Winter 2014 Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
The University of Texas at Austin
College of Fine Arts Advisory Council
Meeting Minutes: January 31, 2014
Pam McIlhenny, Advisory Council Chair, opened the meeting. She congratulated the Doty Award Recipients, Robert and Barbara Tocker, and the inaugural Doty Alumnus Award recipients, Robert Schenkkan and Justin Tucker. McIlhenny introduced Dean Doug Dempster as a strong dean who tells the straight story and allows the council to be in the middle of exciting times. At the last meeting Dempster explained the sea change in higher education and answered the question of why the college has to change. McIlhenny remarked that managing big change also requires celebrating successes so that we can appreciate the effort put into change. McIlhenny introduced the meeting’s theme of Fine Arts achievements amidst a sea of change.
Dean’s Opening Remarks
Dempster welcomed the council and remarked on the success of the Doty Award Dinner the night before. It is clear that higher education in general suffered through the Great Recession, and it is a slow recovery. This is part of both the cyclical challenge of the economy and the structural changes that are coming to higher education. Dempster remarked that he had read about the rise of Netflix in the paper and how the CEO said that Blockbuster had been too slow to move with the times – and if Blockbuster had introduced streaming, Netflix wouldn’t exist. Not changing can be a mistake, and the goal of the college is to not be the next "Blockbuster of education." Today’s meeting is trying to advance that effort. Dempster then introduced Sondra Lomax, Executive Director and Associate Dean for Development, to hand out the Fedora Awards. The Fedora Awards were instituted to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of Advisory Council members.
Lomax then distributed the Fedora Awards to this year’s honorees.
Advocacy Award – Robin Hancock
Lomax spoke of Hancock’s achievements, saying that COFA could not have a better cheerleader and that she has done more to increase the council’s membership than anyone. Hancock thanked everyone, saying that representing the school has been more to her than a gift to her life. She feels very privileged to represent the college in any way she can.
Student Recruitment – Suzanne Cavender
Lomax complimented Cavender explaining that she recommends top quality students to COFA and that she and her husband Rick Cavender have sent two daughters to the college. Cavender has opened doors to so many schools and has given the college many valuable connections. Cavender thanked everyone, explaining that her own children received such a wonderful education at the college that she loves to spread the word about Fine Arts.
Fundraising – Mary Bartholow
Lomax stated that Bartholow could not be here, but she has been a vocal presence for raising funds for the college. Bartholow and her family have contributed three endowments to UT and led the fundraising for the Dallas Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Art.
Chair’s Remarks and New Member Nominations
McIlhenny expressed her congratulations to the Fedora Award winners. McIlhenny submitted a motion to approve the minutes from the fall meeting. The minutes were approved. She announced the date of the next fall full council meeting, September 5, 2014. McIlhenny introduced the Executive Committee members.
Austin: Kendall Robinson and Richard Hartgrove
Corpus Christi: Judy Woodson
Dallas: Vicky Bartholow and Sarah Hallam
Fort Worth: Kelly Ann Ewin and Jennifer Jorns
Houston: Cc Hetherington and Lisa O’Leary
San Antonio: Suzanne Cavender and Toby Tate
Waco: Brooke Taylor
Vice Chair and Chair of the Nominating Committee: Lisa Boyd
McIlhenny introduced Lisa Boyd to report on the Nominating Committee meeting.
Boyd reported that the committee had met a few weeks ago to review the current nominees. They were grateful for the excellent list for 2014 and were thrilled with every one of their bios and enthusiasm. Boyd listed the nominees.
Kirby Atwell of Houston, nominated by David Graham and Diane Ofner
Carol Carr of San Antonio, nominated by Barbara Dreeben and Lisa Sechler
Melanie Cheek of Austin, nominated by Robin Hancock
Mardy Chen of Austin, nominated by Robin Hancock
Lauren Dunwoody Collins of New York City, nominated by Rosemary Steward
Elizabeth Copeland of Houston, nominated by Paula Daly
Cheryl Fossler of Houston, nominated by Lisa Thurmond
Elizabeth “Beth” Gideon of Fort Worth, nominated by Janis Brous and Kelly Ann Ewin
Melissa Ison of Houston, nominated by Mary Jane Wakefield
Jenny Johnson of Houston, nominated by Paula Daly
Becky Lee of Dallas, nominated by Carol Holden
Alan Nicholson of Amarillo, nominated by Joe Batson
Elizabeth Roberts of San Antonio, nominated by Suzanne Cavender and Lisa Thurmond
Traci Young of Houston, nominated by Diane Ofner
Boyd submitted a motion to accept the nominees. The nominees were approved. Boyd reminded everyone that all nominees are invited to attend the regional meetings.
McIlhenny invited the council to attend the Visual Arts Center exhibition opening reception at 5 p.m. She then introduced Kathy Panoff, Director and Associate Dean of Texas Performing Arts.
Texas Performing Arts Presentation:
Panoff congratulated Lomax and her staff on a great event last night, it not only honored the Tockers but was also a wonderful celebration of the depth and breadth of the college. Panoff is finishing her fifth year at UT and really feels good about the work they have accomplished together. Her presentation featured one of the areas she is most proud of, student engagement. When Panoff arrived at UT, she wanted to make sure that the work at Texas Performing Arts aligned with the education standards of UT Austin. Panoff explained that every shop and office at TPA has a student employee, totaling about 100. Staff are expected to mentor student workers. This practice allows students to see how important mentorship can be. Students have to apply, go through the interview process and are subject to evaluations every semester. TPA also offers resume counseling and helps students transition into the real world. Panoff introduced student speaker Madilynn Garcia. Garcia is in her third year towards earning a B.A. in Theatre. In addition to working at TPA, Garcia is assistant directing at Zach Theatre and serving as a dramaturge for the Theatre and Dance production of In the Heights this spring.
Garcia explained that she found out about her TPA job through Isaac Gomez, another student in the B.A. in Theatre program. She started in August as a programming and productions student worker. Her work focuses on logistics for the Department of Theatre and Dance and the opera program in the Butler School of Music, such as budgeting, calendaring and licensing. Garcia remarked that this position has allowed her to hone professional skills such as writing and attention to detail. Working at TPA also allowed her to attend the United States Institute for Theatre Technology Southwest Regional Symposium. Garcia remarked on some of the benefits of working at TPA, such as the accommodation to student schedules, the mentorship and the high expectations.
Panoff returned to the lectern to thank Garcia’s mentors, David Steward and Rachel Durkin-Durga. One of the key pillars of student engagement is TPA’s $10 student ticket program. Students from all disciplines buy tickets, which make up to 40-60% of classical music programs sales.
McIlhenny thanked Panoff and Garcia and introduced the panel of advisory council members who have witnessed change and how it was accomplished in their industries. The panelists were Richard Hartgrove, Pam McIlhenny, Carla Thompson, Bryan Lewis, and Dancie Ware.
McIlhenny announced that each member would share his or her experience for five minutes and then it would be opened up for questions and ideas.
Hartgrove began by joking that he was in charge of the ancient history portion – as he has been retired for 20 years and spoke about events that took place 30 years ago. Hartgrove was an attorney at AT&T in 1982 when the New York Justice Department announced the settlement of an antitrust suit against AT&T. This settlement split AT&T off into seven regional Bell companies and AT&T. They were tasked with splitting up both the tangible and intangible assets into eight pieces. Hartgrove was a minor player in this, but he was close enough to see how messy it all was. Hartgrove’s advice to the dean about implementing change is to realize how important it is to have strong leaders who can strike a balance between giving a full and fair hearing to all ideas that come before you while keeping their eyes on the prize and marching towards the optimum 21st century model. He emphasized the need to be adaptable, to be able to try out multiple plans, to be your own devil’s advocate and to try to determine the problems with a plan before implementing it. Hartgrove advised the dean to not be hesitant to tap resources not only outside of the dedicated committee but also outside of the college. He emphasized the need for everyone involved to be kept informed so that they can generate ideas. He also suggested that there be a controlled and well-managed way to ask for everyone’s ideas (including alumni, donors, faculty, students, etc). Hartgrove said that while you may get 99 out of 100 ideas that are off the wall, you might get one that is great and useful.
McIlhenny remarked that change isn’t easy – about 70 percent of plans fail – and to keep the big picture in mind because change is always messy. McIlhenny spoke about her time working during the Texas Commerce Bank merger with Chemical Banking Corporation, the largest interstate banking merger in history at the time. The big picture in her experience was that the Texas Commerce Bank sold for a large enough sum that the shareholders all got a share and most employees kept their jobs. McIlhenny emphasized that it is always better to be the one who initiates change rather than waiting until it’s forced upon you. She also stressed that it is impossible to underestimate the potential for conflicts anytime new people are brought into the group. Shortly after the merger, McIlhenny was sent to New York to work on a loan. McIlhenny recounted humorous stories of cultural differences between the New Yorkers and the Texans, and the difficulties it brought to their work. McIlhenny stressed the importance of preparing everyone to know that these sort of cultural differences are normal and to be expected, and to be open minded when working together. Her advice to those who can’t embrace change was to find something else – to stop struggling and to look for a different work place.
Thompson spoke on the changes she witnessed in the securities industry, notably the change from commission to fee-based work. Thompson works with USB, United States Bancorp, and her group was blessed to embrace change early and adopted a fee strategy in the 1980s before it became the norm. They were met with resistance as the parent company was still operating under a commission-based program. Thompson also spoke on her experiences as chairman of the board of the nonprofit, The Van Cliburn Foundation, helping to lead a change in leadership and management philosophy. The foundation began as a volunteer organization and still has a strong volunteer base within the community. When the board realized that they needed to add business management in addition to artistic management, they broadened their advisory base to ask the dean of the school of music at Yale University, McKinsey Consulting firm and others for help, especially with their search for a new president. The new president brought a business approach to the arts organization his with degrees in piano and business. The foundation also instigated some changes in staff positions. Thompson emphasized the need to have staff on board who are eager to embrace change. Thompson learned to embrace change early and to expect it to be harder and take longer than you imagine it to be at the onset. She also stated that you cannot plan enough and to prepare both the client and the staff, to keep communication open and to involve outside consultants or training teams.
Lewis works at Capital Group Companies and has been in the business for 16 years with a background in architecture. In 2008, during the Great Recession, the company suffered dramatic changes including a large reduction of its managed assets. An advantage of being a privately owned company is that they could make decisions focused on the long term, even if they were difficult decisions. There were a variety of variables that prompted the need for change – their investment results were declining, they were losing the confidence of shareholders, there were more regulatory controls and they were being impacted by greater amounts of competition. Capital Group Companies began their process of change by reaching out for input in all areas of the company to try to come up with ideas for moving forward. Key in this effort was that there was a very clear decision maker. Over the last five years they have made lots of change, resulting in an increase in profits, a more aggressive approach to marketing funds and the recognition of competition. Lewis’s advice was to gather people and let them know that everyone is part of change, and that it will move forward with or without them. He remarked that once something has been successful for a long time, a sense of entitlement can creep in – this way of thinking has to change in order to move forward. One of the most useful processes in his experience was to "over communicate," so that everyone feels part of the change and it’s not forced upon them hierarchically. Lewis also stressed the need to emphasize core values and outline what will not change within the group.
Ware spoke about her experiences in public relations and as a small business owner, although she did not start out in communications. Ware graduated UT with a teaching degree. She worked her way up by volunteering for free for George Mitchell. Within four years of changing her career, Ware had left the firm she was initially hired at and started her own company representing all of Mitchell’s interests. Ware spoke on the extreme effect that changes in technology have had in the communications world. When she first started out, the industry was entirely relationship-based and moved much slower. Social media has made the whole world a reporter, and things are incredibly fast paced. She stressed the need to work 24/7 to keep up. Ware’s clients are also constantly evolving and changing how they communicate as they respond to different markets and growth. Ware spoke about the incredible variety in HEB stores across the state as every store is entirely tailored to each individual market. Ware stressed the importance of collaboration and partnering – giving examples of how her clients collaborate with the arts on various levels, notably the Medicine and Music program at the Methodist Hospital in Houston.
Idea from a council member: The college has not been able to integrate technology and use these new tools effectively. He advocated for a greater emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration and thought that the college could gain a huge amount of visibility by embracing it.
Question: Gordon Peacock brought up the challenges of a tight budget for the college. He suggested the sense of entitlement that Lewis referenced is often strongest in tenured faculty who have lifetime contracts and that the longer an employee is in that mindset the harder it is to make change. Peacock asked about the best way to get out of this mindset.
Dempster responded, stating that Peacock essentially brought up his concerns. He noted how many affinities there are between the panel members’ various industries and the college, and that everyone spoke about the importance of communicating internally and externally. Dempster remarked that communicating is one thing but motivating is another, asking about how you motivate entitled, resistant staff and faculty to change.
McIlhenny brought up Lewis’s remark on how important it was to have a central decision maker, so that everyone knew their role in the process of change. McIlhenny affirmed this, expressing how important communication is but stressed that it is equally important to not leave too much wiggle room. She referenced an article she had recently read that suggested a leader find those people most entrenched and resistant to change and discern what it is they feel they are losing and try to reorient them to a new task to mitigate that sense of loss. If one group embraces change it tends to spread.
Lewis affirmed McIlhenny’s comments, adding that though his company did not have the same problems that the college has, it was a struggle to bring people around to change. Through discussion it was made clear that everyone was included, and if one did not want to be included, then that was their decision to be left behind. Lewis’s company reached out to outside groups and hired new people, not as a threat to existing employees, but to bring in new ideas and freshen discussion. Ultimately, they challenged all of their people to be agents of change and made it clear that it is part of their jobs. This was not easy for some people to do, resulting in some leaving and some still struggling. Lewis also brought up how the advances in technology require people to embrace change, this in particular can be more difficult for older employees.
McIlhenny agreed with Lewis and remarked that change is not quick for any organization. The situation is not just those who can’t get on board are fired, it is a slow process and this initial resistance is normal.
A council member noted that change happens slowly and everyone has to be willing to understand that things take time, but brought up Ware’s remarks on how quickly her clients are changing – such as HEB.
Ware responded that this is because of market dynamics. The grocery business is particularly dynamic because there is an immense amount of competition not only from other groceries but drug stores and stores like Walmart and Target. It is now standard to have a chief strategy officer, while when she started working, no one had heard of one. Ware spoke about the constant flux and change in healthcare and the extreme competition in that industry. She recounted how Texas Medical Center, a 54 member institution, brought in a change agent who fostered collaboration and brought in big data consultants for data collection and sharing.
Joe Batson stated that the university does not have the kind of resources necessary to bring in consultants and asked if this would be a place for volunteers to come in and help to initiate change?
Ware agreed that the college has such a breadth of relationships in alumni and friends that they could definitely tap these resources.
McIlhenny thanked the panel and announced a 15 minute break.
Department of Theatre and Dance
A “Fall for Dance” preview video was shown.
McIlhenny introduced Brant Pope, Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Pope briefly responded to the panel discussion. He remarked on Ware’s discussion of what the arts can add to other industries, refocusing it to look at what the arts perspective can add to the process of change. Leaders are often people who do not fear change and can fail to understand how fearful it can be, often resulting in resistance. The arts perspective can help show that change results from something we’re aiming for and trying to create. Pope then introduced the Texas Ambassadors, the musical theatre group from the Department of Theatre and Dance. They are all first or second year students from Texas in the musical theatre program who would have gone to the big east coast performing arts colleges if not for the Texas Talent scholarship program. They were recently featured performers at a TED talk in Dallas.
Texas Ambassadors performed and two students gave brief testimonials.
Quinton Johnson introduced himself as a sophomore. Johnson stated that he would not be studying at UT if it were not from the gracious donations from the Advisory Council and the wonderful tutelage of Professor Lyn Koenning in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Johnson comes from a small, very sports-focused town and when he came for auditions he had no prior knowledge of the musical theatre program at UT. Koenning told him that there was a scholarship opportunity, and though he had other offers, he chose UT because of the welcoming atmosphere. Johnson said that this incredible opportunity felt like a movie or Broadway show, and his mother cried about how much financial help she would receive in putting him through college. Johnson also remarked on the incredible opportunities he’s had since he’s been here, such as getting cast in his first regional production at Zach Theatre thanks to a workshop at COFA. None of this would have happened without the scholarships and mentorship from Koenning and faculty member Natasha Davidson – who is teaching him to dance with much patience. Johnson thanked the council again.
Allie Donnelly introduced herself as a freshman. Since attending UT, she has experienced a breadth of opportunities in the department, such as working on a brand new musical with Tony Award winners, attending Broadway master classes and getting advice from industry insiders. This has all been made possible through the scholarships, which have allowed Donnelly and her peers to work towards being the best they can. Donnelly thanked the council for their support.
McIlhenny thanked Texas Ambassadors and announced the opportunity for members to have head shots for the directory taken during lunch.
McIlhenny introduced Lomax to give the council an update on fundraising in the college.
Lomax began by thanking those who came to the Doty Award Dinner last night and recognized and thanked council member Barbara Tocker who received the 2014 Doty Award along with her husband Robert. She reminded the council that the dean and she will be travelling around the state for the regional council meetings soon. Lomax listed the dates for some of the regional meetings: March 26th in San Antonio, April 8th in Corpus Christi and April 16th for Dallas. Lomax stated that the first quarter of the fiscal year has been great, raising about $2.3 million, and thanked the council for their contributions. In the last two weeks of December, the college received over 300 gifts of various sizes for a total of over $400,000 - about three times the usual amount. Hopefully this bodes well for the economy and things to come. Lomax directed the council towards the Frequently Asked Questions handout in their packets, which has information on some of the top fundraising initiatives college wide. There are also always smaller initiatives percolating around the college and a lot of ways to give. Lomax updated the council on the Capital Campaign. UT has raised $2.5 billion towards the $3 billion goal. The college’s role in the campaign is two fold, to raise awareness of the college and its programs but also to build the college’s financial base to sustain it in the future. COFA reached its goal of $80 million three years early and has now raised over $114 million. Lomax reminded the council that this sum is not spendable cash, but over half of it is tied up in planned gifts, pledges, and endowments with specific purposes. There is $63 million worth of planned gifts that will benefit future generations of Fine Arts faculty and students. For the last year of the campaign, President Bill Powers is emphasizing planned gifts/future gifts.
A video from UT President Bill Powers was shown.
Lomax introduced Jeff Glosser, Director of Gift Planning in the University Development Office.
Glosser thanked Lomax and the council for having him and to all those that have already made planned gifts. Glosser remarked that he realizes that there may be a number of members that already have a planned gift but haven’t yet had the opportunity to share it with Lomax or a gift officer, and he asked that they please do. He directed the council to the handouts featuring an example of an estate intention letter and template language for both an endowed and non-endowed planned gift. Glosser stated that for many people the ability to make a legacy gift is easier through a planned gift, though there are a number of donors doing both types of giving by starting an endowment with a five-year commitment and then fortifying it with a planned gift. President Powers is spearheading a mini campaign to double the number of planned gifts on record at the start of the university-wide campaign by the end of it. As of December 31, 2013 there was a 95% increase in planned gifts, and Glosser would not be surprised if there were two to three times the amount of gift commitments out there that they are not aware of. Glosser briefly outlined the options for future gifts: a bequest provision in a will or living trust, an IRA designation or gifts that pay an income back to the donor for the rest of their life with the remainder going to UT. UT has the good fortune to have the ability to discuss the donation of almost any type of asset that the donor would like to bequest. For example there has been an increase recently in the gift of some portion of the donor’s mineral interests. Glosser thanked the council for their commitment the university and the College of Fine Arts.
Lomax thanked Glosser for his presentation. She reinforced that there are a variety of ways to structure an estate gift and you do not have to choose between supporting your loved ones and supporting UT. Lomax stated that she and her husband have their own planned gift, and it was very easy to set up. Lomax encouraged the council to speak with her or any of the development professionals in the room if they are considering making a planned gift. She thanked the council for their confidence and trust in the college and their vision to make such a pledge. Lomax informed the council that thanks to a large gift from an anonymous donor, the college is leading these fundraising efforts. She thanked the council for all they do as advocates, student recruiters and fundraisers. The council is now more proactive than ever. For example in 2007 only 3.8 percent of the council had given a major gift and now 30 percent have. All of this translates into more opportunities for students and faculty. Lomax also thanked the council for the connections they help bring to the college that are so vital, such as foundations and businesses in their communities and those that can advise the college on how to make its students more marketable to the workforce. Lomax asked the council to please fill out the survey in the packet and send it to Jessi Propst, Development Specialist. Lomax also encouraged the council to reach out into their communities to welcome the dean and herself when they are in town, arrange for meetings and host events in their homes. She also thanked the council for the excellent list of nominees and encouraged each member to find a program to become engaged with.
McIlhenny introduced Dean Doug Dempster for the keynote address.
Dean’s Keynote Address
Dempster thanked the panelists for a very informative and productive discussion.
Dempster first gave some context to the sea change – it is a reference to The Tempest and is possibly the most quoted passage in Shakespeare, “everything undergoes a sea change.” It refers to the gradual transformation of a body, society or organization. Higher education and most industries are undergoing enormous transformations due to globalization, the Internet, new business practices and regulation/deregulation. Though there is a sense of permanence in UT, as it has been around for over 100 years, it is undergoing forceful changes all the time. There are types of competition that did not exist five to ten years ago. The Internet is even changing arts' instruction despite how hands on it is. Higher education is a major export industry for the US, bringing tuition from overseas students into the economy, and it is the envy of the world. There has been a huge growth of higher education since WWII. A ceiling has been hit, and patrons cannot afford it any longer. The regents, the government, the students and parents cannot afford it anymore. Now the debt for higher education is twice the average debt for consumer goods. To combat this problem, one has to restrain costs or find other sources of revenue and patronage. The question is: Are we going to be nimble and creative enough to preserve what’s best in our educational history as well as prepare for all of the advances?
Dempster explained that the college is under constant new budget constraints while tuition has been frozen for three years and will remain so. Legislation has restored some of the funding that was previously cut, but it was very little. Dempster has asked the chairs and directors to eliminate two percent from their budgets every year so that the college can invest in new programs and innovations, as well as new faculty and merit salary increases. What is going on in this college is a very quiet and perhaps slow revolution, but the depth of the change in the curriculum and programs is profound.
Dempster informed the council that the college is thinking hard about what the 21st century will ask of its students, and how that affects what it will preserve, change and create. There is much more effort going into student services, which used to be considered extracurricular. Associate Dean Andrew Dell’Antonio is the change agent in undergraduate reform, as he examines the life cycle of a student.
Dempster is currently putting most of his energy into the Butler School of Music's search for a new director, where they have narrowed it down to four candidates. There are around six great music schools doing searches right now, so the college has a lot of competition, as the Butler School's finalists are likely finalists for these other searches, as well. Dempster told the council that he is hoping to introduce the new director during the spring meetings.
The Menuhin International Violin Competition will begin on February 21. Dempster gave credit to Glenn Richter, Kathy Panoff and the 150 other faculty and staff members who have been working for 18 months on this project.
Dempster recalled his closing remarks at the fall meeting, when he stated that this sea change is putting the college’s equipment and facilities to the test. For example, dance classes are still held in the Anna Hiss Gymnasium, which has hardly been updated since it was built in 1936. In response, this spring, the college is hiring architectural consultants to create a 20-year program to transform our facilities. The University has hired a new football coach and a new dean of the medical school, so the college will have to start thinking about what connections it has with them. Dempster gave an update on the Regents – the president and university leadership are in a tense, ongoing standoff with the Regents, but it seems to be holding.
Dempster stated that he was moved by the panel and heard from many of the members to keep his eye on the big picture, keep focused on the goal and be clear about the college’s enduring principles as it deals with the messy business of change. To demonstrate some of the college’s enduring principles, Dempster listed some of the accomplishments of Fine Arts faculty and students over a roughly five month period. In October, the Turrell Skyspace opened and was a huge hit. Dempster then played some of the composition that Landmarks commissioned by graduate student Joel Love, Lightscape. Love is now a finalist for a Fulbright scholarship to Australia.
Undergraduate art student, Raul de Lara won the Southwest Regional Prize in the Herradura Tequila Barrel art contest. Jeff Helmer’s MOOC in jazz appreciation has begun with 20,000 students around the world. Professor Michael Smith in the Department of Art and Art History was invited to a retrospective on performance art in New York where he performed three or five times. Bass Concert Hall was ranked 43rd in ticket sales for theatre venues worldwide and second in Texas by Pollstar. Department of Theatre and Dance faculty member Charles Anderson’s latest piece, which was workshopped in the fall, will be at the New York Live Arts Fest. DMA student in classical guitar Joseph Palmer has won either 1st, 2nd or 3rd place medals in eight competitions in the past few months.
Associate Dean Andrew Dell’Antonio has created the Professional Development Travel initiative which funds the travel of juniors and seniors with a faculty member in order to allow them to gain professional development to transition into the working world. This past year, a group of five young artists used these funds to do a tour of the most well-known American earth works in the American West. Their work chronicling that trip, entitled Girls Gone West, will be on exhibition at the Visual Arts Center until March 8. This coming fall, the college will launch a new executive education program in Arts Management led by Francie Ostrower, a faculty member in both the Department of Theatre and Dance and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Both Dempster and Panoff will teach courses in this program for a certificate in arts management. It is not only a service to the region and non-profits sector, but also a business venture for the college to see if it can pay its own way or even yield a profit.
Melissa Hooper, who earned her B.F.A. from the Butler School and is now in a masters program in Oboe performance under Becky Opera, has had incredible professional opportunities. Last year she was called by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Boston Symphony to be a substitute for the principle. Most recently, she is performing with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra in Honolulu. Robert Faires, Senior Arts Editor at the Austin Chronicle, included a student produced show, Slip River, performed during the Cohen New Works Festival in his list of the top ten reasons he stayed in love with Austin theatre in 2013. Dempster displayed and spoke about 512 Stew, a book about Austin created by a B.F.A. design class in collaborative presentation taught by visiting faculty member Jiwan Park. The students raised $6,000 through IndieGoGo and were able to learn huge lessons about working as a team, pitching and funding a design and collaborative creation. Such accomplishments demonstrate the enduring principles of the college, whatever else changes we must work to preserve these.
Cc Hetherington asked how to order a copy of 512 Stew. Dempster replied that unfortunately, it was a limited edition and there are no other copies.
Kelly Ann Ewin asked if 512 Stew was the product of the entire design student body. Dempster replied that it was just one course of 18 students. The oldest tradition in arts instruction is the master class – design is taught in classes of 18 and violin is still taught one on one. Dempster posed the question of how to preserve this principle in the sea change.
McIlhenny introduced Glenn Richter, Interim Director of the Butler School of Music.
Butler School of Music Presentation and Performance
Richter announced the dates of the Menuhin Competition, February 21 to March 2. They are currently in the third round of auditions for competitors. Richter thanked Panoff and her staff that have worked on the Menuhin competition. He announced dates of note: on February 21 the UT Symphony Orchestra will perform and on March 2 the Cleveland Orchestra will perform. Richter thanked the generosity of Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners, who bought all 2400 seats in the Long Center for the matinee performance by the Cleveland Orchestra to be donated to underserved children in the Central Texas area. Richter asked the council to buy tickets and to encourage their friends to buy tickets to the Cleveland Orchestra performance, as all of the proceeds (except for a processing fee to the Long Center) will go to the Children’s Opportunity for Music Participation program. (COMP). The donor has a minimum aspiration of raising $500,000 for COMP– the Butler School is looking at this as a sustaining legacy resulting from the Menuhin competition.
Richter introduced D.M.A. student in piano performance Pieter Crawthorne, who performed a Chopin piece for the council.
McIlhenny thanked the council for attending and for all that they do for the college. She encouraged members to think about which area they would like to focus on and to please fill out the survey.
Barbara Tocker asked how to buy advanced tickets for the Menuhin competition. Lomax responded by asking members to pick up the handouts on the schedule for the Menuhin competition and to please look at the Butler School’s website.
The meeting was adjourned.