Not pictured, Hillery Pate, Program Coordinator
Vacant, Administrative Assistant
Senior, Faculty, and Student Fellows
- Dan Cornfield, Sociology, Faculty Fellow
As a sociology professor, I write and teach about work, employment, labor, and immigration themes. My work has addressed the rise, decline, and revitalization of labor movements, career mobility and the American Dream, immigrant incorporation in new destination cities such as Nashville, and social inequality in urban service economies. I am presently working on a book project, with the generous support of the Curb Center, on artistic workers and the American Dream. This project, based on interviews with over 70 Nashville music professionals, examines the interplay between individual inspiration and aspiration, labor market opportunity, and the role of entrepreneurship and occupational associations in the pursuit of career mobility by artistic workers. I also serve as editor for Work and Occupations, a peer-reviewed and published quarterly that provides a broad perspective on the dynamics of the workplace and examines international approaches to work-related issues.
- Claire Jimenez, Creative Writing Fellow
Claire Jimenez is a third-year MFA student in fiction, from New York City, where she spent several years teaching and coordinating activities for different youth development agencies. In 2010 and 2011, she received a District of Cultural Affairs¹ artist grant from the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island; with that funding, she established a youth council to map arts opportunities on the island and to host an open mic series for teenagers at the local library. Currently, she teaches performance poetry to teenagers in Nashville for the non-profit organization Southern Word. She is also co-facilitating a fiction workshop on Death Row at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution and collaborating with the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center to create an expressive writing workshop for those impacted by cancer.
- Jim Ed Norman, Senior Fellow
Jim Ed Norman’s career in the music industry spans the gamut from the creative to administration. He is the former president of Warner Brothers Records, Nashville, producer of acts such as Anne Murray, Kenny Rogers, Jennifer Warnes, Crystal Gayle, Hank Williams, Jr., Johnny Lee, Beth Nielsen Chapman, and Michael Martin Murphey. Norman’s work with Anne Murray yielded four Grammys and the Country Music Association’s Single and Album of the Year (“A Little Good News”). Jim Ed Norman began his career as a musician in a band with Don Henley, who later became a member of The Eagles. Norman moved to Los Angeles and worked as a session musician (he played piano on “Take It To the Limit” and “Lyin’ Eyes” by the Eagles) and as an orchestral arranger for The Eagles (“Desperado” and “Hotel California”), Linda Ronstadt, Kim Carnes, Bob Seger, America and others. In 1983 Norman joined Warner/Reprise as VP of A&R; the next year he became Executive VP and in 1989 was named President, a position he held until 2004. During his time at Warner Music, Norman formed a gospel label, Warner Alliance, and Warner Western for western-themed music. He signed non-country acts Take 6 and Beth Neilsen Chapman (and produced both) and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. As record company president, he oversaw the careers of Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam and Faith Hill. He continued his work as an arranger, working with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. A prominent member of the Nashville music business community, Norman was founding president of Leadership Music, received Time/Warner’s Andrew Heiskell Community Service Award, the Anti-Defamation League’s Johnny Cash Americanism Award, Leadership Music’s Bridge Award and was founding President of the W.O. Smith School, which provides music lessons to low income students. He was the key figure in developing a music business program at the University of Hawaii through a partnership with the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University. In addition to his work as a Senior Fellow with The Curb Center, Jim Ed Norman remains active in the music industry, working with Curb Records on a variety of projects. In his work with The Curb Center, Norman brings his extensive background in both the creative and business sides of the commercial music industry, engaging Curb Scholars through seminars and discussions of the commercial application of Art and Culture.
- Samuel Shaw, Arts, Media, and Policy Fellow
I am an urban and cultural sociologist. My research focuses at the nexus of cultural production and inequalities in the 21st century city. Specifically, I am concerned with the outcomes of Creative City urban development strategies for artistic professionals generally, as well as for residential location patterns and racial inequalities. I am currently finishing a dissertation study that explores visual artists¹ career pathways in Portland, Oregon and Nashville, Tennessee. In the context of a ³decentering² visual art world, Off Center: Art Careers in Peripheral Places asks how professionals in one highly reputational career field navigate social and market opportunities outside the centers of the contemporary art world, in places where resources are thought to be constrained. My current and past research has been published in Ethnography, City & Community, Urban Affairs Review, and the recent volume The Politics of Urban Cultural Policy.
- Rocky Alvey, Dyer Observatory
- Joe Bandy, Center for Teaching
- Bruce Barry, Owen
Bruce Barry, Brownlee O. Currey, Jr., Professor of Management, Owen Graduate School of Management and Professor of Sociology. Bruce Barry, a member of the Creative Campus Faculty Task Force, brings expertise in ethics, public policy, and leadership to the Vanderbilt Creative Campus Initiative. Barry is deeply involved in the academic components of the Initiative, developing the core Creative Enterprise and Public Leadership course, Public Leadership and Innovation, and team-teaching the inter-disciplinary Creative Campus Course, Humanities 161: Crisis and Creativity in Spring 2012. Barry’s research and expertise lie in two areas: (1) social issues in management, including ethics, workplace rights, and public policy; and (2) the psychology of interpersonal and group behavior in organizations, including power, influence, negotiation, conflict and justice. He has published on these topics in numerous scholarly journals and volumes.
- Greg Barz, Blair
- Vanessa Beasley, Communication Studies
Vanessa Beasley, Associate Professor, Communication Studies. Vanessa, a member of the Creative Campus Faculty Task Force, brings expertise in political rhetoric and communication studies and a passion for supporting junior faculty development to the Creative Campus Initiative. Vanessa spearheaded the proposal for the innovative team-taught Creative Campus Course, Humanities 161: Crisis and Creativity, and was a member of the teaching team. Vanessa’s areas of research include presidential rhetoric, U.S. political communication, and rhetorical criticism and theory. Aside from her work as Associate Professor of Communication studies, she currently holds the following positions: Director, PCD (Program in Career Development), Vanderbilt University; Book Review Editor, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Michigan State University Press; and Editor, Presidential Rhetoric Series, Texas A&M University Press.
- Jim Bellar, Career Center
- Amy Blackman, Creative Services
Amy Blackman Senior Graphic Designer, Creative Services. Blackman was awarded an Innovation Grant in 2011 for her project, Experiential Color Theory on a Path. Drawing on Joseph Albers’ interest in color and geometric abstraction, Blackman installed large-scale canvas on heavily trafficked areas on campus to have students consider and concentrate on color. In this way, she asks us to notice the world around us and question our preconceived notions of color.
- Robert Bond, Musician
- Michael Chao, Owen Alumni
- Cherrie Clark, Managerial Studies
- Jennifer Cole, Metro Nashville Arts Commission
Jennifer Cole stepped into the role of Executive Director of the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission in 2009. After success at the helm of numerous high-profile national projects with Points of Light Institute and Hands On Network, she brings a unique skill set to public art in Nashville. Cole released the Creative Vitality Index Report—a survey that put the creative character of this city into tangible terms. Through hard data, Cole uses this survey to tell the story of the centrality of the arts in Nashville. Gifted with a vision for the future and grounded by a sense of responsibility to Nashville’s roots, Cole is taking public art in the Music City to the next level. She recently sat down with us for a chat about her latest projects, her inspirations, and what she sees in store for the future of art in Nashville.
- Chase Cox, Graduate Student, Engineering
- Cynthia Cyrus, Blair
Cynthia Cyrus, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, Associate Professor of Musicology, and Affiliated Faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies. Cynthia Cyrus, a member of the Creative Campus faculty task force, oversees the undergraduate experience across the university’s four undergraduate schools and colleges, to uphold the university’s academic policies, and to work to enhance the student experience. She also oversees the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center and the Army and Naval ROTC Programs.
- Kate Daniels, English
Kate Daniels, Professor of English. Kate Daniels, a member of the Creative Campus Faculty Task Force, brings her poetic talents and experience developing Vanderbilt’s esteemed graduate program in creative writing, to the Creative Campus Initiative. Daniels has published four volumes of poetry–The White Wave, The Niobe Poems, Four Testimonies,and in 2010, A Walk in Victoria’s Secret. The White Wavereceived the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize for Poetry. Among her honors are a fellowship from what is now known as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the James Dickey Prize for Poetry, the Louisiana Literature Prize for Poetry, and the 2011 Hanes Award for Poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Her poems, which have been anthologized in a number of publications, have appeared in journals such as American Poetry Review, Critical Quarterly, and the Southern Review. She has also edited a volume of poems by Muriel Rukeyser and co-edited the book Of Solitude and Silence: Writings on Robert Bly.
- Paul Deakin, Blair
Paul Deakin Senior Lecturer in Music Theory and Composition; Blair School of Music. Paul Deakin, a member of the Creative Campus faculty task force, brings compositional flair and insight from the Blair School of Music to the Initiative. Music composer and professor, Deakin teaches an interactive music theory class in the Blair Pre-College Music Theory Program. His professional work includes electronic scores for independent films [Kilowatt Ours, 2004/2007] and documentaries [The Millennium Project: Writers, Photographers and the American Scene, 2002]. Incidental music for educational CD ROMS [Orpheus and Eurydice and Minotaur] and stage [Behind a Harvest Moon, 2006]. Another project that connects him with the goals of the Creative Campus initiative are his innovative music-drama projects for young people featured on CBS news and NPR.
- Avery Dickens de Girón, CLAS
- Frank Dobson, Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center
- Nancy Dwyer, Library
- Brenda Ellis, Engineering
- Jennifer Fay, Film Studies
- Ted Fischer, Anthropology
Ted Fischer, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies. Ted Fischer, member of the Creative Campus faculty task force, brings expertise in developing innovative interdisciplinary programs to the Creative Campus Initiative. Fischer was a major proponent for the Traveling Lego Tables seen around campus. Fischer has written or edited seven books, including Cultural Logics and Global Economies: Maya Identity in Thought and Practice and Broccoli and Desire: Global Connections and Maya Struggles in Postwar Guatemala. His current research focuses on the ways moral values affect economic rationalities. He has conducted fieldwork with the Maya of highland Guatemala and consumers in northern Germany.
- Cindy Funk, Career Center
- Brian Gibson, Graduate Student, Engineering
- Blake Gore, Owen
While providing career guidance to Owen MBAs, Gore recognized the importance of helping students develop their storytelling abilities. Gore found that by supporting them in creating their personal narratives helped them discover which path they would like to follow after graduation. Moreover, the ability to express their goals, skills, and interests is critical for interviews to secure work in their chosen careers.
- Claire Gonzalez, CLAS
- Steve Green, Creative Services
- Jim Hayes, Vanderbilt Student Communications
- Michael Holland, Blair
Michael Holland, Senior Lecturer in Percussion, Blair School of Music, 2011 Innovation Grant Recipient: Vortex. Michael Holland serves on the music faculty of Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music where he is Artistic Director of Blair Percussion VORTEX, a group he describes as “a playground of invention, a virtual sandbox inviting actors, dancers, musicians, engineers — artists of all stripes — to ‘play’ in the sand.” VORTEX was named 2010’s “Best Next-Wave Student Music Ensemble” by Nashville Scene arts critic Russell Johnston, who closed the citation with, ‘Downtown’ ain’t just for New Yorkers anymore.
- Jennifer Holt, Writing Studio
Jennifer Holt, Director, Writing Studio, Senior Lecturer of Philsophy and 2011 Innovation Grant Recipient: Radical Revision. Holt directs the Writing Studio and teaches writing-intensive courses in the Philosophy Department. Jennifer believes that collaborative work on writing can help writers become critical, as well as independent, thinkers. In addition to directing the Writing Studio, she teaches courses in aesthetics, critical theory, and the philosophy of history. Her research interests focus on the contributions of the early Frankfurt School to debates about the relationship between aesthetics and politics.
- Bob Isherwood, Managerial Studies
- Shaul Kelner, Sociology
- Claire King, Communication Studies
Claire King, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and the Film Studies Program and 2011 Innovation Grant recipient. Sisco-King’s research and teaching interests include horror/disaster cinema, gender studies, and trauma theory. She has published on such topics as Nazi cinema, cinematic responses to 9/11, and ritualized sacrifice as a film trope.
- Guy Kopsombut, Post-graduate Enterprise Fellow
Guy Kopsombut is a Nashville native tech entrepreneur and illustrator. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BS in Computer Engineering and a Masters in Leadership and Organizational Performance. His startup, BriteMuse.com, focuses on developing technology to help creative professionals thrive and do good. When Guy is not working on his startup, he is a mentor for Design for America- Vanderbilt chapter. Fun fact: his family owns the best Thai restaurant in town, The Smiling Elephant.
- Sara Lee Burd, Nashville Arts Magazine
- Jim Lovensheimer, Blair
Jim Lovensheimer, Associate Professor in the Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology and 2011 Innovation Grant Recipient: Musicals that Matter. Jim Lovensheimer studied musical theater performance, with an emphasis on voice and acting, at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, after which he worked in the professional theater as an actor (in non-musical as well as musical theater), musical director, and vocal coach. Returning to school in 1990, he earned a BM, with a major in music history, from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, summa cum laude (1994), and an MA and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in music, with an emphasis on musicology (terminating degree in 2003).
- Joseph Mella, Fine Arts Gallery
- Torin Monahan, Peabody, HOD
- Judson Newbern, Facilities & Environment
- Laura Novick, Peabody, Psychology
- Judy Orr, Creative Services
- Adrienne Outlaw, Artist
- Lucius Outlaw, Philosophy
- Dave Owens, Owen
Dave Owens, Professor for the Practice of Management and Innovation, Faculty Director, VU Accelerator-Summer Business Institute, Owen Graduate School of Management. Dave Owens, a member of the Creative Campus faculty task force, offers perspective on fostering innovation and creative leadership to the Initiaitive.Owens worked at IDEO before teaching and consulting. He teaches Innovation and new product design at Owen Graduate School of Management. Known as a dynamic speaker, Owens is the recipient of numerous teaching awards. He provides consulting services for a wide range of clients around the world, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Guardian and San Jose Mercury News, as well as on NPR’s Marketplace.
- Sohee Park, Psychology
Sohee Park, Gertrude Conaway Professor of Psychology and Center for Integrative and Cognitive Studies and Professor of Psychiatry. Sohee, a member of the Creative Campus Faculty Task Force, brings her unique expertise in neuroscience and creativity to the Vanderbilt Creative Campus Initiative. Research programs in Park’s lab focus on understanding neurobiological bases of creativity, and on a separate track, psychoses. Her team uses diverse methods and techniques including cognitive tasks, functional MRI, structural MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, near-infrared optical imaging and hormonal assays to understand the complex relationship between behavior, brain structure, and function. Current projects in the lab focus on elucidating cognitive-perceptual and affective functions in schizophrenia, neurobiological underpinnings of creativity, effects of cannabis on attention and emotion and sex differences.
- Vesna Pavolvic, Studio Art
- Scott Pearson, VUMC
Scott Pearson, Associate Professor of Surgery. Scott Pearson is a surgeon, novelist, and recipient of a 2011 Creative Campus Initiative Innovation Grant for his project, “Creative Expression of the Illness Narrative.” As a fellow at Vanderbilt’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, he designed a course entitled Narrative Medicine: Stories of Illness and the Doctor-Patient Relationship. He is interested in how students learn to express themselves through storytelling and how narrative, when fully realized, can optimize patient care. His course was recently featured in a video produced by VUCast.www.ascottpearson.com.
- G. Policinski, First Amendment Center
- Tim Pierce, Owen
- Alice Randall, English
- Johnathan Rattner, Film Studies
- Carly Rush, Sociology
- Judy Rye, Storyteller
- Mark Schoenfield, English
- Ron Schrimpf, Engineering
- Sharon Shields, Peabody, HOD
- Pat Slattery, VU News
- Holling Smith-Borne, Music Library
- Keivan Stassun, Physics & Astronomy
Keivan Stassun, Professor, Physics & Astronomy. Keivan, a member of the Creative Campus Faculty Task Force, brings to the Vanderbilt Creative Campus Initiative his disciplinary expertise in physics and astronomy and an unyielding passion for helping minority students develop narratives that encourage them to pursue science graduate programs.Keivan’s distinguished positions include but are not limited to him being the Co-Director, Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Bridge program; Co-Director, Fisk Astronomy and Space Science Training program; Member, Associated Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) Workforce and Diversity Committee; Past Chair (2002-2008), American Astronomical Society (AAS); Committee on the Status of Minorities in Astronomy (CSMA); Past Editor (2001-2008), SPECTRUM newsletter on diversity in astronomy; Director, Scopes for Schools astronomy outreach program.
- Becca Stevens, Thistle Farms
- Casey Summar, Executive Director, Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville
- Suzanne Thigpen, Parents & Family Programs
- Anna Thomas, Parents & Family Programs
- Lori Troxel, Engineering
- Tim Vogus, Owen
- Celia Walker, Library
- Jacob Weiss, Playing by Air Productions
- F. Clark Williams, Dean of Students Information Technology Support
- Amy Wolf, VUCast
- Mel Ziegler, Studio Art
Mel Zielger, Chair, Department of Art. Mel Ziegler, co-chair of the Creative Campus Faculty Task Force, thrives on instigating on-campus creative encounters, including the Fall 2011 campus-wide collaboration with Maria Magdelana Campos-Pons in the installation of Imole Blue. Mel’s provocative imagination and deep social engagement informs all his teaching, including the team-taught inter-disciplinary Creative Campus Course, Humanities 161: Crisis and Creativity offered in Spring 2012. As artist, “Mel Ziegler has been one of the most consistent proponents of an expanded in-situ concept since the nineties. In his projects that are located in both exhibition spaces and urban spaces, he explores how the circumstances of public life and social space are reflected in the architecture and design of cities. At the same time, his work focuses on the question of the hidden historical and social-political manifestations of representation. In order to reveal and manipulate these, Mel Ziegler uses the most diverse materials to create complex reference systems, in which individual and collective history converge.
Former Staff and Fellows
- Bill Ivey, Founding Director, Curb Center
Bill Ivey is the Founding Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, an arts policy research center with offices in Nashville, Tennessee and Washington, DC. He also directs the Center’s Washington-based program for senior government career staff, the Arts Industries Policy Forum. Ivey serves as Senior Consultant to Leadership Music, a music industry professional development program, and is immediate Past-President of the American Folklore Society. He served as Team Leader for Arts and Humanities on the Barack Obama Presidential Transition Team. Ivey’s book, Arts, Inc.: How Greed and Neglect Have Destroyed Our Cultural Rights, published by the University of California Press in the summer of 2008, has been described as ‘not just a vital book about the arts but a vital book about democracy.’ From May, 1998 through September, 2001, Ivey served as the seventh Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal cultural agency. Following years of controversy and significant reductions in NEA funding, Ivey’s leadership is credited with restoring Congressional confidence in the work of the NEA. Ivey’s Challenge America Initiative, launched in 1999, has to date garnered more than $20 million in new Congressional appropriations for the Arts Endowment. Prior to government service, Ivey was director of the Country Music Foundation in Nashville, Tennessee. He was twice elected board chairman of the Los Angeles-based National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). Ivey holds degrees in History, Folklore, and Ethnomusicology, as well as honorary doctorates from the University of Michigan, Michigan Technological University, Wayne State University, and Indiana University. He is a four-time Grammy Award nominee (Best Album Notes category), and is the author of numerous articles on U.S. cultural policy and folk and popular music.
- Steven J. Tepper, Founding Associate Director, Curb Center
Prior to Vanderbilt, Tepper served as deputy director of the Princeton University Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies. Tepper’s research and teaching focuses on creativity in education and work; conflict over art and culture; and cultural participation. He is author of Not Here, Not Now, Not That! Protest Over Art and Media in America (University of Chicago, 2011) and co-editor and contributing author of the book Engaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life (Routledge 2007). Tepper is a leading writer and speaker on U.S. cultural policy and his work has fostered national discussions around topics of cultural engagement, everyday creativity, and the transformative possibilities of a 21st century creative campus. Tepper holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; and a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. Steven is now the Dean of the Herberger Institute at Arizona State University. Visit Steven’s home page here.
- Elizabeth Long Lingo, Founding Director, Creative Campus Initiative
Elizabeth’s research and teaching focuses on how novel projects and ventures are imagined, negotiated, and brought to fruition. She is particularly interested in how leaders, entrepreneurs, and change agents harness multi-disciplinary expertise to forge transformative and non-routine outcomes. Elizabeth has spent the last two years putting her research into practice—developing academic, scholarship, and campus-wide programs at Vanderbilt focused on innovation and creativity.Elizabeth has studied creativity and innovation in the commercial music industry, the Nashville creative scene, and in the performing arts field. Her research articles have been published in top journals including Administrative Science Quarterly, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Poetics.Elizabeth consults with colleges and universities across the nation on transforming their campuses around creativity and innovation. She has also consulted to Fortune 500 companies on issues of trust, risk taking, speaking up and customer loyalty, and to the nonprofit and for-profit performing arts sectors on innovation and collective action. Elizabeth was a graduate fellow at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School in 2003-2004. She holds a master’s degree in sociology from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
- Heather Lefkowitz, Programming Coordinator
Heather Lefkowitz previously served as administrative manager of the Curb Center from 2003 until 2008, when she entered Vanderbilt Divinity School. She graduated with a Masters of Divinity degree in May, 2011, and was the recipient of the Nella May Overby Memorial Award for Field Education. Her master’s project was an examination of creative pastoral responses to Nashville’s 2010 historic flooding. While in graduate school, Heather served as a chaplain intern at Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; as a crisis counselor at Family and Children’s Service; and as coordinator of ministry to families at East End United Methodist Church. Prior to her time at Vanderbilt, she managed research centers and fellowship programs at the University of Virginia, served as an elementary educator in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, and worked part-time as an event planner and caterer. Originally from South Carolina, she received her Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt in 1990. She is married to Paul Lefkowitz, Director of Family Assistance Policy at the Department of Human Services, and is the mother of Charlotte.
- Carol Balassa, Senior Fellow
Carol Balassa has had a diverse career in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (1980–2007) where she has led numerous trade negotiations on audiovisual, telecommunications, and energy services. Highlights of her negotiating career follow: In 1980, based on extensive industry interviews and analytical research, Ms. Balassa prepared the first U.S. Government report describing the range of trade barriers confronting U.S. motion picture exports. The study established the industry’s agenda for international trade negotiations in the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. In the mid-1980’s, branching into telecommunications trade issues in the U.S.-Israel and U.S. Canada Free Trade Area negotiations, Ms. Balassa went on to head the U.S. telecommunications services delegation to the GATS and negotiated a Telecommunications Annex to that agreement (1987-88). The Annex established international trade rules that guaranteed U.S. companies use of telecommunications in the conduct of their business abroad. Ms. Balassa added energy services to her portfolio in 2001. She led the U.S. delegation on Energy Services to the World Trade Organization, where she successfully negotiated a Scheduling Guideline for Energy Services. The Scheduling Guideline is currently being used as a basis for negotiating energy services commitments in the ongoing Doha Round of trade negotiations. Concurrent with her work on energy services in the Doha Round, Ms. Balassa also led the U.S. delegation in negotiating an agreement on sensitive audiovisual services among key trading partners that served as a basis for plurilateral negotiations of audiovisual services. During this period, Ms. Balassa also served as a member of the U.S. delegation to UNESCO, where she brought a trade perspective to development of U.S. negotiating position on the Cultural Diversity Convention. Ms. Balassa is the author of several works relating to trade, including The Attitude of French Industry towards the Common Market, “Trade Issues in the Motion Picture Industry,” “Services in the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Negotiations,” “Liberalizing International Trade in Telecommunications Services,” and “International Cooperation to Improve Trade Rules.” A native of New York City, where she received her B.A. degree (magna cum laude) from Queens College, Ms. Balassa went on to take her M.A. Degree in International Relations from Yale University and her Ph.D. Degree in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Balassa is currently working on a proposal that stems from the report she wrote for the Curb Center, America’s Image Abroad: U.S. Motion Picture Exports and the UNESCO Cultural Diversity Convention. The proposal is entitled “The Business of International Film Distribution: Pilot Proposal for a U.S.-Sponsored Capacity-Building Program.
- Paula Cleggett, Senior Fellow
Paula Cleggett is the Senior Fellow for policy at the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy. After serving as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s deputy associate administrator for public affairs for six years, she joined Vanderbilt’s Office of Federal Relations in Washington, DC, primarily supporting the Curb Center, where she managed the Curb Center’s major initiative, the Arts Industries Policy Forum. A seminar series for senior Congressional and Administration staff, the Forum examines public policy issues affecting the arts industry. Cleggett monitors and reports on federal policy, legislative and regulatory actions that impact the national arts/cultural scene. In addition, Cleggett administers the internship component of the Curb Scholars Program in Creative Enterprise & Public Leadership. She developed an internship program that allows Curb Scholars to enrich their field of study, witness how public policies are shaped, and embrace the local creative community. Through her guidance, the interns meet public leaders and entrepreneurs on the leading edge of creativity and innovation. Her public affairs activities involve a variety of DC organizations, including the news media, think tanks, national associations, philanthropic organizations, the Executive Branch, and Congress. Cleggett’s experience with the arts covers a wide spectrum. During her time at NASA, she worked with the arts and entertainment industries, including the IMAX Corporation in the production of large-format space movies as well as Hollywood studios in creating space-themed feature movies, such as Space Cowboys and Deep Impact. Cleggett’s experience at NASA also included the management of NASA’s extensive fine arts program, a collection of hundreds of specially commissioned paintings. Under her leadership, the collection was expanded to include poetry, musical compositions, and Web art. Cleggett received a bachelor’s degree in art education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and a master’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Genevieve Gale, Sociology, Research Assistant
- Ashley Larsen, Conversas/Conversations Project Coordinator
“Conversas/Conversations” Project Coordinator
Ashley Larson is Project Coordinator for Conversations/Conversas, a collaborative project platform geared to facilitate artistic exchange and scholarly research between the Department of Art at Vanderbilt University and the School of Visual Art and Communications at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy is instrumental in providing support for the program’s endeavors and provides a space for its members to call home. At the Curb Center, Ashley coordinates visits between Nashville and São Paulo, bridges communication between member artists, and serves as the group’s documentarian. Her love for Portuguese and Brazilian culture led her to this position, where she is able to nurture those interests. She received her B.A. in Latin American Studies from California State University, Fullerton and is currently working toward her M.A. in Latin American Studies at the Vanderbilt Center for Latin American Studies. She has research interests in early twentieth-century Brazilian identity and nationalism, with a focus on gastronomic nationalism. She also continues to add to her lingual repertoire by studying the K’iche’ Mayan language.
- Liz Clayton Scofield, Research Fellow
Liz Clayton Scofield is a time-based and collaborative artist. She completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt, with an interdisciplinary degree focusing on music, gender, and society and a minor in studio art. She was the founding managing editor of the Nashville-based online arts publication, ArtArtZine.com, and also hosted the weekly radio program Russostokes on WRVU 91.1 fm Vanderbilt radio. She will be attending Indiana University for an MFA in Digital Art.
- Stephanie Pruitt, Poet-in-Residence
Stephanie Pruitt is a poet, arts educator and dot-connecting innovative thinker. This Cave Canem Fellow and member of the Affrilachian Poets received the 2010 Academy of American Poets Prize, the 2009 Sedberry Prize and was a finalist for Poets and Writers’ Maureen Egen Award. Essence Magazine/Essence.com selected her as one of their ’40 Favorite Poets’ in 2010. Stephanie is the author of I Am: A Poetic Journey Towards Self Definition and a chapbook entitled Life on Lay-a-way in addition to a spoken word CD, Choice Words. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University and is currently the Poet-in-Residence at the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy. Stephanie is on the faculty of Vanderbilt University’s English Department and leads local writing workshops for and serves on the Board of Directors of Magadalene House, a recovery community for women. Her poems have been described as: ‘high art with a hearty dose of biscuit-sopping goodness.’ Stephanie gardens, scours used bookstores and receives most of her mail in Nashville, TN.
- Kyle McCollom and Chris Cole, Social Entrepreneurs in Residence
Kyle McCollom and Chris Cole are young social entrepreneurs in Nashville. While seniors at Vanderbilt, they started Triple Thread – a screen printing social enterprise that offers employment opportunities to former offenders. Kyle is the operations and strategic lead, while Chris handles branding and creative work. They began work on their second enterprise – a socially responsible beverage company – while incubated at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and have moved to the Curb Center to prepare for launch in Fall of 2012.
- Yang Gao, Graduate Student, Sociology
- Roxanna Shohadaee, Embedded Artist
- Whitney Weeks, Center for Nashville Studies
- Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Studio Art
Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Assistant Professor of Studio Arts. Winger-Bearskin was awarded a 2011 Innovation Grant to support the “Singing Finger’s” project. In coordination with students in her class, she undertook a guerrilla style approach to engaging other Vanderbilt students with an interactive iPad App, “Singing Fingers.” Students were asked to record sounds and draw on the iPad. This collective, creative activity provided an out-of-the-ordinary experience for students, which helps foster creativity throughout campus.
- Paul Young, English