What Should This Blog Be?

What should this blog be?
Now that I've got an academic year under my belt, I've been catching up.  I'm WAY behind on this blog.  I realized of late that it is partly because I haven't really decided what it should be.  So, I thought I should ask you. 
Here are a few ideas, based on a monthly posting: A  reflection on the state of the Arts on campus, in the region, the nation, and the world.  A spotlight on some faculty, student, staff member of the College, highlighting their achievements, contributions, special news.Commentary on some specific issue, such as funding for the NEA, a controversy in the news relating to the arts, a tribute to an artist.Guest columns from various faculty, students, or staff about themselves and/or a topic dear to them. Let me know what you think!

Below are some pictures and one video from the Spring semester.  Happy Summer!

Convocation 2017 Stevens Construction

Cliff Alexis' Honorary Degree
Dean Kassel
BFA Showcase
 We t…

This is what I said last night at the Convocation:

We are so proud to celebrate the great work of our students.We are so proud of the learning, and making, and thinking, that is happening in our classrooms, studios, stages, and concert halls.We are so proud of you, the next generation of artists, scholars, teachers, doers, makers—Generation Renaissance—who will have careers in the world and a life in the arts.Who will do well, who will do good, who will do better.
We convene tonight to celebrate –our work and each other.We come together as a community, recognizing that art, artists, scholars, teachers, audiences do well, do good, do better in communion with one another.Although we may work alone in a studio or practice room or study carrel, or in small groups in the rehearsal hall, or even within our Schools, when we are exposed to other forms, other minds, other art, we are invigorated, our im…

Winter Convocation 2017

Back in the saddle!  I've neglected this, I know.  But there's a lot going on and I'm going to make sure I stay in touch.

First, we hired a new Director of Development--CVPA's first ever!  Welcome to Kristin Miller.  She lives in Sycamore and has a lot of experience in the not-for-profit development business.  She's hit the ground running and is sure to help us sustain and grow scholarships, endowments, and naming opportunities.

Second, we are hosting the first ever whole College Convocation!  It's next Monday, February 13 from 6:30 to 9:00 PM at the historic Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb.

The idea originated when I learned that this sort of thing had never been done before.  In my previous institution this had been a regular practice at the beginning of each academic year.  But the Schools here are very busy in the fall, so we found a date in February when things are a bit quieter and everyone might need a lift.

Part of my vision for CVPA includes ENGAGEMENT. …

Month Three

It's been awhile.  The semester started at the end of August and we've been hard at it ever since.  I've attended
an art opening (Kaleidoscope--sponsored by the Burma Studies Center)two music concerts --Faculty Jazz Recital and the Avalon String Quarteta play--Out of the Bluea Huskies pre-game event  the Unity Marcha fund raising event for the Elwood House Museum in DeKalb a conference I've--
heard an alum speak about her experience in art therapy,participated in discussions about a STEAM Learning Center in DeKalbvisited the DeKalb Business Incubatorparticipated in a discussion about diversifying orchestras in Chicago visited Taft Center in Oregon, IL and discussed a partnership with the Art Institute and a sculpture by Loredo Taft (also met with Honor students at the Center)Visited Argonne National Laboratories to talk about possible collaborationsWent to Writer's Theatre in Glencoe, IL to see Julius Caesar and talk about possible internships for our Theatre stude…
Month Two--

First month under my belt.  I've met a lot of people, got a lot of work done--first and foremost, program prioritization.  Much work ahead, but good work that will help CVPA move forward.

One thing I've found is that NIU, and CVPA in particular, is one of the best kept secrets in Illinois!  So, we're working on getting the good news about our Schools and students, alums and donors, faculty and staff out there, front and center.  To that end, we're looking for a few people to add to our roster--people who can help us spread the news and gather resources to help us do what we do best--make, create, discover, learn.

I'm finding my way about campus.  I like to find the nooks and crannies and secret paths to here and there.  When I come upon a spot that seems likely, I'll think--what can we do here?  What show can we put on?  What music suits the space?  What art can placed or occur in this spot?  I'm going to be posting pictures of likely spots and …

Day One

Hello!  I'm Paul Kassel, new dean of CVPA.  Today is my first official day on the job, although I've been attending meetings and getting up to speed since the Board of Trustees approved my appointment at the end of April.

Before I say anything else, I want to acknowledge the tremendous work and generosity of Interim Dean Paul Bauer.  Everyone who knows him sings his praises, and if you have the chance, drop him a note letting him know what a great job he has done for the College this past year.  Personally, he has gone well beyond the call of duty in helping me get ready to lead CVPA.  I owe him a lot.  Luckily for us all, Dr. Bauer will be assisting CVPA in some crucial areas over the next year, as well as giving me aid and advice throughout this transitional period.

By now, many of you know that a budget deal has been made!  This is very good news for the university, but also for CVPA and particularly for the School of Theatre & Dance.  I'll have more to say about th…

Art History Lecture Series Continues April 28

The Division of Art History in the NIU School of Art and Design is proud to announce the next presentation in the Elizabeth Allen Visiting Scholars in Art History Series, featuring Professor Manuel Fernandéz-Götz from the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Fernandéz-Götz will present on the topic "Materialities of Mass Violence and Genocide."

Please join us on April 28 at 5:00 p.m. in Jack Arends Hall, room 100.