Deena Selenow, an acclaimed director for live performance and interdisciplinary arts curator, has been named Occidental College’s new director of Oxy Arts, the College’s campus-wide hub for the arts.
Selenow, named as a "Person to Watch" by American Theater Magazine last October, is an experienced director, producer, curator and teacher who also is a leader in equity, diversity and inclusion practices.
"Deena brings a rare combination of experience, artistic vision, a collaborative style, and a deep understanding of the value and importance of diversity and inclusion to the arts," said Susan Gratch, associate dean for curriculum and academic support and divisional dean of the arts and humanities. "We know she is going to bring new energy and perspective to Oxy and our participation in the L.A. art community."
Over the past decade Selenow has combined directing, producing and curating site-specific happenings, theater and opera performances, concerts and puppetry in Los Angeles and New York with organizations that include REDCAT, La Jolla Playhouse/Chalk Rep, LACMA, Watts Village Theater Company, New York Theatre Workshop’s 4th Street Theatre, and chashama.
In 2006 she was a co-founder and co-curator of Ad Nauseam Lyceum, a multi-arts collective dedicated to initiating collaborations between emerging visual, performance and media artists in New York. Over the next three years, Ad Nauseam created and curated 10 multi-artist immersive installations in dilapidated storefronts and abandoned buildings in Harlem, Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.
Selenow has guest taught at Pomona College, served on the faculty at New York Film Academy-Los Angeles and guest directed at the CalArts School of Theater and Dartmouth College. She received her MFA in theater directing from California Institute of the Arts and her BFA in drama from New York University.
She was a recipient of the 2006 Baryshnikov Art Center Multi-Disciplinary Artist Fellowship, the 2009/2010 New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist of Color Directing Fellowship, and was a participant in the 2013 Walt Disney Imagineering/CalArts Educational Initiative. Selenow also is a member of the inaugural Theatre Communications Group (TCG) SPARK Leadership Cohort, a branch of the TCG Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Institute, funded by American Express, The Joyce Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Working with the Art and Art History, Media Arts and Culture, Music, Theater, and Creative Writing programs, Oxy Arts engages the campus with a contemporary art dialogue and advances the arts curriculum through a wide variety of programming. Oxy Arts also connects the College with the Eagle Rock/Highland Park art scene, actively participates in Los Angeles’ vibrant artistic communities, and cultivates a deeper understanding and appreciation of contemporary art throughout the College community.