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Fine and Performing Arts Commission


September 7, 1999


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

Bob Chapel welcomed the commission members back and introduced new members: Nancy Brockman, Johanna Drucker, Shona Hunter, Adam Popp, and James Scales. Mr. Chapel reviewed the commission’s work during spring 1999,

and asked each program to review the Dagit-Saylor the arts precinct proposal to determine if the facilities described there accurately reflect each program’s needs.

Judith Kinnard, Chair of the Department of Architecture, reported on the programs in the School of Architecture. Architecture teaches in six areas: architecture, architectural history, urban and environmental planning, landscape architecture, American urbanism, and historic preservation. The master’s degree in architecture is sixth in the U.S.News and World Report national rankings.

Challenges to the School of architecture include balancing undergraduate and graduate teaching, addressing the conflicting needs of the different disciplines within the school, and finding office space for faculty. In addition, faculty recruitment can be difficult because of the school’s emphasis on teaching (limiting time available to practice architecture), Charlottesville’s relative isolation, and the difficulty of finding jobs for spouses. Resources are scarce, alumni are not wealthy, and the school depends too much on state funding. The school recognizes the need to work on communication so that its values, which are not limited to Jefferson’s architectural legacy, are better understood across the University.

Beth Sutton, chair of the commission’s community advisory group reported on meetings with community advisors. The community is enthusiastic about the strengthening the arts at the University and building an arts precinct. Traffic and parking are major issues. Community advisors want the City of Charlottesville and the University coordinate traffic studies.

Johanna Drucker, the new chair of media studies, is designing the program, identifying faculty to teach in it, planning the curriculum, and determining resources. She is forming an advisory board and talking informally with those interested.

Mr. Chapel reported on plans for the commission’s retreat October 8-9. Letters of invitation have gone out to the participants, and all have accepted. Mr. Chapel also told the commission that President Casteen has volunteered to fund a distinguished lecture series on the arts. The series will bring to Grounds experts in each of the major arts to talk about the role of the arts in the nation, in society, in the university, and whose insights can inform the University’s current discussions and planning efforts. The series will also bring attention to the University’s commitment to the arts.

Respectfully submitted,

Joan B. Fry


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