ICA Receives $4.5 Million To Endow Key Curatorial Positions
The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) announced two landmark gifts to endow key curatorial positions: Daniel and Brett Sundheim have donated $3 million, of which $2.5 million will endow the chief curator position and $500,000 will go to a new fund dedicated to exhibition outreach and community engagement; and Andrea B. Laporte has donated $1.5 million to endow ICA’s associate curator position. With these gifts, ICA now has four of its key leadership positions endowed, including the museum’s director and all three of its senior curatorial positions.
“We’re incredibly grateful to University of Pennsylvania alumni Daniel and Brett Sundheim and to Andie Laporte for their visionary gifts, which enable ICA to remain at the forefront of contemporary art by securing long-term support for our curators and their ongoing work,” said Amy Sadao, director of ICA. “As our board chair, Andie has played an invaluable role in the continued growth of ICA and the University, including helping to endow ICA’s program curator position in 2012. The Sundheims are true advocates for contemporary art, and we’re very excited that a part of their transformative gift will go towards the creation of a fund aimed at connecting wider audiences with our dynamic exhibitions program.”
Mr. Sundheim has been on ICA’s board since 2012 and Ms. Sundheim has recently taken her husband’s place for a board seat. Their donation of $3 million will endow the chief curator position held by Anthony Elms, who joined ICA in 2011 from Performa, where he was part of the organizational team behind the 2011 visual art performance biennial in New York, along with other independent curatorial projects. A portion of this donation is also dedicated to endowing a new marketing and outreach fund, ensuring ICA’s programs are made accessible to audiences on campus, in Philadelphia and in the broader international art world. The Daniel and Brett Sundheim Exhibition Promotion Fund fulfills a long-range goal for ICA to establish a dependable source of support for promoting its year-round exhibitions, which are free for all.
Ms. Laporte became a committed volunteer at ICA after a long history of service to Penn and to the Walters Art Museum in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. She has served as a board member for Penn Nursing since 2001, assuming the role of board chair in 2016, and she has served the University of Pennsylvania as a Trustee since 2010, gaining Emerita status in 2017. She joined ICA’s board in 2010 and immediately took on the role of board chair where she remained in place for six years. Ms. Laporte’s recent gift of $1.5 million endows ICA’s associate curator position, currently held by Kate Kraczon, who has been at ICA for more than 10 years. Ms. Kraczon is currently organizing pioneering post-minimalist and feminist artist Ree Morton’s first major retrospective in the U.S. in over three decades, which will open in September 2018; and is collaborating with ICA curator Alex Klein on the first solo U.S. museum exhibition of work by South Korean artist Suki Seokyeong Kang, opening this spring on April 27. Ms. Laporte will be honored at ICA’s Annual Benefit this April for her support to ICA.
Mellon Foundation Awards $1.533 Million to Penn for The Inclusive City
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $1.533 million grant to the University of Pennsylvania for a five-year project focused on urban diversity and inclusion entitled The Inclusive City: Past, Present, and Future.
The project builds upon the Mellon-funded Humanities, Urbanism, and Design (H+U+D) Initiative, a ground-breaking five-year collaboration by the School of Design (PennDesign), School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), and Penn Institute of Urban Research (Penn IUR) that brings together students and faculty to explore cities—past, present and future—and examines them at the intersection of the humanities and design disciplines. The Inclusive City project will retain the basic structure of the original H+U+D project, with a new thematic focus on diversity and inclusion.
“We are really excited to continue all the wonderful work we have done over the past five years, with our thanks to the generosity of the Mellon Foundation,” said Penn IUR co-director Eugénie Birch, who will co-lead the new initiative with Arts and Sciences Professor David Brownlee. Dr. Brownlee is the Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of 19th Century European Art; Dr. Birch is the Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education, Department of City and Regional Planning, School of Design, chair of the Graduate Group in City Planning and co-director of Penn IUR. The grant will support the continuation of undergraduate and graduate fellow research programs; courses taught jointly by design and humanities professors; seminar series; and public lectures.
“Cities have been defined throughout history by their capacity to foster and derive energy from the mixing of peoples and their ideas,” said Dr. Brownlee. “The project has twin objectives: to stimulate inter- and multi-disciplinary work on diversity and inclusion in the built environment and to build an increasingly diverse and inclusive community of scholars who do this work.”
To achieve these objectives, the project will engage almost two dozen departments across campus including: Architecture, City and Regional Planning, Fine Arts, Historic Preservation, Landscape Architecture, Africana Studies, Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, Asian American Studies, Cinema Studies, Classical Studies, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, English, History, History of Art, Jewish Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Music, Philosophy, South Asia Studies, Theatre Arts, Urban Studies and Visual Studies.
The project will be guided by a steering committee composed of participating schools’ deans as well as faculty with expertise and interest in inclusion and diversity in the academy.
Geneticist Marylyn Ritchie New Director for Penn’s Center for Translational Bioinformatics
Marylyn D. Ritchie, a nationally regarded geneticist and expert in using big data and machine-learning methods to improve human health, has been appointed as director, Center for Translational Bioinformatics, Institute for Biomedical Informatics (IBI) in the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn. Ritchie is also IBI’s associate director for bioinformatics and associate director of the Center for Precision Medicine.
“The recruitment of Dr. Ritchie represents a huge leap forward in Penn’s plan to be a leader in genomic and precision medicine,” said Daniel Rader, chair of the genetics department. “Dr. Ritchie will help leverage the Penn Medicine Biobank—among the largest in the country—and other genomic and phenomic resources at Penn Medicine into new discoveries and approaches to personalizing medical care.”
Dr. Ritchie has an accomplished record of research aimed at developing and applying computational and statistical tools and approaches to improve understanding of the fundamental genetic architecture of such diseases as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and cardiovascular disorders. Her expertise includes creating algorithms for detecting interactions between genes and between genes and the environment. The aim is to analyze the data associated with such interactions to understand how they might increase susceptibility to disease. These results can then be used to tailor treatments and predict future patient outcomes. She also specializes in systems genomics approaches.
Before coming to Penn, Dr. Ritchie was the Paul Berg Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State University. She was also a professor in the Biomedical and Translational Informatics Institute and chief research informatics officer, both at Geisinger Health System.
Among her previous projects was leading a project at Geisinger Health System to link the genome data of over 50,000 patients with their medical histories, aiming to identify genetic and environmental sources of various diseases.
Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice
We are pleased to announce the formation of an ad hoc Consultative Committee to advise us on the selection of the next Dean for the School of Social Policy & Practice. The members of the Consultative Committees are listed below. The Committee welcomes—and will keep in the strictest confidence—nominations and input from all members of the University community. For fullest consideration, communications should be received, preferably in electronic form, no later than May 15, 2018, and may be sent to Adam Michaels at email@example.com
—Amy Gutmann, President
—Wendell Pritchett, Provost
Pam Grossman, Dean and George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education (GSE)
Jacqueline Corcoran, professor (SP2)
Ezekiel Dixon-Román, associate professor and chair, data analytics for social policy certificate program (SP2)
Peter Frumkin, professor, Mindy and Andrew Heyer Chair in Social Policy, and director, nonprofit leadership program (SP2)
Amy Hillier, associate professor of social policy & practice and city and regional planning, and director, MS in social policy program (SP2 & Design)
Judith Long, Sol Katz Professor of Medicine and chief, general internal medicine, department of medicine (PSOM)
Phyllis Solomon, professor, Kenneth L. Pray Chair in Social Policy and Practice, and associate dean for research (SP2)
Mark Stern, professor and co-director, urban studies program (SP2)
Brie Starks, master’s student
Marquisha Lawrence Scott, PhD student
David Ertel, W’87, WG’88, Trustee and chair, SP2 Board of Overseers
Jodi Bergstein Rabinowitz, C’87, SW’88
Joann Mitchell, senior vice president for institutional affairs and chief diversity officer
Staff to the Committee
Adam P. Michaels, deputy chief of staff, president’s office
Consultants to the Committee
Robin Mamlet, Witt/Kieffer
Robert Luke, Witt/Kieffer