FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Loyola University Chicago Introduces New Directors
Newly Formed Department Welcomes Four Directors to the Loyola Community
CHICAGO, September 13, 2007 – Loyola University Chicago’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts (DFPA) underwent a number of renovations this past summer to enhance its resources for Loyola students and the surrounding community. These changes include the opening of the newly renovated Mundelein Center, which now houses state-of-the-art studios, a new curriculum including a dance minor program, and most importantly, the addition of four new directors; Dr. Gustavo Leone, director of music, Dr. Mark Lococo, director of theatre, Nicole Ferentz, director of fine arts, and Sandra Kaufman, director of dance.
All four directors were selected for their experience as leaders, commitment to liberal arts education, professional expertise, and outstanding teaching. These qualifications are vital to the future of the DFPA and to the students who are reliant on obtaining knowledge and skills to use their program of study in the real world and to serve as the arts patrons of tomorrow.
“We are privileged to have such a visionary group of professional artists to lead to guide and nurture the future of the arts at Loyola. We have a great future ahead of us.” States Sarah Gable, chair of the DFPA.
Gustavo Leone has been named director of music for Loyola University Chicago. He holds a PhD in composition from the University of Chicago, and previously served as a professor for the Department of Music at Columbia College in Chicago. In addition to being a professor, Dr. Leone composes music for theatre and production companies around the Chicagoland area, including the Looking glass Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, and Victory Gardens Theater.
Theatre at Loyola will now be led by new director, Mark Lococo, who currently serves as an artistic associate for the Apple Tree Theatre in Chicago. He has directed a number of productions, including the midwest premiere of Dessa Rose, which was nominated for a Chicago Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Direction of a Musical. Dr. Lococo earned his PhD in performance studies from Northwestern University, and until 2007, was associate professor of Communication and Theatre Arts at the University of Wisconsin in Waukesha.
Nicole Ferentz will begin this academic year as director of fine arts at Loyola. Holding a Master’s in Fine Arts (MFA) from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ferentz achieved her expertise in the field running a full-time service graphics firm that she has operated for more than 10 years. Specializing in non-profit social action and cultural groups, Ferentz’s firm has served clients such as the Donors Forum of Chicago, Girl’s Best Friend Foundation, Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Chicago Office of Tourism, just to name a few.
This fall marks the first semester of Loyola’s new dance program and minor, which has been developed by new director, Sandra Kaufmann. Kaufmann brings her experience from the Martha Graham Ensemble where she danced and served as an associate director for 10 years. Kaufman received both her BA and BS in Education from Northern Illinois University. She is currently a member of Momenta Dance company where she both dances and choreographs. As an independent choreographer in Chicago, her works have been showcased in a number of musical and theatre productions, dance performances, and video festivals internationally.
About the Department of Fine and Performing Arts
Dance, fine Arts, music, and theatre at Loyola University Chicago recently joined together to become the Department of Fine and Performing Arts (DFPA). The creation of this new department and the continuous renovation of the Mundelein Center into a Fine and Performing Arts Center, have inspired a renaissance of the arts at Loyola. The mission of the DFPA is to enhance collaboration among the arts, and inspire innovative public programming that engages several art forms.
About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 and is the largest of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States. Loyola has a total enrollment of more than 15,000 students, which includes nearly 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 foreign countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s nine schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 69 undergraduate majors, 77 master’s degrees, 36 doctoral degrees, and three professional degree programs. Recognizing Loyola’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Loyola consistently among the “top national universities,” and named the University a “best value” in its 2008 rankings. For more information, please visit our Web site at LUC.edu.