Award Ceremony Honors Contributions to the Arts

BC Chamber Music Society

The Stokes Arts tent housed the annual Arts Award Ceremony to recognize the extensive contributions of students, faculty, and alumni to the arts. Theatre department chair Crystal Tiala explained that since the original one-day arts festival that started on campus 20 years ago, Arts Fest has grown with the campus arts community. The festival is designed to serve the arts by showcasing the artistic talents of the community, as well as encouraging participation in the arts. Provost & Dean of Faculties David Quigley proceeded to reflect on the place of artists in sustaining “the spirit of possibility,” notably in relation to the conflict in Ireland in the 1990s. To contextualize both Quigley’s professional beginnings at Boston College and the origins of Arts Fest, he described how Senator George Mitchell’s role in negotiating the Good Friday Accords in 1998 paved the way for artists, communities, and practitioners to reflect on the conflict.

Several students received Student Awards for their contributions to the arts at BC and beyond.

Jeremiah McGrann, professor of the music department, awarded Andrew Hammond, MCAS ʼ18, for his talents as a baritone, and fostering and expanding vocal programs at BC.

Katie Kelleher, CSOM ʼ18, was honored for her work with BC Music Guild, which supports and brings popular music to the campus community, as well as her own talents in performing and recording music. In a brief performance, she also sang two folk pop songs accompanied by Nicole Rodger, MCAS ʼ19. Both songs showcased Kelleher’s pure, dreamy vocal style, and Rodger’s mellow, wistful acoustic guitar accompaniment created evocative renditions of “Look What They’ve Done to My Song,” and Fleet Foxes’ “Helplessness Blues.”

University Chorale director and Symphony Orchestra conductor John Finney honored George Liddy, MCAS ʼ18, for his contributions as president of University Chorale, going out of his way to help execute several successful concerts including Pops on the Heights, three sold-out Christmas concerts, and the concert of University Chorale and BC Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall in recognition of Finney’s 25 years as conductor of the chorale. Liddy also worked around the clock with travel officers to help send the Chorale to Europe for its successful concert during the massive snowstorm that occurred over Spring Break this year.

Nicholas Rocchio-Giordano, MCAS ʼ18, was honored for his active presence as a music major and chorale member, which he used to serve a social need by establishing a music program in Quito, Ecuador when he studied abroad as a junior. He applied for the grants used to buy equipment for the program and worked with the school to enlist teachers in the program as part of a social service requirement.

Scott T. Cummings, a professor in the theatre department, honored Noelle Scarlett,  MCAS ʼ18, for her prolific presence in campus theater. She has done everything from serve as president of the Dramatics Society, help make costumes for the Robsham production of Stop Kiss, and act in prominent roles in plays written by Molière, Anton Chekhov, and Charles Mee. She was described as “not only a hard worker … but also a deeply comforting presence.”

John Michalczyk, a film professor, presented Marilyn Smith, CSOM ʼ18, for her ability to bring her majors in marketing, film studies, and Hispanic Studies together. Smith, along with Angelos Bougas, MCAS ʼ21, went to Greece to make Two Islands, an exhibit about the refugee crisis, which posed numerous logistical challenges, but turned out extremely well.  

Julie-Anne Whitney honored Taylor Tranfaglia, MCAS ʼ18, for her role in campus theatre. A marketing assistant in the theatre department, Tranfaglia has explored several aspects of the theatre, including her efforts as an actor, singer, dancer, designer, and director of Stop Kiss. Through her work, Tranfaglia was able to create a comfortable, friendly community for the people with which she worked, which was vital to the success of Stop Kiss in addressing social challenges.  

Crystal Tiala honored Margaux Villeneuve, MCAS ʼ18, for her role as production manager of BC Arts Council and her passion for making the arts a reality. Villeneuve has worked as a stage manager, ensuring the performances go off smoothly, and oversaw the Arts Council during the two and a half month transition period when there was no set leader for the organization last year.

Eileen Donovan-Kranz, associate professor in the English department, honored Emma Winters, MCAS ʼ18, for her fusion of writing and theology as a humanitarian through the arts. Winters served as associate editor of Fresh Ink, the online publication dedicated to publishing the work of freshman writers, and served as an editor for The Gavel. Winters studies English, creative writing, and theology, the influences of which appear in her poetry, and which demonstrates her commitment to justice and compassion.

Claude Cernuschi, a professor in the fine arts department, honored Jessica Lipton, MCAS ʼ18, with the Jeffrey Howe Art History Award. Lipton wrote a nuanced, critical paper on the architecture of Frank Gehry, which went above and beyond the requirements of the assignment, and provided a persuasive argument.

Dean of MCAS Gregory Kalscheur, S.J., presented the Faculty Award to Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, who are co-holders of the Calderwood Chair, and share an interest in Islamic art and architecture. Blair and Bloom received the award for their work in the world of Islamic art, as well as their many years of service to the arts at BC.

Danielle V. Auriemma, BC ʼ10, presented the Alumni award to Natalia Majluf, BC ʼ88, director of the National Art Museum of Peru. Majluf has overseen the renovation of the museum and expanded its art collection, as well as lectured extensively on 19th- and 20th-century Latin American art. Majluf expressed gratitude for the extraordinary professors she had at BC to help her find her way in life. She mentioned Howe, her adviser, as an inspiration in art history research.

Featured Image by Kaylie Ramirez / Heights Editor