Annual Conference


ICFAD’s 57th Annual Conference
October 6 - 8, 2021
You may click on the titles of individual sessions to see recordings of those sessions.

The 57th Annual Conference of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans
Planned together with Virginia Commonwealth University/VCUarts and the University of Richmond
Wednesday afternoon, Thursday, and Friday, October 6 – 8, 2021
This ICFAD Conference will focus on how fine arts executives in higher education, artists, and communities can work together to examine the past and reposition history for their communities through the visual and the performing arts, design research, and innovative approaches. Presentations will also highlight opportunities for arts leaders to share strategies and challenges of the COVID-19 year and consider how some of the successes may inform the future. As the Conference was originally planned to be in Richmond, VA, all times noted here are Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

1:15 - 1:30 p.m.
Welcome from UR President Emeritus Crutcher, VCU President Rao and ICFAD President Jean Miller, Dean, Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts, Illinois State University
First-time attendees will have an opportunity to introduce themselves

1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
A Conversation with Presidents Emeriti Ronald Crutcher and Mark Heckler: Reflections on Distinguished Careers in Leadership, Education and the Arts
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In this engaged conversation, two distinguished higher education leaders will reflect upon experiences and insights they have had throughout their fascinating careers. Nancy Uscher, Dean, College of Fine Arts, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and former President of Cornish College of the Arts, will share thoughtful questions with Presidents Emeriti Ronald Crutcher and Mark Heckler.

2:30 - 2:45 p.m.
Afternoon Reflection Break and an Invitation to meet with DLR Group their Breakout Room

2:45 - 3:45 p.m.
Your Approach to Fundraising Will Shape Your Tenure as Dean
Jim Langley, President, Langley Innovations
proudly sponsored by

Your Approach to Fundraising Will Shape Your Tenure as Dean:  Fundraising is much more than the raising of funds.  It is about the projection of possibility or the extension of the status quo; about ideas around which a more vibrant community can be built or a plea for more to a shrinking constituency; or about the purposes that will attract alumni talent, or the deadening drone of yet another call to “give back.” In determining how to make a case for fundraising, in choosing the tone of the strategies and tactics to be used, and in selected vehicles through which the messages will be delivered, Deans will, in part, define their tenures, if nothing else in the way they are perceived by internal stakeholders and external constituents.  In this session, James M. Langley will show how to define and manage fundraising expectations.

3:45 - 4:00 p.m.
Afternoon Reflection Break and an Invitation to meet with Pfeiffer - a Perkins Eastman Studio in their Breakout Room

Thursday, October 7, 2021

8:00 - 8:45 a.m.
Early Bird Session: SNAAP Survey Rollout

SNAAP was created to respond to the need for clear and reliable data, articulated by arts training institutions almost 20 years ago. At this time, SNAAP is again taking action to respond to the forward-looking information needs of the arts in higher education. To best support the use of SNAAP by the higher education field, arts professionals, policymakers and researchers, SNAAP has gathered and critically reflected on input from higher education leaders, arts faculty and research scholars to inform how it can best build on the strengths of its first decade and best serve the arts in higher education field in the new decade.
proudly sponsored by

8:45 - 9:00 a.m.
Morning Reflection Break and an Invitation to meet with Yamaha in their Breakout Room

9:00 - 10:15 a.m.
Leading with Dignity in Times of Crisis 
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In times of crisis, uncertainty overwhelms our consciousness, creating fractures in the emotional infrastructure that enables us to function. Under these circumstances, leading with dignity requires those in authority to set the tone for their people and the organization. 

It also requires a new set of leadership skills, including:

  • Leading through actions, not just words
  • Deescalating organization-wide anxiety
  • Giving employees a sense that they are being cared for
  • Acknowledging the suffering employees are enduring and expressing empathy
  • Communicating reflective decision-making that does not appear reactive or impulsive

Drawing on more than 20 years in crisis situations that range from war zones to international conflict negotiations, Donna Hicks walks audiences through an approach to leadership that will do more than empower you during extraordinary times. The Dignity Model will strengthen you as a leader and continue to enrich your organizational culture long after a crisis has passed.

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.
Morning Reflection and Discussion Break with an Invitation to meet with Beck Design and Wegner in their Breakout Rooms
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10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
ICFAD’s Global Connections Committee presents:
Global Consciousness is an important first step in sustainability of international relations. Through the pandemic, we experienced the benefit of peer knowledge and experience as ICFAD members shared ideas and strategies to navigate the changes and opportunities in the arts in higher education. Sustaining engagement with trusted colleagues allowed us to embrace new knowledge and provide innovative solutions addressing challenges we faced. This conference session will allow us to hear from international colleagues about the struggles they continue to face. We will be able to consider how we might all be more helpful to each other and what resources we may all share.

Panelists joining moderator Amir Berbic, Dean, VCUarts Qatar, via the internet will include:

  • Catherine Coleborne, Head of School, School of Humanities and Social Science, The University of Newcastle, Australia
  • Christoph Weckerle, Director, Zurich Centre for Creative Economies, Zurich University of the Arts
  • Sharon LU, Programme Director, Cultural Management Office, The University of Hong Kong
proudly sponsored by Wenger

11:45 - 12:30 p.m.
Please enjoy your lunch break and also spend time meeting each of our generous sponsors in their Breakout Rooms

12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Award for Arts Achievement and Excellence by Award Recipient Edwin Slipek
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Edwin Slipek is an architectural historian and architecture critic. For 25 years, he has served as an adjunct instructor at VCU School of the Arts. He is the senior contributing editor at Style Weekly and a co-founder and co-editor of Architecture Richmond, an online encyclopedia of local architecture and landscape design. In 2018, Style Weekly was awarded the American Institute of Architects' Virginia society AIA Virginia Honors award for "heightening the awareness among the general public as to the importance and impact of good design." This award was in large part due to Slipek's contribution as the magazine's long-standing architecture critic.

A Richmond native who studied both at Boston University and VCU, Slipek has nurtured a wider appreciation of his hometown’s architecture through passionate writing and teaching. Slipek’s work unspools the story behind countless structures in Richmond, new and old. His community outreach through lifelong learning programs such as the Commonwealth Society at VCUarts has ensured that anyone, regardless of age or pedigree, can participate in discovering their community's history.

He has taught classes such as HEAVY METAL: AN EXPLORATION OF RICHMOND’S PUBLIC MONUMENTS, which delves into Richmond's fascination with memorializing the past and explores ways forward.

The Award for Arts Achievement and Excellence honors an individual or organization that has demonstrated significant advancement or support of the arts on an international, national or regional scale. The recipient who has contributed significantly toward the advocacy, support, visibility or creativity within the arts is recommended to the ICFAD Board of Directors by executive arts administrators from the conference host institution.

1:00 - 2:15 p.m.
De-Commemorating on Campus, a panel presentation
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In reaction to a movement against racial injustice, college leaders are reconsidering the names of campus buildings and monuments that memorialize white supremacists. Re-aligning statements against racial injustice with action by removing reminders of white supremacy on campus involves thoughtful and collaborative dialogue; interaction with historical and community organizations; attention to inclusive processes and practices; expansion of commemorative landscapes; consideration of emerging processes including audits and land acknowledgments, and more. These panelists, in conversation with
Carmenita Higginbotham, Dean, VCUarts, will share their leadership experiences and comment on the role of the arts in the process of healing. 
  • Meg Mulrooney, Senior Associate Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Equity, James Madison University
  • Aashir Nasim, VP for Inclusive Excellence, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Louis Nelson, Vice Provost for Academic Outreach, University of Virginia

2:15 - 2:30 p.m.
Afternoon Reflection Break and an invitation to meet with VMDO and TCC in their Breakout Rooms

2:30 - 3:55 p.m.
Roundtable Presentations
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Please plan to converse with colleagues as you attend three sessions at 25 minutes each. A summary of the offerings can be found on its own webpage.

4:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Rumors of War - Michael Taylor
As a direct response to the Confederate statues that line Monument Avenue in Richmond, Kehinde Wiley (born 1977) conceived the idea for Rumors of War when he visited the city in 2016 for the opening of Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic at VMFA. Rumors of War takes its inspiration from the statue of Confederate Army General James Ewell Brown “J.E.B.” Stuart created by Frederick Moynihan in 1907. As with the original sculpture, the rider strikes a heroic pose while sitting upon a muscular horse. However, in Wiley’s sculpture, the figure is a young African American dressed in urban streetwear. Proudly mounted on its large stone pedestal, the bronze sculpture commemorates African American youth lost to the social and political battles being waged throughout our nation. First unveiled on September 27, 2019, in Times Square, where the statue has remained on view for several weeks, Rumors of War will be unveiled December 10, 2019, at VMFA, its permanent home. The artist’s vision will be complete when the statue is installed there with the city of Richmond as its backdrop. While this is Wiley’s first monumental public sculpture, it is a continuation of his career-long investigation of representation, race, gender, and power.
proudly sponsored by

4:30 - 4:45 p.m.
Afternoon Reflection Break and an Invitation to meet with HGA in their Breakout Room

Friday, October 8, 2021

10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
The Future of UR’s Past: Enslavement, Education, and Memorialization: Dr. Lauranett Lee, Shelby Driskill, Dr. Amy Howard, and Keith “Mac” McIntosh
In this session, University of Richmond researchers and leaders will discuss research that revealed the existence of an enslaved burying ground on campus predating the University’s establishment on its current location. Research also confirmed that the University twice desecrated those graves in the mid-twentieth century. The panelists will discuss UR’s work to memorialize the burying ground, informed by engagement with descendent communities and campus stakeholders. Lessons learned about community engagement and leveraging campus spaces to teach about institutional, regional, and national histories will be discussed.

11:45 a.m. - Noon
Morning Reflection Break and an Invitation to meet with Schuler Shook in their Breakout Room

Noon - 1:00 p.m.
ICFAD's Annual Business Meeting
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1:00 - 1:15 p.m.
Afternoon Reflection Break and an Invitation to meet with OTJ and Steinway & Sons in their Breakout Rooms


1:15 - 2:30 p.m.
Arts and Health Intersections
Creative practice related to health resonates strongly as practitioners adopt community-based focus striving to support social justice and affect positive change in communities across North America. The arts are impacting the face of health care in several distinct ways including promoting self-expression and therapeutic processes; supporting social citizenship and attachments to place; enriching understanding of the importance of culture as knowledge production; and working to educate health professionals. This afternoon’s panelists will share. They include:

  • Aaron AndersonAssociate Chair and Head of Undergraduate Studies for the Theatre Department, Founding Director of the Standardized Patient Program in the School of Medicine, and Instructor for the Executive MBA program in the School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Anne F. Hogan, Dean, College of Communication and Fine Arts, and Acting Director of the UofM Institute for Art and Health University of Memphis
  • Jill Sonke, Director, University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine

This panel will be moderated by Sarah Hoover, Associate Dean for Innovation, Interdisciplinary Partnerships and Community Initiatives at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.