Brian LaDuca, former executive director of the Bailiwick Chicago Theatre company and managing director of the Theatre and Performance Studios at the University of Chicago, was recently hired as the new director of ArtStreet.
LaDuca will lead the programs, activities and operations at ArtStreet’s housing facility, visual art studio and gallery, music rehearsal studios, indoor performance spaces, amphitheatre, screening room, classroom spaces, recording studio and café.
LaDuca’s hire concluded a nationwide search that began this past April to replace the previous director, Susan Byrnes, who relocated to Cincinnati. He said he aims to bring new energy and ideas to the fine arts at UD. He said he wants to give ArtStreet a stronger presence on campus.
“I want [ArtStreet] to be a hub of life,” LaDuca said. “I want the neighborhood to be influenced by the beaming light that is ArtStreet.”
LaDuca was selected because of his experience in both producing his own art and teaching art to others, said the search committee’s co-chairs Amy Anderson, director of the Center for International Programs and Eileen Carr, the Arts Series coordinator.
The committee was made up of 10 people who represent a wide variety of disciplines and groups at UD, including visual arts, physics, music, Flyer Enterprises and the offices of multicultural affairs and student development.
“Students will notice that [LaDuca] has an exceptional level of energy, always has a smile on his face, is always interested in welcoming students’ input, and is completely excited about being at UD,” Carr said.
LaDuca’s admitted passion for the position and his impressive resumé set him apart from other applicants, said search committee member Sean Holdmeyer, a senior operations management and leadership major and CEO of Flyer Enterprises.
LaDuca’s vision to utilize his network and theatre experience from Chicago to develop ArtStreet made him an attractive candidate, Holdmeyer said.
LaDuca holds a master’s degree in directing for the state and screen from the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film at the University of Nebraska and a bachelor’s degree in performance studies from the University of Illinois. He is an associate member of the Society of Directors and Choreographers and former managing director of the nation’s oldest college theatre program, the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.
“I’m extremely excited to see what he will bring to ArtStreet, the University of Dayton, and even the city of Dayton as a whole,” Holdemeyer said.
LaDuca said he aims to integrate a wide array of disciplines and interests into ArtStreet’s programs including history, the sciences and foreign cultures. He said achieving this goal would allow an educational experience through artistic expression.
One of many ways to reach this multidisciplinary objective, he said, could be selecting a theme for ArtStreet that coincides with an undergraduate history class’s curriculum. ArtStreet would then produce food, music and art displays according to given theme.
“Susan Byrnes will be missed, but we’re lucky to have found such a great replacement,” said ArtStreet events coordinator and senior marketing major Annie Boone. “It’ll be fun to hold some new events we’ve never done before.”
LaDuca said he believes no boundaries exist for ArtStreet’s potential to influence the community.
“I’m looking forward to the untapped energy,” he said. “It seems like there’s this hunger for big, outside the box thinking. For me, that’s all it is, man. Let’s shoot for the stars.”
To learn more about ArtStreet, visit www.udayton.edu/artstreet.