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Andrew ChatfieldMay 3, 202310min
Students from the “Dance as Activism” course this spring will perform a new movement piece based on excerpts from Shapiro-Silverberg Distinguished Writer in Residence Mahogany L. Browne‘s poetry collection “Chrome Valley” at Lincoln Center in New York on September 9. Their performance, called “Movement Through The Valley,” received its first showing in the Bessie Schönberg Dance Studio April 14. The “Dance as Activism” course is taught by Assistant Professor of the Practice in Dance and African American Studies Joya Powell. On May 8, the class will share individual projects—solos and duets, and a workshop­—in conversation with social issues of their…

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Andrew ChatfieldApril 12, 202312min
April is Jazz Appreciation Month, which culminates on campus with the 20th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend, featuring two nights of concerts in Crowell Concert Hall. Cellist, composer, and educator Akua Dixon makes her Connecticut debut with her string quartet, Quartette Indigo, on Saturday, April 29 at 8pm. The group includes violinists Meg Okura and Frederika Krier, Judith Insell on viola, and bassist Jennifer Vincent. The Wesleyan Jazz Ensemble, directed by Noah Baerman, presents a concert with a variety of modern small-group jazz traditions and techniques on Friday, April 28 at 8pm. Assistant Professor of the Practice in Music Jin…

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Andrew ChatfieldApril 5, 20237min
A group of artists and academics came together in the first of a series of climate change conversations to examine how art can impact policy. This event is part of the Ocean Filibuster: Art and Action series—a semester of art and activism, science and storytelling—building to the Connecticut premiere performances of PearlDamour’s "Ocean Filibuster" in the CFA Theater from Thursday, May 4 through Saturday, May 6, 2023. For more information and related events, please visit www.wesleyan.edu/cfa/ocean. The first panel discussion on March 28 considered the relationship between artmaking and policy—how artists, scientists, and policymakers can be more powerful, and more able to shape…

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Andrew ChatfieldApril 5, 202310min
Does theater really change somebody? That is the question that director and Assistant Professor of Theater Katie Pearl always asks herself when she does a show about an issue she cares about. In her most recent work “Ocean Filibuster,” Pearl explores the intimate, critical relationship between humans and the ocean. “I make a play because I want to have a conversation with the topic,” Pearl said. “I like to think of the rehearsal room as a little radical ecosystem. As a director my job is to create a community that is in the conversation that the play is wanting to…

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Andrew ChatfieldMarch 22, 202312min
Through a series of intimate and informal salons, Wesleyan’s Embodying Antiracism Initiative Fellows shared some of the work they have created this year during  the program’s Think Tank. The salons are mini-festivals of arts, ideas, and activation, looking at works-in-progress and building community, said Stephanie McKee-Anderson, Executive Artistic Director of partnering organization Junebug Productions and Special Advisor to Provost Nicole Stanton. A Fellow might have the seed of a creation, so a salon could be a helpful place to dialogue about that idea, while the others might act as thought provocateurs. “What questions make a creator more excited about their…

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Andrew ChatfieldMarch 1, 202312min
Every exhibition presented in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery establishes an idea–or an argument–of what art is, how art is made, who makes art, and what art does. “With every presentation, we attempt not to narrow the answers to any of those big questions,” said Associate Director of Visual Arts and Adjunct Instructor in Art Benjamin Chaffee ’00. “We think critically about the art that is shown and also how we’re framing it.” The most recent exhibition at Zilkha has created an interesting opportunity for juxtaposition. "Liquid Gold" includes a video installation and a sculpture by Assistant Professor of…

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Andrew ChatfieldFebruary 20, 20235min
Through a series of fun masterclasses and performances, members of The Second City integrated the company’s tenets of improvisation into the curriculum of four Wesleyan performance courses. Since its premiere in 1959, The Second City has revolutionized improv as an art form and launched the careers of iconic performers ranging from John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner to Mike Myers, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Keegan-Michael Key. When Dean of the Arts and Humanities Roger Mathew Grant learned that The Second City would be available to come to Wesleyan, he thought about how improvisation is a foundational…

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Andrew ChatfieldFebruary 7, 20235min
Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts has announced the highlights of its 2023 spring season, including world premiere dance and Connecticut premiere theater and music performances, as well as solo exhibitions by both alumni and current faculty. “The Center for the Arts is thrilled to be hosting several projects that consider, with such care, different scales of human existence, memory, and sense of belonging,” said Joshua Lubin-Levy '06, Director of the Center for the Arts. “From the urgency of ‘Ocean Filibuster,’ which takes up humanity’s relationship to the vastness of the ocean, to the intimacy of Carrie Yamaoka’s ’79 in…

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Steve ScarpaFebruary 1, 20237min
In a time when the wounds of racial injustice continue to be raw in America, Wesleyan University’s Black History Month programming hopes to represent the complexity, struggles and joys of the African American experience. “We explicitly want to highlight the importance of the Black joy we are living,” said Demetrius Colvin, director of The Resource Center. “There is so much death, sadness, and trauma. We have to honor that. But an important aspect to the joy and sorrow is how people are surviving, resisting, and thriving.” The University will celebrate the month with gallery exhibits, film screenings, performances, and celebrations.…

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Steve ScarpaJanuary 3, 202311min
The past year began in uncertainty due to the global pandemic and the ongoing strife happening in our country and throughout the world. However, the Wesleyan University community persevered and thrived. Faculty explored new and innovative ideas, and students grew in ways that they couldn’t have anticipated. Throughout the year the Wesleyan Connection was there to document the life of a place that is always creative, always pushing for a better and more just world. Here’s a small sampling of the stories that mattered this past year: January The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded the Carceral Connecticut Project, a multidisciplinary…

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Andrew ChatfieldDecember 14, 20228min
Without using words, movement can tell stories and communicate complex emotions. Wesleyan students across different class years presented new group works focusing on a diversity of techniques, methods, and aesthetic approaches in the Winter Dance Concert “11 Short Stories” on December 9 and 10 in the Center for the Arts Theater. Dance makers from the class DANC 250 “Dance Composition: Choreography Workshop,” taught by Assistant Professor of the Practice in Dance Joya Powell, focused this past fall on the process of making a dance in a theatrical setting. Similar to a collection of short stories by different authors, the resulting…

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Andrew ChatfieldDecember 7, 202211min
Sports writer Seth Berkman doesn't really like covering games themselves. He’s more interested in the other stories that take place—someone's personal political views, or the way that politics or economics intertwine with sports. “How they approach…their individual value, their roles in society, their platforms that they're…given as these athletes are more and more seen as celebrities and people of influence in different countries,” said Berkman. For the past decade, New York-based journalist Berkman has contributed to The New York Times Sports section, and has also reported on business and investigative news. He initially focused on sports in Asia, as well…