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New Acquisitions on View at Faulconer Gallery

An exhibition of selected works donated to Grinnell College’s Faulconer Gallery since July 2017 will open on Friday, May 18, 2018.

Titled Recent Gifts to the Grinnell College Art Collection, the exhibition will be on view through June 10 in the Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell.

“Donations to Faulconer Gallery this past year have been remarkably strong. In this exhibition we highlight just a few of the over 200 works of art given to Grinnell College since July 2017,” said Lesley Wright, director of the gallery.

The exhibition will feature:

  • Selected works donated by Dr. Louis and Lois Fingerman, John L. and Roslyn Bakst Goldman, William Thompson ’91, Bennett Bean ’63, and Cathy Bao Bean
  • Eight prints including works by Robert Arneson, Carol Summers, and Sol Lewitt from the Fingermans and the Goldmans
  • Fifteen photographs including works by James Casebere, Edward Curtis, Jim Dine, Sally Mann, and Carrie Mae Weems donated by Thompson, and
  • A selection of ceramics created by Bennett Bean, who will speak in the Faulconer Gallery at 9 a.m. Friday, June 1. He will talk about his ceramics and how his gift traces the trajectory of his career as a practicing artist.

“Through the generosity of these and other alumni and friends, our collection continues to strengthen and grow,” Wright said. “We are grateful to all our donors for their vision and support, and for enriching our students and faculty through their gifts.”

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the exception of Memorial Day on Monday, May 28.

Met Opera Live in HD to Stream Massenet’s 'Cendrillon’

The last opera in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2017-18 Live in HD program, Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon, will be streamed at noon at Grinnell College on Saturday, April 28. The event, which is open to the public, will take place in the Harris Center Cinema, 1114 10th Ave., Grinnell.

Kelly Maynard, associate professor of history and chair of European Studies, will give the opera talk at 11:30 a.m. in the Harris Center Cinema.

Cendrillon is Massenet’s take on the classic fairytale Cinderella. In this retelling, however, Cendrillion — the French name for the character Cinderella — is much less dependent on her Prince Charming.

Bertrand de Billy conducts. Joyce DiDonato stars as Cendrillon, and Alice Coote acts alongside her as Le Prince Charmant.  

The New York Times called the production “boldly stylized; elegant yet winking; straightforward but with an aura of extravagance.”

Refreshments will be available for sale in the lobby of the cinema before each opera and during intermission.

Tickets are available at the Pioneer Bookshop and at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, children, and Met Opera members.

The Office of the President has generously funded tickets for Grinnell College faculty, staff, and students, and tickets are available for free at all locations. Family members not employed by the College are required to purchase tickets.

 

 

Konstantinos Kambouroglou ’95​ Shares His Film 'How to Steal a Chair'

​Join Konstantinos Kambouroglou ’95​ as he shares his film How to Steal a Chair with the Grinnell community and speaks about the making of the film. 

A meditation on passion and lost dreams, this modern Greek tale follows a celebrated designer and collector as he struggles to salvage his legacy.

A free, public screening of the documentary and discussion with the director will being at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21, 2018, in Harris Center Cinema.

Synopsis

Stergios Delialis is a 72-year-old Greek designer, collector, and educator buried under the weight of his lost dream: the Thessaloniki Design Museum, which made an international splash and then died a slow and peculiar death in the 1990s.

He is also buried under the weight of his enormous design collection, once the core of his museum and now defunct and too costly to maintain amidst the financial crisis.

The film follows Stergios as he realizes he has become a ghost in his own life and contemplates parting with his collection. Meanwhile, he undertakes to produce a retrospective of his own design work in the building of his lost museum.

Kambouroglou's visit is sponsored by the Office of the President.

Konstantinos Kambouroglou '95

 Kambouroglou, a director, producer and editor, was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece.
He is a New York-based independent filmmaker and media producer with over 15 years of experience with organizations such as The Documentary Group (Key Constitutional Concepts), PBS (The Mormons, Looking for Lincoln, Faces of America), HBO (Teddy: In His Own Words), ERT, MEGA Channel, and the Athens 2004 Olympics Organizing Committee.
 
His short documentary, To Build Strong Children, about human trafficking and education, was an official selection at the Sacramento International Film Festival in 2014 and was recently broadcast by PBS (WHUT) in the Washington, DC area.
 
Konstantinos holds a master's in journalism from Columbia University and is the founder of Gouse Films, Inc.

Grinnell College Dance Ensemble/ACTivate and Grinnell College Jazz Ensemble

The Grinnell College Department of Theatre and Dance proudly presents Stranger in a Strange Land, a triptych of contemporary dances, live music, and spoken word.

The program includes three pieces of original choreography, each exploring investigations into the shared human experience of times when we have felt like strangers in some strange land. The audience is invited to arrive a half-hour before curtain to participate in a visual story-sharing installation in the theatre.

The free, ticketed performaces will take place in Roberts Theatre in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts on: 

  • 7:30 p.m. ​Thursday, Friday & Saturday, April 26–28
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, April 29

Tickets will be available at the box office in the Bucksbaum lobby beginning noon Monday, April 23, 2018.

Searching for the Eulipions

"Searching for the Eulipions" is choreographed by Celeste Miller, dance ensemble director, collaborating with the Jazz Ensemble,  directed by Mark Laver, assistant professor of music, and Gabriel Espinosa, lecturer in music, jazz music, and Latin American Jazz Ensemble..

 Miller, Laver, and Espinos, working through a collaborative process with eighteen dancers and thirteen musicians, incorporate the musicians as part of the overall choreography moving in and out of the stage picture with the dancers.

The title of the dance is from a poem by jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk and poet Betty Neals referring to the unexpected gifts we receive from strangers. Additional text inspiring the dance comes from biblical references to "the stranger" and an excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."

Stranger Things: An Immigrant Story You Do Not See On TV!

Guest choreographer Mersiha Mesihovic's contribution to the triptych is "Stranger Things: An Immigrant Story You Do Not See On TV!"

Mesihovic's choreographic residency to create "Stranger Things" is made possible through the Strive Fund, which supports a five-week residency every spring for an international guest choreographer to create original work with Grinnell students. Mesihovic is a Bosnian/Swedish NYC- based dance/performance artist and cultural organizer.  

She worked with her cast of five Grinnell students to create a visual movement journey into the complexities of a refugee/immigrant reality, acknowledging the entanglement and impossibility of separation from one another in spite of our geographical and physical differences.  The dance unfolds as a collective re-imagining of the current world to a better, gentler place to exist together. "Stranger Things" was created using Mesihovic's interdisciplinary performance making approach that utilizes intersectional story-telling methods.

Wake-Up

Niya Weedon ’18, a dance and theatre major, created "Wake-Up" for the triptych.

"Wake-Up" is a look into black existence at Grinnell College shown through movement and the original spoken words of Demarco Saffold ’20. This work focuses on the creation of Concerned Black Students (CBS) — the Black student union of the College. 

It moves chronologically from the influential convocation with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Grinnell in 1967 to the first demands created by the CBS student group, The Black Manifesto. "Wake-Up" then moves towards conventional issues of racial tension and the role of technology exposing the necessity of creating communities of belonging in strange lands.

"Wake-Up" was created in collaboration with a cast of movers from different backgrounds making the work representative of each individual member in an attempt to recognize that "Wake-Up" encompasses their own individual experience at the College.

​​​​​​Lighting design for Stranger in a Strange Land is by Tina Barrigan ’97.  Costume design is by Erin Gritsch-Howell

 

Verdi’s ‘Luisa Miller’ Opera Streamed Live on Saturday, April 14

The next opera in the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD program, Giuseppe Verdi’s Luisa Miller, will be streamed on Saturday, April 14, at Grinnell College. The opera will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Harris Center Cinema, 1114 10th Ave., Grinnell.

Don Smith, professor emeritus of history, will give the opera talk at 11 a.m. in the Harris Center Cinema. Smith’s scholarly and teaching interests focus upon 19th century British political history.

In this opera, tragedy follows the title character, Luisa Miller, as she falls in love with someone distrusted by her father. This will be the Met’s first performance of Luisa Miller in more than 10 years.

Bertrand de Billy conducts. Sonya Yoncheva stars in the title role of Luisa, alongside her father, Miller, played by Plácido Domingo.

After Luisa Miller, there will be one more Met opera streamed at Grinnell College during the spring semester. The streaming of Massenet’s Cendrillon will begin at noon on Saturday, April 28.

Refreshments will be available for sale in the lobby of the cinema before each opera and during intermission.

Tickets are available at the Pioneer Bookshop and at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, children and Met Opera members.

The Office of the President has generously funded tickets for Grinnell College faculty, staff, and students, and tickets are available for free at all locations. Family members not employed by the College are required to purchase tickets.

Grinnell Singers and Oratorio Society to Perform Tribute to Immigrants

The Grinnell Singers and the Grinnell Oratorio Society will perform in Marshalltown on Saturday, April 14, as part of “Hand in Hand: Celebrate Justice for Our Neighbors.”

This event will recognize the work of the Justice for Our Neighbors’ Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic in Marshalltown. The free, public concert will begin at 4 p.m. in First United Methodist Church of Marshalltown, 202 W. Main St.

The Grinnell Oratorio Society and the Grinnell Singers will jointly perform composer Caroline Shaw’s “To The Hands,” a moving tribute to compassion for immigrants and refugees. Shaw received a Pulitzer Prize for music at age 30 in 2013. There also will be a special showing of a short video, titled “Proud to be Diverse,” featuring Marshalltown Community School District students reciting a poem by Jo Frohwein.

The Grinnell Singers is a 50-voice choral ensemble directed by John Rommereim, the Blanche Johnson professor of music at Grinnell College. Known for their innovative and adventurous choral programming, the Grinnell Singers have premiered more than 10 choral works in the past five years under Rommereim’s direction. Each year the choir presents concerts across the U.S., and the group has also traveled to Estonia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey.

Founded in 1901, the Grinnell Oratorio Society was, in the early decades of the 20th Century, one of Iowa’s most renowned musical institutions. In 2010, the Grinnell Community Chorus was renamed the Grinnell Oratorio Society as a way to draw attention to this proud history. The choir rehearses Monday nights, and it draws together students, faculty, and staff of the College as well as people from the city of Grinnell and nearby cities such as Newton and Malcolm.

Met Opera Live in HD to Feature Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte’ on March 31

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s dark comedy, Così fan tutte, will be streamed at noon in Grinnell College’s Harris Center Cinema on Saturday, March 31, as part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD program. Soprano Randye Jones, a performer and music researcher, will deliver the opera talk at 11:30 a.m. in the cinema, 1114 10th Ave., Grinnell.

In Così fan tutte, a cynical philosopher, Don Alfonso, tries to prove to two young officers, Ferrando and Guglielmo, that their fiancées will be unfaithful. In this production, director Phelim McDermott has set Così fan tutte in a carnival-esque, funhouse environment inspired by 1950s Coney Island — complete with bearded ladies, fire eaters and a Ferris wheel. Among the cast are veterans of the Coney Island sideshow scene. 

A New York Times article quotes Peter Gelb, general manager of the Met, saying, “As one of the stagehands said, ‘I always knew the Met was a circus — now it really is one.’”

Refreshments will be available for sale in the lobby of the cinema before each opera and during intermission.

Tickets are available at the Pioneer Bookshop and at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, children, and Met Opera members.

Grinnell College to Host Award-Winning Authors Marlon James and Roxane Gay

Internationally acclaimed, bestselling authors Marlon James and Roxane Gay will visit Grinnell College on April 5 and 6, respectively, as part of Grinnell College’s Writers@Grinnell series.

James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for A Brief History of Seven Killings, making him the first Jamaican author to take home the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award. He will lead a roundtable discussion at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave., Grinnell. He also will give the Annual Distinguished Author Lecture at 8 p.m., in the same location. This annual event is funded by a generous donation from an anonymous donor.

In his presentations, James will discuss his writing process, as well as the issues he explores in his work—Caribbean history, race and gender in the U.S. and U.K., and youth subcultures as expressed in literature and music, especially hip hop and reggae. A professor of English and creative writing at Macalester College, James has had his work published in Esquire, Granta, Harper’s, The Caribbean Review of Books, and The New York Times Magazine, among others.

On Friday, April 6, Grinnell College Assistant Professor of English and award-winning author Alissa Nutting will interview Gay, a best-selling author and cultural critic whose writing is widely revered. The interview will start at noon in Harris Center Cinema, 1114 10th Ave., Grinnell.

Gay’s work has garnered international acclaim for its reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. With a deft eye on modern culture, she brilliantly critiques its ebb and flow with both wit and ferocity. She recently became the first black woman to ever write for Marvel, authoring a comic series in the Black Panther universe called World of Wakanda.

Her collection of essays, Bad Feminist, is considered the quintessential exploration of modern feminism. NPR named it one of the best books of the year and Salon declared the book “trailblazing.” In 2017, she released her memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, as well as a collection of short stories titled Difficult Women. Gay also is a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times, and formerly was co-editor of PANK and non-fiction editor at The Rumpus. Her writing has also appeared in McSweeney’s, The Nation, and many other publications. 

All events are free and open to the public.

Sponsoring the James events are the College’s Writers@Grinnell series, the Center for Humanities, the Institute for Global Engagement, and an anonymous alumni contributor. The Gay event is sponsored by the College’s Center for Humanities, the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Scholars’ Convocation Committee.

Theater Scholar to Discuss ‘Asian Face’ in Various Media

Natsu Onoda PowerNatsu Onoda Power will give the Scholars’ Convocation Lecture at Grinnell College on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Her lecture — “Questioning the Racial Question: ‘Asian Face’ in Manga, Theater Auditions and Other Unlikely Places" — is free and open to the public. It will begin at 11 a.m. in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

Power is an associate professor of theater and performance studies at Georgetown University, where she also serves as the artistic director of Royden B. Davis Performing Arts Center. Her recent credits for original plays/adaptations include The Lathe of Heaven (Spooky Action Theatre, Washington, D.C.), Alice in Wonderland (National Players, Olney, Maryland), The T Party (Forum Theatre Company One Theatre, Boston), A Trip to the Moon (Synetic Theatre, Arlington, Virginia), and Astro Boy and the God of Comics (Studio Theatre 2nd Stage; Company One, Boston).

Power holds a doctorate in performance studies from Northwestern University and is author of God of Comics: Osamu Tezuka and the Creation of Post-World War II Manga. She has directed productions at Baltimore CenterStage, Studio Theatre, Mosaic Theater, and Theatre J, Adventure Theatre.  At Georgetown University, she has directed Wind Me Up, Maria! A Go-Go Musical, War with the Newts, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, among others.

Grinnell College to stream Metropolitan Opera’s ‘Semiramide’

 Grinnell College will stream Gioachino Rossini’s Semiramide, considered a masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks, at noon on Saturday, March 10, as part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Live In HD Program. The streaming will take place in the Harris Center Cinema, 1114 10th Ave., Grinnell.

Alex McHattie, principal double bassist with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, will give the opera talk at 11:30 a.m. in the Harris Center Cinema. McHattie performs regularly with other regional music organizations, such as The Prairie Ensemble, BACH, and Heartland Festival Orchestra.

This is the Met’s first performance of Semiramide in nearly 25 years. Based on Voltaire’s tragedy Semiramis, the opera follows the actions of Semiramide, the murderous queen of Babylon. Maurizio Benini conducts. Angela Meade stars as Semiramide, and Elizabeth DeShong plays Arsace.  

The New York Times called the opera “inspiring” and “a noble experiment” in performing shows the Met has previously ignored for not being renowned enough.

After Semiramide, three additional Met operas will be streamed in the Harris Center during the spring semester. Opera talks take place a half hour before each broadcast. The remaining operas are:

  • Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte on March 31, noon
  • Verdi's Luisa Miller on April 14, 11:30 a.m
  • Massenet's Cendrillon on April 28, noon

Refreshments will be available for sale in the lobby of the cinema before each opera and during intermission.

Tickets are available at the Pioneer Bookshop and at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, children and Met Opera members.

The Office of the President has generously funded tickets for Grinnell College faculty, staff and students, and tickets are available for free at all locations. Family members not employed by the college are required to purchase tickets.