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Young, Gifted and Black sharing music ministry Mar. 18-24

Friday, Mar. 2, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - The Young, Gifted and Black Gospel Choir, a 32-voice choral ensemble from Grinnell College, will present concerts, March 18-24, in churches in Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, and Houston, Tex., as part of a spring break tour.

The Young, Gifted and Black Gospel Choir, open to students of all backgrounds, has a 45-year history on the Grinnell campus. Through a bond of “cultural uniformity,” the choir ministers to a variety of audiences with a wide selection of sacred music, including spirituals and traditional and contemporary gospel. Each engagement is tailored to the audience, adding an air of spontaneity and encouraging audience participation.

The gospel choir, directed by Barry Jones, lecturer of music, will share their music ministry at:

Mar. 18, 10:45 a.m., 3 p.m.: Greater Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 1219 South St., Burlington, Ia.

Mar. 19, 7 p.m.: Gateway Area Bible Fellowship Church, 85 Water St., Rt. 3, Cahokia, Ill.

Mar. 22, 7 p.m.: Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 655 Beasley Rd., Jackson, Miss., with The Grinnell Singers select choir

Mar. 24, 5 p.m.: Brentwood Baptist Church, 13033 Landmark Dr., Houston, Tex., with The Grinnell Singers select choir

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.


The Grinnell Singers to premiere Fairouz work during spring break tour

Thursday, Mar. 1, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

The Grinnell Singers, a 49-voice choral ensemble from Grinnell College, will present concerts in churches in Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, Jackson, Miss., and Houston as part of a spring break tour, March 18-24.

The centerpiece of the Singers’ concert repertoire is the Mar. 19 premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’ “Anything Can Happen,” a five-movement work setting the poetry of Seamus Heaney and biblical verses in Arabic. The choir will be accompanied in this special commission project by violist Christine Rutledge, professor of music at the University of Iowa.

The concert also includes music by Josquin des Prez; Monteverdi; a rousing work from Cuba, “El Almuercero;” a playful work with percussion by the Latvian composer Vaclovas Augustinas; a gospel-styled setting of a Whitman text, “My Spirit is Uncaged;” richly expressive works by Rachmaninov and Rheinberger; and a work by Grinnell senior Michael Maiorana.

Directed by Professor of Music John Rommereim, the Singers’ tour schedule will include:

Mar. 18, 4 p.m.: Church of St. Paul & The Redeemer, 4945 S. Dorchester Ave., Chicago, Ill.

Mar. 19, 7:30 p.m.: Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago, Ill., with the premiere of the Fairouz work

Mar. 20, 7:30 p.m.: St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 808 North Mason Rd., Creve Coeur, Mo.

Mar. 22, 7 p.m.: Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 655 Beasley Rd., Jackson, Miss., with the Grinnell Young, Gifted and Black Gospel Choir

Mar. 23, 7 p.m.: Trinity Church, 1329 Jackson Ave., New Orleans, La.

Mar. 24, 5 p.m.: Brentwood Baptist Church, 13033 Landmark Dr., Houston, Tex., with the Grinnell Young, Gifted and Black Gospel Choir

The Singers will also perform a “home from tour” concert with composer Fairouz in attendance on Sat., Apr. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Sebring-Lewis Hall, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, on the Grinnell College campus. “Anything Can Happen” was commissioned by Grinnell College through the generous support of the Curd Fund, Cantori New York’s Jeffrey D. Silver Fund, the Back Bay Chorale, and the Marsh Chapel Choir of Boston University.

Known for their innovative and adventurous choral programming, the Grinnell Singers have premiered more than 20 choral works in the past five years, under Rommereim’s direction. Rommereim is active as a composer, singer, and scholar whose work is centered in the areas of Russian choral music and early music performance. Each year the choir presents concerts across the U.S. and has traveled to Estonia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. The group has also been invited to perform at two regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. For more information about Grinnell Singers, go tohttp://www.grinnell.edu/academic/music/ensembles/singers.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.


Educational programming for "Sandow Birk's American Qur'an" continues in March

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Public events surrounding Faulconer Gallery’s showing of “Sandow Birk’s American Qur’an” continue in March on the Grinnell College campus. The Faulconer Gallery exhibition includes 85 panels of handwritten English translations and handpainted illustrations of the sacred text. Six of the panels in the exhibition are part of Grinnell College’s permanent art collection. The exhibition, organized by The Andy Warhol Museum of Pittsburgh, will be on view through Mar. 18.

The educational programming events, organized by Tilly Woodward, curator of academic and public outreach, provide opportunities “to learn about Islam, everyday American life, cultural differences and commonalities,” Woodward said. All of the events sponsored by Faulconer Gallery are free, open to the public, and located in the gallery unless otherwise noted:

• Feb. 28, 4:15 p.m.: Gallery talk by artist Sandow Birk, discussing his ongoing project.

• Mar. 1, 4:15 p.m.: Author Michael Muhammad Knight will read from and discuss “The Taqwacores,” about the Islamic punk music scene. Co-sponsored by Writers@Grinnell, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Center for the Humanities.

• Mar. 2, 4:15 p.m.: Panel discussion by author Knight, film director Omar Majeed, and musicians from Pakistani-American punk rock band The Kominas, who will talk about evolving Islamic punk culture in the U.S.

• Mar. 2, 7 p.m.: Screening of “Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam,” followed by a director’s talk. The feature documentary traces the progression of the Muslim Punk scene. Co-sponsored by Cultural Films Committee, Student Government Association Films, Department of Religious Studies, and the Center for the Humanities.

• Mar. 7, 4:15 p.m.: Gallery talk by artist Harrell Fletcher on socially engaged and collaborative interdisciplinary projects. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art and the Center for the Humanities.

• Mar. 8, 4:15 p.m.: Workshop led by Fletcher exploring art and social practice. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art and the Center for the Humanities. Bucksbaum Rotunda.

• Mondays and Thursdays through Mar. 15, 12:15-12:50 p.m.: Yoga with Monica St. Angelo. Co-sponsored by Live Well Grinnell. Mats provided for beginners and experienced practitioners.

Faulconer Gallery, located in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St. on the Grinnell campus, is open Tuesday-Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m., Thursday-Friday, noon to 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; closed Monday. For more information about the exhibition and related programs, call 641-269-4660 or visitwww.grinnell.edu/faulconergallery.


Briefly: upcoming events

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - >Broken Mirrors on stage Mar. 8-10

Broken Mirrors, three short stories by Salman Rushdie, will be performed by an ensemble of 15 in Flanagan Theatre, Thur., Mar. 8, Fri., Mar. 9, and Sat.,Mar. 10 at 7.30 p.m.  The Sun., Mar. 11 performance is at 2 p.m.  Tickets are free at the Bucksbaum box office starting at noon, Mon., Mar. 5. 

  Adapted and directed by Lesley Delmenico, associate professor of theatre and dance, the three stories are set in imaginative and conflict-laden times and places: following the 1964 theft of a religious relic in Kashmir, in a dystopic near future in New York where everything is for sale, and in the swinging but also anti-immigrant London of the 1960s, where Rushdie came of age.   The production includes violent subjects and adult language.

Festival of Humanities Mar. 6-9


Grinnell’s first Festival of Humanities, Mar. 6-9, will include two key speakers and a wide range of student presenters. On Tues., Mar. 6, Richard Handler, director of the Program in Global Development Studies at the University of Virginia, will give a talk on “Global Development Studies in a Liberal Arts Curriculum: Humanistic Approaches to Global Modernities” at 4:15 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center.  Handler served as dean of the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia between 2000 and 2010. He is a cultural anthropologist whose research interests include nationalism, ethnicity and the politics of culture.

On Wed., Mar. 7, Harrell Fletcher, associate professor of art and social practice at Portland State University, will give a 4:15 p.m. gallery talk in Faulconer Gallery on making public art.   Fletcher will also lead a social practice workshop on Thurs. at 4:15 p.m. in the Bucksbaum Rotunda. Fletcher has produced a variety of socially engaged, collaborative and interdisciplinary projects since the early 1990s, including work shown at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the San Francisco Bay area, The Sculpture Center, The Wrong Gallery, Apex Art, and Smackmellon in New York City, and the Seattle Art Museum. His lecture is co-sponsored by the Art Department, Center for Humanities, and Faulconer Gallery. 

Student presentations begin on Thurs. at 11 a.m. in JRC 101 and continue through Fri. p.m. in various campus locations. Topics range from “Deciphering the Source” to “Culture and Hybridity” and “Telling Stories, Making Music,” among others.

Questions about the Festival of Humanities? Contact Shuchi Kapila, director, Center for the Humanities, kapilas@grinnell.edu, 641-269-3655.

Early Music from Aula Harmoniae Baroque Trio


New York-based baroque trio Aula Harmoniae will perform on Tues., Mar. 13, at 7:30 p.m., in Sebring-Lewis Hall of Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. The early music trio includes Sang Joon Park on flauto traverso, Martha McGaughey on viola da gamba, and Arthur Haas on harpsichord. The group made its debut in 2009 at the Boston Early Music Festival and is dedicated to a repertoire of Renaissance and classical works.

Advisory: Social Entrepreneurs group finalist in White House competition

Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

The Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell (SEG), a student-run nonprofit microfinance lending organization at Grinnell College, is one of 15 finalists in the White House “Campus Champions of Change Challenge.”

SEG was chosen from more than 1,400 submissions and is the only small college finalist and the only from Iowa. The Campus Champions of Change initiative highlights innovative ideas on college campuses across the country and aims to inspire others to get involved in their communities.

In its five years of operation, SEG has expanded from providing international loans in remote communities to also working to improve conditions in local communities. The microfinance organization has loaned more than $37,000 to 44 countries, with $13,000 going to 25 individuals in the Grinnell area.

The project selected for the competition—SEG’s Local Loans Project—provides emergency, no-interest microloans to individuals for medical expenses, automobile repairs, education, and repayment of high-interest loans from payday loan sharks.

Voting for the Challenge continues until Sat., Mar. 3 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The top five finalists will be invited to an event at the White House, will be featured on mtvU and MTV Act, and the overall winner will host an episode of mtvU’s signature program, “The Dean’s List.”

To speak to a SEG student coordinator, please contact Cindy Deppe, communications, deppec@grinnell.edu, 641-269-4834.


Adult Community Exploration Series (ACES) offered by faculty this summer

Thursday, May. 26, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College will offer the Adult Community Exploration Series (ACES) throughout the summer with courses taught by faculty in anthropology, biology and French. The free courses, co-sponsored by the Community Education Council and Grinnell College, will be held on Wednesday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Pioneer Room of the college's Old Glove Factory, located at 733 Broad Street in Grinnell. Registration is requested to assist instructors in preparing for class needs. To register, send email to calendar@grinnell.edu, or call 641-269-3178.

Courses for summer 2011 include:

“Americans in Paris: Through the Looking Glass”

June 15, 22

Taught by Jan Gross, professor of French, and Dan Gross, director of the Alternate Language Study Option (ALSO) Program

As an international meeting place for revolutionary and artistic movements, and a refuge from racial, gender and political barriers, Paris has been many things to many Americans. This course will examine the myths and realities associated with the City of Light through literary readings, films, memoirs, essays and sites of American interest.

Jan and Dan Gross have been regular visitors to Paris for more than 40 years. Jan, who is Seth Richards Professor in Modern Languages, has taught French at Grinnell since 1977. Her area of research is contemporary performance and how theatre expresses identity. She taught a tutorial for first-year students on the ACES topic. Dan specializes in language self-instruction and pedagogy. He created the college’s self-instructional ALSO program and serves as an officer of the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs.

“Vaccinations and Society”

June 29, July 6

Taught by Shannon Hinsa-Leasure, assistant professor of biology

Class participants will discuss many aspects of vaccinations, including the discovery of vaccines, compliance and non-compliance with recommended guidelines, and the responsibility to provide effective low-cost vaccines to the world. Discussions will include how race, gender and religion influence choices.

Shannon Hinsa-Leasure holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Dartmouth Medical School. Her research investigates traits important for bacterial survival in the extreme environment of the Siberian permafrost; specifically, she examines the genes necessary for bacteria to attach to surfaces and form biofilms under a variety of environmental conditions.

“Rethinking Local History for the Sake of a Local Future”

July 13, 20

Taught by Jon Andelson, professor of anthropology and director, Center for Prairie Studies Small-town Iowa has a past that deserves to be preserved and remembered. But does small-town Iowa have a future? What will the future be? Does the past we remember have anything to do with the future we create? The class will explore these questions while sharing and rethinking local history.

Jon Andelson, Rosenfield Professor of Social Science, studies intentional communities, the relationship between humans and nature, sustainability, agriculture and religion. He is currently working on a book about the Amana culture and history. Jon co-founded the Grinnell Area Local Foods Alliance, served on the Imagine Grinnell board, and serves on the board of Grinnell-Newburg Educational Excellence.

“The French Revolution: History and Present-day Consequences”

July 27, Aug. 3

Taught by David Harrison, associate professor of French, and director, Center for International Studies This class will explore how religion, democracy, elitism and state authority emerged during the French Revolution and Enlightenment. Harrison will lead the class in discussion of how these ideas apply and are contested in contemporary France.

David Harrison teaches French and the literature and culture of the 17th and 18th centuries. He has published scholarly articles on French writers of these periods and is currently researching the 17th century French novel. As director of the Center for International Studies, he oversees initiatives to increase the global dimensions of student and faculty work.


Local foundation contributes to recreation, playground at new preschool lab

Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Area preschoolers who attend the Grinnell College Preschool Laboratory just got a new playdate—the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation.

The Foundation, which supports Grinnell community projects in education, health, and parks and recreation, will contribute $41,000 to the new preschool’s playground and recreation area. The playground equipment installation brings the new facility in the 1000 block of Park St. one step closer to opening in late January, at the beginning of second semester.

“Our founder, Claude Ahrens, believed in recreational experiences for children beginning at early ages. This gift honors his legacy and our mission of community development and recreational opportunities,” said Foundation President Julie Gosselink.

The preschool, directed by Karen Veerhusen-Langerud, serves approximately 50 local children each year and is a real-time laboratory for approximately 100 Grinnell College psychology students who observe and interact with the preschoolers for introductory coursework. An additional 20-40 upper-level college students conduct developmental psychology research projects there.

The new $1.75 million preschool laboratory, expected to be completed in early January, features areas for large and small motor skills, a classroom with in-floor heating, an observation room, meeting and research spaces, and an entryway with open courtyard.

Monica Chavez-Silva, director of community enhancement and engagement for the college, expressed the importance of community partnerships in projects like the new preschool. “The Ahrens Foundation gift is a wonderful example of the productive collaborations we are fortunate to have in Grinnell. We are very grateful to the Foundation for recognizing the benefits of this new high-quality facility for our community’s preschoolers and in support of inquiry-based learning by our psychology students.”

The popular laboratory program is currently housed in a 1970s-style building at 1207 Park St. which will be removed next summer. Furnishings and materials will be moved into the new building during winter break.


Board of Trustees elects new officers, re-elects eight members

Wednesday, May. 25, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - The Grinnell College Board of Trustees elected new officers and re-elected eight trustees to four-year terms at its spring meeting.

Clint Korver '89Clinton D. “Clint” Korver, a 1989 Grinnell graduate and venture capitalist from Atherton, Calif., was elected chair of the board, serving a two-year term. Elected as vice chairs were Laura Ferguson, a 1990 Grinnell graduate and Grinnell, Ia., family physician, and Paul Risser, a 1961 Grinnell graduate and nationally recognized biologist and university administrator from Norman, Okla.

 Re-elected to the board were:

  •  Robert F. Austin, a 1954 graduate and retired Houston, Tex., pediatrician,
  •  Kihwan Kim of Seoul, Korea, who leads the Seoul Financial Forum and is a 1957 graduate,
  •  Susan Holden McCurry, board member of the Holden Family Foundation and a 1971 graduate from Coralville, Ia., and Naples, Fla., o Karen Shaff, executive vice-president and general counsel of Principal Financial Group, Des Moines,
  •  Joel Spiegel of Woodinville, Wash., a 1978 graduate and retired vice-president of Amazon.com,
  •  David White, national executive director of the Screen Actors Guild, Los Angeles, and a 1990 graduate, and o Ferguson and Risser, who were also re-elected to four-year terms.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.


Writers@Grinnell hosts sportswriter Marty Dobrow Feb. 16

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 4:00 pm

Grinnell, IA - Writers@Grinnell expects to increase its RBI with a Feb. 16 reading by noted sportswriter Marty Dobrow. The author of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Six Minor Leaguers in Search of the Baseball Dream” and “Going Bigtime: The Spectacular Rise of UMass Basketball” will read from his books and talk about his lifelong passion for sports at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell College campus. During a 4:15 p.m. roundtable discussion with Grinnell students, Dobrow will talk about the sportswriting craft for which he has received numerous national awards.

On Feb. 24, fantasy and short story writer Kevin Brockmeier will read from his published works which include two children’s novels, two fantasy novels, and two story collections. The Little Rock, Ark.-based writer is teaching a short course in fiction writing at Grinnell, as well as teaching at the University of Iowa this semester. Brockmeier will read at 8 p.m. in Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

In April, Writers@Grinnell will continue with weekly activities featuring Shakespeare, novelists, poets, and memorists. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar@grinnell.edu.


Writers@Grinnell kicks off fall semester programming

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011 4:30 pm

Grinnell, IA - Writers@Grinnell will open its fall semester program with a reading by novelist and faculty member Dean Bakopoulos on Thurs., Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell College campus.

Bakopoulos’ latest novel, “My American Unhappiness,” was reviewed this summer by the Los Angeles Times and Wall St. Journal and listed as the “#1 Title to Pick Up Now.” He is currently at work on a television series based on his first novel, “Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon,” set in his hometown of Detroit. Bakopoulos is a member of the Grinnell English faculty and also teaches in the creative writing and environment program at Iowa State University.

Poet Nell Regan will read on Sept. 13 from her debut collection, “Preparing for Spring,” reviewed as a “stingingly clear outdoor light.” Regan has also published historical biography in “Female Activists: Irish Women and Change.” Regan will read in Room 102 of Alumni Recitation Hall.

On Sept. 29, author Ed Pavlic will read from his most recent books, “But Here Are Small Clear Refractions,” “Winners Have Yet to be Announced,” and “Labors Lost Left Unfinished.” Pavlic’s works have drawn recognition from the African American Review, the American Poetry Review, and the Georgia Writers Association.

Non-fiction writer Susanne Antonetta will discuss her work in the fields of environment, mental health, diversity, spirituality, and the sciences during a reading on Oct. 6 co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies concentration. Antonetta is the author of “Body Toxic,” a New York Times Notable Book, as well as four books of poetry under her legal name Suzanne Paola and a soon-to-be released book on adoption titled “Inventing Family.”

All Writers@Grinnell events will be held at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, 1115 8th Ave. on the Grinnell College campus, unless otherwise noted. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar@grinnell.edu.