Senior director of NPR Music to serve as next Corcoran director

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Kym Rice has served as the interim director of Corcoran for almost two years after Sanjit Sethi, the school’s inaugural director, announced in April 2019 that he would step down that July.

The senior director for NPR Music will become the next director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design this summer, officials announced in an email Thursday.

Lauren Onkey, who will take over as director of the school on July 12, has experience in journalism, museum and cultural studies and previously served in leadership roles at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cuyahoga Community College and Ball State University. Onkey was involved with developing NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series and spent 14 years teaching popular music studies and postcolonial literature at Ball State, the email states.

“The arts are one important way we define ourselves – how we argue, grow, find truths and bridge divides,” Onkey said in a University release. “The combination of departments that the Corcoran and GW bring together across so many diverse fields of art and study is unique and powerful, particularly in the context of GW students’ tradition of community engagement.”

Kym Rice has served as the interim director of Corcoran for almost two years after Sanjit Sethi, the school’s inaugural director, announced in April 2019 that he would step down that July. Rice will continue to serve at Corcoran as an adviser to Onkey after she assumes her position, according to the release.

“Lauren Onkey brings to the Corcoran an impressive breadth of hands-on experience in the arts and cultural studies, paired with considerable scholarly achievement in her field,” Provost Brian Blake said in the release. “Her proven commitment to innovation and diversity make her a perfect fit for GW’s diverse and vibrant community of scholars. She will be a tremendous asset to the Corcoran’s students and faculty.”

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