LEWISTON — Bates College will hold an Arts Summit on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 24-25, that includes events open to the public at no cost.

At 4:15 p.m. on Jan. 24, three visiting artists will discuss their work and the value of the arts in a liberal-arts education. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

 The artists are Lynne Conner, chair of the theater and dance department at Colby College; Amara Geffen, a professor of art at Allegheny College who focuses on environmental, economic and community themes; and Marc Bamuthi Joseph, a renowned spoken-word performer and hip-hop dancer. The panel will take place in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

 Staged readings from works by Joseph will follow at 8 p.m., also in Schaeffer. His “Word Becomes Flesh”uses dance, poetry and music to document a pregnancy from a young single father’s perspective. A work in progress, “Red Black & GREEN: A Blues” is a multimedia piece designed, the artist said, to “jump-start a conversation about environmental justice, social ecology and collective responsibility in the climate-change era.”

Finally, in a related event later in the week, Bates students and faculty will present a variety of creative work in a campus Arts Crawl, beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28. Modeled on downtown programs that feature a mix of performance and arts events,  the Bates Arts Crawl will offer attractions at several stops around campus.

A map and schedule will be available. The Arts Crawl will be followed at 7 p.m. by the annual Asia Night of student performances, food and fashions in Schaeffer Theatre.

“The Arts Summit will reach both outward and inward to celebrate art within the liberal arts,” said Kirk Read, associate professor of French and chair of the Bates Arts Collaborative.  “Our guests, these respected and innovative artists, will enrich our discussions about connecting the arts on campus and in the broader community.”

A playwright, director and scholar, Conner taught at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh before going to Colby. Her publications include “Pittsburgh in Stages: Two Hundred Years of Theater” and “In the Garden of Live Flowers,” co-authored with Attilio Favorini. Her research focuses on the history of audience behavior and psychology.

 Geffen, a ceramicist, sculptor and professor at Allegheny since 1982, is director of the college’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development.

 Known to local audiences for his work at the Bates Dance Festival, Joseph is a National Poetry Slam champion, Broadway veteran, GOLDIE award winner and inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, which annually recognizes 50 of the country’s “greatest living artists.”

For more information about the Arts Summit, call 786-6381 or visit [email protected]


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