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Spelman College

President's Letter to the Community

Announcement: ARTS@Spelman initiative

September 25, 2015

Dear Spelman Faculty, Students and Staff,

At August’s faculty institute, I shared the idea for an ARTS@Spelman initiative that would explore how we can strengthen the study of the arts and create meaningful collaborative opportunities between the arts and other liberal arts disciplines on campus.

To that end, I am pleased to announce the establishment of a multi-disciplinary ARTS@Spelman Steering Committee.  Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, division chair for the arts and founding director of the Digital Moving Image Salon, has agreed to chair the committee.  Along with our interim provost, Dr. Myra Burnett, she is joined by the following faculty and students:

  • Ayoka Chenzira, Committee Chair
  • Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, C’93 (Spelman College Museum of Fine Art)
  • Joseph Bigley (Art and Art History)
  • Peter Chen (Chemistry)
  • Gertrude James Gonzalez de Allen (Philosophy and Religious Studies)
  • Aku Kadogo (Visiting Scholar)
  • T. Lang (Drama and Dance)
  • Jerry Volcy (Computer and Information Sciences)
  • Opal Moore (English, Honors Program)
  • Carolyn Blasingame, C’2017 (Studio Art major)
  • Simone Smarr, C’2016 (Computer and Information Sciences, Music major)
  • Myra Burnett (Office of the Provost, ex-officio)

In preparation for committee meetings, a set of planning parameters has been drafted to serve as a guide to begin – but in no way limit – committee conversation. Also, the group plans to engage thought leaders external to the College who will engage in conversation with the committee from time to time during its tenure.  In addition to considerations of program and curricular ideas, the committee will discuss campus facilities needs for the arts and collaborative engagements and, before there is a submission to the president, will present ideas to the Spelman community for comment and feedback.

The ARTS@Spelman Steering Committee will hold a series of meetings this fall and submit an interim report to the Office of the President by the end of the semester. By the end of the 2015-2016 academic year, the group will submit a summary paper of recommendations that will be incorporated into the College’s strategic planning process.

We look forward to what we know will be an exciting series of conversations and set of ideas for the future of the arts on the Spelman College campus.


Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.