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Lineup for Westminster symposium to include executives with "Woodstock' and "The Laramie Project'

Lineup for Westminster symposium to include executives with "Woodstock' and "The Laramie Project'

Discussion panel on recent events in Ferguson added as follow-up event

September 3rd, 2014 in News

Featured speakers for Westminster College's ninth Hancock Symposium Sept. 16 and 17 will include the producer of "Woodstock: The Movie" and the creator of "The Laramie Project," the school has announced.

The theme for this year's symposium, which is open to the community, is "So, You Say You Want a Revolution?: The Arts and Culture in Action." Presentations are free and open to the public.

According to a press release from the school, Andy Paris, who co-wrote the play and screenplay for "The Laramie Project," will speak on "Acting, Theater and Social Justice: The Tectonic Theater Today" at 9 a.m. in Champ Auditorium on Sept. 16. The presentation will be followed by a one-on-one breakout session with Paris from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Room 139 of the Coulter Science Center. There also will be a group reading from "The Laramie Project" at 7:30 p.m. in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury.

Dale Bell, producer of "Woodstock: The Movie" will speak on "Woodstock: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" at 9 a.m. in Champ Auditorium on Sept. 17. The movie will be shown at 8 p.m. on Sept. 11 in the Coulter Science Lecture Hall.

As was previously announced, the 2014 Green Lecture, which will be held at 1 p.m. on Sept. 17 in Champ Auditorium in conjunction with the symposium, will be given by Bob Geldof. Geldof is a founder of the Band-Aid and Live Aid charity concerts to provide famine relief. He also founded the Live 8 concert series and is an adviser to the ONE Campaign.

Kurt Jefferson, director of the Churchill Institute for Global Engagement and organizer of the Hancock Symposium, said this year's event includes speakers and breakout sessions covering a broad range of topics.

"We've got a lot of great things," Jefferson said. "I think it's going to be quite a neat thing. We're expecting a big crowd - I think there's a lot of fascinating topics."

Some of the highlights he listed were:

•A performance by Moira Smiley and her band, Voco, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 15 in Champ Auditorium. Donations will be accepted for the Rwanda Community Partnership program.

•"Myth and Mysteries of 1989 - Why the Berlin Wall Really Fell and Why It Matters Today" by Jeremy Straughn, visiting professor of transnational studies at Westminster, 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 16 in Room 138 of the Coulter Science Center. Jefferson said Straughn is an expert on German history.

•"The "F' word: Feminism and Film When Women Are Behind the Camera" by Paula Elias, director of the Citizen Jane Film Institute in Columbia, 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 16 in Room 329 of the Coulter Science Center.

•Sally Stapleton, "Deconstructing the Photojournalism Narrative of Africa" at 1 p.m. on Sept. 16 in Champ Auditorium. Stapleton led a team of photographers to two Pulitzer Prizes in photography for their coverage of Africa. Jefferson said Stapleton's presentation, which will include her coverage of the genocide in Rwanda, should be especially interesting to area residents in light of Fulton and Callaway County's community partnership with Kibungo, Rwanda.

•A special executive session with Sir Winston Churchill's granddaughter, Edwina Sandys, ""Breakthrough' and the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain" at 2:15 p.m. on Sept. 16 in the Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall.

•Presentation on "Mathematics and Art and Architecture" by Anneke Bart, chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department at St. Louis University, 10:15 a.m. on Sept. 17 in Room 304 of the Coulter Science Center.

Jefferson said he also is excited about "The Ferguson, Missouri Riots and the Case of Michael Brown: What About Social Justice?" a special follow-up session added to the schedule for 11 a.m. on Sept. 18 in the Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall.

The discussion will be led by an inter-disciplinary panel of Westminster College faculty and students and will focus in part on "ways in which the arts have functioned as successful vehicles of protest in the past," according to the symposium schedule.

"That should be an interesting discussion," Jefferson said.

Jefferson described the symposium as "a great gift not only to our campus, but to the community."

"We're one of the only colleges in the country that hold an entire campus-wide class," he said. "It's a great opportunity for the community to come in and focus on a topic."

For a full schedule of plenary and breakout sessions and other related events, visit the symposium website at www.westminster-mo.edu/churchillinstitute/hancocksymposium.

Katherine Cummins can be reached at (573) 826-2418 or katherine@fultonsun.com.