Columbus State Creates Shea Barnett Visiting Artist and Scholar Residency Program in Theatre

COLUMBUS, Ga. — With $35,000 in matching funds pledged, Columbus State University has established a new program in its theatre department.

The Shea Barnett Visiting Artist and Scholar Residency Program in CSU’s Department of Theatre will annually bring a nationally prominent outside performer, director, designer, playwright or other theatre artist and scholar to Columbus State for up to several weeks. While on campus, the artist will teach a seminar and lead workshops with students, as well as make use of CSU resources for their own research and-or creative production.

“By providing the opportunity to work side by side with outstanding scholars and working artists on a regular basis, this endowment ensures that CSU theatre students will continue to receive the highest levels of educational and professional experiences," theatre chair Larry Dooley said.

The fund was created in memory of Shea Malenne Barnett, an honor graduate of Auburn High School who also had attended Randolph Southern School in Shellman, Ga. She was a sophomore theatre performance major at Columbus State at the time of her death on Nov. 1, 2011.

An anonymous donor has agreed to match donations to the fund, dollar for dollar, for the first $35,000 given. Barnett’s family will be notified of donations, and donors giving $100 or more will be recognized in CSU theatre programs.

To make a gift to the fund, visit For more information on supporting this endowed fund, contact Spence Sealy, associate vice president for development, at 706-507-8955 or

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Photo: Shea Malenne Barnett (high-resolution original)