Ever since the announcement of the closing of the Rose, there has been a lot of speculation (and anger) about how much Brandeis values the arts on campus (or doesn’t). I have never really had any evidence one way or the other, although I surely hope Brandeis doesn’t cut back on their arts programs since I am a Theater major, and we have one of the best Acting MFA programs around.
However, Jehuda and Shula have recently led me to believe that Brandeis will not rush to make cuts to the arts program. At a party after Saturday night’s performance, Andrew Neiman (not a Brandeis student), the lead actor in Brandeis Theatre Company’s Siddhartha, told me that Jehuda and Shula, who were in the audience that night, approached him after the show ended to congratulate him on his performance. (If the couple needs to be convinced to support the arts we may be in luck because Jehuda was apparently very endeared when Andy broke out his Hebrew skills.) In addition, the Women’s Studies Research Center of which Shula is the Director, frequently features art exhibits, like their show which will begin this April, Cairns.
The President and his wife’s personal support of the arts are an encouraging sign to me that during the current economic crisis, the arts will not be cut without hesitation as they often are during hard times. But we’ll have to wait and see in order to find out for sure.