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ASU students to premiere plays during ASU MainStage season


August 10, 2016

The ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre has officially announced its 2016-17 MainStage season, which features two world-premieres of plays created by Arizona State University students as well as five dance concerts, two film screenings and theatre productions featuring boats, food and a strange creature.

The annual "Fall Forward!" dance concert kicks off the MainStage season, the official performing arts season of the School of Film, Dance and Theatre, at the end of September. The concert features new works by ASU faculty and guests. The ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre's 2016-17 MainStage season Download Full Image

The first theater production of the season is new work written by the MFA theater cohort and directed by Kyra Jackson, Wyatt Kent and Phil Weaver-Stoesz. “Out of Many” examines what it means to call people “American” and how to find unity in a nation divided. This play features stories, images and ideas torn from the American zeitgeist.

Horror comedy “Feathers and Teeth,” which features a mysterious creature, will premiere just in time for Halloween, followed by the Emerging Artists dance series and the Fall Film Capstone Showcase.

In the spring, BFA dance candidates will present diverse pieces in two separate evenings of Transitions Projects.

The theater season will return to Shakespeare for the first time in a decade with “Titus Andronicus.” Director Kristin Hunt will use food to help tell this tale of revenge, betrayal, violence and one very disturbing pie.

In March, audiences will take a trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with “Men on Boats.” Playwright Jaclyn Backhaus retells the raucous adventure of Captain John Wesely Powell and his crew’s expedition. “Men on Boats” features 13 male characters, none of which are played by cisgender male actors. 

The last theater production of the season features another piece written by a student. MFA playwright Marvin González De León’s “Haboob” is a work of magical realism that follows its characters into the desert as they hunt for and fight over a buried inheritance.

The annual “SpringDanceFest” concert will highlight some of the best hits of the dance season alongside new work, and the Spring Film Capstone Showcase will close out the MainStage season with screenings of work by senior film students.

For more information on each event and to purchase tickets, visit season.asu.edu or asuevents.asu.edu

Sarah A. McCarty

Communications and marketing coordinator, School and Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Institute

480-727-4433

The Northlight Gallery presents Louis Carlos Bernal: Barrios


August 9, 2016

Who
The ASU School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts presents the work of Louis Carlos Bernal.

What
The ASU School of Art in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts presents Louis Carlos Bernal: Barrios, Sept. 14 – Oct. 23 at the Northlight Gallery on the ASU Tempe campus. Albert y Lynn Morales, Silver City, New Mexico, 1978. See this work and others by Louis Carlos Bernal from Sept. 14 – Oct. 23 at the Northlight Gallery on the ASU Tempe campus. Photo by Louis Carlos Bernal Download Full Image

In Barrios Bernal portrays common Latino cultural events including “quinceañeras” and religious traditions, revealing the intimate lives of American Chicanos in the barrios of Tucson, Texas and New Mexico. The Louis Carlos Bernal: Barrios retrospective was organized after his death in 1993. Prior to his death, Bernal gained international recognition as a photographer who captured the essence of Mexican-American life. Formally a teacher at Pima Community College (PCC) in Tucson, Ariz., Bernal influenced a generation of young photographers. In 2002, PCC dedicated the Louis Carlos Bernal Gallery to honor his contribution to the college and the community.

The Louis Carlos Bernal: Barrios retrospective is the first exhibition in a series that features the work of artists focusing their attention on the communities and desert regions of the American Southwest and Mexico. The artists’ images contribute to a continuing exchange, rich with blended cultural traditions, where in recent months social struggle and political wrangling have sparked the attention of the international community.

To learn more about upcoming Northlight Gallery exhibitions, visit: http://art.asu.edu/gallery/northlight

Where
The Northlight Gallery is located in room 101 in Matthews Hall on the southeast corner of Tyler and Forest Malls on the ASU Tempe campus.

Northlight Gallery hours: Tuesday: 12:30 - 8:30 p.m.; Wednesday - Saturday: 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.; Closed: Sundays, Mondays, major holidays and summer session.

When
Exhibition: Sept. 14 – Oct. 23
Opening Public Reception: Sept. 14, 6 – 8:30 p.m.

Cost
All activities are free and open to the public.

Public Contact
Liz Allen
ASU School of Art
Northlight Gallery director
480.965.6517
lizallen@asu.edu

The School of Art is a division of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Its printmaking, photography and art education programs are nationally ranked in the top 10, and its Master of Fine Arts program is ranked eighth among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. The school includes four student galleries for solo and group shows by graduate and undergraduate art and photography students: Gallery 100, Harry Wood, Northlight and Step. To learn more about the School of Art, visit art.asu.edu.

Media Contact:
Liz Allen
ASU School of Art
Northlight Gallery director
480.965.6517
lizallen@asu.edu

 

 
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Stroke of genius: Solving problems with artistic flair

100&Change competition from MacArthur Foundation addresses critical problem.
Foundation behind 'genius grants' to award $100 million to winning idea.
August 2, 2016

Steven Tepper, dean of ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and Arts, joins judges panel of influential philanthropic competition

For years, Steven J. Tepper has advanced the notion that artists can change the world as profoundly as scientists or engineers.

So when he learned the MacArthur Foundation had plans to award a whopping $100 million grant to help solve “a critical problem affecting people, places or the planet,” he wanted to be sure artists and designers were engaged in a meaningful way — as judges, project team leaders and collaborators. He wrote to colleagues at MacArthur, to deans and researchers across ASU and to arts leaders across the U.S.

Now, Tepper, dean of Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and Arts, has been appointed to the panel of judges who will decide which organization will win the 100&Change competition. Tepper’s addition underscores the value of his work to make sure artists and designers are viewed as critical partners in a range of fields. 

“Artists and designers have a way of asking questions, expanding our imagination and exploring opportunities,” Tepper said recently. “Their ideas and methods provide a powerful lens to address critical issues facing our communities, and they should be fully integrated into public life rather than seen as extra or special or something apart from everyday life.”

Dean Steven Tepper

Steven J. Tepper, dean of Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. Photos by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

 

Under his guidance, the concept of art as a change agent has helped trigger more than $1 million in donations to Herberger Institute initiatives this year, and school staffers are working on plans that include an art-and-design project to address sexual violence, a mission to activate hundreds of students every year to work with community partners to improve greater Phoenix and a suite of plans — collectively called “Projecting All Voices” — to get more minorities and first-generation students into arts-and-entertainment careers.

“Projecting All Voices,” which includes scholarships, mentoring, fellowships, internships and guest artist residencies, helps address the frustration that triggered the grassroots social media campaign #OscarsSoWhite, which mocked the lack of diversity in Hollywood, said Jake Pinholster, Herberger Institute associate dean for policy and initiatives. Similar issues of representation, he said, show up across many areas of arts and entertainment, including fine arts, classical music and architecture. 

“There's a breath between graduation and first opportunity,” Pinholster said, explaining that in the time it takes to land a decent job, graduates from underrepresented communities often leave the their field to secure a more immediate steady paycheck.

“We need to give them that first opportunity," Pinholster said. He added, “Our goal is to create a pipeline — and an expansive and deep reservoir at the end of that pipeline.”

Pinholster also highlighted a series of other projects that have already begun to reshape greater Phoenix. He mentioned mural projects that grew from “respect and bi-directional communication,” rather than directives from outsiders; a musical concert series that turns empty lots into community gathering spaces; and efforts to plant sunflowers in blighted areas as reminders of hope and sources of bio-fuel.

The work, Pinholster said, reflects the “credibility and excitement” that Tepper generates by helping neighborhoods reshape themselves through art. The approach helps “communities see benefit without negatives of gentrification or imposition,” he said.

Tepper’s involvement in 100&Change means his views on art’s usefulness and utility will expand to an organization that has said it’s seeking to solve “society’s most pressing problems.”

Competition organizers said they will consider proposals from any organization from around the world. The work could address any issue from any field of interest. Hundreds of submissions are expected and the field of judges, which now includes Tepper, will start narrowing the field this fall.

Herberger Institute professor Liz Lerman, a choreographer and author, has a unique perspective. She won one of the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grants” in 2002, and Tepper recruited her to ASU this year. She believes in his vision.

“Steven has a deep awareness of the value of art making and art makers to problem-solve,” Lerman said, adding that artists “help us see ourselves in new ways.”

Pinholster raised a similar point, using sustainability as an example. “We have the data and technology” to solve the problems, but the issues persist, he said.

Artists, Pinholster said, can “change the cultural narrative, get people to believe in a different story and change collective decision making.”

Art, he added, can get people to “think more about 10,000 years, not just five years.”  

Tepper is optimistic about the competition’s potential to create “human-centered solutions.” Contributors from his field, he said, could “perhaps make some analogical connection that moves us past whatever our existing approaches have been. And that’s the way artists and designers think.”

He acknowledges that the MacArthur Foundation is taking a gamble, but he said it’s worth it.

“It’s riskier to give out a single, large grant of this size,” he said, “but imagine if we’re truly able to see a transformative outcome.”

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Reporter , ASU Now

480-727-5176

ASU Gammage BEYOND announces 2016-2017 season

Free post performance after-party with ticket purchase


July 21, 2016

ASU Gammage BEYOND has announced its 2016-2017 performance season, including five different performances with topics that cover PTSD, the environment and race in America, time passage, why we go to school and the power of love and loving.

The BEYOND performance series brings world-class artists into the community who immerse themselves by not only presenting evocative and compelling work, but also by connecting to local residents through engaging cultural participation programs.  A Contra Tiempo dancer ASU Gammage BEYOND has announced its 2016-2017 performance season. Download Full Image

For most shows, ticket holders will also be invited to a post-performance after-party with the artists.

“This special access to artists is something many patrons won’t experience anywhere else throughout an entire series,” said Michael Reed, ASU Gammage senior director of Programming and Organizational Initiatives. “Through BEYOND, our audiences have experienced hundreds of unique community and educational interactions as well as remarkable performances by some of the greatest dance, music and theater artists of our time.”

Tickets are on sale now, available at ticketmaster.com and asugammage.com

• General admission: $20

• ASU faculty and staff: $15

• Students and military: $10

 

ASU Gammage BEYOND 2016-2017 season:

"Speed Killed My Cousin" 
7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15, ASU Gammage

The Carpetbag Theatre brings us the acclaimed production of "Speed Killed My Cousin," a moving story of a young, African-American woman veteran of the Iraq War and her struggle with "Moral Injury," Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). A third generation soldier, the central character courts death by vehicular suicide. "Speed" explores multiple issues related to war, including the history and otherness of African Americans in the military and the experiences of women in combat. Memories and flashbacks unfold before her, and in her rear-view mirror, as she drives. Ultimately she must decide whether to let go of the wheel or to choose life.

The Carpetbag Theatre tells our human story with courage and unfailing integrity. Telling deeply moving stories of communities of color for over two decades has been the calling card of this award winning theater gem from Tennessee. We are very proud to host Carpetbag Theater for their Arizona debut and powerful depiction of issues faced by our deployed military personnel.

"Agua Furiosa / Contra Tiempo"
7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, ASU Gammage

"Aqua Furiosa" Los Angeles-based "Contra Tiempo's" newest evening length dance/theater work, is a burst of energy, passion and physical expression that draws audiences in to confront realities of race in our country. Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Oya, the Afro-Cuban deity of wind and storms, artistic director and choreographer Ana Maria Alvarez, harnesses her unique Urban-Latin movement approach to create a visually stunning and thought provoking evening of dance performance. "Aqua Furiosa" merges call and response, a live vocalist, water themes, fierce physicality and the performers’ own personal narratives. Audiences will walk away from "Aqua Furiosa" impacted, entertained and inspired to join the complex and transforming conversation of race in America.

Ana Maria Alverez and the artists of "Contra Tiemop" are a breath of fresh air on the international dance scene, integrating vibrant expression of Latina/o culture, the complexities of contemporary America and passionate, nuanced dance artistry in a signature language all their own.

"Aging Magician" / Rinde Rinde Eckert Paola Prestini
7 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, ASU Galvin Playhouse

"Aging Magician" is a new music-theatre work, a composite of sonic and visual elements that paints an allegory on time, youth, and the peculiar magic of ordinary life, and, perhaps, the ordinary magic of a peculiar life. Accompanied by a string quartet and a choir of young people, "Aging Magician" moves us along with Harold, from the surgical repair of a timepiece to the magic show of time itself, lives and deaths, appearances and disappearances. The man’s vibrant last adventure is brought to life by a team of multidisciplinary artists who combine music, theatre, puppetry, instrument making and scenic design to create an enduring work for the stage. This work features vocalist Rinde Eckert, a musical set by Mark Stewart and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and string quartet.

Rarely do artists of Rinde Eckert, Paola Prestini and director Julian Crouch’s caliber and imaginations collaborate. The result in "Aging Magician" is a richly layered, surreal and transporting multi media musical meditation on life and the passing of time not to be missed.

"It's So Learning" / The Berseker Residents
7 p.m., Saturday, March 4, 2017, ASU Gammage

"It's So Learning" is the seventh show from the comedic trio, The Berserker Residents. The show will push and pull you down a crazy, twisting, hilarious and terrifying path of self-reflection that asks the question, “Why do we go to school?” In "It's So Learning," you’ll be handed a backpack full of the supplies you need to survive inside the classroom; you’ll be hauled through the quizzes, grades, bullies, praises, graded again and hopefully you’ll graduate. Don’t be tardy as a faculty of eccentrics is taking attendance. Prepare for anything in this interactive classroom experience.

If off the beaten path is where you like to go and ironic, brilliant and just plain wacky humor is your thing, The Berserker Residents are a can’t miss experience. "It's So Learning" will take you on a hilarious, awkward and insightful trip through the familiar absurdities called adolescence and public school.

"Dearest Home" / Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion
7 p.m., Saturday, April 1, 2017, ASU Gammage

MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship awardee, choreographer and dance artist Kyle Abraham comes to ASU Gammage for the first time with "Dearest Home" (working title), an interactive dance focused on Love and Loving.  Abraham’s beautiful, visceral, and unique signature choreography is alive and well in this moving and lush set of mostly solos and duets generated in conversation and collaboration with people of many ages and subcultures. "Dearest Home" interweaves movement, in its most vulnerable or intimate state with an interest in cross-cultural conversation and community action to create an open dialogue on how different demographics view and converse on topics rooted in love and the absence of love.

Kyle Abraham is simply one of the most compelling artists creating dance works today. His rare gift lies in the ability to be completely relevant, exciting and moving through the language of dance ... a movement poet, a visceral social commentator ... for any audience. He is changing the idea of what dance performance is and can be for people from all walks of life.

Public relations manager, ASU Gammage

480-965-1884

 
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"Towers Falling" comes ahead of 15th anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks.
Author hopes book will guide conversations with young people about the tragedy.
July 8, 2016

ASU professor Jewell Parker Rhodes writes children's novel about terror attacks of 9/11

Jewell Parker Rhodes writes children’s novels about tough subjects. The best-selling author had tackled slavery, the BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina, but there was one challenge she hadn’t taken on: the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

It had been more than a decade since the tragedy when Rhodes got an idea for a 9/11 story that she said “stayed in my soul.” 

Jewell Parker Rhodes

Her initial reaction, and early advice from family and friends, had been to stay away. The topic seemed too raw, intense and emotional for young readers. But on a long flight, Rhodes said she began to feel a connection to the people on the hijacked planes and developed the story that would become her latest book, “Towers Falling.” 

Timed for the 15th anniversary of the attacks, the story for young readers takes a fictional fifth-grade class through lessons about one of the defining moments of modern history. Rhodes said she hopes “Towers Falling” can be a tool for educators and parents to guide discussions with children.

“Students are the citizens of tomorrow and need to be taught how 9/11 affected our world,” said Rhodes, artistic director of Arizona State University's Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and writing professor in the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

“We’re now seeing the impacts of terrorism and how it has become even more widespread since 9/11. Do we really want to wait 30 years from now to teach the people who are going to have to live with this?”

To get the book done, Rhodes had to sensitively introduce young readers to an attack that killed more than 3,000 people, including hundreds of police and firefighters, and triggered a massive counter-terror response from the U.S. government. She also had to craft a story that teachers could teach, something that conveyed both shocking devastation and the ultimate triumph of American resilience and ideals. She wanted to make the grim moment into a story that could inspire young people to become good citizens.

 

She said it came together when she was “cocooned on a 14-hour plane flight.”

“It was a midnight flight and everything was dark save for a reading light,” Rhodes said. “Being in that space and spiritually connecting with the people on those planes brought it into focus for me.”

A possible approach as well as the title popped inside her head. For Rhodes it was “a sign that I should try and write this book.”

Rhodes wanted input from fellow teachers, so she consulted the principal and other staffers at the Brooklyn New School, PS 146, who witnessed the two planes flying into the World Trade Center through their school windows. The educators said they were still traumatized by the crashes, which left the school coated in debris and ashes, and the sudden realization that family members and friends worked in the twin towers. Even years later, many still couldn’t discuss it with their students, some of whom asked, “What happened?” and “Where are those buildings?”

Rhodes also discovered through classroom visits around the country that lessons on 9/11 varied widely and that many teachers had avoided the topic altogether.

Part of the trepidation had to do with age: At what point is it appropriate for young people to learn about a troubled chapter of recent history?

“It depends,” said Amanda Vickery, assistant professor of elementary social studies at ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

“It can be taught at the elementary level, but it has to be done in an age appropriate way that doesn’t focus on fear but teaches about bravery, citizenship, resilience and the human spirit,” she said.

Vickery said teachers aren’t eager to venture into such territory because they want to “preserve and protect the innocence of the child.”

In Arizona, current state social studies standards do not call specifically for lessons on 9/11 or contemporary terrorism. That doesn’t mean, however, it’s not being taught, said Kenneth De Masi, past president of the Arizona Council for the Social Studies.

“Many teachers are challenged in placing Sept. 11 in the context of world history,” said De Masi, who has taught social studies for the last four decades. “It is simply a question of when to do it, how to do it, for how long and who should do it? I know some people in our society that I would not want to be teaching my grandkids 9/11 or terrorism in general.”

That doesn’t appear to be the case with Rhodes, who has received widespread support for the project.

“Jewell is a very magical person, and she has the presence of an angel,” said Sid Reischer, a fifth-grade teacher at Castleton Elementary in upstate New York. Reisher received advance copies of “Towers Falling” from publisher Little, Brown Books as part of his yearlong study of 9/11. Reisher read it to his students in April while Rhodes participated through Skype.

The reading became “an avenue for students to have a conversation with their parents about 9/11 as part of their homework,” Reischer said. He said other student outcomes included a “feeling of connection to the country as a whole, a deep appreciation for first responders and what it means to be an American.”

Reischer said “Towers Falling” affected parents, many of whom had personal connections with people who died that day.

Towers Falling book cover

“For the kids to see the emotional impact it had on the parents was very valuable and an important piece,” Reischer said. “It showed that history is alive and well and is about people. We had very rich conversations about the subject for the next few days.”

Reischer’s study will culminate with a visit from Rhodes. She will travel to the 9/11 Memorial to meet with about 75 Castleton students on Sept. 9, to memorialize the attacks.

“The idea that Jewell will come and meet us there makes this a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these kids,” Reischer said. “When does an author do that? It’s amazing if this all comes off.”

“Towers Falling” is set for release Tuesday, July 12. 

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Reporter , ASU Now

480-727-5176

ASU School of Music welcomes Ying Quartet for 2016–17 visiting quartet residency program


June 27, 2016

Bringing concert music into everyday life is not always the focus of chamber music groups, but it is a priority of the fearlessly imaginative Ying Quartet, whose members have been performing together in diverse settings for two decades.

The ASU School of Music, in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, is lucky to have this renowned group come to ASU for the 2016-17 annual visiting quartet residency program. Each year, the innovative program hosts a major professional string quartet for three visits, and these top musicians serve as featured artists and teachers for students, integrating a comprehensive chamber music curriculum into the extensive training. The Ying Quartet, pictured, are the 2016-17 visiting string quartet in residence at ASU's School of Music. The Ying Quartet is the 2016-17 visiting string quartet in residence at ASU's School of Music. Download Full Image

“This will be the first time having the Ying Quartet in our residency,” said Jonathan Swartz, artistic director of the program and violin professor in the School of Music. “They are known for excelling in many of the things that distinguish our program — a commitment to communication, education, creation and performance of art relevant to our place and time, and impacting the community. They are an ideal quartet for our program, and our students are thrilled to get the opportunity to study with them.”

Thanks to their impressive qualifications and broad musical interests, the group performs regularly in world-renowned concert halls as well as more ordinary locales like workplaces, schools and even prisons. Their desire to explore the diverse possibilities of the string quartet and share it with others is what has led them to pursue such a range of experiences in which to showcase their art. This has helped truly set them apart in the chamber music world.

One of their primary ventures, an ongoing commissioning project called LifeMusic, was initiated to increase the string quartet repertoire. With support from the Institute for American Music, they commission emerging and established composers to write music that reflects contemporary American life and have accrued an impressive list of new titles.

“The second visit from the quartet will have the theme ‘Americana,’ to specifically bring into focus the Ying’s mission of commissioning works that represent different parts of America,” said Swartz. “We always try to tap into our visiting quartet’s interests and expertise, and this is one example.”

The School of Music’s quartet program is curriculum-based, with each visit from the quartet centering around a curricular project. Within a four-year window, four different quartets come to do a residency, with no repeats. There is a strong yearly continuity, thanks to multiple visits from the same quartet each year, yet during the typical duration of an undergraduate degree program, students are exposed to a variety of expertise by having a new quartet serve in residence each year. These features of the quartet program set it apart from similar offerings at other universities and help to ensure that School of Music string students receive the best possible training during their time at ASU.

Heather Beaman

Communications liaison, School of Music

480-727-6222

Short-story contest finalists explore futures shaped by climate change


June 21, 2016

Speculative fiction stories have the power to take abstract, contentious policy debates about humans and their changing environment and turn them into gripping, visceral tales. The emerging literary genre of climate fiction — epitomized by novels like Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy and Paolo Bacigalupi’s “The Water Knife” — helps to imagine possible futures shaped by climate change and to encourage more creative thinking about how humans might respond and adapt.

Arizona State University’s Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative is proud to announce the 12 finalists for its inaugural Climate Fiction Short Story Contest. These authors created unique and compelling visions of how humans might live in a future radically affected by climate change. A grand-prize winner will be selected from these finalists and announced in September. 2016 Arizona State University Climate Fiction Contest Download Full Image

The finalists are:

• Ashley Bevilacqua Anglin, “Acqua Alta”
• Kathryn Blume, “Wonder of the World”
• Kelly Cowley, “Shrinking Sinking Land”
• Stirling Davenport, “Masks”
• Adam Flynn and Andrew Dana Hudson, “Sunshine State”
• Diana Rose Harper, “Thirteenth Year”
• Henrietta Hartl, “LOSD and Fount”
• Matthew Henry, “Victor and the Fish”
• Shauna O’Meara, “On Darwin Tides”
• Lindsay Redifer, “Standing Still”
• Yakos Spiliotopoulos, “Into the Storm”
• Daniel Thron, “The Grandchild Paradox”

The finalists’ stories will be published in an anthology to be released in September in conjunction with the grand-prize winner announcement. The anthology will include a foreword from science fiction legend Kim Stanley Robinson, who served as a judge for the contest, and an interview with award-winning climate fiction author Paolo Bacigalupi. The grand-prize winner will receive $1000, and several runners-up will receive bundles of books signed by Bacigalupi.

The contest is the first public climate fiction endeavor hosted by the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative, which explores how imagination might shape our social, political and scientific responses to the challenge of climate change. It was co-sponsored by ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council. The contest received more than 700 entries submitted by writers from 67 countries.

The stories consider the potential future ramifications of climate change for communities across the globe, from London and Madagascar to Venice, rural New England and the Florida Everglades. They engage with themes including artificial intelligence, DIY culture, human enhancement, wildfires and environmental insurgents overthrowing national governments.

All submissions were subject to multiple rounds of blind review by an editorial board that included experts on sustainability, conservation, geology, climate modeling and environmental history from ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, School of Life Sciences, School of Earth and Space Exploration, and Department of History, and experts in science fiction and creative writing from ASU’s Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and the Center for Science and the Imagination.

To learn more about the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative, visit climateimagination.asu.edu.

Joey Eschrich

program manager, Center for Science and the Imagination

480-442-2682

 
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ASU celebrates Frankenstein's 200th birthday with writing dare.
The tale of Frankenstein combines entertainment with serious ethical inquiry.
June 16, 2016

Frankenstein writing contest seeks to reanimate the conversation of science and responsibility

Two hundred years ago, in the early morning hours of June 16, Mary Shelley found herself possessed by a waking dream in which she “saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life …”

Born of a nightmare, the story of Frankenstein is one of the most enduring cautionary tales regarding scientific creation and moral responsibility. As the story goes, a young Shelley conceived of the idea after a group of fellow writers dared each other to write the best scary story during the inclement summerThe year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer as the world was locked in a cold, volcanic winter caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. In 1816, when Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley (her soon-to-be husband) visited Lord Byron at Lake Geneva in Switzerland, the weather did not allow for outdoor activities, so the group spent time reading each other ghost stories indoors. of 1816 on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Now, Arizona State University, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Chabot Space and Science Center, and Creative Nonfiction magazine are daring amateur and professional writers to do the same. The Frankenstein Bicentennial Dare competition hopes to inspire new stories that reflect on questions of science, technology, ethics, creativity and responsibility.

The competition is part of the larger Frankenstein Bicentennial Project, launched by co-directors David GustonDavid Guston is the founding director of the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and co-director of the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes. and Ed FinnEd Finn is the founding director of ASU's Center for Science and the Imagination. He is also an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering (Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts/Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering) and the Department of English (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences). in 2013 to position ASU as a hub for the seminal novel’s global bicentennial celebration.

“From the very beginning [‘Frankenstein’] found a happy home onstage and, later, on celluloid, television and video — not to mention breakfast cereal, Halloween costumes, political cartoons and more,” said Guston.

“The novel itself grapples with issues — already apparent to Mary at the cusp of our scientific age but appearing again in each generation of knowledge-based technology, from galvanism forward to synthetic biology and artificial intelligence — related to the nature of creativity and responsibility.

“This theme, of course, applies to the earliest myths about the creation of human beings in many religions, but Mary’s story, dense with conflicting norms and changing paradigms, emerged as a modern myth suitable for retelling and reconfiguring.”

The Frankenstein Bicentennial Dare will be separated into two categories. The first, presented by ASU, NaNoWriMo and Chabot, invites participants to write short, scary tales about unexpected consequences and unintended monstrosities — though monsters are not always evil, and things that begin innocently enough, like a song, can be misappropriated and wrought into something monstrous. Winners of the short-fiction contest will receive personal feedback from Hugo and Sturgeon Award-winning science fiction and fantasy author Elizabeth Bear, as well as a curated selection of classic and contemporary science fiction books. Submissions will be accepted through July 31.

The second, a long-form nonfiction competition presented by ASU and Creative Nonfiction magazine, asks authors to document true stories about the evolving relationships between humanity and technology for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize or one of two $2,500 runner-up prizes. Winners will be announced in mid-2017, and winning essays will be included in an upcoming issue of the magazine. Submissions will be accepted through March 20, 2017.

Center for Science and the Imagination editor and program manager Joey Eschrich hopes the wide reach of ASU and the various partners involved will ensure the greatest amount of public engagement possible.

Science advancements and writing have a long history together.

“As long as people have tried to create new knowledge (aka ‘science’) there has been someone else there to write about it,” said ASU English professor Cajsa Baldini, the advantages of which include “the benefit of combining entertainment and the engagement of the individual imagination with serious ethical inquiry.”

Submissions for the Frankenstein Bicentennial Dare are being accepted now. Full details, contest rules and guidelines for entries can be found at frankenstein.asu.edu/dare.

“I hope that we identify some really insightful, inspirational and creative approaches to understanding how we might — and how we should — engage with science and technology,” said Guston, “and, in the words of one scholar, learn to love the monsters that we create.”

 

Top image by Nina Miller, Center for Science and the Imagination graphic designer

 
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7 reasons ASU is the 'Entrepreneurial University'

ASU's university-wide support of entrepreneurship honored by symposium.
At ASU, innovative thinking stretching across all disciplines and departments.
June 14, 2016

Deshpande Symposium award honors university's innovation-fostering culture

Arizona State University’s entrepreneurial spirit was honored Tuesday night at the annual Deshpande Symposium for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education.

At the symposium in Lowell, Massachusetts, ASU representative Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and programs, was presented with the Entrepreneurial University Award, a recognition of ASU’s support of entrepreneurial programs and curriculum across the institution, from student startups to maker spaces to projects aimed at having an immediate impact on the world.

“It was the opinion of the Awards Committee that Arizona State University best exemplified a strong overall commitment to foster entrepreneurship across an institution by building both innovative educational courses and programs as well as student engagement at many levels,” wrote Raj Melville, executive director of the Deshpande Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship and innovation as catalysts for social change.

Here’s a look at seven activities that contributed to ASU’s newest honor:

A culture of startup support

This newest accolade builds ASU’s credibility as a forward-thinking institution that values new ideas: In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked ASU as the “Most Innovative School,” ahead of Stanford, MIT, Duke, Harvard and Cornell.

In fiscal year 2015, ASU faculty were issued 62 U.S. patents, launched 12 new companies and submitted 270 invention disclosures to Arizona Technology Enterprises, which attracted more than $40 million in new external funding. ASU’s venture development activities have led to the formation and assistance of more than 80 companies; in Arizona, four of these companies alone represent more than 350 jobs created.

Recently launched ASU student-led startups have won numerous external and intercollegiate competitions. They include Let's Chat, a language-learning app; Neolight, a medical-device solution for babies with jaundice; and Epifinder, a tool that enables faster diagnosis and treatment for epileptic patients.

For Elizabeth Oviedo, a 2016 graduate of ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business’ MBA program, the recognitions reflect reality. She said that ASU is unparalleled in its support for student entrepreneurs because of the accessibility of its faculty and staff and their willingness to help student startups regardless of what department they were based in.

“As a New American University, ASU’s design aspirations guide its growth and transformation. Among these principles is a deep commitment to entrepreneurship in all forms,” said ASU Knowledge Enterprise Development Executive Vice President Sethuraman Panchanathan. “That means more than a class or a program: it is a mind-set woven into the university’s culture. Entrepreneurship radiates from the heart of ASU’s mission to produce innovations of the future and the master learners who will lead us there.”

The presenting of the Deshpande Symposium award.

Ji Mi Choi, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and programs, accepts ASU’s Outstanding Achievement as an Entrepreneurial University Award from Jack Wilson (left), president emeritus of the UMass system and UMass Lowell distinguished professor of higher education, emerging technologies and innovation, and entrepreneur Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande on Tuesday at the Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education in Lowell, Massachusetts. Photo by Tory Germann for UMass Lowell

 

Top photo: A journalism student poses for a portrait using the telepresence robot during Innovation Day at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on Jan. 20. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Beth Giudicessi

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications

480-965-3502

ASU Herberger Institute wins 3 highly competitive grants from National Endowment for the Arts


June 13, 2016

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has recognized ASU’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts with grants for three separate projects totaling $50,000.

In May, the NEA announced its second round of recipients to receive grants this fiscal year, and that list included associate professor Mary Hood in the School of Art and postdoctoral scholar Alexandre Frenette. During its first round of grants, the NEA selected the Herberger Institute’s ASU Art Museum as one of 56 museums nationwide to receive a grant.  2015 Map(ing) Kate Horvat, Mac Bydalek and Craig Kelly work on a print for Map(ing) 2015. Associate professor Mary Hood recently received a grant from the NEA to help support the biennial printmaking residency program. Photo by Craig Smith. Download Full Image

“Securing a grant from the NEA is the gold standard of recognition that your ideas have national merit,” said Steven J. Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute. “To get three awards in a single year is testimony to the fact that ASU and the Herberger Institute are advancing research and creative projects that are models for the rest of the country.”

Associate professor Mary Hood received a $15,000 Art Works grant to help support her Map(ing) project, a biennial printmaking residency program that explores contemporary Native American and Indigenous artistic practices. Art Works grants, the NEA’s main grant category, are awarded to projects that result in creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts or the strengthening of communities through the arts, according to the NEA. 

For Map(ing), Native American and Indigenous artists with very limited or no printmaking experience collaborate with graduate students from the printmaking program at the ASU School of Art to create a limited edition of 25 prints. The teams use printmaking and visual storytelling to explore concepts of culture, place, language and identity. The event concludes with an exhibition and a moderated public forum.

“In the past years I’ve really scraped together the money that’s needed to put together a project like this, with help from the Herberger Institute and the School of Art, who have both funded it over years, and from a lot of community donations,” Hood said. “So the financial support is really important. But the validation of the project is also important. For a granting institution of that size to see the impact of this project is extremely rewarding.”

The Art Works grant program also funds research that investigates the impact of the arts on individuals and groups.  In this category, the NEA awarded $15,000 to help fund a study on the careers of arts graduates. Postdoctoral scholar Alexandre Frenette will partner with Timothy J. Dowd from Emory University as co-principal investigators for the project. Using data from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), a national survey that documents the experiences of arts alumni, they will look at the factors that shape which graduates remain active in arts-related careers and which ones exit. Dean Tepper, who is the research director for SNAAP, will also serve as principal investigator on the project.

“There are many misleading articles and narratives out there about the careers and lives of people who study the arts,” Frenette said. “There are problems within our educational system and there is inequality, but we’ll really only understand and address these if we pay attention to real facts and data. We will use SNAAP data to better understand the careers of arts graduates and, in the process, show what’s working and what we really do need to improve.”

Frenette’s project is one of only 18 projects nationwide to receive a Research: Art Works grant from the NEA this year.

“I was surprised and very pleased,” Frenette said of receiving the grant. “We were going to pursue this work anyway, but now we can do it much more in-depth. Ultimately, then, the work will have more of an impact.”

In December, the NEA awarded $20,000 to the ASU Art Museum to support an upcoming project called Space in Between. Artist Margarita Cabrera will collaborate with the museum, the Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Latino community to develop a series of soft sculptures in the form of desert plants. The project aims to address themes of art and community, craft, immigration, empowerment, cultural identity and labor practices relevant to the Arizona region and its local immigrant history. 

“Margarita Cabrera’s work expands the notion of what community-based art can accomplish by addressing social justice issues in relation to immigration, labor and identity,” said ASU Art Museum curator Julio Cesar Morales.

The sculptures will be on display at the Desert Botanical Garden in the fall of 2016. 

For more information on NEA grants and a complete list of recipients, visit arts.gov

Sarah A. McCarty

Communications and marketing coordinator, School and Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Institute

480-727-4433

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