Brenau: New ‘ Masters in…’ program honors 8


“Eight local arts professionals were recognized as part of the first Masters in Creativity program, sponsored by Brenau University and Featherbone Communiversity.

Eight creatives were recognized and spoke about their artistry to students at a ceremony and panel discussion on Oct. 18. The panelists also answered questions about professional opportunities in creative fields.

Evelyn Asher said the key to being a successful writer – or painter, or collage artist, two of her other art forms – is to constantly grow and evolve.

“I always like to share how much Brenau has meant to me in so many ways, and to see students evolve. I love mentoring students,” Asher, a former adjunct faculty member at Brenau, said. “I’m here for creativity. And if it weren’t for some of the community projects on campus the community can come to, I don’t think my creativity would have been fed as deeply.”

Photographer and writer Lee Ann White, WC ‘82, has been honing her craft since she was a child. She encouraged students to follow their dreams and stay focused on their goals.

“Follow your passion, but also find a way to make it work financially so you can enjoy it and truly pursue it,” White said. “It is a challenge to get started in this field, but it is possible and it’s a lot of fun, and it’s incredibly rewarding.”

Dr. Andrea Birch, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Humanities at Brenau, said recipients were chosen through collaboration among the departments.

“We were delighted to be invited by the College of Education to be part of the prestigious Masters Series tailored for exceptional high school students participating in the Featherbone Communiversity,” Birch said. “Under the leadership of Claudia Wilburn, director of the Center for the Arts & Design and chair of the Department of Art and Design, the chairs of Interior Design, Dance, Music, Theatre, and Humanities identified eminent masters within creative vocations, honoring their exceptional service and achievements with well-deserved awards.”

The recipients for the inaugural Masters in Creativity are:

  • Evelyn Asher, writing
  • Dawn Marie Bernhard, theater
  • Julia Forbes, arts management
  • Jill Mansfield, interior design
  • Stacie Mavis, music
  • Mallory Nonemaker, performing arts education
  • Lee Ann White, art
  • Xavier Zoleil, dance

Masters in Creativity joins several other programs that recognize local leaders in their field, including Masters in Teaching.”