Jordan College of the Arts

Jordan College Alumni act, design, direct, dance, choreograph, compose, sing, play, conduct, teach, manage and inspire. Students with undergraduate degrees from Jordan College of the Arts at Butler University have continued their study in some of the country's finest programs including Indiana University, the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Florida State University, Southern Methodist University, Eastman School of Music, Boston University, University of Maryland and the University of Michigan. Graduates have also moved on to work with/for some of the most respected arts companies in the country including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Dance Kaleidoscope, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet, the Geffen Playhouse, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Next Theatre, and Paramount Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Kennedy Center and many more.

Whether they are seen on the stage, in the pit, front of house, in the classroom or not seen at all while working behind the scenes ensuring successful events or protecting the arts for future generations, Jordan College of the Arts graduates are hard at work all over the country.

Alumni of Jordan College, learn more about and join the JCA Alumni Community here!

 

One of the great pleasures I've had since coming to Butler is meeting the happily productive, fulfilled people who graduated from Jordan College a year, or five, or 50 years ago. I've heard remarkable stories: many realized the dream they had when they came to Butler, and many discovered new passions in the arts or elsewhere that led them to great careers. I can't help but imagine what wonderful things our next class of students will do in their lives and their careers. Jordan College has thousands of alumni from 48 states and Washington, D.C. Here's a taste of what some of our past graduates are up to:

-Ronald Caltabiano, Dean

Caltabiano

 

Ahrens

Andy Ahrens, 2004 [Theatre]

Andy Ahrens graduated from Butler in 2004 and is very proud to be among the very prestigious Bulldog alumni. While at Butler, Andy worked with the Indiana Repertory Theatre starring in the Shakespeare classic, ROMEO AND JULIET. During one of the performances, he caught the eye of a theatrical agent from Chicago who happened to be in attendance. Thus began Andy's journey into the professional world. After graduating, Andy moved to Chicago and performed in many plays for the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, including HAMLET, directed by Terry Hands, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Always considering theatre to be the strongest element to his skill, Andy continued working on stage, but wanted to extend his career into the television and film world. He moved to New York in 2007, taking several film courses and eventually moved to Los Angeles to take a stab at the big leagues. He has worked for such shows as MERCY (NBC), THE CHICAGO CODE (FOX)  AND CHICAGO FIRE, as well as several independent films. His latest achievement is acting alongside Mila Kunis in Lana and Andy Wachowski's latest film JUPITER ASCENDING, being released in July 2014. Currently, Andy is producing and starring in a feature length independent film, entitled Dead Draw, scheduled to shoot in January 2014. He cherishes the love and support that his Butler family gave and is still giving today!

Backman

Michael Bachman, 2004 [Theatre]

Michael Bachman graduated in 2004 from the Department of Theatre. He continued his education in Cork, Ireland at the University College Cork where he completed his Masters in Drama and Theatre Studies with specializations in Directing and Theatre in Education. Upon returning to the states, Michael married this diverse educational career by teaching Pre-Kindergarten and then acting as Director of East Tenth United Methodist Children and Youth Center on the near eastside of Indianapolis, where his work in education and the arts was highlighted in Nuvo Newsweekly's "Creating Culture" and in the national publication TIME Magazine's "The Case Against Summer Vacation". After 7 years, Michael transitioned to United Way of Central Indiana where he continues to create and manage early childhood programming. Michael's directing credits include NoExit Performance and the recent Trojan Women staged reading at Butler's Schrott Center for the Arts. 

LaurenBinningLauren Binning, 2010 [Art]

Senior Art Director, Harrison and Star.

"The Butler Art + Design program has helped me get to where I am today because it provided an outlet where I could study and develop my traditional art skills in order to apply those skills to multi-media digital design projects. I was also encouraged to be an independent thinker and take initiative to pursue my creative ideas. I now work in advertising, where I am often tasked to develop campaigns and branding elements that need to work in a variety of outlets. My education provided a foundation of skills to be able to successfully work in the advertising industry."  

Michael Burke

Michael Burke, 2009 [Theatre]

Graduating with a degree in theatre, Michael Burke is already making his mark on the local and national theatre communities. He has served as assistant to the producing artistic director of the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Fla., and assistant director for Peter Amster's Dracula at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. He was honored with the 2011 Beckmann Emerging Artist Fellowship from the Indianapolis Arts Council. Entrepreneurial by nature, Michael co-founded the Indianapolis theatre company paperStrangers and is the director of marketing for NoExit Performance.

Cote

Aaron Abrahamson Cote, 2008 [Music]

Percussionist Aaron Abrahamson Cote has taken his experiences from Butler University on tour to over 30 countries and three continents. The ability to study a well rounded percussion program gave him the tools he needed to sit in with musicians in Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean breaking language barriers through music.

A steel pan specialist, Cote's efforts to raise the bar in that art have been met with great success as a composer and performer. He has performed with Bobby McFerrin, Glenn Kotche of Wilco, The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, John Ennis (Mr. Show, Malcolm In the Middle, Arrested Development), Kevin Spirtas (Days of Our Lives), and many more.  He has performed on CBS, FOX & NBC and on numerous National Public Radio (NPR) & local cable stations.  Cote recently embarked on a fourth international tour covering Hawaii & Central/South America.

Faesi

Chris Faesi, 2000 [Dance]

Growing up, Chris Faesi had interests in music and science, and also played sports. At age 15 he began dance training at Butler's Jordan College Academy of Dance, then joined the pre-college division of the Butler dance department during high school. He studied at the Hartford Ballet School/University of Hartford then transferred to Butler, where he received his B.A. in dance with honors in 2000. Chris joined the Richmond Ballet, performing lead roles in the classics as well as in over 10 world premieres. In 2005 he joined Dance Kaleidoscope, performing in works such as Martha Graham's Acts of Light and Diversion of Angels, David Hochoy's Carmina Burana and The Planets, and new pieces by choreographers including Norman Walker and Cynthia Pratt. 

Chris retired from full-time performing in 2008, enrolled in the physics program at Indiana University, and participated in research internships at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Cornell University, and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, MA. He graduated summa cum laude in 2011 with B.S. degrees in physics, astronomy, and mathematics, and a minor in French. In Fall 2011, Chris began the Astronomy & Astrophysics Ph.D. program at Harvard University on a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. His research interests focus on understanding the origins of stars and solar systems through the study of observations and computer simulations.   Chris is also a passionate advocate for science communication and education. He is a WorldWide Telescope ambassador (wwtambassadors.org), a writer for the astronomy blog Astrobites (astrobites.com), and a former National Council member of the Society of Physics Students.

Ben Fox, 2013 [Art]

"The Art+Design program gave me a supportive structure to develop my artistic abilities and push myself to ambitious goals."

MatthewMatthew Harrod, 1983 [Music]

Matthew Harrod received his B.M. in music education with honors in 1983 and his M.M. in music education in 1988. He has been teaching instrumental music for 30 years, and is currently Director of Bands at Riverside Junior High School and Riverside Intermediate School in Fishers, IN. Prior to his position at Riverside, he was the Director of Bands at Fishers Junior High for seven years. He has been Graduate Assistant Director at Butler University, and also Associate Instructor with the Indiana University Department of Bands in Bloomington, IN. Mr. Harrod conducted the IU Marching Hundred in the 1991 Peach Bowl, and the Southport High School Jazz Ensemble in the 1999 "Essentially Ellington Festival" at Lincoln Center, NY. Under Mr. Harrod's direction, the Riverside Junior High Bands have consistently earned top honors at all ISSMA Concert Band and Jazz Band events and other festivals. Mr. Harrod is a past president of the Indiana Bandmasters Association, and has served as committee chairman for numerous festivals and contests. 

Kristin HessKristin Hess, 2010 [Art]

Kristin Hess studied art and graduated as one of the top 10 female students in her class. While at Butler, she taught middle school children through the Butler Community Arts School. Kristin continues to live in Indianapolis and now manages programs and visual communications for Indiana Humanities, one of the state's great institutions. Her first book, "Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest," was published in 2012.

"The Butler Art + Design program allowed me to pair my varied interests and passions with strategic, creative implementation. From one-on-one professor attention to the self-led thesis to encouragement to combine academic majors and fields, I learned how to think like a designer and take ownership of the power of design to strengthen and enhance the world around me." 

DavidDavid Ingram, 2004 [Dance]

Originally from Kingsport, TN, David Ingram began his dance training at the Kingsport Guild of Ballet under the direction of Karen Gibbons Brown and went on to study at the Fort Wayne Ballet and Butler University, graduating with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance in 2004. Ingram went on to perform with Louisville Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theater. His repertory includes the works of Salvatore Aiello, George Balanchine, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, August Bournonville, Mikelle Bruzina, Val Caniparoli, Sean Curran, Erica De La O, Mark Diamond, Nacho Duato, Michel Fokine, Nicolo Fonte, William Forsythe, Mark Godden, Choo-San Goh, Adam Hougland, Sasha Janes, Alonzo King, Pete Lay, Emery Lecrone, Robert North, Marius Petipa, Jonathan Prichard, André Prokovsky, Dwight Rhoden, Uri Sands, Bruce Simpson, Domy Reiter Soffer, Ben Stevenson, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Anthony Tudor.

JennyDr. Jenny Kokai, 2001 [Theatre]

Dr. Kokai is currently an Assistant Professor at Weber State University in Utah, where she teaches theatre history, playwriting and dramaturgy, theatre education. After graduating magna cum laude with highest honors, double majoring in theatre and philosophy, she obtained an M.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin.

She is currently co-authoring an article with a philosopher, Mary-Beth Willard, on what philosophy can learn from the expressive arts. She has published and presented work from a previous project on women's use of performance as a mode of social and political engagement in the Revolutionary War. Jenny regularly presents at academic conferences like the American Society for Theatrical Research and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and is an active playwright and director.

Laura KramerLaura Kramer, 2012 [Art]

Graphic Production Artist at Ansira, St. Louis.

"Butler's Art+Design program has allowed me to see things around me differently. My definition of "art" encompasses more than I ever imagined.  This definition expanded through my Art+Design classes, professors, internships and real-world experiences that the program provided me. I am able to see art through an educated and open mind, and learn to appreciate art for what it is, regardless of its aesthetics. I now can apply my skills to my career, and am able to better critique my own work."

 

Michelle McConnellMichele McConnell, 1993 [Music]

Starring on Broadway as Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera, soprano Michele McConnell came to Butler from New Jersey. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Before her role in Phantom, Michele performed in productions of Camelot, Beauty and the Beast and other shows. She has made numerous recordings for Hal Leonard Publishing and is on the original cast recording of Anna Karenina.

 

Adam McKinneyAdam McKinney, 2006 [Dance]

After graduating with a BFA in dance, Adam McKinney danced with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Alonzo King's LINES Ballet. A true cultural ambassador, he has taught master classes around the world, including Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia and Italy, and has served as a U.S. Embassy Culture Connect Envoy to South Africa.

As I teach, I am inspired daily by our young dancers, their drive, tenacity and want. Several of my students are juniors, and I have shared information with them about BU's successful dance program. In the years to come, I hope for my dancers to take advantage of the rich resource that is Butler.
- Adam McKinney

Odom

Leslie Odom, 1981 [Music]

Dr. Leslie Odom is associate professor of oboe and music theory at the University of Florida.  She received her B.M. in performance, cum laude, from Butler, and her M.M. and D.M.A. from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Prior to moving to Gainesville, she performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Opera Company, the Quad Cities and Cedar Rapids Symphonies.  Since moving to Gainesville in 1989, Dr. Odom has performed with the Jacksonville and Flagler Symphonies, and is currently principal oboe of the Gainesville Orchestra.  

Dr. Odom is an active performer in Europe, North and South America, and Canada.  She attended both the Aspen and Tanglewood Music Festivals, was a guest artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and worked as a faculty member at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan.  A member of the International Double Reed Society, Dr. Odom regularly performs at the Society's annual conferences.  Along with her extensive performing schedule, Dr. Odom writes reviews of music and compact disks for the Society's Journal.  In 2012, Dr. Odom was elected to a three-year term as the National President of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. 

Maria

Maria Porter, 2011 [Art]

Maria Porter earned her B.A. in Art + Design, cum laude with high honors in 2011. During her undergraduate study she was a member of the graphic design and new media teams for the Public Relations Board of Student Government and served as photographer and photo editor for The Butler Collegian. During her time as photo editor of the Collegian, she received an Indiana Collegiate Press Association first place award in Best Photo for her photo taken during the final game of the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. She worked as graphic designer and photographer for several of the College of Business' Real Business Experience events. Currently, Maria is a Graphic Service Administrator with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP in Indianapolis. 

"My experience at Butler taught me a lot of things necessary for a successful career such as time management, industry-specific skills, and creative thinking. But I've found that the most valuable part of my Butler experience is the well-rounded, liberal arts education that exposed me to many different types of classes and people. The opportunity to work with professors, students and staff from varying backgrounds, work styles and points of view has prepared me for success in my career, where I work with a wide range of people every day."

Provost

Karine Provost, 2004 [Arts Administration]

Karine Provost joined the Joffrey Ballet in July 2012 as managing director of the Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of the Joffrey Ballet, after five years serving as manager of pre-professional programs for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. While at Hubbard Street, Provost created the first Summer Intensive Programs for Hubbard Street in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Iowa City. The Summer Intensives started as a break-even pilot program in 2008, and under her management, brought in over $450K in revenue and became a household name in the world of dance training. While at Hubbard Street, she also managed the day-to-day operations of the Lou Conte Dance Studio, formalized the Internship Programs, and served as the liaison for the James S. Kemper Foundation Kemper Internship program. Previously, Provost served as school manager for The Washington Ballet. She received a B.S. in arts administration with honors from Butler in 2004. 

SniderSarah Snider, 2000 [Arts Administration/Theatre]

Originally from small town Salem, IN, Sarah developed her love of costuming while designing multiple main stage productions for Butler University Theatre. After graduating in 2007 with high honors, she began her professional career in wardrobe with Cirque du Soleil assisting with the creation and production of "Viva Elvis" in Las Vegas, NV. Since relocating to New York City she has done wardrobe on various theatre and major motion picture projects including American Ballet Theatre's "Nutcracker" and the 67th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall.  She is currently dressing the starring role of Christine in Broadway's "Phantom of the Opera" at the Majestic Theatre.

StutzTavi Stutz, 2000 [Arts Administration/Theatre]

Butler University was the perfect spring-board to launch Tavi Stutz into the varied and creative life he has led.  After graduating in 2000 with a B.S. in arts administration (theatre) with honors, he worked in New York City at the Roundabout Theater Company (the second largest not-for-profit theater company in the country).  He continued his education as an actor focusing on film and TV, and as a dancer at Broadway Dance Center. Tavi enjoyed the benefits of yoga so started a regular practice and also worked with the SITI Company. Later, Tavi studied at Harvard and through this connection was invited to Moscow by the Bolshoi Ballet to train with them and to take gymnastics lessons at Dinamo.  He also taught movement to college students at MXAT and to Harvard graduate students. Once his visa ran out, he returned to NYC, continued teaching yoga and auditioned for the Cirque du Soleil.  His first contract with Cirque was eight years ago.  After his first tour, he moved to Los Angeles to reconnect with his passion for acting and writing.  He has appeared in many commercials and films, though you would never recognize him as his face is often covered in make-up or he is doubling as someone else! He has written a book, a full-length feature film, and two TV shows. This constant struggle between circus, writing, and acting is still pulling at his heartstrings and hopefully one day soon they will all exist in harmony. 

Katherine Van WykKatherine Van Wyk, 2009 [Arts Administration]

Katherine Van Wyk was an arts administration student with a particular interest in theatre. Her first stop after graduation was an internship with The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. She then worked as a special events consultant for projects with the Foundation for the National Archives, Alvin Ailey and other organizations. Katherine has recently accepted a position in corporate and foundation relations at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

My degree in arts administration has truly given me the edge in helping me begin my career as an arts administrator. The seminars and courses at Butler, as well as the internships I completed while still an undergrad, gave me more experience and knowledge than others applying for the same jobs, even recent graduate school grads!
- Katherine Van Wyk