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Monday, February 01, 2010

Rachel Berwick's "Zugunruhe" Installation

David Winton Bell Gallery

Some birds become agitated on nights before their migration begins. The phenomenon is called "zugunruhe," and artist Rachel Berwick has used the term as the title of her latest exhibit. A science buff who is smitten with the particulars of natural history, Berwick's show is about the plight of the passenger pigeon, an extinct species with a romantic name. At the heart of the "Zugunruhe" installation is a sculpture that finds amber glass birds perched on a tree, while a glass globe points out migration patterns and exposes info regarding the species' history. The show is getting ready to close (February 14); swoop down and perch yourself at the David Winton Bell Gallery, 64 College Street, Providence. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm and on Saturday from 1 to 4 pm | 401.863.2932

Filed under: ARTS
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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Soweto Gospel Choir at the Garde Arts Center

Garde Arts Center

Voices soar, bodies bend, hope and pride explode as one. When the 52 members of the Soweto Gospel Choir move into high gear during one of their performances, everything is fully animated. South African directors David Mulovhedzi and Beverly Bryer have crafted an utterly memorable stage show, which is why the choir has earned so many accolades since its 2002 debut. Sometimes they sing a cappella, occasionally a band helps out. A groove is constantly present. On the recent Live at the Nelson Mandela Theatre (Shanachie), they move from township spirituals to "This Little Light of Mine," singing in a few of the nine languages they're familiar with. They'll bring their spectacle of trad garb, hot dance, and powerful vocals to the Garde Arts Center, 325 State Street, New London, Connecticut, at 7:30 pm | $42-$25 | 860.444.7373 |

Filed under: MUSIC
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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Alice Pung Speaks at Brown

John Nicholas Brown Center Library

From The Autobiography of Malcolm X to Black, White & Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self, well-written first-hand accounts of unique life experiences will always be fascinating studies of how subcultures intersect with the world at large. Alice Pung, author of An Unpolished Gem and editor of Growing Up Asian in Australia, knows about this dynamic. A heralded columnist, she has consistently scrutinized the dynamics of minorities and the stereotyping they often suffer. Born in Melbourne to Cambodian parents, she's part of a new wave of Asian-Australians writing and speaking about their experiences as the first generation to come of age after the repeal, in 1973, of the White Australia Policy. "The stories in Growing Up Asian are meant to set the record straight," she explains on her blog. "Asian-Australians have been in Australia since 1810, less than three decades after the first fleet arrived. There are 62 stories in this anthology from famous and not-so-well known Asian Australians, about what it is like to grow up during different social and political periods in Australian history." In her first visit to the US, she'll arrive at Brown University to offer a talk titled "Familiar and Familial Tales: Transforming Those You Know and Love Into Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Auto-Fiction" at the John Nicholas Brown Center Library, 357 Benefit Street, Providence, at 7 pm | Free | 401.863.2476

Filed under: WORDS

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Tavis Smiley Lectures at Brown

Solomon Center for Teaching

I wasn't into Tavis Smiley at first. He seemed a bit too polite, and that seemed a bit too insincere. But the celebrated talk show host's manner of interviewing is to probe while smiling, and time and again I've realized how subtly he wields his queries. Dude's got skills. The latest of the 14 books that Smiley's written is titled Accountable: Making America As Good As Its Promise. He's roaming this great land of ours a la Charles Kuralt, taking its temperature and spotlighting its memorable citizens. Last year he wrote, directed, and produced Stand, a documentary that found he and 10 friends rolling through Nashville and Memphis, on the road to "explore the impact of the civil rights movement and the role and relationships of black men in America against the backdrop of the 2008 presidential race and the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination." He will be at Brown University to give the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture at the Salomon Center for Teaching, on the College Green, Providence, at 5 pm | Free | 401.863.2474

Filed under: WORDS

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