Fine arts chair presents at international conference

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Dr. Xela Batchelder, assistant professor of arts administration and chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Waynesburg University, presented at the recent Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) Annual Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Batchelder’s presentation was titled “Festivals Crossing Borders: Influence of the Edinburgh Fringe on North American Fringe Festivals.” Her research encompassed nearly 20 years of field work in Edinburgh which included various interviews and archival recordings of Edinburgh Fringe venue managers and directors, in addition to numerous Edinburgh Fringe Society board meetings.

“Since the conference was in the home of the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, my talk focused on how the first-ever Fringe festival has influenced other Fringe festivals that have sprung up around the world,” said Batchelder.

Batchelder also participated in a panel discussion titled “City to City: How the Arts Transform and Connect Communities.”

Waynesburg University recently became a member of the AAAE, the only professional academic organization specifically devoted to educators who teach arts administration courses at the collegiate level.

As a member, Waynesburg fine arts faculty and staff are able to collaborate with and learn from arts administration professionals from around the globe. Information gained from conferences and events will be incorporated into the arts administration curriculum at the University.

“I expect my international work and academic experience at the conferences and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will help bring students in our program both knowledge and experiences they otherwise could not have,” said Batchelder.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or