Skip to main content

Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

2nd Dayton Funk Symposium

This symposium brings together scholars, teachers, students and performing artists to explore and experience the innovative African American Funk music movement that put Dayton, Ohio, on the map in the 1970s and 1980s, leading to its identification as the World Capitol of Funk. 

The Graul Chair's 2nd Dayton Funk Symposium will begin Wednesday evening, Nov. 3, 2021, at the Neon Theatre with a 7 p.m. showing of the documentary "Summer of Soul." The symposium runs through Saturday evening, Nov. 6, culminating at the Schuster Center for the Performing Arts with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra's funk concert in the "Rockin' Orchestra Series." University of Dayton campus events will include symposium presentations on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (Nov. 4-6). Thursday and Friday events will be at Curran Place on Patterson Blvd., and will include a keynote address on Thursday night and a line-dance party on Friday night, both evening events beginning at 7 p.m. Symposium presentations on Saturday will take place in the Kennedy Union Building's Torch Lounge. Free parking is available in both campus locations.

These events are made possible in part by a Culture Works special project grant and The Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District.

Scheduling of events is subject to change, due to the University's response to COVID-19.

Learn more about Culture Works >

Learn more about The Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District >

University of Dayton campus map

Additional Information

For more information, please email the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages, Dr. Sharon Gratto at or call 937-229-3968.

Additional symposium support is provided by the College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Dean, and the Department of Music through a bequest from the George Zimmerman American Music Fund.

Except where indicated, all events are free and open to the public. Masks are required for all attendees. Events at the Neon Theatre and the Schuster Center require proof of vaccination and identification. 

2nd Dayton Funk Symposium Event Schedule

Neon Theatre, 130 East Fifth Street, Dayton, Ohio, 45402
  • 7 p.m.: Film showing of “Summer of Soul,” post showing conversation moderated by Dr. “Rickey” Vincent (tickets at the door for $8 or at for $10) *

Meyer or Marshall Rooms, Curran Place, 1700 S. Patterson Boulevard Dayton, Ohio 45409
  • 9-10 a.m.: Opening Panel: Looking Back at Dayton Funk History, Dr. Rickey Vincent (moderator), Keith Harrison, Kerry Rutledge, Ray Turner, and Tony Allen
  • 10-11 a.m.: Funk from a Legal Prism, Merle F. Wilberding, Attorney; James “Diamond” Williams, The Ohio Players
  • 11-12 a.m.: My Sister’s Keeper: Celebrating the Black Women of Funk, Dr. Minnita Daniel-Cox, Larry Gates
  • 1:15-1:45 p.m.: Poetry reading No. 1, Herbert Martin (“I Dream You Harlem,” “A Negro Soldier’s Vietnam Diary”)
  • 1:45-2:45 p.m.: “My Name is Prince, and I am Funky!” Prince’s Funk and How He Helped Bring It To A New (Power) Generation, Andrea Foy
  • 2:45-3:45 p.m.: Funk and the Defunct Music Curriculum, Ed Sarath
  • 3:45-4:45 p.m.: Reissued Funk: Reclaiming the Feminist Innovations of Betty Davis, Dr. Danielle E. Maggio
  • 4:45-5:30 p.m.: Pour Some Water on Me: Personal Reflections on Dayton Funk and the People Who Created It, Philip Bass (copies of the Bass book will be available for purchase after the session)
  • 7:30-9 p.m.: Keynote Address: Funk and Afro Futurism: The Past, Present, and Future of the Funk - Dr. Frederick “Rickey” Vincent, author of the award-winning Funk: The Music, the People and the Rhythm of The One (1996), the first definitive treatment of funk music and culture. (copies of the Vincent book will be a available for purchase after the address)

Meyer or Marshall Rooms, Curran Place, 1700 S. Patterson Boulevard Dayton, Ohio 45409
  • 9-10 a.m.: Two Dayton City Commissioners Speak: Christopher Shaw and Jeffrey Mims share personal experiences with Dayton funk, Dr. Scot Brown (moderator) 
  • 10-11 a.m.: Funk in Visual Art: Visual Art of Earth, Wind, and Fire, Dr. Trenton Bailey
  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m.: Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsys, Corey Washington
  • 1-1:30 p.m.: Poetry reading  No. 2, Herbert Martin (“The Spoils of the Day;” “Out of the Dead Bones”)
  • 1:30-2:45 p.m.: Just a Touch of Love: Slave and Sonic Messages of Upliftment, Dr. Scot Brown
  • 2:45-3:45 p.m.: Finding the (P-) Funk in Techno, Keaton Soto-Olson
  • 3:45-4:45 p.m.: Land of Funk Art, Morris Howard
  • 4:45-5:30 p.m.: Funk Album Cover Artwork, Marcus Chapman
  • 7-10 p.m.: Curran Place Cafeteria: “Not Your Average Wedding Reception” Line Dance Party, with whole group instruction, Stan “The Man” Brooks, DJ

Torch Lounge, Kennedy Union Building, University of Dayton Main Campus
  • 9-10 a.m.: Prince, Funk, Improvisation, and the Muse of Black Popular Music History, Dr. Matthew Valnes
  • 10-10:45 a.m.: Funk Pedagogy: An Ethnographic, Historical, and Practical Study of Funk Music in Dayton, Ohio, Caleb Vanden Eynden
  • 10:45-11:30 a.m.: Pour Some Water on Me: Prince and the Ohio Players, DeAngela Duff
  • 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.: Poetry Reading No. 3 (The Exorcism; The Lady Has Her Say), Herbert Martin and Furaha Henry-Jones 
  • 1-2 p.m.: There’s a Whole Lotta Rhythm Goin’ Round: How Funk Shaped U.S. Copyright, Dr. Katherine Leo
  • 2-3 p.m.: Time for Conversation: Reflecting on Dayton Funk and the 2nd Funk Symposium, Dr. Rickey Vincent, Dr. Scot Brown, Ed Sarath 
  • 3:30 p.m.: Opportunity to to see a demonstration of the Funk Center's Funk Box downtown at the PNC Annex, Fifth and Ludlow Streets. 
  • Saturday evening: Evening: Dinner on your own on Brown Street near campus or in the Oregon District or additional locations in Downtown Dayton, followed by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s Funk Concert in the "Rockin’ Orchestra Series," fronted by Dayton’s D-Funk All Stars Band, 8 pm, Schuster Center for the Performing Arts, 1 W. 2nd Street, 45402.*


Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1549