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Fall Arts Celebration to offer free events of art, music, dance, poetry and more

  • Aerial Dance Chicago performers
  • Photo of art from exhibit
  • Photo of Jeffrey Chang
  • Jane Hirshfield
  • Dan Gerber
  • A painting of the holiday season in France

Posted on August 15, 2017

Acrobatic dancers flying through the air, reflections on resegregation, holiday music from France, a collection of Middle Eastern artifacts 50 years in the making, and much more will dazzle audiences during this year's Fall Arts Celebration at Grand Valley.

For the past 13 years, West Michigan audiences have experienced a series of six free events each fall, including an art exhibition, academic lecture, holiday celebration and showcases of dance, music and poetry. These events are meant as gifts to the West Michigan community, which has supported the growth of Grand Valley over the years.

"Grand Valley owes it to our constituencies to enliven, and even uplift, the community; it’s part of being a neighbor, but it’s also part of representing how dynamic the intellectual and cultural life is on our campuses," said Fred Antczak, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "Those values are robustly represented in this year's Falls Arts Celebration through a great variety, with new ideas and approaches in the arts and humanities commingling with old favorites."

Below is the full schedule of Fall Arts Celebration events. For more information, visit gvsu.edu/fallarts.

MUSIC
“The Timeless Genius of Mozart: The Grand Partita, KV 361”
September 11, at 7:30 p.m.
Louis Armstrong Theatre, Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts, Allendale Campus
*Concert will be preceded by a carillon concert at 7:10 p.m. featuring Julianne Vanden Wyngaard, university carilloneur, and followed by a reception.

In the time of Mozart, serenades were considered dinner music, only to be performed at upper-class parties, military events, court functions and other social events. Mozart’s “Serenade in B-Flat Major, KV 361, the Grand Partita” transcended that limiting category to become one of the composer’s most beloved compositions, and the wind band genre’s earliest masterpiece. Danny Phipps, Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance chair, said that Mozart’s largest, and arguably most innovative instrumental work, is a pioneering piece of symphonic scope that employs a full range of wind instruments throughout the score. For this performance, Lowell Graham, former commander and conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band, Washington D.C., will return to West Michigan to lead an ensemble of Grand Valley faculty and staff, including Phipps (bassoon), Arthur Campbell (clarinet), Marlen Vavrikova (oboe), Sarah Constable (oboe), and three alumni from Campbell's clarinet studio. Members of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra will join the ensemble as well.

ART
“Afghanistan to Morocco: Journeys of Jim and Virginia Goode”
Exhibition reception: September 18, from 5-7 p.m.
Art Gallery, Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts, Allendale Campus
Exhibition Dates: August 25–October 27

Jim Goode, professor of history at Grand Valley State University, and his wife, Virginia, have explored 11 countries throughout the Middle East for business and pleasure over the past 50 years. They have also taken great satisfaction in introducing more than 100 Grand Valley students, faculty, staff members and friends to the people, cultures and landscapes of this area of the world. Along their adventures, the duo has collected a wide variety of ceramics, rugs, textiles and other everyday artifacts — most representing simple instruments of daily life in these regions of the world. During the art exhibition, “Afghanistan to Morocco: Journeys of Jim and Virginia Goode,” many of these acquired items will be on display for the first time in Grand Valley’s Art Gallery.

LECTURE
“We Gon’ Be Alright: Race and Resegregation in Today’s America”
Presented by Jeffrey Chang
October 9, at 7:30 p.m.
L.V. Eberhard Center, 2nd floor, Pew Grand Rapids Campus
*Lecture followed by reception and book signing

During a time when race is at the forefront of many national headlines and social media news feeds, social historian and author Jeffrey Chang will discuss how resegregation is quietly pushing the U.S. back to the days before 1954’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Many of Chang’s thoughts and ideas about resegregation, which is the renewal of segregation among systems like housing and education, will reflect those found in his new book, We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation. Chang claims that if policies of resegregation can be removed from the conversation, which activist groups such as Black Lives Matter are attempting to do, America can become a thriving, prosperous and equitable place for everyone.

POETRY
“An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Jane Hirshfield and Dan Gerber”
October 26, at 7:30 p.m.
L.V. Eberhard Center, 2nd floor, Pew Grand Rapids Campus
*Reading followed by reception and book signing

Jane Hirshfield has penned many collections of poetry and prose, including The Beauty, Come Thief, The Lives of the Heart, The October Palace and Given Sugar, Given Salt. Her book, After, was shortlisted for England’s T.S. Eliot Prize and named a “Best Book of 2006” by the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and London Financial Times. In the fall of 2004, she was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by the Academy of American Poets, which is an honor formerly held by Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams and Elizabeth Bishop. 
Dan Gerber, a native of Fremont, Michigan, is the author of a dozen books of poetry, fiction and essays. His most recent books of poems include Particles: New & Selected Poems and Sailing through Cassiopeia. His work has received ForeWord Magazine’s Gold Medal Award, a Mark Twain Award for distinguished contribution to Midwest literature, a Michigan Author Award and a Michigan Notable Book Award. He is also the co-founder of the literary magazine Sumac.

DANCE
“Celebrating Originality: Defying Gravity with Aerial Dance Chicago”
November 6, at 7:30 p.m.
Louis Armstrong Theatre, Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts, Allendale Campus
*Concert will be preceded by a carillon concert at 7:10 p.m. featuring Julianne Vanden Wyngaard, university carilloneur, and followed by a reception.

Fall Arts Celebration will transcend the traditional dance floor and fly into the sky when Aerial Dance Chicago (ADC) presents a new world of athleticism coupled with an elegant showcase of dancing in the air. A pioneer and an international leader in aerial dance, ADC showcases original choreography and performance by launching itself into the creative possibilities found in a vertical realm. During the company’s Fall Arts Celebration performance, ADC will incorporate a variety of apparatus, including suspended fabrics, bungee cords, hoops, swings and ropes.

HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
“Noël, Noël, Joyeux Noël: A Celebration of French Music for the Holiday Season”
December 4, at 7:30 p.m.
Fountain Street Church (24 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI)

Fall Arts Celebration will celebrate the holiday season with music from France with a large symphony orchestra performing selections including Renaissance composer Guillaume Du Fay’s “Magnificat,” Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria,” and France’s most beloved holiday carols, including “Pat-a-pan, Il est né, le divin Enfant” and “Minuit, Chrétiens” (O Holy Night). The GVSU Symphony Orchestra will accompany a 90-member chorus, including Grand Valley’s University Arts Chorale and high school choir students from East Grand Rapids and Hudsonville.  The processional will spotlight eight Grand Valley dance majors who will be dancing in the aisles. The Grand Rapids Symphony Junior Youth Chorus will also be featured, and Ashley Neumann, ’08, will return to perform as soprano soloist in Poulenc’s “Gloria.”