University News

Anne Bergeron appointed director of Arts Initiative

In year-long appointment, Bergeron develops plan for new programs, fundraising, collaboration

Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The gears of the University’s strategic plan, Building on Distinction, are whirring everywhere, and no more so than in the arts departments. Tucked inside the metallic folds of the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts is the office of Anne Bergeron, who began her appointment as managing director of the Arts Initiative Feb. 29.

Bergeron said that “the overarching goal is to make Brown the school of choice” for anyone who is “really interested in exploring the arts and wants both a liberal arts education and an in-depth exploration of particular art forms.”

In her role as managing director — a year-long appointment — she hopes to establish “all of the systems and processes that are going to undergird the success of the initiative,” she said.

Bergeron has 25 years of experience in nonprofit cultural institutions and held senior posts at the Missouri Arts Council, the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and the Rhode Island School of Design.

“This is what makes my heart sing,” Bergeron said. “This is taking the best of what Brown has to offer and really developing it to the next level, and that’s an exciting process.”

Provost Richard Locke P’17 said the University needed “someone who can make sure things are implemented.”

“Doing something in the arts is the number one thing that students check off ” for co-curricular interests, Locke said. “We want to make sure we have the strongest possible programs for the students we are already attracting.”

The Arts Initiative is an essential part of promoting “integrative scholarship,” one of the four central commitments of Building on Distinction.

Locke called this interdisciplinary focus “quintessentially Brown.”

As it stands now, Bergeron said the Arts Initative Planning Committee is working on a plan that she hopes will be approved by the end of this fiscal year.

The plan will propose a fundraising framework for the initiative and make it clear to “both the internal and external community” what opportunities will be available, she said.

The academic details of the plan are not finalized, but they will have a broad and significant impact on students in any of the arts departments, she said.

For example, Bergeron said funding is already in place for a new initiative that will bring professors of the practice to the University, enabling prominent artists to build committed relationships with Brown.

Thalia Field, chair of the Planning Committee and a professor of literary arts, said the plan will include an “interdepartmental, collaborative new set of programs and resources.” For example, the plan will support winter sessions and more collaboration with RISD. 

“There will be new areas of growth and coordination in both artistic and scholarly events,” such as festivals and symposiums, as well as new opportunities for courses, she said.

“The plan calls for more production spaces for students from across the campus,” Field said, as well as “enhanced student and faculty access, especially for interdisciplinary students or non-concentrators.”

“I’ve been here 20 years, and this is the most exciting time that’s come around.”

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