As I promised in my last blog post, over the next few weeks leading up to the BTU Showcase, I will feature some of the great projects and centers that will be represented at this year’s event. Each post will focus on one of the five BTU Impact Areas:
- High-Quality and equitable education
- Lifelong health and well-being
- Strong neighborhoods and sustainable communities
- Thriving and competitive economy
- Vibrant arts and cultural community
A Vibrant Arts and Cultural Community
Recognized as a thriving cultural center for Maryland, Towson University is committed to enhancing access to the arts. The following centers and projects are all doing collaborative work, demonstrating this commitment to creating a vibrant arts and cultural community.
Asian Arts & Culture Center
The Asian Arts & Culture Center engages the university and surrounding communities in cross-cultural dialogue through a broad range of artistic and cultural experiences related to Asia. Programs aim to increase understanding of the world’s diverse cultures, challenge stereotypes, and offer unique perspectives on creativity and the human experience.
Community Art Center
The Community Art Center offers classes, special arts events, summer camps, and k-12 museum education for children and adults. With a mission of providing exceptional visual arts experiences for the Greater Baltimore community as well as contributing to the educational advancement of Towson University students, the Community Art Center partners with museums and schools to develop programming that engages diverse audiences in learning about and creating visual art.
The AileyCamp Baltimore is an innovative summer program for youth, ages 11-14, that uses disciplined dance training, creative writing instruction, personal development, and communication workshops to help campers develop a respect for themselves and others that meaningfully impacts their lives. Run locally by Towson University, AileyCamp combines professional level dance training with personal development activities.
Dark Humor is an art exhibition, featuring 2016 MacArthur Fellowship winner, Joyce J. Scott (a Baltimore native) and Joan Mitchell Fellowship recipient Peter Williams (who received his MFA in Baltimore), which examines how African American artists use humor, satire, and irony in their work to deal with difficult and often painful issues such as racism, sexism, and identity. While this exhibit closes on April 1, the Holtzman and Center for the Arts Galleries has an extensive list of upcoming exhibits, events, and partnership opportunities for outside organizations.
For the past three years, the Towson University Department of Theatre Arts has been the lead institution in a consortium of Maryland schools including Morgan State, Bowie State, The Baltimore School for the Arts, and the Community College of Baltimore County, that are working with The Acting Company out of New York. In early March, The Acting Company will be coming to Towson University with a tour of two productions: Julius Caesar and a new play about the assassination of Malcolm X. This tour will include high school matinee performances that build upon the ongoing Towson Theatre infusion outreach to area schools.
Shapesville: Where You can be U
Shapesville is a collaboration between Towson University Dance and several community partners. Through reading the children’s book Shapesville, college, high school, and school age students create a dance adaptation of the book that addresses diversity, creating positive body image through a healthy lifestyle, community building, and self-discovery. Students create the main characters of the book through interpretation of the text, creative dance strategies, journaling, discussion, and artwork. In addition, Arts Integration workshops were developed and presented to school children where they delved deeply into these topics. These students created and developed their own characters that were representations of themselves and their greatest strengths. These characters were then adapted into dance.
To learn more about these and other potential partnership opportunities at Towson University, be sure to join me on Monday, April 24 at the 10th Annual BTU Showcase. For more information or to register, visit http://www.towson.edu/campus/business/events/showcase/.