Dean Honored for Contributions to Local Arts
Dennis Kratz Named Recipient of Richardson's 'Heart For The Arts' Award
July 9, 2008
Dr. Dennis Kratz
The Richardson Arts Alliance, which sponsors the award, will recognize Kratz at the Heart For The Arts gala dinner scheduled to take place later this fall.
“On behalf of the Richardson Arts Alliance, we are thrilled to name Dennis Kratz as the recipient of the 2008 Heart For The Arts award,” said Debbie Mulvenna, chair for the gala. “His tireless efforts on behalf of the arts community and his high standards have served to elevate the quality, the quantity and the visibility of the arts.”
As dean of the School Arts and Humanities, Kratz has nurtured the development and growth of an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines visual arts, music, dance and theater with critical and creative thought.
Kratz said he considers it one if his greatest priorities to enhance the role of the arts not only in education but also in the local community.
“I’m honored to be recognized as a loyal and passionate patron of the arts in Richardson,” Kratz said. “I’ve always believed in connecting people in our city with the arts. That sort of relationship leads to the creation of partnerships that benefit not only educational endeavors but also community involvement and support.”
Kratz is a former member of the City of Richardson Arts Commission, and his efforts have shaped the arts landscape in the City of Richardson and in the greater North Texas area. As a supporter of the arts, he has created numerous partnerships between UT Dallas and groups like the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, the Eisemann Center, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Chamber Music Society.
Under his leadership, the School of Arts and Humanities added a visionary academic program in Arts and Technology (ATEC) in 2004. A multidisciplinary offering, the program places emphasis on the interplay of visual art, music, video and narrative with new media that have emerged from the convergence of computing and media technologies. In 2007, the program received two prestigious honors: the Innovation in Education award from The University of Texas System and the Tech Titan of the Future award from the Dallas Metroplex Technology Business Council.
Kratz is particularly proud of the school’s Confucius Institute, which opened late last year and is part of a global network to promote the study of Chinese language, culture and history. That institute plays a key role in his vision of a global humanities program that fosters international understanding and respect.
Most recently, Kratz helped inaugurate Centraltrak, a multi-purpose arts facility near downtown Dallas with live-work loft space for artists, studios for UT Dallas MFA students and a gallery. Artists associated with Centraltrak exhibit their work in the building and give public lectures for periods ranging from two weeks to 12 months.
Kratz has attracted funding to the School of Arts and Humanities to enhance the academic programs, support research and to underwrite capital improvements. In fact, during his tenure the school has added nine endowed professorships.
Kratz’s scholarly research focuses on medieval and modern literature. He has written four books, authored numerous articles and is the co-editor of the scholarly journal Translation Review. He has lectured widely and conducted workshops about educational issues. A popular teacher, he received the 1992 University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award.
From 1987-89, he served as president of the American Literary Translators Association. He is a past president of the Texas Association of Deans of Liberals Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Kratz joined the UT Dallas faculty as a professor of literary studies in 1978. Prior to being named dean in 1997, he served as dean of undergraduate education and was a co-director of the University’s Center for Translation Studies. During his tenure as dean of undergraduate education, he led a team that designed and implemented a rigorous undergraduate honors program called Collegium V.
He received his Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College and he earned both his Master of Arts in classical studies and his doctorate in Medieval Latin from Harvard University. He is currently working on a book about curiosity.
The Richardson Arts Alliance Heart For The Arts gala honoring Dr. Katz will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency North Dallas, located at 701 East Campbell Road in Richardson.
Tickets to the dinner are $100. Sponsor tables are available starting at $1,500. Reservations can be made by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting Debbie Mulvenna at 214-536-3922.
Proceeds from the event support the Richardson Arts Alliance member organizations.