Kudos to our University’s Facilities and Campus Services staff for choosing to share their perspectives on their work in last week’s mesmerizing “From the Ground Up” performance on Hearn Plaza. Under a hazy setting sun, commercial lawn mowers danced a pas de deux across the plaza lawn, and giant backhoes uncurled their buckets with surprising grace to fantastic live music from a faculty/staff/student band.
Bleachers were filled with an appreciative Wake Forest community audience, while bats and a drone circled overhead and a brilliant light show played across Wait Chapel. Most poignant to me were the dances that explored what it means to clean up after our students, be it their everyday debris, their vomit after excessive drinking, or the toilet-papered trees celebrating our sports victories.
The moving narration that closed the show spoke to the performers’ pride in their work in support of our students’ life-changing education. May students (and faculty, academic staff, and alumni) more fully recognize the heartfelt commitment of our Facilities and Campus Services teams to our Wake Forest mission and, indeed, their essential work period.
While the performers themselves deserve the most admiration, gratitude is also owed to the long-term collaboration led by Wake Forest’s Interdisciplinary Performance and Liberal Arts Center (IPLACe). Funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New England Foundation for the Arts, IPLACe worked with Forklift Danceworks, founded in 2001 by Artistic Director Allison Orr (’93) who served as this show’s choreographer. Humanities professor David Phillips; journalism professor Ivan Weiss; dance professor and Associate Provost Christina Soriano; theatre professor and IPLACe Director Cindy Gendrich; and all their students contributed to the making of the performance, too. Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services John Shenette also enabled Orr to enact her “methodology of ethnographic choreography that engages community members as coauthors and performers in the creation of large-scale civic spectacles.”
8/26/19 – submissions due 8/20
9/9/19 – submissions due 9/3
9/23/19 – submissions due 9/17
10/7/19 – submissions due 10/1
10/21/19 – submissions due 10/15
11/4/19 – submissions due 10/29
11/18/19 – submissions due 11/12
12/2/19 – submissions due 11/26
12/16/19 – submissions due 12/10
1/13/20 – submissions due 1/7
1/27/20 – submissions due 1/21
2/10/20 – submissions due 2/4
2/24/20 – submissions due 2/18
(next Digest delayed
for Spring Break)
3/16/20 – submissions due 3/10
3/30/20 – submissions due 3/24
4/13/20 – submissions due 4/7
4/27/20 – submissions due 4/21
The Dean’s Office Digest is a bi-weekly newsletter. Submission deadlines for each edition are the Tuesday prior to the publication date.
Please contact Bethany Leggett if you would like to submit information to be included.