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Ayanna Wilson Wins a Violet!

27 Apr


Join us in congratulating our outstanding Administrative Aide, Ayanna Wilson. Ayanna was awarded a Violet  at a luncheon at the Torch Club today. She is one of 12 awardees from across the university. Administrative and clerical staff were eligible to be nominated. The selection committee chose the recipients based on the following competencies and values:

  • Integrity – Taking personal accountability to uphold ethical standards; building trusting relationships through honesty, openness, fairness, and candor; and living up to commitments
  • Respect – Demonstrating a genuine appreciation for others, valuing diversity by treating everyone with high regard and consideration for their individual differences as well as maintaining the highest level of professionalism when working with others through challenging issues
  • Customer Focus – Providing an excellent level of service to both internal and external customers, identifying and responding to current and future client needs
  • Teamwork – Working effectively within and across departments; collaborating with others to achieve common goals; and listening and communicating in a way that respects and supports others
  • Adaptability – Adjusting your own behavior to work efficiently and effectively in light of new information, changing situations, and/or different environments



The DAH Welcomes Audrey Christensen-Tsai, Manager of Research Collections!

27 Oct




Please join us in welcoming Audrey to the DAH. We are thrilled to not only have a Manager of Research Collections again but to have one with the experience and positive outlook that Audrey brings.

Hailing from a small town in northwest Iowa, Audrey has lived in New York City for nearly 15 years. During the last year, she was a Program Officer for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs working with the non-profits that bring culture to the city’s five boroughs.  Prior to that she spent some time in far west Texas working in Marfa with a contemporary art space, Ballroom Marfa. She joined the staff of Exit Art in 2006 on an IMLS archive project to preserve the 30-year history of the alternative art space and transitioned into various archive and administrative rolls through the sunset of Exit Art in 2012, after which she helped NYU fund the processing of the Exit Art archive at Fales Library where the material is now available to researchers. From 2004-2006 she was the Digital Archivist at Pentagram Design and spent the early years of her career at the Museum of Modern Art Library. Audrey has a B.A. in Art from University of Northern Iowa and an M.S. in Information Science from Pratt Institute of Art. Audrey lives in Astoria, Queens with her husband.


Joshua Kwassman in Concert Tonight!

14 Oct




Tonight at Subculture!

TUE – 10/14/14DOORS: 07:00 PM / SHOW: 08:00 PM

Give Joshua Kwassman your ears, and he will take you into his world. Prepare to be captivated, transported, and swept away on an ever-changing journey of musical heaven. Through organic and piece-meal borrowing of jazz, rock, classical, flamenco, and much more, Joshua melds sounds and styles through his critically-acclaimed and ASCAP award-winning music, taking listeners to dizzying heights of sonic splendor that are at once super-charged, and moments later heartbreakingly intimate. Channeling the true emotional unpredictability of the human experience, each piece of music twists and turns as memories are re-imagined, photos brought to life, and experiences reborn.

Following the release of his widely-praised first album, Songs of the Brother Spirit, Joshua and his versatile band Brother Spirit have performed for captivated audiences from coast to coast, garnering national attention and multiple ASCAP Composition awards with ‘In Light There Is Song’ and ‘The Nowhere Trail’. DOWNBEAT Magazine praised Joshua’s “mature musical identity’ and ‘raw emotionality [which] evokes a feeling of yearning for the security and sense of belonging that childhood represents.’

Brother Spirit recently recorded Heartwork, their upcoming album featuring Joshua’s latest 8-part work, delving into the human psyche and exploring our true motivations as complex human beings. The music functions as a palindromic story, carrying themes and ideas across multiple textures and changing moods to reflect growth, stumbling, and hope. The recording, due in Spring 2015, involves a diverse array of instruments including the bass-rivaling Contra-Alto Clarinet, cello, a 19th-century field drum and various percussion elements from parts of China.

Originally from Newington, Connecticut, Joshua was drawn to the piano at six years old. His passion and love for creating new music grew and developed when he moved to New York City to pursue Jazz performance and composition at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Although primarily studying the saxophone, Joshua turned back to the piano and began writing as  meditative relief. At the encouragement of musical peers, he began orchestrating his solo piano works for small groups. Continuing his studies at New York University, Joshua founded Brother Spirit as a cohesive unit designed to take the ego out of jazz. Each member took on equal responsibility for the success of the music, similar to a chamber ensemble. The result is a family of musicians whose “common spirit is nothing less than miraculous”, wrote Bill Ballard of the BRATTLEBORO REFORMER. “It was amazing to witness what a group of young and fiercely dedicated musicians can accomplish.”

Joshua has performed as a featured artist across North and South America, including the famed Lincoln Center in New York, Symphony Space, JazzPeru festival in Lima, Peru, Catalina’s in Hollywood, California, and much more. He resides in Brooklyn, New York, and is currently writing new works for solo piano.


Welcome Geoff!

24 Sep



Please join the DAH in welcoming our new Administrative Aide, Geoff Tortora. You will find Geoff sitting in Joshua Kwassman‘s old spot, assisting with all of the things that Josh was so excellent at assisting with. Geoff is well on his way to becoming an expert Administrative Aide.

Originally from Providence, Geoff completed a BA in History at the University of Rhode Island before transitioning to New York in 2012, where he pursued an MA in Creative Writing at NYU Gallatin. A committed Queens resident, he enjoys craft beer, museums, and finding green space within the city. He devotes his spare time towards writing The Great American Novel, an accomplishment that’s surely only a few short decades away.

New DAH Role for Joshua Kwassman

23 Sep


Joshua Kwassman has been a staff member in the Department of Art History for several years – you all know him as the “face” of the department, in the position of Administrative Secretary. Joshua was promoted, as of August 20, to the position of Digital Collections Manager. He will no longer be the first face one encounters upon visiting the DAH but do not despair, he will still be quite present! Please join us in congratulating him.

Joshua received his B.A. from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where he studied saxophone and composition, and completed his Masters of Music at NYU in 2012. He is an active performer and composer in New York City, and has toured throughout North and South America with his band, Brother Spirit. He released his first album, Songs of the Brother Spirit, in 2013, and was recently commissioned to compose for the Chilean jazz duo, Peregrinos, for their debut record Peregrinos. Joshua was a featured guest artist on their Spring 2014 release tour throughout Chile. Joshua will be releasing his newest Brother Spirit album, Heartwork, in Spring 2015, and between musical adventures, maintains a happy presence in the department.

Ayanna Wilson and Thomai Serdari!

9 May

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As previously reported, our excellent Ayanna Wilson was given an Arts and Science Excellence Award. The award was presented to her by Associate Dean of Administration, Lauren Holmes, at a festive ceremony in Hemmerdinger Hall on Thursday, May 8.

Thomai Serdari, Manager of Research Collections DAH, received a long-term service award (15 years!) at the same ceremony.



The Excellent Ayanna Wilson!

6 May



Please join us in congratulating our Administrative Aide, Ayanna Wilson, on being one of this year’s Arts & Science Excellence Award winners. Ayanna will be recognized in a ceremony on Thursday, May 8th in Hemmerdinger Hall. None of us, in the DAH, is surprised by this; we all know that Ayanna is indeed excellent. We are pleased that all of NYU will now know about her!