Host Committee & Curatorial Model

For the Baldwin100, the Cheuse Center is continuing to develop its collaborative curatorial model. Just to start with, we will bring you three writers who knew Baldwin well personally, numerous Baldwin experts, and students; exploring film, literature, ideas, and a staged performance of the play, 'Blues for Mr Charlie.'

Our host committee makes this project truly collaborative and expands the scope of our reach. The curatorial model we pursue is based on the host committee sharing ideas and resources, reading, talking, and building deeper friendship and community around literary conversations and ideas, as an end in itself; as well as a means to deepen our commitment to our shared humanity.

This process to build the Baldwin100 began in April 2023 based on a seed idea by Alan Cheuse's wife, and Board Member, Kris O'Shee. Cheuse Director Leeya Mehta, and Watershed Lit Assoc. Director, Alice Magelssen-Green, built this initial offering with two university professors, Baldwin scholar and Distinguished University Professor Dr. Keith Clark and  Prof. Jessica Kallista; alongside William Miller, our Cheuse Board Chair and Andy Shallal, our host for the Cheuse Center's Busboys and Poets Lecture. In Nov of 2023 we were informed that we received an inclusive excellence grant from ARIE allowing us to honor participants.

There are two goals of the curatorial process that we developed through our Ukraine programs this year: 

  1. for individuals on the host committee to deepen curiosity and knowledge of great literature, and social justice; and
  2. to bring this deepening of community connection to audiences, to create a richer public life for our communities. We bring the scope of this model into college classrooms, homes, cafes, and a variety of community spaces. 

Now, with gratitude, we present to you our host committee, all of whom continue to put in hundreds of volunteer hours to bring you the Baldwin100! 


Ann Ardis, Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, GMU

Djola Branner, Director, School of Theater, Center for Visual and Performing Arts, GMU

Keith Clark, Distinguished University Professor, GMU

Rick Davis, Dean, Center for Visual and Performing Arts, GMU

Aditya Desai, Literature Program Officer & Director for the Maryland Center for the Book

Jennifer Disano, Executive Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University (OLLI Mason)

Megan DuBois, Cultural Arts Manager, City of Fairfax, VA

Renee Edwards, Administrative Services Division Director, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

Jessica Hudson, Director, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

Alice Magelssen-Green, Associate Director, Watershed Lit, GMU

Alissa Maru, Associate Curator for Arlington Galleries, Mason Exhibitions

Leeya Mehta, Interim Director, Cheuse Center

William Miller, Chair, Cheuse Center Advisory Board 

Juton Myers, Department of African and African American Studies, GMU

Kris O’Shee, Member, Cheuse Center Advisory Board

Anne Osterman, George Mason University Dean of Libraries and University Librarian

Lisa Page, Member, Member, Cheuse Center Advisory Board; Director of Creative Writing, The George Washington University

Mayor Catherine S. Read, City of Fairfax, VA

Don Russell, University Curator and Director of Mason Exhibitions and Provisions Library

Yassmin Salem, Programs Manager, Mason Exhibitions and Murals at Mason 

Andy Shallal, Founder, Busboys and Poets

Christine Vincent, Acting Cultural Arts Manager, City of Fairfax, VA

Additionally, our events partner includes CenterStage at Reston Community Center where we will have both film programs and a staged reading.