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André De Shields to Speak at International Council of Fine Arts Deans, 10/25


Two-time Tony Award nominee and Broadway legend André De Shields, has been invited to be the featured speaker at the Conference of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD). The prestigious conference will take place on Friday, October 25 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. De Shields' presentation topic is The Artist As Alchemist. The presentation will be attended by more than 100 Deans and administrators of fine arts colleges and universities from around the world.

In a career spanning more than forty years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. He is best known for his show stopping performances in the original Broadway productions of four legendary musicals: THE FULL MONTY, for which he received Tony, Drama Desk and Astaire Award nominations, in addition to both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards; PLAY ON! (Tony nomination), AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' (Emmy Award) and THE WIZ (title role). De Shields is the recipient of the 2012 Fox Foundation Fellowship/Distinguished Achievement, 2009 National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award, and the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.

As an educator, Mr. De Shields has served as Visiting Artist/Lecturer, SUNY-Buffalo State College; Harold Clurman Visiting Professor, CUNY-Hunter College; Adjunct Professor, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU; Adjunct Professor, School of Education, Health, Nursing and Arts Professions (SEHNAP), NYU; Distinguished Visiting Professor, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, TX; Algur H. Meadows Distinguished Visiting Professor (SMU); DR. Martin Luther King Jr.-Rosa Parks-Cesar Chavez Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Distinguished Visiting Professor, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA, among others. He has taught a wide variety of courses ranging from Shakespeare to Masterpieces of Western Literature to Musical Theatre and an interdisciplinary arts workshop in Extreme Performance: From Ancient Africa to Postmodern America.

De Shields is currently performing at Chicago's Goodman Theatre as King Louie in the world premiere of Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's THE JUNGLE BOOK. Performances run through August 11at the Goodman Theatre and from September 7 through October 6 at Boston's Huntington Theatre.

The International Council of Fine Arts Deans (ICFAD) is a vehicle through which members share information and ideas that enhance the leadership of arts units. Founded in 1964, the ICFAD membership is comprised of more than 400 arts deans throughout North America and around the world. ICFAD is the only organization focusing exclusively on issues that impact all creative units in higher education including fine and performing arts, arts education, art history, architecture and communication. ICFAD works to provide a foundation that allows arts administrators to do their job better and to expand their circle of contacts with people who share common challenges and experiences. ICFAD helps train new deans and hone the talents of those who will be rising into leadership. Likewise, many annual conference sessions provide direct help, training, and advice on issues that are faced by all: advocacy, fundraising, personnel review, and leadership vision, just to name a few.

ICFAD's international efforts are also expanding and its upcoming events will focus increasingly on innovative international programs and exchanges. In addition, a summer international symposium, which focuses on specific international arts issues, is held every three years.

Photo Credit: Lia Chang

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