UNT fellowship allows three professors to pursue creative pursuits

Amie Adelman, associate professor and program coordinator of the fibers program,
Amie Adelman, associate professor and program coordinator of the fibers program, was named a 2017-18 fellow by the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts at the University of North Texas. Photo by Ahna Hubnik.
Marjorie Hayes, associate professor of acting-directing, was named a 2017-18 fel
Marjorie Hayes, associate professor of acting-directing, was named a 2017-18 fellow by the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts at the University of North Texas.
Andrew May, associate professor of composition, was named a 2017-18 fellow by th
Andrew May, associate professor of composition, was named a 2017-18 fellow by the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts at the University of North Texas.
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 08:17

DENTON (UNT), Texas - Thanks to a fellowship, three University of North Texas faculty members will get to pursue their creative pursuits – studying textiles in Greece, writing a musical about female composers and composing an opera.

The fellowship sponsored by the Institute for the Advancement of the Arts gives faculty members a semester off and a stipend to work on their project. The IAA, which serves as UNT’s arm for artistic and creative expression, has sponsored the program since 2009.

Faculty members must apply for the program and tell the projects they hope to achieve.

The 2017-18 Faculty Fellows are:

Amie Adelman, associate professor and program coordinator of the fibers program, will attend the Lakkos Artist Residency in Greece to continue her exploration of textiles around the world.

Adelman already has been to England, Ghana, Guatemala, Iceland, Norway, Scotland and South Africa. She chose Greece because she wanted to immerse herself in the country’s historical textiles traditions such as basketry, embroidery and weaving.

She also will present an exhibition on the island of Crete to show what she’s been working on. When she returns, she will install a permanent installation – using fishing lines – at the entryway of the Greater Denton Arts Council’s building.

“It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to focus on research that will lead to a new body of artwork,” she said.

Marjorie Hayes, associate professor of acting-directing, will use her fellowship to develop Songstress, a musical about female composers who wrote for Broadway.

The idea solidified after the 2015 Tony Awards when, for the first time, women won the Best Book and Best Original Score awards. But women have been composing musicals since Kay Swift, whose 1930 musical Fine and Dandy ran as long as George Gershwin’s Girl Crazy.  

“So why aren’t we hearing their songs?” Hayes asked.

Hayes will spend her fellowship in New York City rehearsing the project for a run at the Metropolitan Room Theatre in November.

“I want to show how exceptional these women’s music is and how it’s not gotten the attention these composers deserve,” she said.

Andrew May, associate professor of composition, will use his time to work on a digitally mediated chamber opera inspired by the novel 62: A Model Kit by Julio Cortázar.

In the strange world of this novel, characters and places flow into each other – a perfect fit for May’s surreal computer music. May, a former director of the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia, will write a chamber opera for four voices, sextet and a live interactive computer system that can conjure places, characters and sound worlds on command. 

He expects to present the opera in spring 2019. The idea has been in his head for years, but the IAA Fellowship provides the opportunity to focus on bringing it to life.

“I’m delighted to discover new questions I can’t yet answer,” he says.

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