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Forum and Artists Series in the New Century

Forum Series

Dave Pelzer

Real Heroes

Dave Pelzer is the author of the world renowned book A Child Called "It". This lecture focused on child abuse and the workings of social services. He emphasized the importance of educators, social services, and law enforcement in shaping children's lives.

Howard Zinn

You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

Howard Zinn's lecture was on the subject of objectivity and biases. The main theme of Zinn's lecture was that there is no such thing as objectivity, because everything is done with a specific purpose in mind. He encouraged people to state their perspectives on topics but to keep in mind that societal and personal biases do exist. Zinn also connected objectivity to education and courses. 

 

"The world is already moving in certain directions-many of them horrifying. Children are going hungry, people are dying in wars. To be neutral in such a situation is to collaborate with what is going on."

                                - Historian and Activist Howard Zinn

James Randi

The Search for the Chimera

James Randi was a magician and escape artist that performed around the world. Similar to the current  Penn & Teller: Fool Us show he would travel to test the claims of magicians and supernatural events. He would then explain how these tricks were made possible.

Paul Rusesabagina

Hotel Rwanda: A Lesson to be Learned

Paul Rusesabagina was the manager of a hotel in Rwanda in 1994. It was in this very hotel that he sheltered over one thousand people during the Rwanda genocide. At the turn of the centry he established the Hotel Rusesabagina Foundation in order to assist children and women who have been affected by genocide in Africa. He travels around the world in order to educate people about the consequences of genocide.

Jodie Sweetin

Child Star Addresses "Full House"

Jodie Sweetin is best known for her role as Stephanie on the hit tv series Full House. She discussed her life during and after the series. Growing up she questioned whether other children liked her for herself or because of her fame. The second part of the discussion was on the introduction of alcohol and drugs into her life. She shared how the turning point was when she was rushed to the hospital for an overdose, which led her to seek treatment in rehab.

Robert Sapolsky

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

Robert Sapolsky was a neurobiologist that studied the effects of stress on the body, mind, and social behaviors. This lecture compared stress effects and responses in humans and animals. He also mentioned how psychological and external factors are linked to stress and can even contribute to making the stress last longer. Stress also affects other systems in the body, such as the cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems. Sapolsky suggested keeping things in perspective in order to decrease stress levels.

Artists Series

Odadaa

Odadaa was a song and dance group from Ghana that was formed in 1982. They combined local African music with theatrical art. Each piece of the production- the art, dance, and costumes, each had a specific purpose to engage with the audience.

Play "Driving Miss Daisy"

The play Driving Miss Daisy won a Pulitzer Prize with its message of addressing prejudice in American society. The play takes place at the end of the 1940s to the beginning of the 1970s. It follows the lives of Daisy Werthan, an old widow, and her chauffeur Hoke Coleburn. The story follows how their relationship changes overtime through each decade.

National Theatre of the Deaf play "Oh, Figaro!"

The play "Oh, Figaro" was presented in both English and American Sign Language (ASL). This Tony award winning romantic comedy was inspired by two French pieces. This storyline follows a young man traveling to the Hamptons and finding love and rivalries along the way.

Ragamala Music and Dance Theater

Ragamala Music and Dance Theater: From Temple to Theater portrays the transformation of Bharatanatyam. Bharatanatyam is one of the ancient classical dance styles found in India recognized by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. This specific style of dance can be found in the southern region of India and was taught in Shaivism and Hindu temples two thousand years ago.

Ballet "Gran Folklórico de México"

Ballet "Gran Folklórico de México" performed Mexican songs and dances. These forms of entertainment combined ancient and modern Mexican music and dance. It drew heavily on Indigenous styles, such as ancient Mayan, Otomis, and Aztec. 

James Sewell Ballet

The James Sewell Ballet performed for the artist series twice within a ten year period. The ballets were performed in three forms - American Sign Language, classical ballet, and opera. Combining these forms of art was an innovative way to introduce different forms of art to the audience members.