Tuesday July 17, 2012

Passion for Art, Education

The managing director of the nation's oldest college theater program has been tapped to lead ArtStreet, a learning and living arts complex on campus.

The former managing director of the nation's oldest college theater program will lead the University of Dayton's ArtStreet, an innovative learning and living arts complex located in the heart of the University's south student neighborhood.

Brian LaDuca will assume his new role as ArtStreet director on Aug. 6. LaDuca was previously the managing director and a lecturer for the Theater and Performance Studies program at the University of Chicago and executive director of Bailiwick Chicago theater. He succeeds Susan Byrnes, who served as ArtStreet's first full-time director from 2005 to this May.

LaDuca holds a master's degree in directing for the stage and screen from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a bachelor's degree in performance studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and he is an associate member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers.

He said the opportunity to combine his passions as an artist and as an educator attracted him to the position.

"First, I want to build on the exceptional foundation Susan laid and take ArtStreet to the next level," LaDuca said. "I want to really engage everyone on campus, not just artists — the Greek system, athletics, non-majors. And I want to use my national network to bring art professionals to campus.

"If I can build excitement and engagement on campus, the Dayton community will want to be a part of it, then dominoes start falling down, and you have people from around the country and around the world interested in what's going at the University of Dayton."

A search committee chose LaDuca for his strong commitment to educational and professional performing arts; and for his proven track record of collaborating with students, faculty and staff at the university level, of successfully and profitably managing operations of leading theater organizations and transcending disciplinary and cultural barriers through a focused passion toward international work.

"He brings a terrific blend of experience, creativity and collaborative spirit to the role," said Amy Anderson, director of the Center for International Programs and co-chair of the search committee. "His energy is contagious, and we are very excited for the new semester."

ArtStreet opened in the fall of 2004 as the result of a generous gift from the Kettering Fund. Facilities include upper-class housing, visual art gallery and studio, music performance and rehearsal space, a film screening room, student-run cafe, radio station, recording studio and meeting spaces for classes and groups.

ArtStreet fosters student-generated creative initiatives, faculty and student engagement, exploration of the arts and cultural diversity, cross-disciplinary collaboration and interaction between the University and the Dayton community. For more information about ArtStreet, please visit the related link.

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.

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