Field Notes: Three Approaches to Merging Research, Praxis, and Pedagogy

Thursday, November 1, 2018, 1:45-3:15pm

Innovative ideas often emerge when novel combinations of people come together. This presentation will highlight three such programs that bridge the gap between research, praxis, and pedagogy. Participants will learn about effective practices for developing successful inter-disciplinary, cross-sector collaborations and designing programs that support practice in arts, research, and curricula.


Lynda Lotich is the Associate Director of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC. Prior to this, she was Director for the Eastern Music Festival and Program Director of the A+ Schools Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Before returning to North Carolina, she served as a board member and President of the Durango Arts Center in Durango, Colorado and was Publicist for the Drama Department at Fort Lewis College. Lynda was also Administrator in the development of Pack Place Education, Arts and Science Center, a 92,000 square-foot downtown cultural complex of museums, performance spaces, courtyards, exhibition and lobby galleries in Asheville, NC.


Emil J. Kang is UNC-Chapel Hill’s first Special Assistant to the Chancellor for the Arts. In this cabinet level position, Kang leads a groundbreaking initiative to integrate the arts with the teaching, research and service missions of the University. He is responsible for programming arts events, activities and installations across campus, creating clear and well-coordinated communications about opportunities in the arts, and ensuring the arts are well-represented in all major campus initiatives, including the master plan, strategic framework and capital campaign. In addition to his role in the Chancellor’s cabinet, Kang is the Executive and Artistic Director of Carolina Performing Arts (CPA). Founded by Kang in 2005, CPA is the University’s first major multi-disciplinary performing arts program. Now in its twelfth season, CPA has established itself as a center for artistic excellence and innovation and as a leading university presenter of today’s most influential artists. Kang also serves as Professor of the Practice in the music department. Kang was nominated in 2012 by President Obama to serve on the National Council on the Arts. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Kenan Institute for the Arts at the UNC School of the Arts, the International Society for the Performing Arts, and ArtsForce. He previously served on the board of EmcArts.


Corey Madden, the Executive Director of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at UNCSA, brings 30 years of creative leadership in the performing and visual arts to her position. Madden served as Associate Artistic Director of the Mark Taper Forum from 1993-2007. During her tenure she led a wide array of artistic programs and initiatives to serve diverse artists and communities, as well as developed and produced more than 300 world premieres. In addition, she is an award-winning writer and director in theatre and lm and the founder of L’Atelier Arts, which creates multi-disciplinary and site-specific projects around the world. Madden’s creative research includes producing and directing And So We Walked: An Artist’s Journey Along the Trail of Tears by Cherokee artist DeLanna Studi which has been presented by the Process Series at UNC-CH, Trinity Repertory and Brown University, Yale University Indigenous Arts Program, Native Voices at the Autry and LaJolla Playhouse, Triad Stage and most recently Portland Center Stage in Oregon. Madden co-founded the Artist as Leader Interview series with Rob Kramer with whom she is currently writing a book of the same title. Madden is a former student of UNCSA’s Drama Program. She received her undergraduate degree from UNC Chapel Hill and has a master’s in dramatic and cinematic writing from University of Southern California.


A lifelong interdisciplinary educator, Betsy Towns has taught and administered programs for students from early childhood to graduate in a wide variety of traditional and experimental learning settings. As an artist, she creates works for galleries and has designed and built large-scale grant-funded interpretive public art installations in ceramic relief and directed design of immersive education experiences. Design-build projects include private residences and gardens, including a current project creating a tiny house cluster in Western North Carolina. Her experience in project direction as a designer and educator, her leadership and systems design for positive change at UNCSA, and her capacity to bridge the disciplines emerging as the focal points of design research at CDI make her a strong fit to lead the Center in Transition. Towns serves CCC Board Member and WSFC Public Art Commissioner, leading the City-Wide Portrait Committee and serving on the MLK Corridor Committee. She’s past chair of UNCSA Faculty Council, and serves on Strategic and Master Planning committees at UNCSA. Towns received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Art History and a B.A. in English/Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She also received an Undergraduate Teaching Award, a Luce Fellowship, and a Joseph Pogue Fellowship. In 2010, she received a UNCSA Excellence in Teaching Award.