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Arts and Humanities News

    AUP+D Studio helps Kansas City earn “Music City” designation

    A studio in Urban Planning + Design, led by Dr. Jacob Wagner, completed a semester long project focused on putting together material that helped Kansas City earn a “Music City” designation from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The UNESCO application focused on Kansas City’s jazz history and current music scene.

    UNESCO established the Creative Cities Network in 2004, as a way to "work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level."

    Read the full KCUR article

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    A king of KC theater takes on Shakespeare’s great king — and then steps aside

    Shakespeare’s King Lear is the theatrical equivalent of an Olympic decathlon.

    UMKC Theatre's Theodore Swetz

    Lear may be the most challenging role in the English-speaking theater, one that takes prickly concepts of vanity, loss and madness and pushes them about as far as they can go.

    “Of all the roles I’ve done, this is the most demanding,” said Theodore Swetz, who will play the mad king in the Kansas City Actors Theatre production starting Friday, Oct. 13, in Spencer Theatre as a co-production with UMKC Theatre.

    “It’s a sustained assault on the mind and body. At the same time it’s fun. Terrific fun.”

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    CAS presents inaugural Royall Professorships

    Normal Royall Distinguished Professor AwardThe UMKC College of Arts and Sciences presented the inaugural Norman Royall Professorships to four faculty members during the College’s 2017 Fall Reception and Awards Ceremony. The Royall Professorship is the highest honor bestowed by the College.

    “As the highest recognition in the College, the Royall Professorship will reward faculty committed to research and/or teaching excellence, creativity and interdisciplinarity,” said Dean Wayne Vaught during the presentation.

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    Leaders in Learning: a celebration of faculty achievement

    University of Missouri-Kansas City faculty who received endowed professorships, promotions, tenure and other awards of distinction were recognized in 2017 with the Leaders in Learning celebration, an evening of dinner and jazz at Pierson Auditorium.

    A video tribute included praise for UMKC faculty from students as well as Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

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    UMKC to offer new B.A. in Film and Media Arts in Fall 2017

    BA in Film and Media ArtsThe University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Communication Studies is pleased to announce a new degree program, the Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Arts. Students will be able to officially enroll in this new degree program beginning Fall 2017.

    “Film and Media Arts has been an emphasis area within Communication Studies for many years. We decided to create a full-fledged B.A. in Film and Media Arts in response to increasing student demand for this particular major and credential,” said Dr. Lyn Elliot, Professor of Film and Media Arts.

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    UMKC Art Professor’s Videos at KC Streetcar Metro Center

    Totemic Persona, by Barry Anderson, M.F.A., digital motion professor and chair of the UMKC Department of Art and Art HistoryTotemic Persona, by Barry Anderson, M.F.A., digital motion professor and chair of the UMKC Department of Art and Art History, is being shown at the KC Streetcar Metro Center Northbound Stop and Kiosk, located at 12th and Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri.

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    Transit-Driven Thinking: Nichols Student Prize contestants inspired by streetcar expansion

    Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

    Kansas City’s new streetcar is already driving development activity along its route. So with an election to decide on an extension plan in the offing, it’s only natural to imagine what changes in the city’s urban environment could follow.

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    A Degree from UMKC can take you anywhere

    UMKC Alumna Edie McClurg receives honorary doctorate
    Honoree Edie McClurg | Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

    UMKC Alumna Edie McClurg receives honorary doctorate

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City received a surprise visit by alumna Edie McClurg (B.A.) in April and a return visit on May 13 for commencement, where she received an honorary doctorate and delivered the College of Arts and Sciences commencement address.

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    Local artist discusses his love for Kansas City and how UMKC helped him discover his passion

    Jose Faus
    Image via the artist's website

    Jose Faus (BA, ’87) is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer who came to Kansas City from Bogota, Columbia, as a child. Most of his school years were spent in the KC metro and he fell in love with the city.

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    UMKC English Professor Selected for Guggenheim Fellowship

    Michelle BoisseauUMKC English Professor Michelle Boisseau has been awarded a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

    Professor Boisseau, a poet, teaches in UMKC’s MFA program, is Senior Editor of BkMk Press and is Contributing Editor of New Letters. She is the recipient of two fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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    UMKC Art Professor’s public artwork seen on famous Sunset Strip

    Professor Barry Anderson, chair of the UMKC Department of Art and Art History, has a video on public display in West Hollywood, California.

    The piece, Totemic Persona, is a two-channel video animation that was created with the help of UMKC Studio Art students.

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    A Literary Force Emerges: The Rise of UMKC’s MFA Program

    MFA Program, Creative Writing Team

    For decades art has been a vital part of Kansas City culture. Visitors from all over the world travel to Kansas City for a glimpse of its vibrant art districts, including the Crossroads Art District and the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District. But Kansas City also nurtures another art form – a hidden gem. Creative Writing.

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    Fellowship Award Helps IPhD Student Broaden Vision of Life In Humanities

    UMKC Interdisciplinary Ph.D. student Matt Reeves recently received a pre-doctoral fellowship award from the Humanities Without Walls consortium. The fellowship award will pay for Reeves to participate in the organization’s Alternative Academic Careers Summer Workshop. The workshop aims to help prepare doctoral students for careers both within and outside of the academy.

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    CAS Professors Receive 2016 UMKC Online Awards

    UMKC Online AwardsTwo UMKC College of Arts and Sciences professors recently received 2016 UMKC Online Awards for their online teaching.

    Dr. Kymberly Bennett, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Undergraduate Psychology Program, was honored with the 2016 Accessible Course Content Award for the course Psychology 312 – Social Psychology. This award recognizes the individual who supports and promotes accessibility through the incorporation of accessible design/universal design standards into the online course.

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    AUP+D Students Present ‘A Vision for UMKC’

    AUPD - a vision for UMKCThe UMKC Volker campus boasts a beautiful and eclectic collection of buildings integrated within an urban setting in Kansas City, Missouri. Recent efforts to improve the student experience on the Volker campus are evident, but there’s always room for improvement — as a group of UMKC students recently concluded.

    UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton gave the charge to the UMKC Trustees who partnered with the UMKC Urban Planning + Design students to conduct an assessment of the urban design of UMKC’s Volker campus during the spring 2016 UPD Studio 312 class. The students examined the human experience on campus, walk and bike circulation, campus monuments and campus gateways. Students and the university promoted an Instagram photo and hashtag campaign #UMKCSpaces to collect images of great spaces on campus, which were geocoded and mapped.

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    UMKC + Helix Announce 2016 Bud Prize Scholarship Winners

    Bud Prize AwardThe UMKC Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design teams up with Helix each fall semester for the Bud Prize – a design competition and scholarship grant awarded to students attending UMKC. The annual scholarship was created in honor of the late Bud Persons, who was a Senior Interior Architect with Helix when he unexpectedly passed away in 2002. The award recognizes the his vibrant life and work by promoting the study and knowledge of architecture and design.

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    UMKC English Professor Wins $25K NEA Fellowship

    Prof. Hadara Bar-NadavHadara Bar-Nadav, associate English professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for poetry. She will receive a $25,000 grant to use for writing, research, travel and career advancement.

    The NEA creative writing fellowship is the considered among the most distinguished prizes a poet can receive. Judging is anonymous.

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    4th Floor Cherry Hall (CJC and Philosophy)

    photo by: University CommunicationsFourth Floor Cherry Hall Now Open For Business

    Honors College, Criminal Justice, Philosophy Host Grand Opening of New Space

    UMKC faculty, staff and students filed into Cherry Hall Nov. 2 and headed toward the fourth floor, not sure what to expect.

    Upon arrival, they found a beautifully renovated, wide-open new space that had been vacant for nearly seven years. The top floor of the former dormitory, constructed in 1955, is now home to the Honors College, the Department of Philosophy and the department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

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    The Kansas City Star quotes AUP+D's Professor Frisch

    Rising KC rentAUP+D's Professor Frisch quoted in the Kansas City Star's "Spiking rents in Kansas City threaten new real estate bubble that’s hardest on the poor" article.

    This was nuts. Lisa Miller’s rent was jumping a third this summer, to $600 from $450 — more than she could possibly bear.

    What the Kansas City home caregiver didn’t know was that the whole central city has been going nuts. But she was about to find out. 

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    Professor’s work featured in Art in the Loop Project

    Professor Toivanen's HopscotchUMKC College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean and Studio Art Professor Kati Toivanen was one of 25 artists selected for the third annual Art in the Loop Project in Kansas City, Missouri.

    Toivanen’s work, a larger-than-life rendition of the childhood game of hopscotch entitled “Hopscotch,” will be on display in Ilus Davis Park at 11th Street and Locust through September.

    “Hopscotch aims to provide moments of surprise and playful delight in the downtown business environment,” Toivanen said. “Images of familiar toys and even a spilled ice cream cone merge into the sidewalk, inviting participation from viewers.”

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    Professor Krause interviewed for KSHB news

    Nice Terrorist AttackForeign Languages Professor Krause interviewed for KSHB's "Kansas City residents with ties to France react to terror attack" and relates her knowledge of the area and her worry for her colleagues in the area.

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    UMKC Art Professor’s Work Featured in Annual Sculpture Exhibit in Lawrence

    University of Missouri - Kansas City College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean and Studio Art Professor Kati Toivanen was one of eight artists selected for the 28th annual Lawrence Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition in Lawrence, Kansas.

    An opening reception and walking tour will take place at 5:30 pm on Friday, June 10 beginning at the South Park/Parks and Recreation office. The artwork will be on display through Spring 2017.

    Toivanen embellished public waste receptacles with custom image panels. The inspiration for her piece, entitled “Treasure Hunt,” came from local shops and vendors in downtown Lawrence.

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    Science Fiction Solutions

    Neighborhoods, acrylic on canvas

    Ricky Allman is best known for explosive post-apocalyptic paintings inspired by his rejection of his Mormon upbringing.

    In his new works, the Kansas City artist continues to move away from the dire visions of his past to guardedly optimistic predictions for the future.

    “I don’t believe in the apocalypse of humanity; despite all our problems, we’re definitely going to figure out our way,” Allman says.

    Allman remains attached to his signature motifs of architecture, the mountains of his native Utah, and airy, confetti-like exhalations, but he now places them at the service of futuristic imaginings.

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    A Balance Between Poetry and Motherhood

    Credit: Laura Spencer / KCUR

    Kansas City Writer Hadara Bar-Nadav Strikes A Balance Between Poetry And Motherhood

    Eighth Street Tap Room, a bar at 8th and New Hampshire in Lawrence, Kansas, hosts poetry readings each month in a dimly lit basement. As poets take the stage, they're cast in a reddish light, with gold streamers as backdrop.

    Sunday's event started with a short open mic session, and then three featured poets. The final reader of the night: Hadara Bar-Nadav, an associate professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City...

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    2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize

    Hadara Bar-NadavAssociate Professor Hadara Bar-Nadav's publication, Fountain and Furnace, was awarded the 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize Winner by Tupelo Press.

    Winner of the Sunken Garden Poetry Award, selected by Peter Stitt

    Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Peter Stitt has selected Hadara Bar-Nadav of Kansas City, Missouri as winner of the 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize for her chapbook manuscript, Fountain and Furnace.

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    Professor Emeritus Hank Frankel Receives UM System President’s Award

    Prof Emeritus Hank Frankel receives awardHenry R. Frankel, professor emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City has been awarded the ninth of 10 UM System President’s Awards for his excellence in teaching, research, writing and service to the University of Missouri and larger community.

    The award was presented by University of Missouri System Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Steve Graham.

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    Top 25 Women in Higher Education

    Diverse Issues in Higher Education name Dr. Cantú  as one of 2015 's Top 25 Women in Higher Education. Dr. Norma E. Cantú Professor Emeritus of English, The University of Texas at San Antonio and Professor, Latina/o Studies and English, University of Missouri-Kansas City A professor emeritus of English at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Cantú is currently a professor of Latina/o studies and English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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    Broadway World review of Theatre's Frank Higgins' play Black Pearl Sings!

    Black Pearl Sings!BLACK PEARL SINGS! Drama and Music at Its Best in Kansas City

    A line from the play best describes Black Pearl Sings! when Susannah Mullally says, "Pearl is a pearl." Black Pearl Sings! opened on Saturday March 7 at the Just Off Broadway Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. The production marks two firsts for Spinning Tree Theatre, the production of a local playwright and the first time the company utilized a director outside the organization.

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    Durwood Foundation's recent gift to support two more Durwood Scholars in the creative writing program

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation is pleased to announce an additional $50,000 gift from the Stanley H. Durwood Foundation to UMKC’s creative writing program.

    The gift, which follows several years’ of similar support from the Durwood Foundation, will provide funding for UMKC’s College of Arts and Sciences Department of English to designate two additional Durwood Scholars.

    Durwood Scholars, as recipients of this prestigious scholarship are known, get tuition assistance and an additional stipend to help cover living expenses over the course of the three-year program.

    Read the full article.

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    Urban Planning and Design Graduate Idris Raoufi

    Idris Raoufi - AUPD Idris Raoufi's views on urban planning in Kansas City border on bleak.

    KC is one of the most underplanned municipalities in the United States," Raoufi says. "We're 30 years behind the curve with land use, neighborhood preservation, municipal services, community health. There's been almost no emphasis on planning for the future." But even in challenging environments, dedicated souls tend to locate niches in which a difference might be made. Raoufi's niche: the 816 Bicycle Collective, where he focuses his energy when he's not working his day job as a transportation planner for Wilson & Co., an engineering and architecture firm.

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