Meet OHIO grad and Dance faculty member Christi Camper Moore
“I want to learn from and with my students, and the same with my colleagues. I want to be part of a community that commits to questions, to following leads, and to exploration.”
Heads of Arts Administration and Assistant Professor of Dance Christi Camper Moore, BFA, '97, MED, MA '99, CERT, PHD '12, could be described as a professional learner. When she took on dual academic and administrative roles in fall 2018, she approached them as entirely new ways to learn.
“I’m really committed to that cliché about life-long learning,” Moore laughs. “I want to learn from and with my students, and the same with my colleagues. I want to be part of a community that commits to questioning, to following leads, and to exploration.”
After a decade teaching, setting up K-12 dance programs, and serving as a state-level liaison for arts programs in North Carolina, Moore took a step back to evaluate what she’d learned as a professional educator.
“I thought about my background in dance and education, and how I had put these into practice during that decade plus. Who I was as a dancer and teacher was reemerging, and I began thinking critically about the next phase for myself.”
The next phase was a return to OHIO for a doctorate in education, with focuses on curricula, community, dance identity, and the transitional first year of collegiate dance studies. The new degree led to positions as Assistant Professor of Dance at Coker College in South Carolina and then Arts Coordinator for West Virginia’s Department of Education. Before long, however, Moore found herself back in Athens. While still serving as Arts Coordinator, she began teaching diversity classes at OHIO as well as choreographing and collaborating with faculty in the Schools of Music and Theater. Driving back and forth between Athens and Charleston, Moore pondered the complex topics that she tackled with her students: mindfulness, inclusion, and diversity.
“The questions I had to ask myself,” Moore says, “were: ‘How do I engage our future teachers to think critically about their whole selves? And how are those whole selves connected to teaching future generations of artists?”
When College of Fine Arts Dean Matthew Shaftel initiated a new Master's of Arts Administration program (MAA), Moore came back to serve as faculty in the School of Dance and as area head of MAA. Today, she splits her time between the two.
“It was good timing,” Moore says, “I could come in with the skillsets I had and fit those pieces together.”
Travis Gatling, artistic director and head of Dance, says Moore's expertise is invaluable.
“As a small program, when we have the opportunity to hire new faculty it’s really good to hire people who can come in and hit the ground running," says Gatling. "Christi was able to jump right in: teach, advise, coordinate programs, and do the work in writing the Master in Arts Administration program. She came in with a lot on her plate and thanks to her familiarity with the institution and the School of Dance, she was able to do it all."
Moore is thrilled to serve in both rolls.
“My work and my love comes from teaching in this kind of program (Dance), from building community, and from working with dancers so they can have longevity over the course of their careers,” Moore says. “Dance is a space where collaboration can happen and be shared.”
The curricular focus for the MAA program is to educate artists-administrators who will actively contribute to reimagining the field, a distinction that sets the program apart from any other in the country. In addition to taking core classes, students in MAA, which launches this fall, choose one of six specializations: Community Dance, Museum Studies, Music Leadership, Theater and Production Management, and Visual Arts Management. Students can earn the degree in a single years if taking a full courseload, or in two years if enrolled part-time. The program also offers six graduate certificates in each of the specialization areas.
“On a daily basis I’m getting emails from people who are interested in the program. It’s exciting to speak with students and professors about something that gives participants additional job opportunities while living their lives as working artists,” Moore says. "I want to make it attractive, a continuation, a way for people to grow and expand their current roles. I want it to open up all sorts of opportunities beyond the degree.”
Moore's rolls at Ohio University is a testament to her creative ability to channel her degrees towards a single, complex career: that of a mindful, professional learner.