Dr. Rachel Raimist Selected as Assistant Director of UA’s Creative Campus

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Creative Campus at The University of Alabama is dedicated to building a collaborative environment where students can connect with each other, faculty, and their community in turning innovative ideas into action in the arts. In keeping with that mission and looking towards the future, Creative Campus has selected two Assistant Directors, Dr. Andrew Dewar and Dr. Rachel Raimist as well as added Program Coordinator, Michelle Bordner to our staff.

Creative Campus is an ever changing arts and student-centered organization that continually seeks new ways to partner with campus and community. The heart of the program continues to be our student internship program. Creative Campus is an idea machine, driven by intern motivation and has identified 38 UA undergraduates of various backgrounds to participate in the eighth Intern Class. Creative Campus looks forward to what the team<http://creativecampus.ua.edu/creative-campus-team/> will produce this year. For more information visit www.creativecampus.ua.edu<http://www.creativecampus.ua.edu>.


Rachel Raimist, Assistant Director. Born to a Puerto Rican mother and a Jewish father, and raised in upstate New York, Raimist began making videos at age 14. Since emerging as a powerful, insightful voice of hip-hop feminism with the award-winning documentary Nobody Knows My Name in 1999, she’s also established herself as a progressive force in the fields of academia. She is the co-editor of Home Girls Make Some Noise! Hip Hop Feminist Anthology and appears in Total Chaos: The Art & Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, The Vinyl Ain’t Final, and Hip Hop Matters. Her written and photographic work has appeared in numerous scholarly journals and in popular magazines including The Source, URB, Complex, Remix, and The Amsterdam News.

She is the videographer and co-editor of the award-winning documentary Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme, which often airs on VH1 to celebrate Hip Hop Week, shot the Chile and Argentina segments of Estilo Hip Hop (broadcast on public television), and continues to work with rap, poetry and R&B artists filming documentary, promotional and music video projects.

Currently she is an assistant professor, and head of the media production track, in the Department of Telecommunication and Film at the University of Alabama. She has taught feminist media making, film studies, women’s studies and digital storytelling at the University of Minnesota, women of color feminisms at Macalester College, digital media making and studies of Hip Hop Media at Carleton College, and video production at the University of California, Irvine, in addition to film production at IFP Center for Media Arts in Saint Paul, MN. She received her B.A. and M.F.A in Film Directing from the UCLA School of Film and Television as well as earned a Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies and a PhD in Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota. Upon graduation the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies named a room in her honor, The Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center in 484 Ford Hall. (http://gwss.umn.edu/resources/media.html)

Raimist is co-founder of B-Girl Be: A Celebration of Women in Hip-Hop (http://www.intermediaarts.org/b-girl-be1), and co-curated the multi-media festival at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis for several years. She has also worked with youth using poetry, film, and hip-hop at Walker Arts Center and Hope Community Center in Minneapolis and inside public high school and a men’s prison facility in Minnesota.

This energetic and passionate single mother of two is often heard shouting, GET CRUNK! She’s a member of the Crunk Feminist Collective (http://crunkfeministcollective.wordpress.com/). For this feminist filmmaker, community organizer, and teacher creativity is the very heart of her everything.

Andrew Raffo Dewar, Assistant Director is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts in New College and the School of Music at the University of Alabama. He holds an interdisciplinary BA in Anthropology, Music and Asian Studies from the University of Minnesota, an MA in music composition and ethnomusicology, and a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University.

An active, critically-acclaimed soprano saxophonist and composer, Dewar regularly performs his work internationally. He studied with avant-garde jazz legends Steve Lacy, Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, and experimental music composer Alvin Lucier. He has also had a long involvement with Indonesian traditional and experimental music. Recordings are available on the Striking Mechanism, Porter Records, and Rastascan Records labels, and he also appears on several recordings by the Anthony Braxton 12+1tet and the Bill Dixon Orchestra.

He has received grants from Arts International, Meet The Composer, the Getty Foundation, San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Chamber Music America to support his work, and has been accorded four ASCAPlus awards from ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).

Dr. Dewar’s research and teaching interests include experimentalism in the arts, intercultural music, jazz and improvisation, music and technology, 1960s intermedia arts and ethnographic fieldwork. He has been an invited speaker at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Victoria in Canada, California Institute of the Arts, and Aristotle University in Greece.

As an arts organizer, Dr. Dewar has been active since the mid 1990s, organizing concerts, artist residencies and festivals in New Orleans, Minneapolis, New York City, Wesleyan University, the San Francisco Bay Area, and since 2008, in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, most recently as artistic director and founder of the Sonic Frontiers concert series for adventurous music.
For more information, see Dewar’s (out of date, soon to be revamped) website:

Michelle M. Bordner, Program Coordinator comes to Creative Campus after serving as the Director of Artist Relations with Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a member of the Major University Presenters consortium. Her work at UNC included programming performances for Carolina Performing Arts and managing artist experiences with a focus on supporting the creation of new work and transformative experiences for both artists and audiences. In addition to her work with Carolina Performing Arts, Michelle has taught dance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to moving to Chapel Hill, Michelle danced in a Los Angeles-based modern dance company, taught dance at the Torrance Performing Arts Center as well as multiple dance studios in Southern California, and owned a dance studio in southwestern Virginia. Michelle is a graduate of Radford University with a degree in Dance (B.S.).

Under the auspices of UA’s Office of Academic Affairs Creative Campus is a collaborative system connecting students, faculty, and community to nurture innovative thinkers who turn ideas into action. Creative Campus seeks to serve as a hub of collaboration and creative activity at The University of Alabama. At the heart of Creative Campus is the undergraduate and graduate intern program. For more information on Creative Campus visit www.creativecampus.ua.edu<http://www.creativecampus.ua.edu>.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state’s economy, is in keeping with UA’s vision to be the university of Choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state’s flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.