Performing Art Centers sit at the heart of robust creative communities. For Universities, they are the public face of institutions committed to freedom of expression and the open exchange of ideas. They connect campuses and their communities to an international roster of artists and creative practitioners and are a public common where multiple communities can come together in dialogue and celebration.
Join The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation as we converse with a panel of arts leaders who are helming some of the most progressive and dynamic Performing Art Centers and University Arts Initiatives in the country. Moderated by Chris Gruits, Penn Live Arts Executive and Artistic Director (and Sachs Program Board Member), the panel will include Avery Willis Hoffman, Brown University Arts Institute Artistic Director, and Marion Friedman Young, Executive Director of the Lewis Arts Center at Princeton.
- Wednesday, March 23, 5:00pm
- This will be a virtual conversation taking place online (Zoom).
Advance registration is required. An online registration form for this program is available at the link below (Google Form).
About the Speakers
Avery Willis Hoffman
Avery Willis Hoffman is the inaugural Artistic Director of the Brown Arts Institute (BAI) and Professor of the Practice of Arts and Classics at Brown University. At the BAI, she is responsible for curating arts programming across Brown’s campus, featuring inter-and multidisciplinary work by students, faculty, and visiting artists and organizations. She collaborates closely with Brown’s arts departments and local cultural and institutional partners to build the visibility and quality of arts programming at the University, in the region, and beyond. A writer, creative producer, and curator of public programs, Avery Willis Hoffman came to Brown from the Park Avenue Armory in New York where she curated and produced innovative and diverse artistic and public programming initiatives. Prior to the Armory, Avery was a Senior Project Developer at Ralph Appelbaum Associates, where she conducted research and developed content for the 12 Galleries of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, among other museum projects. Avery earned her D.Phil and M.St in Classical Languages and Literature from Balliol College, University of Oxford, as a Marshall Scholar, and earned her B.A. in Classics and English at Stanford University.
Brown Arts Institute builds on the university’s reputation as a destination for arts exploration, contributing to cultural enterprise through the integration of theory and practice, with an emphasis on innovation and discovery that results from rigorous art-making and experimentation.
Marion Friedman Young
Marion Friedman Young is the Executive Director of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, working with faculty, staff, students and guest artists at Princeton’s multidisciplinary academic arts center. She oversaw the opening of the new Lewis Arts complex in 2017 and an overall expansion of the arts Programs. She came to Princeton from Philadelphia where she was the Executive Director of Art-Reach, an organization dedicated to connecting underserved audiences to the arts, serving people with disabilities and low-income individuals and families. Prior to Art-Reach, Marion spent 10 years in New York as a production stage manager and then Managing Director of The Civilians, an investigative theater company based in Brooklyn. As a stage manager, Marion worked on and off-Broadway with much of her career focused on the work of playwright August Wilson including his final play Radio Golf and a festival of his 10-play Century Cycle at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Marion received her AB from Princeton and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.
The Lewis Center for the Arts presents over 100 public performances, exhibitions, readings, film screenings and lectures each year and includes Princeton University’s programs in Creative Writing, Dance, Music Theater, Theater, Visual Arts and the interdisciplinary Princeton Atelier.
Christopher A. Gruits
Christopher A. Gruits is the Executive & Artistic Director of Penn Live Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Gruits’ vision returns Penn Live Arts to its roots as Philadelphia’s premier curator of innovative and groundbreaking programs, presenter of sought-after debut artists, and champion of multifaceted collaborations. A signature of Gruits’ leadership is the cultivation of partnerships across the community, reflecting Penn Live Arts’ commitment to serving the University of Pennsylvania, the West Philadelphia neighborhood in which Penn Live Arts resides, and the Greater Philadelphia region. Gruits is the former Vice President and Executive Producer of Presentations, the programming and arts broadcasting division of Interlochen Center for the Arts. Previously, he was Director of e-Strategy at Carnegie Hall and Commercial Director for DilettanteMusic.com, the web’s first and largest social music network for classical musicians and listeners. He began his career at the Seattle Symphony. Gruits holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary humanities with a concentration in arts management from Michigan State University, and a master’s in business administration with a focus on strategy from the University of Edinburgh.
Housed in the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Penn Live Arts is the University of Pennsylvania’s home for the performing arts and connects diverse audiences with visionary artists and innovative ideas, engaging both the University and the greater Philadelphia community in transformative artistic experiences.
We aim to make this event accessible for all who wish to participate. Closed captioning and a live transcript will be provided for this program. Both features can be enabled from the Zoom application settings menu.
- Join a meeting or webinar through the Zoom web or desktop client.
- When enabled by the host, you will see a notification above Closed Caption or Live Transcript in the meeting controls informing you that one of these services is available.
- Click Closed Caption or Live Transcript, then select Show Subtitle to start viewing closed captioning.
- If the host is using live transcription, the transcript will automatically begin to appear.
Please consult the Zoom website for complete information about Zoom’s accessibility features. If you have additional accessibility questions please let us know when you register to participate in this program.
This program is presented by The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania. The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation provides grants and other forms of strategic support to artists, faculty, cultural centers, students, and other arts advocates at Penn. The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation’s mission is to support and inspire creative practice and practitioners across the university – in all twelve schools, in the university’s artistic and cultural centers, and through the many partnerships and collaborations that connect Penn to the world at large.