UMBC Faculty Discuss Baltimore City Civic Engagement Work in Diverse

In the wake of the unrest in Baltimore earlier this year, several UMBC faculty were interviewed by Diverse to share the projects they are doing with students and colleagues to work with the city as it recovers from its first uprising in nearly 50 years.

Bev BickelBeverly Bickel, a clinical associate professor in the language, literacy and culture program, discussed the Imagining America conference, which is sponsored by UMBC in partnership with MICA and Morgan State University. Many conference sessions will focus specifically on Baltimore and address topics such as race, inequality and community-based approaches to spur collective action.

“Part of our commitment in doing that was about how we could use this conference to develop the work in Baltimore,” said Bickel. “We want to use it as an organizing process to strengthen the arts community [in] Baltimore.”

Lee BootLee Boot, associate director of the IRC, said that he and some of his colleagues are cautious about not appearing as to have all the answers: “These issues are real[ly] complicated. The whole idea that [the] university alone is [the] purveyor of knowledge is insane,” he said.

“And we’re trying to level that. Another thing that came up is that Baltimore has to take its stories back. … An opportunity that comes out of what happened in April is that now [there is] a wider understanding that those events were results of things that had happened before. We’re trying to say [that] this is not a bunch of bad players, but results of decisions we have made. That’s a line of thought most people are not interested in listening to most of the time.”

Denise MeringoloDenise Meringolo, an associate professor of history, is working with community partners to create a website that includes original content and documents history in the days surrounding Freddie Gray’s death. The goal is to provide a historical record of diverse perspectives from the people whose lives were directly impacted by the events.

“The thing that’s most important for me [is] that it’s broadly collaborative and puts [the] needs and interests of community first,” Meringolo said. “At this point this is a collection project. … Healing at this time feels like skipping over their pain. I think we’ve got to stop skipping over the pain, so people don’t go from trauma to forgiveness and skip over the hard work. I feel like this [is] the beginning of the hard work.”

Read “Baltimore Higher Ed Institutions Fight to Restore the City” in Diverse.

Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher: Where to Draw the Line: Cartooning in the Shadow of Charlie (5/5)

Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher: “Where to Draw the Line: Cartooning in the Shadow of Charlie”

Tuesday, May 5 | 4:00 p.m.
104 ITE Building

In celebration of his ten years as artist-in-residence at the Imaging Research Center, the celebrated political cartoonist Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher presents a lecture, “Where to Draw the Line: Cartooning in the Shadow of Charlie.” A reception will follow at 5:00 p.m. in the Imaging Research Center, 108 ITE Building.

The recent brutal massacre in Paris sparked by the publication of controversial cartoons in the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo shocked the world. It also launched an emotional debate over the value and limits of free speech in free societies. International award-winning editorial cartoonist Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher has navigated through the increasingly delicate minefield of visual satire for nearly four decades and reflects upon the current uncertain state of affairs and what it might mean for cartoonists and society.

Kal has been the political cartoonist for the Economist Magazine for the last 37 years and is also currently a special contributing cartoonist for the Baltimore Sun. This year he has received two prestigious awards: the 2015 Herblock Prize for editorial cartooning, and the Grand Prix for the 2014 Cartoon of the Year in Europe. In addition to his political cartooning, Kal is also a sought after public speaker addressing audiences around the world on issues of current events, satire, cartoons and freedom of expression. Kal has presented TEDx talks in Warwick, England; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; as well as other talks at Oxford, Harvard, Yale, Duke, Stanford, Pixar Studios and Google headquarters.

The Grand Prix Press Cartoon Europe 2015 was won by KAL for the cartoon pictured, published in The Economist on the 18th of October 2014.

Kal’s Artist in Residency was supported, in part, by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation; the Office of Institutional Advancement; the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs; and the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program.

This event is co-sponsored by the Imaging Research Center; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts; the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research; the Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program; and the Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Both the lecture and reception are free and open to the public. Parking information is available here.

Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher, Imaging Research Center, on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show (1/7) and WEAA’s Marc Steiner Show (1/8)

Following the shootings at the Paris offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher, artist-in-residence at the Imaging Research Center, was interviewed on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show (January 7) and WEAA’s Marc Steiner Show (January 8) — listen here and here, respectively. KAL is editorial cartoonist for The Economist magazine of London and The Baltimore Sun, and winner of the 2014 Thomas Nast Award for cartooning on international affairs.

Surdna Foundation Awards Grant to Imaging Research Center for Liz Lerman Residency

lizlermantomwolffThe Surdna Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering sustainable communities in the United States, has awarded $95,882 to the Imaging Research Center, in partnership with the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, to establish a Spring 2015 residency by renowned choreographer Liz Lerman.

The purpose of this residency is to develop an approach to building and sustaining an online interface for Liz Lerman’s “toolbox” of artistic practices in community-engaged projects, and to do so in a way that incorporates the needs and perspectives of a diverse community of users. Lerman will join researchers at the IRC at UMBC as a Research Professor, and from that “home base” will directly engage with the university and regional communities, and with the broader world via an interactive website. Her work at the IRC will begin with the specific focus of disseminating her lauded developmental work on important behavioral and creativity tools that are valuable not only to artists, but also across diverse communities where creativity in a social context is a key demand. IRC researchers will work with her and diverse groups to create online digital media to make accessible the processes Lerman conceived and developed during her career as a socially-engaged dancer and choreographer. The work will engage broad audiences and this particular project will leverage current research and resources that UMBC, CAHSS, and IRC are investing in the communities of Baltimore. The development of a user-focused website of Lerman’s work is a challenge that matches both the IRC’s mission and expertise in visual communication, collaboration, learning and online dissemination of important information to the general public. Of equal importance will be Lerman’s engagement as a visiting artist/scholar with UMBC’s faculty, staff, students and regional communities.

“I am convinced that creative research laboratories bring significant information to various fields. They provide new platforms for building relationships between artists and universities, and between organizations and their neighborhoods, and they provide convening spaces for the explosion of trans-domain activities that are naturally occurring in response to the complex questions of our time,” noted Lerman.

Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance, and the 2014 Dance/USA Honor Award. A key aspect of her artistry is opening her process to various publics from shipbuilders to physicists, construction workers to ballerinas, resulting in both research and outcomes that are participatory, relevant, urgent, and usable by others. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and cultivated the company’s unique multi-generational ensemble into a leading force in contemporary dance until 2011. She was an artist-in-residence and visiting lecturer at Harvard University in 2011, the same year that she instigated the National Civil War Project. Her investigation of the impact of war on medicine, Healing Wars, premiered at Arena Stage in 2014. Other projects include the genre-twisting work Blood Muscle Bone with Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Urban Bush Women; teaching her Critical Response Process around the world from the UK (Puppet Animation, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the London Sinfonietta. The Federation of Scottish Theatres) to Australia; and an online project called “The Treadmill Tapes: Ideas on the Move.” In 2013 she curated Wesleyan University’s symposium “Innovations: Intersection of Art and Science,” bringing together teams of artists and scientists from North America to present their methods and findings. Her collection of essays, Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer, was published in 2011 by Wesleyan University Press and was released in paperback in 2014.

Read more about the grant here on the IRC’s website.

CAHSS Centers Fellowship Proposal Workshop (12/5)

facstaff5HRPresented by the Dresher Center for the Humanities, CIRCA, IRC, and MIPAR on Friday, December 5, 2014, from 11 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. (ITE 456). Registration is required. Click here to register.

Registration is open for faculty who are interested in or planning to apply for a 2015 CAHSS Center Summer Faculty Research Fellowship (SFRF) and/or a Dresher Center Residential Faculty Research Fellowship. The Center directors will discuss these fellowships, the application process, their evaluation criteria, and expectations for fellowship recipients. Participants will learn what makes a proposal successful and tips for creating effective applications. Time will be allotted for Q&A and small-group discussion.

Call for proposals for CAHSS Center SFRF will be issued by CAHSS in mid-November; proposals will be due on February 15, 2015. The Dresher Center Residential Fellowship application will also be issued this fall, with a May 1, 2015 deadline.

Dan Bailey, Imaging Research Center, on WYPR, Discusses “BEARINGS of Baltimore Circa 1815”

Baltimore1815_0Dan Bailey, professor of Visual Arts and director of the Imaging Research Center, was interviewed by WYPR’s Sheilah Kast on Wednesday, September 3. Bailey, along with Kristin Schenning of the Maryland Historical Society, discussed the UMBC/MHS collaborative project entitled “BEARINGS of Baltimore Circa 1815.” The on air interview is available online here.

Combining historical research with cutting-edge effects technology, the Bird’s Eye Annotated Representational Image/Navigable Gigapixel Scene (BEARINGS) of Baltimore, Circa 1815 provides a detailed rendition of the burgeoning city and conveys Baltimore’s prominence as a seaport and a commercial hub for the young country. By 1815, Baltimore was the third largest city in the United States; the IRC’s work recreates a view of its streets and buildings in significant detail. The IRC’s project is on view in the exhibition Full Glory: Maryland during the War of 1812 at the Maryland Historical Society (201 W. Monument Street, Baltimore). General information about BEARINGS of Baltimore Circa 1815 can be found here.

Additionally, Tamara Peters, faculty research assistant in the IRC, who has been the research lead on the project for two years, will speak at a TEDxUMBC event on Saturday, September 13. More details are here.

BEARINGS of Baltimore Circa 1815 was funded in part by the Maryland Department of Tourism and the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.

Lee Boot, Visual Arts, IRC, to Speak at Annual Cultural Arts for Education Conference

bootLee Boot, Imaging Resource Center, will present as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Cultural Arts for Education (CAFE) Conference Thursday, May 29. The conference, presented by Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) Alliance, invites arts educators and advocates from around the state to share, learn and discuss themes of “education, creativity and innovation” in their fields. The title of this year’s CAFE Conference is “Fresh Food for Thought: Come Nurture Your Creativity.”

Learn more about the CAFE Conference at the AEMS website.