Fine Arts and World Cultures Moving "Center Stage"

There's a new series full of art, music, literature and world cultures at Tennessee Technological University, and you're invited to every event.

The first full year of the newly labeled "Center Stage" series, a joining of performing arts, studio arts and world culture events, is underway, and the public is welcome to any event on the calendar. Sponsored by the university's General Education Fund, the events are free of charge.

"Our two main goals for the 'Center Stage' series are to engage students more intensely and more often with various performing arts and to present students with more opportunities to explore cultural differences," said Jack Armistead, Tennessee Tech's College of Arts and Sciences dean.

"By combining our programming into one easily identifiable series, the 'Center Stage' series, we hope to encourage the public, as well as students, faculty and staff, to attend the events," Armistead explained.

Series activities currently underway include New York artist Betty Vera's "Layers of Meaning," a display of tapestries in the Joan Derryberry Art Gallery, which continues through Sunday, Sept. 20.

Other offerings during the fall "Center Stage" series include:

"The Diary of Opal Whiteley," a Backdoor Playhouse production on Monday, Sept. 21, at 9 p.m. The one-woman play is Nan Gurley's interpretation of the literary controversy surrounding the origins of The Story of Opal, a narrative in diary form supposedly written by Whiteley when she was five and six years old. Guest director Robert Kiefer and Gurley will host a post-show discussion.

Public readings by Native American poet Carter Revard on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 7-9 p.m. In much of his work, Revard draws on his childhood experiences on an Osage reservation in Oklahoma, weaving into both poetry and prose traditions of Native American storytelling, including creation myths.

African-American contemporary artist Joyce Scott, displaying an exhibit in the Joan Derryberry Art Gallery Sept. 26-Oct. 25. Scott's exhibition will include beadwork, sculpture and quilts.

Scheduled for later this fall are the Chaksam-pa Tibetan Dance and Opera, musicians Guillermo and Yvonne Figueroa, the Window on the World '98 International Festival, sculptor Stan Smokler and the St. Louis Brass Quintet.

A complete "Center Stage" series calendar along with updates will soon be available on a web site. For more information on events, call Peggy Evans at 372-3637.