Campus Life

TAMU Art Academy Director Aims To Enhance Outreach, Funding

October 12, 2017

An Evening with Sarah Kilborne
Sarah Kilborne, author, performer and LGBT activist, is presenting “The Lavender Blues” on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in Rudder Theatre on the campus of Texas A&M.
By Richard Nira, College of Architecture

With performances including contemporary dance by the Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company from Utah, a moving drama based on soldiers’ letters from Afghanistan and Iraq, and a showcase of pre-WWII LGBT music, the Texas A&M Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts’ 2017-18 season is heading for new heights under the direction of Weiling He, associate professor of architecture.

In addition to prominent touring performances, this year He, with the AVPA board, is expanding the academy’s visibility and funding efforts, hosting an array of exhibits and art happenings aimed at attracting great art and art opportunities to campus.

“Few artists know the AVPA has an annual budget to bring experimental work, especially education-related work, to Texas A&M,” He said. “Once the word gets out, the university could be a new center for aspiring artists.”

With this mission in mind, the AVPA is working to connect campus creators with artistic organizations and to fund art and art-related research and collaborations at an accelerated pace.

He is also working through the AVPA to connect campus artists with external funding from agencies like the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Science Foundation, as well as private organizations.

She is also seeking input and guidance from campus and community artists.

“My role is to learn from them, facilitate their artistic pursuits, and unite their efforts with the AVPA to make an impact on enhancing educational, creative and scholarly experiences in the arts,” He said.

Details on the AVPA’s 2017-18 season, including performances, exhibits, art happenings and applications for art enhancement and course development grants are available online.

The season kicked off with “Q Gents,” a hip hop reimagining of Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona” by the Q Brothers on Oct. 4.

Upcoming performances include:

Oct. 19 | “The Lavender Blues,” with author and performance artist Sarah S. Kilborne, introduces audiences to a little-known, yet revolutionary moment in music history when pioneering artists sang boldly about sexual and gender fluidity, something daring even for today — and as deliciously fun and inspiring as ever. More…

Nov. 13 | “Letters Home,” performed by the Griffin Theatre Company, puts the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq front and center by bringing to life actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. More…

April 10 | The Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company is Utah’s most established contemporary dance group. More…


Media contact: Richard Nira, Communications Specialist, College of Architecture, at 979-845-6863 or; or Elena Watts, Division of Marketing & Communications, at 979-458-8412 or

Related Stories

Recent Stories