Arts Leadership Book Club

The Arts Leadership Book Club features interdisciplinary workshops, each tied to an academic or popular book and led by a faculty member, that expand engagements with professional development, intersectionality, and equity in the arts sector such as arts leadership strategies, people of color-led ensemble work, and decolonial approaches to arts & gentrification. Hosted at Seattle University, the Book Club is influenced by the Ignatian Pedagogy Paradigm, with space for engaging experience, reflection, and action to produce a more equitable arts sector. Each session is structured with the assumption that participants have read the book (or an excerpt) prior to attending, and are interested in connections in the book to self, to arts leadership, and to change.  

All book club events take place at Seattle University. To RSVP for a book club session, contact Program Director Kevin Maifeld.

The 2020-2021 Arts Leadership Book Club Series is supported by the Endowed Mission Fund at Seattle University. Learn more about all book club texts by visiting the Arts Leadership Book Club LibGuide, hosted  on the Seattle University Lemieux Library website:

Book Club Library Guide

Upcoming Book Club Events

2022-23 Arts Leadership Book Club Theme: Queering the Arts

Queer Art of Failure ARTL Book Club Infographic

May 17, 2023, 6:00 - 7:30 pm PST

Location: Seattle LGBTQ Center (formerly Gay City) Conference Room

How do you measure success from the margins? What does social success look like to an identity steeped in the rejections of heteronormative, capitalist norms?

By embracing an innately queer emphasis on acceptance and working with failure, can queer creation mend the shame that accompanies failure? Arts Leadership MFA graduate and arts leader Buddy Todd joins Bekah Telew, Co-Executive Director of Gay City: Seattle’s LGTBQ Center, in conversation around the merits of high and low theory, high and low culture, and how anarchic queer creation lies at the foundation of a reframing the parameters of achievement. Seattle University’s Arts Leadership Department is honored to join our neighbor and community bastion Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center in this dialogue, using The Queer Art of Failure by Jack Halberstam as a centering text.


Past Book Club Events

2022-23 Arts Leadership Book Club Theme: Queering the Arts

March 6, from 6-7:30 pm PST 

Hosted by Buddy Todd, MFA'21, join us Monday evening in conversation with guest speaker, Ramone Myers, the President of Seattle Pride/Seattle Out and Proud Foundation.

Our second Arts Leadership Conversation will explore labor in the arts, particularly of those who hold LGBTQIA+ and Black/identities of Color, and the ways that Marxism, as a model, can create possibilities of liberation for these communities and how it may also fall short in certain intersections of gender. Our conversation will be informed by After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life by Joshua Chambers-Letson.

Do you have to have read the book to participate? Not at all! Come and engage with us in this developing conversation series.

January 26, from 6-7:30 pm PST

The Arts Leadership Book Club was pleased to present Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life. Hosted by Buddy Todd, MFA'21 in conversation with arts leader Vincent Orduna.

In Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life, cultural critic and historian Tavia Nyong’o surveys the conditions of contemporary black artistic production in the era of post-blackness. Moving fluidly between the insurgent art of the 1960’s and the intersectional activism of the present day, Afro-Fabulations challenges genealogies of blackness that ignore its creative capacity to exceed conditions of traumatic loss, social death, and archival erasure. 

Emerald Street: A History of Hip Hop in Seattle by Daudi Abe with a forward by Sir Mix-A-Lot 

Thursday, May 13, from 12-1:00pm PST: Come be part of a discussion on hip hop, community, and Seattle history with author, Dr. Daudi Abe. Curated Q&A with Community Advocate Ashley Marshal (MFA 21) and moderated by Arts Leadership Professor, Roxy Hornbeck. (more details & RSVP here). 

Friday, May 14, from 12 - 1:30pm PST: Join us for an interactive roundtable with leading voices in Seattle music -- Daniel Pak, Julie-C, and Shannon Welles. Come ready to listen to music and talk about music as a space for resistance and liberation. (more details & RSVP here). Moderated by Arts Leadership Professor, Roxy Hornbeck. 




Imagining Seattle: Social Values in Urban Governance

Wednesday, December 9, 12 - 1PM PST: Discussion w/author and Q&A

Thursday, December 10, 12 - 1PM PST: Mapping Seattle exercise.

Led by Jasmine Mahmoud in partnership with the SU Alumni Association.

Book Cover for Imagining Seattle

Unsettling Native American Art Histories on the Northwest Coast 

Discussion w/editors and Q&A

Thursday, January 28, 5 - 6PM PST:

Decolonial arts discussion and Indigenous Arts demonstration led by Lane Eagles

 Unsettling Native Art Histories on the Northwest Coast Book Cover 

Ensemble-Made Chicago, by Chloe Johnston and Coya Paz Brownrigg

Sunday, February 23, 2020, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. 

Stuart T. Rolfe Community Room, Admission & Alumni Building (ADAL), 12th and Marion, Seattle University

The Program in Arts Leadership presents Ensemble-Made Chicago: A Guide to Devised Theater, written by artists, playwrights, and authors Chloe Johnston and Coya Paz Brownrigg. The event took place during the Theatre Program's run of 45 Plays for 45 Presidents, a play in which  Chloe Johnston co-authored.

Chloe Johnston and Coya Paz Brownrigg engage the community in an early evening dinner discussion about their careers as artists, authors, and professors and then led an evening devising activity.   

This Book Club event was made possible by support from the Pigott photo of Coya Paz Brownrigg and Chloe Johnston sitting at a wooden table and holding coffee mugs, smiling at the camera.Family Foundation for the Arts, Theatre Program, Endowed Mission Fund, Arts & Sciences College Events Committee, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and Pathways to Professional Formation. 

Headcase: LGBTQ Writers & Artists on Mental Health and Wellness, edited by authors Stephanie Schroeder and Teresa Theophano

Thursday, January 30, 2020, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Stuart T. Rolfe Community Room, Admissions and Advancement Building (ADAL), 12th and Marion, Seattle University

The Program in Arts Leadership presents Book cover for Headcase, edited by Stephanie Schroeder and Teresa Theophano. The cover depicts an abstract painting of a face with paint splatters, made with brown, blue, pink, red and yellow paint on a white background. The title headcase is in blue font.Headcase: LGBTQ Writers & Artists on Mental Health and Wellness edited by authors Stephanie Schroeder and Teresa Theophano. The event began with an interactive, curated panel discussion with artist Dan Paz, artist Philippe Hyojung Kim, and Psychology Professor at Seattle University Kevin Krycka. The second part of the evening  included a guided, expressive arts reflection of the text open to all attendees -- all art supplies provided; no previous art experience necessary.

Seattle University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) was on hand from 5:30 pm - 6:15pm with a resource table at the event.

Coffee, tea and cookies provided. This Book Club event was co-sponsored by the Endowed Mission Fund.

Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults) by Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, October 3, 2019, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. 

Hedreen Gallery

Featuring Creative Justice Youth Leaders with support from mentors Aaron Counts and Nikkita Oliver. Event supported by Hedreen Gallery and the Seattle University Endowed Mission Fund for Faculty & Staff Development.

How Racism Takes Place by George Lipsitz

Monday, May 20, 2019, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Jefferson Building, Suite 401 & Central Area District
An aesthetic, spatial, & racial engagement with Seattle University’s neighborhood led by Roxy Hornbeck & Jasmine Mahmoud, AssistantBook cover of How Racism Takes Place by George Lipsitz. Features an abstract painting with black, red and yellow shapes. Professors, Seattle University

This workshop will connect racialized spatial histories of Seattle (including from restrictive covenants and redlining) to gentrification and arts infrastructure to reflect upon, imagine, and practice the ways in which arts leaders can spatially practice in more anti-racist, anti-oppressive ways.

Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics by José Esteban Muñoz 

Monday, April 29, 2019 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Jefferson Building, Suite 401
An arts archival workshop led by Jasmine Mahmoud, Assistant Professor, Arts Leadership, Seattle University

In this seminal text central in the fields of Performance Studies, Queer Studies, Critical Theory, Critical Race Studies, Latinx Studies, and A person with long blonde hair and dark skin wearing a flower crown on the cover of Jose Esteban Munoz's Disidentifications book.Art History, José Esteban Muñoz (1967-2013) documents art and performance practices by queer artists of color. This book club event will unfold as embodied conversation, where readers will engage Muñoz’s concept of “disidentification” to think through, aesthetically reflect upon, and embody how arts leaders can support art-making by minoritarian artists.

The (M)OTHERS by Nikki Yeboah and Cultural Struggles by Dwight Conquergood

Monday, February 25, 2019, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Jefferson Building, Suite 401
A Special Oral History Performance workshop led by Nikki Yeboah, playwright and Assistant Professor at San Jose State University

Photo of Nikki Yeboah smiling and wearing a shirt that says This three-hour workshop is an introduction to the process of collecting oral histories within marginalized communities, specifically for scholar-practitioners who seek to make community-engaged social justice performance. Participants will be introduced to techniques and ethics of conducting interviews in the community as a mode of activism and advocacy. Taking participants step by step through her practice, Nikki Yeboah models an approach to the creative process that prioritizes ethics and politics over more familiar theatrical elements such as character, plot and spoken text. Reflecting back on her own process, Yeboah also provides a glimpse into missteps and offer lessons learned along the way.


White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

January 28, 2019, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Jefferson Building, Suite 401
A dialogue through layered collage making by Roxy Hornbeck, Assistant Professor, Arts Leadership

Book cover of White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

"What is White Fragility? In this groundbreaking and timely book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent and meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth examination, DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively" (book cover, 2017).

Contact Us

Kevin Maifeld, MFA
Arts Leadership Programs Director
JEFF 401

Rosa Joshi 
Chair, Performing Arts & Arts Leadership

Queer Art of Failure ARTL Book Club Infographic