State of the Arts

NKU School of the Arts - March 22, 2021

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SOTA Debuts Contemporary Ceramics Exhibitions

SOTA is bringing ceramic exhibitions to its Main Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. Presented by current and former faculty members, “Rivers Connect: Unstoppable Forces in Contemporary Ceramics" exhibition are on display through April 2. The exhibition is in conjunction with the 55th annual National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Conference.


"Rivers Connect" collectively serves as a metaphor for humanity's relationship to the natural world. Eight artists who have studied and taught at Syracuse University in New York cultivated the displays as a representative of our collaborative cultures and traditions. The venue-based exhibition further examines the rise and decline of human interaction in its relationship to our ecosystems and cultural intersectionality.

Dance Cardio

Maiya Caldwell, Junior Dance BFA, taught a dance cardio session at the most recent Theatre & Dance Extra (TADx) to show how she uses the arts and fitness together to help supplement her work as a dancer/choreographer. Since starting college, she has gotten certified as a Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, and Zumba Instructor. She is also a lifelong athlete. She teaches dance fitness and various forms of strengthening and mobility classes on campus and in the greater Cincinnati area. Maiya uses her background in both dance and sports to create programming that stimulates the mind and body.

Theatre & Dance Extra (TADx): Dance Cardio Session

Meet Lily Padula

Illustrator and Animator Lily Padula will host a lecture on Zoom on March 23 at 7 p.m. Lily is a multi-disciplinary illustrator, animator, and artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She employs a cerebral approach to image making, distorting and bending reality while maintaining a rich emotional core in each of her pieces. She was awarded a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators for her directorial debut short animation, commissioned in 2018 for NPR’s “Invisibilia” podcast.

Performing Arts and Social Movement

Please join the NKU Common Experience Lecture Series: Performing Arts and Social Movement on March 24 at 3 p.m. on Zoom. Moderated by Dr. Jason Vest, Assistant Provost and Associate Professor of Voice.


Panel includes:

  • Laura Gentry, President, Jazz Alive
  • Jeaunita Ìféwándé Château Weathersby Olówè, Director, Ìféwándé Cultural Programs
  • Reginald Harris, Director, Community Life for The Community Builders
  • Dr. George Carpten, IV, NKU Assistant Professor, Brass Area Coordinator

Theatre & Dance partners with Beechwood

The Theatre & Dance Program is doing a great partnership with Beechwood Independent Schools over the next three weeks. They are collaborating with their 8th grade students on an arts challenge. Program Head Michael Hatton kicked off the challenge and each week a faculty member will do a mini creative challenge project with them. Faculty members include Jo Sanburg, Ronnie Chamberlain, and Brian Robertson. All of the challenges are related to the upcoming production of Noises Off. These students and their parents will be invited to attend a dress rehearsal of Noises Off in the fall and see how the production went from concept to completion.

SOTA Saturdays

SOTA Saturdays is a weekly virtual open house for NKU’s School of the Arts. This is an opportunity for potential students to learn a little more about SOTA to help make your decision for where to best develop your creative potential to the fullest! Parents, you are invited too! Area K-12 art, music, and theatre teachers, we hope this will be an opportunity for you to learn about some of the great opportunities we have to offer you and your students here in SOTA as well! All are welcome and we hope all will be entertained and enlightened!


The next session will be Saturday, April 3 at 11 a.m. We will speak with some of our amazing alumni who have graduated from our programs about their successes in fields outside the arts. The expansive skillset that comes with a degree in the arts prepares our students to pursue the arts as a career and use the arts in their profession in whatever field that may be!

Bonner article published in dance ed journal

Tracey Bonner, MFA Associate Professor of Dance, recently had an article titled "Those Dancing Feet! Musical Theater Dance as an Ethnographic Identifier" published in the Journal of Dance Education. The article is also available through the library.

Theatre + Dance Behind the Scenes

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos from our upcoming streaming productions.

Alumni/Broadway star Angie Schworer to star in new virtual musical

BFA Acting alumn and Broadway star Angie Schworer is starring in a new virtual musical, Electric Island, available for streaming on March 25 at 8 p.m. All proceeds will benefit The Actor’s Fund’s Phyllis Newman Woman’s Health Initiative.


Electric Island was conceived in March 2020 — written by Rachelle Rak with music and additional lyrics by Steven Jamail — after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Broadway.

Alumni Update: Chrisi Heinrich

Chrisi Heinrich (BME Music Education, 2018) married music alum, Kyle Heinrich in the summer of 2019. She is currently the choir director at Pleasant Run Middle School in Ohio. She is considering getting a masters degree in Counseling from UC. Chrisi chose to study at SOTA because it was close to home, and she loved the atmosphere.

Have Something Newsworthy?

We would love to hear from you! Send your stories and updates to Rick Endres, SOTA Publicity Manager, at endresr1@nku.edu. If you graduated from any SOTA program, submit an Alumni Update, and you may be featured on our website and other publications!