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Alumni in the News

Council enriches art, music and theater on campus

Brandeis students, do you want to spend a weekend in Connecticut painting landscapes or learn how to cast bronze statues? Interested in exploring improvisational music or discussing African art with a high profile, in-residence artist?

Thanks to the Brandeis Arts Council, you can do all that and more in the 2014-2015 academic year.  

The council recently awarded $95,000 to the three departments within the School of Creative Arts — music, theater and fine arts — for seven programs created and submitted by faculty. 

This year’s lineup of programs includes four intensive studio workshops, a dance/theater piece for undergraduate performers and a residency that will allow undergraduate and graduate composers to write music for professional musicians. 

"During the past seven years, the Arts Council has literally impacted the education of thousands of Brandeis students,” says Scott Edmiston, director of the Office of the Arts. “Whether enriching the experiences of students specifically studying the arts or engaging non-majors in memorable creative opportunities, the Council has transformed our campus.” 

The Arts Council, founded in 2007, is a group of alumni, parents and friends of the university dedicated to supporting outstanding performances, exhibitions and programs in the School of Creative Arts.  Since its foundation, the Council has given more than $700,000 to enhance the quality, impact and vitality of the arts at Brandeis. 

Among their accomplishments, the Council has sponsored the university’s first photography course and first courses in African American and feminist theatre; increased cultural diversity to the music department through MusicUnitesUS; sent fine arts students to New York City to connect with the contemporary art world; funded the first senior theatre festival; and brought many noted artists and scholars to campus to address special needs in the curriculum.

The current members are David Ash '73, Kimberly Ash '06, Harvey Baumann '64, Penny Pressman Bernstein '68, Michelle Bratsafolis '79, Adam Dinkes '95, Kathy Ennis '72, Elizabeth Jick '83, Brandeis Trustee George Krupp, Cheryl Lambert, Lisa Lewtan, Fern Gelford Lowenfels '59, Amy Merrill '69, Ellen Freeman Roth '80, Liz Rueven, P'09, '13, Mindy L. Schneider '75, Jolie E. Schwab '78, Carey '87, Barbara Cantor Sherman '54, P'83, Ann Tanenbaum '66 and Stephanie Elkind '80.

"The Arts Council is a perfect example of outstanding, generous, committed alumni and parents who deeply care about our students and want to ensure that their Brandeis arts education is second to none," Edmiston says.

Several of the 2014-2015 programs partner with departments outside of the School of Creative Arts, engaging the broader Brandeis community.

The Brandeis Improv Festival: Communicating the Unknownable, organized by Deborah Rosenstein and music lecturer Tom Hall, will explore musical improvisation as a model social change and collaborate with the education and business departments as well as theater and fine arts. 

Art from Africa and the African Diaspora, organized by fine arts professor Gannit Ankori, will partner with the Rose Art Museum and the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. Art and Gender: Global Perspectives, will offer art history classes on photography and post-war art. 

Other programs include A Night on the Clowns: An Evening of New Vaudeville; Two Dance Stories: Here There and Everywhere and Stop the Clocks; Sound Icon Residency; and Four Studio Intensive Workshops.

Date: March 26, 2014