AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Maya Angelou, recent winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, will speak at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center as part of Auburn’s Women’s Leadership Institute Extraordinary Women Lecture Series.
In anticipation of Angelou’s upcoming visit, the College of Liberal Arts and the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art will hold “Angelou and the Arts” on Monday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m. at the museum. The Angelou and the Arts event, which is free to the public, will include a drawing for tickets to the Extraordinary Women Lecture to be held on Nov. 8. This is the only opportunity for the public to access tickets to Angelou’s November lecture.
The Angelou and the Arts event will feature a juried art exhibition and talk by juror Diane Edison, professor of art at the University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art. The talk will be given in conjunction with the Department of Art’s corridor exhibition titled, “Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman: A Juried Student Exhibition of Works on Paper.”
Auburn University’s Mosaic Theatre Company will perform original scenes inspired by Angelou’s work, and students in the Intermediate I Dance Technique class will explore choreography based on the themes found in Angelou’s writings.
“Everyone is invited to enjoy this tribute to Dr. Angelou’s extensive contributions to American culture and to get a chance to win a coveted seat at the Extraordinary Women Lecture to be held in November,” said Barbara Baker, executive director of the Women’s Leadership Institute in the College of Liberal Arts.
Angelou and the Arts is sponsored by the Department of Art, the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, the Women’s Leadership Institute and the Women’s Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts.
“Dr. Maya Angelou is someone whose expertise spans the full gambit of experience and who has remained fearlessly relevant for more than 50 years; she is a true Renaissance woman,” said Baker. “When the Women’s Leadership Institute set out to find an exceptional contemporary woman leader who would interest as many varying constituencies within the Auburn family as possible, Dr. Angelou was the obvious choice.”
Angelou was the first black streetcar conductor in San Francisco, went on to dance in a European tour of “Porgy and Bess,” worked for Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and was a founding member of the Harlem Writers Guild before she published her award-winning autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” in 1969. She followed that with five more autobiographical books and several volumes of poetry including the much beloved “Phenomenal Woman.”
Angelou opened the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity this year and is publishing her 16th book.
Limited overflow seating will be available in the auditorium at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center for those who are unable to obtain tickets to the Nov. 8 lecture. Overflow seating is free to the public and no tickets are required.
The Extraordinary Women Lecture is sponsored by State Farm Insurance, the College of Liberal Arts, University Outreach, the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, the Honors College, University Program Council and the Africana and Women’s Studies programs. For more information on the Angelou and the Arts event and the Extraordinary Women Lecture, go to http://www.cla.auburn.edu/wli/.
(Contributed by Vicky Santos.)