awards will be announced on a rolling basis until June 1, 2020. For more information on the application process for these micro-grants, email Schyler Turrin.

The Arts Council, the micro-grant funding program and the new arts and humanities web portal are all part of an overall action plan designed to champion the arts and humanities and support the depth and breadth of humanistic scholarship and creative expression at Vanderbilt. The action plan is aligned with the Academic Strategic Plan and responds to recommendations made by the Chancellor’s Humanities Committee’s manifesto and recommendations, the Chancellor’s Town Hall for the Arts and feedback gathered through various other channels.

University Arts Council members:

Bonnie Dow (chair), professor of communication studies and dean of academic initiatives, College of Arts and Science

Carolyn Huebl (vice-chair), professor of violin, Blair School of Music

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Fine Arts, College of Arts and Science

Jay Clayton, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English, College of Arts and Science; director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy

Frank Dobson, associate dean of The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons and faculty head of Gillette House

Dwayne Elliott, director of arts and campus events, Office of the Dean of Students

Robert Engelman, doctoral student in philosophy, College of Arts and Science

Julianna Hernandez, economics and English/creative writing major, College of Arts and Science; Vanderbilt Student Government executive committee member

Valerie Hotchkiss, university librarian; professor of English, College of Arts and Science

James Hudnut-Beumler, Distinguished Professor of American Religious History, Divinity School

ChiHee Hwang, senior artist teacher of piano, Blair School of Music

Catherine Kozak, director of strategic projects, Division of Communications

Midori Lockett, community liaison, Division of Government and Community Relations

Christopher P. Loss, associate professor of public policy and higher education, Peabody College of education and human development

Sankaran Mahadevan, John R. Murray Sr. Professor of Engineering and professor of civil and environmental engineering, School of Engineering

Kevin Murphy, Andrew W. Mellon Chair in the Humanities and professor and chair of History of Arts, College of Arts and Science

Foster Swartz, theatre major, College of Arts and Science; VUcept executive board member

Holly Tucker, Mellon Foundation Chair in the Humanities, professor of French, College of Arts and Science; director of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities

Robert Waits, university landscape architect, Campus Planning and Construction

Celia Walker, associate university librarian, special collections, engagement, and strategic assessment, acting director, Fine Arts Gallery

 

Arts and Humanities Micro-Grant Fund subcommittee members:

John Sloop (chair), associate provost for education development and technologies; professor of communication studies, College of Arts and Science

Peter Kolkay, associate professor of bassoon, Blair School of Music

Catherine McTamaney, associate professor of the practice of teaching and learning, Peabody College of education and human development

Alexandra Sargent, senior lecturer of theatre, College of Arts and Science

Hortense Spillers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English, College of Arts and Science

 

Educational Arts Collections subcommittee members:

Sally Parker (administrative chair), senior assistant provost, Office of the Provost

Michael Bressman, professor of the practice of law, Law School

Miriam Drennan, writing and communications specialist, Office of the Chancellor

Leonard Folgarait, Distinguished Professor of History of Art, College of Arts and Science

Jana Harper, associate professor of the practice of art, College of Arts and Science

Valerie Hotchkiss, university librarian; professor of English, College of Arts and Science

Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez, associate professor of literacy instruction and associate dean of graduate education, Peabody College of education and human development

Michael K. Slayton, associate professor of composition and theory and department chair, Blair School of Music

Robert Waits, university landscape architect, Campus Planning and Construction

Celia Walker, associate university librarian, special collections, engagement, and strategic assessment; acting director, Fine Arts Gallery

Christoph Zeller, associate professor of German and European studies, College of Arts and Science

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