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Emmy Ritchey ’20 partners with refugee-friendly community center in Utica

By Upstate Institute on August 30, 2018

Written by Emmy Ritchey ’20

This summer, I had the opportunity to work as an intern at the Midtown Utica Community Center (MUCC) through the Upstate Institute Summer Field School. MUCC is a “multicultural and refugee-friendly place that serves all” that provides cultural and educational programming and assistance to the refugee and low-income communities in the city of Utica, New York. MUCC was founded in 2014 after Chris Sunderlin noticed a gap in the services provided to the refugee community of Utica. While many resources are available to help the refugees who call Utica their new home, MUCC gives refugees a place to gather and continue their cultural practices and helps the community connect with other agencies for further assistance.

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Kyle Bass named Burke Chair for 2018-2019 academic year

By Upstate Institute on August 28, 2018

Burke Chair Kyle Bass (photo by Brenna Merritt)

Kyle Bass, Associate Artistic Director at Syracuse Stage and instructor in playwriting at Syracuse University, has been named Gretchen Hoadley Burke ’81 Endowed Chair for Regional Studies for the 2018-2019 academic year. Bass is a two-time recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (for fiction in 1998 and playwriting in 2010), a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Playwriting Conference, and Pushcart Prize nominee. His new play Possessing Harriet, commissioned by the Onondaga Historical Association, will have its world premiere at Syracuse Stage in October, directed by Tazewell Thompson. Bass is the co-author of the original screenplay for the film Day of Days, which stars award-winning veteran actor Tom Skerritt (Alien, Top Gun, Steel Magnolias, A River Runs Through It) and was released by Broad Green Pictures in 2017. He is currently writing the screenplay adaptation of the novel Milk by Darcy Steinke and has been commissioned by the Society for New Music to write the libretto for an opera based on the life and music of legendry folk singer and guitarist Libba Cotten. Bass is the co-author (with Ping Chong) of Cry for Peace: Voices from the Congo, which had its world premiere at Syracuse Stage and was subsequently produced at La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York City. He worked with acclaimed visual artist Carrie Mae Weems on her theatre piece Grace Notes: Reflections for Now, which had its world premiere at the 2016 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, and was subsequently produced at Yale Rep and the Kennedy Center. Bass’s Separated, a piece of documentary theatre about the student military veterans at Syracuse University, was first presented at Syracuse Stage in 2017, directed by Robert Hupp. His prose and other writings have appeared in the journals Folio and Stone Canoe, among others, and in the anthology Alchemy of the Word: Writers Talk about Writing and he has appeared as a guest on National Public Radio’s “Tell Me More,” discussing race in American theatre. and is Drama Editor for the journal Stone Canoe. Bass has taught in the M.F.A. Creative Writing program at Goddard College since 2006. He also teaches theatre courses in Syracuse University’s Department of African American Studies, and in addition to teaching at Colgate University, Bass has taught playwriting at Hobart & William Smith College.

Bass holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Goddard College and is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild of America.

Alicia Violette ’19 provides data collection and analysis for BRiDGES

By Upstate Institute on August 21, 2018

Written by Alicia Violette ‘19

This summer I worked with BRiDGES: Madison County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc., whose mission is to provide advocacy and services to the local community, through the workplace, families, and individuals in order to improve the quality of life. They focus especially on those affected by addiction and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other substances. They do this by implementing prevention and intervention programming in the community in order to promote change and work toward building a healthier community. This summer I was assigned to work with them in order to assess what substance use looks like in adults as well as in youth in the community. I was also attempting to determine what gaps exist in the services related to substance use as well as suicide prevention and the LGBTQ community in this area.

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