Musicology Alumna Dr. Sasha Metcalf named a 2017 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) recently named UCSB alumna Dr. Sasha Metcalf (PhD Musicology, 2015) as one of twenty Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows for 2017. Each of the fellows will take up a two-year, full-time position with nonprofit organizations and government agencies working in the fields of policy, civil rights, arts and culture, and the media. Dr. Metcalf will serve as Program Analyst for the Education and Community Engagement Department at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
“Since ACLS launched the Public Fellows program in 2011, over 100 nonprofits and government offices across the United States have partnered with us to highlight the wealth of career fields where humanities PhDs can not only make an impact, but thrive professionally,” said John Paul Christy, Director of Public Programs at ACLS. “By contributing their skills and expertise to some of society’s most pressing issues, like immigration, equity and diversity, and mass incarceration, Public Fellows demonstrate that the humanities PhD has serious practical and public value.”
The Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program is designed to provide PhDs in the humanities or humanistic social sciences with significant, career-building experience in the government and nonprofit sectors. Each award comes with an annual stipend of $67,500, health insurance for the fellow, and additional funding for professional development. Fellows receive professional mentoring from their host organizations and peer mentoring overseen by the Public Fellows alumni council.
The 2017 fellows were selected from a record number of applicants on the basis of their academic and non-academic accomplishments, as well as their demonstrated commitment to their chosen career field. All applications to the program undergo peer review, and finalists selected through this process are interviewed by senior staff at the program’s partnering host organizations.
To read a description of Dr. Metcalf’s new position, please visit her profile on the ACLS website.
The Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows program is made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Press release courtesy of the American Council of Learned Societies.
Dr. Metcalf describes her interest in the position below:
“Early on in my musicological studies, I delved into arts administration by coordinating student programs at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and Music Academy of the West. I gained further administrative experience as a board member and two-time conference organizer via the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Music at UCSB. This interest in behind-the-scenes activities evolved into a dissertation that traced the crucial ways in which late twentieth-century arts administrators secured the reputations of composers by promoting ideologies and controlling financial resources. Through detailed archival work, I showed how the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in particular developed new audiences for their Next Wave Festival through outreach symposia and educational materials. While finishing graduate school, I cultivated strategies for engaging diverse communities through humanities-based research and writing as an instructor in the Writing Program at UCSB. The BAM Program Analyst position enables me to combine these passions in an exciting, tangible way. I seek to apply my research training outside of academia to demonstrate the value of the humanities while honing my skills in the nonprofit sector. At a time when national cultural agencies face drastic government budget cuts, the stakes are high for administrators and academics alike to advocate for the arts and make them more representative of the communities they serve.”
Sasha Metcalf studies the interplay between administrators, artists and performing-arts institutions during the late 20th Century. Her current book project, Revitalizing American Opera, uses Philip Glass's reception history as a lens to examine how impresarios at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, American Repertory Theater, and Houston Grand Opera challenged the role of opera in American culture, inspiring and taking advantage of new funding programs under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Arts and OPERA America. Metcalf has presented her work at conferences including the American Musicological Society, Society for American Music, Society for Minimalist Music, and New Music Gathering. This research is featured in New Music Box and the journal American Music. Previously, Metcalf was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Musicology at Vanderbilt University and a Lecturer in the Writing Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She also has served as newsletter editor of the Society for Minimalist Music since 2015.