Post-spring break brings humanitarian and ISO music director

While March will not see another NCAA men’s basketball tournament run for Butler, the university has no shortage of exciting events coming up this month, including visits from actress-humanitarian America Ferrera and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra music director Krzysztof Urbanski.

America Ferrera has won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award, but she comes to Butler on March 20 to speak about a passion other than acting: social activism.

Ferrera has actively raised money for organizations such as Save the Children, for which she brought in more than $44,000 to help fund a new school in Mali. She also speaks at events across the nation.

“I believe in the deep impact that a single individual can make in other people’s lives,” Ferrera wrote to the El Paso Times earlier this month before a speaking engagement benefitting the El Paso Children’s Hospital.

“The fact that my celebrity [status] gives me a platform to stand on is a huge advantage to bring light to the issues I care about,” she said.

The issues Ferrera has supported are incredibly diverse. She is a co-chair of the United Farm Workers’ 50th anniversary celebration along with a host of politicians and other actors; she is an artist ambassador for Save the Children; and she publicly addresses issues concerning education, women’s health, minority empowerment and the importance of “giving back.”

Ferrera is being brought to Butler University as part of the Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series. She will speak at 7:30 p.m. on March 20 in Clowes Memorial Hall.

Krzysztof Urbanski, the 29-year-old conductor who became music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in the fall, is making the trip northward from Hilbert Circle Theatre to be a speaker in the Jordan College of Fine Arts’ Leadership Through the Arts Forum on March 21.

Urbanski will be speaking about his career and his plans for the future of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with JCFA Dean Ronald Caltabiano.

Urbanski was born in Poland and rose quickly to prominence as a conductor. He was named first prize winner of the Prague Spring International Conducting Competition the same year that he graduated from the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw.

Since then, he has worked with the world’s top orchestras, including the Concertgebouw, the Warsaw Philharmonic and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

The mission of the Leadership Through the Arts Forum is to bring “visionary leaders who advance the arts through innovation and individuality” to campus.

This will be Urbanski’s first visit to Butler University. He is an adjunct professor of conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington.

The event will be held in the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. on March 21. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

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