Department New (9-28-15)

Brad Barber and Scott Christopher’s documentary, Peace Officer premiered in Utah on Friday at the Tower Theatre.  Scott reported that the theatre was sold out for the premiere, with about 300 people attending.  Because the story takes place in Utah, Scott felt like this was one of the most responsive crowds he’s experienced.  On Saturday, the Provo Police Chief came to see the film.  Afterwards, media arts alums Julian Acosta, Cole Webley,and Jared Harris (St. Cloud’s) threw a great after party.  The Salt Lake Tribune gave the film a very high review:  http://www.sltrib.com/home/2983180-155/movie-review-peace-officer-a-utah  The film will screen at the Tower Theatre, 876 E 900 S, Salt Lake City, this week at 4:15 pm and 7 pm.  The film will also show in Salt Lake’s  Megaplex this week end.
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This week, TMA will be hosting two guest scholars: Dr. Joanne Zerdy and Dr. Will Daddario (who also happen to be married to each other). Joanne’s research is based in ecocriticism and performance, and she focuses mostly on sites in Scotland. Will is a Performance Philosophy scholar who is doing work on Diogenes. Please, feel free to share this with your students.
Here’s a bit more info on each…
On Wednesday, Sept. 30th, 5-5:50pm, Dr. Joanne Zerdy (independent scholar) will presenting in HFAC F-201. Her presentation is “Cultivating land and Art at a Recovered Ruin: NVA’s Kilmahew/St. Peters.” It deals with the efforts of an environmental art initiative taking place at St. Peter’s Seminary in Scotland.

Dr. Will Daddario (Illinois State University) is one of the core-conveners of the international Performance Philosophy research network. His presentation is titled, “Cynic Performance and Seriously Funny Ancient Greek Tragedy.” There’s been an effort in Theatre Studies to identify philosophical antecedents to theatre other than Aristotle. Martin Puchner’s 2010 book did a fascinating job of this in the context of Plato. Will is now looking at Diogenes. His lecture will be Thursday, Oct. 1st, 11-11:50am, in the Nelke, in the HFAC.

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Routledge Press recently made available a book co-edited by our own Amy Petersen Jensen and Roni Jo Draper:  Arts Education and Literacies.  The book is part of the Routedge Research in Literacy Series.  Dr. Jensen and Dr. Draper contribute not only their editorship, but several chapters each.  Of note, the chapter authors also include  Juliia Ashworth and Benjamin Thevenin.  Benjamin Thevenin also served as a chapter editor. The book is available here: https://www.routledge.com/products/9781138806979  The description of the book is included below.

In a struggling global economy, education is focused on core subjects such as language arts and mathematics, and the development of technological and career-readiness skills. Arts education has not been a central focus of education reform movements in the United States, and none of the current education standards frameworks deeply address the processes, texts and literacies that are inherent to arts disciplines. This lack of clarity poses a problem for state and district leaders who might be inclined to advocate for the arts in schools and classrooms across the country, but cannot find adequate detail in their guiding frameworks.This volume acknowledges the challenges that arts educators face, and posits that authentic arts instruction and learning can benefit a young person’s development both inside and outside of the classroom. It presents ways that arts teachers and literacy specialists can work together to help others understand the potential that arts learning has to enhance students 21st century learning skills.

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TMA alumnus and director of Netfilx’s MittGreg Whiteley, screened his latest documentary, Most Likely to Succeed, last week on UVU campus in the Regan Theatre.  Greg also appeared on the KSL Doug Wright Show last week to discuss the documentary. The doc posits the question, “What sort of educational environment is most likely to succeed in the 21st century?”  The film replies, “Our school system was designed in 1893. The documentary examines the history of education in the United States, revealing the growing shortcomings of conventional education methods in today’s innovative world. The film explores compelling new approaches that aim to revolutionize teaching as we know it. After seeing this film, the way you think about ‘school’ will never be the same.”

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