Music therapy group seeks to alleviate mental health concerns for students - The Appalachian Online

Music therapy group seeks to alleviate mental health concerns for students - The Appalachian Online Music therapy group seeks to alleviate mental health concerns for students - The Appalachian Online Virtual virtuosos: Professional 7C performers reflect on community during COVID-19 - The Student Life Man who played Duke Chapel bells for 50 years dies - Minneapolis Star Tribune Things to do – online and in-person – in the San Fernando Valley, LA area, Feb. 25-March 4 - LA Daily News Malden Man Arrested on Cocaine Trafficking Charge | USAO-MA - Department of Justice Music therapy group seeks to alleviate mental health concerns for students - The Appalachian Online Posted: 25 Feb 2021 02:09 PM PST Kara Haselton Kathryn Santiago's new music therapy group will focus on helping students through mental health concerns with music. Jaclyn Bartlett , A&C Reporter February 25, 2021

Five things in arts this month: February 2021 : Arts - Smile Politely - Champaign-Urbana's Online Magazine

Five things in arts this month: February 2021 : Arts - Smile Politely - Champaign-Urbana's Online Magazine

Five things in arts this month: February 2021 : Arts - Smile Politely - Champaign-Urbana's Online Magazine

Posted: 02 Feb 2021 03:59 AM PST

Whether you're team #heartsandflowers or team #Hallmarkholiday, our February arts calendar offers some seriously swoony fare. Ranging from author readings to monologues from the Illinois Theatre MFA students, this month's offerings remind us how much grit, ingenuity, and resiliency lives in the hearts of C-U artists—even as we approach the 12-month mark of our quarantine.  I hope you will find something to fill your heart will inspiration, hope, and maybe even joy. 


Photo of Folxtales production backstage. Photo from KCPA Facebook page
Photo from Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Facebook page

Okay, I'm not gonna lie. I'm really excited about this. In both content and format, Folxtales promises a welcome out-of-the-box experience months of live performance deprivation. Folxtales "mingles seven, short folkloric stories—both traditional and modern—as the basis for an outdoor film project that will be projected onto the upper exterior of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts' Foellinger Great Hall lobby." 

Monologues are performed by our very own Illinois Theatre MFA student actors and have been recorded in compliance with COVID-19 safety-protocols. Looping every 25 minutes, this content will be viewable from Thursday, February 4th through Sunday, February 7th, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. If you're heading out, go ahead and park in the one of the five reserved spots on the Goodwin Avenue side of Krannert Center. You can also view it in the KCPA Amphitheatre and on the upper terrace with sound. Masks and social distancing are required. If you'd rather stay home, you can always watch the live stream online

Kudos to both Aaron Muñoz, director and script supervisor, and John Boesche, photography director and concept developer. 

Featuring Illinois Theatre MFA students
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and by Live stream
Thursday, February 4th through Sunday, February 7th, 5 p.m.

Jupiter String Quartet

Photo of the members of the Jupiter String Quartet in front of a white shingled building. Photo from KCPA website
Photo from Krannert Center for the Performing Arts website

If you've been missing the Jupiter String Quartet, here's some good news. JSQ is offering a series of four, free, noon-time mini-concerts this month. "Each performance moves from a minor-key quartet masterwork to a more hopeful, major-key contemporary work." JSQ members will also "offer personal reflections regarding each short program in hopes of providing a musical meditation for their audiences." The programs include "contrasting styles and genres of music, each moving from a quartet masterpiece in a minor key to a more hopeful, major-key contemporary work." So starting on Friday, February 5th, have lunch with the Jupiter String Quartet and let the gift of their music fill your heart and the rest of your work day. 

Reflection and Renewal with Jupiter String Quartet
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Free, Live stream
Fridays, February 5th, 12th, 19th, & 26th at noon
(Each 20-30 minute performance offers different selections)
Event links made available day of event here

Unmasked: Writers of Oya Book Release

Photo of the Writers of Oya on the steps of the IMC with an inset image of their newly released book Unmasked. Photo from Facebook
Image from Urbana Free Library Facebook page

I'm sure I'm not the only one counting down the days to the long-awaited release of this book. The Writers of Oya, founded by the force of nature that is City of Urbana Poet Laureate, Ashanti Files, are a fierce group of talented young women. Together, their work aims to "teach middle school girls, particularly girls of color, how to compose poetry as a skill to both express and assert themselves." 

During the recent online reception for Ashanti Files, she shared the origin of the group's name. Oya is a the Yorùbá Orisha of the winds and storms. And his namesakes have inherited his power to bring about change through language. As Files always reminds them, they are storm. 

Join the Writers of Oya on Facebook to "hear their poetry and learn more about their experiences and what they want to tell the world." You'll also learn how to get your own copy of the Unmasked. Stay tuned to this space for a review of Unmasked in the weeks to come.

Unmasked: The Writers of Oya Book Release
Hosted by the Urbana Free Library
Live on Facebook
Friday, February 5th, 7 to 8 p.m.

Illinois Authors Publishing Panel: Cris Mazza and Christina Pugh

Left to right: Photos of Cris Mazza and Christina Pu. Photo from Humanities Research Program Institute website
Photo from Humanities Research Institute at Illinois Facebook page

February marks the return of the Humanities Research Institute of Illinois' Year of the Writer series with author Cris Mazza and poet/critic Christina Pugh. Whether online or in-person, it's always a treat to hear a writer read their own work and to engage with the with audience. Mazza has written over a dozen books, the latest of which include Trickle-Down Timeline and Waterbaby. A PEN Nelson Algren Award winner, Mazza is a professor in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

Pugh's fifth book of poems, Stardust Media, was awarded the Juniper Prize for Poetry and is forthcoming in 2020 from University of Massachusetts Press. Her previous books of poetry include Perception; Grains of the Voice; Restoration; and Rotary. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry, the Poetry Society of America's Lucille Medwick Memorial Award (for poetry treating a humanitarian theme), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from Poetry magazine, an individual artist fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council, the Grolier Poetry Prize, and the Associated Writing Programs' Intro Journals Award. Pugh is also a professor in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a consulting editor for Poetry magazine

Illinois Authors Publishing Panel: Cris Mazza and Christina Pu
Hosted by the Humanities Research Institute at Illinois
Saturday, February 20th, 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Note: time is not finalized, so please refer to the event page for confirmation

Exquisite Trio: Black and White

Black and white drawings on top of black and white wide checked grid. Photo from Facebook.
Image from Facebook event page

I've made no secret of my passion for collaborations, and this one promises to be nothing short of spectacular. Artists EKAH, Kim Caisse, and Lydia Puddicombe were seeking news ways to create and connect during COVID-19 days, and "serendipitously," the three friends found that "collaborating on an Exquisite Corpse game seemed like a logical step in the time of social distancing and after the cancellations of all seasonal art festivals."

The best part is that Exquisite Trio is a multi-part, collaborative project, which means we have more to look forward to in the future. This first installments features a collection of black and white ink drawings. 

The artists shared that "the project was borne out of Double Take, an invitational group show from 40 North, where EKAH, Kim, and Lydia were participating artists." Inspired by "the Exquisite Corpse drawing game invented by the surrealists where artists took turns creating sections of an image on a sheet of paper, folded to hide each individual contribution." The three artists share an "affinity for dreamy creatures," which is certain to be explored throughout the series.  

Exquisite Trio: Black & White
Online event featuring collaboratve work by EKAH, Lydia Puddicombe, and Kim Caisse
Saturday, February 27th, 2 to 4 p.m. 
Link to be provided on Facebook day of the event and will be available through March 28th

Chatting with Professor Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer – The Strand - Strand

Posted: 02 Feb 2021 10:00 AM PST

I sat down over Zoom with Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, a writer and professor of VIC275 (Creative Writing: Short Fiction) at Victoria College to talk about writing, creativity, and online learning.

The Strand: What do you do outside of your work at UofT?

Professor Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer: I write—that's the main thing that I do. Of course, it always changes because as I finish projects, then new ones come in place. I'm working on a book about writing and creativity…with my PhD supervisor who has become a friend of mine. It's a dialogue on creativity and writing. The book is not overtly psychoanalytical, but we are making it kind of an analog between the ego and the editor and thinking through ways in which we can help writers kind of loosen themselves up toward creativity.

The second book is a book of essays on the topic of desire. One of those essays was published in a magazine called Hazlitt online, and the essay is on the topic of kissing. The way that I'm conceiving the collection is kind of like a memoir at a crisis point in my life when I was leaving my marriage, sort of the four years afterwards, and each essay is interrogating an object that I was wanting. Kissing was one of them, the colour pink is another one, so some of them are quite mundane and some of them are more abstract than others.

Then the third book is kind of an unexpected novel that I wrote last year, and I think that we're going to find a real overabundance of novels in the next couple of years, because so many writers are holed up at home with the COVID-19 and what we do when we're stressed out is write. I also teach at Colorado College courses similar to VIC275. I sometimes take on private clients, and the other thing that I do is I supervise students in their final creative thesis at the [Creative Writing] MFA at the University of Guelph.

How, when, and why did you come to teach at UofT?

I'm a freelance artist. So my main priority is my writing, and then I try and piece together enough little jobs on the side to pay for that, because writing, typically—well, I mean, it does sometimes pay, but it's a very precarious way to run your life because you don't know how long a project might take, from beginning to end. Anyway, typically, creative writing is not a very highly paid job, unfortunately. So I'm always looking for teaching gigs, and because right now most of my paid work is in the US and I'm getting older; I'm trying to figure out how to get more work in Canada so that I don't have to travel every year.

How do you think creativity should be taught? Can it even be taught?

I think my starting point is that we are  already creative. Humans are inherently creative. So I don't think I need to teach students how to be creative, I just think I need to help them believe that they are creative, and sometimes help students trust that their creativity is worthwhile and productive.

We live in a very capitalist society, and I think that many students have parents who are funding their education. That can be an issue, where students have to justify what they're doing to parents who maybe want them to be in a STEM program or doing something more obviously practical. But I also think that STEM students, even students who are in other maybe more directed humanities programs where they might more predictively get a well-paying job, will benefit from studies in creativity. Every job requires that you are nimble in your thinking, and there's maybe nothing more nimble than the study of creativity or getting creativity to be part of your daily practice. So, can I teach creativity? No, but I can help somebody to be more creative.

As an educator, what are some things you think educators should incorporate into their teaching when adapting their courses for online learning?

I mean, I would never tell another professor how to teach, or how to run a class in any category, but I do think that teaching online can mean that students are sitting an awful lot and staring at screens. My courses involve quite a lot of embodiment. I want my students to move, I want them to use their bodies more. If professors can incorporate movement into a classroom, I think it will really help students.

I try to fit in breaks during the [classes] that I teach. Which, you know, in the normal course of things, if class was an hour and fifty minutes it would go by so quickly. But online, it can feel like a lot for a student to sit there. When I give a break, I'm always hopeful that the student won't flip over to Facebook or whatever, but will go do something for those ten minutes.

What would be your advice to young writers?

What every single writing teacher in the whole history of teaching writing always says: read more. Also, take time to have experiences and to live your life. Writing is important, writing is obviously a passion of mine, but I [don't] think it's the only thing, you know?

Sometimes, I have students who are so driven to get good marks and really want to have a professional life as a writer that they get subsumed with the act of writing to the detriment of actually living their lives. So I do think you kind of need a balance between those two things, and not just because you should write what you know or something like that, but actually, you should live. You should live your life. It's a beautiful thing to have a life. I think writing will benefit from having had a well-lived life.


Popular posts from this blog

For inbound college students — and universities — fall semester presents new choices and dilemmas - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Baker Technical Institute launches Certified Medical Assistant program - Blue Mountain Eagle

Excelsior College Named Graduating and Transfer University for - Yahoo Finance