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MTSU, community collaborate on new nature-focused ...

MTSU, community collaborate on new nature-focused arts workshops

file image of MTSU Dance Program Director Meg Brooker, shown with her back to the camera, and a group of dancers in the sunshine amid trees, with the logos for the Tennessee Arts Commission and the MTSU Write program in opposite corners. (2018 dance photo courtesy of Nina Wurtzel)

Multiple MTSU departments are collaborating on “Green is the New Blue,” a new nature-focused, monthly community arts workshop series that begins this Saturday, Oct. 9, with an outdoor dance event.

Concord, Mass., dance instructor Patricia Collins will join MTSU Dance Program Director Meg Brooker to lead “The Body in Nature," the first workshop in a new community arts series, this Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, 502 S.E. Broad St. (photo submitted)

Patricia Collins

MTSU Dance professor Meg Brooker

Meg Brooker

Meg Brooker, associate professor and director of the MTSU Dance Program and the current Murfreesboro dance laureate, will be joined Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon by Patricia Collins, a visiting dance educator from Massachusetts, at the boardwalk at the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, 502 S.E. Broad St.

“The Body in Nature” will be a Noyes Rhythm somatic dance workshop, which draws on nature imagery to develop strength, coordination and efficient movement patterning.

Brooker and Collins will help participants explore a simple sequence of technique exercises, developed by early 20th-century dance artist Florence Fleming Noyes and inspired by the outdoor setting, and will guide them in an inclusive and joyful dance improvisation.

No prior dance experience is necessary. This event and the entire monthly series of “Green is the New Blue” workshops are free to the public.

A group of dancers led by MTSU Dance Program Director Meg Brooker, shown with her back to the camera, let nature inspire their movements in this 2018 file image. Brooker and guest dance educator Patricia Collins will lead “The Body in Nature," the first workshop in a new community arts series, this Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, 502 S.E. Broad St. (Photo courtesy of Nina Wurtzel)

A group of dancers led by MTSU Dance Program Director Meg Brooker, shown with her back to the camera, let nature inspire their movements in this 2018 file image. Brooker and guest dance educator Patricia Collins will lead “The Body in Nature,” the first workshop in a new community arts series, this Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, 502 S.E. Broad St. (Photo courtesy of Nina Wurtzel)

“Green is the New Blue,” which brings together community teaching artists, naturalists and MTSU professors, will guide participants in creatively connecting with each other, themselves and the natural world, organizers say.

The workshops, led by artist and naturalist duos, will focus on movement and dance, writing and visual arts.

Amie Whittemore, instructor, Department of English

Amie Whittemore

“‘Green is the New Blue’ is inspired by the idea of ‘blue sky dreaming,’ or boundless creativity, nurtured by time in nature,” said Amie Whittemore, the project coordinator and the director of MTSU Write, a creative writing program in the MTSU Department of English that offers individualized, from-home coaching to writers at all levels nationwide.

The title also plays on MTSU’s “True Blue” brand since multiple MTSU departments are involved, added Whittemore, who also is Murfreesboro’s current poet laureate and an English lecturer at the university.

Tennessee Arts Commission logoA visual art workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 13, with Megan Kelley, a Nashville-based studio artist and writer.

Additional monthly workshops are planned January through May 2022, winding up with a series-ending celebration in June.

The two-hour workshops are recommended for participants ages 16 and older. They’re free with funding and support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Greater Nashville Regional Council and the MTSU Department of Art and Design, Department of Theatre and Dance and the English department, as well as the MTSU Office of the University Provost, College of Liberal Arts and Center for Environmental Education.

MTSU Write logoBrooker, MTSU art professor Erin Anfinson and biology education professor Kim Sadler are helping Whittemore with workshop planning alongside MTSU alumna and MTSU Write mentor Kory Wells. Wells also is founder of Poetry in the Boro and the community liaison for the new arts series.

Pre-registration is requested. For more information and to register for the October or November events, go directly to the registration website  or visit the “events” page at the MTSU Write website.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Dance Program Director Meg Brooker stands en pointe in the sunshine as part of a dance performance inspired by nature in this 2019 file image. Brooker and guest dance educator Patricia Collins will lead “The Body in Nature," the first workshop in a new community arts series, this Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, 502 S.E. Broad St. (Photo courtesy of Nina Wurtzel)

MTSU Dance Program Director Meg Brooker stands en pointe in the sunshine as part of a dance performance inspired by nature in this 2019 file image. Brooker and guest dance educator Patricia Collins will lead “The Body in Nature,” the first workshop in a new community arts series, this Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, 502 S.E. Broad St. (Photo courtesy of Nina Wurtzel)


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