Ailey II dance coming to BPAC

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center | No Comments
Ailey II will perform Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bologna Performing Arts Center. Photo by Kyle Froman.

Ailey II Dance Company is making Cleveland one of its stops during the acclaimed 12-member dance ensemble’s 32-city world tour. The group will perform at Delta State’s Bologna Performing Arts Center on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Ailey II, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s second company, is internationally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. One of the most popular dance companies in the country, Ailey II combines a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs. Their Nov. 2 program will feature two new commissions, “Breaking Point” and “Road To One,” in addition to the “Revelations,” the must-see masterpiece by Alvin Ailey himself.

Jamaican-born choreographer Renee I. McDonald’s “Breaking Point” is an intense depiction of the fight for our heart’s desire. Whether it is love, friendship, forgiveness or a secret longing – these things can take us to our limit. Suitably paired with the bold and pulsating sounds of Audiomachine, McDonald’s high-powered, modern-based choreography captures the willpower and frenzy it takes to keep up the fight until you hit your breaking point.

Darrell Grand Moultrie’s “Road To One” passionately embraces the journey we take to find meaning in our lives and eventually pass it on to the next generation. Inspired by a mentor who introduced him to the arts at a young age, Moultrie pays it forward with the Ailey II dancers, creating a high-energy ensemble work that uses elegant, modern movement with a contemporary edge. The musical score features an eclectic range of artists, including Ezio Bosso, Kinjey Bunchens, Monica Chuchi, Oliver Davis, and Spark.

Troy Powell, artistic director for Ailey II, will speak at a luncheon on the Delta State campus on Nov. 1. The title of his program is “Growing up Ailey,” and he will speak about his personal experiences of being mentored by Alvin Ailey, as well as speak to the history of the company and its impact on the dance world. The luncheon is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To register, contact the BPAC’s main office at 662-846-4625.

Ailey II will be in residency at the BPAC for three days, funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi Arts Commission. In addition to the public performance and luncheon, the company will also perform a matinee for school audiences on Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. and provide masterclasses for area youth.

Tickets to see Ailey II start at $25, and discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale at www.bolognapac.com or at the BPAC Ticket Office at 662-846-4626.

GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi to welcome Peter Frampton

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GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi will welcome Peter Frampton to the stage Nov. 3 for a conversation and intimate performance benefiting the museum’s education initiative.

Frampton remains one of the most celebrated artists and guitarists in rock history. At 16, he was a lead singer and guitarist for the British band the Herd. At 18, he co-founded one of the first super groups, seminal rock act Humble Pie. His session work includes collaborations with legendary artists such as George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, David Bowie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, John Entwistle and many others. His fifth solo album, the electrifying “Frampton Comes Alive!” remains one of the top-selling live records of all time.

Frampton is a four-time GRAMMY® nominee and 2007 GRAMMY winner for Best Pop Instrumental Album. He will be accompanied by GRAMMY-winning songwriter, Gordon Kennedy, who wrote Eric Clapton’s hit “Change The World.”

The evening will include a cocktail reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. and performance starting at 8:00 p.m. in the Sanders Soundstage. Tickets include a complimentary bar and hors d’oeuvres by chef Cole Ellis.

This event sold out the week of Oct. 23.

Mississippi Moments to highlight Wyatt on radio Oct. 23-27

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Mississippi Moments, a program featured on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, is highlighting the tenure of Delta State University President Emeritus Dr. Kent Wyatt daily from Oct. 23-27 on MPB stations across the state.

In today’s discussion Wyatt will discuss highlights of his Delta State presidency between 1975-1999. He will also reflect on how the school has grown since he first moved to Cleveland in 1945.

To hear the interview, visit http://mississippimoments.libsyn.com.

Hosted by Bill Ellison, Mississippi Moments is produced by the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Southern Mississippi and supported by the Mississippi Humanities Council.

“We are excited that Bill Ellison and Mississippi Moments have chosen to feature Dr. Kent Wyatt on this week’s program,” said Emily Jones, Delta State archivist. “Dr. Wyatt’s story is so special to Cleveland, Delta State and the Mississippi Delta, and Mississippi Moments will feature four shorts from his oral history recorded here at DSU.”

Mississippi Moments will share Wyatt’s journey to Cleveland as the son of Forest Wyatt, who became Delta State’s football coach in 1945, his eventual enrollment at Delta State, to Wyatt becoming the university’s longest serving President from 1975-1999.

“Rarely does a person experience such a profound opportunity to serve a city, institution and region in the way Dr. Wyatt was able to here at Delta State,” Jones added. “Mississippi Moments will offer a small glimpse into the life of a man who means so much to us all.”

To learn more about Mississippi Moments, visit MississippiMoments.org.

Delta State receives $1.15 million federal McNair award

By | Academics, Faculty/Staff, Institutional Grants, Students | No Comments

Delta State University recently received notice of a major $1.15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.

This coveted McNair award will provide funding over the next five years for Delta State to increase the number of advanced and doctoral degrees in typically underrepresented groups and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each year, 25 undergraduate participants will be selected and designated as Delta State McNair Research Scholars, and their academic progress will be directly enhanced with support services and resources.

Emphasis will be placed on recruiting students from 10 STEM majors at Delta State and affiliated associate degree programs at Coahoma Community College and Mississippi Delta Community College. One of eight federal TRIO programs, the McNair funding prepares eligible participants for doctoral studies through research and other scholarly activities.

“We are excited to be a participant in the McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program,” said Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “This federally funded program takes our retention efforts to the next level by focusing the students’ sights on completing a graduate degree while still on a path to complete their undergraduate degree. This program holds great promise for our students and for the state of Mississippi.”

Heather Kovarcik Miller, Delta State’s director of Institutional Grants, is thrilled with the grant.

“This award is highly competitive, and we at Delta State are elated to have this grant proposal funded, which is the first McNair award ever for our university,” she said.

Those who worked with Miller to secure the grant included: Wendy Stevens, graduate recruiter; Jon Delperdang. Hearin TFA Graduate Fellow; and Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

“The opportunities that open up for our students due to this funding are extraordinary,” said Moon. “Plus, we will be able to provide support to faculty members who will serve as mentors for these students. The faculty will help shepherd the selected students through junior and senior years at the university. The support for the McNair scholars will also continue on into their graduate programs as we track their successes.”

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

 

Gadabout Film Festival set for Oct. 23

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The digital media arts program and QEP will host a Gadabout Film Festival on Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. in the Baioni Conference Center in Broom Hall.

The annual Gadabout Film Festival is an internationally-touring short film program with a unique style and energy.

A Gadabout screening is an experience accessible to everyone, from film aficionados to film novices, with a selection of high-quality, well-paced films diverse in genre, medium, and content. The program will include documentaries, animations, narratives, and just plain fun films.

Eric Ayotte festival founder and co-producer, said the program has grown significantly over the past 14 years.

“We have been fortunate enough to receive and share incredible short films from all around the world, screening them in 45 states, 15 different countries and over 100 cities during the past 14 years,” he said. “Over that time we’ve seen filmmaking and the way in which we watch films change and progress. We have gone from receiving VHS submissions in the mail to transferring digital files from filmmakers online that live thousands of miles away. From a time when YouTube didn’t exist to a world where people can watch anything they want at the click of a button. But the essence of the Gadabout hasn’t changed. Things have become even more exciting, especially now that filmmaking has become more accessible. We want to show that film making can be fun, and amazing content can come out of low-to-no budgets.”

Since its beginning, in 2002, the Gadabout had the idea of creating a film festival that operates more like a DIY punk band, an alternative to the money-focused, commercial film festivals. With a van, projector, screen, and speakers, the founders took a program of independent shorts films out on the road, screening in basements, art houses, music venues, collective spaces, warehouses, parking lots, and more. Every year since, the festival has grown and built connections globally, while continuing to create engaging and entertaining film programs to share with new audiences.