1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

National Endowment for the Arts awards grant to Unlearn Fear + Hate project

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania University professors Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova have received $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts to create a permanent, illuminated artwork as part of their ongoing Unlearn Fear + Hate cycle of artworks. The artwork will be a large sculptural halo mounted on a downtown building. The location for the installation is to be determined. The NEA grant provides initial funding for the sculptural halo, and includes LexArts as a partner. This grant will also help to facilitate the creation of hand-painted illuminations made by people within the Lexington community. The purpose of Unlearn Fear + Hate is to promote community engagement and dialog. “In part a visual petition to unlearn fear and prejudice, in part a commitment to treating others with compassion and justice, Unlearn Fear + Hate invites everyone to participate,” Todorova said. The wide-ranging public artwork is named after words from a poem by Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker. Unlearn Fear + Hate kicked off last summer with the installation of a smaller sculptural halo on the side of the downtown 21c Museum Hotel. Since then it has resonated throughout Lexington with other art installations, photography, stenciling and more—with participation from numerous school and community groups. Also, Transylvania incorporated the theme into its curriculum. “The idea for Unlearn Fear + Hate was born in 2015, during a summer of national tensions and local conversations that were difficult and, at times, antagonizing,” Gohde said. “It

Transylvania to host Affrilachian poetry, visual arts exhibition

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania University’s Morlan Gallery will open its 2017 exhibition year on Friday, Jan. 13, with an exhibition of Affrilachian visual artists and poets. Titled “Black Bone” after the Affrilachian Poets’ first literary anthology to be released this month, Morlan’s exhibition will showcase artists and poets from states in the Appalachian region—including Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina and Ohio. They will share how those connected to Affrilachia tell the story of the United States through visual and written culture. The exhibition, which will be free and open to the public, will run through Feb. 14. An opening reception for the artists will be Thursday, Jan. 19, from 7:30-9 p.m. The Affrilachian Poets will give a reading that evening at 6 in Carrick Theater adjacent to the gallery. Coined by Frank X Walker, the term Affrilachia is “an ever-evolving cultural landscape poised to render the invisible visible. Affrilachia embraces a multicultural influence, a spectrum of people who consider Appalachia home and/or identify strongly with the trials and triumphs of being of this region,” according to the group’s website. The “Black Bone” exhibition is part of Transylvania’s Creative Intelligence series, which also includes concerts and lectures. The theme of this year’s series is “Unlearn Fear + Hate,” which is a term from one of Walker’s poems. Artists in Morlan’s “Black Bone” exhibition include: Brian Campbell, Angel Clark, Willis “Bing” Davis, Natasha Giles, Jared Owens, Kelly Phelps, Kyle Phelps, Bobby Scroggins, Bianca Spriggs, Kiptoo

Central Music Academy moving to Transylvania

LEXINGTON, Ky.— The Central Music Academy—a non-profit organization that provides free music education for low-income youths—is moving to a house on Transylvania University’s campus. The move to 338 North Upper Street will provide CMA students with a safe, centralized location to receive instruction. The organization strengthens the Lexington community one child at a time by building personal capacity, discipline, self-esteem and musical skills in high-risk youth. Lessons will begin there on Jan. 8. Providing a space for them is one of many ways Transylvania partners with the Lexington community—such as the Unlearn Fear + Hate art project and the university’s Pioneer Pathways program, which includes college and career readiness workshops and mentoring for high school students. The Central Music Academy is the only school in central Kentucky that provides free, weekly, half-hour private music lessons—on any instrument, genre or skill level—to a diverse group of children who qualify for free or reduced school lunches. Since CMA was founded in 2004, it has given more than 30,000 free private lessons to more than 900 children. These students have successfully auditioned into the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras; Lexington’s School for the Performing Arts; and all-district and all-state band, choir and orchestra. “The house will be the perfect spot for CMA, and we are so grateful to the Transylvania University faculty, staff, students and community for allowing us to use the space,” said program director Erin Walker Bliss. Transylvania, located in the heart

Leading Jewish-Muslim authority to speak at Transylvania University

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Reuven Firestone, who is a leading national authority on Jewish-Muslim relations, will give the Moosnick Lectureship in Judaic Studies at Transylvania University on Tuesday, Nov. 15. Firestone’s talk, “How the Birth-Pangs of Religion Complicate Peacemaking Between Faith Communities,” will begin at 7 p.m. in Carrick Theater. “The selection of professor Firestone as this year’s Moosnick lecturer in Judaic Studies is particularly significant,” said Transylvania religion professor Paul Jones. “Because many of the globe’s hotspots involve religion, it is imperative that we listen and learn from an informed voice who has spent his academic life dedicated to understanding and respecting the religious other.” As part of Firestone’s visit to Lexington, he will speak on Nov. 16 at Ohavay Zion Synagogue. The topic of the 7 p.m. talk will be “Diversity of Religious Expression in Islam.” Both lectures will be free and open to the public. Firestone has received numerous fellowships and authored books including “Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims” and “An Introduction to Islam for Jews.” Born in Northern California, he was educated at Antioch College and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He received his M.A. in Hebrew literature and Rabbinic Ordination at Hebrew Union College; and he earned his Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic studies from New York University. Firestone’s campus talk and the other endowed lectures at Transylvania this academic year follow the theme of “Unlearn Fear + Hate,” a public art project by