You are here: American University Community Relations Newsletter September 2019 Neighborhood Newsletter

AU in the Neighborhood

September 2019

A Message to Our Neighbors

Maria Barry

Dear Neighbors:

With the beginning of the fall semester, AU’s entire student body has 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 (Mon. – Fri., 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.

Best regards,

Maria Barry

Maria Barry
Director of Community Relations
American University

“American University Planning 101” Sessions Scheduled for Sep. 5 and Nov. 5

People listen during an AU Planning 101 meeting

American University invites neighbors, students, faculty, and staff to its latest round of “American University Planning 101” Sessions on September 5 and November 5 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Butler Board Room. These sessions are an opportunity to engage with the entire campus community on various facets of planning.

On September 5, we will explore “AU in Context of a Changing City." Learn about District planning in Ward 3 and how AU fits into the changes that are happening throughout Washington, DC. Join us to share your views about these changes and your thoughts on their impact to our community. 

On November 5, we will focus on "AU and Our Campus: Shaping the Future." Through collaborative group discussions, we will consider various elements of a campus plan and exchange ideas about what could benefit AU and the campus community. Contribute your voice to the future of American University's campus.

These Planning 101 Sessions are part of a series of stakeholder meetings designed to help foster healthy and constructive dialogue around planning at American University.

RSVP by email to

“Art All Night” Returns to Tenleytown, September 14

Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents: Art All Night - Tenley 2019. Art. Performance. Local. Free

The fourth annual Art All Night returns to Tenleytown Saturday, September 14 from 7 p.m. to midnight. The annual festival celebrates the visual and performing arts, showcasing the diverse talents of our city’s creative community. Public and private spaces along Wisconsin Avenue transform into pop-up galleries and performance stages for an evening of art in all its forms. And the best part? It’s all FREE to attend.

Last year, nearly 13,000 festival attendees enjoyed exhibits, performances, and interactive art experiences in Tenleytown. This year promises to be even bigger, better, and more diverse with 200-plus artists and performers featured at 19 venues. There’s something for art lovers of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy in Tenleytown.

Select highlights include:

  • The Art of a Woman – a celebration of women makers and creators and the depiction of the feminine in diverse art forms.
  • Art in DC/DC in Art – a vibrant, eclectic curation – just like the arts in DC – featuring depictions of the District in art and select artists who have shaped the local arts scene.
  • Outdoor silent disco brought to you by Hushed, Inc. – The Silent Experience.
  • An art market with jewelry, textiles, pottery, ceramics, and more.
  • pop-up comedy club featuring up-and-coming DC comedians – some of whom are AU alumni.
  • Timeslips Story Space – a facilitated group storytelling forum where you will be welcomed to join in joyful, playful, imaginative engagement.
  • Dance from around the world will include Bollywood, belly dancing, flamenco, modern, jazz, and hip-hop.
  • Bluegrass showcase, featuring Nashville recording artists.
  • Plus more than a dozen other live bands and musical acts.

American University is a proud sponsor of Art All Night in Tenleytown. The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center invites Art All Night attendees to a special after-hours viewing of its early fall exhibitions as part of the festival.  Enjoy pop-up dance performances, make-and-take art activities, light refreshments, live music, and ask-me docents to guide you through the museum’s Early Fall exhibitions. Free shuttle service will be available between the museum and the Tenleytown Metro plaza, connecting visitors to all Art All Night has to offer.

For more information about Art All Night, including volunteer opportunities, visit

Community Liaison Committee Meets September 23

American University Community Liaison Committee meeting

American University’s Community Liaison Committee (CLC) will hold a quarterly meeting on Monday, September 23. 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 refreshments 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 the CLC website.

Explore DC: Service Is Not a Moment, It’s a Mindset

Explore DC participants

During Welcome Week, American University welcomed its class of 2023 to campus. Like decades of new students before them, incoming freshmen had the opportunity to get to know and serve the DC community through a unique AU experience program. In its 29th year, the two-day Explore DC program offers incoming first-year and transfer students the opportunity to spend one day serving the DC community and one day engaging in immersive learning by visiting historic sites across the city.

Explore DC continues its dedication to social justice and the larger DC community through service and civic engagement. On August 21 and 22, 530 first-year students and their leaders went to every quadrant of DC to perform community service at local urban farms, food justice organizations, public schools, and various other non-profits.

The program kicked off with remarks from Dr. Fanta Aw, AU’s Vice President of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence, At-Large Councilmember Robert White, and spoken-word poet Kondwani Fidel. Each discussed the importance of getting to know DC (all eight wards) and themes of social justice, access, equity, and service.

Each year, students work with community partners whose core missions fall into one of the social justice issue areas such as hunger and homelessness, community health, youth and education, environment and sustainability, identity, or immigration and civil rights.

Brittney Revan, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, was a student leader this year at DC Bilingual Public Charter School, one of the four Explore DC sites. She was inspired by her work at A Wider Circle as an Explore DC participant last year and continued to volunteer at the organization throughout the school year. A Miami native, Revan was new to the DC area but said she has noticed similarities in both cities’ “vibrant cultures.”

“I hope the incoming students this year get the same thing I got out of Explore DC, which was a first look at the city,” Revan said. “How to use the transportation systems and start making connections, finding new ways to help the community and let the community help you."

By the end of the second day of the program, students had completed a total of 1,800 hours of service while experiencing the diverse city they now call home.

“DC isn’t just American, GW, and Georgetown – it’s a thriving community of all different people. To get students out here to see that and encourage them to learn about the history of the District is really valuable," said Daniel Barrera Ortega, a staff member at one of the Explore DC sites.

Check out the video made by AU Students here on Youtube.

AU’s New Campus Pet Policy

Students pet a leashed dog on campus, with the Bender library in the background

Be sure to take note of American University’s updated policy regarding pets and animals on campus.  To promote a safe and healthy environment for members of the university community and to protect its physical assets, AU prohibits pets and animals – except service and assistance animals – in campus buildings and on athletic fields.

The university will continue to welcome neighbors and their pets to enjoy the AU campus and natural arboretum but ask that they refrain from walking pets on athletic fields and courts and clean up after them, as needed. New signage will be installed soon around the campus gates and entrances to the athletic fields reflecting the new policy.

We thank you for your cooperation. For more information on the policy, visit the Animals on Campus Policy page.

AU's 2019 Alumni Award Winners

Alumni awards

American University is known for its notable alumni. AU graduates are changemakers in their communities and leaders in every field. This year, the university’s Alumni Association celebrates seven distinguished alumni for their professional achievements.

“Our Alumni Award Winners are simultaneously exceptional and familiar,” said AU President Sylvia M. Burwell. “Their achievements are incredible – from the Oscars to the federal bench, from mental health care to home care, from creating engaging interactive digital content to creating opportunities for us to support those who served our nation. Yet each one reflects something fundamental about this university – our focus on service, on promoting community, on using the arts and creative expression to build bridges between us all. This year’s awardees make us all proud to be Eagles.”

The American University Alumni Board and the Office of Alumni Relations will honor recipients of the 2019 Alumni Awards on October 4. These awards are the highest honors presented by the Alumni Association in recognition of alumni.

The 2019 Neil Kerwin Alumni Achievement Award winners are:

  • Dorothy Toth Beasley, WCL/LLB ’64 – Senior Judge, Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • Dr. Edmund Wyatt Gordon, SPA/MA ’50 – Professor of Psychology and Education, Emeritus, Co-Architect, Federal Head Start Program
  • Jimmy Lynn, SOC/BA '85, Kogod/MBA '89 – Co-Founder and Vice President of Business Development, Kiswe Mobile

The Alumni Eagle Award - which recognizes alumni who have rendered outstanding service to the university and/or the Alumni Association – winners are:

  • Gary Jacobs, SPA/MPA ’76President, Village@Home
  • Dr. Sara Nieves-Grafals, CAS/BS ’75, CAS/MA ’79, CAS/PhD ’80Retired Clinical Psychologist
  • William Hubbard, SPExS/WSP ’10, SIS/BA ’11 – Chief of Staff, Student Veterans of America
  • Charlie Wachtel, SOC/BA ’08 – Academy Award Winner, Co-Writer, BlackKklansman

Calendar and Events

Field Hockey vs. University of Richmond

September 1, 1 – 3 p.m.
Jacobs Field

Men’s Socceer vs. George Washington University

September 2, 1 – 3 p.m.
Reeves Field

Grace Hartigan and Helene Herzbrun: Reframing Abstract Expressionism

September 3 – December 15
AU Katzen Museum

Grace Hartigan and Helene Herzbrun were both remarkable painters of the second Abstract-Expressionist generation who lived and worked as influential artists and teachers in the Baltimore/Washington region for many decades. Although they began their careers as gestural abstractionists in the mold of Pollock and de Kooning, both went on to reinvent and revitalize the signature styles of the Ab-Ex movement in powerful and personal ways. They were enabled to do so in large part by their self-selected, “outside-of-New York” locale, which permitted each of these very different artists to develop her own dialogue with painting, away from the shifting fashions and pressures of the commercial mainstream. This show brings together more than two dozen large-scale and rarely seen works by Hartigan and Herzbrun from private and public collections, many in the Baltimore/Washington area. It redirects attention to the local contexts and communities in which these works were produced and deepens understanding of the relationship between mainstream modernist movements such as Ab-Ex and their rich regional transformations.

Topographies of Life: Pam Rogers, Lynn Sures, Mel Watkin

September 3 – December 15
AU KatzenMuseum

Using the medium of drawing to varied and distinctive effect, Rogers, Sures, and Watkin trace human connections to the natural world – across time and varied landscapes. From depictions of the deserts of Kenya, forests of the Midwest, to the Potomac watershed, these artists are deeply attuned to the mutually affecting relationship between the anthropological and natural worlds.

Prints & Artists: WD Printmaking Workshop 1970-Present

September 3 – October 20
AU Katzen Museum

This exhibition traces the evolution of the DC-based WD Printmaking workshop, which began with Percy and Alice Martin’s opening their Adams Morgan home as a collaborative artists’ studio fifty years ago. The aim was to create a place where all artists (not necessarily trained in printmaking) could come together to explore the printmaking craft and create original prints. Emphasis was placed on experimentation and innovation. The studio was open to the artists twenty-four hours a day. The workshop moved with Martin and his family into the basement of their home on Lamont Street in Mount Pleasant. The WD Workshop ran classes, presented demonstrations, and held regularly scheduled critique sessions. Artists came and went during all hours of the day and night. Participating WD artists achieved successful printmaking careers working in diverse styles. The exhibit features historical and recent work by members of the workshop.

Moves Like Walter: New Curators Open the Corcoran Legacy Collection

September 3 – December 15
AU Katzen Museum

This collection is a product of Director and Curator Jack Rasmussen’s spring course on curatorial practice. Graduate students in art history, arts management, and studio art curated a playful and provocative interpretation of the 9,000-piece gift from the Corcoran. The exhibition is inspired by Walter Hopps, briefly the Director of the Corcoran and an erratic but seminal American curator of contemporary art. The curators have divided their responses into five sub-groups, Boundless: Existing Within Ambiguous Space, The Road Home, The Selfless Spirit: Nature vs. Nurture and the Effects of Motherhood in the Corcoran Collection, American Legacy: Reconsidering Non-Western Subjects in the Corcoran Collection, and Redefining the Gaze: Shifting the Power.

Yoga in the Galleries

September 4, 11, 18, 25, 10 – 11 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.

Farmers’ Market

September 4, 11, 18, 25, 11 a.m. – 4 p.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.

American Volleyball Classic: Temple University vs. Ohio University

September 6, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Bender Arena

American Volleyball Classic: American University vs. Winthrop University

September 6, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Bender Arena

American Volleyball Classic: Winthrop University vs. Temple University

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

American Volleyball Classic: American University vs. Ohio University

September 6, 7 – 9 p.m.
Bender Arena

Members’ Preview: Grace Hartigan and Helene Herzbrun

September 6, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
AU Katzen Museum

Join Curator Norma Broude in a gallery talk about artists Grace Hartigan and Helene Herzbrun who work diversely within the Abstract-Expressionist movement. Also preview five new exhibitions. Open to museum members, no RSVP required. To become a member for $50 annually, email

American Volleyball Classic: Ohio University vs. Winthrop University

September 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Bender Arena

American Volleyball Classic: American University vs. Temple University

September 7, 2 – 4 p.m.
Bender Arena

Gallery Talk: Topographies of Life

September 7, 5 – 6 p.m.
AU Katzen Museum

Explore drawings of nature in Topographies of Life by joining the curator and three exhibiting artists – Pam Rogers, Lynn Sures, and Mel Watkin – for a gallery talk. RSVP online.

Early Fall Opening Reception

September 7, 6 – 9 p.m.
AU Katzen Museum

Mix and mingle with artists, curators, and fellow patrons and see five new exhibitions on view at the Katzen’s Early Fall opening reception. Free and open to all, no RSVP required. Exhibits include: Grace Hartigan and Helene Herzbrun: Reframing Abstract Expressionism, Topographies of Life: Pam Rogers, Lynn Sures, Mel Watkin, Moves Like Walter: New Curators Open the Corcoran Legacy Collection, Prints & Artists: WD Printmaking Workshop 1970-Present, and Our World Above: Monoprints and Glass by Annette Lerner.

Books and Brunch

September 14, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Abramson Family Founders Room, SIS Building

This annual event recognizes the literary contributions of AU Eagles. The event highlights AU authors and plays host to a panel discussion for the community to engage in thoughtful conversation. A book fair and brunch will follow the panel discussion. Fee to attend is $20.

Docent-led Museum Tour

September 14 and 15, 2 – 3 p.m.
AU Katzen Museum

A docent-led tour of one or more of our current exhibitions. No RSVP required. Please meet at the front desk.

Tenleytown Art All Night

September 14, 7 p.m. – Midnight
AU Katzen Museum

Visit the museum after dark as part of Tenleytown’s Art All Night.  Featuring pop-up dance performances, make-and-take art activities, light refreshments, live music, and ask-me docents to guide you through the Early Fall exhibitions. Free, open, and fun for all ages.  No RSVP required. Use #NightAtTheAUMuseum to share your photos. The annual Art All Night festival celebrates the visual and performing arts, showcasing the diverse talents of the city’s creative community. Public and private spaces along Wisconsin Avenue transform into pop-up galleries and performance stages for an evening of art in all its forms. For more information visit the Art All Night page.

Women’s Soccer vs. Mount St. Mary’s

September 15, 1 – 3 p.m.
Reeves Field

Women’s Volleyball vs. Delaware State University

September 17, 6 – 8 p.m.
Bender Arena

Field Hockey vs. UC Davis

September 19, 4 – 6 p.m.
Jacobs Field

Museum Day

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

The AU Museum participates in the Smithsonian’s nationwide Museum Day. There also be a docent-led exhibition tour at 2 p.m., no reservation required.

Men’s Soccer vs. Lehigh University

September 21, 2 – 4 p.m.
Reeves Field

Women’s Volleyball vs. University of Mississippi

September 21, 4 – 6 p.m.
Bender Arena

James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist

September 22, 2 – 3 p.m.
AU Katzen Museum

Wood artist and designer Tom Loeser uses his deep knowledge of the history of furniture to create pieces with a completely new narrative. He makes "functional and dysfunctional objects," such as benches that sit on feet made of old shovels, folding chairs that double as wall art, and rocking chairs that are conjoined. Loeser's imaginative new forms challenge convention, invite play, and encourage interaction in a way that is fresh and full of humor and possibility. He is the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Award of Distinction from the Furniture Society. Presented in conjunction with the James Renwick Alliance’s Distinguished Artist Lecture series. Free and open to all, no RSVP required. Register online for Loeser’s accompanying workshop.

Women’s Volleyball vs. Rider University

September 25, 7 – 9 p.m.
Bender Arena

Free Parking: WD Printmaking

September 26, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
AU Katzen Museum

The event is a salon on works inspired by Percy Martin’s Mount Pleasant printmaking studio. Featured panelists include Percy Martin, Joyce Wellman, Jarvis Grant, and Gail Shaw-Clemons. RSVP online.

A Symposium Celebrating the Contributions of Herman Schwartz to the Rule of Law

September 27, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
NT01, Terrace, Warren, Washington College of Law

Professor Emeritus Herman Schwartz’s distinguished career has focused attention on the cause of human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law. From the UN to Helsinki Watch, and from Israel and eastern Europe to the United States, his work on emerging democracies, constitutional reform, and rule of law has inspired a generation of students, scholars, and practitioners to engage in this important work. The symposium will include discussion on prison reform, comparative constitutionalism, voting rights, and human rights in Israel, with experts, activists, and academics in celebration of his contributions. 

Field Hockey vs. Bucknell University

September 28, 12 – 2 p.m.
Jacobs Field

Docent-led Museum Tour

September 28 and 29, 2 – 3 p.m.
AU Katzen Museum

A docent-led tour of one or more of our current exhibitions. No RSVP required. Please meet at the front desk.

Gallery Talk: Moves Like Walter

September 28, 7 – 8 p.m.
AU Katzen Museum

Join the student curators of Moves Like Walter to explore their curatorial perspectives on the 9,000-piece Corcoran gift, featuring works ranging from 18th century American painting to contemporary art shown in the AU Museum for the first time. Free and open to all. RSVP online.

Field Hockey vs. Georgetown University

September 28, 2 – 4 p.m.
Jacobs Field