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Provost Lecture Series: Arts necessary in economic downturns


Despite what is happening in the economy, the arts can be a necessary component to hold a community together.

“In a time of such economic volatility, the arts are often overlooked as frivolous and less practical than other academic and technical skill areas, but frankly, the arts are a good investment for a community, a university and a family,” said Darren Michael, associate professor of acting and directing at Austin Peay State University.

Michael will discuss this topic in more detail as part of the next Provost Lecture Series. He will present “The Theatrical Stoplight: The Arts as an Educational, Social and Economic Cornerstone to the Community” from 3-4:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17 in the Morgan University Center, Room 303. All presentations in the Provost Lecture Series are free and open to the public.

Michael has been working as an actor and director in collegiate, community and professional theater over the Southeast for nearly 20 years. In addition to his teaching duties, he is the coordinator of APSU’s Theater and Dance program.

He holds a Master of Fine Arts in performance from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Bachelor of Arts in theater from Ouachita Baptist University. Michael is also on the board of the Tennessee Theatre Association and the Tennessee representative for the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

His two most recent plays, “Willie Nelson Ain’t Dead” and “A Widow Safe and Secure,” were produced this month by the Ten Minute Playhouse in Nashville at the Darkhorse Theater.

Other sessions in the Provost Lecture Series also are planned for the academic year. All sessions are from 3-4:30 p.m. in the MUC, Room 303 (unless noted otherwise) and include the following:

Dec. 1: Dr. Tim Leszczak, assistant professor of health and human performance

Jan. 12: Dr. Ellen Smyth, instructor of mathematics

Jan. 19: Dr. Ann Silverberg, professor of music

Jan. 26: Dr. Marsha Lyle-Gonga, assistant professor of political science

Feb. 2: Dr. Rebecca Johansen, assistant professor of biology

Feb. 9: Dr. Sergei Markov, associate professor of biology

Feb. 16: Cynthia Marsh, professor of art

Feb. 23: Dr. Christine Mathenge, associate professor of geology

March 1: Dr. Robert Shelton, associate professor of chemistry

March 15, MUC 307: Dr. Allyn Smith, associate professor of physics

March 22: Dr. Sharon Mabry, professor of music

March 29: Dr. Cameron Sutt, assistant professor of history

April 5: Mark DeYoung, assistant professor of art

April 12: Dr. Tim Winters, professor of English

April 19, MUC 103: Dr. Jeffrey Wood, professor of music

The Provost Lecture Series seeks to foster a spirit of intellectual and scholarly inquiry among faculty, staff and students. The program will be used as a platform for APSU faculty members who are recent recipients of provost summer grants, who have been awarded faculty development leaves and who have engaged in recent scholarly inquiry during sabbatical leaves.

APSU faculty members with recent research of acclaim also will be given a platform within this series. In addition, other faculty members of local or widespread renown will be invited to lecture within this series.

For more information about the Provost Lecture Series, call Dr. Brian Johnson, assistant vice president of academic affairs at APSU, at (931) 221-7992 or email him at - Dr. Melony Shemberger