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Sara Lee Burd Headshot


María Magdalena Campos-Pons wins 2023 MacArthur Fellowship

María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Art, has been awarded a 2023 MacArthur Fellowship, according to a release from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 

The MacArthur Fellows Program is designed to support people in pursuit of their creative, intellectual and professional passions. Fellows receive an $800,000 “no strings attached” stipend to enhance their expertise, embark on innovative projects or redirect their career paths. Campos-Pons was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship for her work exploring personal and collective histories across the Caribbean. 

“We are incredibly proud of Professor Campos-Pons and her exquisite body of work,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said. “Her melding of cultures, mediums and artistic traditions has made her a unique and powerful voice showing how personal and historical perspectives can blend into a new exploration of what it means to be human today.”   

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Sara Lee Burd Headshot


Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Archivist Sara Lee Burd

Delia Zapata Olivella Collection: Open Access to Afro-Colombian Performing Arts Resources

For this semester’s faculty and staff spotlight, we are highlighting Archivist Sara Lee Burd and her work in the processing and digitization of the Delia Zapata Olivella collection. This collection documents the personal life and career of Delia Zapata Olivella (1926 – 2001), who was an ethnographer, dancer, choreographer, professor, and Colombian folklorist. In spring 2023, Burd presented the collection at the 51st Annual Art Librarians Society of North America (ARLIS) conference in Mexico City. Burd has worked across Vanderbilt’s campus: assisting with Development and Alumni Relations, coordinating at the Curb Center, teaching in Human Organization and Development, and currently archiving in the Heard Library’s Special Collections.

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2023 Fellows

Blair School of Music

Raheleh Filsoofi named a 2023 Joan Mitchell Fellow

Raheleh Filsoofi has been named one of 15 recipients of the prestigious 2023 Joan Mitchell Fellowship, awarded to artists working in the fields of painting, sculpture, installation and land art. She will receive an unrestricted $60,000 grant, to be disbursed over five years.

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Limon Dance Company


Blair School of Music to host world-renowned Limón Dance Company for two-week residency

Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music will host a two-week residency with the acclaimed Limón Dance Company, June 20–July 1. The company is preparing to premiere its upcoming production of Missa Brevis for Limón’s 78th season, at the top of their national tour in January 2024. The program is a celebration of the 65th anniversary of the original work by Jose Limón, which debuted in 1958. While in Nashville, the company is also readying Kayla Farrish’s new work based on Limón’s El Grito. 

Watch the "Open Rehearsal - June 22, 2023"

Watch "A Conversation: Limón Dance Company"

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VP Sharpley Whiting

Left of Black

Dr. Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting on the Importance of Libraries

For academics and scholars, the library is the source and life's blood to do the important work of research. What does it mean when state legislatures try to dictate what libraries can offer to the public at large? Vice Provost of Arts and Libraries and celebrated scholar Dr. Tracy Denean Sharpley-Whiting joined Left of Black host Dr. Mark Anthony Neal to discuss the role of the librarian along with reflecting on highlights of her illustrious career. Dr. Sharpley-Whiting came to Duke to conduct a masterclass at the From Slavery to Freedom Lab at the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute on the historic librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black mixed-race woman who developed the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.

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Art of Interference

Art of Interference

Art of Interference: A Podcast on Art and Climate Change is now out

Art of Interference explores creative responses to climate change. It features artists whose images, sounds, and performances encourage us to retune the relations of nature and technology, the human and the non-human. The podcast interviews climate scientists about their research and how it chimes with the interventions of contemporary artists. Additionally, activists, cultural critics, and policymakers speak about the need to develop a new ethics appropriate to our twenty-first century of planetary crises. In each episode, the podcast discusses timely and untimely perspectives on how we, amid our human-made emergencies, may act in the world and allow this changing world to act on us.

Art of Interference is produced at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. It has been made possible with the generous support of the Climate Studies Fund of the College of Arts & Science.

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