Kent Kleinman, provost of the Rhode Island School of Design, was appointed faculty director of the Brown Arts Institute, according to an April 27 press release. Kleinman will begin his new position July 15 and will also serve as a professor of the practice in the Department of History of Art and Architecture.
As faculty director, Kleinman will help “develop new academic programs and guide the implementation of the BAI,” the institute which “coordinates academic and artistic programming at Brown,” according to the press release.
Kleinman will work with Avery Willis Hoffman, BAI artistic director and professor of the practice of arts and classics, to help “support community engagement, mentorship and professional development programs” and build relationships with arts institutes nationally, the press release added.
Kleinman was drawn to the BAI because it “unites academic and arts departments under one umbrella,” he wrote in an email to The Herald.
In July 2021, the Brown Arts Initiative was reestablished as the BAI in an effort to promote the “centrality of the performing, visual, experimental and literary arts on College Hill” through new leadership models and renewed investment in “in-person performances, exhibitions (and) film screenings,” according to an interview with BAI leadership. The BAI also aims to continue the University’s “strong history of interdisciplinary work in the arts,” according to the BAI website.
Kleinman added that in his new position he hopes to help “advance the creative work of Brown University faculty and students” and build upon the University’s culture of collaboration, especially with the RISD community.
“Having gotten to know RISD well these past few years, I can say with confidence that the two institutions share a creative spirit yet bring different strengths to the table,” he wrote.
Kleinman’s “dynamic leadership will build upon the University’s reputation as an increasingly important nexus of artistic talent, creativity and innovation,” Provost Richard Locke P’18 said in the press release.
Locke added that Kleinman is coming at a “particularly exciting time” for the arts on campus as the University’s new Performing Arts Center nears completion.
Prior to his time at RISD, Kleinman served as dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell from 2008 to 2018. Kleinman also worked at Parsons School of Design, the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, according to the press release.
Kleinman will succeed Thalia Field ’88 MFA’95, current BAI faculty director and professor of creative writing, who will return to her position as a full-time professor of creative writing, according to the press release.