In her role as Artistic Planning Program Director at The Clarice, Jane Hirshberg is a key member of the curatorial team and is the primary program design generator and leader of all initiatives, projects and programs in the area of campus and community engagement. She also facilitates programming in the areas of dance and theater for the Visiting Artist Series and for Artist in Residence programs. While she has been at UMD she has been instrumental in establishing two campus/community working groups, each with the focus of integrating creative expression into conversations and activities about social justice. They are Campus Fabric, which leverages the combined experience of multiple campus organizations with longstanding connections to the local community, aiming to elevate the role of community engagement into the fabric of UMD life; and the BSU/UMD Social Justice Alliance, a collaboration of campus and community organizations that are co-curating events to bring together UMD and Bowie State University, triggered by a tragic hate crime resulting in the murder of a BSU student by a UMD student.
In 2014, Jane led the design of a new program for locally based artists called NextLOOK, providing professional development, funding and access to space for making work with a social justice and audience engagement frame.
Jane established a new programming area for The Clarice in 2015 called ‘Arte Vivo,’ after she coordinated a yearlong research project to learn more about the myriad Latinx communities in the 5-mile radius of the UMD campus. Partnerships with community-based organizations for the purpose of integrating art-making activities for those organizations’ constituencies is a hallmark of Jane’s work.
Along these lines, Jane has led several large-scale projects that have invited participation by community members on and off campus, addressing such issues as Black Lives Matter, music as a tool for social change, stories of immigration and displacement, and others.
Before coming to The Clarice in 2011, Jane worked in various capacities, including Producing Director and Managing Director at Liz Lerman Dance Exchange for 13 years. Prior to that, she was manager of the Culture in Community Fund at the New England Foundation for the Arts after her work for several years at The Music Hall, a multi-disciplinary arts presenting organization in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Jane has served as a panelist for grant reviewing in many parts of the country and enjoys talking and writing in various forums about community building through the arts. Long ago, she was a professional musician in New York, favoring chamber music because it provided collaboration and co-creation opportunities. Jane lives in Catonsville, MD with her family and numerous pets and does a lot of hiking in the Patapsco River State Park.