News

Alumni, Faculty and Staff 3D-Print a Response to COVID-19

3D printing masksSyracuse University schools and colleges are collaborating to print face shields that will protect health-care workers responding to community needs.

On March 17, Lynn Greenky, an assistant teaching professor in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies, reached out to a few of her colleagues. Greenky saw a local news story about a Central New York firm that has made 3D-printing plans for a face shield available on its website. Budmen Industries, operated by Syracuse alumnus Isaac Budmen ’12, has offered a template and instructions to produce the shields, which provide crucial protection for health-care workers responding to COVID-19 cases.

Greenky asked if Syracuse University’s 3D-printing facilities could be put to work helping to produce the shields, and VPA School of Design director James Fathers immediately saw potential in the idea. On March 18, Fathers sent an email to Chris Prior, the director of fabrication shops for VPA, who routinely works with 3D printers while assisting with design. “As an industrial designer, I knew he could do this,” says Fathers. “And it flowed from there.”

Read full story

Department of Drama Cancels Public Performances of ‘A Grand Night for Singing’ and ‘On the Lake’

In response to the emerging situation related to COVID-19—and with an abundance of concern for the well-being of students, staff and patrons—the Syracuse University Department of Drama has canceled all public performances of “A Grand Night for Singing” and “On the Lake.”

Ticketholders are invited to consider converting unused tickets into a tax-deductible donation to the Department of Drama. Those interested in making such a donation are asked to email  and include name, address and amount of original ticket purchase.

Also, refunds will be available to those who request them prior to April 30.

Contact the Syracuse Stage box office at 315.443.3275 to exercise either option. Please note the box office is expecting a high volume of calls and communications; staff will work to fulfill requests in as timely a fashion as possible.

M.F.A. Design Students Collaborate with Food Bank of CNY, PepsiCo to Deliver Food to Underserved Families

Students pose in front of sign.For the past year, students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ master of fine arts (M.F.A.) program in design have been working with the Food Bank of Central New York to raise community awareness of a new, innovative food delivery service. A mobile pantry allows the Food Bank to do direct food drops at key locations throughout the Central New York region, especially at times such as the holiday season, when school lunch programs are not available for local children.

Read the full story

Communications Design Students Selected as Graphic Design USA ‘Students to Watch’

Fatima Al Khaldi and Sarah NollFatima Al Khaldi and Sarah Noll, senior communications design majors in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design, were selected and featured as 2020 “Students to Watch” in Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) Magazine.

Each year, GDUSA selects a class of students nominated as “Students to Watch.” The group is identified through the help of many of America’s leading art and design schools.

Each class of approximately 75 students features the top 50 design education programs from across the country.

“We’re thrilled to have two of our seniors named to the 2020 class of GDUSA ‘Students to Watch,’” says Marc Stress, professor of practice in the communications design program. “Students selected have found personal and professional growth through their programs that they apply to their everyday design decisions and discussions. Being included serves to place these students into a larger universe of designers. Further, this nomination elevates each of the student designers associated with SU communications design past, present and future.”

Founded in 1963, GDUSA is one of the oldest professional trades for the communications design industry.

The best way to innovate is to do it. Meet Courtney Jiggetts ’20

Courtney JiggettsRichard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group conglomerate, dropped out of high school at the age of 16. His first venture was a student publication which eventually expanded into a constellation of businesses that now carry the Virgin brand. There are so many ventures under that brand that he shared with NPR’s Guy Raz that he has lost count of how many businesses make up his portfolio as a serial entrepreneur.  Courtney Jiggetts ’20 regards Branson as a life-long idol and aims to replicate his laser focus on innovation.  She already has a head start, having recently been named as a 2019 Forbes Under 30 Scholar.

Jiggetts is an environmental and interior design student in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University where she is immersed in a transdisciplinary educational setting that challenges students to rethink the built environment.  She is concurrently pursuing a minor in real estate in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and another minor in psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences respectively.

Read full story

College of Visual and Performing Arts Announces 2020 VPA Scholars

VPA Scholars
Top row: Naiya Jai Campbell, Wallis Dean, Shannon Ferguson, Michael Fernandes, Dylon Goris, and Charlotte Howard. Bottom row: Elaina Palada, Emilia Smart-Denson, Nicole Stallings-Blanche, Erin Toy, Katiana Weems, and Benji Wittman.

Twelve seniors in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) have been named VPA Scholars, the college’s highest undergraduate academic honor.

The VPA Scholars program was established to recognize the achievements of the college’s top seniors. Students are selected based on academic performance, creative/scholarly work and service to the college and the community.

The scholars are recognized at VPA’s annual convocation ceremony, which will be held during the University’s Commencement Weekend on Friday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Manley Field House.

The 2020 VPA Scholars are:

  • Naiya Jai Campbell, a communication and rhetorical studies major in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies
  • Wallis Dean, a theater management major in the Department of Drama
  • Shannon Ferguson, a studio arts major in the School of Art
  • Michael Fernandes, a music education major in the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music
  • Dylon Goris, a communication and rhetorical studies major in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies
  • Charlotte Howard, an art photography major in the Department of Transmedia
  • Elaina Palada, a music education major in the Setnor School of Music
  • Emilia Smart-Denson, a theater management major in the Department of Drama
  • Nicole Stallings-Blanche, a communications design major in the School of Design
  • Erin Toy, an environmental and interior design major in the School of Design
  • Katiana Weems, a film major in the Department of Transmedia
  • Benji Wittman, a music industry major in the Setnor School of Music

Syracuse Stages Announces 2020-21 Season

Two Tony Award-winning musicals, an American classic, a smart new comedy, a haunting new adaptation of a literary masterpiece and a world premiere are at the heart of Syracuse Stage’s 48th season. Artistic director Robert Hupp said the shows all in some way address ideas of home “in all its idealized, romanticized, messy and real manifestations.”

In addition, three nationally acclaimed artists will participate in residencies at the theater throughout the season. Kate Hamill will be the playwright in residence at Syracuse Stage’s annual Cold Read Festival of New Plays. Activist and artist Mark Valdez will develop his new work “Exiled in America” at Syracuse Stage as part of a four city project that also includes St. Paul, Minnesota, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Actor and writer Stephan Wolfert will perform his adaption of “Macbeth” and create a new work based on “Richard III” called “The Head of Richard.”

The season is scheduled to begin Oct. 14, 2020, and continue through June 20, 2021. Subscriptions are on sale now. Single tickets will be available beginning July 25.

The shows in chronological order are “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” Oct. 14-Nov. 1, 2020; “Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical,” Nov. 20, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021; “Once on this Island,” Jan. 20-Feb. 7, 2021; “Eureka Day,” March 3-21, 2021; “Our Town,” April 21-May 9, 2021; and “salt/city/blues,” June 2-20, 2021. In addition, the Cold Read Festival of New Plays returns for its fourth season, and two residencies will bring new original work to the theater.

Read full story

Critically Acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble to Perform as Part of Syracuse University Residency

American spiritual ensemble

The American Spiritual Ensemble, a critically acclaimed professional vocal group that has thrilled audiences around the world with its dynamic renditions of classic spirituals and Broadway numbers, will visit Syracuse University March 8-11 to hold a residency and offer three public events.

“The American Spiritual Ensemble performs with commitment, passion and exceptional musicality,” says Anne Laver, assistant professor of organ and coordinator for the group’s residency. “They are superstars in the choral world, and we are so excited to be able to host them in Syracuse.”

Read full story

Syracuse University to Host Music for People Weekend Retreat April 17-19

Music for People (MfP), a global pioneer in experiential, inclusive music education, will hold its first weekend retreat at Syracuse University.

The retreat will run Friday, April 17, from 6-9 p.m.; Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Most of the activities will take place in Crouse College, home of the Setnor School of Music in the University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

The program is open to students and graduates of MfP’s Musicianship and Leadership Program (MLP) and experienced MfP players.

Syracuse University students are invited to a public workshop on Sunday, April 19, from 10-11:30 a.m. No music experience is needed. The workshop will cover improvisational games and activities that can be used in educational and clinical settings.

Read the full story