Live Aid founder, philanthropist to headline Westminster symposium

Westminster College announced Thursday that Live Aid Relief Concert founder Bob Geldof will give the Green Lecture during the school’s Hancock Symposium this fall.


Live Aid founder Bob Geldof

According to a Westminster Press Release, the theme for the 2014 symposium is “‘So, You Say You Want a Revolution’: The Arts and Culture in Action.”

“Our goal is to offer experiences in and with art as well as lecture presentations about art,” Natasia Sexton, associate professor and chair of the Fine Arts Department at Westminster, said in the release. “Furthermore, rather than emphasizing the intrinsic value of the arts, we are exploring the arts as a catalyst for cultural, social and political changes. In other words, how efficacious are the arts in promoting global leadership? How do the arts inspire activism?”

According to the release, in 1985 Geldof — a singer-songwriter, author, actor and political activist, and co-writer of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” — helped organize Live Aid, an event staged simultaneously in London and Philadelphia to provide financial relief for African countries.

He also organized a string of Live 8 concerts to support the same cause. Geldof also serves as an advisor to the ONE Campaign.

Plenary speakers for the Hancock Symposium include Dale Bell, producer of the film “Woodstock”; Andy Paris, one of the writers of “The Laramie Project”; singer/songwriter Moira Smiley and newspaper editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Sally Stapleton.


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