Dean Mark Towner of Endicott College Talks About the Future of Performing and Visual Arts Post Pandemic. His answers may surprise you.
Mark Towner is the Dean of the School of Visual & Performing Arts Edicott College in Beverly, MA.
Dean Towner’s credentials in his bio Endicott page reads:
Dean Towner received his M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art, where his studies included aesthetics, photography, histories of photography and film, and printmaking. He received his B.A. from Columbia College, where he focused on two disciplines; museum studies and photography. He also studied filmmaking, grant writing, history of photography, and creative writing. Dean Towner continued his education at the American Law Institute-American Bar Association, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The International Center of Photography, and Visual Studies Workshop. A firm believer in internships, he has personal internship experience at Light Gallery, Inc., New York, and The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography.
I spoke with Dean Towner prior to the holidays to find out the struggles the new and existing students will be facing as well as how students and faculty have been able to adapt to the changing world.
One bright note was an international student was able to to perform her dance routine with her classmates via Zoom as the videos and in person performances were synced up to show not only the abilities of the dancers, but the audio visual department as well.
Via the press release: Rebecca Kenneally, Endicott’s Performing Arts Chair, offered additional developments from this COVID-19 year, implemented according to scientific guidelines on masking, air purification/air flow and personal spacing guidelines:
- Going virtual has meant many more audience
members, in other parts of the country and the world, amassed largely through ramped up social media advertising. (An added benefit is that students’ families from the U.S. and beyond have been able to see their work.)
- Students have enhanced their video skills leading to:
- The establishment of a new program in theater videography.
- The development of camera techniques to make players seem closer together.
- The honing of production skills for student directors, producers, lighting designers and technicians.
- Long-distance auditions for students – actors, singers, musicians, and dancers – who can now perform virtually – on a more level playing field – for directors in other cities, increasing their exposure, and saving travel costs.
- Choreography accentuated to make an impression on video, forcing dancers to push themselves to new heights.
- The use of devices for musical instruments that minimize the spread of germs – covers for horns and mouthguards for wind instruments, for example.
For more information on what is happening at Endicott College visit their Twitter @EndicottCollege and on Instagram @endicottcollege. For more information on the School of Visual and Performing arts visit: www.endicott.edu/academics/schools/visual-performing-arts.