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Joe Selmon Howard University - Newsroom

 Joe Selmon was born in Memphis Tennessee on November 19, 1947.  After graduating from High School in Memphis and his freshman year at Memphis State University, he completed two years of active service as a member of the US Nary Reserve.  He returned to Memphis State University and earned a BS degree in 1971 in Political Science with honors.  Joe was already a very active participant in the programs of several community theatre groups and had began to think of the performing arts as a means for helping to shape positive images and explore relevant stories about the lives of African-American youth.  He subsequently entered the graduate program in Theatre Arts at Memphis State and graduated with an MFA degree in Theatrical Design and Production in 1974. 

Selmon was hired as an Instructor in the Theatre Arts Department at Florida International University in Miami Florida in the fall of 1974.  At that time, Florida International University had been in existence for less than six years and the performing arts curriculum was in a state of development.  Joe was able to participate in the planning and implementation of the theatre component of the program.  He continued to participate in community theatre productions and activities in Miami, which served a very diverse south Florida community, both in terms of ethnicity and economic status.  While in Miami, Joe served as a member of the planning committee for a performing arts community center, and continued to pursue his own personal development in the performing arts disciplines of scenery and lighting design.

He was appointed to the Theatre faculty at Howard University in 1976 and has served the department and in the performing arts community of Washington, DC in several different capacities.   He has taught several courses in the design/technical area of theatre and has designed scenery, lighting and properties for many productions at Howard and the surrounding areas.  In addition to Theatre Arts courses, Professor Selmon has helped develop an interdisciplinary, general studies course in Fine Arts at Howard that is a component of the Afro American studies tract, and has served on several departmental, college-wide, and university committees.  He is currently serving as the Chairman and Artistic Director of the Theatre Arts Department.  Since September 2003, he has served as the President of the Listening Group Of Washington, DC.

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