Creativity Illuminated, April 3-6, a convergence of arts, music, film and more
Monday, March 10, 2014
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's celebration of cultural awareness, Creativity Illuminated, returns April 3-6 with special musical performances, discussions, film screenings and more presented by artists-in-residence.
Sponsored by the university's Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, K-State Libraries, McCain Auditorium and the School of Leadership Studies, Creativity Illuminated offers four days of activities designed to foster creativity, promote academic discourse and encourage cultural awareness on campus and in the community by exploring arts, culture, history and more.
The artists-in-residence include Yuval Ron, Israeli-born composer and musician; David Lebrun, international filmmaker; Amy Halpern, lighting designer and filmmaker; William Close, inventor of the Earth Harp, the world's largest stringed instrument; and Norik Manoukian, an Armenian woodwind master.
Creativity Illuminated events, free and open to the public unless otherwise noted, include:
• A presentation by Ron on his international work for peace will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the large conference room at School of Leadership Studies. Ron uses shared musical heritages to help Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities build mutual respect and empathy. He has led musical peace missions to the Middle East and regularly brings musicians from the three traditions together in concert. The talk is co-sponsored by the School of Leadership Studies and office of international programs.
• The film "Breaking the Maya Code" will be shown at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at the Beach Museum of Art. Directed by Lebrun, Ron composed the film's musical score and Halpern served as lighting designer. The complex logographic script of the ancient Maya was, until recently, one of the last major untranslated writing systems. Based on the best-selling book by Michael Coe, "Breaking the Maya Code" traces the epic quest to unlock the secrets of the script across 200 years, nine countries and three continents. A Q-and-A with Lebrun, Halpern and Ron will follow.
• A public conversation with the creators of "Maya Variations for Earth Harp" and Kansas State University faculty will be from 2-4 p.m. Friday, April 4, in Hale Library's Hemisphere Room. Mayan language, art and history, and the Mayan culture today will be explored in this discussion of themes suggested by the multimedia work "Maya Variations for Earth Harp." It will include the perspectives of documentary filmmakers, musicians, anthropologists and more. A reception will follow.
• "Dance of the Maize God" will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday, April 4, at the Beach Museum. Lebrun directed this film, Halpern designed the lighting and Ron composed the score. Over the past 50 years thousands of exquisitely painted Mayan vases, almost all looted from royal tombs, have flooded into the world's public and private collections. This documentary enters the world of the vases to explore the royal life and rich mythology of the Maya, as well as the tangled issues involved in the collection and study of Mayan art. A Q-and-A with Lebrun, Halpern and Ron will follow.
• Ancient strings meet modern design in the concert "Earth Harp Meets Oud" at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 6, at McCain Auditorium. This McCain Performance Series presentation features Close on Earth Harp; Ron on oud, which is a Middle Eastern lute; Manoukian on Armenian woodwinds; and Jamie Papish on percussion. For the concert, the body of Close's Earth Harp will rest on stage while its strings ascend above the audience, attaching to the balcony railing and turning the entire theatre into a musical instrument. Sacred and folkloric music of the Middle East will be performed with the Earth Harp, oud, percussion and Armenian woodwinds, including duduk, shvi flute and zurna reed flute. Tickets are available at the McCain Auditorium box office, by calling 785-532-6428 or online at http://www.k-state.edu/mccain.
• "Maya Variations for Earth Harp," a concert, will be at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 6, in Hale Library's Great Room. "Maya Variations" is a multimedia work that showcases Close on Earth Harp; Manoukian on Armenian woodwinds; musical composition by Ron; and video imagery by filmmaker Lebrun. The piece contrasts the ancient Mayan civilization and its connection to nature with our contemporary industrialized civilization and its reliance on technology. The performance features the strings of the Earth Harp soaring over the audience in the Great Room — known as the "Harry Potter Room" — for a special sensory experience. Tickets are required and can be purchased by calling 785-532-6428.
Creativity Illuminated will also offer special activities for Kansas State University students:
• Filmmakers Lebrun and Halpern will lead a video production workshop for students and staff in marketing, communications and art.
• Close will take part in a musical instrument design workshop for students in architecture, interior architecture and music.
• Manoukian will conduct a lecture demonstration for music students.
For more information on Creativity Illuminated events, contact the Beach Museum of Art at 785-532-7718 or visit http://www.lib.k-state.edu/creativity-illuminated.