The University of Iowa

Ad Hoc Arts Advancement Committee

Faculty and Staff Colleagues [in arts units]:

As you know, one of the four strategic priority areas (or “pillars”) of our strategic plan for 2010 to 2016, Renewing The Iowa Promise, is “new frontiers in the arts.” I write to make you aware of an exciting new initiative in support of that strategic priority.

An important first step toward renewing partnerships between and among various UI arts units was the creation of a beautiful new Arts Iowa web site: We launched the site publicly in August (, and it has been very well received. We also have a new memorandum of understanding for scheduling facilities for Hancher and Division of Performing Arts performances. These are excellent examples of how, by working closely together, we can meet pressing needs and strategically advance the arts at Iowa.

As a next step, Dean Chaden Djalali, Vice President Tysen Kendig, and I have formed a joint Ad Hoc Arts Advancement Committee. The committee’s charge is to recommend new ways campus arts units can work together—and perhaps to highlight successful existing programs that might be strengthened. The committee members are:

  • Alan MacVey, director, Division of Performing Arts (co-chair)
  • Chuck Swanson, executive director, Hancher (co-chair)
  • Corey Creekmur, head of film studies, Cinema and Comparative Literature
  • George de la Peña, chair, Dance
  • David Gier, director, School of Music
  • Keri Hornbuckle, associate dean, College of Engineering
  • Christopher Merrill, director, International Writing Program
  • Sean O’Harrow, executive director, University of Iowa Museum of Art
  • Ann Ricketts, assistant vice president, Research Administration
  • John Beldon Scott, director, School of Art & Art History

The group will examine ways to leverage existing and future resources (e.g. our new buildings), enhance curricula and opportunities for students, deliver public programming, and raise the visibility of UI arts programs in Iowa and beyond. They may also consider potential collaborations with non-arts units, such as a currently developing collaboration between studio arts and engineering.

If you have ideas to share with the committee, I encourage you to contact one of the co-chairs ( or We are very excited about where this committee’s work will lead, and we look forward to receiving creative input from engaged staff, faculty, students, and community members as that work proceeds.

P. Barry Butler
Executive Vice President and Provost