01/11/11 — WCC announces list of arts, humanities programs

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WCC announces list of arts, humanities programs

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on January 11, 2011 1:46 PM

The spring season of arts and humanities programs at Wayne Community College promises to be the most diverse and exciting yet, says Jack Kannan, executive director of the college's Foundation.

"We have added a film festival this year, we have a ballet, and the first trip where we're actually flying instead of driving," he said.

And in addition to the traditional fare of musical and historical events, there will be a special evening next month recognizing Wayne County's own Medal of Honor recipient.

The season kicks off with the Praxis Film Festival, screening several independent films from around the world and even some from the U.S. and North Carolina.

The festival is scheduled for Jan. 28 and 29 in Moffatt Auditorium. On Friday evening, there will be an opening night reception at 7 p.m. followed by a 15-minute film at 7:45 and the feature film "The Honeymooner" from the United Kingdom at 8.

Saturday highlights include a documentary, "Firewall of Sound" by N.C. writer/director Devin DiMattia at 10 a.m. followed by student films and discussion with filmmakers at 11:30.

Short films will be shown beginning at 2 p.m., with the feature film "Skeletons" from the United Kingdom at 4 p.m., the short film "Edgar" from Germany at 8 p.m. and the feature film "The Happy Poet" by a Texas filmmaker at 8:15 p.m.

For more information on the films and updates to the schedule, visit http://wayneccfaculty.com/filmfestival.

A gala evening is planned for Feb. 10, which promises to be a patriotic and moving tribute to Joe Marm of Fremont, Medal of Honor recipient.

"Our objective is to let people understand it's the recipient of the medal, there's not a 'winner,'" Kannan said. "Joe Marm received it for the battle in Vietnam in 1967.

"What I'm trying to do with this is help everybody understand that if we say we have a Medal of Honor recipient how rare that is today."

Gen. Tom Griffin has been invited to emcee the event, which will be at 8 p.m. in Moffatt Auditorium. Bob Foley, who has authored several books on Vietnam, will speak about the origin of the Medal of Honor and the 82nd Airborne choir and band will perform.

"Joe Marm will be interviewed by Griffin and we'll also recognize all veterans and have a dessert reception afterwards," Kannan said.

There will be no charge for admission to the event, but reservations in advance are recommended.

Also during February, a four-week course will be taught on "The Strange War of 1812: America's Forgotten Conflict." Each Monday evening, Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 5:30 p.m. in Walnut 101, the course will examine the uniqueness of this war, including its causes and how it was fought on land and water.

Cost is $20 per person or $35 per couple. An accompanying book, "The War of 1812: A Short History" by Donald Hickey, is also available for $15.

The following month, on March 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 101 Walnut, a course on "Fourth Century: Window on the Modern World" will look at the tumultuous and violent time through the lives and influences of such characters as philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria and Augustine of Hippo.

Three of the classes will be lectures and the fourth will feature the film "Agora" about Hypatia. Text will be "The Rise and Fall of Alexandria" by Justin Pollard and Howard Reid, for $12. Cost for the course is $20 per person, $35 per couple.

Retired educator and pianist Steve Baddour will bring his passion for Latin music to the Moffatt Auditorium stage on Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Then the following week, on April 14, a group will travel to Raleigh for the performance of Carolina Ballet's "Monet Impressions" at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40-50 and reservations are requested by Jan. 20.

Later in the spring will be the Foundation's first trip involving airfare.

"Philadelphia: Cradle of Liberty" is planned for May 6-8. Spaces are available for 30 participants and all sightseeing will be on foot. Registration fee per person will be $100, which includes Constitution Center and a walking tour of Society Hill and Independence Hall. Participants will be responsible for their own airfare, meals and lodging at the Sheraton Society at $134 per night.

Advance reservations and a deposit will be accepted until Jan. 14.

At least one other event -- another Civil War trip -- and possibly others might be added to the spring calendar, said Kannan, who noted the growth of the arts and humanities program since it was first introduced a dozen years ago.

"We went from doing plays and added lectures, speakers that others had heard, travel and Civil War trips with Randy and Jewel Sauls and named Bill Brettmann director of our arts and humanities program," he said. "We had the play 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' which led to Wayne County Reads."

Over the years, it has turned into a quality of products that have drawn the community onto the Wayne Community College campus, while also exposing students to cultural opportunities outside of the classroom.

"The diversity of the people here in Wayne County -- it's not just an agriculture community, people are interested in different things," Kannan said. "We try to change the dial, we try to add spokes to the wheel. Those things that we tend to see are successful are permanent spokes -- like Randy and Jewel Sauls trips on the Civil War -- but we have added the American Revolution now with the Pennsylvania trip. Now we're doing a story, from the War of 1812, that can lead us to a trip."

The cultural program in many ways has worked out very well and seemingly "has got a life of its own," Kannan said.

While ultimately it has elicited donors and financial support for the college and scholarship programs, it has also been about building relationships and putting more emphasis on the "community" part of community college.

Kannan said he is proud to be affiliated with an effort that has become so sustained by the public.

"It's getting big enough and time demands for quality of life in Wayne County has gotten bigger and bigger," he said. "This is a banner year. It will be the biggest semester of programming we have had."

To register for any of the programs, call 739-7017 and leave your name, phone number and the specific program.