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ETSU’s Martin School of the Arts announces spring season

Contributed • Jan 10, 2020 at 5:53 PM

This spring will be the last semester “on the road” for East Tennessee State University’s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, according to school Director Anita DeAngelis, because starting in fall 2020, the Martin School will hold most of its events in the James C. and Mary B. Martin Center for the Arts, slated for completion later this spring.

For spring 2020, however, Martin School events will be on and off-campus. “While we are certainly looking forward to fall 2020 in the new Martin Center for the Arts, we have a remarkable spring schedule of events, with music from an operatic soprano, a ‘contagious’ Irish band and a classical piano prodigy. We’ll celebrate ‘independence’ with a one-woman stage play and films touching on historic, social and gender issues and learn from visual artists with diverse areas of expertise, both traditional and contemporary.”

• An exhibition from the visual works of painter-musician Art Rosenbaum will kick off the season, beginning Jan. 13 and continuing through Feb. 21 at the Reece Museum. Rosenbaum is a painter, muralist, illustrator, collector, folklorist and performer of traditional American folk music.

He has written seminal books on banjo technique, won a Grammy for Best Documentary Recording and is an emeritus professor of art at University of Georgia. Rosenbaum will discuss his work on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. in the Reece Museum with a reception to follow the artist talk. The exhibition and talk are free and open to the public.

• Also known as a music educator and performer is the Martin School’s second artist of spring 2020, operatic soprano Diba Alvi will sing from her vast concert and opera repertoire on Sunday, Jan. 26, at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and $5 for students.

Alvi holds a doctorate from the University of Maryland, where she is also on the music faculty, as well as at Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to her performance, Alvi will spend a week in residence at ETSU, working with Department of Music vocal students.

• Pop singer Mandy Harvey will follow Alvi, with a different focus, as the artist/speaker for ETSU’s annual Evening of Health, Wellness and the Arts, a collaboration with the College of Public Health and Quillen College of Medicine, on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in the Millennium Center ballroom.

Also, part of the second annual Festival of Ideas at ETSU, Harvey’s free public presentation is titled “Hidden Challenges: Understanding Invisible Disabilities.” Harvey surmounted the challenges of losing her hearing at age 19 to win an “America’s Got Talent” Golden Buzzer from Simon Cowell and tour the world sharing her original music and messages of encouragement.

Two independent films from South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers series are next in the Martin School’s spring lineup. Each free public South Arts film will be on a Monday at 7 p.m. and includes a Q&A and reception with the filmmaker.

• “The Infiltrators,” a hybrid narrative film that plays out like a thriller-heist film, interweaving footage of real events and scripted re-enactments, will be screened Feb. 17 in the Ball Hall auditorium (Room 127). The film follows two members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance who infiltrate the prison system and plan a sort of prison break from the Broward Transitional Center in Florida, an immigration holding facility.

• Another narrative film, “Light from Light,” will be screened March 2 in the Martha Street Culp Auditorium of ETSU’s D.P. Culp University Center. The film tracks a paranormal investigator, played by film, stage and TV actor Marin Ireland, rearing her teen son, and a recent widower, portrayed by actor/comedian Jim Gaffigan, who thinks his departed wife may be haunting his East Tennessee farmhouse.

• Music – this time with an Irish flavor – is the fare on Tuesday, March 3, as the quintet Goitse steps onto the stage of the Culp Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Named Live Ireland’s “Traditional Group of the Year” and Chicago Irish American News’ “Group of the Year,” Goitse is called “a powerful force” in the new generation of traditional Irish ensembles by Roots Magazine. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and $5 for students.

• The Martin School’s next ticketed event will take the audience back in time for the story of a very forward-thinking abolitionist and female physician in “Independence: The True Story of Dr. Mary Walker” on Thursday, March 12, at 7:30 p.m. in ETSU’s Bud Frank Theatre. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and $5 for students.

This one-person play, written by TV producer and writer Lloyd J. Schwartz, recounts the adventurous and historic life and career of the first female surgeon and second female doctor in the U.S. as told by Walker herself, in the form of actor Kathie Barnes. After much perseverance, Walker was accepted into the 52nd Ohio Infantry, and while serving near the Union front lines during the Battle of Chickamauga around Chattanooga, she was taken prisoner, and later traded and back in service as a battle surgeon.

• In April, the pendulum swings back to visual arts, as Anne Wilson, a professor of art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will give an artist talk on Thursday, April 2, at 6 p.m. in the Ball Hall Auditorium. Wilson explores personal and public ritual, social systems and issues of gender and labor through sculpture, drawing, photography, performance, stop-motion animations and digital projects often incorporating fiber art, linens, lace, wire, glass, and human hair used as thread.

• On Monday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Munsey Church, pianist Leonardo Colafelice will present the Martin School’s final ticketed concert of the spring. At age 21, Colafelice was the youngest conservatory teacher in Italy, teaching piano performance. Now 24, he has already arrayed a collection of gold and first-prize honors as a performer and tours the world. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and $5 for students.

• The season will conclude on Monday, April 13, at 7 p.m. in Culp Auditorium, with the last Southern Circuit Tour film of the year, “Little Miss Westie,” a documentary following a year in the lives of siblings Luca and Ren as they navigate the struggles of school, puberty, gender transitioning and the pageant that is a rite of passage in their West Haven, Connecticut, community.

“At the Martin School, we think that it is important to bring younger artists, as well as artists with many years of experience, first-time directors and producers and veteran filmmakers,” DeAngelis says. “This spring is a good mix of both and some history and contemporary social issues. We love to share all these experiences and insights with our campus and community.”

For more information about the Martin School of the Arts’ spring events or tickets, visit www.etsu.edu/martin or call 423-439-TKTS (8587).

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