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March 2021

Mozart & Beethoven Sonatas

March 11 @ 7:00 pm

Francesca Dego Introduction: Dr. Thomas Ahrens, Director of Convocations Celebrated for her sonorous tone, compelling interpretations, and flawless technique, Italian violinist Francesca Dego is one of the most sought after young musicians. She plays on a precious Francesco Ruggeri violin built in 1697. Her international career has allowed Dego to perform classical repertoire alongside many esteemed conductors worldwide, such as Sir Roger Norrington, Karen Durgaryan, and Christopher Hogwood, among others. Ms. Dego is accompanied on the piano by Francesca Leornadi,…

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Food Insecurity in the U.S.: Exploring Causes and Solutions

March 18 @ 7:00 pm
Food Insecurity in the U.S.: Exploring Causes and Solutions

Tamara Sandberg Tamara Sandberg serves as Save the Children’s U.S. Food Security and Nutrition Advisor. Committed to meeting the most urgent needs of children during the COVID-19 pandemic, Save the Children established Sandberg’s position in 2020 after seeing first-hand the sharp increase in children struggling with hunger in rural communities. Tamara is responsible for helping lead the global nonprofit’s emerging work to ensure children across rural America are getting the nutritious meals they need to succeed in school and in…

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April 2021

The Point of Arrival

April 8 @ 7:00 pm
The Point of Arrival with Carrie Newcomer

Carrie Newcomer Introduction: Dr. Thomas Ahrens, Director of Convocations Known for emotionally intimate songs that explore the personal, political, and spiritual with compassion, insight, and wit, American singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer has become a mainstay on the contemporary folk scene. With her warm yet assertive voice guiding her songs, she has embraced stylistic elements of acoustic folk and folk-rock.

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Navigating Life and Sport as a Black Muslim Woman

April 15 @ 7:00 pm
Ibtihaj Muhammad: Navigating Life and Sport as a Black Muslim Woman

Ibtihaj Muhammad Moderator: Dr. Shadee Malaklou, Asst. Professor & Chair, Women's and Gender Studies Join us for a conversation with 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American woman to compete in hijab. As a sports ambassador for the U.S. Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sport Initiative and named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Ibtihaj is a self-described “change agent” and—as Mattel describes her— “shero” to young girls everywhere. In conversation with Berea…

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Reporting on Appalachian Kentucky

April 29 @ 7:00 pm
Reporting on Appalachian Kentucky with Bill Estep

Bill Estep Moderator: Dr. Chris Green, Director, Appalachian Center & Assoc. Professor of Appalachian Studies Bill Estep has reported on Appalachian Kentucky since 1985 for the Lexington Herald-Leader. While the coal industry has withered and substance abuse worsened, the region has also improved its schools and stepped up efforts to diversify and rebuild the economy. Estep will share lessons learned from 38 years of covering Appalachian Kentucky, as well as the joys and difficulties of reporting about this region where…

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May 2021

The Link Between Happiness and Creativity

May 6 @ 7:00 pm
The Link Between Happiness and Creativity with Margaret Renkl

Margaret Renkl Moderator: Silas House Our ancestors didn’t think of creativity as a side gig. A quilt was meant to keep a family warm. It was meant to give a new practical use to the unworn bits of worn-out clothes. But our family quilts were never simply warm and never simply practical. They were beautiful, and making them brought their makers happiness. Renkl, an author and contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, believes that expressing our own creativity—whether…

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