GVSU to host annual Fall Arts Celebration

By Tasman Mattox | 8/20/17 10:34pm

The Fall Arts Celebration, held annually by Grand Valley State University, will begin Monday, Sept. 11, and will run through Monday, Dec. 4. This seasonal event was created to enrich the arts and humanities in the West Michigan community, as well as to give students opportunities to see local and national art throughout the autumn season.

“It’s the university’s gift back to the community,” said Teri Losey, executive associate to the president at GVSU, who has coordinated the event for many years.  “It came with the job, and I love it. I enjoy the activities, of course, and all the faculty I get to work with.”

The celebration will begin with a concert Monday, Sept.11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Louis Armstrong Theatre. Mozart’s "Gran Partita" will be conducted by guest conductor Lowell Graham and performed by GVSU faculty and Grand Rapids Symphony musicians. 

On Monday, Sept. 18, there will be a reception for a continuing exhibition, “Afghanistan to Morocco: Journeys of Jim and Virginia Goode." The reception will be held in the art gallery in the Thomas J. and Marcia J. Haas Center for Performing Arts from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

“Jim and Virginia Good are great faculty, and they’ll be displaying artifacts from their travels,” Losey said.

Jeffrey Chang will give a lecture on race and re-segregation in America Monday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m. on the second floor of the L.V. Eberhard Center on the Pew Campus. He will be addressing thoughts from his new book, “We Gon’ Be Alright." Chang has written for The New York Times, Slate, Mother Jones and more.

Jane Hirshfield and Dan Gerber will be featured in a night of poetry Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the Eberhard Center. 

“I ask myself, ‘Who is a reader who engages the audience, and then who's friendly with students?'” said Patricia Clark, a writing professor at GVSU. She has been coordinating the poetry night for all 15 years of the Fall Arts Celebration and a poetry night for GVSU for even longer. “We want a multiplicity of views.”

Aerial Dance Chicago will defy gravity at the Louis Armstrong Theatre Monday, Nov. 6. 

“We’ve never done aerial before,” Losey said. “We think the students will enjoy it.”

The last event of the Fall Arts Celebration will be “Noel, Noel, Joyeux Noel: A Celebration of French Music for the Holiday Season" at Fountain Street Church Monday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. Many groups are involved, including the Grand Rapids Junior Youth Chorus and GVSU dance majors. Losey expects the church to have a full house that night.

Losey thinks these arts-based events hold value for GVSU students.

“I think everyone should get a taste of the arts," she said. "It enriches your life.” 

Clark’s sentiments were similarly encouraging.

“When you’re young, try all of these things," she said. "Go to the dance performance, go to the art gallery ... You’re going to find something you’re surprised by."

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