TAMU art academy director aims to enhance outreach, funding

Weiling He

With performances including a hip-hop homage to Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” contemporary dance, a moving drama based on soldiers’ letters from Afghanistan and Iraq, and a showcase of pre-WWII LGBT music, the Texas A&M [Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts] (http://academyarts.tamu.edu) ’ 2017-18 season is heading for new heights under the direction of Weiling He, associate professor of [architecture] (http://dept.arch.tamu.edu) .

In addition to prominent touring performances, this year He, with the AVPA board, is expanding the academy’s visibility and funding efforts, hosting an array of exhibits and art happenings aimed at attracting great art and art opportunities to campus.

“Few artists know the AVPA has an annual budget to bring experimental work, especially education-related work, to Texas A&M,” said He. “Once the word gets out, the university could be a new center for aspiring artists.”

With this mission in mind, the AVPA is working to connect campus creators with artistic organizations and to fund art and art-related research and collaborations at an accelerated pace.

He is also working through the AVPA to connect campus artists with external funding from agencies like the [National Endowment for the Arts] (https://www.arts.gov) and the [National Science Foundation] (https://www.nsf.gov) , as well as private organizations.

She is also seeking input and guidance from campus and community artists.

“My role is to learn from them, facilitate their artistic pursuits, and unite their efforts with the AVPA to make an impact on enhancing educational, creative, and scholarly experiences in the arts,” He said.

Details on the AVPA’s 2017-18 season, including performances, exhibits, art happenings and applications for art enhancement and course development grants are available [online] (http://academyarts.tamu.edu/home/) .

Upcoming performances include:

Oct. 4 | “Q Gents,” a hip hop reimagining of Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona” by the Q Brothers. [More…] (http://academyarts.tamu.edu/performances/q-brothers-october-4-2017/)

Oct. 19 | “The Lavender Blues,” with author and performance artist Sarah S. Kilborne, introduces audiences to a little-known, yet revolutionary moment in music history when pioneering artists sang boldly about sexual and gender fluidity, something daring even for today — and as deliciously fun and inspiring as ever. [More…] (http://academyarts.tamu.edu/an-evening-with-sarah-kilborne/)

Nov. 13 | “Letters Home,” performed by the Griffin Theatre Company, puts the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq front and center by bringing to life actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. [More…] (http://griffintheatre.com/letters-home/)

April 10 | The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company is Utah’s most established contemporary dance group. [More…] (https://www.ririewoodbury.com/about/company-history)

Richard Nira

posted September 14, 2017