Theatre kicks off Messiah Festival

MessiahBrochureCVR“A church is a place people go to see something that is very difficult to see. A place where the invisible is—at least for a moment—made visible. The theatre can be that too.” – Lucas Hnath, playwright

On Friday, March 18 and Saturday, 19, Burnett Center on the Bethany campus will be that place as Bethany College Theatre and Broadway RFD open the 2016 Messiah Festival of the Arts with Lucas Hnath’s critically acclaimed and award-winning play, “The Christians.” The play, which debuted at the 38th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville in 2014, had its New York City premiere at Playwrights Horizons last fall (where its limited run was extended six weeks). It won the National Arts Club’s 2015 Joseph Kesselring Prize.

The Bethany College production is the first for “The Christians” in the state of Kansas. “Bethany and RFD are thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to stage Hnath’s marvelous play,” said Greg LeGault, Associate Professor of Theatre and the production’s director. “To be the first theatre in Kansas to do it doubles that honor.”

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Student work selected

JennaMallJenna Mall, a Bethany College student from Clay Center, Kansas, has been selected to display her artwork in downtown Lindsborg as part of the 2016 Messiah Festival of the Arts.

Mall is a studio art major who is concentrating in sculpture and ceramics. For this installation, she has created a life-sized human from steel sections that were welded together. Her sculpture is sitting upon a stack of books to represent how stories can activate one’s imagination. Mall has left the form as the steel structure to allow the viewer to use their imagination to see what the person would look like. She wants to spark the imagination of the viewer and let their own creativity and understanding finish off the piece.

Her artwork will be on display in the window of the Good Merchant in downtown Lindsborg beginning March 18 through April 1. Additionally, the Bethany Art Department will host the Messiah Festival Juried Student Art Show at Mingenback Gallery on Bethany’s campus beginning March 18 and running through April 1. There will be an opening reception and award ceremony on March 20 at 1 p.m.

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Spring Alumni Awards

Rev. & Mrs. Christenson

Rev. & Mrs. Christenson

Billy Hudson

Billy Hudson

Richard Strange

Richard Strange

Warren Olson

Warren Olson

Ryan Swartz

Ryan Swartz

Bethany College will honor five of its alumni at the Spring Alumni Awards Luncheon during Palm Sunday weekend.

The awards recognize outstanding achievement and service to society by Bethany graduates. This year’s award include: Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award – The Rev. J. Rolland Christenson ’50 and Aileen (Anderson) Christenson ‘50; Award of Merit – Richard Strange ’70, and Warren Olson ‘72; Distinguished Graduate Award – Billy Hudson ‘58; Gold Award – Ryan Swartz ‘00.

The awards luncheon takes place on March 19 in Pihlblad Memorial Union. A reception begins at noon in the Levin Room at the Union followed by the lunch at 12:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Reservations for the lunch are required by March 14 and can be made by contacting the Alumni Office at (785) 227-3380, ext. 8270.

 

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Professor wins fellowship

headshot_web_v_TylerAtkinsonBethany College Professor of Religion Tyler Atkinson is among the winners of the Kansas University Hall Center Visiting Regional Humanities Faculty fellowship. He will work on humanities scholarship and teaching improvement projects while in residence at the Hall Center for approximately three to four weeks in 2016.

Atkinson will focus on writing and teaching #BlackLivesMatter while at KU. He intends to conduct research and make progress on his publication “Luther, Bonhoeffer, and #BlackLivesMatter in Dialogue,” which poses the question: 500 years after Luther’s nailing of the “95 Theses” to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, how might the Reformation heritage prove generative for contemporary discussion of race in America? Atkinson will work in conjunction with the Department of African & African-American Studies, the Langston Hughes Center, KU Center for Teaching Excellence and the Hall Center on this hybrid writing and teaching project.

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Jalkeus leads vocal clinic

Anders Jalkeus

Anders Jalkeus

Student vocalists from nine Kansas high schools and community colleges will have a rare opportunity to learn from a professional musician at the Bethany College Vocal Jazz Clinic on Monday, March 21, 2016. Anders Jalkéus, renowned Swedish musician, will conduct individual clinics with each of the ensembles participating in the event.

Jalkéus, who is visiting Bethany College as its 2016 Pearson Professor, is a founding member of The Real Group, a professional a cappella ensemble from Sweden. As a performer, he has toured more than 40 countries and recorded more than 20 albums. In addition to his performing, Jalkéus is also a professional choral leader and has served as an international juror and workshop leader for Interkultur, the leading international organization for the implementation of choir festivals and serious choir competitions.

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Meet 2016 Pearson Professor

Anders Jalkeus

Anders Jalkeus

Bethany College will welcome renowned Swedish musician Anders Jalkéus to campus in March 6-29 as the 2016 Pearson Professor of Swedish Studies.

As a member of The Real Group, a professional a cappella ensemble from Sweden, Jalkéus has toured more than 40 countries and recorded more than 20 albums, a couple of which he also produced. He has composed songs and written arrangements of well-known standards for The Real Group and for the past 10 years has been a frequent adjudicator and clinician in competitions around the world.

Growing up in Tyresö (south of Stockholm) Jalkéus was introduced to folk music early in life as a result of his parents’ great interest in music. At age six he began violin and piano lessons and was accepted to the Adolf Fredrik’s School of Music as a 10-year-old. He continued at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm, where he and four classmates formed an a cappella quintet – The Real Group.

His broad musical interests embrace classical, jazz, folk, and children’s music. In addition to his work within the group, Jalkéus has achieved other impressive academic qualifications, including master’s degrees in classical solo singing and in music education, and bachelor degrees in organ playing and choir conducting.

While at Bethany, Jalkéus will perform during the Messiah Festival of the Arts on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. He will also take part in a number of public lectures and appearances on the Bethany College campus, including:

  • March 6: Welcome Reception, Bud Pearson Swedish Chapel, 8 p.m.
  • March 10: Master Class, Bud Pearson Swedish Chapel, 2:30-4 p.m.
  • March 16: Chapel Talk, Bud Pearson Swedish Chapel, 10:30 a.m.
  • March 20: Dr. Pelz Tribute Performance, Presser Hall, 3 p.m. (Reserved tickets required)
  • March 21: Vocal Jazz Clinic, Presser Hall, 10:15-11 a.m.
  • March 25: St. Matthew’s Passion Performance, Presser Hall, 7:30 p.m. (Reserved tickets required)
  • March 27: Messiah Performance, Presser Hall, 3 p.m. (Reserved tickets required)

The Pearson Distinguished Professorship in Swedish Studies discovers ways in which present-day Swedish culture and experience can illuminate and strengthen life in the United States. The professorship is made possible by an endowment from Gerald “Bud” Pearson, a long-time friend and supporter of Bethany College who served on the Bethany Board of Directors for two terms. He passed away in June 2008.

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Social justice speaker

SkyesBethany College will welcome Alvin Sykes, civil and human rights activist, on March 14 at 7 p.m. at the Pearson Chapel. Sykes is best known for his work, research, writing and garnering bipartisan congressional support for the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Act. President George Bush signed the “Emmett Till Bill” into law in 2008.

Having stopped his formal schooling as a teenager, Sykes accessed the Kansas City Public Library information systems to become familiar with legal precedents and background information on the death of Emmett Till as well as to learn the process and procedures needed to bring a law before the United States Congress.

Sykes is currently working on a second bill that will extend the content and the funding of the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Act into the future.

Alvin Sykes also works tirelessly on smaller, less well-known social justice issues, relying on his expert knowledge and research skills developed in the public library to develop background and document precedence for each issue.

His visit to the Bethany College campus is sponsored by The Human Agenda, Kansas City, Kansas, and The Bethany College Alumni Great Ideas Circle. The presentation is free and open to the public.

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Celebrating Women’s History

WHM-banner-home-pageBethany College celebrates Women’s History Month throughout March with a variety of programs each week. Professors from across campus will present topics throughout the month generally on Wednesdays beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Lindquist Hall, unless otherwise noted. The programs are open to anybody on campus and in the community for free. A list of programs includes:
  • Thursday, March 3 – “Raise More Hell and Less Corn: Mary Lease, Mother Jones, and 19th Century Women Radicals,” Dr. Thomas F. Jorsch, assistant professor of history. Dr. Jorsch will deliver a presentation on two of America’s most famous – or infamous – radicals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Mother Jones, union organizer and “the most dangerous woman in America,” and Mary Lease, Kansas’ Populist agrarian rebel.
  • March 9 (At Pearson Chapel) – “Have Women Yet Found a Room of Their Own?” Amy J. Riordan, assistant professor of communications. Based on the 1998 novel by Michael Cunningham, “The Hours” is a move that moves across decades, bringing together Virginia Woolf as she writes “Mrs. Dalloway” in 1929 with homemaker Mrs. Brown as she reads “Mrs. Dalloway” in 1949 with Clarissa Vaughn who appears to embody the character of Mrs. Dalloway in 2001. Using these women’s interwoven story lines as a starting point, Professor Riordan will lead a discussion focused on the evolution of women’s rights, duties, and sexuality.
  • March 16 – “Miss Representation,” Dr. Lisa Guinn, assistant professor of history. Miss Representation exposes how mainstream media and culture contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. Dr. Guinn will moderate a panel discussion following the film.
  • Tuesday, March 22 – “That Hijab Totally Goes with Your Eyes…Examining Powe and Essentialism in Muslim Fashion Shows,” Dr. Adam Pryor, assistant professor of religion. The Modesty Defined Islamic Fashion Council of America estimates that the Muslim clothing consumer market will reach $320 billion by 2018. Dr. Pryor will explore how Muslim women self-describe the significance of one of the most visible symbols of ‘modest’ clothing, the hijab, and discuss the significance of head covering, controversies related to modest clothing, and the significance of USA Islamic Fashion Week.
  • March 30 – “Do We Still Need a Feminist Movement?” Dr. Lisa Guinn, assistant professor of history. What was life like for women before the 1970s and the emergence of the Feminist Movement? With the positive changes won by the movement, is a Feminist Movement still relevant today? Dr. Guinn will compare women’s lives before the 1970s and now. A panel discussion will follow the presentation asking the question, “Do we still need a Feminist Movement?”
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Future teachers gather

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Members of the Kansas Teacher of the Year team.

The Bethany College Education Department recently hosted its annual Kansas Teacher of the Year Workshop for all education majors. The two hour event featured the eight members of the Kansas Teacher of the Year team and was attended by 56 Bethany College education major students. Members of the Kansas Teacher of the Year team presented talks on what it takes to be a successful teacher and make a difference.

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