Hepburn Center appoints new fellows, announces plans for fall semester

Posted September 5th, 2008 at 11:00 am.

The Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center will be welcoming three Hepburn Fellows to campus this year: Amy Murphy, managing director of Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company; Maya Ajmera ’89, founder and president of the Global Fund for Children; and Ana María López, ’82, associate dean for outreach and multicultural affairs, associate professor of clinical medicine and pathology, and medical director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program at the University of Arizona.

Hepburn Center Director Leslie Rescorla is working with the three Fellows to arrange a set of campus visits and events involving students, faculty, staff, and alumnae. Events planned for the next few months are posted on the Hepburn Center blog.

The first Hepburn Center events planned for the year involve Amy Murphy, who co-founded the Arden in 1988 with Aaron Posner and her husband, Terry Nolen. Under Murphy’s leadership, the Arden has grown into a $4.2 million operation that serves more than 100,000 audience members annually. Murphy leads the theater’s operations and administration, including all marketing, fundraising, and financial management. In addition, she oversees the Arden’s long-range planning process and works closely with the Board of Directors. As a member of the board, she serves on the executive, finance, and development committees.

A Philadelphia native, Murphy graduated from Susquehanna University and received its first-ever Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2002. In 2003, she completed the Executive Program for Non Profit Leaders-Arts, a joint program of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Center for Social Innovation and National Arts Strategies. She has served on the executive committee of the League of Resident Theatres, the board of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, the development committee of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and the Non-Profit Financial Fund Advisory Council.

Murphy was on the founding board of the Performing Arts League of Philadelphia, which became the Theatre Alliance of Philadelphia. She has also served on funding panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Arts Council. She lives in Rose Valley, Pa., with her husband, Terry Nolen, and two young sons, Liam and Flynn.

A number of events this fall focus on the Arden’s upcoming production of Gee’s Bend, a play about a group of African-American women who turned to quilting as a way to cope with poverty, segregation, and family problems; the play is based on the stories of a real community in Alabama.

The first of the Gee’s Bend events, to take place Sunday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m., is a discussion at the Arden with award-winning playwright Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder and a group of the celebrated quilters of Gee’s Bend, facilitated by Producing Artistic Director Terry Nolen. Murphy has reserved 24 places for members of the Bryn Mawr community.

On Sunday, Oct. 5, at 11 a.m., the Hepburn Center will offer an outing to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s exhibition “Gee’s Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt” to about 20 members of the student body, faculty, and staff. This exhibition takes a fresh look at the quilting traditions in the community of Gee’s Bend, introducing new artists and motifs in works dating from the early twentieth century through 2005.

The Gee’s Bend events scheduled by the Center culminate in a performance of the show at the Arden on Thursday, Nov. 13. Complimentary tickets are available for a group of 24 members of the Bryn Mawr community. The Hepburn Center and the Dean’s Office will sponsor a light supper before the show in a nearby restaurant.

Students, faculty members, and staffers interested in attending any of these events should contact Leslie Rescorla.

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