Creative Audience offers a widely diverse array of events

Mal+Maiz

Signal Kitchen

Mal Maiz

Every semester is jam-packed with interesting and thought-provoking events, and this semester is no exception – however, there are a few changes in the works that will continue to improve the creative audience experience.

Although Emily Nielsen, who formerly coordinated creative audiences, has left, her hard work will not go to waste as Margo Warden and Tammy Johnson of First Year Experience are at the helm. “I’m happy to say that Emily left us for this semester in really good shape,” says Warden.

Not only is the events line-up filled with collaborations between academic departments, alum and clubs, but it touches on relevant social topics such as inclusivity, culture, climate change, and racism.

And as such, the CA events list is full of prominent, engaging speakers who aren’t afraid to address the big issues. Upcoming in April is speaker Key Chatterjee, who is an accomplished author, and the executive director of USCAN, or the US Climate Action Network. See her talk about her role in USCAN and her work in building a plan on how to tackle climate change.

Maris Wolff, a long-time dance professor at NVU, will be accompanied by the Vermont Dance Collective on Feb. 19, for a dance show inspired by pioneers of the Oregon trail. The third speaker, Robin Ochs, spoke on identity and sexuality at NVUnity’s ally dinner on Feb. 5. “This is really a collaborative effort,” says Warden.

This includes the jazz and funk fusion concert on April 29. Other musical events to look forward to include next week’s CA event, hosted by Mal Maïz, a saucy jazz fusion band with Caribbean flair, led by musician Maïz Vargas, who will share his Costa Rican heritage in his music. The band will be performing Feb. 11 in the Stearns Performance Space.

“We know what February can be like in northern Vermont on this campus in terms of cabin fever and just really want to have an event where it’s about movement,” says Warden.

Taking a softer turn, the bluegrass and homegrown musician Mark Lavengood, in his self-titled band, will be performing on the Dibden stage on April 16.

On the theatrical side, the highly anticipated student production of the musical, Hair, will be showing on April 23. Set in ’67, Hair deals with still-relevant social issues such as racism and generational divides, with direct links to current social movements, such as Black Lives Matter. It is anticipated to be a highly moving, provocative performance.

Aside from theater, the performance artists, Peking Acrobats, are set to perform March 25. Having made appearances on television shows like Ellen’s Really Big Show and the Wayne Brady Show, have been described as gravity-defying. “This is a big stage, big production that I think is really going to be pulling in people from not just the Johnson area, but even a little bit broader, so tickets are required for this event,” says Warden.

With creative audience constantly evolving, Warden also expressed some exciting news for the future of CA. “So you need two semesters, one credit for the graduation requirement,” says Warden, “but let’s look at this. What if you want it to take it beyond, as repeatable for credit?” In the near future, Warden hopes that CA can eventually become more than just a two-semester affair, see if it can be repeated towards other requirements.

For now, the CA curriculum will stay a two-semester affair.