February 2020
In this issue:  
  • Greensboro Dance Film Festival
  • BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play 
  • Special UCLS Ticket Offer 
  • Emmylou Harris Wrap-Up
  • Spring Alumni Networking Events
  • Alumni, Faculty, and Staff News & Notes

Dean bruce d. mcclung

From the Dean's Desk

Last month I posted the full text of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 
"I Have a Dream" speech on the doors of the College Office 
in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Dr. King first delivered this speech on August 23, 1963 at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, calling for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. Despite its defining moment in the civil rights movement and being among the most famous speeches in American history, most remember it today simply for its "I have a dream" refrain, on which Dr. King extemporized after being prompted by Mahalia Jackson's cry, "Tell them about the dream, Martin!"
As powerful as the rhetoric of "I Have a Dream" speech is and the impact that it has had on American history, the closing refrain of "I have a dream" has tended to overshadow the substance of Dr. King's prepared speech. Put in strictly musical terms, the "response" has overshadowed the "call" to end segregation and discrimination, and for the United States to guarantee the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all its citizens, regardless of skin color.
At our College's Opening Assembly in August, I shared graphs with the faculty and staff showing that, although the diversity of the CVPA student body is fast approaching that of the University, our faculty is not only much less diverse but also the number of faculty from underrepresented groups has been decreasing. As a College we have been successful at nearly closing the gender gap in the faculty, but we must now turn our collective attention to address the racial and cultural disparities that currently exist within our own professoriate.
In response, CVPA's Executive Council has approved new procedures for faculty searches, and our College's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee has drafted "Successful Practices for Faculty Searches." We have expanded our faculty search committees to include student members, and all search members must complete online diversity training to identify and address individual implicit biases and blind spots. We are carefully comparing the diversity of our applicant pools against previous searches and are actively inviting those from underrepresented groups to apply for our open positions.
As one of the most diverse campuses in the University of North Carolina system, we celebrate "diversity as the art of thinking independently together." And together as the College of Visual and Performing Arts, we are facing the inequities that exist in our College head on. The annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and the re-reading of the entirety of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech give us an opportunity to reflect on the strides that we as a country have made but also how very far we have yet to go -- and what we can each do individually to embrace and to effectuate diversity.


bruce d. mcclung, Dean
College of Visual and Performing Arts

Still from the film "Six Solos" by Simon Fildes.  Photo credit:  Goat Media LTD.

Greensboro Dance Film Festival:   
Connecting Diverse Populations 
The sixth annual Greensboro Dance Film Festival takes place on Saturday, February 15th with rolling screenings at HQ Greensboro, Greensboro Project Space, and VCM Studio, all located on South Elm Street in Downtown Greensboro.  The Festival is presented by Sugarfoote Productions with support from UNC Greensboro School of Dance and is organized and hosted by School of Dance Associate Professors Robin Gee and BJ Sullivan.

Featuring dance films from 21 countries in student and professional categories, the Festival begins with an opening reception at 6:00 pm at HQ Greensboro featuring live dance and musical performances.  This year's guest curator is Scottish filmmaker Simon Fildes who will offer additional workshops and screenings on campus and in the community. 

Sugarfoote Productions is a multipurpose arts organization created to help local audiences experience the richness of African and Diasporan cultural traditions and seeks to serve as a bridge to innovative arts programming. The Festival is a boutique film festival that merges performance and cinematic aesthetics.

You can find a complete schedule of the Festival events here.  

Dance photography was a topic for a recent  Evening with the Creative Class 
Evening with the Creative Class:

The next Evening with the Creative Class will be presented in conjunction with the Greensboro Dance Film Festival.  

Evening with the Creative Class is a series of informal presentations and discussions with a panel of guest artists and scholars sharing their talent in an enriching evening of community, networking, and discussion. Themes vary, are socially relevant, and connect art making and scholarship to communities.
Evening with the Creative Class is curated and produced by School of Dance Professor Duane Cyrus, who says the events benefit our students as well as the community:

"Our students get to see research and creativity close-up. They are often involved in the producing or creating aspects. It also supports Arts Administration and Entrepreneurship by creating a scalable presentation model.  For the community, these events help demystify the creative and research process. They raise the profile of UNCG, and since they are open to the public, they bring our neighbors here to UNCG, to the School of Dance."

Evening with the Creative Class will be on  Wednesday, February 12th @ 7:00 pm in the 
Coleman Dance Theatre.   It is free and open to the public.
Black Girl Games and Identity
Camille A. Brown & Dancers will present BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play (2015) as part of the University Concert and Lecture Series on Saturday, February 8th at 8:00 pm in the UNCG Auditorium.  Inspired by ethnomusicologist Kyra Gaunt's prize-winning book, The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop, BLACK GIRL is an evening-length work for the women of Camille A. Brown's company, which tours nationally and internationally and annually reaches 20,000 people.
Artistic Director and choreographer Camille A. Brown recalls:  "The word 'play' immediately shot out. I started thinking about my childhood and the many games used to play -- Double Dutch, Red light Green light, Marco Polo -- and how it was hard for me to find narratives within the media that showcased Black girls being just that: girls."
BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play celebrates the unspoken rhythms that African American girls develop through Double Dutch, social dances, and hand-clapping games. By mining these games and dances, Brown has created a work that elevates the gestures and rhythms of childhood games and explores how they help African American girls to carve out self-defined identities in urban America.
About the work, Brown writes, "It shows the power of sisterhood and the fact that, as we mature, Black girls still play." With live music by pianist Justin Ellington and electric bassist Robin Bramlett, BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play was nominated for a 2016 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production. Brown concludes, "If our audiences see parts of themselves in our work -- their struggles and their joys -- regardless of their color, gender, or socioeconomic background, then I know we have done our job."  

Brown's Ted-Ed talk, A Visual History of Social Dance in 25 Moves, has over 15 million views on Facebook. 

Special Offer:   Use promo code SPRING20 to subscribe 

to the remainder of the season for a 10% discount over individual event prices. 

Promo code expires at 8:00 pm on February 8.  

Emmylou and UNCG - "Together Again"

Fourteen-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and UNCG alumna  Emmylou Harris visited campus on January 24th -- her first time back on Tate Street since she was a student in the School of Theatre.   Read more and see the video here .

Part one of "Para Mi Gente"  (For My People), a public poem in three parts by Gui Portel.  The poem will be on the City Billboard at Greensboro Project Space during the month of February.   

Translation of the entire poem:  From here and there we share / a sky that is not for sale / and says "Go forward, without permission."


The Tempest by William Shakespeare
February 14 - 22 
Taylor Theatre

Greensboro Contemporary Jewish Museum Opening
February 20 at 6 - 8:00 pm 
Greensboro Project Space

Beethoven's Choral Fantasy
Symphony Orchestra, Choirs, and Voice Faculty with Annie Jeng, piano
February 25 at 7:30 pm 
First Presbyterian Church

For a full listing of events at the College of Visual and Performing Arts, visit our website.

Spring Alumni Networking Events

Los Angeles
March 6, 2020 
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Nick + Stef's 
330 S. Hope Street 
Cocktail Reception and Meet the Dean

March 26, 2020
6:00 - 8:00 pm
NC Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road
Cocktail Reception and Exhibition:   Front Burner:  Highlights in Contemporary North Carolina Painting, curated by Ashlynn Browning ('02 MFA Art)

April 26, 2020
12:00 - 2:00 pm
City Winery
650 North Avenue NE (in Ponce City Market)
Brunch and Meet the Dean

New York
May 11, 2020
8:30 pm - until 
Brazen Tavern
356 W. 44th Street
After-Party of the UNCG Theatre Industry Showcase

Patty Thel ('74 BM Voice) was featured in an article in a Princeton, NJ paper for her work with children's choral groups.
Richard Tremmel ('00 MM Music Education) has been named Interim Director of the Delta Music Institute and Chair of the Entertainment Industry Studies program at Delta State University in Mississippi.
Dominick Amendum ('01 BM Piano Performance and Artist-in-Residence, Coordinator, Musical Theatre) is working with Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz to open the musical Prince of Egypt, based on the Disney movie of the same name, in London's West End.  Read more here.
Sidney Outlaw ('04 BM Voice) made his Kennedy Center debut in December with the National Symphony Orchestra, performing Handel's Messiah with the National Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis, and The Washington Chorus.

Atiba Rorie ('07 BA Percussion and CVPA Dance Music Coordinator) was featured in recent television story about drumming. And if you watch closely, you'll also see alumnus Curtis Cotton ('10 BM and '13 MM Music Education) at about 1:05 in this video.

Sherrill Roland ('09 BFA and '17 MFA Studio Arts) hosted some of Professor Nicole Scalissi's MFA Art students in Charlotte recently.  Pictured below, the group is viewing Roland's work Fig Leaf on Cell #7, which is part of the permanent collection at the Harry B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture.

Jennifer Leigh Mann ('16 MFA Acting) attended the Sundance Film Festival for the premiere of her film The Evening Hour, directed by Braden King. Set in a small West Virginia mining town nestled in the foothills of Appalachia, The Evening Hour tells the story of a small-time drug dealer, Cole Freeman, who is driven to action and redemption in response to a set of unexpected circumstances that threaten to tear the close-knit fabric of family, friendship, land, and history that binds everyone, and everything, he loves. Jennifer appears with film veterans Tess Harper and Lili Taylor. Among her previous credits are House of Cards on Netflix and the film The Disappointments Room with Kate Beckinsale.

Bethany Stultz Staff ('17 BA Art History) recently opened her first solo exhibition in 
Yongsan-gu, South Korea. Opening night included an artist talk and presentation of ten works in a series titled Connections.

A lumni News & Notes are compiled from self-submissions 
and from the university's news clip service. 

We love opening up the Arts section of the
New York Times  and seeing our alumni!   Check out this recent tribute to Modern Dance trailblazer Donald McKayle --
that's Shaylin Watson  ('09 BFA Dance) on the right.
Welcome New CVPA Staff!

The College recently welcomed four new staff members:

Kayla Bullock graduated in December from the School of Art with her BFA in New Media and Design. Kayla is our new graphic designer and UCLS coordinator, and serves as CVPA Receptionist, supervising the student workers who staff the front desk.

Joe Gamble is our new  Technology Support Technician. He handles IT support for CVPA faculty and staff computers, as well as CVPA computer labs, under the direction of Chris Wright. Joe comes to us with more than 25 years of progressive experience in Information Technology, including most recently 10 years as a Systems Programmer Analyst for the University's Information Technology Services.

Jewel Gibson i s the new Administrative Support Associate in the School of Dance. She has a BA in Economics and Environmental Geography with a minor in Media Studies from UNC Greensboro. She has worked in a number of departments at UNCG including student success.  In the School of Dance, she works as the Office and Enrollment Manager, and also helps with various school events and student advising.

Teresa ("TC") Nordan is our new Business Services Coordinator.  She brings with her 17 years of experience at UNCG. She is responsible for transactional finance: P-Card reconciliation, student payroll, budget reports, and accounts payable.

Duane Cyrus (Professor of Dance) received a faculty research grant to support creative research for the development of a work titled Solo Performance at the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Age. The multidisciplinary solo work will be part of a larger, community-engaged creative research project titled The Resistance Project, which investigates representation of Black women, activism, and resistance during the Middle Passage and into the present 
time -- from Cyrus's perspective as a Black male living in America. He will travel to Dakar, Senegal to research and study with acclaimed solo dance artist Germaine Acogny. The creative outcomes and all activities for professor Cyrus's performance project will align with the university-wide initiative for Academic Year 2020-21, She Can/We Can, by creating a work focused on empowerment and equity for women.
Cyrus was also recently commissioned by the Charlotte Ballet to create a piece for its annual  Innovations Works series.  "Colony of Desire" premiered  January 24 and runs thru Feb 15.  Hear what Professor Cyrus says about the work here.

Robin Gee (Associate Professor of Dance) and BJ Sullivan (Associate Professor of Dance) have received a faculty research grant to produce They Sat So We Could See: 
A Multidisciplinary Arts Initiative, a two-week summer arts intensive hosted by UNCG School of Dance, Greensboro Dance Film Festival, and its community partners. The intensive, designed as an experimental and exploratory arm of the annual submission-based film festival, would invite artists in the fields of dance, film making, sound design, and visual arts to come to Greensboro to collaborate and create. This new formula of hands-on residency based collaborative art making with the city of Greensboro situated as a character in the films being made utilizes its rich cultural history as a backdrop for art that is consciously integrative. The initiative is rooted in the history of Greensboro as a cornerstone of civil advocacy and in the ideas of collaboration, creativity, and investigation as a means to socially conscious art making. The culmination of the collaborations will be the creation of five-minute dance shorts and/or media installations to be screened at various spaces on campus and in Downtown Greensboro.
Steve Haines  (Professor of Double Bass) received a research grant to record "The Tate St. Four," a faculty group consisting of Thomas Heflin (trumpet), Greg Hyslop (guitar), Steve Haines (double bass), and Thomas Taylor (drums). Works will be heard and seen via video online.
Donald Hartmann (Professor of Voice) is performing in two separate productions of Puccini's La Bohème in January and February 2020 in the roles of Benoit/Alcindoro with Opera Carolina in Charlotte and with Toledo Opera in Ohio. Having sung all of the bass-baritone roles in La Bohème over his career of 40 years, these two productions make Nos. 19 and 20! He last sang Benoit/Alcindoro with Piedmont Opera in 2018.
Heather Holian (Associate Professor of Art History) has received a faculty research grant to support her new  body of research, which studies the notable preservation and presentation of Walt Disney Studio artwork during the early decades of the Studio's history and the role of Walt himself in those decisions, as well as their lasting legacy for the studio, industry, and subsequent artists.
Annie Jeng (Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy) was awarded a New Faculty Research Grant to complete and publish her anthology of commissioned intermediate works by female composers, which introduces contemporary extended techniques to young pianists. She will also be using the funds to film video recordings of the new works, which will be part of an online teaching resource to assist students and teachers.
Nicole Scalissi    (Assistant Professor of Art History) has been  awarded a faculty research grant to support the completion of her book manuscript, which focuses on contemporary artists in the United States who stage scenes of violence against women, Latinx, Black/African American, and Afro-Latinx communities -- marginalized communities with which the artists themselves identify -- in order to call attention to the prevalence of violence disproportionately committed against people of color in the United States at a broader societal level. Through surprise encounter and direct audience engagement, these artists give form to an affective condition of precariousness using strategies of performance, video, and embodied installation-acts, Scalissi argues, of democratic engagement in the face of biased media representations, exclusion from mainstream art venues, and social inequity.

Faculty and Staff News & Notes are compiled from self-submissions
 and  from the university news clips service.  
Closing Spotlight

The School of Music now has a presence at the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh.   A display about Summer Music Camp is viewable on the third floor where fourth-graders from all over the state v isit each year as part of their social studies curriculum.