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Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Joe Kreizinger, Chair of Fine and Performing Arts, has provided examples of how gifts to this department would benefit, art, music, and theatre programs.

Art

Gifts allow the department to bring in guest artists (especially considering diversity/equity). The department tries to bring in at least two guest artists each semester, rotating amongst the studio art areas as well as art historians and educators. Each gives a concept presentation open to the public on opening night and their work is then exhibited for approximately one month in the newly renovated DeLuce Gallery. They typically provide workshops and demonstrations for students as well.

Classroom renovations including the fiber arts, printmaking and darkroom spaces are much needed to adapt to changing technologies and create interdisciplinary opportunities.

Field trips to Kansas City art galleries provide excellent exposure to art that students may not otherwise experience.

This year, Northwest art is sponsoring what we hope will be an annual event called “Bias in America,” a juried art exhibition that gives our students the opportunity to create and submit art, evaluate submitted art, curate an exhibition, organize events connected to the event, and then coordinate and host an exhibition day. Gifts to offset can assist in offsetting the cost of this event. 

Sponsorship of ARTopia, a bi-annual event that brings high school students to campus for a full day of interaction with Northwest art students and faculty, is an outstanding outreach and recruitment activity.

Music

Gifts allow the music department to bring in guest artists (especially considering diversity/equity). The department tries to bring in one or two guest artists each semester, typically one with a focus on instrumental music and one with a focus on vocal music. These guest artists perform for the public, and typically perform with Northwest students, provide demonstrations, make classroom visits, etc. They can range from individual performers such as (this fall) a recital by the lead tubist with the KC Symphony to the larger-scale rock band performance by the popular Kansas City band “Making Movies.”

High on the wish list of the low brass program is a new F tuba. This would be especially beneficial given growth in Northwest's low brass area and the lack of an the availability of this instrument currently.

Sponsorship of Northwest’s performances at the Kauffmann Center, which provides an exceptional profession-based experience for our various ensembles, would be appreciated. Sponsorship of opportunities for our ensembles to perform at other venues could also be pursued, depending on available funds.

The music program presents joint concerts with regional high schools (e.g., the recent Wind Symphony collaboration concert with Park Hill South, performed in the Mary Linn). Sponsorship of one of these events would provide future music educators with profession-based experiences as well as performance experiences and would also be of great benefit to our colleagues in high schools and their students.

Theatre

Sponsorship of a Lab Series student-directed play production or mainstage play would benefit area audiences and the Northwest community, and especially our current theatre students through significant professional-based learning experiences. Our mainstage production program is run like a business, providing students profession-based experiences in performance, technical theatre and design, and theatre management.

Theatre Northwest participates in the annual Kennedy Center-American College Theatre Festival which involves representatives of the KC-ACTF attending and responding to our productions, as well as our annual participation in a six-day event in our seven-state region. At these events, students audition and/or apply for full-time professional theatre jobs, summer theatre internships or summer theatre work, or scholarships or acceptances to graduate schools to pursue theatre. 

Theatre Northwest is involved in collaborations with high schools through participation in high school Thespian Festivals in the four-state area. Costs were the primary reason the department attended only one this year (Nebraska) and are planning to scale down participation (i.e. attend every other year). These experiences are attended by some of our education majors, who meet teachers and students from virtually all high school programs in these states. 

Bringing in guest artists (especially considering diversity/equity). The department tries to bring in at least two guest artists each semester, rotating amongst the performance and technical theatre areas as well as more generally applicable topics such as theatrical styles and periods, theatre safety, and movement training.

Every other year the Music and Theatre programs produce a joint musical. Full or partial underwriting of this production would be beneficial, as would consideration of full or partial underwriting for an annual (rather than biannual) musical. Musical theatre is extremely popular now and job opportunities are increasing. There is high student interest in musical theatre and there is now an interest from faculty in both theatre and music programs to explore adding a new annual event of some sort (perhaps a musical revue, perhaps an operatic workshop, perhaps a fully-developed musical, etc.).

This year, Theatre Northwest is piloting a project called Northwest PlayFest, which gives students and community members the opportunity to direct, perform, and design staged readings of a wide variety of published works. While this year’s inaugural event focuses on published plays, future PlayFests may focus on new works written by students in Playwriting class.

 


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