Arts Communication published a new arts brochure ("The Arts at MIT") for general fundraising and general public relations purposes. In addition to external distribution through Arts Communication and the office of the Associate Provost for the Arts, internal distribution was made to members of Academic Council and the Creative Arts Council, Resource Development, the School of Humanities and Social Science, and targeted individuals.
The "Student's Guide to the Arts" and "The Arts at MIT" were selected for display at the Best of New England design show at the Massachusetts College of Art, presented by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).
For the sixth year, Arts Communication produced the weekly Arts Page in Tech Talk. Nineteen feature Arts Pages and eight Month-at-a-Glance Arts Pages were produced by Lynn Heinemann (writer) and Susan Cohen (designer). Arts Page stories and arts information were made available on-line through Tech Info and, for the first time, the World Wide Web. Student photographers were hired to document campus arts events for the Arts Page and other on-campus publications, and the office's growing collection of photographs was used widely in various MIT publications and by the media. Copies of the Month-at-a-Glance arts page were mailed monthly to over 700 individuals at their request.
The number of feature stories and photos on MIT arts news and events in Tech Talk's general spaces increased to 30, more than twice as many as in previous years. Authors included the director of arts communication, members of the News Office staff, and members of the MIT arts community.
Arts Communication continued to oversee ArtsNet, which grew to a total of 100 campus arts representatives, the "Arts at MIT" bulletin board in Lobby 7, and the weekly "Arts Hotline" (253-ARTS).
IAP activities included over 100 arts-related programs, workshops, and performances. Separate listings of arts events occuring during IAP were prepared by Arts Communication and distributed throughout the Institute.
Proceedings from the conference, "The Public Patron: drafting a mandate for a federal arts agency," presented in June 1993 by the Office of the Arts, continuted to be distributed to local and national arts leaders, members of the media, and members of Congress.
Local media attention given to MIT artists-in-residence included enthusiastic previews and coverage of a joint appearance by Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner; Puerto Rico's Ballets de San Juan; the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company; the Whirling Dervishes of Turkey; and the Endellion String Quartet. The Boston Globe hailed the return engagement of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, co-sponsored, they noted, by "MIT's adventurous Office of the Arts."
The MIT residency of 1995 Abramowitz Lecturer Steve Reich received extensive press coverage, including a photo in the Boston Globe's "Names and Faces" column and an appearance by Reich and MIT Associate Professor Evan Ziporyn on WGBH-FM's "Boston Performances" with Richard Knisely. Reich's concert with MIT students and Ziporyn was praised by the Boston Globe as a "feast lovingly prepared by all involved" who "flew at Reich's music with white-hot energy and concentration."
Arts Communication was highly successful in promoting the premiere of the collaborative oratorio, Reckoning Time: A Song of Walt Whitman, by Profs. Alan Brody (text) and Peter Child (music), commissioned by John Oliver. The extensive pre-performance press coverage included an appearance by Brody with author/Whitman biographer Justin Kaplan on Christopher Lydon's popular talk show, "The Connection" on WBUR-FM, an appearance by Child on WGBH-FM's "Boston Performances" with Richard Knisely; and an article by music critic Richard Dyer beginning on page one of the Sunday Boston Globe's Arts Section. A glowing review/feature story appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, accompanied by color photos of the artists in rehearsal. The Globe gave a positive review to the work as well.
MIT-related arts announcements covered in the local media included the resignation of Ellen T. Harris as MIT's first Associate Provost for the Arts, the awarding of the Killian Award to John Harbison, and Harbison's promotion to Institute Professor.
The List Visual Arts Center received extensive media coverage and praise for their 1994-95 exhibitions. War and Memory, the joint show of works by married artists Nancy Spero and Leon Golub, was rated the List's "the most involving show this season," (Bay Windows); the Boston Globe said that the idea of exhibiting the couple in tandem "is such a natural, one can only wonder why no one did it before." The hologram exhibition at the MIT Museum was the subject of feature stories in the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Cambridge Tab.
MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika was the subject of a feature story on WBUR-FM, and earned high reviews from local media from local as well as New York City media for performances ranging from the MIT Student Center to the Lincoln Center Bang on a Can Festival.
Reviews for the MIT Concert Choir under the direction of John Oliver included one from the Boston Globe's Richard Dyer who called a performance "one in which experience and taste were enlivened by genuine enthusiasm and even excitability. ...The MIT Concert Choir ... has cherishable qualities...--good discipline, complete engagement with the piece and fresh, glistening unspoilt voices."
In a discussion of "Music and Science" on WBUR-FM's, "The Connection," Christopher Lydon spoke favorably about music at MIT, praising the MIT Symphony while he wondered rhetorically, "why is it that so many MIT students are also great violinists?"
"[MIT is] a school that is as passionate about its rumbas and sambas as it is about ROMS and RAMS," said a Boston Magazine article (April 1995) on Boston "Swing Kids" which featured members of the MIT Ballroom Dance Club.
Theater and music at MIT was prominently featured in an article on "Boston Stage" in the November-December 1994 issue of Endless Vacation magazine, complete with a full-page photograph of MIT students in the Dramashop production of David Henry Hwang's FOB.
Mary L. Haller
In its fifth year, Special Programs further refined and solidified the Artist in Residence Program model within the School of Arts and Humanities, began a major long term initiative to integrate artists into the Schools of Science and Engineering, and expanded its role as a collaborative producer of significant and diverse programs with local cultural agencies.
Two significant residencies within the Music Section enabled committed faculty and students to realize the benefits of long term and in-depth study and rehearsal of both an individual composer's work and the repertoire of a string quartet. The compositions of Steve Reich, one of the fathers of 20th century music, were scrupulously studied and performed by students in the course of the fall and spring semesters through support of the 1995 William L. Abramowitz Program. Reich coached a student ensemble performance of Tehillim, one of his most difficult works, and a full concert of his works was performed by MIT students, faculty and Reich himself. The Endellion String Quartet from England mobilized music faculty and students through intensive individual and group chamber music coaching sessions and several well-attended concert programs. Both watershed programs re-affirmed the value of in-depth, long-term Residencies and the impact of direct contact with professional artists.
As artist-in-residence, kinetic sculptor Arthur Ganson engaged one of the largest audiences to date for an MIT Museum-sponsored exhibit in Compton Gallery (mechanical e motions @mit.edu.). A large number of engineering faculty and students attended several artist talks in the gallery as well as Ganson's over-subscribed IAP course How Many MIT Students Does It Take To Turn On A Lightbulb? The first year of this long-term residency at MIT showed much promise for a continued partnership with Ganson. Under the sponsorship of Professor Ely Sachs, Jill Smith and Phil Dench, a team of designers/computer programmers from Australia, advanced new techniques in three-dimensional modeling which are now being integrated into the broad based Three-Dimensional Printing Project. Ms. Smith brought into the 3-D project the support and participation of Pfaltzgraff, a significant ceramics manufacturer. The Residency continues in the 1995-96 academic year.
Chuck Hoberman, sculptor and architect of deployable, unfolding structures, conducted a two-day residency in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Architecture on the uniqueness of the mechanics of deployable structures. A return Residency is planned.
The Council for the Arts at MIT completed an active, inspiring year. Although greatly saddened by the loss of our founder, Jerome B. Wiesner, the Council continued in the refinement of its work in standing and prize committees, and development of new initiatives to foster student engagement with the arts. The Council was honored this year by the invitation of John W. Kunstadter `49, Chairman, and Martin N. Rosen `62, Vice Chairman to serve as honorary members of the Provost's search committee for the Associate Provost for the Arts, and the bestowal on the Council of a 1995 Presidential Citation for its distinguished service to the institution.
Also at the Friday morning session it was announced that the Roy Lamson Memorial Fund had commissioned works from MIT Music and Theater Arts faculty members Edward Cohen, Elena Ruehr and Evan Ziporyn, to be performed at the second Roy Lamson concert to be held in the 1995-96 academic year. The fund also commissioned program notes from Professor Lowell Lindgren.
Council members and guests were treated to an eclectic student recital featuring a jazz quintet consisting of: Eric Scheirer (G), Damon Bramble `97, Sol Douglas `95, Ali Azerbayajani (G), Mike Protz `96 and performances by pianist Julia Rosolovsky `97, flutist Sara Gaucher `96, and a cappella singing group the Chorallaries of MIT, headed by Erin McCoy `95.
The Eugene McDermott Award and the Gyorgy Kepes Fellowship Prize were presented, respectively, to Tan Dun, a Chinese-born avant garde composer based in New York City, and Peter Child, Associate Professor in the Music and Theater Arts Section (see Special Programs below).
Contributions were also designated to a "Special Project" undertaken by the Council's Executive Committee as a $50,000 commitment. This year, pledge payments were completed on the commitment to the MIT Museum's holography collection.
The Grants Committee considered many applications for support of arts projects, submitted by MIT students, staff, and faculty. From its annual allocation, the committee recommended funding of 23 projects, with grants totaling $61,181. Eight Director's Grant proposals were reviewed by the Council Director and awarded a total of $1,645.
With deep sadness this report must note the passing of Dr. Jerome B. Wiesner, MIT President Emeritus and founder of the Council for the Arts at MIT, on October 21 at the age of 79.
from MIT students. In the words of an Electrical Science and Engineering student: "I know next to nothing about music and really appreciate this chance to spend one afternoon a week experiencing and learning ..." and the words of a Management major: "I cannot thank the founders enough for starting such a great program. Also, hearing the BSO play inspired me to pick up the violin again and join the MIT Symphony ....I did not realize how much I missed the music and atmosphere until I saw it again that evening."
In addition to the events listed above, Council members Mr. and Mrs. Bradford M. Endicott made possible for an excursion for 45 students to the "Bang On A Can" Marathon, a concert of new music featuring MIT Music Professor Evan Ziporyn and MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center on May 21.
At the Institute Awards Convocation on Monday May 15, the Laya and Jerome B. Wiesner Student Art Awards were presented by Professor Ellen T. Harris to the student officers of Dramashop, Edward W. Kohler Jr. `95 and painter and architecture student Lian Quan Zhen (G). The Louis Sudler Prize was presented to Ms. Erin E. McCoy `95 for her achievement in such diverse musical endeavors as the Chorallaries of MIT and work with MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika.
Susan R. Cohen
MIT Reports to the President 1994-95