Performance artist Aaron Landsman and poet Dora Malech will come to Princeton University in the fall to begin two years of teaching and collaboration as the 2014-16 Fellows in the Creative and Performing Arts.
The Fellows in the Creative and Performing Arts program provides support for early-career artists who have demonstrated both extraordinary promise and a record of achievement in their fields with the opportunity to further their work while teaching within a liberal arts context.
The program is open to artists in all disciplines. Fellows are selected for a two-year residency to teach one course each semester or, in lieu of a course, to undertake an artistic assignment such as directing a play, conducting a student music ensemble or choreographing a dance with students. While in residence, fellows are active members of the University's intellectual and artistic community with access to the resources and spaces necessary to their work.
"As was the case in our inaugural year, this year's process was very competitive," said Michael Cadden, chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts. "Reading through the applications, the selection committee was delighted by the rich diversity of the contemporary arts scene reflected there. Aaron and Dora emerged as the most remarkable of a remarkable lot."
The Mellon Foundation awarded Princeton a $3.3 million challenge grant in 2012 to endow and launch the program, which was matched by an anonymous alumnus. The program is also supported through the $101 million gift from the late Peter B. Lewis, a 1955 Princeton alumnus, which established the Lewis Center for the Arts. Creating the fellowship program is a component of a 2006 University initiative to make the arts central to the Princeton undergraduate experience.
Landsman makes performances that are staged in homes, offices, theaters, buses and other locations. His current work "City Council Meeting," created in collaboration with director Mallory Catlett and designer Jim Findlay, has been presented in New York City; Tempe, Ariz.; and Houston, and will soon be presented in San Francisco and Keene, N.H. Upcoming projects include a commission from the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, N.Y., in collaboration with filmmaker Brent Green; a play at The Chocolate Factory Theatre in Queens, N.Y.; and a multi-platform work "Perfect City." Landsman was a recent artist-in-residence at Arizona State University-Tempe and has worked as an actor with the theater group Elevator Repair Service.
Malech is the author of two books of poems: "Say So" (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011) and "Shore Ordered Ocean" (Waywiser Press, 2009). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, American Letters & Commentary, Poetry London, Tin House and numerous other publications. She has been awarded a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and a Writer's Fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Italy. She has taught poetry at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Saint Mary's College of California, where she served as a Distinguished Poet-in-Residence. She currently directs the University of Iowa's Frank N. Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing's outreach initiative, the Iowa Youth Writing Project.
"We are very pleased to welcome Aaron and Dora to Princeton and look forward to all they will bring to our students, our faculty and the larger Princeton community," Cadden said. "Both are artists whose work often focuses on community-related issues, so I'm certain they will make very special contributions to all of our lives."