Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts has announced its new free monthly CULTURE + series, a mix of live performances and thought-provoking dialogue. The first installment, titled “CULTURE + BLACK CULTURE MATTERS,” will be on Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
The program will feature former Kentucky Poet Laureate and Danville native Frank X Walker, community and arts advocate and award-winning author Yolantha Harrison-Pace, and Centre graduate, musician and women’s soccer coach Jessica Chisley. Centre College President Milton Moreland will introduce the program, which will be moderated by Centre Vice President for Diversity Affairs Andrea Abrams.
Throughout the series, the programs will explore what makes central Kentucky special and celebrate the area’s brightest performers, artists and thought-leaders.
“As we try to navigate the world around us, today, with so many issues that are polarizing our planet, CULTURE+ intersects relevant conversations and cultural entertainment among friends and neighbors using a platform that is fairly accessible, free and readily available,” said Executive Director Steve Hoffman.
For several years, the Norton Center has been providing intentional engagement activities, such as jam sessions with touring artists, panel discussions on topical issues related to upcoming performances and other activities that provide the community with ways to engage with artists and the arts.
“With the pandemic and no live concerts, we thought about what to do next,” Hoffman added. “We know that many people find our engagement activities just as valuable as the performances themselves. So, while public programs are not available in the Norton Center, we wanted to reinforce that the arts are essential in our community by having a program that intersects culture with other, more mainstream topical issues and themes.
“The CULTURE+ series was developed as an online program that can continue in-person once it is safe for groups to congregate,” he continued. “While some program topics we are considering for upcoming CULTURE+ events are already arts related, we are trying to demonstrate how the arts can be used for the public to discuss important issues, like the pandemic itself or the Black Lives Matter movement for social justice, through the lens of artists. Other program ideas being considered for future programs focus on our community commerce and governance, sports and eSports and culinary arts.”
Through this series, Hoffman said he hopes people experience a fun 60-minute bursts of lively conversations and artistic demonstrations, a deeper connection to the arts and how culture directly impacts our community in unexpected ways and a continued desire for life-long learning.
Please visit www.nortoncenter.com or call 1-859-236-4692 to learn more. Registration is required for this free online event.
by Kerry Steinhofer
August 4, 2020