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STOMP to take BPAC stage Feb. 28

By | Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community | No Comments

STOMP, the international percussion sensation, makes its Mississippi Delta premiere at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m.

From its beginnings as a street performance in the United Kingdom, STOMP has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years, having performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people.

A unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, STOMP has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression. Both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of body percussionists. It is a journey through sound, a celebration of the everyday, and a comic interplay of characters wordlessly communicating through dance and drum.

Created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, STOMP continues its phenomenal run with four global productions: the ongoing sell-out production at New York’s Orpheum Theatre, a permanent London company, and North American and European tours. Throughout its life, the show has continued to change by creating new material. This year, it will incorporate two new pieces.

An overwhelming success marked by rave reviews, the production has won numerous awards and sell-out engagements. It is the winner of an Olivier Award for Best Choreography (London’s Tony Award), a New York Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, and a Special Citation from Best Plays.

In addition to the stage shows, STOMP has been an overwhelming success marked by an Academy Award nomination, four Emmy nominations and one Emmy Award for their acclaimed HBO special “Stomp Out Loud,” noteworthy TV appearances including the London 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony, The Academy Awards (produced by Quincy Jones), Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and a series of award-winning international commercials.

“The performers make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” said Cresswell, co-founder and director.

Synchronized stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra; eight Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery fugue; and wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion. STOMP uses everything but conventional percussion instruments — dustbins, tea chests, radiator hoses, boots, hub caps — to fill the stage with a compelling and unique act that is often imitated but never duplicated.

Tickets are available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, open Monday–Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by calling 662-846-4626, or going online to www.bolognapac.com.

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Matsy Wynn Richards tabbed for Howorth Woman of Achievement Award

By | Archives and Museum | No Comments

The public is invited to attend the 2017 Lucy Somerville Howorth Woman of Achievement Award on April 2 at 2 p.m. at the Charles W. Capps Jr. Archives and Museum Building at Delta State.

The Awards Committee recently announced this year’s recipient as the late Martha “Matsy” Wynn Richards.

Richards was born Martha Kinman Wynn in 1888 in Friars Point, Mississippi. She moved to Greenville with her parents at a young age, where she lived until attending school in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1918, she read an article in the Christian Science Monitor that steered her to pursue a career in photography.

“Matsy was a successful woman in a time where women were unlikely to be,” said Daniel Shemwell, recipient of the 2016-17 Lucy Somerville Howorth Fellowship. “Matsy broke free of perpetuated norms in the south in 1918 when she went in search of an education in photography. Forging a career out of something she was both deeply passionate about and skilled at, her work became so successful, she attracted attention from giants like Vogue Magazine and Fox Studios. She lived life to the fullest. Matsy was an inspiration to many in the field of photography and is still talked about and studied today.”

Following the award ceremony, a new exhibit featuring Richards’s life work and accomplishments will open in the main gallery.

“Since beginning my work with Matsy when I received the fellowship in the fall of 2016, I have had the unique opportunity of working with some of her living relatives who knew her,” added Shemwell. “Her family offered me a real life connection to the woman whose works are in boxes in the archives. This project has focused my historical interest and I hope others will enjoy seeing her life’s work as I have.”

Emily Jones, university archivist, said she is looking forward to honoring another worthy recipient.

“Women of the Delta have made significant contributions to not only the social and cultural landscape of the region, but have been in the unique position to serve as ambassadors of the Delta to the rest of the world,” said Jones. “I am proud that Judge Lucy chose this awards program to bear her name and support as a lasting legacy.”

Previous recipients of the award include:
• Emma Knowlton Humphreys Lytle-2000
• Keith Dockery McLean- 2003
• Mae Bertha Carter- 2005
• Franke Keating- 2007
• LePoint Cassibry Smith- 2009
• Fannie Lou Hamer- 2012
• Dorothy Shawhan- 2015

For more information, contact archives@deltastate.edu.

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Students prep trees for Arbor Day

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

To help celebrate Arbor Day each year, the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Cleveland gives trees to local residents to plant at their residences or throughout the community.

On Feb. 7, Teressa Oakes with the NRCS in Cleveland, allowed Dr. Baghai-Riding’s Foundation of Environmental Science class to help with this year’s effort. Oakes brought several hundred tree saplings to the loading dock area of Caylor Hall where students dipped the tree roots in water to keep them moist, then placed them into plastic bags for distribution. Several students also took a few trees to plant in their yards.

Specimens included river birch, sawtooth oak, water oak, crepe myrtle, flowering dogwood and bald cypress.

The trees were given out at the NRCS office on Feb. 10. Oakes thanked Baghai-Riding’s class for making fast work of this task and is making plans for Delta State students to help with next year’s event.

Contact Baghai-Riding at nbaghai@deltastate.edu to learn more about the environmental science program at Delta State University.

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Women’s Conference scheduled for March 2-3

By | Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The Office of Student Affairs will present the 2017 Women’s Conference titled ““I Am My Sister’s Keeper” on March 2-3 at Delta State University.

Under the direction of Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Vernell Bennett, the conference will be a celebration of female excellence on campus.

“It will also be a means to increase student engagement, foster a culture of students supporting one another, endorse a healthy mind, body and spirit, participate in community service, networking and finally, recognize regional stewardship,” said Bennett.women's conference

Students are asked to register online for the event at www.deltastate.edu/womens-conference. The schedule of events will be provided free to students, and the first 100 registrants will receive a free T-shirt.

Featured guests will include Dr. Myrtis Tabb, Judge Linda Coleman, Rochelle Owsley, Christy Pickering, and more.

The schedule kicks off at 11 a.m. on March 2 with a luncheon on the second floor of the Student Union (free to the first 100 registrants) and a discussion about HIV awareness. Participants are asked to wear red shoes to be entered into a prize raffle.

The Lady Statesman Spa & Health and Wellness Fair will feature health agencies from the region, and local vendors and exhibitors. All activities, including massages and pedicures, will be free of charge.

Later that evening, the red carpet will be rolled out for the Lady Statesman Emerald Awards of Excellence.

The schedule continues March 3 with a day of service throughout Cleveland, followed by a flash mob performance on campus, a convocation speech by Pickering, the United in Green women’s empowerment panel, and a film screening of “A League of Their Own” at 6 p.m. to round out the conference.

“I hope the biggest takeaway for the students is that they’ll enjoy being actively engaged in a number of different capacities,” said Bennett. “We want the young ladies to come out and learn about the resources and support systems on campus and in the community. We want them to enjoy the experience, and then go back and get more young ladies involved.”

Bennett added that a men’s conference would be planned for the fall semester.

For more information, contact 662-846-4150.

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Registration open for Mississippi Summer Arts Institute

By | Academics, Bologna Performing Arts Center, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

The 2017 Janice Wyatt Mississippi Summer Arts Institute at the Bologna Performing Arts Center is gearing up for its annual summer programs.

This year marks its 20th summer of operation, impacting the lives of countless emerging artists by providing a unique opportunity for students to gain broad exposure in all artistic disciplines.

Core Arts, occurring June 4-17, is an exciting two-week arts intensive residential camp for ages 12-18. Core Arts provides a positive and supportive environment for students who wish to gain exposure to the arts or aim to further develop their creative abilities. Students stay on the Delta State campus, take classes in a wide range of art forms with highly qualified professional teaching artists during the day, and participate in fun activities at night. Courses are offered in dance, digital arts, music, theater and visual arts. Core Arts culminates with a visual arts exhibition June 16, as well as a final performance which demonstrates the talents of the performing arts campers on June 17. An optional non-residential track is also available for campers ages 12-13.

Young artists ages 5-11 are invited to attend PLUS Camp on July 17-22, a high-energy, performance-oriented day camp where students take classes and prepare for their final performance — a choreographed medley of songs that revolve around a central theme. MSAI is excited to welcome back beloved faculty from previous summers and newer additions like Chuck Galey, a Jackson illustrator and an accredited Mississippi Arts Commission teaching artist.

Applications are being accepted now and are available at the Bologna Performing Arts Center or for download online: bolognapac.com/education/mississippi-summer-arts-institute. For more information, stop by the BPAC, or call Cade Holder, Arts Education coordinator, at 662-846-4844.