The Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
The arts are a rich part of the University of Wisconsin’s academic enterprise and community life. The Division of the Arts advances the arts by promoting arts engagement across campus. Its many programs include the Arts on Campus, interdisciplinary artist-in-residence programs, Creative Arts Awards, Arts Business Competition, and The Studio Creative Arts Community. The Chazen Museum of Art houses one of the leading university art collections in the country. Academic programs in the arts are spread across a number of schools and colleges. The College of Letters & Science hosts the Mead Witter School of Music, the Art History Department, the Film Studies program and the Wisconsin Film Festival in the Department of Communication Arts, Cinematheque, the Creative Writing and Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies programs in the English Department, and the Center for Visual Cultures. The School of Education houses the Departments of Art, Dance, and Theatre and Drama, and Tandem Press Within the School of Human Ecology are the Design Studies Department, including Textiles and Fashion Design and Interior Architecture, and the Center for Design and Material Culture. The Wisconsin School of Business is home to the Bolz Center for Arts Administration. The Division of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement sponsors the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives and its First Wave Urban Arts Scholarship Program. Arts liibraries include the Kohler Art Library and Mills Music Library. Finally, the Wisconsin Union, the center of student life on campus, houses the Wisconsin Union Theater and Wheelhouse Studios.
a2ru Campus Contacts
Kate Hewson is Interim Associate Director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of the Arts, which works with and on behalf of all the fine arts at UW-Madison. The Division offers interdisciplinary arts courses, hosts visiting artists, administers granting and awards programs, convenes cross-college committees, runs arts festivals, and provides multi-platform arts marketing and communications. Kate earned her MA in Visual Culture from the University of Kent-Canterbury and her MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Outside of work, Kate enjoys traveling and camping with her family, gardening, biking to work, and teaching and practicing improvisational dance.
Beth attended UW-Eau Claire for her undergraduate degree. She then earned an MFA in Theatrical Design from the University of Minnesota and became interested in higher education administration leading her to complete her PhD from the University of Minnesota in Educational Policy and Administration. She took her evaluation skills learned in her PhD program to the Science Museum of Minnesota where she worked in Evaluation and Visitor Learning and Exhibit Production over the next five years. Beth then became an Assistant Professor of Speech and Theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. After a few more years, Beth moved to Madison where she worked at UW-Madison’s School of Education as a Policy and Planning Analyst in the Dean’s Office. In this role, she worked with departments to create new programs, conduct program reviews, and develop assessment plans while managing school-wide data requests and data reporting to external agencies. Beth is professionally interested in topics such as the management of creativity, arts integration in curricula, and transdisciplinary research. In her free time, Beth likes reading, hiking, painting, gardening, traveling, and attending museums.
Marina Kelly is an educator who works at the intersection of democratic education, creativity and collaboration. An alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marina was awarded her Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) in 1996 and her Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from the Art Department in 2012. Marina’s work at the UW-Madison has included teaching foundations level visual arts courses, including an online course in digital storytelling as well as interdisciplinary arts seminars for creative arts learning community students. One of Marina’s greatest passions is teaching a community based movement course, Creating Dance Through Structured Improvisation at the Hancock Center for Movement Arts and the Madison Circus Space. Marina’s current research interests include Mettler-based group improvisation and somatic teaching practices. Marina is proud to be part of the URS community where, together, we practice critical thinking while fostering a love of lifelong learning.
Angela Richardson, MFA, is a performer, visual artist, and educator. In addition to maintaining her own interdisciplinary studio practice, she works for the Wisconsin School of Business to help students and faculty understand the relationship of creative thinking to innovation in business.
Richardson coordinates arts-based learning activities for the School as part of the Arts Business Initiative—providing curricular consult, hands-on instructional delivery, and student advising. For the WSB Learning Commons renovation project, she led ‘artful engagement’ design efforts to curate the space.
As a teaching artist, she’s led classes at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Center for Healthy Minds, Madison Children’s Museum, Madison Public Library, and many other community organizations. Richardson holds a split appointment on campus and also works as a program manager at the Division of the Arts.
She was selected as a ’20-’21 Morgridge Fellow to take part in a community-engaged scholarship (CES) cohort with UW’s Morgridge Center for Public Service.
As Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities in the College of Letters & Science since June 2011, Zaeske has lead a division of 16 departments and 22 centers and institutes, including the Institute for Research in the Humanities and the Center for the Humanities. Her responsibilities include advocating for the arts and humanities; catalyzing faculty research and the securing of external grants and fellowships; faculty hiring; oversight of faculty mentoring and the tenure process; budgetary oversight and guidance for units; program review; curricular development; handling faculty, staff, graduate student, and undergraduate student disciplinary issues; and guiding and mentoring chairs and directors. Major accomplishments during her tenure in this position include working with faculty to restructure and merge departments into compelling new units that re-energize faculty research and teaching, provide better staffing, and attract more students. Examples of these successes include the new trans-Asian Asian Languages and Cultures Department https://alc.wisc.edu/about-us/ and the new multi-disciplinary Language Sciences https://langsci.wisc.edu. Another great success is Constellations, a Mellon-funded program that charts pathways for students from all corners of the campus to and through the humanities, increasing humanities enrollments and engagement. https://constellations.ls.wisc.edu
As Interim Director of the Division of the Arts for UW-Madison, she reported to the Provost and was charged with leading a unit of 15 staff members working to unite and amplify the arts, which are spread across three schools and colleges. The major programs of the Division of the Arts include a residential learning community called The Studio, the Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence Program, the Creative Arts Awards, Arts@UW communication and marketing of the UW-Madison arts as a whole, the Madison Early Music Festival, and the Wisconsin Film Festival, which is the largest university film festival in the United States, screening 150 films over 8 days in 5 venues seen in person by 30,000 viewers. Her charge as Interim Director was to make sure these stellar programs were run effectively, improve the division’s morale and operations, serve as an advocate for the arts, and, importantly, to lead planning efforts to restructure this campus unit.
Walker is a multi-hyphenate contemporary dance and performance artist. Rooted in “Resistance Aesthetics,” Walker’s work draws upon the danced rituals, mas traditions, and embodied performance history of the African diaspora. The founding artistic director of OMAI/First Wave, Walker developed the First Wave Process. His research intersects dance choreography for the concert stage with collaborations with visual and performance artists for museum, alternate spaces, professional theatre, and video/film.