Dr. Jason Hartz named Steinman Dean, Institute for Leadership, Creative Entrepreneurship, and Innovation
Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design has received a $500,000 grant from The Steinman Foundation to assist with the development of our new Live Experience Design & Production Major and our partnership with Rock Lititz and UK-based Academy of Live Technology (ALT). The College announced that as part of the grant, the faculty leader of the Institute that guides the partnership will be known as the “Steinman Dean, Institute for Leadership, Creative Entrepreneurship, and Innovation.”
PCA&D President Michael Molla said that the grant will be a major contribution to ensuring that the Institute and the partnership can begin its work on a strong financial foundation. “With this grant, The Steinman Foundation ensures that PCA&D and our partners will have resources to secure the best possible faculty and administrative leadership in place for our students.”
Molla said PCA&D and the Foundation are aligned in supporting and encouraging educational and career opportunities in the region. “We share a common goal with The Steinman Foundation to create Lancaster County’s workforce of tomorrow. Our partnership with Rock Lititz and ALT is about just that — providing opportunities for students to receive a best-in-class education that draws diverse students from all over the globe to come here and learn, and help to build our great communities.”
As a result of the grant, Molla announced, Dr. Jason Hartz will take on the role of Steinman Dean, as the new leader of the Institute for Leadership, Creative Entrepreneurship, and Innovation. Hartz earned his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Ohio University. His research focuses on musical and visual rhetoric and expressions of identity in music, film, photography, and themed spaces. Prior to joining PCA&D in 2020, Hartz was Assistant Professor of Art History and Chair of the Art and Design Department at Adrian College. He has more than two decades of experience in the classroom and in higher education administration and leadership. At PCA&D, Hartz has been fundamental in developing the Live Experience Design & Production curriculum and forging the partnership with ALT. Hartz also plays trombone and is a choral singer.
“I’m thrilled to take on this new role at PCA&D and move our ALT at Rock Lititz partnership to the next level,” Hartz said. “The support from the Lancaster community, as demonstrated by this generous gift from The Steinman Foundation, has been overwhelming.”
Andrea Shirk, President + CEO of Rock Lititz, said that, “It’s important to create opportunities for students to explore careers off the beaten path. Work in the live entertainment industry asks for both artists and technicians to find out-of-the-box solutions, to build today’s most immersive experiences. Integrating students into the working environment at Rock Lititz will provide a level of education only gained from trying something firsthand. Students will become industry professionals on day one, learning next to experts and working on active projects with current gear. It’s a win for all, as they will leave with work experience and ready to transition onto our crews and teams.”
The partnership represents a global-scale collaboration, like the global industry it represents. Melding the strengths and expertise of PCA&D and the British higher education provider the Academy of Live Technology, which has provided live production creative, technical, and professional skills to students since its founding in the United Kingdom in 2012, has allowed for a unique mix of skill sets and perspective necessary to create something truly cutting edge.
“The live entertainment industry is innovative creativity at its best. It’s how you imagine, then actualize, what has never been done before. It’s what we ask of our students, to be bold, to see differently,” President Molla added. “Our students are visionary environment makers. They are devoted to exploring the immersive creative process. They are ingenious thinkers and doers whose abilities come from deep engagement of their craft and skills. They are eager to learn what’s next, and we are equally eager to connect them with the most forward-thinking creatives to help shape their trajectories.”
“The Steinman Foundation is pleased to support this creative and collaborative endeavor,” shared Shane Zimmerman, President of The Steinman Foundation. “The leadership team at PCA&D has seized upon a fantastic opportunity to partner with global leaders in the live entertainment industry and collectively they will leverage the opportunity to address a unique set of workforce demands. This approach, which aligns educational instruction with employment opportunities, is consistent with other countywide initiatives that are currently underway through the work of the Lancaster County STEM Alliance. We believe the Live Experience Design & Production Major will fuel the growth of both PCA&D and the industry hub at Rock Lititz thus ensuring the future economic success and quality of life in Lancaster County.”
Rachel Nicholson, the Head of the Academy of Live Technology, is eager to support the continued growth of this partnership, sharing, ”We are pleased to be able to continue to work with Jason and his team on this exciting new chapter for ALT. It was clear from our first meeting that we shared the same vision and values for industry-led education and the Live Event Design & Production Major, and his knowledge and experience of program design was integral to the success of the partnership in its initial development phase.”
The first cohort of Live Experience Design & Production BFA students began with the Fall 2023 semester. Classes are held both at the downtown Lancaster PCA&D facilities, and eventually at the Rock Lititz campus, where construction on ALT classrooms is expected to be completed in time for the Fall 2024 semester. The new 22,500-square-foot Lititz facility will adjoin the existing large-scale rehearsal spaces, Studio 1 and Studio 2. In addition to classrooms, it will house production space, digital labs, and a students’ common area, with the option of expanding to the second and third floors to meet future needs. An additional rehearsal studio is also included in the structure, which will accommodate productions creating shows within the clubs, theaters, and small amphitheater markets, while providing PCA&D students with hands-on experiences in production technologies.