E-Portal Newsletter - February 2009
The e-Portal is one of the ways that A&S is participating in UofL's "green initiative." The monthly e-Portal replaces the "paper version" of The Portal newsletter, previously published twice a year by the college. In addition to being more environmentally friendly, The e-Portal provides more frequent opportunities to share news of the college.
In this issue:
- Dean's Message: A&S and the Arts and Culture Partnerships Initiative
- 20 Minutes with Peter Morrin
- About the Arts and Culture Partnerships Initiative of Louisville
- ALUMNI NEWS: A&S Alumni Council to host reception and movie at Baxter Ave Theaters, Feb. 27
Perhaps the most important attribute that distinguishes our species from others is not the enhanced intellectual capacity that allows us to manipulate the material world, but our capacity to create culture and art—to dream beyond what is given and material, to experience beauty and express a range of emotional and spiritual meanings in sounds, language and substance. Where there are human beings, there is culture—even in our values and life-ways. And, although many forms of artistic and cultural expression are the fruits of solitary acts of creation, all are meant to be shared.
When Louisville was a sparsely populated outpost on the early western frontier, our leading citizens laid the foundation of an elaborate cultural establishment that would signal the presence of “civilization” even in the wilderness. In the 1850s, when Louisville became one of the largest cities in the nation, our leaders invested in cultural and educational institutions as well as in steamboats and railroads. And, from the rough and tumble culture of the riverfront taverns and immigrant saloons, to minstrelsy and the invention of “Jim Crow,” to the “high culture” of the wealthy to the early paintings of Audubon to the spirituals in our ante-bellum black churches—Louisville was alive with the full-range of cultural and artistic expression. And, even after Louisville slipped from the first ranks of American cities after World War II, it retained a deeply institutionalized and, perhaps, over-developed artistic and cultural complex—and was then “old” enough to have a history and material culture that could be preserved and interpreted through many of the surviving structures built by some of our founding families.
The University of Louisville is an integral part of this artistic and cultural complex and, since 2007, the College of Arts and Sciences has spearheaded the effort to establish the ”Arts and Culture Partnerships Initiative”—a network for formal partnerships with local cultural institutions. Through this Initiative, we will promote collaborative research, the development of new academic programs and learning opportunities on and off campus. And, recognizing that, although we do not live by bread alone, we hope to stimulate economic development through cultural tourism as well.
To date, collaborative agreements have been formalized with thirteen local museums, historic homes and other cultural institutions: Crane House, the Asia Institute, Inc; Farmington Historic Plantation; the Filson Historical Society; the Frazier International History Museum; the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage; the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft; Locust Grove; the Louisville Visual Arts Association; the Muhammad Ali Center; the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind; the Portland Museum; the Speed Art Museum; and Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing. New academic programs in Curatorial Studies and Public History have been developed—and a program in Conservation is in process. With the generous support of President James Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willihnganz, student interns have been placed, public programming has begun and a major conference on “Louisville in the Ante-bellum Era” has been scheduled for June 2009.
And the best is yet to come.
Peter Morrin, longtime director of the Speed Art Museum, came to the University of Louisville last year to head the new Arts and Culture Partnerships Initiative. The initiative is designed to bring together arts, history and cultural institutions to enhance community life. Participating organizations will share knowledge, expertise and programs and work together to create a vibrant artistic and cultural environment. Morrin shares the details in this interview.
Full Interview: 20 Minutes with Peter Morrin
The Arts and Culture Partnerships Initiative was created by the University of Louisville and member partners. Our ambition is to develop and sustain collaborative relationships between the university and a variety of arts and culture organizations in Louisville, with the goal of creating collaborative educational, programming and research activities for the benefit of all.
Member Partners, to date:
Crane House, the Asia Institute, Inc.
- Crane House, The China Institute, Inc. opened in 1987 in the Old Louisville neighborhood. The institute promotes cultural understanding among the peoples of the United States and Asia through educational programs, cultural exchanges and exhibitions. www.cranehouse.org
Farmington Historic Plantation
- Farmington, the center of a 550-acre hemp plantation, was built for John and Lucy Speed 1815-16 and opened as a museum in 1959. Recently Farmington's education programs were re-evaluated to integrate more information on Abraham Lincoln and slavery at Farmington. www.historichomes.org/Farmington.
Filson Historical Society
- The Filson Historical Society is dedicated to collecting, preserving and telling the significant stories of Kentucky and the Ohio Valley history and culture. More than 12,000 people visit the society annually to conduct research, attend programs and tour the museum. www.filsonhistorical.org
Frazier International History Museum
- The Frazier International History Museum focuses on United States and United Kingdom arms, armor and other historical objects from the last 1,000 years. It is the only museum in the world to have a satellite museum of Britain's Royal Armouries. www.fraziermuseum.org
Kentucky Center for African American Heritage
- The new Kentucky Center for African American Heritage will speak with the unique voice of the African-American people of our community. The center will host exhibitions, cultural and educational programs and lectures and will promote research and scholarship. www.kcaah.org
Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft
- KMAC is a nonprofit organization established in 1981 to promote the rich art and craft heritage of Kentucky through exhibition, education, and support of artists through a retail gallery shop. www.kentuckyarts.org
- Locust Grove is a National Historic Landmark on 55 acres established by William and Lucy Clark Croghan in 1790. It tells the story of George Rogers Clark, early Kentucky history, western expansion and everyday life on the frontier. www.locustgrove.org
Louisville Visual Art Association
- Since 1909 the Louisville Visual Art Association has engaged artists and audiences through education, community outreach, artist support and exhibitions. Programs nurture creative expression and stimulate dialogue, enhancing contemporary culture and community spirit. www.louisvillevisualart.org
Muhammad Ali Center
- The Muhammad Ali Center serves as a cultural attraction and international education center inspired by the ideals of its founder, Muhammad Ali. The center emphasizes Ali’s six core values: respect, confidence, conviction, dedication, giving and spirituality. www.alicenter.org
Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind
- The museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the educational history of blind people and the historic contributions of the American Printing House for the Blind for the benefit of the visually impaired, educators and the broader community. www.aph.org/museum
- The Portland Museum is an educational resource that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets the culture and heritage of Portland—once an independent town below the Falls of the Ohio—through dioramas, mannequins, sound and documentaries. www.goportland.org
Speed Art Museum
- Established in 1927, the Speed Art Museum is Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum with over 13,000 pieces in its permanent collection. Its extensive collection spans 6,000 years, ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary art. www.speedmuseum.org
Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing
- The Farnsley-Moremen House is the centerpiece of this 300-acre historic site. Visitors can tour the historic house and grounds, view ongoing archaeological excavations, see the kitchen garden and cruise on a riverboat from a landing. www.riverside-landing.org
Join A&S alumni, faculty and staff on Friday, February 27 for the UofL Arts & Sciences "Economic Stimulus Entertainment Package" hosted by the A&S Alumni Council as a fundraiser for student scholarships. The A&S reception will be held in the lobby of Mid City Mall, 1250 Bardstown Road, beginning at 8:00. Then, 9 p.m. or later, guests will attend any movie of their choosing at the adjacent Baxter Avenue Theaters. The Reception includes wine, beer and soft drinks with hors d'oeuvres and desserts from Ramsi's Café on the World.
The entire evening's package costs $20 per person. For reservations and more information, contact Lindsey Ronay at 852-3252