2014 Performing Arts Roundtable Candidates

Supplementary information on the candidates:

Co-chair position (1)

Katherine Crowe:

As Curator of Special Collections and Archives at the University of Denver, Katherine Crowe is responsible for the acquisition and curation of primary resource collections. This includes curation of the Carson Brierly Giffin Dance Library, an endowed special collection focusing on all forms of dance, with an emphasis on Colorado and the American West. Katherine has been the Curator of the Carson Brierly Giffin Dance Library since 2009, and since that time has been working with the dance library’s board and the library’s administration to build the special collections, create physical and online exhibits, and increase engagement with the dance community in Colorado and beyond.  Katherine has served on the Performing Arts Roundtable Steering Committee since 2012, and welcomes the opportunity to take more of a leadership role in PAR and within the Society of American Archivists.


Steering Committee Positions (vote for 2)

Andra Darlington:

As Head of Special Collections Management at the Getty Research Institute, I am responsible for a wide range of art-related collections with an increasing emphasis on performing arts. For example, the GRI holds the papers of composer David Tudor and choreographer Yvonne Rainer, and just opened an exhibition about Rainer drawn largely from her archives. The GRI also recently acquired the vast video archive of The Kitchen, an art space in New York City dedicated to commissioning and presenting new work by innovative artists within and across the fields of music, dance, theater, video, film, and literature.

I would welcome the opportunity to contribute to, and learn from the PAR Steering Committee.


Karla Irwin:

Karla Irwin is a Special Collections Technical Librarian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  At UNLVshe is working to create improved intellectual access to the archival collections. Prior to coming to UNLV, Karla worked with archives in such institutions as Hagley Museum and Library, Villanova University, the Penn Museum, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation.  Karla Irwin has her MLS is from Drexel University and her BA from the University of Delaware. Prior to working in libraries and archives, Karla worked for over ten years in theater as a costume technician at such places as the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, UtahShakespearean Festival, the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC, Signature Theatre in Virginia, and the Washington National Opera.

Statement of interest:  As a former theater professional I know how vital it is to promote the importance of the performing arts to society at large in order to ensure its survival. As an archivist, I am well aware how we can play a part in this advocacy. Collecting and preserving the performances, designs, music, and stories of performing arts institutions around the country is an essential part of our commitment to the community and our cultural history. I would welcome the opportunity to use my knowledge of the theater and my skills as anarchivist as a Steering Committee member of the Performing Arts Roundtable. 


Scott Schwartz:

Scott W Schwartz is the Director and Archivist for Music and Fine Arts for the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to his arrival to Illinois in September 2003 he worked as an archivist for the American music collections at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. His college degrees are in music education, performance, and music history. His primary areas of research focus on preserving America’s music heritage, American popular music, and American wind bands and the 19th- and 20th-century school band movement. He is also Associate Professor of Library Administration and teaches courses in archives administration and archival arrangement and description through the University’s Graduate School for Library and Information Science. Since his arrival at the University of Illinois he has played the lead role in the development of a research center for America’s music and has been responsible for the re-energizing of a national celebration, American Music Month, which recognizes the contributions made by musicians, educators, archivists, librarians, and curators to preserve America’s diverse musical heritage. Currently he is working with musicians, record producers, and booking agents from Central Illinois and Nashville, Tennessee’s Blackbird Academy, and archivists and museum curators from the Smithsonian Institution, University of Illinois, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Illinois State University on a new local music preservation initiative, Urbana-Champaign Local Music Preservation Project. This initiative is documenting the local popular music traditions of Central Illinois between 1980 and 2004, and their influence on the national rock and roll scene.


Elizabeth Surles:

Elizabeth Surles started as Archivist at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University-Newark in January 2014.  Prior to joining the Institute, she was Digitization Archivist and then Library Director at the American Alpine Club Library in Golden, Colorado.  She formerly worked as a Graduate Assistant at the Sousa Archives and Office of Collections at the University of Illinois, where she earned master’s degrees in musicology and library and information science and a certificate in special collections.  She has volunteered for the University of Illinois SAA student chapter, the American Music Research Center at the University of Colorado, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and the Wayne County Historical Museum.  Before her time in Illinois, Elizabeth served as the Starr-Gennett Foundation’s Project Coordinator in Richmond, Indiana, where she worked to promote the history of Gennett Records.  She holds a bachelor's degree cum laude in music and history from Lawrence University.  Elizabeth is interested in serving on the PAR committee given her faculty role at the Institute and her research interests in the description of archival music collections.  She would like to become an active member of the PAR to advocate for performing arts archivists and the unique issues they face.


Travis Williams:

Metadata Librarian & Archivist, Louisiana State University Law Library

Travis has worked professionally in theatre, film, and television for over twenty years. He has served as an associate producer of the Red Stick International Animation Festival, as the author of several educational scripts for the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, and as the founder of  indie film company Hedges Pictures. When he gets a break from managing the LSU Law Library’s archival collections, he enjoys performing at the local community theater.

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