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Asian Arts & Culture Center director sees world in new ways

Joanna Pecore

Joanna Pecore

Joanna Pecore wanted to have an opportunity to see the world when she finished her undergraduate degree, so much so that she applied for teaching positions internationally and ended up on the other side of the world in Japan.

“I took a random shot in the dark and the program chose me, giving me the opportunity to see the world in new ways, every day” says Pecore. As the newly appointed director of the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s Asian Arts & Culture Center, she still longs for deeper learning experiences that stretch her mind and change her world view.

Her expertise lies in education programming and learning and East and Southeast Asian studies.

“We still know very little about this part of the world and expanding my understanding and the opportunity to apply it in a teaching setting is really appealing to me,” she explains.

Pecore first earned a B.A. from Lafayette College and, upon her return from Japan, enrolled in the Asian Studies M.A. program at the University of Hawaii. “I wanted to go deeper to study Japanese studies, and the University of Hawaii has a renowned program” she says.

From there she went on to earn her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, and later became the senior education specialist for the Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. There, she was responsible for public educational programs that increased understanding of and appreciation for the museum’s Asian and American collections and temporary exhibitions.

Pecore hopes to have a similar impact at Towson, and aims to increase student and community involvement with the Asian Arts & Culture Center through multicultural programing.

“Including the unique programming that we don’t typically see can strengthen a bridge to the Asian community and the Towson community,” she says.

Pecore is also interested in presenting artists in residence to benefit Towson students and the community.

“I’m looking for ways of bringing members of our communities into the university, influencing our programs and study with our students, and allowing them to have an opportunity to tell their stories and help to carry on and be creative with our traditions.”

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