and world films not available at other local theaters. “We’re looking for fresh ideas and filmmakers with good stories to tell,” Grady notes.
have the skills to move large arts projects forward, and these skills translate into any event industry.
Six times a year, Mercyhurst also brings filmmakers to campus to present their films and interact with audiences. These On Screen/In Person events are presented in cooperation with the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.
On still another front, Grady and his assistant, Christine Olivier, are nurturing relationships between MIAC and other arts organizations on campus and all around Erie.
Early in November, On Screen/In Person welcomed director Harvey Hubbell V for a showing of his film, Dislecksia: The Movie. It was another opportunity to get the college community involved, and Susan Johnson of the education department and Dianne Rogers of the Learning Differences Program organized faculty, students and alumni to join Hubbell for a post-show discussion about the learning disability. MIAC is looking for opportunities to showcase other kinds of films, too. History Professor John Olszowka, Ph.D., for example, is saluting the 50th anniversary of the classic To Kill a Mockingbird with a festival of other films made in 1962. (Did you know that How the West Was Won, Lawrence of Arabia and the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, were released in 1962?) While films have moved across campus to Taylor, simulcasts of performances from the New York Metropolitan Opera will stay put in the PAC. A dozen operas are on this year’s schedule. “It feels just like you’re at the Met,” says Grady. He hopes to expand into other simulcasts, including ballet and theater.
Besides coordinating all these performances, Grady is also charged with developing a new major in arts management. Students will get a firm grounding in both business and the arts, plus extensive hands-on experience in the Performing Arts Center. During their first two years, they’ll work in the box office, the front of the house, backstage and in the MIAC offices.
In the fall, inspired by Voxare’s tribute to the silent film genre, MIAC teamed with the Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania to stage a unique silent film competition. They challenged local filmmakers to create short silent films, each incorporating a major local landmark (including Mercyhurst’s iconic front gates). Top films earned their directors tickets to several local film series – and screenings at Taylor.
“We want students to come to see our performances, but more than that we want to get them engaged. We want them to realize they too have the capacity to create art.” MIAC also becomes the umbrella for a variety of performances by Mercyhurst students in music, dance and theater. “We’re looking for ways to celebrate the achievements of our own students, and to help them draw in even larger audiences,” Grady adds. “We’re trying to create a delightful storm of activity and interest in the arts.”
MIAC is also collaborating with its neighbors on the third floor of Old Main, Mercyhurst’s Fashion Merchandising Department. On Feb. 8, the Langer Film Series will be showing Bill Cunningham New York, a documentary about the long-time fashion and street photographer for The New York Times. Before that, local camera buffs will be invited to “Be Bill Cunningham for a Day,” taking photos of fashion and style around campus and on the streets of Erie. Winning photos will be displayed at the PAC. Fashion students and MIAC are also working with the Erie Art Museum as it prepares for an exhibit of works by fashion photographer Victor Skrebneski that’s due to open in July.
‘A DELIGHTFUL STORM’
“Then we’re going to kick them out,” Grady laughs. Arts management majors will do a series of internships in their areas of interest during their final two years as well as summers.
The goal of all these diverse efforts is to engage new audiences with the arts, including the college students who will be the audiences of the future.
“Essentially, we’re going to be creating producers,” Grady says. “Our students will
“It’s not just about selling tickets,” he emphasizes.
Choreographer and Broadway star Savion Glover performs at Mercyhurst on Feb. 8, 2013. Check out the rest of the season at miac.mercyhurst.edu. 16