I have heard that you have been working with the University of Oregon’s Cinema Studies Department. How so? — Brian McCall, Los Angeles, CA
I appreciate your interest, Brian.
I strongly believe in “giving back.”
Never could I have achieved as much as I have, if were not for my years of study, learning, and fun at the University of Oregon, where I earned a Ph.D. in Political Science.
To give back…. I decided to establish “The Harlan J. Strauss Visiting Filmmaker Endowment” to support Oregon’s Department of Cinema Studies and its students. Each year the Endowment brings an “up and coming” film professional to the campus for 2-3 weeks to engage with and to mentor Cinema Studies students. The Visiting Filmmaker provides coursework, public lectures, and film screenings, as well as “hands on” learning opportunities.
Each year these visiting screen artists have had a significant impact on the University, its Cinema Studies Department, and the surrounding community. In 2018, for example, Chloe Zhao, Director and Creator of the film “Nomadland” was the Strauss Visiting Scholar. Shortly thereafter, Chloe earned Academy Awards for the Best Picture and Best Director for “Nomadland.”
Another interest is advanced training in the arts, especially classical music. As such, my wife and I are strong supporters of the Julliard School in New York City, which provides the highest caliber training in performance arts, drama, and voice.