By Kristen Pinto
Each year, Framingham State puts together a series of thought-provoking presentations, lectures, film screenings and performances, known as the “Arts & Ideas” program.
The topic of this year’s program differs from previous years and will explore not one, but two themes – “Stasis and Change” as well as “Science as Part of our Living World.”
Choosing these two complementary themes allowed for the Arts & Ideas committee to put together a series of performances that would adequately address contemporary social, scientific and political issues faced today. Some of the hot-topics the program will discuss include racial injustice, climate change and social change.
According to the Arts & Ideas program book, the ultimate question the series hopes to come to terms with is, “How do we know whether changes are positive or negative – or something else altogether?”
The program will host Ellen Oh, author and president of “#WeNeedDiverseBooks,” at the end of September. Oh will visit to discuss the lack of diversity being represented in children’s literature and her own efforts to change these trends.
Nathaniel Philbrick, author of the freshman Common Reading Selection, “In The Heart of the Sea,” is also one of the featured speakers. In early October, Philbrick will visit the campus to discuss the book and his inspiration for telling the story.
During the spring semester, Dr. Temple Grandin will visit campus to talk about living with autism and pursuing a career as an animal right’s advocate. Grandin was diagnosed with autism as a child but went on to pursue a degree in psychology and animal science. She is now a leading advocate in the autism community, with her current bestselling book, “The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger’s.”
She also was featured in an award-winning film about her life on HBO in 2010, and she will
come to FSU in February to share her story with the campus community.
Also included in the program is the annual President’s Distinguished Lecture Series.
This year the series will include a lecture from award-winning journalist Naomi Klein, who will discuss her new book, “This Changes Everything,” and the impact the world has on climate change.
It will also feature a panelist discussion featuring Native American leaders and FSU professors. The topic will be how Ecological Knowledge (ETK) is making an impact on climate change, and how to create a more balanced world from what we can learn from Native American history.
The program also includes the Lifelong Learning Series, which Framingham State runs in conjunction with the Framingham Cultural Council and the Framingham Public Library, where these events are held.
The World in Flicks series, now in its fourth year, features films from all around the world. While most of them are in a different language, they all have English subtitles. A guided discussion and analysis will be held prior to each screening.
This year’s films include “Blancanieves,” the Spanish tale of Snow White and “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” a film from Liberia, and other cinema from around the world.
Screenings will be held at the McCarthy Center Forum.
The Authors and Artists Series features FSU faculty who have recently completed and published works in their respective fields. This year’s series will feature Dr. Manos Apostolidis, Dr. Christopher Bowen, Timothy McDonald, and Professor Erika Schneider, who will discuss the process of creating a published work and discuss their own books with the audience.
Other features of the program include monthly exhibits in the Mazmanian Art Gallery, as well as several Midday Performances, events from the Center for Excellence in Learning, Teaching, Scholarship and Service (CELTSS), and additional events, such as the Swiacki Children’s Literature Festival and Science on State Street.
Almost every event in the program is free and open to the public. For a full schedule or to register for events, visit www.framingham.edu/the-fsu-di2erence/arts-and-ideas/.