Holy Cross Kicks off Fall Semester with Diverse Arts Line-Up

With the beginning of a new academic year comes the anticipation — and excitement — of another year of arts events at the College of the Holy Cross.

This fall, the arts programming promises to push limits, challenge audiences, and propel dialogue.

“The arts can help us explore challenging topics in a unique and enriching format,” says Lynn Kremer, director of Arts Transcending Borders and professor of theatre.

From exhibitions of works by famous figurative painters and readings from renowned poets, to performances by international organists and theatre productions about aspiring young writers, the arts events come in all shapes and sizes this semester, each adding to the presence and centrality of the arts at Holy Cross.

Highlights of the fall semester include:

Aug. 31 – Dec. 14 Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery, O’Kane Hall “Woven Power: Ritual Textiles of Sarawak and West Kalimantan” Pua kumbu are magnificent, intricately dyed, hand-loomed cotton ikat textiles once woven as religious objects par excellence by the Iban and the related Dayak peoples who produced them in Southeast Asia. They were said to be full of powerful spirits and designed to be extraordinarily beautiful to attract the attention of the gods and invite them to draw near to human ceremonies.

Over decades, emeritus Tufts University engineering professor John Kreifeldt amassed a comprehensive collection of pua kumbu, sungkit wraps, and kain kebat skirts from Sarawak and West Kalimantan, with examples from the 1800s – 1940 period. Kreifeldt is the primary lender and a collaborator to the exhibition — never before displayed, beyond a few textiles, in any museum. Fieldwork anthropological essays by curator Susan Rodgers will accompany the exhibition. The Cantor Art Gallery hours are: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (M-F), Noon – 5 p.m. (Sat.)

Sept. 13, 5 p.m. Rehm Library, Smith Hall Artist talk by Patrick Dougherty: “Stickwork” Arts Transcending Borders’ Fall 2016 artist-in-residence Patrick Dougherty will give a talk on his on-campus installation, “Stickwork.” Dougherty, with the help of volunteers, will create the installation on the Linden Lane lawn near the main entrance to the Holy Cross campus; it will be on view beginning Sept. 23. Dougherty bends, weaves, and flexes locally sourced saplings into architectural sculptures which are unique to the setting, and dynamically relate to the landscape and built environment around them. The artist talk is co-sponsored by Tower Hill Botanic Garden and the Environmental Studies Program.

Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m. Rehm Library, Smith Hall Conversation with Beth Reinhard from The Wall Street Journal Hear the Barrett Professor in Creative Writing of the English department, Leah Hager Cohen, in conversation with Beth Reinhard, who is covering the 2016 presidential campaigns for The Wall Street Journal. Reinhard will share stories from this year's astonishing election season as well as address how the essential elements of storytelling — from a strong lede to pacing to the well-chosen detail — work in journalism. Reinhard previously covered politics for the National Journal and the Miami Herald. Sponsored by Creative Writing.

Oct. 27, 28, 8 p.m. Brooks Concert Hall, Fenwick Hall (Arts Transcending Borders) “Othello in the Seraglio: The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch” With 11 musicians and a storyteller, “Othello in the Seraglio,” a coffeehouse opera produced by Dünya, is scaled to the intimate, informal setting of a coffeehouse in 17th-century Istanbul (Constantinople). The storyteller spins out a well-known tale, an historically-based legend of love and jealousy, intensified by the crossing of boundaries between the free and the enslaved, white and black, Muslim and non-Muslim, East and West. A corresponding panel discussion will be held on Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Seelos Theatre titled “Rethinking ‘East vs. West’: Challenging Assumptions.”

Nov. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 8 p.m. Fenwick Theatre, O’Kane Hall 2nd floor “Middletown,” by Will Eno If “Middletown,” a seriocomic play by central Massachusetts native Will Eno, seems familiar, that's because it could take place in your town, in your neighborhood or on your own front porch. You might recognize the neglected pregnant woman, the hapless handyman, the unrepentant bum or the librarian as old as the town itself. Eno's play gives us a snapshot of where we are right now by inviting us to spend time with a group of people who are both mundane and extraordinary — and all lost somewhere in the middle of their lives. Scott Malia, professor of theatre, directs the Fenwick Theatre production of this extraordinary tale about contemporary American life.

Nov. 17, 8 p.m. Brooks Concert Hall, Fenwick Hall “Gods, Prophets, and Precious Little Things” An artist-in-residence concert, “Gods, Prophets, and Precious Little Things,” featuring Brooks Scholars, is a poetic juxtaposition of grand personas and simple beauties in works by Haydn, Kurtag, Schumann, Wolf, Liszt and Dvorak. The capacity of music to touch one's core with the most simple gesture as well as to evoke grand and complex sound worlds, within their respective musical languages and re-defining these boundaries, has been at the heart of composers' writing throughout time. The performers' challenge is to communicate the range of this expressive palette with depth and imagination. This event will feature the talent of students of the music department in collaboration with its artists-in-residence.

View the arts calendar for a full list of arts events taking place this upcoming semester.

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