University of Massachusetts Amherst


Around the Center
to Fine Arts Center Board Member Dr. Patricia Romney

Spotlight on Sponsors

Performing Arts
Song Hee Lee
Korean Dancer Finds the “Third Way”

Decay of the Angel
Dancer Fleming Pushes the Limitations of the Human Skeleton

Joe Fonda
The Magic Triangle Jazz Series Unleashes its 15th Season

The Show Goes On
West Side Stories Looks at Amherst

The Silken Phoenix
The Core Ensemble featuring Fiona Choi

Don’t Miss these Big and Sassy Ballet Boys
The Trocks Hit Amherst

Visual Arts
Balls and Arrows
Carla Carpenter’s Sculptural Work

UMass Landscape Architecture
Department Celebrates Centennial with Exhibit at University Museum of Contemporary Art

Educating Through the Arts

New Web Site Unveiled
for the Education/Access Department

Business and the Arts Make Great Partners
Survey Reveals Workplace Art Collections Are Valuable for Business

February/ March 2004 > Kudos
to Fine Arts Center Board Member Dr. Patricia Romney


The Fine Arts Center would like to congratulate Friends Board member Dr. Patricia Romney on her recently published article “The Art of Dialogue” on the Americans for the Arts/Animating Democracy web site. Her article offers an accessible review of the ideas of selected historic and contemporary philosophers and dialogue theorists---including: Socrates and Plato, Mikhail Bakhtin, Paulo Freire, David Bohm, and David Isaacs---and considers the implications of their ideas for arts-based civic dialogue practice. She stresses the importance of people coming together to talk about the critical and controversial matters that affect our survival and progress as a family, community and society while also stressing the importance of how we talk — dialogue must address issues of equity before it can be successful.

Her article is also timely because in her article she discusses the controversy surrounding the cancellation of Amherst Regional High School’s production of West Side Story and how the dialogue that surrounded that event was so important and still continues even today. On February 21 at 8pm and February 22 at 2pm in Bowker Auditorium, New World Theater will present West Side Stories, a theatric investigation of issues of racial and cultural representation that ignited the Pioneer Valley community and made national headlines. West Side Stories documents the Pioneer Valley’s reaction to the Amherst Regional High School’s production of the musical West Side Story and the subsequent cancellation. West Side Stories takes its cue from America’s history of artistic political protest as it foregrounds the evolving dialogues about what can be said and by whom in our contemporary moment. The Animating Democracy Initiative (ADI), launched in fall 1999, is a four-year programmatic initiative of Americans for the Arts made possible with support from The Ford Foundation. Its purpose is to foster artistic activity that encourages civic dialogue on important contemporary issues.

To read the complete article by Romney, follow this link

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