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College of Arts and Sciences Newsroom

Building Cultural Curiosity

A new season of professional arts performances begins Sep. 20 at the University of Dayton. ArtsLIVE, the University’s premiere professional performance series, showcases a wide range of disciplines and cultural traditions. The program has served both community and campus audiences since 1961.

“We program diverse performances with an eye toward encouraging cultural curiosity,” says Eileen Carr, ArtsLIVE coordinator. “The arts offer an avenue for our students and community to develop a sense of the rich range of expression that exists in the world.”

The 2018-19 season begins Sept. 20 with a special program by the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in the Kennedy Union Boll Theatre. With choreography inspired by African-American writers, Body Talk celebrates the importance of narrative in our lives. While storytelling is most often associated with books, artists from every discipline — dancers, painters and musicians — also communicate tales of love and death, challenge and triumph.

This storytelling impulse is part of what propels the Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble, an adventurous musical collective committed to making a difference through music. Based on a Puerto Rican folktale, Luna de Cuernos uses video and live music to tell the tale of a community of friends and family standing up to a mysterious challenge in their neighborhood. The group performs Feb. 7 in the Jesse Philips Humanities Center's Sears Recital Hall.

The award-winning a cappella quartet Women of the World presents a program March 20 in the Kennedy Union ballroom that draws on international song and stories. Honoring global folk traditions, their repertoire spans music in 30 languages, including Japanese, Creole, Hindi, Hebrew, Italian, English, Spanish and French.

The Vanguard Legacy Concerts, now in their third season at the University, will present the Escher String Quartet on Sept. 23; the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet on Nov. 4; and the Poulenc Trio on March 24. These classical chamber concerts, scheduled on Sunday afternoons, are a tribute to the vision and generosity of the Vanguard Series founders Elana and Vincent Bolling.

Another community legacy is celebrated in the jazz concerts and residencies made possible by the Cityfolk JazzNet Legacy Endowment. Two celebrated jazz musicians will visit and teach in Dayton this season: pianist Fred Hersch and trumpeter Terell Stafford. Hersch, who recently published a memoir, Good Things Happen Slowly, will give a solo performance Oct. 11 in the Kennedy Union ballroom. Stafford will appear Feb. 20 with his critically-acclaimed quintet in the Sears Recital Hall.


Funding for this season’s ArtsLIVE performance series comes from the University of Dayton; the Cityfolk JazzNet Legacy Endowment; and the Vanguard Legacy Endowment. In addition, Fifth House Ensemble’s February concert and residency were awarded funding from Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, which is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the Ohio Arts Council and the Crane Group.

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