Arts and Lecture Series

Arts and Lecture Series

2016-2017 Events

Late Nite Art

Wednesday, September 7

9:00 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room

Late Nite Art is an interactive workshop that uses collaborative art-making, cool beats, and facilitated dialogue to transform the way students and faculty relate to themselves and each other. In fast-paced intervals, participants respond visually to questions and prompts, working individually, in dyads, and small groups. At the end of each session, one massive art piece is created which encapsulates the experience and mark of each person.

The program's presenter, Adam Rosendahl, is a DJ, facilitator, and live experience designer based in Oakland, CA. He is also the Founder and Chief Experience Officer of Late Nite Art. He specializes in creative facilitation, using arts-based processes to build a creative culture within teams and organizations.

Beauty Redefined

Wednesday, September 14

7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Lindsay and Lexie Kite are co-directors of Beauty Redefined. They are 30-year-old identical twin sisters with PhDs in the study of media and body image from the University of Utah. They have a passion for helping girls and women recognize and reject harmful messages about their bodies. Beauty Redefined is a nonprofit Lindsay and Lexie founded in 2009 to help people redefine the meaning and value of beauty in their lives. They do this through online education, social media activism, and speaking engagements. Lindsay and Lexie have offered their one-hour body image resilience presentation to more than 100,000 people throughout the U.S. since 2009. This program is being co-sponsored by Penn State Berks Health Services.

Nikhil Goyal: Transforming Education

Wednesday, September 21

7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

At age 20, Nikhil Goyal is the author of Schools on Trial: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice (Doubleday/Random House, 2016). He will discuss his philosophies on this topic in his lecture, "Transforming Education."

Goyal has appeared on MSNBC and FOX and has written for the New York Times, MSNBC, The Nation, and other publications. He has also had speaking engagements with the Clinton Global Initiative University, Google, Stanford, University of Cambridge, SXSW, and LEGO Foundation, among others. In 2012, Goyal was named one of the "World Changers" for Dell #Inspire 100. In 2013, he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Freedom Flame Award. Goyal serves on the board of The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest). He lives in New York. This program is being co-sponsored by the Penn State Berks Honors Club.

Jon Vroman: Living College Life in the Front Row

Wednesday, October 12

12:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Jon Vroman is an international speaker who has been twice voted "Campus Speaker of the Year." He is the author of the 2016 Penn State Berks Common Reading, Living College Life in the Front Row

His mission is to encourage individuals to find and develop their unique talents so that they will make the biggest impact within their campus and community.

Jon operates by five core values:

1.) Make authentic connections

2.) Create your own reality

3.) Be open to change

4.) Commit fully

    5.) Contribute to others

In 2005, Jon founded the charitable organization Front Row Foundation, which was recently featured on NBC's Today Show.  The charity has raised over $1,000,000 to help children and adults braving life-threatening illnesses have a front row experience at the concert or sporting event of their dreams. 


Election 2016: How Will You Decide? Seven Habits of Highly Effective Voters

Monday, October 17

7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

By the end of the presidential election, you will know whether the candidates wear boxers or briefs, who they've slept with, and the name of their dog or cat. But how do you know what to believe?  How do you figure out when you're being manipulated, lied to, or misled by either the media, the candidates, or both? Separating the wheat from the chaff of political news takes an expert.  Join TV pundit and historian Rick Shenkman on a romp through American politics and you'll never be a victim of political bull again.

Dean Strang

Wednesday, October 19

7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Dean A. Strang is a lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin. He is best known for his work as one of Steven Avery's trial lawyers featured in the hit Netflix series, Making a Murderer. His lecture will discuss themes at the heart of the Making a Murderer series. Do all people have a fair chance at being effectively represented in the American Justice system? Are people of lower socio-economic groups at a disadvantage in our legal system? Strang's lecture will not only address these questions, but will also provide a look at how audience members can best prepare themselves should they ever need legal representation. Strang is the author of, Worse Than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow and Justice in a time of Terror. His work includes five years as Wisconsin's first federal defender; shareholder in three of the state's leading criminal defense firms (Hurley, Burish & Stanton, S.C., Fitzgerald & Strang, S.C., and Shellow, Shellow & Glynn, S.C.); and co-founder of StrangBradley, LLC. He is an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School, the University of Wisconsin Law School, and University of Wisconsin's Division of Continuing Studies and is also a member of the American Law Institute. Strang serves on several charity boards, including the Wisconsin Innocence Project.  His second book will be published in early 2018.

Carine McCandless: The Wild Truth

Wednesday, October 26

7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Carine McCandless said, "I often felt that I was living for the two of us as I found my own path." Carine, sister of Into The Wild protagonist Chris McCandless, has played a vital role in the success of the celebrated book by Jon Krakauer. She also worked as a consultant and contributing writer to the film adaptation by Sean Penn. Growing up in the same troubled and volatile household that sent Chris on his fatal journey, she finally reveals the broader and deeper reality about life in the McCandless family in her best-selling memoir, The Wild Truth. McCandless will discuss her story and take questions from the audience during her lecture. This event is being co-sponsored by the Penn State Berks Outdoors Club. 


History Through Outhouses

Wednesday, November 9

7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room

Robert E. Lee III excavates Pennsylvania outhouse sites to discover hidden history. Find out what types of artifacts he was able to uncover through his more-than 350 digs and what he has learned about local history through his experiences. Lee will bring his stories and physical artifacts to share with the audience. 

Dave Pelzer: Your Resolve

Tuesday, November 15

7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

All of us, in one way or another have been affected by unfortunate or overwhelming situations. Yet for many, for whatever the reason, their negative past seems to dominate their lives, to the point that they, through their choices or inactions, become psychologically crippled and live out unhappy, unfilled lives. Having survived an extreme, life-threatening childhood, and yet later to become the recipient of The National Jefferson Award and honored as The Outstanding Young Persons of the World, Dave Pelzer knows first-hand about the art of resilience while being of service to fellow man. He is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, A Child Called It as well as several other #1 International Bestsellers including, The Lost Boy, A Man Named Dave and Help Yourself

A note to the community: Due to the sensitive nature of this lecture and age-appropriateness of the content, Mr. Pelzer has requested this event not be open to younger members of the community (infants-high school students).

Bollywood Dance Performance

Wednesday, November 30

7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

New Generation Bollywood Dance Company features internationally renowned dancer, Sonalee Vyas. Specializing in traditional & contemporary East Indian "Bollywood" dance styles, Sonalee's New Generation Dance Company has become one of the most requested campus attractions in the mid-Atlatnic region.  "Bollywood" is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai, India. As a headline attraction at major festivals throughout the world, Sonalee's New Generation Bollywood Dance Company has earned an international reputation for their creative mix of technique, energy and emotion.


A Celebration of Mozart: A Performance by Members of the Reading Symphony Orchestra

Wednesday, January 18

7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

As we celebrate the month of Mozart's birth, take in some of the composer's best-loved works performed by a chamber ensemble from the Reading Symphony Orchestra. This performance will also highlight Mozart's influence on other composers throughout history. Penn State Berks Instructor of Music David Allen McConnell, will provide some historical context for the performance selections.

An Evening with Jack Hanna

Wednesday, February 1

7:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Jungle Jack Hanna explores the corners of the globe as one of the most respected animal ambassadors. His enthusiasm and "hands-on" approach to wildlife conservation has won him widespread acclaim as a conservationist, television personality, author and Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and the Wilds. The Columbus Zoo devotes $3,000,000 to conservation efforts annually, including 70 projects in 30 countries. Hanna?s lecture will discuss the importance of conservation in relation to protecting wildlife worldwide.

Recognized as America's favorite zookeeper, Jack has made countless television appearances on shows such as Good Morning AmericaThe Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Fox News Programs, and CNN News Programs. Jack took his infectious energy to the airwaves by creating three nationally televised programs. Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures ran for 10 years and is still currently in syndication. Most recently, the Columbus Zoo and Nationwide Insurance have partnered to sponsor the Emmy Award winning Jack Hanna's Into the Wild and a show on ABC, Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown.

Please note that live animals will not be featured at this lecture.

Documentary: Remixing Colorblind
Featuring Q&A with Producer and Director, Sheena C. Howard

Wednesday, February 8

7:00 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Remixing Colorblind examines how the educational system today shapes our understanding of race and race relations. It explores notions of implicit
bias, individual racism, institutional racism and reverse racism. The film addresses these concerns through conversations with faculty, administrators,
teachers, guidance counselors and young people across different types of institutions.

Remixing Colorblind Director and Producer, Sheena C. Howard, is the Immediate Past Chair of the Black Caucus (NCA) and Associate Professor of Communication at Rider University. Howard is an award-winning author, including a 2014 Eisner Award winner for her first book, Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation (2013). She is also the author of Black Queer Identity Matrix (2014) and Critical Articulations of Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation (2014).

This program is being co-sponsored by the Penn State Berks Black Student Union.


Chris Kaag: Becoming an Advocate for People with Disabilities

Wednesday, March 1

Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room

Chris Kaag is a Penn State University graduate and medically retired Marine Corps Sergeant. During his second tour in Aviano, Italy in 1997, a duty-related concussion led to the onset of a rare genetic neuro-degenerative condition and his military career was cut short. 

In 2007 Kaag established the non-profit, IM ABLE Foundation. The Foundation was created to build and support active lifestyles for individuals with disabilities. IM ABLE's goal is to help all individuals realize the potential to go further and push harder than their preconceived limits. Through his choice to view his own disability as a personal stepping-stone and not as a crutch, Chris hopes to motivate others, both disabled and able-bodied, to redefine the way they view their own personal challenges. We all have obstacles, but it is up to the individual to take that next step.


Irish Blessing: Irish Music and Dance Performance

Friday, March 17

12:30 p.m.

Perkins Student Center Auditorium

Irish Blessing, one of our region's most beloved Irish heritage musical ensembles will bring a musical extravaganza that will delight fans of Irish and Celtic music.  The ensemble's performance will get audience members into the spirit of St. Patrick's Day through traditional music and Irish dancing.