Celebrate the Arts! Free This Fall at GVSU

Engage with the West Michigan Woman Community!

Celebrate the positive impact of the arts this fall at Grand Valley State University—with several free events in Allendale and Grand Rapids.

Learn more about the events and why GVSU President Thomas J. Haas thinks it's important that the celebration continues going strong.

For the past 15 years, West Michigan audiences have enjoyed a series of six free events every fall at Grand Valley State University, celebrating the positive impact of the arts.

GVSU President Thomas J. Haas said these events are offered as gifts to the local community that has supported the evolution of the university.

"Each year, these six diverse and free events provide us with the opportunity to thank the West Michigan community for its continued support of the performing arts at Grand Valley and the university as a whole," said Haas.

"The arts lift us up, make us think, and provide an endless variety of entertainment and enrichment—and we hope others will join us in celebrating the richness of the worlds of poetry, dance, art, music and more this fall."


Mars: Astronomy and Culture
Exhibition Dates: August 24 to October 31
Exhibition Reception: September 13, 5 to 7 p.m.
Art Gallery, Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts, Allendale Campus

Throughout the years, Mars has been depicted in multiple forms. The Mars: Astronomy and Culture exhibit will bring together photographs, drawings, movie posters, book covers and video projections spotlighting the Red Planet, as well as feature a showcase of Martian-themed toys and collectibles from a private collection based in Chicago. During an opening reception on September 13, guests will be able to enjoy a virtual reality simulator for an immersive experience on Mars. Portions of the exhibition will be hosted at both the Center Art Gallery at Calvin College and the Holland Museum. This exhibition was curated by the Pasadena Arts Council for the Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California. It is a project of the Pasadena Arts Council's EMERGE Fiscal Sponsorship Program.

An Italian Journey: Tesla Quartet performs Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence
September 17, 7:30 p.m.
Cook-DeWitt Center, Allendale Campus

Inspired by numerous pleasurable escapes from harsh Russian winters, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's love of Italy is reflected in his String Sextet in D Minor, Op. 70 'Souvenir de Florence.' Best known as a master composer of symphonies and ballets, Tchaikovsky crafted this work through a rich blend of well-known Italian street songs and melodies. The internationally acclaimed Tesla Quartet will open this program with Quartet in B minor, Op. 33, No. 1 by Franz Joseph Haydn and then be joined by Grand Valley music faculty members Paul Swantek (viola) and Pablo Mahave-Veglia (cello) to perform Souvenir de Florence. Formed at The Julliard School in 2008, members of the Tesla String Quartet include Ross Snyder (violin), Michelle Lie (violin), Edwin Kaplan (viola) and Serafim Smigelskiy (cello).

What is Art in the 21st Century?
Lecture presented by William Deresiewicz
October 1, 7:30 p.m.
L.V. Eberhard Center, second floor, Pew Grand Rapids Campus

In today's world, creativity is a necessity for successful collaborations in business and to develop and expand vibrant cultures. As business and the arts draw closer together, how are they changing each other? Expanding on his viral essay for The Atlantic, "The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur," award-winning essayist, critic and best-selling author William Deresiewicz will answer that question by addressing the understanding and practice of creative work and the creative life. Deresiewicz is the author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harper's, The Nation, The New Republic, The American Scholar and The London Review of Books.

An Evening of Poetry and Conversation, with Ada Limón and Carl Phillips
October 18, 7:30 p.m.
L.V. Eberhard Center, second floor, Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Two unique poetic voices will share their work with the West Michigan community during an evening of poetry and conversation. Ada Limón is the author of five books of poetry, including her new book The Carrying (2018). Her volume Bright Dead Things was named one of the top 10 poetry books of the year by The New York Times. Limón currently serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte's low-residency Master of Fine Arts program.

Carl Phillips is the author of 14 books of poetry, including his most recent works, Wild Is the Wind (2018) and Reconnaissance (2015). The latter won the PEN USA Award and the Lambda Literary Award. A four-time finalist for the National Book Award, Phillips' honors include the Los Angeles Times' Book Prize for Poetry, the Kingsley Tufts Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Library of Congress and Academy of American Poets. He is currently a professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis.

Kariamu and Company: Traditions — A Celebration of African Dance
November 12, 7:30 p.m.
Louis Armstrong Theatre, Haas Center for Performing Arts, Allendale Campus

Kariamu Welsh is a Guggenheim award-winning dance scholar, choreographer, educator and the founder of the Umfundalai technique. For the past 40 years, Welsh has developed Umfundalai as a contemporary dance technique that seeks to articulate the essence of African-oriented movement while highlighting the cultural and aesthetic continuity found in the rhythm and artistic sensibilities that cover the full range of African dance. As an "artivist," Welsh feels that one of her responsibilities is to tell the stories, myths, legends and histories of the marginalized, invisible, forgotten and oppressed. Welsh is currently a professor of dance in the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University.

Celebrating Holiday Splendor: Craig Jessop Conducts The Many Moods of Christmas
December 3, 7:30 p.m.
Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain Street NE, Grand Rapids

Robert Shaw's The Many Moods of Christmas meshes pieces of 18 of the most traditional carols combined with music from composers such as Handel, Bizet and Bach. Renowned choral conductor Craig Jessop will lead the GVSU Arts Chorale and local high school students for this special holiday celebration concert. Jessop, professor of music and founding dean of the Cain College of the Arts at Utah State University, is the former director of the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He led the ensemble as a featured conductor during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

To learn more about the events, visit Fall Arts Celebration 2018.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for West Michigan Woman.

Photo courtesy of GVSU.

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