New year, new leadership at CFA

BU College of Fine Arts announces the appointments of new School of Music, School of Theatre directors.

Gregory Melchor-Barz, Susan Mickey, Dana Clancy

Gregory Melchor-Barz, newly appointed director of the School of Music, and Susan Mickey, new director of the School of Theatre, join the College’s leadership team along with Dana Clancy, entering her second year as director of the School of Visual Arts.

August 2019 – Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) is thrilled to welcome new leadership with the appointments of renowned ethnomusicologist Gregory Melchor-Barz as Director of the School of Music and award-winning costume designer Susan E. Mickey as Director of the School of Theatre. They join Dana Clancy, who stepped into her role as Director of the School of Visual Arts last fall.

“The new College of Fine Arts leadership is united in our commitment to diversity and inclusion, pedagogical excellence, and positive social impact,” says Harvey Young, Dean of BU College of Fine Arts. “Together, we are working closely with faculty and staff to envision the future of education in the fine and performing arts through curricular innovation as well as strategic collaborations and partnerships across the Northeast and in select parts of the world.”

Gregory Melchor-Barz is an ethnomusicologist who has engaged field research in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Israel. He received the PhD from Brown University and the MA from the University of Chicago. A former opera singer, Melchor-Barz’s latest book is a co-edited volume titled Queering the Field: Sounding Out Ethnomusicology (Oxford). In addition, he has co-edited The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing in Music and the Arts (Oxford) and two editions of Shadows in the Field: New Perspectives for Fieldwork in Ethnomusicology (Oxford). His monograph Singing for Life: HIV/AIDS and Music in Uganda (Routledge) applies the central tenets of medical ethnomusicology to a study of HIV prevention in East AfricaHis book Music in East Africa: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture was also published by Oxford. He has produced 4 compact discs and a documentary film and received a GRAMMY nomination in the Best Traditional World Music category as producer of Singing for Life: Songs of Hope, Healing, and HIV/AIDS in Uganda (Smithsonian Folkways). Melchor-Barz comes to us from Vanderbilt University where he was interim dean and professor of ethnomusicology.

“I am deeply honored to be the new Director of BU’s School of Music,” says Dr. Melchor-Barz, who is also Professor of Music, Musicology/Ethnomusicology. “The international reputation of the faculty, students, and alumni was central in my decision to move to Boston, but I was also enthusiastic at the opportunity to foster tremendous, new initiatives that will take the School of Music to even greater places in the years to come. The School of Music at BU is poised to become a leader in a city where music truly matters.”

Susan E. Mickey, the new director of the School of Theatre at BU, is an accomplished costume designer and educator with a career in theatre, film, television, and academia.

Mickey has designed in almost every major regional theatre in America; and collaborated on over 35 world premieres with teams as diverse as Kenny Leon and Pearl Cleage; Stephen King, John Mellencamp, and T. Bone Burnett; and Jimmy Buffett and Herman Wouk.

She is a three-time winner of the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Costume Design for her work at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the winner of the Michael Merritt Award for Lifetime Achievement in Collaboration. In addition, her costume designs have been recognized with Helen Hayes Award, Suzi Bass Award, and Cable Ace Award nominations. A master teacher, she is the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the Regents Outstanding Teaching Award from The University of Texas-Austin.

Mickey has enjoyed extended design relationships with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Huntington Theatre and the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, but her longest artistic collaboration was with the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, where she designed over 58 productions spanning 30 years.

Her work in television and film includes Miss Evers’ Boys for HBO and Mama Flora’s Family for CBS. She is the author of several books on sewing and home decor. In 2004, she joined the faculty in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas serving as Head of Design and Senior Associate Chair.

“Our 2019 season this year at the School of Theatre focuses on character and culture. It’s said that culture is defined by the character we create and the character we keep,” says Mickey, who is also a Professor of Theatre, Design and Production/Costume Design. “Our College of Fine Arts community helps us define our character through intensive study and performance. I am so looking forward to being a part of one of the premier theatre schools in the country. It is my honor to create, grow, and discover the future with the talented students, faculty, and staff at Boston University.”

Artist and longtime painting faculty member Dana Clancy was named director of the School of Visual Arts in the fall of 2018. In addition to her work serving as director, she is also an Associate Professor of Art in Painting. Clancy received her Master of Fine Arts degree at Boston University College of Fine Arts, and her Bachelor of Arts at Vassar College. She also studied at the New York Studio School and Hunter College.

“What I enjoy most about my leadership role at CFA is the opportunity to build our strong programs through outreach and dialogue,” says Clancy. “Artists and designers act as ethical leaders in today’s society, giving powerful voice to the contemporary human condition through work that engages our senses and our souls. I am thrilled to work with Susan Mickey and Gregory Melcher-Barz, creative, seasoned leaders, toward meaningful ways for students to connect in their creative work across CFA.”

Professor Clancy’s exhibitions include group shows in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts as well as the solo show Viewing Space at the Danforth Museum of Art. Clancy has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and at University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts.


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