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Three Projects Celebrating Duke’s Centennial

In celebration of Duke’s Centennial, Duke Arts is thrilled to share three projects dedicated to highlighting pieces of Duke’s artistic history. We invite our Duke and Durham communities to learn and contribute to these projects that explore Duke’s relationship to the arts. Join us for a public reception on Tuesday, March 19 from 6–7:30 p.m. celebrating the launch of all three projects at the Rubenstein Arts Center!

Q&A with Olivier Award-nominated Artistic Director of Lost Dog

Duke Arts Presents shares the real story of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers through Lost Dog’s innovative Juliet & Romeo at Reynolds Industries Theatre on January 25–26. Learn more about this humorous and heartfelt performance about love, loss and longevity in a Q&A with Ben Duke, the Olivier Award-nominated Artistic Director of Lost Dog and director of Juliet & Romeo.

23 Duke Academics Join Michael Klien’s 11th Organ I: A Symposium

23 Duke academics across the disciplines of English, Dance, Romance Studies, Physics, Biology and more will activate 11th Organ I: A Symposium, a six-hour experimental symposium from Duke Dance Professor Michael Kliën. Audiences are welcome to drop in at any point to experience this intimate weaving of diverse minds on Tuesday, December 5 at 4 p.m. in the von der Heyden Studio Theater located inside the Rubenstein Arts Center.

Duke Arts Create Spotlight: Zines and Wellness

This fall, Duke Arts Create students have delved into the world of zines through a partnership with DuWell in a series of hands-on workshops. Duke students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the final zine workshop on November 10 from 6-8 p.m. As with all Duke Arts Create classes, no experience is necessary, and all levels of ability are welcomed.

Announcing: Día de los Muertos Ofrenda at the Rubenstein Arts Center

Duke Arts is excited to announce the opening of a Día de los Muertos Ofrenda, a Day of the Dead altar piece, in the Rubenstein Arts Center Gallery (2nd Floor). Guided by the expertise of local Latinx artists, this ofrenda serves as a powerful homage to the rich cultural heritage and sacred traditions of the Day of the Dead.

Reconnecting Humans to the Earth with Marina Tsaplina’s Soil and Spirit

Eco-artist, disability culture activist, Duke 2022-2023 artist-in-residence Marina Tsaplina developed Soil and Spirit, a project including a variety of community events, lab visits, movement workshops, and engineering and puppetry classes gathering people with diverse lineages to transform the disconnected relationship with the living world.

MFA in Dance Class of 2023

Join us in celebrating the third cohort to earn Duke’s one-of-a-kind terminal graduate degree in dance practice! The Duke M.F.A. in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis (MFAEIP) supports artists whose creative research connects movement-based knowledge to critical discourses within and beyond the arts.

Two films by New Day Films founders added to the National Film Registry

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden recently announced the annual selection of 25 influential motion pictures to be inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Of the 25, two films by New Day Films founding members were inducted this year. Betty Tells Her Story, by Liane Brandon, and Union Maids, by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein.

Audio Under the Stars Returns to Durham

Audio Under the Stars, the popular community listening series built around audio stories, returns to Durham this fall in a new location – the great lawn at Durham Central Park! This special evening on Friday, October 14 is in addition to a previously-announced event in Pittsboro, NC this Friday, September 23.

U.S. Tour of Works by Felwine Sarr Comes to Duke Performances

Felwine Sarr, Anne-Marie Bryan Distinguished Professor of Romance Studies at Duke, has been described in various biographies as a public intellectual, humanist, philosopher, economist, musician, playwright and poet. His face and his distinguished work will soon become more familiar to the community with the production of two of his plays by Duke Performances.


On display at the Rubenstein Arts Center through Sunday, September 18, ALHAMDU | MUSLIM FUTURISM” is an evolving experiential art exhibition and digital archive created by MIPSTERZ that explores Muslim Futurism.

MFA in Dance Class of 2022

Join us in celebrating the second graduating cohort of Duke’s MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis (MFA/EIP). The MFA/EIP is a one-of-a-kind terminal degree program in dance focused on how artists work today and how dance contributes to crucial issues and conversations across arts and non-arts discourses.

Artists as Researchers: Brittany J. Green Is Disrupting Classical Composition

For this installment of our “Artists as Researchers” series, we profile Brittany J. Green, a Ph.D. student in music composition and the current director of the Duke New Music Ensemble. She worked with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to record her latest orchestral work, “Against/Sharp,” which explores the relationship between music and Black feminist theory; it will premiere online in January 2022.

Bridging the Gap Between Medicine and the Arts

Morgan Biele '23 shares a piece she wrote for Duke Medical Ethics Journal, an undergraduate-led publication that features students' voices in blogs and articles that center ethics in dialogue with medicine. “I’m extremely passionate about how art depicts health and well-being, and in turn how health and well-being inform art,” Biele shares.

New Support for Community-Led Arts Projects

For the 2021-22 Doing Good grant cycle, Duke Arts is partnering with the Office of Durham and Community Affairs to support community-led art projects that have a positive impact on Duke’s fourteen partner neighborhoods.

In Scott Lindroth’s New Musical Work “T120,” the Extraordinary Meets the Mundane

Professor of music Scott Lindroth, whose new work ”T120” will premiere this Saturday, Oct 9 in Baldwin Auditorium, shares his thoughts on music-making during the pandemic and the long-awaited return to live, in-person performances. “I think it's heightened emotions for all of us in the performing arts to be able to be back on stage again, realizing how special that ritual is,” he shares.

Organizing Against Climate Change Through Sustainable Art

This summer, Lizzy Kramer '22 worked with Durham-born artist John Felix Arnold III on one of his recent installations, “Reimagining Cerberus,” which calls attention to the human impact on climate change. We invited Kramer to share her reflections on the experience, including her belief in the ability of art to pose questions and challenge perceptions.

Artists as Researchers: Dancing Through STEAM

Three Duke alumnae share how they split their time at Duke between rigorous science courses and a steadfast passion for dance. “When I got to college, it wasn’t really a question of whether or not I would continue to dance as I pursued a career in medicine,” Gabby Cooper '20 said. “It was how I could make both of them work.”

MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts Class of 2021

We showcase the work of this year’s graduating cohort in the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program in this special series of interviews. Fellow artists, MFA EDA alumni, faculty, and mentors interviewed each graduating student about their thesis exhibitions, which are on view at Duke, in Durham, and online May 7 through June 5.

Jayne Yu Wang MFA EDA ‘21: “The Unfinished Utopia”

Jayne Yu Wang's “The Unfinished Utopia” is an installation of a fictional city, Fangchuan, at the border of China, Russia, and North Korea. Following a foreign flaneur’s diary, viewers will have the opportunity to explore the city through audio, photography, architectural design, Instagram posts, and ordinary objects in this city.

Spectral Seas: Tackling Climate Change Through Storytelling

A Bass Connections team has created an art installation on view in the lobby of the Rubenstein Arts Center. “This project is emblematic of the integrative and synthetic thinking that society needs to tackle the wicked challenges of climate change and sea level,” says Betsy Albright, assistant professor at the Nicholas School.

MFA in Dance Class of 2021

We celebrate the inaugural cohort of Duke’s MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis, a program dedicated to embodied knowledge and practice-led movement discourses.

A Painted Tribute for Raj Mehta

On March 27, a group of Duke students painted a portrait of their friend, Raj Mehta, a member of the Class of 2022 who passed away in 2020, on the Campus Drive free expression tunnel. We share a statement from Shivam Patel ’22, Raj’s former roommate, about this painted tribute.

In Its Fifth Year, the Enviro-Art Gallery Goes Global (and Virtual)

The Enviro-Art Gallery is an annual showcase of artwork that aims to bring awareness to environmental issues through visual media. Featuring a monthlong virtual gallery of over 600 works and 15 speaker sessions from April 5 to 10, students Cameron Oglesby and Isabel Wood share how this year's showcase has expanded in spite of the pandemic.

“Graphic in Transit” Honors Mexico’s Finest Printmaker

A new book co-edited by Miguel Rojas Sotelo, adjunct professor and event coordinator at the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies at Duke, is the first to put Sergio Sánchez Santamaría in context. On March 24, a panel conversation featuring the artist, celebrates the first edition release.

Yng-Ru Chen ‘01 on Why She Opened Praise Shadows Art Gallery

Yng-Ru Chen ’01, owner of Praise Shadows Art Gallery in Boston, MA, is presenting an exclusive virtual preview of the new exhibition, “Memento Mori,” on March 11. Ahead of the event, Chen connected with her former professor, Gennifer Weisenfeld, to reflect on their initial meeting at Duke and Chen's journey into the art world.

“Big Night In” to Support Regional Arts Councils

Big Night In for the Arts, broadcast live on WRAL-TV on March 11, will raise funds to support the COVID relief work of four local arts councils. Duke Arts and Duke’s Office of Durham and Community Affairs are event sponsors. Join the performance and consider supporting our regional cultural ecosystem.

Behind-the-Scenes of the Hayti Heritage Center

Multy Oliver ‘21 began interning with the Hayti Heritage Center last summer and loved the experience so much she continues to support programs remotely. In honor of the upcoming Hayti Heritage Film Festival, we invited Oliver to share her experience with one of Durham's leading arts non profit organizations.

At the Intersection of Art and Science

Clay Sanders, who received a PhD in civil engineering from Duke in 2020, currently has a painting depicting a dance rehearsal on display in the Rubenstein Arts Center. He shares how making art has helped his career as an engineer and provided him with an outlet during difficult times.

Blurring the Lines: Collective Resonance During COVID-19

Courtney Liu '13, MFA in Dance '21, shares "Blurring the Lines" created with undergraduate students in Intermediate Ballet. "Creative projects are still being made and it is more important than ever to share, engage with, and celebrate each other's work," shares Emma Geiger, MFA EDA '22, who collaborated on filming and editing.

Gianluca Corinaldesi: Art in Our COVID Life

Gianluca Corinaldesi started his position at Duke just three weeks before COVID stay at home orders. Learning to play the piano with his sons has brought joy to the Corinaldesi family home. "[It] puts me in a good mood like few other things," he reflects.

William Paul Thomas: Black & Blue

William Paul Thomas is an artist based in Durham. He taught at Duke in 2017-2018 as the Brock Family Visiting Instructor in Studio Arts, was in residence at the Ruby in 2019, and frequently leads workshops with the Nasher Museum of Art and DukeCreate. In this profile, junior Dani Yan digs deeper into the "magnetic" portraits in Thomas's Cyanosis series.

Sofia Zymnis ’21: Virtual Balconies

Sofia Zymnis '21 shares a project started as a pseudo-autobiographical documentation of her own experience during lockdown that has now developed into a constantly-growing website, inviting people to share their own balcony community in order to grow a shared virtual one.

Beverly McIver is Painting Politics

Beverly McIver was asked to participate in political public art project led by People for the American Way, and it sparked a series of directly political paintings. McIver is Professor of the Practice in Duke's Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies.

Blythe Davis ’20: “I’ve Found New Choreographies”

Blythe Davis '20 graduated with a minor in dance this spring. As part of finishing her studies, she was asked to submit a photo of how she was navigating remote learning, classes, projects, and making the most of a chaotic situation. This photo was paired with a brief reflection on her experiences since the transition to social distancing.

Denise Allen: “My Son Matters”

Freelance and documentary photographer Denise Allen shares "My Son Matters," a photography exhibit comprised of portraits of African-American parents with their sons with accompanying statements. Allen created this exhibit to elevate and honor the relationship between African-American mothers and their sons while shining a loving light on the young men whose existence is often stigmatized.

Barbara Dickinson: “Why Dance?”

"Dance reminds you and teaches you the infinite nuances of life.  Excitement and joy in life is not limited to the big bangs, the major earthquakes; it is also the light brush of grief or the gentle awareness of beauty.  Dance can teach, or reteach, us what that means," says Barbara Dickinson, Emerita Dance Faculty.

How Do You Teach Art & Collaborate Remotely?

Duke faculty teaching visual arts, music, and theater share how they navigated the move to online teaching. It wasn’t easy. Supplies were mailed, collaborative projects were reinvented. Transformations and solutions discovered this spring have expanded the teaching repertoire—even as we look forward to safely returning to studio and stage.

Sophia Li ’21: “There is Art All Around Us”

Sophia Li shares her final photography project, "Food for Trash"—created for the course Ways of Seeing: Storytelling through Photography with Professor Charlotte de la Fuente Nørregaard (DIS Copenhagen)—which meditates on the meaning of food scraps during the coronavirus crisis.