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Last modified: Monday, February 16, 2009

Fran Snygg arts award winners announced

February 16, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs has announced the winners of the Fran Snygg Endowment Fund and the Fran Snygg Grant for Artistic Collaboration. This year's recipients are Selene Carter and Elizabeth Shea, from the Department of Kinesiology in the Indiana University School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER), and Sara Brooks and Kristin Carlson, master of fine arts candidates in IU's Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts.

The two awards were established in 1988 and 2002, respectively, in memory of Fran Snygg, professor of modern dance at HPER and associate dean of the faculties. Snygg also founded IU's ArtsWeek, which she guided through its first 10 years. ArtsWeek 2009 marks the celebration's 25th year.

Fran Snygg Endowment Fund

Selene Carter's proposal for a "Certificate Program on Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies" (LBMA) involves a system of body re-education based on developmental movement, movement patterning techniques, creative process theories, and contemporary teaching methodologies used to facilitate dynamic learning. After certification, Carter will apply the science and art of LBMA work in fields of study at IU that include biomechanics, adapted physical education, motor learning, ergonomics, exercise physiology, athletic training and gerontology.

Carter, who also is a winner of the Fran Snygg Grant for Artistic Collaboration, is a visiting guest lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology, where she teaches dance history, theory and improvisation for the Contemporary Dance Program. A recipient of the Ruth Page Award, Chicago's highest honor in dance, she created site-specific dances for Artsweek 2008, and performed at the International Symposium for Improvised Music in Denver. Carter has a master's degree in fine arts in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Elizabeth Shea

Elizabeth Shea

Elizabeth Shea's proposal, "The Community of Dance," supported the IU Contemporary Dance Program's annual guest artist and faculty concert held on January 16 and 17. The concert featured renowned dancer Bill Evans' seminal work, Impressions of Willow Bay, as well as works by Martha Wittman, a member of the dynamic, provocative Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Also debuted at the concert was new choreography by Shea, in collaboration with composer Jeffrey Hass, from the IU Jacobs School of Music. Works by other IU faculty included Gwen Hamm and Selene Carter, from the Department of Kinesiology; George Pinney, from the Department of Theatre and Drama; and Iris Rosa, from African American and African Diaspora Studies. For an article on the performances, see For video selections involving the dancers and choreographers, contact Chris Meyer at

Shea is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and is a former faculty member at Penn State University, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee Community College, Apalachee Tapestry Magnet School for the Arts and Florida State University. Her creative activity is in the area of modern dance choreography. She has received several grants and commissions to explore work in dance and technology. She also continues to write and present in the area of skill acquisition, especially regarding teaching and learning applications to modern dance.

Fran Snygg Grant for Artistic Collaboration

Selene Carter's Land/marks is a piece of original choreography in collaboration with John Dawson, sound engineer and musician, at the IU Archives of Traditional Music. The dancers work with phrase material generated out of ancestral sources and links to space and movement, as well as choreographic responses to living in the IU and Bloomington community. Post-modern choreographic methods of chance operations and phrase development using the compositional devices retrograde, reverse and collage guided the process. Land/marks was performed as part of The Community of Dance on January 16 and 17.

Sara Brooks

Sara Brooks

Sara Brooks and Kristin Carlson's project, Interpreting the Square: 31 Artists Explore Downtown Bloomington, will visually explore the cultural, social and economic complexity of Bloomington's thriving central business district. Thirty-one artists, writers and community members will be invited to contribute to a panoramic art installation involving the businesses and buildings located on the downtown square surrounding the Monroe County Courthouse. The completed multimedia work will be displayed in the atrium of City Hall throughout the month of August 2009.

Sara Brooks earned her bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma in 2006. She is now a master's in fine arts candidate in photography at IU. Her current work explores identity, memory and history through domestic household wares. Sara recently was honored with a Society for Photographic Education Student Award.

Kristin Carlson

Kristin Carlson

Kristin Carlson is currently working on a master's degree in fine arts in printmaking at IU. Her print work evokes a sense of place and memory through the use of combined text and image and by referencing maps. Before attending IU, she earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts in photography at the Rhode Island School of Design.

About Fran Snygg

Professor Fran Snygg chaired the Arts Coordinating Council and shepherded Arts Week from its beginning in 1985 through 1994. She supported talented artists at IU and in the Bloomington community until her death in1996 at age 53.

Snygg began studying dance seriously in her native state of New York with American modern dance legend Erick Hawkins. She came to IU to study dance with Professor Jane Fox and earned her undergraduate degree in physical education with a dance specialization at IU in 1967. She attended the Tisch School of Fine Arts at New York University, completing a master's degree in fine arts with a focus in dance theatre, in 1971. Snygg returned to IU that year and began teaching as an assistant professor of modern dance in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation's Department of Kinesiology, becoming a full professor in 1990. She joined the school's graduate faculty in 1982 and became associate dean of faculties in 1984. In addition to being a professor at HPER, Snygg was also an associate professor in the Jacobs School of Music and in the Department of Theatre and Drama.

For more information on the endowment fund or grant, see or e-mail