Arts, sciences spotlighted in Butler lecture series

Along with the Visiting Writers Series and the Center for and Faith and Vocation Series, Butler brings even more diversity to the 2010- 11 lineup by including the Arts Lecture Series and the Woods Lecture Series. In this issue, we spotlight the last two of the four lecture series.

The Leadership through the Arts Lecture Series

Butler’s Leadership through the Arts series focuses on bringing in speakers from various art-related fields. The series has three speakers spaced out through the fall and spring semesters.

“We bring speakers from a variety of areas in the arts to share with us their expertise,” Jordan College of Fine Arts Interim Dean Michelle Jarvis said. Jarvis is currently program coordinator for the series.

“They can share with us the sense of the profession as it is today,” she said.

The series introduces students to various disciplines of art in an interactive way.

Jarvis said JCFA continues to train and teach students using traditional methods, but “as our community changes and our economy changes, the arts have to be on top of how all this is going to happen.

“Hopefully, through the Leadership through the Arts forum we are able to gather that kind of information,” she said.

This year’s three speakers will be Larry Todd, musicologist and professor of music at Duke University (Sep. 29); Cameo Carlson, executive vice president of Universal Motown Republic Group (Feb. 10); and Ralph Lemon, artistic director of Cross Performance (Mar. 23).

Each speaker brings his own expertise and experience to the series.

“Each one is so very different,” Jarvis said. “They will be highlighting several areas in the arts and showcasing them for the audience. “Larry Todd will lead the way into our Schumann festival, which is going on next weekend.

“Mr. Mellon is a theater person, but one who’s very involved in choreography, very involved in dance, sort of interfaces the two together.”

The process of putting together the speakers series is a collaborative effort. “We work as a college and everyone is asked who they would like to bring,” Jarvis said.

The speakers this year reflect the changing nature of the arts and bring a sense of the real world to students looking to pursue careers in the arts.

“[The arts] are going to be integrated and collaborative,”  Jarvis said. “They’re going to interface with each other. They’re going to be interactive.”

The J. James Woods Lecture Series

The Woods Lecture Series in Science and Mathematics seeks to bring together a diverse collective of speakers in both fields.

This semester’s lectures started off Monday with Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, winner of the Indianapolis Prize from the Indianapolis Zoo.

It will be followed by two more events in the fall semester and a full repertoire in the spring.

“The purpose of the Woods lecture series is to bring prominent mathematicians and scientists to campus,” Marjorie Hennessy, program coordinator for the series, said.

The next event takes place Tuesday, Oct. 21 at Clowes Memorial Hall. It will feature two speakers, Bob Berkebile
and David Orr.

“We’re doing [a lecture] with the Center for Urban Ecology,” Hennessy said. “[Berkebile] is an architect and he’s one of the founding members of the certification program for buildings and architecture in the United States Green Building Council.

“He’s coming along with [Orr], who is a professor at Oberlin College.”

Many of the speakers try to address real-life issues for which their field offers constructive solutions.

For instance, Hennessy said that Berkebile and Orr are, “going to be talking about carbon-positive initiatives and how Indianapolis could benefit from changing the way we do standard business.”

The third and final speaker this fall will be Bill Newman on Nov. 8. Newman is involved in the field of chymistry— a combination of alchemy and early chemistry.

Newman has studied the work of Isaac Newton, who performed various experiments in chymistry as well.

“He is going to recreate some of these historic experiments for the audience,” Hennessy said.

The presentations will be preceded by a networking opportunity for interested students, followed by a panel discussion on the topic presented.

The faculty who prepare the lecture series consult a variety of different sources.

“They see what’s going on and what’s current and they all bring their own ideas,” Hennessy said.

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