Culture on Campus
Bringing Music to the Valley
The Cultural Arts Program and the Music Program have joined to bring several significant music events to the campus. The Greenspring Valley Orchestra was formed in 2002 and calls the Inscape Theatre home. Directed by Robert J. Suggs, D.M.A., Music Director and Conductor, the orchestra has become one of the most respected amateur organizations of its type in the Baltimore area, even though Stevenson does not offer a formal music major. The orchestra performs winter and spring concerts as well as a popular outdoor summer series, the Summer Serenades in the Valley. Musicians in the orchestra hail from both Stevenson and the surrounding community. Additionally, students and faculty with musical interests have the opportunity to participate in the University’s Jazz Band and Chorus. In May 2008, President Manning took his turn at the podium, directing the orchestra in a Sousa march. In December 2012, the Greenspring Valley Orchestra, conducted by Suggs, celebrated with a 10th anniversary concert.
To further enliven school spirit, the University created the Stevenson University Marching Band, which debuted in fall 2011. Since then, it has grown into one of Stevenson’s largest student organizations. Led by Director of Bands Mark Lortz, the Marching Band plays at events on or off campus throughout the academic year.
Art in the Valley
Stevenson is proud to have hosted more than 150 art exhibitions dating back to the inaugural season in 1997 when the Art Gallery opened on the Greenspring Campus. Since then, the Art Gallery—along with the St. Paul Companies Pavilion on the Greenspring campus and the School of Design Gallery on the Owings Mills North Campus—have presented a series of exhibitions highlighting a diverse range of subject matter and media. The three museum-quality gallery spaces provide significant venues for artists and collectors in the region and offer opportunities for students, artists, and the community to see established and emerging talents, learn through gallery talks and lectures, and celebrate the arts at music-filled receptions. In addition to Stevenson’s three galleries, the University maintains a collection of art on permanent display throughout the campuses.
Art galleries and theatre and video productions by students and faculty liven up the campus scene.
Lights, Camera, Action
Student theatre performances are a highlight of the cultural calendar each academic year. Stevenson students work with University faculty to produce both traditional and modern shows that are open to the public. Stevenson’s 326-seat proscenium main stage in the Inscape Theatre hosts a pair of stage productions each year presented by the Department of Theatre and Media Performance. In addition, plays—including student-directed works—are staged in the more intimate 60-seat studio theatre. All students are invited to audition for roles or to serve as crew for productions. Students in the Department of Film and Moving Image also have the opportunity to perform in student-produced projects and work alongside professional filmmakers on the faculty. These students get to show their work to audiences during the Senior Showcase and the Senior Film Festival.
The Baltimore Speakers Series
Since 2006, Stevenson has sponsored the Baltimore Speakers Series, seven evenings spanning from September through April where the community can hear directly from world leaders, Pulitzer and Nobel Peace Prize winners, distinguished authors, and other illuminati whom they might otherwise never see. That first Villa Julie-sponsored season, the speakers included Author Amy Tan, Former Astronaut James Lovell, and Retired Four-Star General Colin Powell. Sponsoring this series was an excellent opportunity to create more awareness of the new name and university status. The series is held at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, which has a seating capacity of more than 2,400. Each year since its inception, anywhere from two to four of the speakers also visit Stevenson in person on the day of the event, and the University opens the lecture to all of its constituents and its neighbors, even further extending the community benefits and recognition of the series.
Above: Former U.S. President William J. Clinton with President Kevin J. Manning; Bottom: Author Amy Tan; Paul Rusesabagina, whose story was featured in the movie Hotel Rwanda; and Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak.
The Owings Mills Campus is home to sculptures by two nationally known artists—and they’re quite distinctive.
On Nov. 9, 2012, the festive-yet-educational annual LEGO® Challenge had a special attraction: the unveiling of an original Career ArchitectureSM sculpture (right) commissioned by the University from internationally renowned LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya. The 20,000-piece LEGO sculpture, a 5’4” multi-colored, androgynous figure emerging through a frame, reflects the diversity of Stevenson’s students, its programs, and the careers for which the University prepares them. The sculpture now resides in a special nook in the Office of Career Services at Wooded Way.
To have a tangible representation of Stevenson’s spirit, the University commissioned original artwork from Bart Walter, a nationally renowned plein air artist. He created two sculptures that have become focal points for building new traditions: a 12-foot-high bronze rearing mustang (right) and a smaller replica of it. Both pieces are installed on the Owings Mills Campus, with the larger located outside of Mustang Stadium, a landmark feature. The smaller statue can be found within the Stadium to spur on our student-athletes as they take the field. On April 23, 2014, the primary sculpture was unveiled and christened “Victory” in a celebration attended by students, faculty, staff, friends, and distinguished guests.