Courtesy of UCR Today

The Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts at UC Riverside, active since 1996, was honored by the Max H. Gluck Foundation Oct. 13 for its collaborative effort to integrate art with local outreach.

“This award was for our long service with [the Max H. Gluck foundation],” stated Christine Leapman, coordinator of the UCR Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts. Although we’ve been [here] longer than 15 years, this was for our 15th year.”

The event took place at the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles for the bi-annual dinner of the Gluck Foundation. All programs associated with the foundation sent representatives to the event where members got a chance to network and converse about possible outreach practices. Approximately 23 programs affiliated with the Gluck Foundation were in attendance.

Leapman, along with the director of the program, Professor Erika Suderburg, Senior Executive Director of Development, Marie Schultz, and associate dean of the UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS), Shaun Bowler, all accepted the accolade, which was a framed print created by Sister Mary Corita Kent. The print was presented to them by Board President of the Gluck Foundation, Jon Kaswick.

“I was very excited and proud to go receive it from Dr. Kaswick,” Leapman said. “[I was] very happy to be representing UCR.”

The Gluck fellows program hosts numerous events celebrating art such as Gluck Day of the Arts, Summer Camp for the Arts and the First Sundays programs at the Sweeney Art Gallery and the California Museum of Photography—an off-campus CHASS department of UCR. According to the Gluck Fellows’ website, the purpose of the program is to “create opportunities for students and faculty of the departments of art, creative writing, dance, history of art, music and theatre to bring their creativity to Riverside County venues, such as schools, elder care facilities and community centers.”

Leapman has been involved with the Gluck Fellows program on campus since 2008. Since her arrival, she has seen the program grow to include the Alvord Unified School District in its outreach efforts. Raised in the city of Riverside, Leapman is an alumnus of UCR and previously worked in the arts administration of her own company in London, United Kingdom.

“The Gluck Foundation is confident in our abilities and that they appreciate the work that we’re doing. They recognize the importance of the contribution that our fellows make to the community,” stated Leapman in response to the award.

She also made references to possible outreach areas that the Gluck Fellows program has yet to embark on such as health care facilities including hospices and hospitals. Currently, the arts program is working with the California Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, who is this year’s Gluck artist and resident. They are collaborating on an anti-bullying project titled, “I promise Joanna.”

For Leapman, she described the work she has done as being fulfilling. “I very much enjoy it. It keeps me very busy. I get to meet a lot of people and I get to express my creative side as well,” expressed Leapman.