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Virginia Tech's School of Performing Arts and Cinema announces speaker series for spring 2009


BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 21, 2009 – The Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts and Cinema announces "One Night Stands," its Speaker Series, for spring 2009.

  • Patricia Aufderheide, professor, American University and director, Center for Social Media “Copyright Meets Remixers: How and why copyright law and policy are adapting to changing video culture,” Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Torgersen 2150
  • Jan Cohen-Cruz, professor, Syracuse University and director, Imagining America “On Designing Piano Tops for Pianos and Arts Programs for 21st Century Artists,” Friday, Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. in Squires Studio Theatre
  • Amy Blum, president, Amy Blum Publicity and Manager of Media Relations, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra “Marketing the Un-Marketable: Making the Fine Arts a part of everyday life using marketing strategy,” Friday, March 27 at 4:30 p.m. in Squires Recital Salon

The “One Night Stands” are free and open to the public and all Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students on a space available basis. A reception with light refreshments will immediately follow each event.

Patricia Aufderheide is a critic and scholar of independent media, especially documentary film, and of communications policy issues in the public interest. Her work on fair use in documentary film has changed industry practice, and she has won several journalism awards. In 2001, she founded the Center for Social Media, which showcases media for democracy, civil society, and social justice.

Aufderheide will address fair use issues: As digital practices – everything from peer-to-peer file sharing to YouTube video mashups – challenge copyright policy, an unproductive debate has emerged. Large content companies yell "Piracy!" while remixers, bloggers, filmmakers, and legal critics decry the erosion of the "information commons." This polarized debate has ignored a central, vital, and highly useful truth: Copyright law and policy include balancing features to copyright ownership, which greatly facilitate the creation of new culture. A movement is growing, fueled by timely scholarship, to reassert the value of fair use. Codes of best practices have had game-changing effects among creator communities, including documentary filmmakers. In fact, filmmakers, whose work often goes to television, have been poster children in the reassertion of fair use, with successes on services from PBS to HBO to IFC.

Aufderheide discusses the importance of fair use, its relation to the First Amendment, and the efficacy of asserting rights collectively. She will lead the group in an interactive session to guess the legality of some popular recent films, remixes, and mashups.

Jan Cohen-Cruz is a scholar, practitioner, and teacher of grassroots, socially-grounded, and activist art. Cohen-Cruz was a professor at New York University Tisch School of the Arts from the late 1980s until 2007, producing many community-based arts projects with students. She is the director of Imagining America, a national consortium of colleges and universities committed to public scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design.

Cohen-Cruz is also a professor at Syracuse University and is writing a book on performance and social justice.

Cohen-Cruz’s presentation topic will focus on new collaborations between universities and performance artists. She will also focus on new paradigms for structuring artistic training and finding alignment with progressive art and performance projects in the United States.

Amy Blum has been a music and entertainment publicist for soloists, composers, ensembles, record labels, orchestras, web magazines, festivals, and multi-cultural and multi-media performance pieces. From 2001–05, she served as the national publicist for the Eastman School of Music. Her work has been recognized by Chamber Music magazine and the Rochester Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America with an Award of Excellence in 2003. Since 2006, she has been working as the Manager of Media Relations for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Blum’s presentation topic will focus on making the fine arts a part of everyday life using marketing strategy.

Torgersen Hall is located at the end of the bridge spanning the Alumni Mall, across from the Pylons and the Memorial Chapel. Squires Studio Theatre and Recital Salon are located in the Squires Student Center adjacent to downtown Blacksburg on College Avenue. Convenient parking for these events is available on the mall and in the nearby Squires and Shultz Dining Hall parking lots.