Grace Dumdaw ’21 aspires to one day steal scenes as an actor on television or film. This summer, she got a glimpse behind those scenes through the Television Academy Foundation’s prestigious Summer Fellows Program.
Sponsored by the charitable arm of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences — best known as the organization behind the Emmy Awards — the program provides college students with exposure to the television production process. Although in-person internships were canceled this summer in response to COVID-19, Dumdaw and the other participants spent eight weeks attending online panels with TV executives, connecting virtually with agency representatives, and receiving guidance on interviewing and other professional skills.
As an alum of the program, Dumdaw — a double major in stage, screen, & new media and peace & conflict studies from Mandeville, La. — will also gain access to special networking opportunities as she builds her acting career.
“This has been an incredible fellowship for me,” says Dumdaw, who was a speaker during Swarthmore’s First Community Gathering earlier this month. “It got me in contact with actual professionals in the industry who are doing the work that I’d like to do. By hearing about their journey, I’ve learned a lot about what I want to do postgrad: work at an agency for at least a year because it’s a great place to start off if you want to get involved in entertainment.”
The fellowship also built upon the special major Dumdaw created with a film career in mind: stage, screen, & new media. By combining acting and performance classes from the Theater Department with production and technique courses from Film & Media Studies, Dumdaw says, she is able to receive the training that a large film school would afford while studying at a small liberal arts college.
Her goal is to become an actor, writer, director, and producer, as it’s important in the entertainment industry to be well-rounded, Dumdaw says. Thanks to this summer’s program, she’s well on her way.
“A lot of the knowledge that I gained from the internship, I’ve applied to my own acting career — and I actually got signed to two agencies over the summer,” she says. “It gave me a deeper understanding of what’s really going on.”
Many will remember the Mellon Creative Residency that brought Northern Ireland mural artist, Dee Craig, to the Tri-Colleges in the fall of 2014. Craig installed a collage in Kohlberg Hall and a large mural on the side of the Science Center, hosted an exhibit on mural arts in McCabe Library and guest lectured in classes across the Tri-Colleges.
Prof. Lee Smithey had the opportunity to catch up with Dee Craig this summer in Belfast and visited each of the new murals.
Youth from nearby Ballymac Friendship Centre designed the first at the bottom of the Newtownards Road in East Belfast. Girls feature prominently along with themes of racial and ethnic diversity, education, and dance. Robyn Buseman and Willis “Nomo” Humphrey from the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Project flew to Northern Ireland to assist in the installation.
A new mural in the Donegal Pass area of South Belfast encourages reading and the emphasizes the importance of education for local youth.
Another mural celebrating education adorns a wall of the newly renovated Ballymac Friendship Centre.
Northern Irish and Polish youth cooperated to create a mural in Foxglove Street in East Belfast. Major-General Stanislaw F. Sosabowski led Polish Airborne Forces, who fought at the Battle of Arnhem in WWII. Sosabowski and his forces came to the rescue of the British 1st Airborne Division that had become surrounded by German troops.
Congratulations to Dee and all of his partners as they build on the Tri-Colleges Creative Residency.
Lee Smithey had the opportunity to meet up in Belfast, Northern Ireland with Dee Craig a couple of weeks ago. Dee is the artist who painted the mural on the Science Center here at Swarthmore. (See photos, video, and more.)
Here is his latest piece on the Newtownards Road in East Belfast!
Dee sends warm greetings to all of his friends at Swarthmore!
Congratulations to ShaKea Alston ’17, a special major in Peace and Conflict Studies and Dance for winning a coveted arts internship during which she will be working at the documentary company POV, which many of you may associate with PBS public television.
In February, ShaKea Alston ’17 had a video interview for a coveted internship with theDiversity in Arts Leadership program in New York City. She thought it went well but stayed realistic about her chances to be one of the 12 students chosen from the 100 interviewed.
But two months later, while studying in McCabe Library, she got the call.
“I was pretty excited and a little surprised,” says Alston, a special major in peace and conflict studies and dance from Bronx, N.Y. “After applying for something so competitive, it’s validating to hear they felt strongly enough about my qualifications and potential to accept me.
“Needless to say,” she adds, “it was an awesome study break!”
The Arts & Business Council of New York, a non-profit division of Americans for the Arts, placed Alston and 11 other students at host arts organizations throughout New York City. The program was created to promote diversity in the field of arts management and stimulate creative partnerships between the arts and business communities in New York.
This week, Alston began interning with American Documentary | POV, a series that offers alternative viewpoints to mainstream media. She works in the development department, researching funding prospects and helping to coordinate the launch of the new season of POV, among other tasks.
“I’ll also be going on site visits to see where the other members of the cohort are interning and what they’re working on,” she says, “and participating in networking and cultural/arts events around NYC.”
Arts organizations serving as intern hosts represent an array of disciplines such as music, dance, theater, visual arts, museums, and arts services. The program matches students with business mentors who guide their personal and professional growth throughout the summer, and it connects students to an alumni network.
Looking back on her first two years at Swarthmore, Alston cites “The Arts as Social Change” course taught by Sharon Friedler, director of the College’s Dance Program, as pivotal. It offered her the chance to intern with Dance/USA Philadelphia and gave her experience with proposing and writing a grant with classmates, which helped her in her internship with the Innocence Project last summer.
“On a more theoretical level,” she says, “the course definitely changed how I thought about and engaged with art on a personal level, and allowed me to share these new ideas with my classmates.
“The course also helped me think about and form my special major, by thinking about the intersection between dance, identity, community engagement, peace, and a whole bunch of other things I haven’t quite articulated yet.”
While Alston will do everything possible to be in the moment this summer, learning all that she can from her mentor, peers, and program alumni, she’ll also have an eye to the future.
“I hope to see how my interest in the arts can continue even after I stop performing or practicing dance per se,” she says. “I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do after college, though I will say if someone in the future told me I was working in the development office of a major dance company, I’d be pretty happy and unsurprised to hear it.”
Theatre of Witness: Bearing Witness to Stories of Suffering, Transformation, and Peace
A Public Presentation by Teya Sepinuck
Monday, February 9th, 7 pm
Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema
Swarthmore College (directions)
Free and Open to the Public
Join Teya Sepinuck, founder and Artistic Director of Theatre of Witness for an inspiring multi-media program of films and life stories from her work creating original testimonial theater with those whose stories haven’t been heard in society. For the past 29 years, Teya has created Theatre of Witness productions in the US, Poland and Northern Ireland with ex-combatants, victims and survivors of war, prisoners and their families, refugees, and asylum seekers, and those affected by inner city violence, poverty and homelessness. Teya will speak personally about the power of bearing witness and using personal and collective story to inspire healing and peace building both for the performers as well as audiences.
Teya is the founder and artistic Director of Theatre of Witness – a form of performance in which the true life stories of those who haven’t been heard in society are performed by the people themselves as a way for audiences to bear witness to issues of suffering, transformation and peace. She is recently back from Northern Ireland where The European Union awarded two multi-year Peace grants for her work with former soldiers, security forces personnel, and victims and witnesses of the more than 40 years of violence from the ‘Troubles’. The productions have since been made into film documentaries for ongoing dissemination in workshops, and one of her most recent productions has aired on the BBC. Her work humanizes the other and is founded on the premise of ‘finding the medicine’ in stories of deep suffering. Teya’s book, Theatre of Witness, Finding the Medicine in Stories of Suffering, Transformation and Peace was published by Jessica Kingsley Press. Teya taught at Swarthmore College from 1974-2002.
Sponsored by: SWARTHMORE COLLEGE Departments of Music and Dance and Theatre, Programs in Black Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility and the William J Cooper Foundation
It is our privilege to be a co-sponsor of events in the David Dorfman Performance Residency!
RADICAL DEMOCRACY AND HUMANISM: INTERSECTIONS BETWEEN PERFORMANCE AND ACTION
WITH DAVID DORFMAN DANCE AND OTHERS
Swarthmore College (Departments and Programs of Music and Dance, Black Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Theatre, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility) and the William J. Cooper Foundation present a three-week performance residency RADICAL DEMOCRACY AND HUMANISM: INTERSECTIONS BETWEEN PERFORMANCE AND ACTION. Conceived by Professor Sharon Friedler and led by Swarthmore graduate Kate Speer ‘08, the residency centers around engagements with David Dorfman Dance(DDD), a leading American modern dance company known for politically relevant works centered on community responsibility. From February 9 to February 27, 2015, workshops, classes and lectures will address a spectrum of positions and assumptions regarding intersecting issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, politics and the environment.
Participating facilitators include the following scholars and artists: Kate Speer ‘08, who has written and delivered papers on Dorfman’s dances, creative processes, and their connection to radical democracy, Teya Sepinuck, the founder and director of the Theater of Witness model of performance, David Kyuman Kim, a Connecticut College scholar of race, religion, and public life and George Lakey, visiting professor, non-violence advocate and civil rights activist. In the lectures and workshops, selections of David Dorfman’s repertory works will be taught as aids in broadening individual performing range and exposure to these processes will provide a common basis for the study and discussion of different aspects of performance. Discussions will delve into multiple opinions and perspectives in order to encourage participants to begin dialoguing about the questions at stake, effectively employing democratic practices within the concert stage environment. The residency will seek to explore how Dorfman creates dance that de-stigmatizes the notion of accessibility and interaction in post-modern performance and how dance can add a positive challenge to engage audiences in action.
The residency schedule of events free and open to the public at Swarthmore College will be as follows:
February 9, 7-9PM, Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema
Presentation:“Theatre of Witness” with Teya Sepinuck
February 12, 4:30 – 6PM, Lang Performing Arts Center Troy Dance Lab (LPAC 2)
Movement Workshop: David Dorfman and the Active Citizen with Kate Speer
February 15, 1-5PM, Lang Performing Arts Center Boyer Studio (LPAC 3)
Workshop: “Theatre of Witness” with Teya Sepinuck
February 19, 4:30 – 6PM, Lang Performing Arts Center Troy Dance Lab (LPAC 2)Master Class in dance: David Dorfman and company
February 19, 7-9PM, Kohlberg 116
“Engaging Human Differences: Teaching Dialogue and Discourse about Race, Religion and Public Life”
Teach-in with David Kyuman Kim
February 20, 8PM, Lang Performing Arts Center, Pearson-Hall Theatre
DDD, PROPHETS OF FUNK
February 24, 2:40-4PM, Lang Music 407
Lecture/Discussion: “Between Apathy and Action” with Kate Speer
February 26, 7-10:30PM, Keith Room, Lang Center for Social Responsibility
Workshop:“Get on Your Feet: Organizing for Peaceful Protest” with George Lakey
All events are free and open to the public without reservation. Seating may be limited for some events and is first come, first served.
The central performance event, David Dorfman’sPROPHETS OF FUNK, is on Friday, February 20 at 8PM is in the Lang Performing Arts Center’s Pearson-Hall Theater. DDD celebrates the band’s groundbreaking, visceral, and powerful visions of prophetic love that continue to shine on despite everyday struggles. PROPHETS OF FUNK lifts up the spirit of Sly: that in the face of the funk of life, there are still hopes and aspirations that reside in all of us. The production of PROPHETS OF FUNK was made possible by generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, The New England Foundation for the Arts, National Dance Project with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, and Friends of David Dorfman Dance. Choreographic material for PROPHETS OF FUNK was developed, in part, during residencies at the Tisch Dance Summer Residency Program at New York University and as company-in-residence at Connecticut College.
“Stop Telling Women to Smile” with artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh November 19th and 20th, 2014
Join the Womyn’s Resource Center and artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh in conversation around street harassment and art in activism.
“Stop Telling Women to Smile” is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The work attempts to address gender based street harassment by placing drawn portraits of women, composed with captions that speak directly to offenders, outside in public spaces.
Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women world wide. This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street – creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
Poster installation with the artist
November 19th 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
meet in Kohlberg coffee bar at 1pm
Artist’s lecture and reception
November 19th 7:00 pm – 8:30pm
Science Center 101
Catered Lunch and Discussion
November 20th 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
limited space, please RSVP at http://goo.gl/forms/TEmOqYPnaC
++open only to women and trans folks++
Sponsored by: Forum for Free Speech, the Serendipity Fund, Interpretation Theory, Department of Political Science, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Art Department, Peace and Conflict Studies, Department of History, and Dean Henry’s Office.
David “Dee” Craig, a prolific mural artist from Northern Ireland, created a large mural that is now mounted on the southeast end of the College’s Science Center.
Craig’s work was facilitated by the Mellon Tri-College Creative Residencies Program. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program supports faculty of Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities divisions to design and implement arts residencies in association with their curricular and scholarly agendas.
From Oct. 28 to Nov. 18, Craig painted and worked out of a purpose-built studio tent adjacent to the Science Center wall that his mural now covers. Painting first in the tent and then later directly on the wall, Craig’s mural took form before the eyes of students, staff, and faculty as they went about their work or walked to their classes. Craig also participated in two public conversations about mural art, conflict, and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland, first at Swarthmore’s McCabe Library to open an exhibit of his murals in Northern Ireland and again at Bryn Mawr, for an event sponsored by the Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict.
Craig hails from East Belfast and is well known internationally in mural arts circles for his work, and his pieces have often been part of initiatives to replace paramilitary murals that became common during the 30 years of open conflict known as “The Troubles.” Such “reimaging” projects are part of the ongoing and sometimes halting transformation of conflict in Northern Ireland. A renowned artist, Craig was named one of the Belfast Media Group’s top-40 artists under 40 in 2008.
Lee Smithey, associate professor of sociology and coordinator of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, helped arrange Craig’s stay. Smithey’s initial application to the Creative Residencies Program noted that “the making of murals is shifting the symbolic landscape to incorporate new narratives within communities, re-articulating collective identities, and beginning to minimize the martial symbols that figured so prominently during thirty years of political conflict in Northern Ireland. Murals offer opportunities for regeneration in excluded or marginalized communities and sites for re-framing memory and identity.”
Smithey feels strongly that the core values of the program were successfully put into practice. “The College is fundamentally about empowering people through learning and sharing ideas,” he says, “and this residency has been very rich on both counts for many of us.”
The mural itself stands as testament to core global ambitions of the Swarthmore community. “We have tried to address the past, present, and future of the College,” Craig says, “and convey aspirations, hopes, and values that faculty, staff, and students expressed in planning discussions before I arrived.”
The goal was to erect a mural that expresses the College’s commitment to scholarly pursuits on behalf of the collective good, or what President Rebecca Chopp described in her inaugural address as “educat[ing] in a way that makes possible the setting aright and setting anew of the world.”
“It seems to me that Swarthmore is quite focused on learning in order to make a positive contribution in the world,” Craig says, “and I hope the mural expresses that.”
Throughout the month-long residency, Craig visited with seven classes across the three colleges. Students were also able to learn with him by collaborating on the project.
Kathryn Barron ’16, from Oak View, Calif., attended the initial lecture at McCabe and proceeded to sign up to paint. “I was amazed at how many people were contributing in various ways to the mural,” she says. “Painting was really fun, and I did learn a great deal about the process of putting up such a large work of art.”
Barron describes how, like the content of the image itself, the process of creating the piece united the community in the completion of a common goal. “I would say one of the greatest things I learned from Mr. Craig and the mural project was how art can be used to pull people together who normally wouldn’t necessarily cooperate on something creative,” she says. “You don’t hear about that kind of thing too often, that art is inherently collaborative.”
Craig had much to teach, but he doesn’t hesitate to concede that during his time at the College, he learned a great deal about Swarthmore and about his practice.
“Swarthmore feels like a very positive place,” he says. “It has been inspiring.” He elaborates that the local techniques for painting murals in Philadelphia are entirely new in Belfast. Paul Downie, executive director of the Community Arts Center in Wallingford, Pa., provided training and consultation on the process of painting on cloth panels that are subsequently adhered to a wall.
“It’s a new style of mural painting for us,” Craig says. “In this piece, I have fused this new format with traditional mural painting. I look forward to taking this process back and introducing it to Northern Ireland mural culture in ways that can help promote cross-community cohesion.”
Craig’s residency was truly an exchange. Just as Craig shared his unique experience and talent with Swarthmore, the College was able to offer him training in a new mural painting technique. Perhaps most importantly, new relationships and networks have been established that will support peacebuilding and creative arts both in the U.S. and in Northern Ireland.
Science Center Wall closest to DuPont Parking Lot (Directions)
The large mural being painted on Swarthmore’s campus by Mellon Creative Resident, David “Dee” Craig, will be launched on TUESDAY, November 12 at 12:00 NOON on the southeast corner of the Swarthmore College Science Center (next to the DuPont Parking Lot).
The planning and creation of this mural has actively involved students, faculty, and staff. Come join us in thanking the artist and many others who have made this project a success. Light food will be available in the studio tent at the wall (where we will gather in the event of rain).
Dee Craig, an experienced artist from Belfast, Northern Ireland, specializes in large-scale mural projects and has been involved in community art for over 20 years. Throughout the month-long residency, Craig has visited with classes across the Tri-College Community (Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr) and displayed an exhibit of his work and mural art in Northern Ireland in McCabe Library.
Craig’s mural marks this year’s 150th anniversary of the founding of Swarthmore College, and the celebration of 125 years since the first higher education course in Peace and Conflict Studies was taught at Swarthmore College.
The Mellon Creative Residency Mural Launch event and the exhibition of his work in the atrium of McCabe Library are open to the public. For more information about the residency, visit http://bit.ly/swatcraig To follow the residency as it develops, visit http://bit.ly/craigstory