Lecturer, Arts Management- The role of the artist in culture; financial management in the arts; arts marketing; also a poet and experimental filmmaker
Christopher Janke holds an MFA in Poetry and an MFA in Studio Art. He is a poet, visual artist, educator, and entrepreneur. The first of his two books of poetry, Structure of the Embryonic Rat Brain, won the Fence Modern Poets prize and was called a “must read” by the Bloomsbury Review. His sculptures, visual books, experimental films, and conceptual artwork have been in galleries nationwide. His films investigate political violence and the relationship between the viewer and the screen; his sculptural poetry inquires into the nature of the relationship between language and objects; and his conceptual pedagogical art pokes at assumptions regarding the nature of beauty. Since 2002, he has been engaged in building businesses as well as in building alliances between businesses and the arts. He was a founding member of the steering committee for Turners Falls RiverCulture, which went on to win Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Adams Award. He founded and co-owns The Rendezvous, a pub and performance space in Turners Falls, Mass., for which he raised funding from local banks and the Federal Small Business Administration and which he continues to help manage and program. For ten years, he hosted a raucous lost-and-found community fashion show at a laundromat he owns. He has directed Slope Editions, a nonprofit press, since 2002; the press publishes between 1 to 3 titles of innovative poetry each year and teaches MFA students how to run a small publishing company. He has taught arts, writing, and arts management courses for UMass' Arts Extension Service, The Isenberg School of Management, Hartford University, Springfield College, and other colleges. He currently teaches My Creative Future, a cross-listed class for Film Studies students as well as other HFA majors, which helps students bring intention to the transition from school to the world of work, to keep building their creative practices, and to look at how work and creativity affect an understanding of citizenry and cultural participation. He regularly teaches Financial Management in the Arts, and he is passionate about the way non-profits demonstrate non-market values within the contemporary marketplace.