New Arts Circle website highlights Northwestern performances, exhibits


Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

The Patrick G. and Shirley Ryan Center for the Musical Arts is one of the buildings that Northwestern theater students often perform in. Communication senior Carter Liebman published a blog this summer criticizing the theater department.

Emily Chin, Assistant A&E Editor


Students, faculty and Evanston residents will now be able to discover all of Northwestern’s arts-related events on one website.

The Arts Circle website, which launched last week, is a new initiative that provides a list of all of the university’s arts exhibits, performances and programs. Visitors can browse events on the website based on location, genre and date, said Mary Baglivo (Medill ‘81), chairperson of the Arts Circle committee and NU’s chief marketing officer.

“One of the great things about the website is never before has there been the unity of information in one place,” Baglivo said. “We’re not just talking about music and theater, we’re talking about visual arts, we’re talking about literary arts. We’re talking about what art theory and practice that Weinberg puts on really inclusively.”

The Arts Circle committee, which includes representatives from all of major art groups and initiatives at NU, was appointed a year ago by Provost Daniel Linzer.

Baglivo said Linzer wanted to create an interdisciplinary committee to optimize the way the university utilizes the geographic arts circle, which includes the Block Museum of Art, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Norris University Center, the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, Regenstein Hall of Music, Dittmar Gallery and the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts.

Baglivo said she hopes the creation of the Arts Circle will result in more connectivity between the different arts initiatives on campus.

“(My committee likes) the idea that a circle connects things,” she said. “We’re really trying to highlight the interconnective nature of the arts at Northwestern.”

Members of the Arts Circle committee refer to the Arts Circle not only as a website and a geographic location, but a state of mind, said Lisa Corrin, director of the Block Museum.  

“It’s about how the arts contribute to the state of Northwestern,” she said. “It’s really an initiative to raise the profile of the importance of the arts to Northwestern students and the raise awareness of more of the offerings.”

Baglivo, a Northwestern alumma, parent and former member of the Board of Trustees, said these three perspectives made her aware of the fact that though NU has stellar art programs, they weren’t as good at communicating these strengths.

“I felt as a visitor to campus and even a member of the community, I didn’t quite know all of the things that were going on,” she said. “It’s something that I felt very strongly about when I arrived at Northwestern as a staff member.”

With the website in place, Baglivo said she wants people to realize the vast offerings the university has in the arts and to take advantage of these events.

Diane Claussen, representative of the Wirtz Center for the Arts Circle committee, said she hopes the website builds awareness of performances at the Wirtz Center and draws more attendees from Evanston and Chicago.

“We have many patrons that are not directly connected with Northwestern that use the Arts Circle as their arts destination,” she said. “It gives access to the arts and it gives awareness of the arts.”

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