Dean's Corner - Fall 2014



New program offerings and several milestones are in the news this fall semester in the College of the Arts. For starters, the School of Communication and Media (SCM) welcomed its first cohort of students to a newly created BA program in Journalism. Joining them on their way in were two new faculty members: Kelly Whiteside, a leading sports journalist, and Tara George, an expert in local journalism. In collaboration with SCM, the college launched the Montclair Film Institute, an initiative dedicated to the preservation, growth, and enrichment of the art of film. The Institute has kicked off its inaugural year with a screening and discussion series that brings filmmakers and their films to campus, and the events are free and open to the public. What’s more, the Institute is collaborating with the Montclair Film Festival on “Behind the Screen,” a program for aspiring young filmmakers. (Read more here.)

On November 1, the Alexander Kasser Theater was the site of a gala performance and benefit reception marking the tenth anniversary of the theater and its groundbreaking and award-winning programming. (Read more here.) Over the past decade, the Kasser stage has been home to dance legend Mikhail Baryshnikov, renowned choreographer Bill T. Jones, MacArthur Award Fellows Liz Lerman and Susan Marshall, and performance artist Laurie Anderson – not to mention our own music, theatre, and dance students. This year’s anniversary season features a unique mix of world premieres, American premieres, commissions, and outstanding student work.

If you’re interested in seeing the next generation of performing artists on their way up, the College of the Arts is, as always, the place to be. This year, our Theatre program will be staging the iconic 1960s musical Hair, Shakespeare's The Winter’s Tale, and Aeschylus’s The Persians, while our Dance program is gearing up for Dance Collage and Danceworks. Expanding its horizons, the John J. Cali School of Music has added two new world music ensembles to its roster – African drumming and Balkan music ensembles – and it’s actively pursuing the addition of a Javanese Gamelan. In addition to its season of 300-plus scheduled events, the School will present three special performances all at Carnegie Hall: the Wind Symphony in the New York Season of Giving Gala Concert, the Montclair State Symphony in Tim Janis’s The American Christmas Carol with flutist Sir James Galway, and the brand new Montclair State Graduate String Quartet in its Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Concert Hall. 

Currently on view at the  George Segal Gallery is the first in a series of exhibitions showcasing the varied and extensive holdings in the University’s permanent collection that has been nearly 50 years in the making. The exhibit, "Works on Paper Collection," is on display through December 20. (Read more here). In the meantime, the Segal Gallery is gearing up for "Art Connections 11," its annual fundraising exhibition that will run January 25 – February 21. Students in our MFA program in Studio Arts presented their annual Open Studio on November 14 from 6–10 p.m. at the MFA Gallery. (Read more here.)

Whether you’re an enrolled student, an alum, or a member of our local community, you’ve got a host of cultural events to choose from on the Montclair State campus.  I hope to see you at a performance, screening, or exhibition very soon.