From Shakespeare to Iran-Contra figure Oliver North, photojournalism, music and lyrical poetry to humanitarianism, a diverse mix of topics is slated for this fall’s convocation series of arts and events at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Va.
The public is invited to all events.
The series begins with Jason Connell, a 24-year-old world traveler who shares insights on “Changing the World.” He provides the keynote address for VI’s Opening Convocation at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1 in Harrison-Jones Memorial Hall. Connell has volunteered in the world’s poorest regions and found hope for positive action from the most horrid tragedies. In Thailand, he listened to a 16-year-old sex slave share her staggering experiences, and while in Uganda, he met a woman who was forced to watch as her family was murdered by a rebel army. He advocates ways to improve our lives, our communities and expand the vision to help the world.
The series continues with a forum Wednesday, Sept. 7 featuring coach Lauren Kinser and the Lady Cobras volleyball team, who traveled to Nicaragua in aid of children in need last spring. The forum will be held at noon in the President’s Dining Room.
Sunday, Sept. 11, the campus will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the United States. The event will include a film, music and reflections at 7 p.m. in Harrison-Jones.
Professor Edison Jennings is on the forefront at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, in Nunn Recital Hall. Jennings was selected from competitive applicants to participate this summer in a study on lyric poetry at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington. The project seeks to keep alive in undergraduate education classical texts such as the Iliad, Odyssey, the Homeric Hymns, the poetry of Hesiod and the Histories of Herodotus.
During a visit Monday, Sept. 19, Jeffrey Rich, recently named a winner of the Magenta Flash Forward 2011 Emerging Photographers Competition, will lecture and present images from his work on the French Broad River in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. Published in such periodicals as “The Oxford American,” Rich documents the receding health of the river for the first time since passage of the Clear Water Act. He will appear at 7:30 p.m. in Nunn Recital Hall and will also present a separate workshop for VI photography and digital imaging students. An exhibit of his work will run from Sept. 15 through Oct. 13 in the Anne R. Worrell Fine Arts Center.
As part of the Bristol Public Library Worldview Scholarship Series Events, Dr. Bill Bass, the University of Tennessee’s world famous forensic anthropologist, together with journalist and filmmaker Jon Jefferson, will tell the remarkable story of “The Body Farm.” This event is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, in Harrison-Jones. Reserved seat tickets are $20, while general admission is free.
“The Value of Storytelling in the Human Community” is the theme Monday, Sept. 26, when Danielle Bellone, a poet and storyteller, lectures at 1:30 p.m. in Nunn Recital Hall. A theater graduate of Louisiana State University, Bellone is pursuing a master’s degree in storytelling from East Tennessee State University.
The college will host a rare glimpse into regional photojournalism Thursday, Sept. 29. Jim Conrad, a 25-year videographer and reporter for WCYB-TV5, will recount highlights from his diverse body of work. Conrad’s presentation is at 7:30 p.m. in Harrison-Jones.
The VI Student Government Association takes the lead Friday, Sept. 30 in presenting a program on the concept of self-governance on campus. The program is at 1 p.m. in Harrison-Jones and is one of a series of freshman core studies lecture hours.
Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, a Fox News Channel host, best-selling author and controversial figure from the Iran-Contra affair, will speak at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 in Harrison-Jones. North’s presentation, “America in the New Millennium,” is provided by the Bristol Public Library Worldview Scholarship Series. Reserved tickets are $20, while general admission is free.
Nationally known equestrian Kay Meredith, also an author of historical fiction about the Appalachian region, visits at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17 in Harrison-Jones. She was the 1982 National Grand Prix Champion, a member of the U.S. gold medal-winning dressage team at the 1983 Pan-Am Games, won the U.S. Dressage Federation bronze, silver and gold medals and was the American Horse Show Association Horsewoman of the Year in 1979. She will present a dressage clinic for VI’s equestrians and will make a public appearance about her 2008 novel, “Affair at Boreland Springs.” It is an intriguing story of jealousy and murder set in the once magnificent surroundings of West Virginia’s Boreland Springs Resort.
Guitars made by Wayne Henderson are some of the most sought after in the world and steel picking the instrument has taken him from Grayson County, Va., to Carnegie Hall. He will perform in collaboration with Helen White at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 in Harrison-Jones. Henderson is a master of steel-string picking and has toured nationally and internationally. A recipient of a 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts, he also produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars. Bluegrass legend Doc Watson plays a Henderson mandolin. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are $5.
Former Barter Theatre actress Quinn Hawkesworth performs at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7 in Harrison-Jones. She presents “The Belle of Amherst, the Life of Emily Dickenson,” an award-winning dramatic monologue. The audience will be immersed in poetry and poetics as Hawkesworth presents her signature performance.
VI celebrates Veteran’s Day at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Harrison-Jones with a presentation of the PBS documentary, “Price of Peace: World War II.” Interweaving personal stories set against the backdrop of the war, the program recalls the fear, passion, courage and sacrifice suffered by millions of Americans during the war years. Among those profiled is Henry Hipshire, who came from Appalachia to land on the beaches of Omaha and fought his way to Berlin. Audience reaction and reflection will be encouraged after the film.
The VI Theatre Department presents Shakespeare’s classic “The Tempest” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 10, 11 and 12, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13. All performances are in Trayer Theatre of the Worrell Fine Arts Center. General admissions tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. For more information, call Coordinator of Performing Arts Bonny Gable at (276) 466-7973 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
A marimba concert comes to campus with virtuoso Larissa Venzie performing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17 in Harrison-Jones. Venzie combines technical prowess with a genuine love of her unique instrument to produce an entertaining and engaging evening of music.
A VI holiday tradition continues with the Tennessee High School Madrigal Singers performing from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Dec. 1 in the Dining Hall. Admission is $10 to the event, which includes dinner. Reservations are recommended. Call (276) 466-7179 or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
The Christmas season’s special events continue with a VI Choir concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 in Nunn Recital Hall. The choir is under the direction of Amy O b l i n g e r.
All events in the convocation series are free unless otherwise specified.
The series is funded in part by a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
Reserved tickets for the Worldview Scholarship Series events can be purchased by calling the Bristol Public Library at (276) 821-6148.