Edward Schmieder conducts as Luiza Borac plays piano during a rehearsal in Hannon Theater at Mount Saint Mary's College in Brentwood for the upcoming iPalpiti Festival. (Anne Cusack, Los Angeles Times / July 18, 2010)

iPalpiti’s world of talent

The Eduard Schmieder-powered festival spotlighting international musicians builds toward a showcase concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall

By Matthew Erikson, Special to the Los Angeles Times

July 18, 2010

To the uninitiated, the name “iPalpiti” might conjure up a new line of Apple products. For those most familiar with the artist foundation and two-week music festival of the same name based in Los Angeles, iPalpiti is about spotlighting international talent (mostly string musicians from their late teens to early 30s) and presenting those players in a broad and creative range of musical combinations and repertoire.

Now in its 13th year, iPalpiti has also become a respected fixture in L.A.’s summer musical calendar with public performances throughout the city and in Beverly Hills. On Saturday, the festival culminates with its annual showcase concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall, featuring the iPalpiti Orchestra and guest soloists.

Read more at here.

The business of change

July 12, 2010

Your arts and culture connoisseurs here at CherryTArts just found out that the architecture department recently introduced a new program focused on facilities management, which allows architecture students to take classes in law, business and statistics.

Once you’ve got the building up, someone has to make sure the daily operations run smoothly, right? It seems that architecture isn’t just about drafting and design anymore. The degree was designed in response to the growing and lucrative field of facilities management, which has evolved from building maintenance and janitorial services to a more complex profession involving real estate and capital asset development and management.

The four year Bachelor of Science in Facility Management was  developed in collaboration with the Fox School of Business and Management.  The first  two years of the  program are common to the BS Architecture and the BS Architectural Preservation.

Is this indicative of a new trend in the architecture schools across the country ? Stay tuned to find out.

J. Burton

Students from Temple University’s Japan campus have just completed a project that epitomizes the nature of 21st century collaboration.

A 20-person team based at TUJ spent four months working with Philadelphia-based indie rap artist Legrand to create a music video for his single “Virtual Love.”

Launched today on YouTube, the one-shot video focuses solely on a computer screen, as a mouse arrow navigates through dozens of web, multimedia and social media applications in synch with the song’s hip hop beat.

The TUJ students’ artistic talents are on display at every turn. At one point, a pencil sketch of Legrand becomes part of his virtual avatar during a Second Life concert. Social media connections such as Tweets from Kanye West, Skype calls from Andre 3000 of Outkast and shout-outs from popular YouTube videographers are layered on screen.

The video demonstrates how technology enables cost-effective collaborations where everybody wins: Legrand can boast a creative and attention-grabbing showcase, the students receive real experience in producing a video for a professional artist and viewers are treated to an entertaining and innovative music video.
Kyle Bagenstose

June 8, 2010

Christine Stansell, a professor of history at the University of Chicago, recently reviewed Temple University professor Bettye Collier-Thomas’ new book   Jesus Jobs and Justice: African American Women and Religion for the New Republic online.

Here’s a taste of what Stansell had to say about the historic book that looks at the contributions African American woman made to growth of the Black Church.

Professor Bettye Collier-Thomas, author of Jesus, Jobs and Justice - African American Woman and Religion.

The heroic era of civil rights struggles is not remembered as a women’s movement, but watching the old news footage of some demonstrations—the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955, for example—you might wonder why. The public face of the protests was male: leaders, spokesmen, orators. But everywhere women filled the ranks, marching, picketing, swaying to the freedom songs. “[T]he movement of the fifties and sixties was largely carried largely by women,” declared Ella Baker, the legendary civil rights leader, trying to set the record straight. “[W]omen carried the movement. There is no doubt about it,” testified a male leader from rural Mississippi. “I mean, there were some men who stood up, but it was a minority.”

The same could be said of the black church because those were the same women who flocked to Sunday morning services in the Methodist, Baptist, and Pentecostal churches, dressed in stylish hats and prim pumps. Bettye Collier-Thomas’s book shows how central those churches were to their lives, and how important their patient spirituality was to African American politics—and also how restless they were about always playing second fiddle to men. It is an encyclopedic chronicle of women’s efforts to achieve recognition adequate to their contributions and religious leadership proportional to their numbers.

You can read the full review here.

– J.Burton

June 2, 2010

Lori Tharps, author and associate professor of journalism. (photo by John Barone)

Lori Tharps, associate professor of journalism at Temple University, will appear on “Today” on June 3 to discuss the politics of black hair in the workplace.

It’s been decades since the Black Power Movement of the 60s issued in a new pride in the natural texture of African American hair. Back then it wasn’t uncommon for women and men to wear their hair in large, textured styles that symbolized the political climate of the day. Fast forward a few decades and attitudes towards Black Hair seem to have shifted.

In her book “Hair Story – Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in American”  Tharps and co-writer Ayanna Byrd tackle serious questions about hair in the African American community

“Hair Story contextualizes, demystifies and explains the significance of Black hair in American popular culture. With chapters that cover the history, politics, culture and business of Black hair, Hair Story should be required reading for every American.”

If you miss Tharps appearance on “Today” you can learn more about her work on the following sites :




Check out footage of a recent skating event that brought dozens of skateboarding enthusiasts to the Avenue of the Arts north at Temple University.

New Temple theater company seeks to fill the gap in summer entertainment

A new theatrical experience is headed to the Avenue of the Arts north.

This summer, Temple Theaters will introduce the first season of Temple Repertory Theater, a new professional company featuring actors, directors and designers affiliated with the university’s Theater Department.

Based in Tomlinson Theater, Temple Repertory will stage two performances per season with the hope of attracting theatergoers to campus during a time when Center City companies are in their off season.

“Typically, theater in the city slows down during the summer months,” said Scott Braun, director of public relations and marketing for Temple Theaters. “The new theater company will fill the gap in the city’s entertainment calendar and give theatergoers an opportunity to enjoy the arts year-round.”

The inaugural 2010 Season begins with back-to-back opening nights beginning on July 9 with a performance of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters, followed by a July 10 staging of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.

Temple Repertory will feature professional actors enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Acting program, a two-year program designed for mid-career actors interested in pursuing an advanced degree. Temple faculty members and noted theater alumni will serve as technical staff.


May 28, 2010

Temples student-produced variety show Smash Television recently recorded its fourth episode. Performed before a live studio audience, the SNL-style production features sketch comedy acts, stand up routines, musical groups and other entertainers, mostly drawn from the Temple student body.

This weekend The Art Sanctuary will host it’s 26th annual Celebration of Black Writing Festival on the Temple University Campus.

The Celebration of Black Writing aims to deepen Philadelphia’s literary life with a rich infusion of African-American writers in all genres . Writers will discuss their work in panels and workshops; the week’s events include a basketball tournament, teachers’ symposium, a family pavilion, live performances and a variety of family centered events.

On Friday, May 28 Art Sanctuary will present the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award to world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator Nikki Giovanni. One of the most widely read American poets, Giovanni prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother and a professor of English.”

Other events include : Objects, Memory & Story: Transform Your Stories Into Writing, 12:45 p.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, May 29, Temple University, Ritter Hall Annex – Walk Auditorium

Through a series of interactive exercises, writer and memoirist Lise Funderburg (Pig Candy) will help workshop-goers uncover the stories and memories they’ve attached to personal objects and put them down on paper. Participants: You are encouraged, but not required, to bring an object of personal significance to the workshop.

Art Sanctuary is located in the Church of the Advocate at 18 and Diamond Streets in North Philadelphia. Visit artsanctuary.org for a schedule of events.

Michel Boufadel, professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is currently studying deep-sea leaks like the one in the Gulf of Mexico

Unlike a surface spill, the crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico is gushing from underwater and so no one is sure where or when it will all emerge. Michel Boufadel, professor and chair of Temple’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, seeks to answer these questions in his lab using raw computing power. Boufadel is a veteran oil-spill researcher who is best known for his study of contamination from the Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska. In addition to the gulf spill and the Exxon Valdez, he has turned his sights on the new wave of drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania, in the Marcellus Shale formation. He says he was drawn to the study of engineering because he enjoys logic. “Engineering is a discipline where things have to make sense, where things have to follow a certain logic,” Boufadel says. To read more about Boufadel’s work visit the Philadelphia Inquirer.