Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MSU College of Law receives grant to assist with making law, arts connection

East Lansing, Mich. -- Hoping to more deeply connect faculty, students and alumni to the arts, Michigan State University College of Law has received a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council to support the first production of the college's Writer in Residence Program.

Written by MSU alumna Sandra Seaton, the play will make its debut in mid-November, focusing on African American students at a Midwestern university during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The $15,000 grant marks the first time since 1978 that the Michigan Humanities Council has awarded a major grant to a law school.

Sandra Seaton

Playwright Sandra Seaton is the College of Law's inaugral writer in residence. Courtesy photo.
"We are honored to receive this Michigan Humanities Council grant to help support the activities of our first writer in residence," said Nicholas Mercuro, professor of law in residence. "The Council's financial support will be a great boost in our efforts to present Sandra Seaton's work as a unique lens through which the MSU law community can consider legal issues and engage in the arts."

The Black Law Students Association and other student groups will help facilitate the project. The follow-up symposium, which will be open to the entire MSU community, will examine the treatment of moral and legal issues in Seaton's plays and other dramatic works.

"I am energized by the prospect of sharing my understanding and love of the arts with the law college community and in turn drawing upon the knowledge and experiences of its faculty and students to inspire my own work," Seaton said.
The Writer in Residence Program launched this spring, inspired by a series of art exhibitions Mercuro has helped acquire for the College of Law throughout the past nine years. All pieces touch on themes involving law and justice.

Seaton's play will be jointly sponsored by the MSU College of Law, James Madison College and the MSU Department of Theatre.

The Michigan Humanities Council is the state's affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Michigan State University College of Law is a leading institution of legal education with a long history of creating practice-ready attorneys. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources-all affirming MSU Law's commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers

Contact: Kristen Parker, University Relations, Office: (517) 353-8942, Cell: (517) 980-0709,; Erika Marzorati, College of Law, Office: (517) 432-6848, Published: May 26, 2010.

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