Arts & Culture

Jay Siegel’s Tokens, Super Girls Group to Headline WESU’s Doo Wop Benefit Concert

On July 12,  Wesleyan's 88.1 FM WESU radio is hosting a fundraising concert in celebration of 75 years of community radio. The concert will feature several doo wop, rhythm and blues and rock ’n’ roll artists. 

On July 12,  Wesleyan’s 88.1 FM WESU radio is hosting a fundraising concert in celebration of 75 years of community radio. The concert will feature several doo wop, rhythm and blues and rock ’n’ roll artists.

Lovers of vintage doo wop, rhythm and blues and rock ’n’ roll attended a night to remember when Wesleyan’s 88.1 FM WESU Middletown presented the “WESU 75th Anniversary Doo Wop Extravaganza” on July 12.

The fundraising concert, held at the Middletown High School Performing Arts Center, was a celebration of 75 years of community radio.

Headlining the show was Jay Siegel’s Tokens, the legendary group that recorded the mega hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” They’ll be joined by The Super Girls Group, featuring original members of some of the greatest female groups of rock ’n’ roll, including:  Louise Murray of The Hearts & Jaynetts (“Lonely Nights” and “Sally Go Round The Roses”);  Lillian Walker of The Exciters (“Tell Him” and “Doo Wah Diddy”); Margaret Ross of The Cookies (“Chains” and “Don’t Say Nothing Bad About My Baby”); Beverly Warren of The Raindrops (“The Kind of Boy You Can’t Forget” and “What a Guy”); and Nanette Licari of Reparata and The Del Rons  (“Whenever A Teenager Cries” and “Tommy”).  

WESU has been broadcasting ‘oldies’ music for 35 years on Saturday mornings on the “Moondog Matinee” radio show (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

“While most commercial radio stations have abandoned this musical format, our ‘oldies’ programs are among our most popular shows. This is a great examples of how community radio, like WESU, serves the needs of listeners who are marginalized by main stream media,” said WESU General Manager Ben Michael.

Rose’s ‘The Shelf’ is Editor’s Choice

The Shelfa new book by Phyllis Rose, professor of English, emeritus, was featured as an “Editor’s Choice” in The Chicago TribuneThe review praises Rose’s “brilliant, generous counterintuitive voice” in this literary experiment, through which Rose attempts to “un-curate her reading life” and bring back the joy of random discovery that was lost with the extinction of the library card catalogue.

The reviewer explains: “The beauty of her idea lay in its arbitrary quality, the uniqueness appealed to her — that no one else in the history of the world had read this particular set of novels. She wanted a mix of new and old, women and men, and maybe a classic she had been meaning to read. In books, and in life, Phyllis Rose was after spontaneity, inclusiveness and uniqueness.”

 

Patricelli Seed Grant Winners Share Project Progress

Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Seed Grant recipients Oladoyin Oladapo '14 and Kwaku Akoi ’14 are spending the summer in New York running a social venture called JooMah, a web and SMS platform that helps African employers find talent and connects job seekers with opportunities. The recent alumni, and other members of the JooMah team have been conducting market research, building connections, honing their own business-related skills and are currently launching their service in Ghana. Oladapo '14 is JooMah's chief operations officer and Akoi is the chief executive officer.

Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Seed Grant recipients Oladoyin Oladapo ’14 and Kwaku Akoi ’14 are spending the summer in New York running a social venture called JooMah, a web and SMS platform that helps African employers find talent and connects job seekers with opportunities. The recent alumni, and other members of the JooMah team have been conducting market research, building connections, honing their own business-related skills and are currently launching their service in Ghana. Oladapo ’14 is JooMah’s chief operations officer and Akoi is the chief executive officer.

In March, the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship awarded three student-led social ventures with a Seed Grant. Student representatives from each group received $5,000 in unrestricted startup funds as well as trainings, advising, mentoring, incubator workspace, and other resources from the Patricelli Center.

This summer, the students are putting their grants to good use.

Wesleyan Partners with Make-A-Wish Foundation to Grant Teen’s Wish of Becoming a Photographer

Wesleyan staff and the Green Street Arts Center are helping to make a dream come true for a Middletown girl with a life-threatening illness.

Hannah

During a “Wish Granting” Ceremony June 17 at the Green Street Arts Center, Middletown resident Hannah received multiple donations from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Wesleyan University and Broad Street Books. Nikon donated a zoom lens.

Hannah Vecchitto, 14, is passionate about photography and received a brand new camera for Christmas. Her dream, which she shared with Make-a-Wish Connecticut, was for the opportunity to learn the camera and the art of photography, as well as have the technology to work on her own photography as a true artist.

Make-a-Wish Connecticut grants wishes for children between 2-1/2 and 18 years old who are suffering from life-threatening medical conditions. This year, the Connecticut chapter, one of more than 60 regional chapters in the U.S. and its territories, is on track to grant 170 wishes.

According to Michael Dominick, community and media relations manager for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut, each eligible child is assigned two wish granting volunteers. The volunteers meet with the family, get to know the child and help figure out how to fulfill his or her wish. One of Hannah’s volunteers reached out to Wesleyan for help in granting her wish.

On June 17 at Green Street Arts Center, Hannah was presented with a new Nikon camera lens and Macintosh computer equipped with photo-editing software. She also was given coupons for lessons in photojournalism and nature photography with Olivia Drake, campus photographer and editor, as well as fine art photography and photo editing lessons with Roslyn Carrier-Brault, administrative assistant in the Chemistry Department and a photography teacher at Green Street. Green Street also offered Hannah an opportunity to exhibit her photographs later this year.

In addition, Broad Street Books outfitted Hannah and her brother with Wesleyan gear. Janan Unghire, owner of Sweet Pea Quilts & Crafts in Ivoryton, also is donating a photo quilt with 12 of Hannah’s photos.

Carrier-Brault, a cancer survivor, started taking photos 20 years ago and now focuses her craft on expressive art therapy.

“I am grateful to receive this amazing opportunity to share my love of photography. It my hope to provide Hannah with the skills to expand her natural photographic talents and to lead her into discovering that small inner voice, which sparks creativity into becoming a powerful tool for healing,” she said.

Like Hannah, Drake received her first camera at age 14. She’s been taking pictures of Wesleyan’s campus and campus events for almost 10 years, and photographs wildlife as a hobby.

“Hannah could have chosen a trip to Disneyland or another vacation, but her wish is to become a professional photographer. Photography is one way to tell a story. Through her photos, we’ll see what Hannah sees, feels and experiences,” Drake said. “I’m so touched and honored to help make Hannah’s wish come true. She’s a very special young lady, and based on photos that she’s shown me, she’s a pretty great photographer already!”

“We’re so glad that we could work with the Make a Wish Foundation to support Hannah in her dream to be a photographer. A great group of people donated their talents and passion to a beautiful little girl and we couldn’t be prouder of our team here at Green Street and Wesleyan,” MacSorley said. “I can’t wait to hear all about Hannah’s photography experiences and see her pictures hanging in our exhibit to share with the community.”

More photos of the June 17 “Wish Granting” Ceremony are below:

makeawishhannah-(16)

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut donated photo editing software as part of Hannah’s wish to be a professional photographer. Pictured at left is Hannah’s brother, Calvin.

Students Receive Patricelli Center Grants, Priebatsch Summer Internship

This month, five Wesleyan students received Summer Experience Grants, supported by the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. The honor comes with a $4,000 stipend to supplement costs associated with a summer internship experience.

The grants are available for Wesleyan sophomores and juniors currently receiving need-based financial aid who plan to do socially innovative or socially responsible work during summer break.

The recipients include Theodora Messalas ’15, Dara Mysliwiec ’16, Keren Reichler ’16, Geneva Jonathan ’15 and Jared Geilich ’15. In addition, film major Aaron Kalischer-Coggins ’15 received a Priebatsch Internship Grant. All grantees report on their experiences on the Patricelli Center’s ENGAGE blog.

Theodora Messalas

Theodora Messalas ’15

Sociology major Theodora Messalas is working with a food pantry, soup kitchen and women’s homeless shelter called Crossroads Community Services in New York City, exploring ways to implement successful social services in which the needs and preferences of the end-users are paramount.

“I am interested in finding out exactly how Crossroads is run in the hopes of one day spearheading my own similar organization,” Messalas said. “I want to see firsthand how they have translated the desire to provide food and shelter to underserved New Yorkers into a running operation that can actually get these services to people. I want to see all their successes, and I want to get to know the roadblocks that they meet.”

Biology and earth and environmental studies major Dara Mysliwiec is addressing food sovereignty in Lamas, Peru, using sustainable – and previously lost – indigenous farming techniques

ICPP Offers New Masters Degree in Performance Curation

wo-year low residency MA program to begin in summer of 2015; Existing pilot ten-month Certificate Program in Performance Curation also made permanent.

Wesleyan will offer a new, two-year low residency MA program through the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP).

Next summer, Wesleyan’s Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) will offer a new Master of Arts in Performance Curation degree program, in addition to the permanent establishment of the Certificate Program in Performance Curation.

The Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance was founded in 2010, and introduced as a pilot initiative in 2011, by Wesleyan graduates Samuel Miller ’75 and Pamela Tatge, director of the Center for the Arts, in partnership with Judy Hussie-Taylor and New York’s Danspace Project. ICPP is the first institute of its kind, a center for the academic study of the presentation and contextualization of contemporary performance. Distinct from graduate programs in Curatorial Studies, Arts Administration, Performance Studies, and the Humanities, ICPP offers its students a graduate-level education in innovative and relevant curatorial approaches to developing and presenting time-based art.

The new MA is a two-year, low residency program that can be pursued concurrently with one’s existing professional responsibilities.

Ukrainians’ Utopian Mindset Toward Art

Katja Kolcio, chair and associate professor of dance, associate professor of environmental studies, writes in The Huffington Post about how the arts have been critical in defining Ukrainian sovereignty over the centuries.

In Ukraine’s long history, political sovereignty has existed only for three brief time periods, while the country has spent most of its existence under control of the Mongol, Polish, Lithuanian, Russian, Ottoman, Austrian and German Empires.

Yet, Kolcio writes, “Despite the absence of political sovereignty, a distinctly Ukrainian sensibility was preserved in the graphic designs of folk arts, in the philosophical words of poets, and in the historical lyrics sung by kobzari, members of a guild for blind bards. For most of the 20th century, artists fueled the social consciousness and dignity of people de-individualized under Soviet regime, despite the dire consequences they faced.”

Read more here.

Richards ’69, Basinger Speak on Adapting Bridges of Madison County into a Film and Musical

On Saturday, May 24 at the Center for Film Studies, veteran Broadway producer Jeffrey Richards ’69 (All the Way, The Realistic Joneses, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill) and Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies Jeanine Basinger spoke to a packed house about the different approaches in adapting the novel The Bridges of Madison County into a film, directed by Clint Eastwood Hon. ’00, and into a musical, which Richards recently co-produced on Broadway.

On May 24 at the Center for Film Studies, veteran Broadway producer Jeffrey Richards ’69 (All the Way, The Realistic Joneses, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill) and Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies Jeanine Basinger spoke to a packed house about the different approaches in adapting the novel The Bridges of Madison County into a film, directed by Clint Eastwood Hon. ’00, and into a musical, which Richards recently co-produced on Broadway. During the WESeminar, Richards discussed the difficulties of producing and marketing a show with a new musical score as opposed to a jukebox musical with familiar songs, which is popular show genre on Broadway these days. Richards also spoke about the influence of critics on the success of a play or a musical and the possibility of making money on a show on tour even if it doesn’t do well on Broadway.

David Low '76, associate director of publications; Marc Longenecker, technical and programming manager in film studies; Lea Carlson, associate director of film studies, and Lilly Holman '15 enjoyed the WESeminar with Jeffrey Richards '69 and Jeanine Basinger.

David Low ’76, associate director of publications; Marc Longenecker ’03, MA ’07, technical and programming manager in film studies; Lea Carlson, associate director of film studies, and Lilly Holman ’15 enjoyed the WESeminar with Jeffrey Richards ’69 and Jeanine Basinger.

40 Years of the CFA

“Looking back isn’t something Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts is much interested in doing,” begins a WNPR report on the 40th anniversary of Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts.

“During this 40th Anniversary Season, instead of reflecting on the past and patting itself on the back for four decades of innovative and non-traditional arts programming, CFA chose to celebrate with business as usual.

That means engaging audiences in less that’s familiar, repetitive, or comfortable, and more in timely visits from new visionary artists and performers — global rock stars of the experimental art and performance world.”

Read the whole report, along with pictures and video of recent CFA performances, here.