Creative Encounters 2018-2019

Doug Shipman 95C, Dean Michael Elliott, and Leslie Taylor at the 2019 Creativity & Arts Awards

Letter from the Director

In 2018-19, as the director for the Center for Creativity & Arts (CCA), I was involved with Provost Dwight McBride’s and Dean Michael Elliott’s Task Force for the Future of the Arts at Emory.  This task force was adroitly co-chaired by Professor Kevin Karnes, chair of the Music Department, and Doug Shipman, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center and an alum of Emory. The task force was comprised of members of the arts faculty at Emory and several Atlanta area alumni who have a vested interest in the arts. The report was presented to the provost and the dean in the Spring of 2019, and we look forward to their responses.

There were a few staffing changes this year at the Center. Nicholas Surbey, who has discovered an affinity for graphic design, has moved to a role as senior graphic designer for the CCA. Emma Yarbrough has been promoted to communications manager, and Maggie Beker, our former Rosemary Magee Arts Fellow, was promoted to communications coordinator. Joining us this summer is Laura Briggs, the incoming Rosemary Magee Arts Fellow. Laura is a graduate of the dance program at Emory and a recipient of the 2019 Sudler Prize in the Arts.

The newly endowed Rosemary Magee Creativity Conversation series launched this year with several successful programs, such as “SisterWriters: an Evening with Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones” and a conversation exploring the influences of printmaker and Schwartz artist in residence, Tom Hück. Also, the Center has begun (under the leadership of Maggie Beker) transforming highlights from the Rosemary Magee Creativity Conversation series into a podcast, with introductions provided by our Stipe Scholars.  This podcast will launch in the fall, making the rich diversity of the conversations accessible in multiple formats.

We continue to administer the prestigious Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts, the Stipe Society of Creative Scholars, the Goldwasser Fund in Religion and the Arts, the Integrated Visual Arts Co-major and, in partnership with the Goizueta Business School BBA program we coordinate the Arts Management concentration.

2019 was our eleventh annual Creativity & Arts Awards and our fifth year of awarding the Arts Advocate Award. This year the award went to Doug Shipman 95C, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, co-chair of the University Task Force on the Arts and a champion of the arts throughout Atlanta. Retiring dance faculty member Anna Leo was also feted and the Chace Gallery hosted “Full Circle,” an exhibition of her most recent creative work, collaged mandalas.

This newsletter comes to you each year to highlight key moments and sum up achievements in the Arts at Emory. As our alumni and friends, we hope that you enjoy reading about the amazing work that has occurred over the year. We invite you to join our Arts at Emory email club to get timely notifications of upcoming events. Please keep in touch with us about your own achievements. We enjoy recognizing the work of our alumni through this email and periodic updates on our website and communications.

I invite you to support the Arts at Emory, either through direct support to the departments and programs or to the Center for Creativity & Arts or the Rosemary Magee Creativity Conversation Series or, better yet, to all of the above!

With deep appreciation to all our alumni and friends,

Leslie Taylor 
Director, Center for Creativity & Arts 

2018-2019 Highlights

Community connections

Emory takes African American arts exhibit into Atlanta middle school

Science on stage

Atlanta playwrights explore the human microbiome in Emory's '4:48'

Promising poet

Emory senior Christell Victoria Roach wins national writing awards 

Music and identity

Emory junior Chris Batterman awarded Beinecke Scholarship 


Tayari Jones, Pearl Cleage share their literary friendship in Emory talk

Tom Hück residency

Printmaker Tom Hück explores the art of provocation

2019 Creativity & Arts Awards Winners

  • Doug Shipman, Community Impact Arts Advocate
  • Minka Wiltz, Community Impact Artist (Open to Fulton and Dekalb County residents and workers)
  • Katherine Dirga, Community Impact Arts Administrator (Open to Fulton and Dekalb County residents and workers)
  • Anna Leo, Emory University Faculty
  • Veena Rajeevan, Emory Healthcare 
  • Randy Gue, Emory University Staff
  • Stephen Weizenecker, Emory University Alumni
  • Davis Husk, Emory University Undergraduate Student
  • Leonard Pallats, Emory University Arts Volunteer

Student Awards

Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts

The Sudler Prize in the Arts is awarded each year to the graduating senior or seniors who have demonstrated the highest standard of proficiency in one or more of the performing or creative arts

2019 Recipients

  • Laura Briggs, Dance
  • Roz Sullivan-Lovett, Theater

Stipe Society of Creative Scholars

The John H. Gordon Stipe Society was founded to foster creativity and original scholarship among Emory College students. The Stipe Society is comprised of six appointed scholars each year, one from each area of the creative and performing arts.

2019-2020 Stipe Fellows

  • Sam Edwards, Music
  • Hannah Gruebmeyer, Creative Writing 
  • Maggie Higginbotham, Theater
  • Maria McNiece, Dance
  • Blair Ripley, Integrated Visual Arts
  • Kyra Solomon, Film & Media