The Arts Take Center Stage at Holy Cross

From musical performances to exhibitions to theatre productions, a cultural shift is taking place atop Mount St. James
September 28th, 2015 by 


On Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. in Brooks Concert Hall, jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard, right, will perform the instrumental suite that provided the score to Spike Lee’s HBO documentary “When the Levees Broke” about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. An exhibition about the hurricane is currently on display in the Cantor Art Gallery. At left is artwork by Willie Birch titled “After the Storm” (courtesy of Arthur Roger Gallery).

The spotlight is shining brightly on the arts at Holy Cross.

From musical performances to art exhibitions to theatre productions, the College will host a slew of events during the fall semester.

“At Holy Cross, we see the arts as an indispensable facet of a liberal arts education founded in Jesuit principles,” says Margaret Freije, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the College.

“Whether through photography or acting, painting or composing, the arts present opportunities to cultivate the skills and talents of students, and to engage a broader audience with questions that lead to deeper understanding of ourselves and our world: What is beauty? How do we find meaning in life and history? What are our responsibilities to one another and to the world?”

Highlights of the fall semester include:

  • Troika Ranch, the artists-in-residence hosted by Arts Transcending Borders for the fall semester, who are developing their latest work-in-progress “SWARM” on campus with the students, faculty and staff of the theatre department. Recognized worldwide as pioneers in interactive performance, their residency will culminate in multiple performances of the new work on Nov. 5-7 and 12-14 at 7 and 9 p.m. in Fenwick Theatre.
  • Jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard who will present his Grammy award-winning “A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina)” on Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. in Brooks Concert Hall. The Terence Blanchard Quintet will be joined by the chamber orchestra Symphony Nova in this instrumental suite that provided the score to Spike Lee’s HBO documentary “When the Levees Broke” about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
  • An exhibition in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery titled “Katrina Then & Now: Artists as Witness” that explores the relationship between Hurricane Katrina and visual arts in New Orleans from 2005 to the present.
  • A screening of “The Grief of Others,” based on the novel of the same name by Leah Hager Cohen, James N. and Sarah L. O’Reilly Barrett Professor in Creative Writing in the English department at Holy Cross, in Seelos Theatre on Oct. 21 at 3 and 7 p.m. Director Patrick Wang will join Cohen for a question-and-answer session with the audience after both screenings.
  • An evening of art song, piano duets, and chamber music spanning three centuries on Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. in Brooks Concert Hall. Student recipients of the prestigious Holy Cross Brooks and Organ Scholarships will join Artists-in-Residence Saul Bitran (violin), Jan Müller-Szeraws (cell), and Adam Golka (piano) for the program.

“Having internationally renowned, professional, working artists on campus brings with it the ability to witness their talents in action and experience their creative energy,” says Lynn Kremer, director of Arts Transcending Borders and professor of theatre.

Positioning the arts to be central to academic life enriches the campus experience.

“I’m thrilled that Holy Cross is so invested in nurturing the arts on campus and growing a culture in which art is valued across the curriculum,” says Leah Hager Cohen, James N. and Sarah L. O’Reilly Barrett Professor in Creative Writing. “It’s a myth that creativity is the exclusive domain of the so-called ‘arts’ — in our case, music, theater, visual arts and creative writing. Creativity is a vital part of the work we all do as thinkers, learners and workers. And ‘art,’ however we think of that term, is as necessary to full human being — to full human becoming — as are food and water.”

View the calendar of events.

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