Are the Arts Essential?

Mariët Westermann

Mariët Westermann

Mariët Westermann is Vice Chancellor and chief executive of New York University Abu Dhabi. Previously, she had served as the first Provost of NYU Abu Dhabi, charged with directing the development of the new campus and overseeing the design of the academic program and recruitment of the faculty. Before returning to NYU Abu Dhabi, she was Executive Vice President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, overseeing its grant-making and research programs. Earlier in her career, she was Director and Paulette Goddard Professor at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts and held positions at the Clark Art Institute and Rutgers University. She serves on the boards of ALIPH—The International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas and the Educational Testing Service and chairs the Selection Committee of the Scholar Rescue Fund. Her current research explores the Garden of Eden in the imagination of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Website: https://nyuad.nyu.edu/en/about/leadership-and-administration/office-of-the-vice-chancellor.html

Karen L. Ishizuka

Karen L. Ishizuka

Karen L. Ishizuka is the Chief Curator of the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), in which role she shapes the museum’s curatorial direction and agenda. Over her career at JANM, she has been a media producer and curator, as well as Director of the Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center. She curated the influential America’s Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience; established the museum’s Photographic and Moving Image Archive; and wrote and produced Toyo Miyatake: Infinite Shades of Gray, which was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival. She received an MA in social work from San Diego State University and a PhD in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to numerous articles, she is author of the books Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties and Lost & Found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration and co-editor of Mining the Home Movie: Excavations into Histories and Memories. In addition to her work at JANM, she serves as President of the Okura Mental Health Leadership Foundation. Website: https://www.janm.org

Richard Sennett

Richard Sennett

Richard Sennett currently serves as a member of the United Nations Committee on Urban Initiatives. He is Honorary Professor at the Bartlett School, University College London, and Visiting Professor of Urban Studies at MIT. He chairs the trustees of Theatrum Mundi, an organization that brings together young artists and urbanists. Previously, he founded the New York Institute for the Humanities, served as President of the American Council on Work, and taught at New York University and at the London School of Economics. Over the course of the past five decades, he has written about social life in cities, changes in labor, and social theory. His books include The Hidden Injuries of Class, The Fall of Public Man, The Corrosion of Character, The Culture of the New Capitalism, The Craftsman, and Building and Dwelling. Among other awards, he has received the Hegel Prize, the Spinoza Prize, an honorary doctorate from Cambridge University, and the Centennial Medal from Harvard University. Sennett grew up in the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago. He attended the Juilliard School in New York, where he worked with Claus Adam, cellist of the Juilliard Quartet. He then studied social relations at Harvard, working with David Riesman, and independently with Hannah Arendt. Website: https://www.richardsennett.com

Carol Becker

Carol Becker

Carol Becker is Professor of Arts and Dean of Faculty at the Columbia University School of the Arts. She was previously Dean of Faculty and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs as well as Professor of Liberal Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned her BA in English literature from the State University of New York, Buffalo, and her PhD in English and American literature from the University of California, San Diego. She is a member of the World Arts Forum Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum. With research interests that range from feminist theory, American cultural history, the education of artists, and art and social responsibility to South African art and politics, she has published numerous articles and books on cultural criticism, including The Invisible Drama: Women and the Anxiety of Change (translated into seven languages), The Subversive Imagination: Artists, Society and Social Responsibility, Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art, and Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production. Website: https://caroldbecker.com/about

 

Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown is Senior Correspondent and Chief Arts Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, public television’s national nightly newscast. He has served as the program’s coanchor, studio moderator, and field reporter on a wide range of national and international subjects and has profiled many of the world’s leading writers, musicians, and artists of all kinds. His reporting has garnered Peabody, Emmy, and other awards and honors. His book of poems, titled The News, was published in 2015. Website: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/author/jeffrey-brown

Jay Wang

Jay Wang

Jay Wang is Director of the Center on Public Diplomacy and Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California. A scholar and consultant in the fields of strategic communication and public diplomacy, he has published widely on the role of communication in the contemporary process of globalization. His books include Debating Public Diplomacy: Now and Next (as co-editor), Shaping China’s Global Imagination: Nation Branding at the World Expo, Soft Power in China: Public Diplomacy through Communication (as editor), and China’s Window on the World: TV News, Social Knowledge and International Spectacles (as co-author). He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Communication. He has previously taught at Purdue University and worked for the international consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Website: https://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/users/jay_wang