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    Dule Hill Artists in Conversation set for April 26

    The School of Arts and Communication at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is pleased to announce that the Artists in Conversation event with actor Dulé Hill has been rescheduled for Sunday April 26 at 7:30 pm in Graff Main Hall Auditorium.  Mr. Hill will discuss his life and work, and take questions from the audience. The event is free and open to the public.

    Best known for his television roles on Psych and The West Wing, Hill is a versatile actor whose work has included the Broadway productions After Midnight, The Tap Dance Kid and Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk. During his seven seasons on The West Wing, he garnered an Emmy Award nomination and four Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, as well as receiving two Screen Actors Guild Awards as part of the ensemble in a drama series.  On film, Hill has appeared opposite Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, Shia LaBeouf and William H. Macy.

    Dulé Hill’s appearance is an extension of the Creative Imperatives festival, an annual series of workshops, performances, exhibits, open studios and presentations showcasing work by UW-L students, faculty, and staff in Art, Communication Studies, Music and Theatre Arts. Mr. Hill is one of the 2015 Featured Guests, forced to reschedule his visit to La Crosse due to filming delays on one of his current projects.

    About UW-L School of Arts and Communication

    The School of Arts and Communication in the UW-L College of Liberal Studies strives to improve the knowledge, and freedom of their students that inspire creative expression. Classes focus on establishing the fundamentals for creative work through the study of technical, historical, and artistic dimensions in the arts and providing opportunities for exploration and advanced training. The primary activities involve hands-on experience, which allows students to spend much of their time in laboratories, studios, and rehearsals developing the skills, processes, and attitudes essential for success.

    UW-L festival to celebrate languages, diversity and community

    Students have the great opportunity at UW-La Crosse to expand their view and understanding of the increasing complex and global world by studying languages.

    “It is important for students to experience languages in a variety of ways,” says Laurence Couturier who manages the university’s Language Resource Center. “When studying a language, you study much more than just the technicality of a language, you practice communication, including the knowledge, respect and understand of cultures and human values.”

    Students can discover more at the second Festival of Languages from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the Hall of Nations in UW-L’s Centennial Hall.

    "The study of languages represents a crucial link in the global world that students are preparing to enter," says Couturier.

    Couturier is coordinating the event with Shelley Hay, assistant professor of German in the Modern Languages Department.        The festival aims to be social, fun and informative. Among the events scheduled:

    • Tango, waltz and ballet lessons

    • Presentations on Cuba, Ukraine-Russia, Pakistan

    • Round table discussion on languages and professions

    • Poster presentations

    • Chinese calligraphy

    • Experiential language activities

    • Music

    • Ethnic refreshments

    The Department of Modern Languages currently offers courses in Arabic, Chinese, 

    French, German, Hebrew, Hmong, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and TESOL (Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages). Approximately 1,200 students are enrolled in classes that range from beginning to advanced language levels.

    See the complete schedule and find out more about the department at

    If you go—

    What: Festival of Languages

    Who:   UW-L Modern Languages Department

    When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, April 9

    Where: Hall of Nations, UW-L Centennial Hall          

    Admission: Free

     UW-L Theatre presents Folk and Fairy Tales for the Stage

    The UW-La Crosse Department of Theatre Arts children’s theatre production, In One Basket, will take the audience on a whirlwind adventure to the land of make-believe. 

    Shirley Pugh’s In One Basket includes eight wonderfully quirky children’s stories that exhibit lessons on greed, selflessness, cleverness, working together, uniqueness of our talents, and accepting others. With a cast of silly characters including a selfish princess, an absent-minded young boy, a rich man, and a spunky girl, children’s attention will be captivated from start to finish.

    In One Basket will show at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, 2015 in the Frederick Theatre located in Morris Hall (lower level) on the corner of 16th and State Street.

    Tickets go on sale at 1:00 p.m. Monday, April 6.  Box office hours are 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; and one hour before show times.  Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children (under 13) and UWL students; call (608) 785-8522.  General admission; limited seating.

    Who: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Department of Theatre Arts

    What: In One Basket by Shirley Pugh

    Where: UW-L Morris Hall, Frederick Theatre (lower level)

    When: Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

    Admission: Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children (under 13) and UWL students; call (608) 785-8522.  General admission; limited seating.

    Cast: David Holmes, Makenna Johnson, Brandon Madrzak, Avital Maltinski, Wyatt J. Tisland,

    Julia Whalen

    Citizens’ recorded oral histories to play in downtown La Crosse

    UW-La Crosse class launches public history project April 12

    On April 12, La Crosse’s downtown will come alive with the memories of local citizens who worked, lived and shopped on the streets. As part of the Spring Fling Downtown Mainstreet Inc. event, UW-L Assistant History Professor Ariel Beaujot will launch the “Hear, Here” project.

    Signs at downtown locations will be linked to a mobile phone system where people can hear the collected stories of everyday people. These stories contribute to the larger history of the community, notes Beaujot.

    Stories range from the aftermath of a downtown fight to homelessness in La Crosse.

    Here are some of the voices:

    Elmer Peterson talks about creating the sculpture of lacrosse players to honor the history of the area. The sculpture is now prominently displayed on the north side of La Crosse at the entrance of the city.

    Maureen Freedland discusses agreeing to be a plaintiff in the case against the Ten Commandments Monument in a city park.

    UW-L History Professor Victor Macías-González talks about the safety of going to gay bars in La Crosse after moving to the city in 2000.

    Other stories that will be part of the downtown system can be heard on the Hear Here project website at*Reporter note: All sound files can be downloaded from the website as MP3s and are also available in WAV format upon request.

    “It is very exciting to see this project come together after two years of planning and grant writing,” says Beaujot.

    Beaujot is particularly proud of her students in a new Public and Policy History major emphasis who did a lot of the legwork behind the project. Students in a fall 2014 course collected, recorded and edited stories about downtown La Crosse’s past and present.

    Students in a spring semester course are launching the project from technology to public relations. At the signs, people may call a toll-free number from their mobile phones (or listen online) to first-person accounts of these places. After listening to a recollection, visitors can add their own stories.

    Beaujot has made a special effort to reach out to historically underrepresented groups in the community such as homeless, the Ho Chunk Nation, Hmong and African Americans to contribute their stories so the community can understand the perspective of all citizens.

    Beaujot says the project will run until 2020. 

    “We would like for it to evolve and change over time, just as our community does and has,” she says. “This is the reason why it is so important for there to be a way (via phone or the website) for the community to keep contributing their stories. We are in an evolving community. History is what happened 100 years ago, but it is also what happened yesterday.”

    View the Hear, Here website ( and Facebook page. (

    3rd Congressional District artwork exhibit at UW-La Crosse

    Artwork of area high school artists from Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District will be exhibited at UW-La Crosse. “An Artistic Discovery,” hosted by Congressman Ron Kind and his wife Tawni Kind, runs Friday, March 27, through Sunday, April 12, in the University Art Gallery, Center for the Arts.

    Each year the Kinds ask high schools in the district to submit their artwork. Judges select work for the exhibition, as well as awards and notations of merit. This is the 19th presentation of the annual art competition.

    The first place entry will be shown for a year in the U.S. Capitol along with the works of other student artists from across the country. The second place entry will be displayed in Rep. Kind’s Washington, D.C., office, and the third and four place pieces will be displayed in Kind’s La Crosse and Eau Claire offices. 

    The exhibition culminates with a reception and awards ceremony for the artists, families and community from 1–3 p.m. Sunday, April 12. The reception is hosted by the Congressman and Mrs. Kind. Awards will be announced at 1:30. The exhibition and related events are free and open to the public.

    “Tawni and I look forward to this competition every year,” says Rep. Kind. “We have so many talented student artists from across western and central Wisconsin, and the Congressional Art Competition is a great opportunity to enjoy their work.”

    This exhibition is supported by UW-L College of Liberal Studies, UW-L Student Association, UW-L School of Arts and Communications, UW-L Department of Art, Congressman Ron Kind and Tawni Kind.

    Regular gallery hours at noon-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, noon-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and during events in nearby Toland Theatre or by appointment.

    If you go—

    Who:   An Artistic Discovery  

    What: Artwork created by 3rd Congressional District high school students

    When: Friday, March 27–Sunday, April 12.

    Where: UW-La Crosse University Art Gallery, UW-L Center for the Arts, 16th and Vine streets     

    Admission: Free

    UW-L students selected to perform in honors recital

    Six students have been selected to perform at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Department of Music Honors Recital.

    The music department’s faculty selected students for the recital based on their outstanding performances at auditions held earlier this year. The students will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 12, in Annett Recital Hall in the UW-L Center for the Arts, 16th and Vine streets. The performance is free and open to the public. A reception for students, parents and instructors will follow.

    Students selected for the honor include:

    Amber Englebert – Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

    James Jewson – Janesville, Wisconsin

    Anton Lenertz – Alexandria, Minnesota

    Megan McCarthy – Dodgeville, Wisconsin

    Kyle Renfro – Tomah, Wisconsin

    Kelly Voegele – Sioux Falls, South Dakota 

    If you go—

    Who:    Outstanding Student Performers

    What:  Honors Recital

    Where: UW-L, Center for the Arts, Annett Recital Hall

    When:  Sunday, April 12, 2015, 2 PM

    Admission: Free, Open to the Public

    Gulf War vet writer to speak at UW-La Crosse

     An award-winning writer who is an Iraq War Veteran and former NATO peacekeeper will speak at UW-La Crosse.

    Brian Turner, whose recent memoir “My Life as a Foreign Country” has garnered critical acclaim, will speak and give a reading from7-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, in 1309 Centennial Hall. Admission is free; a book signing will follow his presentation.

    Turner has also authored two books of poetry, “Here, Bullet” and “Phantom Noise,” featured in the documentary film “Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience,” which was nominated for an Academy Award. His poem "The Hurt Locker" inspired the idea for Kathryn Bigelow's film of the same name.

    Turner's other awards include a USA Hillcrest Fellowship in Literature, an National Education Association Literature Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, a US-Japan Friendship Commission Fellowship, the Poets' Prize, and a fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. His memoir addresses human-rights issues from the points of view of people whose stories are often ignored or marginalized.

    Along with his presentation, Turner will visit a creative writing class from 2:15-3:40 p.m. in 142 Wimberly Hall, and a creative nonfiction class from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in 117 Wimberly Hall. All events are free and open to the public.    

    Turner’s visit is sponsored by the Department of English, The Campus Seminar and Performance Series Advisory Board, Murphy Library, and the Institute for Social Justice.

    Bike Battles: UW-L professor’s book adds history to debates over sharing the road

    The bike is back in America, but so are arguments about where it belongs.

    UW-La Crosse Associate Professor of History James Longhurst offers a historical perspective on current transportation policy, funding and legal rights in his new book “Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road.”

    In the book, Longhurst argues that governments large and small have had a hand in shaping the conflicts seen on the road today. He examines debates over bicycles and their place in society over the last century and a half. The book is available in bookstores April 15.

    It will be available atPearl Street Books in La Crosse. It is also available for pre-order online at Amazon and through University of Washington Press

    Longhurst, an avid cyclist, will take to road this summer to help explain matters discussed in his book, peddling from Minneapolis to Chicago, on a book tour. Itineraries and contact information for groups who want to host, sponsor or attend tour stops are available on the book website at

     “Much of this is forgotten history,” says Longhurst. “Since Americans don’t entirely take bicycles seriously, historians haven’t always done so either. So stories about 19th century bike laws, cycle paths in the 1890s, and bicycle rationing in World War II haven’t gotten the attention they deserve.”

    Longhurst is studying the history of urban and environmental policy, or the decisions that cities make that change their surroundings. The idea to study bicycle history came to him in 2008 when he first started bicycle commuting to work daily.

     “Riding to work is great, but it reminds you that not everyone agrees on the place of bicycles and cars on the road,” says Longhurst.  “Traffic engineers, bike advocates, and politicians all have had their say on the subject. I wanted to add a bit more history to the discussion.”

    UW-L senior makes monumental achievement in archaeology

    A UW-L senior has earned the most prestigious award an undergraduate archaeology student can receive for research.

    Thatcher Rogers, an archaeology major, will accept the Institute for Field Research Undergraduate Student Paper Award from the Society for American Archaeology, the largest professional archaeology organization in the world. He’ll also present his award-winning research at the SAA annual meeting Friday, April 17, in San Francisco.

    His paper examines changes in prehistoric architectural remains in the desert of northwestern Mexico and what they mean for the end of a civilization.

    It’s the first year the SAA has created a separate award specifically for undergraduates. After hearing the news, Rogers says he was “astounded.” But, in a way, the May graduate has been preparing to make milestone discoveries in archaeology since he was a child.

    Rogers, of Kaukauna, Wis., knew he wanted to be an archaeologist when he was 10 years old. He knew he wanted to specialize in the southwest region when he was 11. And he knew he wanted to make this happen by attending UW-La Crosse when he graduated from middle school.

    “It’s the only school I applied to — the only school I wanted to come to — because of the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center and the faculty here,” he says.

    Rogers says his decision to attend UW-L was spot on. “Incredible support” and mentorship from faculty in the Archaeology Department have helped him prepare to write the award-winning research paper.  Faculty gave him foundational knowledge of prehistoric architecture at the site, as well as background on how to do statistical analysis and communicate results.

    Roger’s faculty adviser Jessi Halligan, assistant professor of archaeology, describes him as intelligent and very hard working. She encouraged Rogers to apply for the award because of how advanced his research is compared to other undergraduate projects.

    “Few undergraduates even attend this conference,” says Halligan. “You are supposed to present pretty intense, original research.”

    The award-winning research

    Through a National Science Foundation grant, Rogers traveled to the northwestern Mexican state of Chihuahua with an excavation group, headed by Michael Whalen, of the University of Tulsa, in summer 2014 to study prehistoric architecture at a desert site. The Casas Grandes culture was known for its colorful ceramics, trading of shells, raised macaws and turkeys, among other things. But this civilization abandoned the site around 1450 after flourishing there for more than two centuries.

    “One of the biggest questions in archeology and anthropology is why complex societies form and collapse,” says Rogers. “We know a lot about these sites in the middle occupation period, but we don’t know much about the end.”

    That’s where Rogers research becomes ground breaking.

    While in Mexico, he sifted through volumes of literature with descriptions of more than 250 rooms excavated at the site in the 1950s. Upon his return to UW-La Crosse, he compiled the data into Excel spreadsheets and ran a statistical analysis.

    He noticed that as the civilization end date emerged, trends in architectural designs changed. For one, from the middle to late period, the wall thickness decreased by about 15 centimeters on average. To a layperson, such a change appears arbitrary, but to someone who studies archaeology, it helps unravel a story of what was happening to the civilization. Thin walls signal not as monumental of structures and therefore less centralized leadership within a civilization.

    Also, from the middle period to the late period, the room sizes decreased and became less standardized, also signaling a lack of planning or centralized leadership.

    Rogers was excited to see the trends emerge.

    “I hadn’t expected to see this,” he says. “The late phase is not well established or described.”

    The data helps tell the story of how a complex society evolved before its collapse. And that gives archaeologist more clues about how this prehistoric culture transformed into the more modern pueblo. The research is Rogers’ senior thesis project.

    “It's really a phenomenal piece of research — a credit to him and his Senior Thesis advisor Dr. Jessi Halligan and Dr. David Anderson, who has also worked closely with Thatcher on his research,” says Timothy McAndrews, UW-L professor of archaeology. “Every year our students do outstanding research, but it is so satisfying for one of them to be recognized at such a high level.”

    The Archaeological Studies Major at UW-L is one of the few comprehensive undergraduate degree programs in archaeology in the United States and the only one in the Midwest.

    Conductor wannabe efforts to support UW-L music scholarships

    A local fundraising contest that plays up the importance of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra will also contribute to music scholarships at UW-La Crosse.   

    LSO “Conductor Wannabe” Ilene Kernozek has chosen the UW-L Foundation’s Music Student Scholarships as co-recipients of donations from contest.

    Kernozek, vice chair of the Foundation and a relationship manager at Trust Point Inc., is one of seven community members participating in the orchestra’s “Conductor Wannabe” contest this year. The winner and runner-up with the most votes received by Tuesday, April 28, will make their conducting debuts with the LSO Saturday, May 2.

    The LSO revised the popular annual fund-raising event this year so contestants designate a non-profit charity as recipient of half of the proceeds they collect.

    Kernozek says she chose the scholarship fund because it’s a fantastic opportunity to support two organizations dedicated to providing exceptional educational experiences and enriching the quality of life in the La Crosse community. Her slogan is “Music Students Are a Sound Investment.”

    Votes are $2 each. Votes can be mailed in or cast online at

    For more information contact her at

    Come ashore to UW-L Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s enchanting tale of romance, sorcery and revenge

    The UW-La Crosse Department of Theatre Arts presents The Tempest, one of Shakespeare’s most beloved and enchanting plays.

    The classic Shakespeare masterpiece, The Tempest, will show on April 24 & 25, April 30-May 2 at 7:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinees on April 26 & May 3 in Toland Theatre in the Center for the Arts at 16th and Vine streets.

    The Tempest, a magical tale of forgiveness and enlightenment by William Shakespeare, is a power play of passion and wills.  Prospero, the Duke of Milan, has been usurped and exiled by his own brother. He is stranded on a remote and mystical island with his daughter Miranda who has been on the island from a very young age. Hoping to restore Miranda to her rightful place, and to seek revenge, Prospero conjures a storm to shipwreck his brother and those who conspired against him. The beautiful Miranda falls in love with Ferdinand, son of one of the conspirators, putting her relationship with Prospero to the test just as retribution is finally within reach.

    Shakespeare’s final, much-loved play defies expectations, erupting into a timeless, exotic tale of monsters and cavorting spirits, love and song, merriment and mercy. Adding a twist to the UW-La Crosse production, director Walter Elder has cast several females to portray traditionally male roles including Prospero (now Prospera) and Trinculo the clown (now Trincula), infusing a great classic with a contemporary and rebellious feeling.

    Tickets go on sale at 1:00 p.m. Monday, April 20.  Box office hours are 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturdays, and one hour before show times.  Tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for senior/non UWL students and $5 for UW-L students; call (608) 785-8522.  

    If you go—

    Who:    University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Department of Theatre Arts

    What:  The Tempest by William Shakespeare

    Where: Toland Theatre, Center for the Arts (corner of 16th and Vine streets)

    When:  April 24-25, April 30-May 2 at 7:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. matinees on April 26 & May 3

    Admission: $16 for adults, $14 for senior citizens and non-UWL students, $5 UW-L students; call (608) 785-8522. Tickets go on sale at 1:00 p.m. Monday, April 20.  Box office hours are 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Saturdays, and one hour before show times.

    Cast:   Callie Boydston, Alex Brick, Lily Cornwell, Tanner Costello, Olivia Dubiel, Jessie Fanshaw, Sophia Goodner, Rebecca Johnson, Gabrielle Frenstad-Kirk, Aamer Mian, Kelsey Norton, Jesse Pingel, Casey Schneider, Calahan Skogman, Seth Von Steidl, Alex Taylor, Maxwell Ward, Katy Williams, Lewis Youngren  

    Objects + research = Historical perspective of Wisconsin

    UW-La Crosse students join statewide public history effort  

    The big sunfish in Onalaska. The “Simpler Time” sculpture of children and their dog greeting boats at Riverside Park. A metal 1960s Wisconsin National Farmers Organization (NFO) sign. What do they have in common? They’re objects UW-La Crosse students have selected for a statewide public history project.

    The idea of “Wisconsin 101: Our History in Objects” is simple. Students, amateur historians and others interested in the state’s history can select a material object and provide researched information about its importance in state history. For the UW-L classes, objects were selected from the university’s Area Research Center, La Crosse Historical Society and students’ homes.

    UW-L History Assistant Professor Patricia Stovey says the new project — recently launched online at — was perfect for her survey course on Wisconsin History.

    “This project allows students to expand their work out of the classroom,” she explains. “Students can take the objects in the direction they want to go.”

    The student who selected the NFO sign plans to recall the state’s stormy agricultural issues. Onalaska’s sunfish sculpture will relay history of Lake Onalaska, the Mississippi River, its wing dams and more. The Riverside Park sculpture is sparking tales of river history.

    That old, NFO sign

    Miranda Kunes, a senior from Melrose, says she selected the NFO member sign after talking with her dad about Wisconsin’s agricultural industry climate in the ’60s and ’70s.

    Kunes was surprised to find that many NFO demonstrations included guns, explosives, threats, roadblocks and vandalism that often resulted in harm to people, animals or property.

    “When I think of Wisconsin farmers, I do not imagine them as violent or politically radical individuals,” says Kunes, a communication studies major. “However, my research has proved this assumption wrong.”

    The ‘Simpler Time’ sculpture

    Catherine Krus, a senior from Chicago, says the river has intrigued her since she moved to La Crosse for college. “I often find myself leaning on the railing like the kids in the sculpture, looking out at the bluffs as they fade into the horizon,” she notes.

    Growing up in Chicago, Krus knows all about the World's Fair, the Great Chicago Fire and history behind much of the city. Learning Wisconsin history was new to her.

     “I am so excited to learn about a place that is greatly different from where I grew up,” she says. “It gives me a great appreciation for this land and the people in it.”

    Krus also learned more about the artist of the sculpture, Michael Martino, a snow sculptor who brought home the bronze medal from the Winter Olympics Arts Festival in Liyama, Japan, in 1998.

    She hopes to meet Martino. “I'm sure he could give me some insight into ‘A Simpler Time’ and what the reason behind the design was,” she says.  

    Site’s history is growing

    The website was launched earlier this year and has only a few objects identified, mainly in the Milwaukee area. “Hopefully, we can offer a La Crosse spin on state history,” says Stovey.

    Stovey’s assignment is just a small portion of one of her spring semester classes, one that includes 30 juniors and seniors from a variety of majors. Students wanting to see their work make the website will have to do more extensive research on their objects than just the class assignment. They will also be encouraged to turn their initial findings into a hands-on undergraduate research project. Both Kunes and Krus plan to wait to see how their research turns out before deciding if they will submit it to the site.   

    Stovey was one of the state’s historians who got in on the online public history project at the ground level. The brainchild of UW-Madison Professors Tom and Sarah Thal, the project started a year ago as an outlet for student work. They hope the project helps connect state residents while increasing interest and awareness of research, writing and curation of history throughout the state.

    “Wisconsin 101: Our History in Objects” — a statewide, collaborative, public history online exhibit that explores the multidimensional histories of material objects in Wisconsin, highlighting the interconnected pasts of individuals and communities. By hosting histories researched and written by students, amateur historians, and others about objects of significance to their communities, the site seeks to:

    • create among Wisconsin residents a sense of the interconnectedness of histories that cuts across regional, cultural, economic, political and institutional differences.

    • increase interest and engagement in humanities-based research in Wisconsin.

    • increase student and community expertise, and public awareness of the relevance of expertise, in research, writing, curation and publishing.

    • foster statewide interest in and engagement with local and Wisconsin history and objects, as well as the institutions that house and study them.

    See it at:

     New UW-L institute aims to foster social justice collaboration on campus, in community

    A new UW-L Institute for Social Justice aims to help people connect across campus and in the La Crosse community surrounding social justice issues and research.

    When Laurie Cooper Stoll, UW-L assistant professor of sociology, put out the initial call to gauge interest in such an institute on campus, she received about 100 responses within the first 48 hours. Stoll, the institute director, started work related to founding the institute in May 2013. The UW-L Faculty Senate unanimously approved it in September 2014.

    Now, people can connect to social justice research partnerships, mentoring opportunities, events and more on the institute’s website at The institute will also hold its first social justice conference involving community partners next year.

    -Social justice research is at the core of the institute, but it has four main goals:

    -Support social justice research on campus.

    -Form partnerships with social justice organizations in the La Crosse community.

    -Provide mentoring for students engaged in pursuing social justice research or careers.

    -Support social-justice related events on campus. 

     UW-L students uncover community history that will inspire art, Pump House exhibit will feature artifacts and corresponding new artwork

    Area artists are invited to submit their work to a Pump House exhibition that blends La Crosse community history and art: [Art]ifact.

    The exhibit, originally conceived by three UW-L students, will showcase local historical artifacts from the La Crosse County Historical Society’s collection and new original artwork from area artists inspired by these objects. Along the way, UW-L students will learn to be experts at artifact analysis and research, public relations, curatorial work and educational programming to move the project forward. 

    “To do a project like this, you have to have a community that believes in its students,” says UW-L Senior Ariel Reker, one of the project leaders.

    The project is a team effort between the Pump House Regional Arts Center, the La Crosse County Historical Society and UW-L’s History Department.

    In 2015-16, UW-L students in Ariel Beaujot’s Public and Policy History classes will choose 15 artifacts that were made in La Crosse and represent the community’s diverse history. Then, a jury from the Pump House will select 15 artists from area artistic submissions received by Sept. 15, 2015. Artists will be assigned a historic object, which they will use for inspiration to create new artwork for the exhibition. Historic artifacts and corresponding new artwork will be displayed side by side at the Pump House exhibit in spring 2016.

    “[Art]ifact will show our accomplishments as a community historically and today,” says Beaujot.

    Reker is heading up the overall direction and public relations aspects of the project and Callie O’Connor, a UW-L senior, is working on the curatorial end. Their duties match their future career goals to be a museum director and curator, respectively. Beaujot serves as their mentor.

    O’Connor and Reker have already begun the search for artifacts for future UW-L history students to consider for the exhibit. La Crosse’s history has a long and varied manufacturing past representing everything from buttons to cigars to women’s undergarments. “It’s so interesting — it’s been like a scavenger hunt — contacting person after person after person to find out more details about each item,” says O’Connor. 

    Both Reker and O’Connor agree the public and policy history major at UW-L is less about spending time in class and more about getting experience out in the community — something they like.

    “I almost didn’t come to La Crosse, but there are so many moments where I realize I wouldn’t have gotten the same opportunities somewhere else,” says Reker. “I don’t think La Crosse realizes how connected the community and the university are. This project is just capitalizing on that relationship.”

    Are you an interested artist?

    The deadline for artists to submit their work is September 2015. More details related to submissions are available on the project website at Three prizes will be awarded to artists who present the best connection, best transformation and best renewal.

    UW-L Theatre Department Announces 2014-2015 Theatre Season

    The UW-La Crosse Department of Theatre Arts production presents a season filled with a groundbreaking lawsuit, a Neil Simon comedy, a classic Shakespeare and a fast-paced musical.

    Opening the 2014-2015 season is 8  by Dustin Lance Black Ripped. From the headlines, 8 is a play that re-enacts events surrounding a 2010 lawsuit that overturned California's Proposition 8, a voter referendum that threw out California’s 2008 law allowing same-sex marriage. Written by Academy and Oscar Award winner Dustin Lance Black, 8 utilizes the original transcripts from the 2010 Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, which ultimately led to a California federal judge’s ruling that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional and unfairly discriminated against homosexuals.

    Next up is the Neil Simon classic, Rumors, which begins at a large, tastefully appointed Sneden’s Landing townhouse; the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of farce. Gathering for their tenth wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken and wife Chris must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusions and miscommunications mount, the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity.

    Based on the hit DreamWorks film and the incredible true story that inspired it, Catch Me If You Can is the high-flying, splashy new musical that was nominated for 4 Tony Awards including Best Musical.  Teenager Frank W. Abagnale Jr., runs away from home in search of a glamorous life. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer—living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. But when Frank’s lies catch the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, Carl pursues Frank across the country. Along the way, though, both Frank and Carl forge an unlikely friendship and discover a way to ultimately work together.

    The Tempest by William Shakespeare this bewitching play is believed to be Shakespeare's final work. The story concerns Miranda, a lovely young maiden, and Prospero, her philosophical old magician father, who dwell on an enchanted island, alone except for their servants — Ariel, an invisible sprite, and Caliban, a monstrous witch’s son.  Into their idyllic, but isolated, lives comes a shipwrecked party that includes the enemies who usurped Prospero's dukedom years before, and set him and his daughter adrift on the ocean. Also among the castaways is a handsome prince, the first young man Miranda has ever seen. Comedy, romance, and reconciliation ensue, in a masterly drama that begins with a storm at sea and concludes in joyous harmony.

    The UW-L Theatre Department is also thrilled to present two Frederick Theatre productions including Peter Brook’s The Man Who and the children’s tale In One Basket.  The Man Who offers a series of fascinating doctor/patient scenarios that examine our attempts to understand the workings of the brain.  Peter Brook’s hypnotizing new theatrical work is as vast and mysterious as the human imagination and as commonplace as the image of a man trying to shave himself, but failing.  The Man Who is one of the most magically effective explorations of the mind (also possibly the soul) ever to be attempted on the stage.  The Man Who is funny, inspiring, desperate, and heroic. In One Basket by Shirley Pugh is a fascinating compilation of 12 relatively obscure folktales, told in the storytelling fashion.  Audiences will be captivated by the rare, but not forgotten tales of youthfulness, adventure, and lessons to be learned played out by a cast of silly characters including a selfish princess, an absent-minded young boy, a rich man, and a spunky young girl.  Tales include The Three Wishes, Tale of a Mouse, Crown of Dew, and The Kangaroo and the Ostrich.  (Please note:  The Man Who and In One Basket are not part of the season subscription package.)

    Please join the UW-La Crosse Department of Theatre Arts for another thrilling season!  Early bird season tickets are on sale now through July 14, 2014 and include ticket vouchers for four season productions, postcard reminders and early ticket reservation privileges. Early bird season subscriptions are $60 for general public, $50 for senior citizens and non-UWL students/high school students, and $14 for UW-L students and can be purchased by calling the UW-L Department of Theatre Arts at 608-785-6701.

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