News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: June 4, 2003 (03-49)
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College Awarded Webber Grant for Arts Institute
Funds will Support Artists-in-residence, Master Classes, Video Library 

The Montgomery College Arts Institute recently received a grant from the Webber Family Foundation to increase and enhance its program offerings.  The one-year grant, worth $75,000, allows for additional master classes, a permanent video library, and the creation of an artists-in-residence program at the community college’s three campuses in Rockville, Takoma Park, and Germantown, Maryland.

            The Montgomery College Arts Institute seeks to provide an environment of lifelong learning and appreciation of the arts at the College and in the community through special workshops, lectures and a world arts festival.  Additionally, the Arts Institute offers internship opportunities with metropolitan-area arts organizations and maintains ongoing relationships with local organizations and institutions, such as Montgomery County Public Schools. 

            With help from a 2002 Webber Family Foundation grant, the Arts Institute created the Montgomery College Arts Institute Distinguished Master Class Series.  In these workshops and classes, top scholars and renowned artists share their knowledge with students.  Past master classes focused on photography, music and classical theater.  With the new 2003 Webber Family Foundation grant, the Arts Institute will expand its master class offerings into the fields of advertising design/computer graphics/digital media, dance, and three-dimensional studies. 

The Webber Family Foundation grant will also inaugurate a new venture – “Residencies in the Arts.”  At each of Montgomery College’s three campuses –Rockville, Germantown and Takoma Park – artists will create their own pieces of work over an extended period of time.  The artists, who will specialize in world music or drawing, will also lead workshops and participate in class lectures. 

During the process, students will be encouraged to watch, learn and ask questions of the professional artists.  For the world music artist-in-residence program, the Arts Institute will use a portion of the grant to purchase musical instruments for students to use. 

            “By interacting with artists, students will gain an invaluable education,” said James L. Brown, Director of the Montgomery College Arts Institute.  “Through careful selection of the artists-in-residence for each campus, we hope simultaneously to promote new ways of appreciating and understanding the arts of other cultures in the welcoming environment that Montgomery College provides.”

            Finally, the Arts Institute will use the funding to permanently capture the experiences of students and artists – in its master class workshops, its distinguished lecture series and the inaugural year of the artists-in-residence program – on videotape.  To reach a large audience, the Arts Institute proposes airing videotapes of the programs

on Montgomery College Television, cable channel 10 in Montgomery County.  The tapes will also become a part of the Arts Institute Teaching Library.  This collection will be available for faculty to use in the classroom.

            For more information on the Montgomery College Arts Institute and its 2003 Webber Family Foundation grant, contact Professor James Brown, Director of the Arts Institute, at (240) 567-7644.  For more information about Montgomery College, visit www.montgomerycollege.edu.    

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