“As an institution committed to both education and the arts, Notre Dame is proud to host the Fischoff Competition and partner with organizers to promote music education around the globe,” said Tim Sexton, associate vice president for public affairs at Notre Dame. “Fischoff introduces hundreds of young musicians to Notre Dame each year, providing innumerable benefits — social, cultural, economic — to campus and the surrounding community. We congratulate them on 50 years and look forward to the next 50.”
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When Opera Notre Dame’s first film production made its debut last year, it was immediately recognized as a novel way to safely create and share a musical performance during the height of the pandemic. Now, Please Look: A Cinematic Opera Experience has won the inaugural Award for Digital Excellence in the university/conservatory category from Opera America, the hub of the national opera community. The award highlights how supporting the creative vision of faculty and students has made the University a pioneer in the future of an art form as it wades into the new entertainment reality of streaming video.
Notre Dame alumna Tess Gunty ’15 has won the National Book Award for fiction for her debut novel, The Rabbit Hutch. Born and raised in South Bend, Gunty majored in English with a concentration in creative writing. “My writing professors from Notre Dame uprooted my literary preconceptions and planted far better ideas in their place,” Gunty writes in the book’s acknowledgments. “I cherished their generosity as an undergraduate, and I continue to cherish it now.”
A new graduate minor in visual and material culture has been created for Notre Dame students interested in gaining foundational knowledge in global art and architecture history and conducting image-centered interdisciplinary research. The minor was added to enrich the experience of Arts and Letters students in Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Ph.D. programs through Department of Art, Art History & Design (AAHD) courses in ancient, medieval, early modern, modern, and contemporary art.
A renowned group of 12 poets and scholars from across the country will convene at the University of Notre Dame from Sept. 27–28 for a dynamic cultural event featuring talks, conversations, and performances that will showcase the vitality and diversity of contemporary poetry.
For generations, North Americans have seen media images of poverty, disease, civil war, and crime in Central America, including photographs and videos of Central Americans fleeing violence and of children, some just 2 or 3 years old, kept in cages at immigration detention camps. Even when well-intentioned, the images can feed into negative stereotypes, said Tatiana Reinoza, an assistant professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design. Reinoza has won a competitive Getty Scholar Grant that will support her effort to more fully represent the seven-country region, its people, and their stories with her book project, tentatively titled “Retorno: Art and Kinship in the making of a Central American Diaspora.”
Over the past four years, Tim Keller ’00 has found that leading his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has much more in common with studying art than he initially thought. Being able to analyze and understand the context, history, and circumstances of Albuquerque has helped Keller recognize and address his community’s needs. It’s just one of the many surprising ways art history has re-entered his life since earning his degree — and one of the many skills he developed in his liberal arts education that have remained a constant throughout his career.
Shakespeare at Notre Dame recently won a prestigious award for its efforts to convene Shakespeare in prison practitioners from around the world as well as a new grant for its work bringing the Bard to a local residential treatment facility for juveniles. “Shakespeare at Notre Dame is the social justice mission of the University in action through the performing arts,” said Scott Jackson, Mary Irene Ryan Family Executive Director. “We can be a community driver of change.”
Douglas Kinsey, an artist and professor emeritus in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, died May 21 at his home. He was 88.
Kinsey joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1968 after earning his M.F.A. at the University of Minnesota and his bachelor’s degree at Oberlin College. Before coming to Notre Dame, he taught at Oberlin, the University of North Dakota, and Berea College.…
There’s a lot at stake for the narrator of an audiobook — their ability to reflect the traits of the characters can make or break the listening experience. That’s where Siiri Scott has shined, as she’s proficient in more than 40 dialects. Her methodology for researching and designing dialects for theater, film, and voiceover work is a skill she teaches to Notre Dame students as head of acting and directing in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre and one she uses as a rising star in the world of audiobook narration.
What do studio art, German, history, fairy tales, and subverting gender tropes have in common? Notre Dame undergraduate Naya Tadavarthy has used all of them in creating her senior thesis project. Tadavarthy’s wide range of academic interests have now culminated in a perfect ending — she’s writing and illustrating a children’s book about German author Gisela von Arnim, who was creating protofeminist fairytales as a teenager in the 1840s, at a time when the world lacked female-focused literary figures.
Josiah Broughton started off as a computer science major at Notre Dame, but the courses didn’t align with his interests or strengths. So he stepped back, re-evaluated, and chose to take a more creative route — majoring in film, television, and theatre. The classes, he said, are fascinating and fun and offer a more comprehensive perspective on the concepts involved in video game design, from story and structure to character and graphics. Now, his dream of being a game designer is a lot closer to reality now thanks to coursework on 3D digital production for animation and video games, creating film as social action, elements of computing, and scriptwriting.
Notre Dame Creative Writing Program director and poet Joyelle McSweeney has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in recognition of her creative ability in the arts and potential in future endeavors. McSweeney, who is also a playwright, novelist, translator, critic, and English professor, is in extremely good company — Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Ken Burns, Rachel Carson, and Zora Neale Hurston are previous fellows — and 19 Arts & Letters faculty have won Guggenheims in the last 22 years. “I’m still taking it in, to be honest,” she said. “It’s a spectacular show of confidence from the universe.”
On the pages of her novels, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi creates female characters who insist on being themselves. That’s something the award-winning writer and Notre Dame faculty member knows quite a bit about. Growing up in Iran — a country where laws restricted her mobility because of her gender — she loved marching by herself through a deep eucalyptus forest to go to the beach on the Caspian Sea. “I have a very adventurous spirit,” said Van der Vliet Oloomi, an associate professor of English and the MFA in Creative Writing Program. “I write female characters who are equally themselves. They insist on being who they are in the world.”
Whether you are a performer, a creative person, or just a fan, Notre Dame’s musical theatre minor gives students the opportunity to perform, direct, compose, and create theatrical works in a collaborative, hands-on program. While many undergraduates come to the minor wanting to pursue a career in theatre, most of the students have other career plans. The program will help them grow in a variety of ways, Hawkins said, including in risk-taking, developing an aggressive curiosity, and “just walking a little bit taller when you walk out of class.”
New York Times bestselling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will speak at the University of Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. March 25 (Friday) at Leighton Concert Hall in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Presented by the Sr. Kathleen Cannon, O.P., Distinguished Lecture Series, this event was originally scheduled for March 2020 and was postponed due to the pandemic. The event is free, but ticketed. Adichie is a MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner and is known for books such as Americanah, Half of a Yellow Sun, Purple Hibiscus and We Should All Be Feminists, which was translated into 32 languages and based on her 2012 TED Talk.
James Rudolph’s creative exercises can be measured in movement — from surgical robots making precise actions while replacing knees and hips to a handheld device that determines whether cancer treatment is working without breaking the skin. In his work, the Notre Dame assistant professor of industrial design is focused on discovering important problems in order to create a better future, a mindset he maintains in the classroom, where his students are designing everything from marketable products to physical environments to artistic experiences.
It’s been five years since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico. The grief, trauma, and political ramifications of this seismic event in the island’s history are skillfully rendered in Xavier Navarro Aquino’s new novel, Velorio. It’s a powerful debut for Navarro Aquino, an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Notre Dame and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Latino Studies.
For 75 minutes every fall Tuesday afternoon, junior Grace Ryan steps, slides, marches, smiles, and laughs. The business analytics major who’s pursuing a career in aerospace was hesitant to sign up for an Irish dance course given her already busy schedule, but she eventually agreed to try it out. Now she’s hooked — and that combination of having fun while becoming proficient in Irish traditions is exactly why the Department of Irish Language and Literature began offering 1-credit old-style Irish dancing [course] and tin whistle courses this year.
An annual launching pad for student filmmakers as they begin their careers in the film, television and entertainment industries, the Notre Dame Student Film Festival screens films that were made by undergraduate students during the past year as class projects in the Department of Film, Television and Theatre.
When Reginald Dwayne Betts hears the word prison, his first thoughts aren’t about violence or distance or time — he thinks about books. Betts, an artist-in-residence at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study and the Notre Dame Initiative on Race and Resilience, was sentenced to nine years in prison as a 16-year-old. It was there that a book, slid under the door of his cell, changed the course of his life. Now an acclaimed poet, graduate of Yale Law School and 2021 MacArthur Fellow, Betts presented the debut of his solo show Nov. 17 and 18 in the Regis Philbin Studio Theatre at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
Amidst all the anxiety and upheaval created by the coronavirus pandemic, Opera Notre Dame faced a difficult and unique dilemma. How do you give a voice to voice students when their foremost skill — singing opera — poses a potential health risk to others? As uncertainty reigned, they got creative — to make an opera production that was artistically meaningful, educationally rich, and as safe as possible, they made a movie. Please Look: A Cinematic Opera Experience premieres this week at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s Browning Cinema.
Nicole Woods, a Notre Dame assistant professor of art history, has received the Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, a world-renowned institution that brings scholars to Washington, D.C. She will spend much of the spring semester in the nation’s capital, working in the archives of the National Gallery of Art as well as the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. Woods is studying the paintings of Bob Thompson, an African American painter from Kentucky who ran in the Beats' social circles in Greenwich Village after World War II.
Reginald Dwayne Betts, the current artist-in-residence at Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study and the Initiative on Race and Resilience, has been named to the 2021 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Class. Betts is one of 25 fellows to be selected for the honor, commonly known as a “Genius Grant,” which aims to recognize “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.”
Art history majors at Notre Dame pursue their passions while developing skills such as visual literacy, analysis, communication, and information synthesis. "Art history helps us gain a better understanding of the world in today's visual culture," said Cruz Martinez. After graduation, students go on to top graduate and professional schools and work in a variety of professions and industries. “It's very much about storytelling," said art history major Meg Burns. “That's really what drew me to art history and continues to really excite me about coming back to the subject every day.”
What is the studio art major like at Notre Dame? "It's so supportive," Mallory Spiess said. “There's a whole different environment when you're surrounded by a lot of other creators and artists and designers." In studio art, you'll begin with required courses in drawing, 2D and 3D foundations, and art history, and then choose one of five concentrations. Majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as creativity, comfort with ambiguity, empathy, and communication.
In April 2021, scholars of the Italian master Raphael came together in a virtual symposium, celebrating and discussing “The Afterlife of Raphael’s Art, from His Century to Ours.” The event, co-sponsored by the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, the Rome Global Gateway, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, and the American Academy in Rome, marked, after a one-year delay, the 500th anniversary of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino’s death on April 9, 1520. Led by scholars from the United States and Europe, the symposium explored the afterlife of Raphael’s achievement, which redefined art in Renaissance Italy and had an almost peerless influence on modern art in the centuries that followed.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Matt Hawkins wanted to teach his students the value of resilience — and the power of performance art. At a time when nearly all live theatre has been suspended for more than a year, Hawkins found a way to safely bring back the musical his students had spent months planning for and rehearsing during spring 2020. Last month, he directed a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at Notre Dame Stadium, featuring most of the original cast.
“Since its founding, Notre Dame has valued the vital role the visual arts play as an expression of human creativity, religious experience and insight into the human condition,” University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said. “By bringing the collections currently in the Snite Museum of Art to new life in the Raclin Murphy Museum, we will be able to share these treasures in all their richness with our University community, our neighbors in the region and the wider world.”
A new installation by Sacred Music at Notre Dame’s Concordia choir is currently set up in the O’Shaughnessy Great Hall and accessible through May 20. Featuring 16 speakers arranged in a surround-sound pattern, each playing the voice of one singer, listeners are able to stand in the center of the room and feel as if they are on stage, or walk around the room to hear each voice in isolation. Each song represents a unique perspective from which to view the pandemic — with enough variety that a listener could find their own meaning in the pieces.