Center for Arts and Culture Affiliates with George Mason

Posted: February 8, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch

George Mason University and the Center for Arts and Culture (CAC), an independent think tank that focuses on policy decisions affecting cultural life, have agreed to affiliate in an effort to further enhance research and discussion on regional, national, and international cultural issues.

Under the terms of the agreement, the center, founded in 1994, remains an independent think thank, continuing its nonpartisan research and policy projects. It will also continue to maintain its web sites, culturalpolicy.org and culturalcommons.org. The center and the university will collaborate on future programs and projects, and individual faculty members will be expected to participate in research efforts undertaken by the center.

Stefan Toepler, assistant professor of nonprofit studies in the Department of Public and International Affairs at Mason, has been named director of the center.

“Having closely followed the Center for Arts and Culture’s many accomplishments over the past 10 years, I’m excited to be joining it at this point in its history,” says Toepler. “I very much look forward to maintaining and expanding the center’s far-reaching relationships with the cultural policy community, both in the United States and abroad, while creating a focal point for students and the large number of outstanding cultural policy experts on George Mason’s faculty.”

As part of his duties, Toepler will work closely with center’s research advisory council. Its members include Alberta Arthurs, former director of Arts and Humanities at the Rockefeller Foundation; James Fitzpatrick, a partner at Arnold & Porter; Amita Jones, executive director of the American Historical Association; Marc Leland, cochair of the German Marshall Fund; Ellen Lovell, president of Marlboro College; Robert Pinsky, former U.S. poet laureate; Clement Price, professor of history at Rutgers University; Marcia Sharp, principal of Millennium Communications Group; James Allen Smith, professor of philanthropy at Georgetown University; and Harold Williams, president emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Also, as part of the agreement, Peter Stearns, provost, and Daniele Struppa, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will serve on the center’s executive committee.

This affiliation, says Struppa, “will engage our faculty and help prepare our students to understand the interactive impacts of policies and programs and culture. It will also strengthen George Mason by providing strong links with other cultural policy centers and with public and private decision makers here and abroad.”

According to Frank Hodsoll, CAC board chair, in the past 11 years the center has distinguished itself by creating the nation’s first cultural policy inventory and by building a research network with scholars on more than 25 campuses. It has also issued two books, The Politics of Culture and Crossroads: Art and Religion in American Life.

Presently, the center is located in Washington, D.C., but it will soon be relocating near Mason’s Arlington Campus.

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