You are here: American University Community Relations Newsletter September 2018 Neighborhood Newsletter

AU in the Neighborhood

September 2018

A Message To Our Neighbors

Dear AU Neighbors:

With the beginning of the fall semester, AU’s entire student body has now returned to the District. Some of them have moved into private rental homes in your neighborhoods and we hope that you will welcome them.

To help ensure our off-campus students get off to a positive start in their new neighborhoods, we once again are conducting an enhanced orientation program to remind them of their responsibilities under AU’s Student Conduct Code and District law. Topics will include responsibilities for yard maintenance, trash and snow removal, as well as an overview of the District’s noise and alcohol laws. We also are informing them of their rights as tenants to a clean and safe living space, including the requirement that rental property owners obtain a Basic Business License (BBL) from the District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). The orientation messages are reinforced by a letter to all off-campus students from the associate dean of students.

Occasionally, some of our students demonstrate poor judgment in their conduct and mode of living and become a cause for concern to their neighbors. We want to assure you that we are here to help in those instances. We expect AU students to be responsible and considerate neighbors, whether they live on or off campus.

If you have concerns, we urge you to report incidents in progress to AU Police at 202-885-2527. AU Police is available 24/7 to take appropriate action on your complaints.

If you believe that students are violating District law, please do not hesitate to call the Metropolitan Police Department at 911.

If intervention by Campus Life staff seems to be the most appropriate response, you may call the Office of the Dean of Students at 202-885-3300 (M-F, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or file a complaint online at

We are here if you need us. In the meantime, please welcome your new neighbors to the community.


Andrew Huff
Director of Community Relations
American University

AU Student Talks About ANC Service

DC Councilmember Mary Cheh (left), and Taylor Berlin (right)

Along with numerous campus activities and earning Dean's List grades, rising junior Taylor Berlin now is an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner.

Initially, when Berlin – an already hyper-busy AU student – was approached by her friend and current commissioner James Harnett about the need for another student Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) member, she had little desire to run for office. Berlin then learned that a presumed AU seat on the ANC had remained vacant for more than two years. “This is a city where students are always talking about voter disenfranchisement and not having enough political representation. And here was this seat at a table that was being left vacant, and I just couldn’t stand for that.”

Choosing to pursue the position was just the first step. During a non-election year, she needed to gather 25 signatures for a petition. However, garnering signatures was harder than it sounded. The signatories of her petition had to be registered to vote in DC, and many AU students prefer to register in their home states. They also needed a 4400 Massachusetts Avenue address, according to the old maps, which ruled out students living on East Campus.

For Berlin, it was a crash course in the art of local politicking and organizing. “I went onto the quad, and I registered freshmen to vote. People who hadn’t registered in their home state, after eight or so months of being at college,” she explained. “I kind of created my own voter population.”

She got on the commission, holding the 3D07 seat. Sworn in by DC Councilmember Mary Cheh, Berlin’s parents and campaign helpers were on hand for the ceremony. Much of her work, she says, is being responsive to constituent needs. While she champions AU and thinks having an AU student at meetings facilitates a better relationship with the neighborhood, she has also come to appreciate helping non-student constituents in the community.

“It is the most local form of politics, which in some ways makes it the most emotional form of politics. I think it affects people’s lives – maybe in small ways, but every day it can mean something,” she says.

Berlin grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut, and engaged in politics early. She worked for Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley, whose campaign was the “only one to call back a 14-year old.” She later interned in a local office of US Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn.

Berlin is an international studies major and a public administration and policy minor. She is a member and mentor for AU College Democrats, and does similar mentoring with AU Hillel. Berlin also is a member of the Model UN team, AU International Relations Society, and Alpha Xi Delta sorority. Amid all of her campus activities, she also puts in time at the Federal Communications Commission, Ralph Northam’s Virginia gubernatorial campaign, and this summer, she worked at The NewDEAL, Developing Exceptional American Leaders.

"Art All Night" Returns To Tenleytown, September 29

Art All Night, Made in D.C., Tenleytown 2018, Saturday, September 29th, 7 p.m. to Midnight. Art. Performance. Local. Free

For the third consecutive year, Tenleytown will host Art All Night on Saturday, September 29 from 7 p.m. to midnight. Local businesses and public spaces will transform once again into pop-up galleries and performance stages to welcome artists from across the city. Last year, nearly 11,000 people attended Art All Night in Tenleytown. Mark your calendar now for the neighborhood’s largest art celebration of the year.

This year's celebration promises an evening of music, dance, literature, and the visual arts, including: 70-plus painters, sculptors, photographers, and other visual artists; dance ensembles showcasing dance from around the world; live music, ranging from classical to bluegrass to rock; and an array of martial artists, circus performers, poets, playwrights, and more. With more than 90 artists and performing groups, Art All Night in Tenleytown offers something for every art lover at every age. As always, Art All Night is free to attend.

American University is a proud sponsor of Art All Night in Tenleytown. New for 2018, the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center invites Art All Night attendees to a special after-hours viewing of their early fall exhibitions as part of the festival. Free shuttle service will be available between the museum and the Tenleytown Metro plaza, connecting visitors to all Art All Night has to offer in Tenleytown.

Find more information about Art All Night, including volunteer opportunities, at

On the Road: Chaplain Mark Schaefer Rides his Bike for Kay Spiritual Life Center

University Chaplain Mark Schaefer

Many people embrace their work with enthusiasm. Some even say their jobs don’t actually feel like a job. In American University Chaplain Mark Schaefer’s case, there can be little doubt about his passion for Kay Spiritual Life Center, as he rides his bike for a whopping 505 miles on its behalf through upstate New York, Vermont, and Montreal.

If that sounds like a spiritual journey – he does think up the occasional sermon while riding – it primarily is about supporting Kay Spiritual Life Center. For his trek, Schaefer is asking for sponsorship from friends, colleagues, students, and alumni.

“The money will be used for programming Kay. One of the things that we’ve been trying to do is create opportunities for people to come together in the community, to get to know each other, and build those relationships,” he says.

Kay Spiritual Life Center’s programming provides opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage with one another. AU community members gather for Table Talks to discuss timely moral, ethical, and political issues. The center also hosts lunches to help international and U.S.-born students connect and holds sandwich-making events to benefit the hungry and homeless. Schaefer will start and finish the lengthy bicycle trek in the Albany, New York area where he grew up. He first will ride north to Montreal and then cover ground in central Vermont, upstate New York, Lake Placid, and the Adirondacks.

Before he started his trek, Schaefer’s goal was to raise about $5,050, or $10 per mile. As with previous riding excursions, he is blogging about his experiences as well as tweeting and posting Facebook messages occasionally. “I try to disconnect a little bit from social media. But it also is an easy way for people to follow and see if I’m still alive,” joked Schaefer.

In a hyperkinetic digital age, it is rare to have that many hours of uninterrupted reflection. “I think of everything,” he noted. “Sometimes I will get ideas for sermons. And because I blog to share with anyone who wants to read about it, I sometimes even start crafting the narrative. I’ll think, ‘Well, how will I describe this later?’”

Schaefer will draw on his training and biking experiences over the years to assist him on his current trip. Although he rode around the Adirondacks to Lake George and into Vermont while still in middle school, it was not until 2010 when he embarked on a trip from DC to Albany as well as another ride from DC to Harpers Ferry. Then four years ago, he went even further by riding 816 miles in the same Upstate New York area.

“You get to see the country in a way that’s far more intimate than any other mode of travel. There’s sort of decreasing levels of intimacy as you go from car to train to plane,” he says. “On the bike, you really get to experience being on the road. You can stop more easily and take a photograph of something. You smell the wildflowers as you ride by – you just notice more details.”

Community Liaison Committee Meets September 17

Community Liaison Committee meeting

American University’s Community Liaison Committee (CLC) will hold a quarterly meeting on Monday, September 17. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Rooms 2 and 3 of Constitution Hall on the university’s East Campus. Neighbors are invited to join AU staff at 6:30 p.m. for pre-meeting coffee and conversation. Parking for the meeting is available in the East Campus surface lot. The CLC was established to foster positive relations and to maintain regular communication between the university and its neighbors. As specified in the D.C. Zoning Commission Order for AU’s 10-year Campus Plan, the CLC comprises individuals from neighboring community organizations and representatives from the university. Additional information on the CLC, including meeting agendas and minutes can be found at

Hall of Science Construction Progresses

Hall of Science construction site

As the fall semester begins, work continues on American University’s new Hall of Science Building.

The building will be a three-story, 95,000 Gross Floor Area, state-of-the-art facility that will house the university’s biology, environmental sciences, chemistry, and neuroscience departments in a modern, centralized location. Bringing together these programs in one building is intended to foster collaboration across various disciplines through shared space and research laboratories.

As with all new buildings on the AU campus, the Hall of Science too is on track to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification – a benefit to the campus, neighborhood, and District of Columbia. Construction of the building is expected to be complete in 2020.

For updates on the progress of construction, be sure to visit the Hall of Science Building website.

Calendar and Events

D’Arista Legacy

September 4 – October 21, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum

Robert D’Arista (1929-1987) began teaching part-time in the American University Department of Art in 1962. Quickly moving to a full-time position, he remained there for most of the next 20 years. D’Arista Legacy seeks to illuminate the impact of his teaching and his artistic example on a generation of painters schooled in the Master’s of Fine Arts program. The 12 former students selected for this exhibition evidence D’Arista’s legacy, albeit in their own unique voices, adhering to a fine arts tradition that revels in the physicality of paint and searches for that uneasy balance between figuration and abstraction. The 12 artists featured are Carlton Fletcher, Lowell Gilbertson, Edith Kuhnle, Dale Loy, Katy Murray, Marci Nadler, Lee Newman, Iris Osterman, Maggie Siner, Jo Weiss, Diane Wilson, and Susan Yanero.

Robert D'Arista: A Portrait

September 4 – October 21, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum 1st Floor Exhibition

This exhibit aims to introduce viewers to (or reacquaint them with) D’Arista’s paintings, prints, and sculpture, as well as the significant artistic contributions he made during 20 years spent teaching at the American University Department of Art. These timeless works, counterweights to the more fashionable art of his time, continue to deserve our consideration for their mastery and enduring aesthetic value. D’Arista was included in the Guggenheim Museum’s Young American Painters exhibition (1954) and after joining the Alan Gallery in New York, held solo exhibitions there in 1955, 1956, and 1960. Additionally, D’Arista’s work was shown in numerous group shows including, among others, the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Carnegie International, and the Chicago Art Institute. His work is held in permanent collections at the Yale University Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Neuberger Collection, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Finding a Path Emilie Brzezinski and Dalya Luttwak: A Conversation

September 4 – December 16, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.,
Katzen Museum 1st & 2nd Floors Exhibition

Emilie Brzezinski and Dalya Luttwak have much in common as artists, yet they have never shown their works together. Brzezinski’s massive, rough-hewn, wood sculptures embody the vital energy of trees as archetypes of being. Luttwak’s brilliantly colored metal creations are inspired by another essential aspect of universal growth and decay in nature – plant roots. This site-specific installation is a conversation on their approaches to nature as a means of understanding one’s path through the world, and life itself.

Jim Sanborn - Without Provenance: The Making of Contemporary Antiquity

September 4 – December 16, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum 3rd Floor Exhibition

In Without Provenance, Jim Sanborn gives a rare gift of artistic provocation. There is an abundance of beauty in this exhibition, but it is beauty that provokes thought and reflection. The takeaway from this extraordinary show is a very different vision for an art-collecting world.

Yoga in the Galleries

September 5, 12, 19, 26, 10 a.m.
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Led by certified Kripalu Yoga teacher Eva Blutinger, this yoga class provides mental clarity and relaxation in the peaceful surroundings of our art galleries. Please bring a mat. Cost is $10 for non-members, $5 for museum members, and free for members at the Associates level and above.

AU Farmers' Market

September 5, 12, 19, 26, 10 a.m.
Quad Space in front of Mary Graydon Center

Every Wednesday, the quad space around the Mary Graydon building buzzes with activity as students, faculty, staff, and neighbors browse goods ranging from farm-fresh vegetables to homemade breads and desserts at the AU Farmers' Market. The market is a coordinated effort between AU and Pennsylvania-based Agora Farms. Girardot's Crumbs Bakery also offers a variety of fresh breads as well as chocolate chip cookies, mini pies, and cobblers.

Women’s Soccer vs. Richmond

September 6, 5 – 7 p.m.
Reeves Field

Friday Gallery Tours

February 2, 9, 16, 23, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Katzen AU Museum

Free, docent-led tours of the fall exhibitions are held every Friday. Tours highlight themes of the current exhibitions and last 45 minutes to one hour. Tours meet at the museum front desk at 11:30 a.m. No RSVP required. For more information, visit

Without Provenance Gallery Talk with Jim Sanborn

September 8, 5 – 6 p.m.
Katzen AU Museum

Jim Sanborn will discuss how Without Provenance provokes both aesthetic reflection and demands a closer look at the contemporary art market.

Early Fall Opening Reception

September 8, 6 – 9 p.m.
Katzen AU Museum

Mix and mingle with fellow patrons and meet the artists and curators behind our four new early fall exhibitions: Jim Sanborn's Without Provenance: The Making of Contemporary Antiquity, Robert D'Arista: A Portrait, D'Arista Legacy, and Finding a Path Dalya Luttwak and Emilie Brzezinski: A Conversation. Free and open to the public.

Men’s Soccer vs. Gardner Webb

September 9, 2 – 4 p.m.
Reeves Field

Women’s Volleyball vs. Buffalo

September 14, 7 – 9 p.m.
Bender Arena

Women’s Volleyball vs. Howard

September 15, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Bender Arena

Field Hockey vs. Boston University

September 15, 12 – 2 p.m.
Jacobs Field

Women’s Volleyball: Penn State vs. Buffalo

September 15, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Bender Arena

Women’s Volleyball: Buffalo vs. Howard

September 15, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Bender Arena

Women’s Volleyball vs. Penn State

September 15, 7 – 9 p.m.
Bender Arena

Women’s Soccer vs. Boston University

September 16, 12 – 2 p.m.
Reeves Field

Artist Talk with Sculptor Kang Mu-Xiang: Rebirth Through Art

September 18, 4 – 5 p.m.
Katzen AU Museum

The Katzen will host an intimate conversation with Taiwanese master sculptor Kang Mu-Xiang, whose embryonic sculptures were created using recycled elevator cables from one of the world’s tallest buildings, Taipei 101. Mu-Xiang’s sculptures are on display at Van Ness St. & Wisconsin Ave., UDC, and the Twin Oaks Estate. The talk is presented in partnership with the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US. Free and open to all.

Movement Speaks: A Conversation with Julie Kent

September 21, 7:30 – 9:30 pm
Abramson Family Recital Hall - Katzen Arts Center

Join us for an evening of creative exploration with Julie Kent, Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet. Ms. Kent is world renowned as a principal dancer with American Ballet Theater (ABT) and was the longest-serving ballerina in ABT’s 75-year history. She was named Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet in 2016. Ms. Kent will talk about the creative process, the challenges of developing Washington, DC into a thriving destination for dance, and how a new leader – in a field predominantly led by men – develops and reshapes an art institution. Joining Ms. Kent onstage will be American University President Sylvia M. Burwell, AU Director of Dance Britta J. Peterson, and Arts Management Professor and Department of Performing Arts Chair Andrew Taylor. This event is free of charge, open to the public, and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. RSVP:

Museum Day

September 22, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum 1st Floor Exhibition

The AU Museum participates in the Smithsonian’s nationwide Museum Day. Join us for a special Saturday docent-led tour at 1 p.m.

Women’s Soccer vs. Bucknell

September 22, 2 – 4 p.m.
Reeves Field

FRONTLINE: Blackout in Puerto Rico - A Conversation with the Film's Producers

September 26, 6 p.m.
Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater (MCK 201)

Join the Investigative Reporting Workshop for a discussion with the producers of this FRONTLINE and NPR investigation examining how the federal response, Wall Street, and years of neglect have left Puerto Rico struggling to survive after 2017’s Hurricane Maria. This program will be followed by a reception in the front lobby of the Doyle/Forman Theater. For more information:

Sixth Feminist Art History Conference

September 28, 5 – 7:45 p.m.; September 29, 9 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.; September 30, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Katzen Arts Center

The Sixth Feminist Art History Conference, organized by the Art History program at American University, will bring together established and emerging scholars from around the globe to engage in a broad dialogue on feminist art-historical practice. The event will feature papers spanning a range of chronological, geographic, and intersectional topics, from seventeenth-century dollhouses to Impressionist painting and twenty-first century information design. Amelia Jones, Vice Dean of Critical Studies at the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California, will deliver the keynote lecture, Essentialism, Feminism, and Art: Spaces Where Woman ‘Oozes Away.’

Field Hockey vs. Lehigh University

September 29, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Jacobs Field

Art All Night at the AU Museum

September 29, 7 – 10 p.m.
Katzen AU Museum

The museum will be open from 7 – 10 p.m. as part of Tenleytown’s Art All Night. View our exhibitions and enjoy a selection of refreshments after hours. For the third year, local businesses and public spaces will transform into pop-up galleries and performance stages for an exciting, eclectic evening of art, dance, music, and more. Visit for more information and a list of participating artists and venues. Free and open to all.

Women’s Volleyball vs. United States Naval Academy

September 30, 2 – 4 p.m.
Bender Arena