U. of Rochester and Eastman Museum Form Alliance
The University of Rochester and the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film have entered into an alliance to increase public engagement, research, and education, focusing on the museum’s extensive photography and movie collections. Among proposed projects are new courses, conferences, and summer institutes, in Rochester and online, in the art and science of photography, motion pictures, and photo and film preservation.
The Eastman House is the world’s oldest museum of photography, with holdings of more than four million artifacts. The University of Rochester has a long history of work in optics and visual science and an interdisciplinary visual-studies graduate program. Current collaborations between the institutions include 60 years of teaching partnerships; a master’s program in the department of English with the Eastman House’s L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation; photography research focused on the preservation of daguerreotypes; various fellowships; and shared library collections, including rare books and online databases.
George Eastman, founder of Kodak, shared half his philanthropic fortune with the university, establishing its River Campus, the Eastman School of Music, and the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Upon his death in 1932, he left his home to the university. Founded in 1947, Eastman House is the world’s oldest museum of photography and the third largest motion-picture archive in the United States, including the world’s largest collection of camera technology and 400,000 photographs representing 9,000 photographers, plus a 19th-century collection.
The museum also works with Toronto’s Ryerson University to offer a master’s degree in photographic preservation and collections management. Its collection includes 30,000 motion-picture titles and film-related publicity stills, posters, scores, and scripts, including films by Cecil B. DeMille, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, and Kathryn Bigelow.
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Poet Ilya Kaminsky Appointed
Director of Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute
The Poetry Foundation in Chicago, publisher of Poetry magazine, announced the appointment, effective January 1, of Ilya Kaminsky as the new director of the Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute. Kaminsky will succeed the institute’s inaugural director, Katharine Coles.
Born in Odessa, in the former U.S.S.R., Kaminsky came to the United States in 1993. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) and teaches poetry and comparative literature at San Diego State University, where he will continue to serve as director of the M.F.A. program in poetry and remain a tenured associate professor in the department of English and comparative literature.
The Monroe institute was created in 2008 to provide a space in which fresh thinking about poetry, in both its intellectual and its practical needs, could flourish, and it convenes poets, scholars, publishers, educators, and other thinkers from inside and outside the poetry world.
Under Coles’s leadership, the institute released the report Poetry and New Media, which brought together poets and publishers, as well as experts in law, technology, and media, to examine access to poetry. In January 2011, the institute will issue the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry, a project in partnership with the Center for Social Media at American University. In spring 2011, the HMPI will publish an anthology of essays on community-based poetry programs; contributors to the volume include Elizabeth Alexander, Dana Gioia, and Robert Hass.
Kaminsky was featured in the March 2010 issue of Poetry in a discussion on poetry translation with the critic Adam Kirsch.
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Stillman and Motown Alumni Begin
$10M Research and Recording Project
The Motown Alumni Association Inc. and Stillman College are collaborating on a $10-million music research and recording project under the direction of Gregory McPherson, director of the Stillman Jazz Consortium and assistant director of bands. The team plans to develop a 28-song double CD featuring Stillman students paired with various Motown artists, writers, producers and engineers. Created in conjunction will be an anthology, textbooks, and a DVD about Motown and its legacy in the realms of classical, jazz, gospel, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and rhythm-and-blues music as well as TV and film scores. Select students will be awarded studio time and a recording contract.
Johns Hopkins Opens New Museum for Archaeology Collection
Sculptures, pottery, jewelry, weapons, and tools from around the world will be featured at Gilman Hall in a space that underwent a three-year, $85-million renovation. The collection, with artifacts dating back to 4,000 BC, is now known as the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum, and includes about 8,000 objects, plus more than 2,000 on loan from the Eton College Myers Collection in England. Read Arthur Hirsch’s story about it in The Baltimore Sun.
U. of New Haven Filmmaker Receives Grant for Documentary on ‘The New Jim Crow’
Richard Wormser, a University of New Haven communications and sociology practitioner-in-residence, received a $4,000 grant from the Yip Harburg Foundation to begin research on a documentary based on the book The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander. The university says the documentary will focus on how the war on drugs disproportionatelysingles out African-Americans and the effects of being charged with a drug-related felony.
The grant is seed money that will enable Wormser to start raising additional funds for the hourlong production, intended for PBS. Wormser is already preparing for filming by interviewing social workers who have helped ex-convicts assimilate, and meeting with prison authorities to gain access to prisoners about to be released.
Wormser did research for his production of the 2002 PBS miniseries The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow with a similar grant from the Harburg Foundation. The series won the Peabody Award, three national Emmy Award nominations, the International Documentary Association Best Series Award, the Cine Gold Eagle Award, and the Chris Award. Following that success, Wormser was approached by the foundation with the idea for The New Jim Crow.
Wormser has written, produced, and directed a number of other documentaries. The Yip Harburg Foundation was created to foster the work and social outlook of the songwriter best known for “Over the Rainbow” and “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”
UNC Filmmaking School in Budget Peril
According to an article in the Winston-Salem Journal, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts might close its filmmaking school if the university is forced to cut its budget by 10 percent next fiscal year. The Journal’s Ken Keuffel reports that the 17 schools in the UNC system were asked to propose cuts in anticipation of a state budget shortfall of $3.2-billion.
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