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Fine and Performing Arts Commission
September 21, 1999

Attendance: Bob Chapel (Chair), Samantha Beer, Nancy Brockman, Marcia Day Childress, Jim Cooper, Ed Davis, Lear DeBessonet, Johanna Drucker, Joan Fry, Larry Goedde, Jill Hartz, Richard Herskowitz, Shona Hunter, Denise Karaoli, Laurie Kelsh, Judith Kinnard, Phyllis Leffler, Marita McClymond, Adam Popp, George Sampson, James Scales, Judith Shatin, and Beth Sutton.

Bob Chapel outlined the upcoming commission retreat, and the group discussed the guest speakers: Chris Killip, Harvard (Art); Michael Mercil, Ohio State University (Art); James Berton Harris, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Drama); Robert Cohen, University of California, Irvine (Drama); William Eiland, University of Georgia (Museum); Jock Reynolds, Yale University (Art Gallery); Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, New York University (Performance Studies); Michael Beckerman, University of California at Santa Barbara (Music); Marilyn Rivchin, Cornell University (Theatre, Film and Dance); Richard Karpen, University of Washington (Media Arts/Music); and Robert Rosenzweig, Stanford University. Commission members proposed a list of questions they would like to address to these guest speakers.

Judith Shatin described the growth of the music department over the past 20 years and emphasized the importance of performance as a part of the music program. She offered this information to correct the erroneous impression that the music program is not interested in a strong performance program.

Mr. Chapel discussed improvements proposed for arts communications, including an all-arts newsletter to be circulated to every high school in Virginia, to selected arts programs in universities nationally, to alumni with interests in the arts, and to the local community. Development is also planning a campaign for the arts, to commence after completing the current capital campaign.

A subcommittee with representatives from all the arts disciplines began meeting this summer to discuss their mutual interests in multi-media and to explore potential collaboration. The first step was to describe to each other what they are doing. They already see overlaps. They plan to compile an inventory of activities, determine what they need, and work to coordinate their activities. A future commission meeting will take place in the new Robertson Media Center in Clemons Library, so commission members can see what is there and learn about the center’s capabilities.

The commission discussed how to inform the Board of Visitors about the work of the commission. Each of the four planning commission chairs will report on the work of her or his commission at the upcoming October 15 board meeting.

After the retreat, the commission members will discuss what we have learned from our guests and plan our work for the next year. The commission will carry out much of its future work in smaller task forces. Future plans include a major conference on the arts in the fall of 2000, and completion of the final report in the spring of 2001. Plans are in the works for a lecture series on the arts beginning in spring 2000.

Respectfully submitted,

Joan B. Fry


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