Arts professional with extensive leadership experience selected as director of Tusculum’s Center for the Arts

GREENEVILLE – Rouja Green, a professional with 13 years of experience running a music and art school, has been selected as director of Tusculum University’s Center for the Arts.

Rouja Green stands in front of Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center.

In this leadership role, Green will ensure all fine arts programming presented by Tusculum is logistically sound. She will share and build on the strengths of these initiatives through fundraising, marketing, communication, presentation, design, teaching and advocacy in collaboration with others at the university.

“Rouja brings a wealth of experience in this field, which will enhance the quality of life in our region,” said Wayne Thomas, dean of the College of Civic and Liberal Arts and executive director of Tusculum Arts Outreach. “She brings boundless energy and positivity and is a staunch advocate for the arts. With her background and credentials, we’re truly blessed to have her.”

Prior to moving to Tennessee, Green served as executive manager of the European School of Music and Art in Ranchos Palos Verdes, California, from 2003-2016, overseeing more than 20 instructors and 200 students as well as multiple administrators. She was also an art instructor there, developed the school’s visual arts program and enrolled students in the Ryman Arts Program in Los Angeles. She organized and conducted multiple music concerts and art shows while she was at the school.

Earlier in her career, when she lived in New York, she worked as a mural painter, completing large-scale abstract and figurative paintings and decorative faux finishes. Her diverse experience as a freelance artist includes commission paintings, drawings, murals, illustrations, photography and design.

Green also loves music and holds a certificate in flute performance from the renowned Trinity College of London in Europe.

Her studies at Tryavna Visual Arts High School in Bulgaria featured an emphasis on drawing, sculpting, wood carving, printmaking and art history. Her master’s degree in pedagogy of fine arts from Veliko Tarnovo University in Bulgaria specialized in painting and teaching art. She also participated in post-graduate studies at the prestigious Art Students League of New York.

Rouja Green, third from the right, enjoys a lighthearted moment with, from the left, Frank Mengel, instructor of theater and technical director; Bill Bledsoe, assistant professor of art and design; Wayne Thomas, dean of the College of Civic and Liberal Arts; Lanna Monday, assistant professor of art and design; and Dr. Kurtis Miller, chair of the Communication and Fine Arts Department.

“Art has been a passion of mine since early childhood,” said Green, who started formal lessons at age 7. “Growing up in Europe, I had the privilege of attending countless art exhibits, music concerts and theater performances. My mother worked as a journalist and a theater actress, and my father is an accomplished photographer, videographer and graphic designer. I was immersed in art since I can remember, helping at our family’s gallery, working at my dad’s studio and participating in exhibits and other art-related events.”

Green’s husband saw the advertisement for the Tusculum job and told her the position would be ideal for her. She considers herself highly creative, organized and culturally responsible, traits the university sought. The balance of artistic and organizational skills the position requires attracted her.

“My vision for Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center is to be a preeminent cultural center, bursting with events, creativity and excitement,” Green said. “Art has a way of bringing people together and – to quote Pablo Picasso – ‘washing away from the soul the dust of everyday life.’ I’d like to assist with initiating many new events and programs that will present us with opportunities to express our creativity and flourish in various areas of art – performing arts, music, literature, visual arts and more.”

Green has tremendous respect for the deep roots and rich heritage of Tusculum’s arts programs and the legacy left by Marilyn Du Brisk, who served as the university’s artist-in-residence for 29 years. She will build on that solid foundation as she implements new ideas that will enhance the customer experience.

“Since my first day at Tusculum, I have been impressed with the beauty of the Tusculum campus, and even more so I’m impressed with the talent, creativity, intellect, hard work and dedication I see in everyone in the university’s arts program,” Green said. “I am very excited to serve as the director of the Center for the Arts at Tusculum University, and I am looking forward to contributing to its growth, which will ultimately enrich the arts experience of the Greenville community and the rest of the region.”

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