Mike Emery
pemery@uh.edu
713-743-8186

Farber Named Community Arts Liaison at UHMitchell Center Director to Strengthen University's Arts Identity

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July 23, 2009-Houston-
The University of Houston extends its top-tier reach with the appointment of Karen Farber to the position of special assistant to the provost and community liaison, UH Arts. Farber will be charged with developing a strategic plan that brings together the arts programs at UH, addressing such issues as outreach, marketing, facilities, programs and curriculum. She will work with the directors of all campus arts programs, as well as community and UH leadership.

"When President Renu Khator declared the arts one of her strategic priorities for UH, it was clear we needed a plan to develop a clear and cohesive plan for the arts on campus," Farber said. "Ultimately, I hope to establish a holistic identity for UH arts, one that reflects the diversity and strength of our arts programs and makes UH a cultural destination for residents of our city and beyond."

Farber has been the director of the UH Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts since 2005. She will continue in that position. Her new arts role will be in addition to her Mitchell Center duties. The Mitchell Center presents interdisciplinary programs that foster collaboration among UH's Creative Writing Program, Blaffer Gallery and the schools of Art, Music and Theatre & Dance.

"Ms. Farber has led the internationally recognized academic arts organization, the Mitchell Center, and now will work with our office in leading the university's arts initiatives to advance the mission of the University of Houston in this vital area," said Provost John Antel.

In her investiture address, Khator pledged to make the arts a top initiative of her tenure. She challenged campus and community leaders to strengthen and expand partnerships on the road to making UH a world-class arts destination.

Farber says the arts lend themselves to interdisciplinary and community collaboration. Through those connections she expects to raise the visibility of UH locally, nationally and internationally.

"The university has strong arts programs, and now we have the chance to build on our successes ," she said. "We want to better communicate with the public our many fantastic offerings. For example, on a given evening during the fall or spring, a visitor could attend an exhibition opening at the Blaffer Gallery, and then walk over to an opera at the spectacular Moores Opera House or a play in the Wortham Theatre, or even a world premiere of a work by a visiting artist-in-residence with the Mitchell Center. Houston does not have many concentrated arts districts like ours at UH."

Prior to coming to the University of Houston, Farber served as major gifts officer for the Houston Grand Opera and as director of development for Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Additionally, Farber was a management fellow at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., and has worked in administration and development for a host of cultural institutions in New York, including the 92nd Street Y, the Eldridge Street Project and International Production Associates.

For more information on the UH Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, visit http://www.mitchellcenterforarts.org/public/default.aspx.

Categories: Arts