On May 8, members of the Wesleyan community gathered in the CFA Courtyard for an invigorating performance filled with the rhythms of West Africa. Performing were choreographer Iddi Saaka, artist in residence in the dance department, and master drummer Abraham Adzenyah, adjunct professor of music, together with their students in three levels of West African dance courses, plus guest artists. After almost five decades at Wesleyan, Adzenyah will retire in May 2016. To honor his cultural contributions and to recognize his rich professorial and performing legacy, alumni, students, colleagues, and friends are hoping to “drum up” enough support to raise $300,000 for an endowed scholarship in his name. (Photos by Laurie Kenney.)
Tag Archive for CFA
by Laurie Kenney •
Wesleyan’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) has been awarded a four-year, $100,000 grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to support the participation of low-income students and students of color in ICPP’s master’s and certificate programs through the ICPP Scholarship Fund.
Founded in 2010 and housed at Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts, ICPP is a center for the academic study of the presentation and contextualization of contemporary performance, and offers an interdisciplinary, graduate-level education in innovative and relevant curatorial approaches to developing and presenting time-based art. Starting in July 2015, the institute will offer a master’s degree in performance curation. ICPP’s ten-month, post-graduate certificate program is now in its fourth year.
“We are extremely grateful for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s critical support for the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance’s expanded offerings,” said ICPP Director Samuel A. Miller ’75. “These funds will allow us to significantly enhance access to both our master’s and certificate programs.”
by Olivia Drake •
“A World of Dreams—New Landscape Paintings” by Professor of Art Tula Telfair will be on exhibit Sept. 16 through Dec. 7 at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. The exhibit’s opening reception will be held 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at the gallery.
“A World of Dreams” includes new large-scale paintings in which Telfair presents monumental landscapes and epic-scale vistas that are simultaneously awe-inspiring and intimate. She combines stillness with motion, solitude with universality, and definition with suggestion in her bold and quiet works. This is her second exhibition in the Zilkha Gallery.
All paintings are oil on canvas.
“The work for this show is entirely different. The subjects are different, the techniques are different in each painting, and from piece to piece,” she explained. “There is a lot of diversity of images in this exhibition that reflect a broad range of environments from the Antarctic to the jungles of Africa to rolling fields and soaring mountains. There are a full range of landscapes.”
Telfair’s contemporary paintings demonstrate the spirit and potency
by Olivia Drake •
More than 20 student bands participated in THE MASH on Sept. 5. Inspired by Fete de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, the third-annual event highlighted the student music scene at Wesleyan and kicked off the year-long campus and community-wide Music & Public Life initiative.
Bands performed concurrently on stages at Olin Library, the Butterfields, North College and at the base of Foss Hill.
Bands and soloists included Jacob & The Masters, Quasimodal, David Stouck, Mixolydians, Andrew Hove, Slavei, all-caps LADD, Materiq, Trillion Dollar Boys Club (Butts Reunion Tour 2k14), jdv plus™, MFDP, Don Froot, Mazel Tones, Sam Wasn’t There, Veeblefetzer, Rhys feat. Matt Chilton, Isaac Butler-Brown, Tomato Goblin, Jack and Katie, Banjoshi and Chef. The faculty-staff band, Smokin’ Lilies, also performed.
THE MASH is co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Green Street Arts Center. (Photos by Harry Jiang ’18, Gabe Rosenberg ’16 and Jack Gorlin ’16)
by Olivia Drake •
Next summer, Wesleyan’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) will offer a new Master of Arts in Performance Curation degree program, in addition to the permanent establishment of the Certificate Program in Performance Curation.
The Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance was founded in 2010, and introduced as a pilot initiative in 2011, by Wesleyan graduates Samuel Miller ’75 and Pamela Tatge, director of the Center for the Arts, in partnership with Judy Hussie-Taylor and New York’s Danspace Project. ICPP is the first institute of its kind, a center for the academic study of the presentation and contextualization of contemporary performance. Distinct from graduate programs in Curatorial Studies, Arts Administration, Performance Studies, and the Humanities, ICPP offers its students a graduate-level education in innovative and relevant curatorial approaches to developing and presenting time-based art.
The new MA is a two-year, low residency program that can be pursued concurrently with one’s existing professional responsibilities.
by Olivia Drake •
by Mike Sembos •
by Olivia Drake •
The Center for the Arts received an unsolicited national grant award of $400,000 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in November 2013. The CFA is one of five arts organizations that will receive a total of $3.5 million in funding to help further develop long-term capacity to respond to changing conditions in the performing arts sector and the world at large, including those related to demographics, audience behavior and the impact of technology.
The grants were not open for application. Instead, an anonymous panel identified five organizations that have demonstrated a sustained appetite to innovate and experiment in ways that inform and lead their respective fields. Each organization will go through an organizational self-analysis, followed by an external assessment. Then they will develop and implement strategies and tactics to best enhance their long-term capacity to adapt.
The grantees will receive support over a period of up to four years. Appropriate uses of this money include, but are not limited to, staff expansion, creation of capital reserves, professional development, technology, board and staff retreats, convenings and consultants.
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The Foundation’s Arts Program focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them.
“This exciting award really speaks to the CFA’s tradition – 40 years and counting – of building a community of creativity and experimentation,” said Wesleyan President Michael Roth. “Under Director Pamela Tatge’s leadership our Center for the Arts has found ways to engage an increasingly diverse audience. An award like this also recognizes and supports Wesleyan’s extraordinary commitment to the arts.”
by Kate Carlisle •
A $50,000 grant to Wesleyan from the National Endowment for the Arts will support dance programs at the Center for the Arts and poetry initiatives at Wesleyan University Press.
The award, announced by the NEA Dec. 11, recognizes the university’s commitment to the arts across all forms of artistic expression. It includes a $30,000 grant to the CFA, the ninth NEA award to the dance programs. That represents a 50 percent increase over the 2012-2013 season grant supporting the Breaking Ground Dance Series.
“Support from the National Endowment for the Arts has been central to our ability to fulfill our mission to become a vibrant center for dance in the state, and to bring contemporary dance to audiences who might not otherwise be able to access it,” said Pamela Tatge, director of the CFA. “We are grateful for the vote of confidence that this grant implies.”
The Breaking Ground series, now in its 14th season, features cutting-edge choreography, world-renowned companies, and groups that push the boundaries of the art form. Past companies featured in the series include Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, Chunky Move and Compagnie Marie Chouinard.
The $20,000 earmarked for Wesleyan University Press will support the publication and distribution of books of poetry, to be promoted through author tours, book trailers, social media and free online teaching guides.
“We are delighted with this grant to support the poetry list,” said Suzanna Tamminen, director of the Press. “We currently publish six poetry titles per year and try to maintain a mix of established and new poets, and translations of contemporary and modernist poetry.”
In 2013, Tamminen said, Wes Press will publish The Tatters, an elegy for the end of the pristine natural world, by Brenda Coultas; In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems, 1987-2011, the first “selected” volume by critically acclaimed poet Peter Gizzi, and Favor of Crows, a collection of original haiku from a preeminent Native American poet and novelist, Gerald Vizenor.
Poetry was among the first areas that Wesleyan University Press published in when it was established in 1957. Since the beginning, the press has been committed to pushing the boundaries of both poetic form and the imagination, and over the years, Wesleyan poets have earned many honors including Pulitzer Prizes and National Book Awards.
The grant counts toward Wesleyan’s multi-year $400 million fundraising effort supporting access, inquiry and impact across university programs.
by Kate Carlisle •
Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts is the recipient of a $400,000 grant recognizing the CFA as an innovator and leader among arts organizations.
The unsolicited gift from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is one of five – totaling $3.5 million – given to arts centers around the country. It recognizes these centers for their “adaptability” to changing conditions in the arts sector and is intended to support the groups’ ongoing capacity to respond to these changes, according to the foundation.
“We understand that most organizations do not have enough, if any, “change capital’ – funds they can devote to maximizing their ability,” said Ben Cameron, program director for the arts at the foundation.
These changes include conditions related to demographics, audience behavior and the impact of technology.
“This exciting award really speaks to the CFA’s tradition – 40 years and counting – of building a community of creativity and experimentation,” said President Michael Roth. “Under (Director) Pam Tatge’s leadership our Center for the Arts has found ways to engage an increasingly diverse audience. An award like this also recognizes and supports Wesleyan’s extraordinary commitment to the arts.”
The grants were not open for application. An anonymous panel identified five organizations that demonstrated a sustained appetite to innovate and experiment.
The support will be given over a period of up to four years, and appropriate uses of the money include staff expansion, creation of capital reserves, professional development, technology, board and staff retreats and consultants.
“This grant came as a complete surprise to me and the staff of the CFA,” said Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts. “We are honored to be recognized in this important way. This grant will allow us to lay the groundwork for continued innovation and exciting programs that serve the campus and community, and advance the creativity of Wesleyan faculty and students and the talented artists we bring to campus.”
The grant counts toward Wesleyan’s multi-year, $400 million THIS IS WHY campaign celebrating access, inquiry and impact.
At this time the program is a unique, one-time event, according to the Doris Duke Foundation. The other grantees were: the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.; the Oregon Shakespeare Festive in Ashland, Ore.; Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. (where Howard Shalwitz ’74 is artistic director) and On the Boards of Seattle, Wash.
Read more about notable recent CFA initiatives here:
The Creative Campus Initiative (http://www.wesleyan.edu/creativecampus/crossingdisciplines); the Feet to the Fire program
and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (http://www.wesleyan.edu/icpp).
by Olivia Drake •
The Center for the Arts presented the 37th annual Navaratri Festival, celebrating the traditional culture of India with performances by some of the country’s leading artists on Oct. 10-13. One of India’s major festival celebrations, Navaratri is a time to see family and friends, enjoy music and dance, and seek blessings for new endeavors.
“For us Indian musicians traveling all over the world and especially in the U.S., this campus has been a place of great respect and wonder because of its ability to sustain this program for over 30 years,” said tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, who also performed during the 2010 festival. “It is a privilege and a blessing to be a part of this incredible environment.”
The 37th annual Navaratri Festival was supported by the Music Department, the Center for the Arts, the Jon B. Higgins Memorial Fund, the Madhu Reddy Endowed Fund for Indian Music and Dance at Wesleyan University, the Raga Club of Connecticut, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Middlesex Community College, Haveli Indian Restaurant and individual patrons.
by Bill Fisher •
Recorded at the campus-wide MASH music festival Sept. 6, this video EP features full-length original songs performed by Wesleyan bands Molly Rocket and the Crooks, Robert Don, Novelty Daughter and Sky Bars.
The MASH is co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts, the Office of Student Affairs and the Green Street Arts Center. This second annual festival is a legacy event of Music & Public Life. Watch this video and many others on the Video @ Wesleyan website.