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Cornish College Of The Arts Celebrates Inauguration Of New President with Weekend Of Events

September 15, 2011

Cornish College of the Arts will welcome the college’s new president, Dr. Nancy J. Uscher, with three days of celebratory events: the presidential inauguration on Friday, October 14; the Inaugural Colloquium, a day of hands on exploration, presentation and conversation with some of the foremost leaders in the arts on Saturday, October 15; and Cornish’s annual fundraising gala, Sunday, October 16. Registration and information about the Inaugural Weekend is available at Dr. Uscher’s biography is available at

“Dr. Uscher takes the helm of Cornish at a tremendously exciting time in the history of the College,” said John Gordon Hill, Chair of the Board of Trustees.  “For nearly a hundred years Cornish has been a treasured part of Seattle’s cultural fabric.  It has been the incubator for some of the best art and artists this region has produced.  Now it is on a trajectory to become a major force in the cultural life of our country and the world.  Under President Uscher we have an opportunity to bring the Cornish traditions of collaboration and experimentation; of pushing boundaries and finding your voice; of passion, discipline, and mastery, to the larger world.”

Dr. Uscher will be formally installed as Cornish’s president in an inauguration ceremony at 10 am, Friday, October 14 at Benaroya Hall. In addition to welcoming comments from John G. Hill and representatives of Cornish faculty, students and staff, the program includes Michael Killoren, Director, Local Arts Agencies / Challenge America Fast-Track, National Endowment for the Arts. The morning also features performances by Johnaye Kendrick, Assistant Professor, Music, accompanied by Dawn Clement, Adjunct Faculty, Music, and an ensemble led by Paul Taub, Professor, Music, including Dr. Uscher on viola. The inauguration is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, October 15, the Inaugural Colloquium, a series of experiential workshops with Cornish faculty and lively conversations about the arts will highlight Cornish’s role a hub of artistic development, cultural dialogue, adventurous programming and community building. Faculty members include Jovino Santos Neto, Kathleen Collins, Michele Miller, Ellen Forney, Kathleen Rabel, and Jarrad Powell. Other participants include Erik Ehn; Michael Killoren; Joshua Kohl, Degenerate Art Ensemble; Susie Lee, Susie Lee Ensemble; Ryan Mitchell, Implied Violence/St. Genet; John Sutton, SuttonBeresCuller; Robin Held, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Collections, Frye Art Museum; and August de los Reyes, Design Director, Product Design Studio, Artefact. The Inaugural Colloquium will be held at Cornish’s Main Campus Center, 1000 Lenora St. and is free and open to the public.

The weekend will culminate Sunday, October 16 with Cornish Celebrates an Evening of the Arts, the college’s annual fundraising gala that provides critical funding for student scholarships. The evening includes performances by Cornish students and alumni. Tickets range from $250 to $2,500.

Cornish College of the Arts
Inaugural Weekend Schedule

Inauguration Ceremony & Reception
Benaroya Hall, 200 University Street
Friday, October 14
Doors open: 9 am
Ceremony: 10 – 11 am
Reception: 11 am - noon
Free and open to the public.

Inaugural Colloquium, a day of exploration, presentation and conversation
Cornish College of the Arts, 1000 Lenora Street
Saturday, October 15, 9 am-2:30 pm
Free and open to the public.

9:00: Registration, coffee and muffins available

9:15 : Welcome and Orientation to Workshop Sessions

Erik Ehn, Head of Playwriting and Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University

9:30 – 11 am: Experiential Workshops with Cornish College of the Arts faculty.

Opening the Musical Ear: Developing an Objective Appreciation of Music
Jovino Santos Neto, Professor, Music
This workshop starts from the assumption that all music uses the same notes, and that Melody, Harmony and Rhythm are essential universal forces of Music.  Since most folks’ listening experiences are heavily mediated through language, marketing and stylistic constraints, the objective listening experience has become endangered in our culture. This workshop’s purpose is to help participants develop an objective point of hearing. The workshop will involve listening to recorded music, as tools for the development of melodic, rhythmic and harmonic concepts are presented in an accessible and jargon-free language. Designed for music listeners at all levels.

“Stories I ain’t told nobody yet:” An Experiential Theater Workshop
Kathleen Collins, Professor, Theater
(with thanks to Jo Carson)
This workshop explores personal stories and anecdotes as a means to create powerful dramatic narrative.  If you can talk, come join us.

Modern Dance for the Uninitiated
Michelle Miller, Professor, Dance
This experiential class is designed to give an unintimidating view into a Cornish modern technique class. It is geared to the absolute beginner. Expect to move your body, work your brain and have fun.
Comics Workshop,
Ellen Forney, Adjunct Faculty member and Cartoonist
(Seattle Weekly’s 2011 “Best Local Cartoonist”)
This workshop will teach you how to develop your own story into a comic, and you will leave with a comic book you made yourself.

Make a Sheet of Handmade Paper
Kathleen Rabel, Professor, Art and Area Head Print Art and Works on Paper
Come to the Cornish Print Art Studio and make a sheet of beautiful archival handmade paper.  See the traditional Japanese paper-making vat and screen, a gift to Cornish from the papermakers from Mino City, Japan. You’ll also view works on paper by Cornish students.

Gong Sound: Javanese Gamelan workshop
Jarrad Powell, Professor, Music
The word “gong” is one Javanese word that most people know. Learn firsthand the source of this amazing word and the incredible resonant instruments that define it: the Javanese gamelan. The Javanese gamelan is a gong-chime percussion orchestra of remarkable power and beauty. In this short workshop you will learn to play a gamelan piece and enjoy directly the experience of musical exploration and community music-making.

11:15 – 12:45: Cultural Conversations

When One Plus One Equals More (or Less) than Two: Artistic Collaboration Now
Joshua Kohl, Degenerate Art Ensemble
Susie Lee, Susie Lee Ensemble
Ryan Mitchell, Implied Violence/St. Genet
John Sutton, SuttonBeresCuller
Moderated by Robin Held, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Collections, Frye Art Museum
The joys and traumas of interdisciplinary collaboration are central to this discussion among select Seattle-based artists who take seriously that artistic collaboration is more than a 1+1 endeavor.  These artists have worked consistently with highly-skilled creative partners, most of whom do not share the same histories, the same aesthetic and ideological reference points, the same training, the same technical vocabulary, or the same rehearsal processes. What are the rewards and drawbacks of this kind of creation? Who is the audience for this art? What can an arts college do to best prepare a student interested in working this way?

Toward 21st Century Design
August de los Reyes, Design Director, Product Design Studio, Artefact
The coming century presents a host of challenges unforeseen in previous eras: the pace of technological advancement, rapid shifts in political and organizational structures, and dramatic inflections in the state of global ecology, among others. This discussion introduces a way of thinking about design for designers and non-designers alike to rise to the escalating issues of the coming years.

Art in Community
Michael Killoren, Director, Local Arts Agencies / Challenge America Fast-Track, National Endowment for the Arts
In urban cities, small towns and rural areas across the nation, art and artists are transforming communities.  Individual artists, grassroots organizations and major cultural institutions are all searching for—and finding—new ways of meaningful and authentic engagement with community.  What is the role of artists and creative people in both shaping and responding to their community?  What role does technology play in your work?  Do generational and demographic shifts matter in creative work?

12:45-2:30: Luncheon Plenary and Closure,
Erik Ehn

Cornish Celebrates an Evening of the Arts: An Inaugural Gala
October 16, 5:30-9 pm
Seattle Sheraton Hotel and Towers
Tickets: $250 - $2,500
Showcasing talented Cornish students, alumni and faculty, the evening includes cocktails, dinner and our “Raise the Paddle,” which supports the Cornish Scholarship Fund.
Tickets available at