September 13, 2018

Faculty Friday: Mary Briggs

Get to know Mary Briggs, adjunct lecturer in Goucher's MA in Cultural Sustainability

  • Mary Briggs

Our "Faculty Friday" series highlights one faculty member from the Welch Center every Friday. We ask these faculty members about their career, their work, and what they love about Goucher.

This week's faculty member: 
Mary Briggs
Adjunct Lecturer, M.A. in Cultural Sustainability
Co-founder, You Are Here: A Place for Art, Jeannette, PA

Tell us about your first job in the cultural sustainability field.

In 1999 I took over the then "multicultural office" in Arlington County, Virginia—the Cultural Affairs Division. I re-visioned the office and applied to the NEA for funding to set up what ultimately became the office of Heritage Arts in Arlington that oversaw cultural festivals, field research, and documentation within the county.

What excites you most about the field of cultural sustainability?

There are so many ways to apply the concept—in very practical ways—to the challenges I see facing communities and individuals from rebuilding communities, to the environment, to personal identity.

As a practitioner in the field, what do you love about teaching?

I love one-on-ones with students to dig down below the surface of various issues. And I learn so much from students: what motivates each individual.

Tell us about a favorite hobby or passion of yours.

I still maintain a studio practice in ceramics, as I have since about 1972. I am a member artist at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. I also play backup fiddle in an eclectic folk/alt/weirdo band called Blisscraft. Songs are about the universe, death, phenomenology, dreams, time, and other happy things.

What's your favorite thing about Goucher's Cultural Sustainability program?

The combined experience of the faculty and the way that experience is adapted to the program goals and teaching environment.