A pair of historians and authors, a collegiate theatre festival and a quartet of poets highlight the fall schedule for the University of the Ozarks’ 22nd annual Walton Arts & Ideas Series.
The series, which was established in 1992, brings programs and events to campus “to enrich the quality of life and cultural appreciation in the Ozarks region through the introduction of the arts at their finest.” The series is funded by the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.
There are a total of eight events on the fall portion of the 2013-2014 Walton Arts & Ideas Series schedule. All of the events have free admission and are open to the public.
“We feel like we’ve got a very diverse group of speakers and events lined up this year,” said WAIS Coordinator Dr. William Clary, who is also an associate professor of Spanish at Ozarks. “We really wanted to bring in speakers who are well known and respected in their fields and who people would not otherwise get to see and hear from. And to be able to provide free admission to the public is an added bonus. We’re excited about this lineup.”
Among the speakers for the 2013 Fall Semester are two renowned authors and historians, Dr. Dario Euraque and Stephen Kinzer.
Euraque, an Honduran author and scholar of modern Central America, will kick of the 2013-2014 series on Thursday, Sept. 12, with a lecture titled “The Current Restructuring of Economic Power, Elites, and States in Central America & the Coup in Honduras of 2009.” Euraque has written extensively about 19th- and 20th-century Honduran history. He is the former director of the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History and is currently a professor of history and international studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.
Kinzer, who teaches international relations at Boston University, will speak on Wednesday, Nov. 6. He is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on five continents. His articles and books have led the Washington Post to place him “among the best in popular foreign policy storytelling.: His new book is: “The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War.” During the 1950s, when the Cold War was at its peak, two immensely powerful brothers led the United States into a series of foreign adventures whose effects are still shaking the world. In 2003 Kinzer published “All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror.” It tells how the CIA overthrew Iran’s nationalist government in 1953. Kinzer spent more than 20 years working for the New York Times, most of it as a foreign correspondent.
From Oct. 24-26, Ozarks will host the Arkansas Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, which will feature universities from throughout Arkansas. The theatre programs will be presenting fully-staged productions in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Each production will be viewed by out-of-state respondents who will recommend at least one production be considered for entry in the Region VI festival. The Region VI area includes colleges and universities from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
On the evenings of Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, four poets will present readings from their work as part of Poetry Week. Highlighting the event will be an appearance from the husband and wife duo of C.D. Wright and Forrest Gander of Rhode Island. A native of Mountain Home, Ark., Wright is a professor of literary arts at Brown University. She has published over a dozen books, including “Rising, Falling, Hovering (2008)”; “Like Something Flying Backwards: New and Selected Poems (2007)”; and a text edition of “One Big Self: An Investigation (2003),” a project she undertook with photographer Deborah Luster to document Louisiana inmates. She has also published several book-length poems, including the critically acclaimed “Deepstep Come Shining (1998).” Born in California’s Mojave Desert, poet Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and attended the College of William & Mary, where he majored in geology. After receiving an MA in literature from San Francisco State University, Gander moved to Mexico, then to Arkansas, where his poetry—informed by his knowledge of geology—turned its attention to landscape as foreground or source of action. Gander’s books of poetry include “Eye Against Eye (2005),” “Torn Awake (2001),” and “Science & Steepleflower (1998).” Also expected to participate are poets Jack Heflin, a professor of English at the University of Louisiana in Monroe, and former Missouri Poet Laureate Walter Bargen.
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Habitat for Humanity Ambassador at Large Dr. Thomas “Tom” Jones will speak. As ambassador-at-large, Jones represents Habitat for Humanity in presentations to individuals and groups. He offers particular insight into Habitat’s history as well as its interfaith and advocacy initiatives. As the staff leader for Habitat’s interfaith exploration, he guides efforts to bring together religious faiths whose theologies call members to care for the poor, with decent housing as a core issue in overcoming poverty. He is the author of many articles and two books, including “The Power Behind the Hammer,” a collection of prayers written for Habitat’s senior leadership team.
On Saturday, Nov. 9, Reel Arkansas will present a screening of documentary and independent films as well as hold a panel discussion. Reel Arkansas is made up of the state’s finest artists, filmmakers, photographers, writers, actors and designer, and its mission is to bond Arkansas artists of all ages together and create an outlet for talent, support, criticism, and creativity. Among those scheduled to be at Ozarks are Reel Arkansas founder Jennifer Mazzacane, a producer, screenwriter, and editor; Reel Arkansas President Jasmine Greer, a director, graphic artist, screenwriter, and editor; and actress and acting coach Courtney Bennett, who has appeared in more than 45 stage and screen productions in Arkansas, Chicago, and Italy. Among the events planned are a screening of films from students and staff as well as Mazzacane and Greer from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a panel discussion at 7 p.m.
On Monday, Nov. 11, environmental activist and writer Severn Cullis-Suzuki will speak on campus. Cullis-Suzuki is known as “The Girl Who Silenced the World.” At 12 years old, she silenced world leaders at the 1992 UN Rio Earth Summit with her address that now has over 26 million views on YouTube. She is a champion for environmental and has published several books in Japan. She is a co-editor and contributor for the book “Notes from Canada’s Young Activists (2007).”
The fall schedule concludes on Monday, Dec. 9, with Juan Martinez’s talk titled, “A Bridge Between Nature and the Streets.” Martinez is a national spokesman for the importance of getting youth into the outdoors, an ambassador for The North Face, director of leadership development and natural leaders network for the Children & Nature Network, a recipient of Congresswoman Hilda Solis’ Environmental Youth Leadership Award, and a recipient of the Breaking the Color Barrier’s “Looking to the Future” Award. Martinez’s passion to empower individuals and youth led him to direct Sierra Club’s first environmental justice youth leadership academy in Los Angeles.
The spring schedule of the 2013-2014 Walton series will be announced in January.