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UW-Madison Arts Institute
Brings Artists In Residence To Campus

January 19, 2007
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MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arts Institute announces two interdisciplinary artist residencies for this spring.

Spoken word and hip-hop theater artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph will present "Line Breaks: A Lecture and Performance Series on Spoken Word and Hip-Hop Theater" to the campus and local community starting Saturday, Feb. 24, and ending Thursday, April 26, and will teach an associated university course. Alternative curator Ute Ritschel will teach "Alternative Curatorial Methods" and host a symposium titled "Native-Invasive" Friday-Saturday, April 20-21.

Internationally renowned spoken word artist Joseph is one of an emerging class of hip-hop theater artists who combines a variety of art forms in his work. He has been a featured artist on Russell Simmons' "Def Poetry" on HBO, is a National Poetry Slam champion, Broadway veteran and an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship (one of three Arts Institute Artists in Residence to be so honored).

Bamuthi uses theater; West African, tap and modern dance; spoken word poetry; and live music to stretch the bounds of traditional hip-hop and create a new forum for expressive performance art. His works challenge audiences of all ages to reevaluate the relationship between spoken language, body language and the body politic. He is redefining the possibilities of the integrative arts and is demonstrating the revolutionary potential of hip-hop culture to serve as a vehicle to address issues of social injustice, political hegemony, institutional racism and other social issues.

Bamuthi will kick off his residency at the Wisconsin Union Theater on Saturday, Feb. 24, by hosting the Fourth Annual Youth Speaks Wisconsin Teen Poetry Finals and then presenting "An Evening with Marc Bamuthi Joseph," featuring different components of his award-winning one man shows. Tickets are available at the Wisconsin Union Theater box office; call (608) 262-2201 for information.

Starting on Monday, Feb. 26, Bamuthi will host a free public series, "Line Breaks: A Lecture and Performance Series on Spoken Word and Hip-Hop Featuring Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Friends," at the Wisconsin Historical Society Auditorium, 816 State St. He will also teach an accompanying interdisciplinary arts course for university students, which will focus on writing and performing spoken word and hip-hop theater.

Bamuthi's residency is hosted by the Department of Afro-American Studies, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI), and co-sponsored by the Dance Program, the Wisconsin Union Directorate Theater Committee, the Integrated Liberal Studies program, Madison Metropolitan School District and Wisconsin Humanities Council.

For more information, call (608) 263-9290. The Web site, http://www.arts.wisc.edu/artsinstitute/air/joseph, will be available after Monday, Jan. 22.

Ritschel's work combines art, performance art, environmental studies and cultural anthropology. She has a master's degree in acting and directing from the University of Kansas and completed a large research project on female performance artists in Germany and the United States at the University of Frankfurt. She studied cultural anthropology, art history and arts administration in Germany, France, England and the United States, and has also presented lectures and performances in England, Russia, Switzerland and the United States.

Since 1995, she has produced the biannual exhibition "Vogelfrei - Art in Private Gardens" in Darmstadt, Germany. She began this project with 18 gardens and 29 artists, and her most recent iteration included 38 gardens and 75 artists from nine countries. In alternate years, she produces "Internationaler Waldkunstpfad" with 20 artists from six countries each year. She was also the curator of the "Kunsttage Dreieich," where she curated two exhibitions per year in the City Gallery and one outdoor exhibition. In addition to her curatorial activities, she is active in the field of performance studies and has organized conferences and founded a Center for Performance Studies in Germany.

While in residence, Ritschel will teach "Curatorial Practice - Alternative Places and Concepts" for an interdisciplinary mix of students to explore the process of developing original exhibition frameworks. Reflecting Ritschel's view that curating is a self-taught skill, the course will emphasize the practical aspects of curating, such as securing funding, creating catalogues, invitation cards and press materials, and other basic skills required to make sure the vision behind an exhibition comes to fruition. Outside of the classroom, Ritschel will also convene naturalists, environmental scholars, curators and artists to explore the role of art in promoting ecological equilibrium in the two-day conference, "Native-Invasive." Conference participants will engage in dialogue about native and invasive trends in ecology and society.

Ritschel's residency is sponsored by the Department of Art and co-sponsored by the Visual Culture Cluster, the Chazen Museum of Art, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and the departments of Theatre and Drama, Anthropology, Art History, and Environment, Textiles and Design.

For more information, call (608) 263-9290 or visit http://www.arts.wisc.edu/artsinstitute/air/ritschel.

The Arts Institute Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program brings world-class artists to campus to teach interdepartmental, for-credit courses and to perform or exhibit work for campus and community audiences. Governed by arts faculty and staff, the Arts Institute represents all the arts on campus and works to make the arts more visible and effective at UW-Madison. The Arts Institute funds and supports projects with university- and communitywide impact, including artist residencies, awards and fellowships, public programs, and arts marketing and outreach.

For more information, contact -
Kate Hewson, 608-263-9290 kahewson@wisc.edu

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