Creative Encounters

header to summer issue of Creative Endeavors

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Summer 2014 Table of Contents

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Emory explores black aesthetics with renowned scholars and artists in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute.

Black Aesthetics

Detail from Oliver Lee Jackson's "Untitled," 05.21.95, Collection of Wanda Malone Harrison

By R. Candy Tate, DAH

At the heart of the Center for Creativity & Arts' mission are stimulating collaborations and interdisciplinary exploration. The National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored the collaborative project titled "Black Aesthetics and African Centered Cultural Expressions: Sacred Systems in the Nexus between Cultural Studies, Religion and Philosophy." It was held July 13 - August 1, 2014.

The partnership led by Pellom McDaniels III, co-director of the NEH Institute, and assistant professor of African American studies at Emory and curator of African American Collections in Emory's Manuscript Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL) included the CCA with the Department of African American Studies, the Library's MARBL, and faculty in other Emory departments and other universities.  In total, five other Emory faculty members guided 25 summer scholars and 15 guest lecturers in the interdisciplinary exploration of visual and performing arts.

McDaniels shared, "The focus of the Black Aesthetics Institute was on expanding our understanding of the significance of history and memory on the performances and reception of art produced within the context of the African diaspora, and meanings relevant to twenty-first century definitions of blackness." University teachers and scholars had the opportunity to examine the past, present and future of black aesthetics, the cultural significance of African diasporic art in all forms, and how it is presently defined, understood and applied."

The institute was a historic moment convening contemporary intellectuals that produced the following outcomes:

  • To provide a new framework for understanding particular works of art - visual, literary and spiritual-as protean objects of ongoing reconstitution.
  • To promote the study, reflection and examination of the origins of black artistic performances as embedded cultural narratives.
  • To inspire new scholarship, publications, artwork and performances reflective of a fresh understanding of African centered expressive culture.

Building bridges across the city, NEH summer scholars used a plethora of regional archival resources including Emory's MARBL, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American History and Culture, and the special collections at the Atlanta University Center's Robert W. Woodruff Library. Emory's NEH Institute also partnered with the National Black Arts Festival, Hammonds House Museum, Georgia Institute of Technology's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and the Carter Presidential Museum. Yale University's Afro-American Cultural Center also partnered with Emory's NEH Institute to share their 45th anniversary with Atlanta alumni who participated in the Robert Farris Thompson lecture held on July 15 at the Michael C. Carlos Museum.

"The summer scholars left Emory's NEH Institute invigorated and interest was revived in this area of black aesthetic scholarship for future research and intellectual inquiry," said McDaniels.


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title to Playwriting story

Theater Studies and the Creative Writing Program select first fellow in playwriting.

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Edith Freni © Bruce McConkey

By Caitlin Ryan and Rachael Walters

Emory University's Department of Theater Studies and Creative Writing Program are delighted to announce a new two-year fellowship in Playwriting at Emory University. Edith Freni has been selected as the 2014-2016 Fellow and will begin her tenure in August 2014.

This two-year fellowship is among the first of its kind, and is one of only a few existing university creative writing fellowships dedicated to supporting the work of playwrights. Developed as part of Theater Emory's commitment to creating new work, the fellowship provides a budding playwright, and his or her students, with opportunities to break new ground in dramatic writing.

"If you want to make theater that is transformative, you need to create an atmosphere that is open to experimentation and artistic risk-taking," says Janice Akers, Artistic Director of Theater Emory. "Artists need to know that their ideas are welcome and that they can pursue aspirations they might not be allowed to pursue in other circumstances."

Freni, a native of New York City, received her BFA and MFA in Dramatic Writing from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Her work has been produced, developed and read at institutions including New York Theatre Workshop, LAByrinth Theatre Company, The Public Theatre, Williamstown Theater Festival and Ensemble Studio Theater, among many others. In 2013-2014, Freni was a Mellon Foundation Commissioned Playwright at the Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago. During Emory's 2014 Brave New Works festival, Freni presented selections from two new works "A Work of Pure Fiction" and "Total Power Exchange," a nominee for the 2014 L. Arnold Weissberger Award, both directed by Donald McManus.

As Emory's first Playwriting Fellow, Freni will work closely with the Playwriting Center of Theater Emory and contribute a new play to Brave New Works, their biennial festival. She will also teach three courses, including a playwriting workshop, dramatic literature course, and an additional course suited to the fellow's particular strengths and interests.

"I'm really looking forward to working with students who have committed themselves to a focus in playwriting," Freni says. "The idea of teaching three classes a year sounded very appealing to me because it would allow for ample time to focus on my own work and really devote myself to course prep and mentoring of student playwrights, something I've become very passionate over the last four years."


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The Center for Creativity & Arts "Artist Survival Skills" series provides students with professional know-how and networking opportunities.

Networking Night

Students and arts professionals network at the Arts & Enterntainment Networking Night

By Caitlin Ryan

The CCA seeks to provide professional development opportunities to student artists through targeted workshops, panels and networking nights. Organized in partnership with the Emory Career Center, the "Artist Survival Series" provides students with the skills necessary to succeed as working artists and creative professionals in the 21st century. Sessions during 2013-2014 included grant writing workshops, an arts internship panel and resume workshop, a panel on graduate school in the arts, and the popular Careers in Arts & Entertainment Networking Night.

Grant writing workshops form the cornerstone of the Artist Survival Series and directly supports one of the CCA's key initiatives: the biannually award CCA Project Grants. This year, we offered two workshops on grant writing with slightly different emphases.

In October, Emory alumna and co-artistic director of The Lucky Penny Blake Beckham (01C) led "Grant Writing for Artists," which attracted both Emory students and Atlanta community members. As an artist, entrepreneur and professional grant-writer, Beckham was able to provide participants with useful tips on finding arts grants and articulating artistic vision effectively in a proposal. The spring "Grant Writing for Creative Scholars" workshop, led by Katie Cupello, PhD candidate in Art History, focused on arts research proposals, encouraging students in the arts to apply for SIRE (Scholarly Inquiry and Research at Emory) grants and teaching the skills Cupello acquired through the Laney Graduate School and the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry's Grant Writing Program.

A student favorite, the 2014 Careers in Arts & Entertainment Networking Night was a huge success, with 65 Atlanta arts professionals (many of them Emory alums) in diverse fields, such as museums and galleries, advertising and PR, creative writing, journalism, arts non-profits, arts administration, entertainment law, theater, dance, music, film and more. Unlike a typical "job fair," where guests stand behind tables and collect resumes, the Networking Night provides students with the opportunity to ask questions and hone their networking skills in a relaxed, comfortable environment. Around 150 students from all years and a variety of majors were in attendance, creating a lively atmosphere in the (rather small!) Winship Ballroom.

At the end of the event, students were asked to fill out a survey and answer the question "What was the most valuable thing you took away from this event?" Answers ranged from students getting information about graduate school in Music, to seeing the broad range of careers in arts management, to "There's no specific path to achieve careers-what a comforting thought!"
In 2014-2015, we hope to continue offering these programs and expanding our range of events. By working with the incoming STIPE Society for Creative Scholar Fellows, we hope we can identify further skills students are looking to build.

Alumni interested in contributing to the Survival Skills series or participating in Network Night may email

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Atlanta Nonprofits Benefit from Student Art Projects

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The goal was simple: Unite Emory students and Atlanta artists to create socially engaged artwork that helps raise public awareness for Atlanta nonprofits.

The result? Artistic solutions hand-tailored to each nonprofit that was revealed during a public unveiling of final class projects for the Southwest Airlines Art and Social Engagement Course on April 8 in the Cox Hall Ballroom.

The project-the first of its kind offered through the Emory Center for Ethics-focused on identifying the needs of three Atlanta-area nonprofits: Trees Atlanta, which protects and improves Atlanta's urban forest; Gateway Center, which helps individuals and families move out of homelessness; and Forever Family, which supports children with incarcerated parents.

Click here for the entire Emory News Article

Click here for a link to the coverage of the Southwest Airlines Art & Social Engagement Project that aired on WSB TV's People 2 People


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title to Honors

Art History title

Student Honors

Senior Honors Theses

Trey Hollingsworth, High Honors
Kendyll Gross, High Honors

Art History Department Awards

The John Howett Prize in Art History
Jena Patel will travel to England, visiting buildings designed by Sir Christopher Wren and Inigo Jones as she formulates a topic for her Honors thesis.

The John Howett Fellowship for Advanced Study in Art History
Margaret Gregg will travel to Japan to visit disaster-relief housing, the subject of her award winning research paper.

The Dorothy Fletcher Paper Prize
Margaret Gregg
Daniel J. Majarwitz

Other Achievements

Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Summer Academy at the High Museum of Art
Adefolakunmi Adenugba

creative writing

Faculty honors

Jericho Brown will publish his second collection of poetry The New Testament in September 2014, published by Copper Canyon Press. His poem "I Corinthians 13:11" was published in the November 2, 2013 issue of The New Republic.

Natasha Trethewey completed her second term as 19th Poet Laureate of the United States. The William Meredith Foundation/Dryad Press published a chapbook of her poems entitled Congregation. This is a collection of the poems that were published in her non-fiction book Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as well as one poem that has not been previously collected.

Kevin Young Published a new poetry collection, Book of Hours: Poems, in March 2014. The publisher is Knopf. His 2012 book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (published by Graywolf Press) won the PEN Open Award, fall 2013. The Gray Album previously won the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and was a 2012 New York Times Notable Book.

student honors

Creative Writing/English Department Awards

English Department's Annual Competition for Best Essay

Undergraduate: Rachael Bottoms
Undergraduate: Logan Lockner

Graduate: Dori Coblentz
Honorable Mention Graduate: Hannah Markley

Academy of American Poets Prize for Best Poetry Written by an Emory Student
Emory Bell
Honorable Mention: Turner Byrd

Artistine Mann Award in Poetry for Best Poetry Written by an Emory Undergraduate
Su Rin Cho
Honorable Mention: Maya Bradford

Artistine Mann Award in Fiction for Best Fiction Written by an Emory Undergraduate
Maya Bradford
Honorable Mention: Zachary Kelly

Artistine Mann Award in Playwriting for Best Play Written by an Emory Undergraduate
Jake Krakovsky
Honorable Mention: Anna Millard

Artistine Mann Award in Creative Nonfiction for Best Nonfiction Written by an Emory Undergraduate
Emily Gutierrez
Honorable Mention: Anthony Walner

Agnes Nixon and Kiki McCabe Prize for Screenwriting for Best Screenplay Written by an Emory Undergraduate
Grace (Young Eun) Kim
Honorable Mention: Kevin Rodriguez

The Andrea De Man Award for Excellence in English
Rachael Bottoms

The Harry and Sue Rusche Scholarship
Lucy Webster

Grace Abernethy Scholarship in Creative Writing
Je Eun Park

Emory University Awards

Sudler Prize in the Arts
Emory Bell

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Faculty honors

Gregory Catellier premiered pre-suf-fixes, a reconfiguration of older work with two new pieces examining BODY. "two thoughts," was commissioned for nine women at Callenwolde. "zwischenzug" was a solo created for Kyle Mosler at the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance and Cepi Corpus, Cepi Choros; the anatomy suite premiered as part of Tanz Farm: Series Four, at The Goat Farm.

Anna Leo created "A Murmuration of Starlings" for the Emory Dance Company and Agnes Scott College and choreographed for The Sapelo Project in Theater Emory's Brave New Works. She continues to study Iyengar Yoga, investigating the crossover of technical concepts between yoga and dance techniques. She presented East Meets West: Dance Technique Concepts Accessed Through Yoga, (paper) at the International Conference on Teaching Somatics-based Dance Technique: Brockport, NY (June 20-June 23, 2013) and Warrior Woman Pantoum, at the Women and Girls in Georgia Conference: University of Georgia at Athens in October.

To date, Sally Radell's research looking at the impact of mirrors in the ballet class on body image and performance has resulted in eight research publications, two additional online publications, two national conference presentations, and four international conference presentations.  She received a research grant to support data analysis from the Deans Program Fund.

George Staib's Snap was a new evening-length work presented at Fabrifaction Theatre. "Nectar" was created for the Emory Dance Company and selected for adjudication at the American College Dance Conference.  He also collaborated with Jan Akers in Theater Emory on Free/Fall, presented "Chamber" at the Inman Park Festival and presented several works in Teater, Pero and Italy. Choreographic commissions include Itawamba College in Mississippi, and The Saraceno Dance Company in Stockhom, Sweden. He was an invited guest for the GA Governors Honors Program, the Israeli Exposure conference in Tel Aviv, where he gave a public talk about the globalization of Israeli Modern Dance, and the New Grounds Dance Conference in Tampa, FL.

Lori Teague's Disrupt was part of EDGE in Unexpected Spaces in January. CORE Performance Company commissioned three regional choreographers to create original site specific works with the common curatorial thread, "turning everyday spaces into works of art," for performances within the rotunda and architecture of The Healey Building in Atlanta's downtown business district. She collaborated with Jan Akers of Theater Emory, a cast of sixteen (including Emory dance and theater alumni), and composer Kendall Simpson in Free/Fall:an exploration of Inner and Outer Space. Teague explored risk, vulnerability, and qualitative states in the body.  She presented SPEAK with alumni of Moving in the Spirit at the Women and Girls in Georgia Conference: University of Georgia at Athens in October.

student honors

Senior Honors Thesis

Emily Hammond, A Choreographic Exploration of Site Context (research and performance)

Dance Program Awards

The Pioneer Award
Ari Shaw-Faber

Sally A. Radell Friends of Dance Scholarship
Sarah Freeman and Loris Takori will attend the Stabidance Sumer Intensive in Sorrento, Italy

Film and media title

Faculty honors

Matthew Bernstein provided the scholarly commentary for the Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD release of Riot in Cell Block 11.

student honors

Annie Hall Undergraduate Award, First Place
Michael Hamilton
Dana Sokolowski

Annie Hall Undergraduate Award, Second Place
Malika Gumpangkum
Emily Moore

Annie Hall Graduate Award
Mixon Robinson
Honorable Mention: Andrew Young

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Faculty honors

Bradley Howard was appointed Southeastern Regional Director of Auditions for the Metropolitan Opera National Council.

Richard Prior had three performances of his commissioned work "of shadow and light" (incantations for orchestra) given by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under conductor Robert Spano. Vega String Quartet premiered his second string quartet, his Symphony No. 3 was performed in Chicago by the Northwestern Symphony, and he directed the Cairo National Symphony in Egypt in performances of the same work to close their 2013-2014 season. The Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Prior performed at New York's Lincoln Center with distinguished guests Donna and Marvin Schwartz and Ted Turner in attendance.

student honors

Senior Honors Theses

Maglyn Bertrand, soprano
Jee Young Kim, research/piano
Xiaqing (Carey) Shi, piano
Zhe Sun, composition

Music Department Awards

Friends of Music from the Heart Award
Benito Thompson, violin
Paul Nguyen, vocal/piano

Friends of Music Rising Senior Award
Rebecca Flank, viola

Friends of Music Senior Award
Donae Forth, soprano

Emory Concerto and Aria Competition Winner
Laure Anne Taylor, Junior, mezzo-soprano

Other Awards

Atlanta Music Club Scholarship Competition (undergraduate division)
1st place - Xiaqing (Carey) Shi, piano

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus Robert Shaw Memorial Outstanding Singer Award
Naomi Newton, Sophomore, soprano

Brevard Music Center Scholarship for Summer Study
Xiaqing (Carey) Shi, piano

Humanities Honors Fellowship from the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry for Spring 2014
Maglyn Bertrand, soprano

Smithsonian Internship Appointment
Maglyn Bertrand, soprano

State of Georgia, Junior Division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition Winner
Laure Anne Taylor, Junior, mezzo-soprano

theater title

Faculty honoes

Jan Akers directed Free/Fall, Theater Emory's first co-production with the Emory Dance Program, and collaborated with Lori Teague, George Staib, and Kendall Simpson to create, with the company, an original script and an innovative structure.

John Ammerman co-founded The Refuge Theater, and its first production, Conversation at Night with a Despised Character, is bound to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, with support from the University Research Committee. The production was premiered at Emory in April. This summer John is directing a musical adaptation of Twelfth Night at the Virginia Shakespeare Festival.

Michael Evenden received the Fine Faculty Award for outstanding teaching in theater studies. In 2013-14, Michael has done dramaturgical work at Actor's Express, Oglethorpe University, and Essential Theater, as well as at Theater Emory.

Adam Fristoe appeared in Venus in Fur at Actor's Express and elemeno pea at Horizon Theater.

Edith Freni was awarded the 2014-2014 Fellowship in Playwriting from Theater Studies and the Creative Writing Program. Her two year fellowship will being fall 2014.

Aaron Mayer was hired as the new Technical Director of Theater Emory and Lecturer in Theater Studies.

Donald McManus performed David Fennario's Bolsheviki: A Dead Serious Comedy (premiered at Emory in 2012) at Emory and as a benefit for the Democratic Socialists of Georgia in Decatur.

Mary Lynn Owen appeared in Six Degrees of Separation at Actor's Express.

Malina Rodriguez was hired as the Assistant Technical Director and Shop Foreman of Theater Emory.

Leslie Taylor designed the set for the Actor's Express production of End of the Rainbow and will be designing for the Alliance Theater's 2014-15 adaptation of Natasha Trethewey's Native Guard. Leslie co-taught with Anna Leo of Dance a Freshman Seminar on the Art of Eating, which connected via Emory's Community Engaged Learning Initiative with Maynard Jackson High School, where Emory students partnered with a dance class to create a dance/theater piece around the theme of "You Are What You Eat."

Student Honors

Senior Honors Theses

Emma Calabrese, The Mother of a Nation: A Historical and Theatrical Exploration of the Devolution of Mother Ireland. Thesis Performance: Mathair

Maya L. HubbardConscious Gender Performance: Reappropriating Women's Bodies Through Performance. Thesis Performance: Franca Rame's A Woman Alone

Jake KrakovskyA Fox in the Tunis: Comedy and Calamity in Pursuit of a New Holocaust Theater. Thesis Performance: Yankl on the Moon

Michael Lewis, Scenic Design for Macbeth, presented by Theater Emory

Anna Millard (Playwriting): What My Mother Told Me, full-length play

Theater at Emory Awards

Alice N. Benston Award in Theater Studies
Michael Lewis
Jacob Krakovsky

Brenda Bynum Theater at Emory Award
Jana Muschinski

Fine Award in Acting
Julia Weeks

Friends of Theater at Emory Award
Cody Read
Emma Calabrese
Taylor Claire "TC" Kinser
Libby Mickle
(professional stage manager)

Friends of Theater at Emory Summer Grant recipients
Kelly Spicer
Julia Weeks
Kristen Wilty

Emory College Awards

Sudler Prize in the Arts Award
Jake Krakovsky

Stipe Society for Creative Scholars Award (2014-2015)
Julia Weeks

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship
Troizel Carr

Summer Internships and Activities

India Duranthon, Administration Intern and Playwriting for Girls intern
Maya Hubbard, Literary Intern, Alliance Theater
Michael Lewis will work with Lucky Penny this summer, then he is off to PCPA in Santa Maria, CA - which is celebrating 50 years of producing - for work in scenic design.
Jana Muschinski will work on a production of Hedda Gabler in the BRB, with support from the Center for Creativity & Arts and the Stipe Society,
Ari Shaw-Faber will be working at the Bates Dance Festival in Maine.
Ian Trutt, Directing Intern at Berkshire Theatre Group in Massachusetts
Charles Wang will be working with Serenbe Playhouse.
Julia Weeks, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Summer Apprentice Program
Kristen Wilty, Electrics Intern at Virginia Shakespeare Festival

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Center for C&A

Creativity & Arts Award Winners

Matthew Bernstein, Emory University Faculty
Cathy Fox, Community Impact Arts Administrator
The Creatives Project, Community Impact Organization
Marium Khalid, Community Impact Artist
DaVida Lee-Williams, Emory Heathcare
Yu-Kai Lin, Emory University Alumni
Robert McKay, Emory University Staff
Wayland Moore, Emory Healthcare Volunteer
Henry Siegelson, Emory University Volunteer
Benito Thompson, Emory College Undergraduate

CCA Project Grants

Academic Year 2013-2014: Faculty/Staff

Gregory Catellier (Dance Program), pre-suf-fixes, faculty dance concert
Sarah Emerson (Visual Arts), Faculty Exhibition
Diane Kemplar (Visual Arts), Ganesha Puja
David Levinson (Creative Writing), A Comprehensive Guide to Good, Clean Southern Living & Dying, a novel
Laura Noel (Visual Arts), Give/Swap/Receive
William Ransom (Music), Eugene Skovorodnikov Master Class & Piano Recital
Laura Emiko Soltis (Visual Arts), Freedom University Photography Project

Academic Year 2013-2014: Students

Stephanie Chan (Anthropology), Hanging Identities
Emily Hammond (Dance and Movement Studies), A Choreographic Exploration of Site Context
Jake Krakovsky (Theater Studies), "Chelm" Project - Honors Thesis
Olivia Luz (Film and Media Studies), Celluloid Vs. Digital Film Research

Summer 2014: Students

Meredith Metcalf (Film and Media Studies), Untitled Short Film Comedy
Jana Muschinski (Theater and Dance), HEDDA GABLER
James Crissman (Visual Arts), The Tourist Photographic Experience at Bryce Canyon

CCA Stipe

Julia Hudgins, Music

Laura Ngounou, Film

Sarah Seaborn, Dance

Anthony Walner, Creative Writing

Julia Weeks, Theater


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Friends of the CCA

Friends of the Arts title

Contributions to the Center for Creativity & Arts help advance the center's mission to shape a creative campus and community, igniting the imaginative spark within us all.

Your donation supports programming such as:

  • Project Grants, encouraging creative and original artistic research among students, faculty, and staff
  • Creativity Conversations, exploring a range of ideas that contribute to a broader understanding of the arts and sciences

Thank you for your continuing support of creativity at Emory.


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