Arts Summer 2017

A celebration of the arts

15th annual series offers six events to West Michigan

by Matthew Makowski

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 and delight audiences during this year’s Fall Arts Celebration.

For the past 14 years, audiences have experienced a series of six free events each fall at Grand Valley. These events are meant to be gifts to the West Michigan community, which has supported the growth of the university over the years, said Fred Antczak, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“Grand Valley owes it to our constituencies to enliven, and even uplift, the community; it’s part of being a good neighbor, but it’s also part of representing how dynamic the intellectual and cultural life is here on our campus,” Antczak said. “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.”

Music: "The Timeless Genius of Mozart: The Grand Partita, KV 361"

Monday, September 11, 7:30 p.m.

• “Grand Partita” is one of Mozart’s most beloved compositions, and the wind band genre’s earliest masterpiece.

• In Mozart’s time, serenades were considered “dinner music” to be performed only at upper-class parties, military events, court functions and other social events.

• The ensemble will be composed of Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra members and Grand Valley faculty and staff, including Danny Phipps (bassoon), Arthur Campbell (clarinet), Marlen Vavrikova (oboe), Sarah Constable (oboe), and three alumni.

• Lowell Graham, former commander and conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band, Washington, D.C., will conduct the ensemble.

music score

Monday, September 11, 7:30 p.m.; Louis Armstrong Theatre, Thomas J. And Marcia J. Haas Center For Performing Arts


Monday, September 18, 5-7 p.m.; Art Gallery, Thomas J. And Marcia J. Haas Center For Performing Arts; exhibition open through October 27 


Art: “Afghanistan to Morocco: Journeys of Jim and Virginia Goode”

Monday, September 18, 5-7 p.m.

• Jim Goode, professor of history, and his wife, Virginia, have explored 11 countries throughout the Middle East over the past 50 years.

• 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 this exhibition, many of these acquired items will be on display for the first time in Grand Valley’s Art Gallery.

• Goode helped establish Grand Valley’s Middle East studies program and has led study abroad programs to Egypt and Turkey.

Lecture: “We Gon’ Be Alright: Race and Resegregation in Today’s America”

Monday, October 9, 7:30 p.m.

• Jeffrey Chang asserts that if polices of resegregation end, America can become a thriving, prosperous and equitable place for everyone.

• Resegregation: the renewal of segregation among systems like housing and education.

• Chang is the executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, and has written extensively on the intersection of race, art and civil rights, and the sociopolitical forces that guided the hip-hop generation.

• Chang’s thoughts presented during this event will reflect the ideas in his new book, We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation.

headshot Jeffrey Change

Monday, October 9, 7:30 p.m.; Eberhard Center, second floor, Pew Grand Rapids Campus 

aerial dancers

Monday, November 6, 7:30 p.m.; Louis Armstrong Theatre, Thomas J. And Marcia J. Haas Center For Performing Arts


Dance: “Celebrating Originality: Defying Gravity with Aerial Dance Chicago”

Monday, November 6, 7:30 p.m.

• A pioneer and an international leader in aerial dance, Aerial Dance Chicago (ADC) is dedicated to presenting original choreography and performance in the field.

• ADC incorporates a variety of apparatus into performances, including suspended fabrics, bungee cords, hoops, swings and ropes.

• Aerial dance first became popular as a type of modern dance in the U.S. during the early 1970s.

• Founded in 1999, ADC is currently the only dance company in the Chicago region dedicated to choreography and performance of aerial dance.



For more information about Fall Arts Celebration, visit

POETRY: “An Evening of Poetry and Conversation with Jane Hirshfield and Dan Gerber”

Thursday, October 26, 7:30 p.m.

• Acclaimed poets Jane Hirshfield and Dan Gerber both focus on the intricacies of ordinary life.

• Hirshfield has penned many collections of poetry and prose, including The Beauty; Come Thief; The Lives of the Heart; Given Sugar, Given Salt; and The October Palace.

• In 2004, Hirshfield was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement, which is an honor formerly held by Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams and Elizabeth Bishop.

• Gerber, a native of Fremont, and co-founder of the literary magazine Sumac, is the author of a dozen books of poetry, fiction and essays, including Particles: New & Selected Poems and Sailing through Cassiopeia.

woman, man headshots

Thursday, October 26, 7:30 p.m.; Eberhard Center, second floor, Pew Grand Rapids Campus 

holiday scene

Monday, December 4, 7:30 p.m.; Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids

HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: “Noël, Noël, Joyeux Noël: A Celebration of French Music for the Holiday Season”

Monday, December 4, 7:30 p.m.

• Enjoy our holiday gift as you listen to the GVSU Symphony Orchestra accompanied by a 90-member chorus involving the University Arts Chorale, two outstanding high school choruses, eight dancers, and one of the finest youth choruses in the region.

• The holiday season will be celebrated with French music, including 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).

• Ashly Neumann, ’08, will perform as a soloist.

• Eight Grand Valley dance majors will perform alongside select musical performances.

Page last modified August 18, 2017