In you editor's humble opinion
Death Cab For Cutie, Thank You For Today
This album clocks in around 40 minutes of listening time, and I would be lying if I denied listening to it at least once a day (sometimes twice!) since its August release. With Ben Gibbard’s soft vocals that have somehow withstood the test of time, catchy electronic back beats, and the same nostalgic sadness every Death Cab album exhibits, this album is a rich display of raw emotion with an updated 2018 feel. It’s the same old, but better. Personally, the 2015 album Kintsugi has been my favorite album from this band so far, but Thank You For Today quickly rose to the top of my Spotify queue.
This is a perfect album for your daily commute or a focused study session, as well as general at home listening.
Honorable Mention: Hozier, Nina Cried Power EP
I can’t wait for the early 2019 release of Hozier’s second full length album, but this EP was a fantastic teaser and held me over in the meantime. His 2014 self-titled is full of power vocals that cut to my core, and I’ve been waiting 4 years for a new release. Nina Cries Power is full of the heavy bodied yet soft and loving Hozier we know and love with a soulful, rock n roll feel.
I especially liked to listen to this EP when I was walking somewhere. A shorter length combined with Hozier and Mavis Staples powerful voices lends perfectly to a brisk pace. With only 4 songs, this album will keep you pumped up wherever you're headed!
My name is Darby Swab, and I will be the editor of ArtsLine 2018-2019! It's hard to believe the Quarter has already flown by so fast, and we're already heading into the cold weather season.
(Please send me all of the blankets, hot cocoa, and puppies to snuggle with, stat!)
A bit about me: I moved to Philly from Buffalo, NY on a 100-degree day in July. My first out of state move and the furthest from home I’ve ever lived, the concept was terrifying. Despite the jitter and the doubts and moving away from the city I’d come to know as home, I still felt like Philly was the right place for me. After getting my undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from the University at Buffalo, I jumped right into a graduate program there that unfortunately didn’t suit me. After 2 years and a drop to part-time status, I was feeling pretty down and excited for a change of scenery. In only a few months I’ve already found a sense of belonging and purpose here not only in “The City of Brotherly Love,” but at Drexel, in this program, and among my wonderful coworkers at Starbucks 16th& Walnut.
Some of my favorite things about Philadelphia so far:
While I’m still homesick for pink Buffalo sunsets, the south facing view from my Newbold rowhome provides a similar sense of comfort. My daily commute on the subway has become a quiet time for music and self-reflection. I’ve quickly acclimated to life in Philly, and it’s a great feeling.
For my take on ArtsLine, I want to talk about some more of my favorite Philadelphia people, places, and things while providing some of the pictures I take in my daily life. I no longer pursue photography as more than a hobby, but I hope you’ll enjoy the snapshots from one graduate student’s iPhone SE. I am excited to share with you where the winter quarter brings me!
Please send any recommendations, places I should go, things I can see, etc! I look forward to hearing from you and am excited to begin this chapter as the editor of ArtsLine.
ArtsLine editor 2018-2019
Our fall quarter always brings a sense of excitement and renewal as we begin a new academic year. This fall, we welcomed one of our largest cohorts of Arts Administration & Museum Leadership students to campus and online. These students, from around the country and around the world, bring a wealth of energy, intellect, and curiosity to their roles as students and arts and cultural leaders. We can’t wait to see all the great things they’ll do.
We also have some exciting changes in our faculty roles as we continue to grow and evolve. Our esteemed colleague Dr. Danielle Rice will be retiring at the end of the academic year but will continue to teach for us on a part-time basis. Danielle was responsible for launching our Museum Leadership program and will continue to advise Museum Leadership students through the end of the year. Dr. Jean Brody, who created and directs our online program (the second oldest online graduate Arts Administration program in the county), will step down as our online program director at the end of this academic year in order to focus on teaching. This year, we are in the process of hiring a new program director and teaching professor to replace Danielle and to oversee our online program. We’ve received many talented applicants from around the country and plan to make a hire by the spring. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on our newest faculty member.
We’ve also begun interviewing prospective students for next year’s cohort, and we’re happy to speak with anyone who is interested in learning how our program can advance their career goals and build their professional networks. Applications for our campus and online program are now open, with an early admissions deadline of January 15th, which is the deadline to be considered for a graduate assistantship. This year we are also introducing a Spring cohort for online students studying either Arts Administration or Museum Leadership.
Applications for Online AAML Spring 2019 are currently under way.
We wish you all a wonderful fall season, full of both personal and professional accomplishments.
It’s 8am on a Saturday, and I’m barely awake. I’m in my car, headed towards the 12-hour parking along 21st St near the Parkway. By the time my meter runs out at 7pm this evening, though, my day will still be going strong. I’m working at the Philadelphia Museum of Dance, and it’s going to be a quite long, but also quite interesting, day.
Before all is said and done, I will have sorted thousands of program guides, surveys, and bright pink bracelets into bags for volunteer docents and surveyors, helped to construct event signage, welcomed and responded to the questions and concerns of 30 volunteers, and recorded more than 20 conversations with audience members. The volunteers will collectively welcome 1,500 visitors, gather almost 250 audience intercept surveys, and answer countless questions from attendees. Then there are the dances, and the dance artists, which I will do my best to catch as many glimpses of as I can during the day, though I can’t linger in any one spot for too long, because my job is to find out what other people here today are experiencing. I am the evaluator for the Philadelphia Museum of Dance, and I have just one day to gather everything I want to know about the audience and their experiences.
After the day is over, there will be more data to gather, and many more conversations to have. The evaluation of this project involves considering its impact from six different perspectives, including those of the audience, the co-curators, the three partnering institutions who produced and presented it, the 115 dance students from five area colleges who participated in one of the pieces commissioned for the event, the professional dance artists who performed, and the volunteers. Some of these perspectives will be assessed by surveys, others by personal interviews. All of them matter in understanding what can be learned from a project like this one.
The Philadelphia Museum of Dance was made possible by a grant to Westphal College from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. As the project’s evaluator, my role is to determine what was achieved relative to the project’s artistic and other goals, and what was learned along the way. It’s a complex set of questions, requiring a substantial investment of my time and attention in collecting and assessing data. Though I’ve been attending weekly project meetings for about a year, my work really takes off now, with the review of many hours of audio interviews and hundreds of survey responses.
I’m able to do this work because this year I received a gift that few other people I know are offered — a sabbatical. I have been granted about six months to focus on my research, and in that time period I am relieved of my teaching and other responsibilities to Drexel. Sabbaticals provide time for individuals to take a deep dive into their personal or professional development, by freeing them from the usual pace and process of their work. They are purposely designed to enable a different kind of productivity to occur, one that simply can’t happen in the midst of our regular day-in, day-out activities.
For me, this sabbatical is a chance to spend more concentrated time on research than I have been able to in my tenure at Drexel so far. Normally, I simply wouldn’t be able to give a project as large as the Philadelphia Museum of Dance the time and attention it deserves, but a sabbatical enables me to do exactly that. My research focuses on arts advocacy, how we make the case for arts and culture, and why individuals and communities care about it. Over time, I have realized that there’s a connection between how cultural organizations evaluate their programs and how we engage in arts advocacy. Namely, the way any given organization conducts its program evaluation represents their assessment of its value and impact — that same value and impact that we use to advocate for the arts.
That’s why I am excited to have this sabbatical (though I really do miss getting to know everyone in class!). It’s giving me the time not only to do full due diligence on the evaluation of the Philadelphia Museum of Dance, but to reflect on the ways that program evaluation and arts advocacy are related, and reinforce one another. I’ll be excited to come back to class next spring, too, ready to share what I’ve learned and experienced along the way.
For more information on the Philadelphia Museum of Dance, please visit http://charmatz.westphal.drexel.edu/pmd/
To reach Julie, send her a note at email@example.com.