New UW-L festival offers a taste of everything in art, communication

Creative Imperatives logoTake a class with a guest composer. Paint on an open canvas. Witness a student debate on global warming.

The first ever UW-La Crosse Creative Imperatives Festival April 13-16 will bring together UW-La Crosse students, faculty and distinguished guests to lead workshops, perform, lecture and stimulate thought and creativity. The festival highlighting UW-L’s School of Arts and Communication is free and open to the public.

“The festival showcases faculty and students in the school and serves as a reminder of the role of creativity, the arts and communication in contemporary social life,” says Director of UW-L’s School of Arts and Communication Julia Johnson. “Sometimes we forget that these are disciplined, thoughtful and engaging ways of understanding the human experience.”

Students and educators will demonstrate skills such as blacksmithing, printmaking and broadcast journalism in a series called “Watch Them Work” throughout the four-day event. Festivalgoers will become part of the action in other workshops on topics such as painting and public speaking. Lectures and discussions range from the music of the Afro Latin diaspora to the crucial role of creativity in the world. Film screenings, musical performances and art exhibits highlight UW-L talent and featured guests.

Highlights include

headshot image of Susan Botti

Composer and vocalist Susan Botti

Concert: Experience the Cosmos: From Spiders to Fire! is a concert featuring composer and vocalist Susan Botti and jazz percussionist Roland Vazquez, along with the UW-L Women’s Choir, Wind Ensemble and Music faculty at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 13, in Toland Theatre.

Public speaking help: Join Tony Docan-Morgan, UW-L associate professor of communication studies, for a workshop to improve public speaking skills and reduce speaking anxiety from 1-3 p.m. Monday, April 14, in 337 Cartwright Center. Attendees will participate in various small-group activities aimed at developing speech content, incorporating creative and vivid language and using hands, voice and face to deliver effectively.

One woman show: Throwing My First Punch is a one-woman show by scholar and performance artist Kimberlee Perez exploring issues of identity and belonging at 4 p.m. Monday, April 14, at Frederick Theatre, 100 Morris Hall.

headshot image of Harvey White

Harvey White

Keynote lecture on the role of creativity: Business leader, arts patron and arts advocate Harvey White, who coined the term “STEAM,” offers his thoughts on the crucial role of creativity in our world during the lecture “The Interconnection of the Arts, Innovation, and Economic Well-Being” from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Monday, April 14, in 1400 Centennial Hall. After his remarks, he will join a panel of guests to expand the conversation and answer questions from the audience.

Music master class: Join composer and singer Susan Botti for a vocal technique master class from 2:15 – 3:10 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, in Annett Recital Hall, Center for the Arts. Botti has sung worldwide in concert halls, theatres, clubs and on the airwaves.

Student performance: 3rd Relation Quartet: The group “3rd Relation Quartet” — the rhythm section of UW-L’s Jazz Ensemble I performs from 8-11 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, at the Root Note in downtown La Crosse, 115 4th St. S. After the group’s set, the floor opens to jammers. Also, on display at the Root Note April 7-30 will be “Printfools – Under Pressure,” an exhibition of etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts produced by UW-L students.

Art workshop: The Compassion Project: Compassion, a simple word… so, how would you express that word on a 6×6 inch canvas? During this workshop participants will create an artwork and show the campus what compassion means to them. Artists and non-artists are welcome. All artworks will go on display on campus in May. Join instructor Marcia Thompson and art education students from 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, in 203, Center for the Arts.

Photographic exploration: My White Friends is an exploration of photographer Myra White’s work examining the portrait’s ability to describe race and explore insider-outsider group dynamics at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in the Hall of Nations, 1300 Centennial Hall

Mashup: The festival will conclude with the Mashup — a sensory feast of theatre, music, art, digital media and storytelling at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, first floor of the Cartwright Center.

View a full schedule