CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM AT VASSAR IN JEOPARDY

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Today I was forwarded this email. If you have more information, please leave a comment or contact Mary Beth Caschetta directly caschetta@aol.com.

Rumor: From what I’ve heard, M Mark and Julia Rose of the English Dept are on the chopping block.

From Mary Beth Caschetta ’88 , pass it on…

Hi:

It has come to my attention that the Vassar creative writing program is in jeopardy.  Due to budget cuts and a shift away from the creative arts, Vassar’s writing classes, along with several of its talented faculty members, are on the cutting block, which sends a dangerous message that, like every other institution in this country, Vassar abandons its artists when times get tough.

As you know, Vassar College has a long, rich history of producing prominent and otherwise marginalized writers, including:  Elizabeth Bishop, Mary McCarthy, Eleanor Clark, Muriel Rukeyser, Sue Kauffman, Mary Oliver, Jane Kramer, Carole Maso, Elizabeth Spires, Jane Smiley, Brett Singer, Marianne Thurm, Indira Ganesan, Owen King, Joe Hill, Tom Beller, Peter Spiegelman, Jesse Ball, Karin Cook, Elizabeth Gaffney, Adam Langer, Mary Beth Caschetta, Amy Friedman, Lucette Lagnado, Curtis Sittenfeld and Keith Scribner, among others.

Why would the college want to interrupt the future of today’s writers?  It seems to me, and I hope to you, that these bleak days of economic and political difficulty are exactly when we need to help young writers find their voice. It’s our responsibility not to let Vassar become as mundane as the rest of the world.  You can help by letting the college officers know that we want our alma mater to be a place where creativity is cultivated.

You can help save the arts at Vassar by taking three quick actions:

1) Send an email to the  senior officers at the college including, Betsy Eismeier, VP of Finance (eismeier@vassar.edu) with a copy to Cathy Baer (cabaer@vassar.edu) in the development office, who cares about whether you are disgruntled enough to stop contributing to the college, and to the Dean of the Faculty, Jon Chenette (jochenette@vassar.edu ), who would ultimately be responsible for firing writing faculty if the program is destroyed.

(If you don’t have time to write your own email, please just copy and paste the following sentence and sign your name with your year of graduation: “As an alumnae/i of Vassar College, I am dismayed to learn that you are planning to cut the creative writing program at Vassar, which has produced many fine writers during my lifetime.  The answer to facing fiscally difficult times is not to silence the voice of writers and cut funding to artists.  I am writing to urge you not to cut the creative writing classes in the English department.  I prefer that my college remains a place where creativity, talent, and craft are appreciated and cultivated.”

2) Send this email to every Vassar graduate in your address book.

3) Let me know if you want to be involved in further efforts to preserve the creative writing program at Vassar.

Thank you so much for your help with this.

Best,

Mary Beth Caschetta ’88

Mary Beth Caschetta
Caschetta Consulting
Pharmaceutical Advertising & Medical Writing
http://www.caschettaconsulting.com/
Precise. Clinical. Abnormally Creative.
(917) 733-5261
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