Symposium Reveres the Moreau Center for the Arts

Singer and pianist perform on stageDynamic, collaborative, and joyful were just some of the words used to describe Revere, Revise, and Reimagine: A Symposium of Research and Creative Works held across campus on Friday. October 9 as part of the Inauguration of President Katie Conboy. This special event aimed to showcase the academic and artistic discoveries of faculty and students across interdisciplinary programs at Saint Mary’s College. New to the symposium, festivities began in the Moreau Center for the Arts, where the visual and performing arts students exhibited their talents.

Planning for the symposium began in the summer of 2021 after Conboy directed that the events leading up to Inauguration would highlight the research activities of the College. Colleen Hoover, Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, chaired the planning committee for the symposium. The committee started the planning process by questioning faculty across campus about the role that they wanted to play in the symposium. After talking to faculty in the creative and performing arts, Hoover and the committee realized that there was a greater opportunity for creative presentations than in the past if the Moreau Center for the Arts were used as a venue. In the Moreau Galleries, professor Julie Wroblewski Tourtillotte 82 and alumna, Susan Kozak Knight ‘68, were scheduled to have their art displayed at the same time. This coincidence opened the possibility for a “festival-like” experience utilizing classrooms, Little Theatre, the Moreau Galleries, and the Miller Arcade.Students view art in the galleries

On the afternoon of October 8, the symposium kicked off in the Moreau Center for the Arts, featuring faculty and alumnae work displayed in the galleries, as well as student work displayed in classrooms. In the Little Theatre lobby, student and faculty violinists serenaded guests with classical music. Theatre students donned elaborate costumes, handed out programs, and ushered guests into Little Theatre for the formal presentation at 1pm. This presentation began with a welcome by Stacy Davis, 2021 winner of the Karen Bush Schneider ‘73 Endowed Faculty Award for Scholarship, followed by a lively presentation of music and dance. Faculty, alumnae, and current students joined together to perform pieces from recent theatre and dance productions including, Hope Springs: A Musical Cabaret, and Moving History: A Journey in Dance. Mixed into this presentation were comments by professors Michaela Duffy, Zae Munn, and Michele Foust about their own creative research in production design, music composition, and choreography. Tying everything together was the Theatre Program’s presentation of the Mad Hatter Scene from last year’s production of Alice in Wonderland, running continually on the Miller Arcade. From 1 to 2 p.m., Moreau was alive with creative energy in every corner. Conboy applauded the occasion, describing it as a marvelous showcase of creative and academic work by students and faculty. “The symposium opened with a magical flourish of visual and performing arts in Moreau, which was the ideal backdrop for music, dance, and theatre. Truly, it allowed our community’s performances and artwork to shine.”

Alice in Wonderland on the Miller ArcadeThe faculty in the Departments of Art, Communication Studies, Dance, and Theatre all shared a similar excitement about the events held in Moreau. The use of the physical space paralleled how interwoven the arts are at Saint Mary’s. Simultaneous performances in indoor and outdoor areas encouraged visitors to walk through the space and experience what Moreau offers to Saint Mary’s. Professor Nancy Menk, chair of the Department of Music, expressed the collaborative nature of the arts at Saint Mary’s by “coming up with projects that make use of all our talents.” This collaboration was demonstrated to guests the moment they entered the building.

The Moreau Center showcased its versatility as a destination for academics, performances, and social gatherings. It also served as an invitation to the community to come inside and experience all that the arts at Saint Mary’s offers. Michele Foust, professor in the Program in Dance, shared her enthusiasm for the symposium in Moreau, stating that “the performing arts are an important part of Saint Mary’s, but if people weren’t introduced to the arts earlier in their lives, they may not search it out. I think [symposium] is a good way to let them know that it's here.” The presentations in Moreau were not only an opportunity to inform the public about research in the arts, but to promote and elevate its value at Saint Mary’s and to give the public a glimpse of the legacy of the Moreau Center.

Dancers perform in symposium

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