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September 2013

Eyal Press: Beautiful Souls

Thursday, September 12, 2013
7:30 p.m., Beaver Community Center Gymnasium

Eyal Press, author of Beautiful Souls, discusses his book, which looks at the factors that cause ordinary people to behave ethically–to follow their conscience and defy authority and convention. He challenges and inspires audiences by probing vexing dilemmas that play out in every day life. Drawing on groundbreaking research by neuroscientists and moral psychologists, Press provides concrete examples of some of history's most heroic acts of dissent, from World War II to the 2008 financial crisis. He unwraps the motivation behind following your conscience, and argues that the boldest breaches of conformity are often carried out not by radicals seeking to overthrow the system, but by true believers who cling with unusual fierceness to their convictions. Beautiful Souls is the subject of the college’s common reading program.

Freyberger Gallery presents BLUE MARSH: Landscape Lost

September 12–October 31, 2013
Reception: September 12, 2013
6:00 p.m., Freyberger Gallery

This exhibit explores the story of the Blue Marsh Dam project and the subsequent changes for the families who lived and worked in the area. More than fifty historic sites were in the area to be flooded; a few were moved, the rest were destroyed. A total of sixty-four farm families were displaced. Included in this exhibit are contemporary and historic photographs, paintings, artifacts, and documents that explore the memory of the unconstrained beauty of the landscape lost during the construction of the Blue Marsh Dam and Recreational Area. These historic and family photos, paintings, artifacts, and documents have never been gathered for one exhibit that focuses on the Blue Marsh Dam project and the use of eminent domain in Berks County.

The Gun Control Debate ft. Dr. John Lott and Dr. Michael Shermer

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 
7:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook … the list of mass murders continues to grow and has sparked a contentious divide on gun control. In this debate, two of America’s most prominent public intellectuals go head-to-head on this most timely topic. Dr. John Lott, arguably the foremost opponent of gun control, stated in his book More Guns, Less Crime that we need fewer gun controls, not more. He believes that guns are our foremost means of self-protection from both crime and tyranny. Dr. Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, lifelong libertarian, and gun owner, has evaluated the evidence and determined that there are rational responses we can take to reduce the level of violence in our society, and these include additional gun controls. Both speakers will give the audience food for thought.

Theatre at Berks presents R.A.V.E. (A Visual Arts Experience)

Directed and created by senior theatre major B. Marcel Smith

September 26 & 27 at 8:00 p.m.
September 28 at 2:00 p.m., part of Family & Homecoming Weekend
Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Join us for this visual arts experience by B. Marcel Smith. This production is Marcel's senior capstone project for his degree in Theatre Arts.

Salsa Magic

Monday, September 30, 2013
7:00 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room

Salsa Magic is an exciting and interactive Latin dance party featuring Washington D.C.’s Lee "El Gringuito" and Kat "La Gata," who have performed and taught Latin dance around the world. They will begin with a workshop, where they will teach participants the newest Latin dance moves. After the lessons, DJ "El Gringuito" will continue the party by lighting up the dance floor and spinning the best in Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Reggaton, as new dancers and instructors showcase their talents. Lee has won countless awards and has taught more than 100,000 college students Latin dance. Recently, he has appeared on Ambush Makeover, as well as on the final episode of America's Got Talent!

October 2013

Phillip Milano: I Can't Believe You Asked That! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
7:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Ever wonder something about someone of another race, gender, or culture but were just too afraid or embarrassed to ask? Nationally recognized diversity advocate Phillip Milano says, “Go ahead. Ask!” Author of I Can't Believe You Asked That!, writer of the Universal Press-syndicated column "Dare To Ask," and founder of the ground-breaking YFORUM.COM, Milano brings his no-holds-barred program about race, sex, religion–and more–to college campuses. His take-no-prisoners presentations tear off the blinders of decorum, re-awakening our childlike curiosity and giving us the tools we need to discuss taboo topics we're dying to know about each other. It's a powerful experience that has audiences not only rolling in the aisles, but questioning their own biases and gaining profound new insights into themselves and others.

Daniel Hernandez, Jr.: Becoming A Hero

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
8:00 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Daniel Hernandez Jr. is the former congressional intern credited with saving Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ life in the aftermath of her attempted assassination. His medical training, quick thinking, and brave actions on that day have caused him to be celebrated as a true American hero, a title he humbly rejects, even though he has received nearly 40 awards and honors due to his actions. In this lecture, Hernandez stresses the importance of people “getting off the sidelines and becoming involved in their communities.” He redefines the traditional definition of “hero” from someone with supernatural powers to an ordinary person who works day-in and day-out to better his or her community, not for recognition but because the work needs to be done.

Fire House German Band presents Oktoberfest

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
8:00 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Living legends in the Polka industry, the Fire House German Band has been performing an upbeat, fast-paced repertoire of traditional "Oktoberfest" music for decades. Dedicated to the music of central Europe, they believe in the preservation of ethnic German and Austrian Polka music as a means of keeping the culture of the Alpine region alive. Credited with being one of the most beloved Polka bands in the mid-Atlantic regions, the Fire House German Band relies on a vast repertoire of Polka and Waltz selections, as well as traditional and original renditions of German, Polish, and Slovenian standards. Combing an irresistible personality with a festive atmosphere, Fire House German Band has earned a growing regional audience and finds itself in the mainstream of contemporary world music.

November 2013

Joseph FireCrow

Monday, November 11, 2013
7:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room

Joseph FireCrow weaves transcendent flute with Native American storytelling and traditional drumming, taking audiences on a journey into true American history. He is regarded as one the top three Native American flute players in the world today. FireCrow has released seven solo albums, and his accomplishments include a Grammy in the New Age category as a guest artist on David Darling’s “Prayer for Compassion,” a Grammy nomination in the Best Native American Music Album category, and six Native American Music Awards. FireCrow’s latest CD, “Face the Music,” has been honored by the Native American Music Awards as the winner of both Artist of The Year and Flutist of the Year for 2010.

Theatre at Berks presents Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Playwright: John Patrick Shanley
Director: Julia Elberfeld, junior Theatre major
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Radhica Ganapathy

November 11-15, 8:00 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

The setting is a rundown bar in the Bronx, where two of society's rejects, Danny and Roberta, strike up a halting conversation over their beer. He is a brooding, self-loathing young man who resorts more to violence than reason; she is a divorced, guilt-ridden young woman whose troubled teenage son is now being cared for by her parents. Danny, whose fellow truck drivers call him "the animal," seems incapable of tender emotion, while Roberta, who is still haunted by the memory of an ugly sexual incident involving her father, is distrustful of men in general. And yet, as their initial reserve begins to melt, and they decide to spend the night together, the possibility of a genuine and meaningful relationship begins to emerge—the first for both of them.

Freyberger Gallery presents ARTIST/ARTIST: Jen Lindsay and Matthew Mazurkiewicz

November 14–December 19, 2013
Reception: November 14, 2013
6:00 p.m., Freyberger Gallery

This exhibit explores the work of street photographer Jen Lindsay and painter Matthew Mazurkiewicz. Lindsay’s photographs are inspired by small town America and the timeless era of rural landscapes and rustic structures. Through photography, she documents her life, her family, and her community. Meanwhile, Mazurkiewicz’s recent body of work highlights both his process and his command of media. Employing everything from household paint, charcoal, roofing tar, and anything else that will adhere to his canvas, he implores the viewer not only to see what he has seen but also to imagine the touch, taste, and scent of the material and subject.

H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger: Beyond Friday Night Lights: Sports Culture in America

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
7:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger III, best known for his non-fiction book Friday Night Lights, will examine the role of sports in our country, the beauty and potential of it as well as the pitfalls, referencing the tragedy at Penn State University. Considered by many to be the finest writer on sports of his generation, Bissinger details how athletics can influence everything from race to educational priorities to gender opportunities to self-identity. Few aspects of our culture are more influential, and less candidly discussed, than sports in America. Sports pervades everything—our educational system from junior high to college; the way parents relate to their sons and daughters; and the increasing moral dilemmas raised by the winning-at-all-costs attitude that is now almost tragically common.

December 2013

Alfie Kohn: The Deadly Effects of Tougher Standards: Challenging High-Stakes Testing and Other Impediments to Learning

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
7:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Alfie Kohn, author of twelve books including The Schools Our Children Deserve, explains the difference between authentic challenge and a mindless "harder is better" mentality, as well as the difference between standards as guidelines for better teaching, and standards as rigid (and often ridiculous) lists of facts students must know. The latter is described in this session not as a reality to be coped with but as a political movement that can be opposed–by people who understand how children actually learn. Today, an ill-informed version of school reform has been embraced by politicians, corporate executives, and journalists, all demanding "accountability," which turns out to be a euphemism for more control over what happens in classrooms by people who are not in classrooms.

Chosen Dance Company

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
6:00 p.m., Dance Workshop, Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room
8:00 p.m., Performance, Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Chosen Dance Company is a dance group dedicated to entertaining and educating their audience on the music, people, events and dance that have all contributed to the creation of the phenomenon known as Hip-Hop. They have performed on ESPN’s X-Games VIII, BET’s 106 & Park, during Super Bowl XL, and in NFC Conference commercials, and they competed on America’s Next Best Dance Crew. Chosen Dance Company operates with the mission of making Hip-Hop culture more accessible to a wider audience, regardless of age, race, or gender, while also validating its place in the world as a legitimate art form. Members of the Chosen Dance Company work with afterschool programs throughout the tri-state area, and are dedicated using hip-hop as a medium to communicate tolerance and respect.

January 2014

Freyberger Gallery presents TRAVELS AND JOURNEYS: Nancy Sarangoulis

January 16–March 20, 2014
Reception: January 16, 2014
6:00 p.m., Freyberger Gallery

While paintings, drawings, and found objects reinvented for a new purpose have traditionally been the hallmarks of Nancy Sarangoulis’ artwork, a recent residency to work with artists and craftspeople in India provided the artist with another link to her artistic journey that includes explorations with automatic art, dream-like imagery, and quiet meditation. “Painting birds is one of my current interests,” says the artist. “Not real birds, but birds that are metaphors, psychologically and spiritually. These visual notations have now ‘leaked’ into all aspects of my work.” Sarangoulis explains that art, for her, is like oxygen. “One thing leads to another; everything is connected in its own small way,” she explains.

Dr. Jill Tarter: Are We Alone? The Search for Intelligent Life in the Cosmos

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
7:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Dr. Jill Tarter, portrayed by Jodie Foster in the movie Contact, holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Research at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA. She served as Project Scientist for NASA’s SETI program, the High Resolution Microwave Survey, and conducted observational programs at radio observatories worldwide. Currently, she serves on the management board for the Allen Telescope Array, a joint project between the SETI Institute and the UC Berkeley Radio Astronomy Laboratory. When this innovative array of 350 6-m antennas begins operations, it will simultaneously survey the radio universe for known and unexpected sources of astrophysical emissions. In this presentation, Tarter will discuss her work in SETI, what she has discovered, and implications for future research and findings.

Renee Yohe: To Write Love On Her Arms

Monday, January 27, 2014
1:00-3:00 p.m., Mental Health Fair, Perkins Student Center Lion's Den
7:30 p.m., Keynote Presentation, Renee Yohe: To Write Love On Her Arms

Renee Yohe is best known as the inspiration for TWLOHA, To Write Love on Her Arms, the nonprofit organization endorsed by many celebrities whose mission is to offer hope and find help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Today, Yohe is dedicated to helping others overcome their struggles by providing hope and inspiration through her stories about overcoming depression, addiction, and self-mutilation. Her book, Purpose for the Pain, is the inspiring story of her four-year battle with mental health issues, and inspired the major motion picture, Renee, in which she is portrayed by Kat Dennings. In heartbreaking detail and poetic outpourings, Yohe chronicles her journey from self-destruction to new life.

This lecture is part of the 2013 Mental Health Fair, held on Monday, January 27, 1:00–3:00 p.m., Perkins Student Center Lion’s Den.

February 2014

King's Dream

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
8:00 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

King's Dream is a rousing celebration of diversity, unity, and peace. This enthralling performance and multimedia presentation offer a moving tribute to Dr. Martin Luther Jr. The era comes alive with powerful images, thought-provoking commentary, and captivating archival film footage that tell the story of the American civil rights movement, which is dramatic, powerful, and inspirational. Relive the most memorable events in Dr. King's life, and the historic contributions of Rosa Parks, the Arkansas Nine, the Freedom Fighters, and those who risked it all for social justice and equal rights. Archival film chronicles John F. Kennedy’s and Lyndon B. Johnson's courageous attempt to change social norms, while struggling with the complexity of the Vietnam War and other global issues during the "turbulent sixties."

Steve Weber: Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

Monday, February 24, 2014
7:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Steve Weber is a professional speaker who uses the persona of “Forrest Gump” to teach audiences the five steps to becoming more decisive and how to make the right choice 97% of the time in his presentation “Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates!” Using the life lessons, stories, and the wit and wisdom from the movie Forrest Gump, Weber explores issues of identity, integrity, opportunity, motivation, and civility, while challenging audience members to reflect on their own attitudes, leadership, and sense of personal responsibility. He contends that with a strong moral compass, single-minded determination, and a "never-give-up" attitude, anyone can attain greater success, the ability to make their own luck, and the ability to overcome adversity and turn obstacles into opportunities.

March 2014

Three Aksha Dance Company

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
1:00-2:30 p.m., Dance Workshop, Perkins Student Center Auditorium
8:00 p.m., Performance, Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Three Aksha Dance Company preserves and promotes Indian culture and heritage through Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form that has had many incarnations—from its beginnings in the ancient temples, to its exploration at the royal courts, to its present form. The Bharatanatyam dance form has an inherent spirituality; the dancer depicts the human soul on the path to the supreme soul. But even outside of this framework, Bharatanatyam is a unique movement language–one with a strict adherence to the lines of the body, angles, and geometry. Today, Bharatanatyam exists far beyond the temple and the court; it speaks to modern themes, but still echoes the stronghold of its ancient tradition.

Larry Kahaner: Fiscal Fitness Boot Camp

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
7:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Larry Kahaner, author of Competitive Intelligence, stock trader, and former BusinessWeek reporter, knows how to survive in down markets and thrive when the markets are good because he's done it himself. How? By becoming fiscally fit. You're never too young to start. In fact, while you're still in college is exactly the right time. Fiscal Fitness Boot Camp will introduce you to seven simple steps that anyone, in any place and at any time can take to become fiscally fit–rules that are so simple and easy, they‘ll become second nature once you start to use them. The secret is that it doesn't matter how much money you have, it's how you handle it–the priorities you set, the goals you establish, and the choices you make to achieve them.

April 2014

Freyberger Gallery presents BLACK and WHITE: Gretchen Kreitler

April 3–May 2, 2014
Reception: April 3, 2014
6:00 p.m., Freyberger Gallery

Working exclusively with pen and ink, Gretchen Kreitler’s drawings focus on personal observations and reflections. The daughter of a graphic designer and art teacher, the importance of art in one’s life has been instilled upon Kreitler from an early age. Her drawings have an edgy, surrealistic quality, with animals viewed anthropomorphically and with intelligence, engaged in sometimes gentle, sometimes violent activities, and always masterfully drawn and designed. A graduate of Lock Haven University with a MFA, Kreitler recalls the seminal moment for her drawings: a gift of a rapidigraph pen. Often, the work begins with a sketch; other times, an idea is fully realized with live models or photographic references. The core of the work, the artist explains, is “open for interpretation,” but her strong reverence for animals is the substance of her exploration.

Jonathan Waterman: Plastic Garbage Patch

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
7:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

We’ve all heard of the so-called “Plastic Garbage Patch” in the Pacific Ocean. But what’s this Island of Plastic really all about? In the fall of 2012, the renowned author, adventurer, and conservationist Jonathan Waterman decided to investigate. Setting out as the ship journalist from San Diego on a two-masted sailboat, he wrote dispatches for the National Geographic and learned the shocking truth about our “plastic” oceans. In this presentation, he tells the story of this 2,500-mile journey with breathtaking photographs and video, showing visual evidence with firsthand knowledge the true extent of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. In an upbeat and positive fashion, he shows how we can take steps as consumers to work our way out of this crisis.

Caravan of Thieves

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
8:00 p.m., Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Caravan of Thieves’ driving gypsy jazz rhythms, acoustic guitars, upright bass, and violin are the foundation for mesmerizing vocal harmonies and fantastic stories. They have won praise for their unique blend of gypsy swing and popular music, inspiring them to record and release the debut album, Bouquet (2009). To accompany this collection of dramatic and satirical tales, they built an interactive stage set of percussive junk, and the ragtag quartet took their newly animated show on the road, sharing stages with world renowned artists such as Emmylou Harris, Dan Hicks, Glen Campbell, Nanci Griffith, and many others. Described as theatrical and humorous, musical and intense, Caravan of Thieves entertains, dazzles, and defies classification while welcoming the spectator to join the band throughout the performance in momentary fits of claps, snaps, and sing-alongs.