The Arts and Sciences Festival, an annual event highlighting the contributions of music, history, science, sociology, theater, poetry and more to society, will be held at Middlesex County College in April.
Except where noted, the events are free and open to the public.
“This month allows faculty, students and others from the outside to gather and celebrate the mind,” said Michael Nester, chair of the English Department and the Arts and Sciences Festival. “This year, the theme is ‘Sharing Stories Through Words, Images, Performances.’ I think the College community and the public will really enjoy the events. We have a terrific group of presenters.”
Here are the events:
April 4 – April 18. Visual Arts Exhibition, Studio Theatre Gallery.
April 4 at 11 a.m. “Careers in the Pharmaceutical Industry with an MCC Chemical Process Technology Degree.” An MCC grad who is currently working at Bristol-Myers Squibb will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with her job and the benefits of the MCC Chemical Process Technology degree. Hazel Orellana, Crabiel Hall, Rooms 102 and 104.
April 7 at 2 p.m. “Storytelling Contest.” Students will present live, original stories in the hopes of winning the grand prize. Studio Theatre.
April 11 at 11 a.m. “Keynote Address: A Life Telling Stories.” A panel of three professional storytelling artists: Jenn Thompson, a critically-acclaimed theater director; Stephen Kunken, a Tony-nominated actor who also stars in major motion pictures; and Karl Kenzler, a writer, a Broadway actor, and a producer of an award-nominated web series, discuss their unique storytelling experiences. Benjamin Marshall, moderator, Crabiel Hall, Rooms 102 and 104.
April 12 at 2 p.m. “Mixing and Matching: Storytelling in the Digital Era. ” Hank Kalet will discuss the impact of the digital era on the arts and journalism. The discussion will be followed by a brief workshop so that participants can experiment with their own storytelling. Participants are urged to bring smartphones to the workshop. Crabiel Hall, Rooms 102 and 104.
April 13 at 11 a.m. “Poems from My Sicilian Childhood.” MCC Poet-in-Residence, Emanuel di Pasquale, will read and discuss poems based on his Sicilian childhood. College Center Gallery.
April 14 at 2:30 p.m. “Stories and Ideas from the Past.” Students from the History and Philosophy Honor Society will share their research with the College community. Copies of the society’s journal will be distributed. Cristobal Espinoza-Wulach and students, College Center Gallery.
April 14-17 “The Secret in the Wings.” The Spring Theatre Production Performing Arts Center, April 14-16 at 8 p.m., April 17 at 2 p.m.
April 18 at 9:30 a.m. “Gaining Insight into Personal Struggles through Fiction.” Shirley Wachtel reads portions of her novel, The Music Makers, to reveal how fiction can hold a mirror up to various societal problems, including divorce, bulimia, Alzheimer’s disease, and loss through war and illness. Crabiel Hall, Rooms 102 and 104.
“Sharing the Story of a Millennium-old Family: A Digital Collaboration with the Noble Boncompagni Ludovisi of Rome.” This illustrated talk describes the collaboration between T. Corey Brennan and the Boncompagni Ludovisi (a noble Italian family directly descended from Pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni) in telling their family’s long and complex story in the digital medium. Crabiel Hall, Rooms 102 and 104, 11 a.m.
April 19 at 1 p.m. “Media Inconsistency: Did an African-American Discover the North Pole?” Using a contextualized analysis of several publications from 1909 to the present day, David Lipton will examine the variations in published narratives relating to Matthew Henson, a prominent African-American polar explorer, and his role in the exploration of the North Pole. Crabiel Hall, Room 102 and 104.
April 20 at 9:30 a.m. “Victims of Security: From the Espionage Act (1917) to Patriot Act (2001).” Foreign and domestic tragedies have empowered a discourse that validates control and surveillance as a means to preserve liberty. From a historical perspective and through personal stories, Cristóbal Espinoza-Wulach discusses the consequences of such policies on civil society and liberty. College Center Gallery.
April 21 at 2 p.m. “Am I My Brother’s Keeper? Genocide, Human Rights Violations, and Atrocities around the World Today.” Jacqueline Murekatete, an internationally recognized genocide survivor and human rights activist from Rwanda, will share her amazing life story and discuss the crime of genocide and other forms of mass atrocities. Terrence Corrigan, L’Hommedieu Hall, Room 205.
April 22 at 1 p.m. “Singer-songwriters and the Stories behind Their Songs.” Jerry Smith and a group of singer-songwriters perform their original musical compositions and share the stories behind their songs. Studio Theatre.
April 24 at 4 p.m. “Preliminary Rounds of Speech Competition.” Students in the Fundamentals of Public Speaking class participate in the early rounds of the speech competition. Crabiel Hall, Room 102 and 104.
April 25-May 12 “Media Arts Exhibition Studio Theatre Gallery.”
April 25 at 11 a.m. “Stories to Remember.” Phi Theta Kappa invites students to re-live the most memorable storybooks of their childhoods by paying it forward to the children of MCC’s Childcare Center. Students are asked to bring their favorite storybook, share an excerpt or read the book aloud, and then donate the book. Jeana Mari Davis and Charlotte Quigley Crabiel Hall, Room 103A/B.
Three speakers from various MCC Natural Science programs share their research on the following topics: “Zika Virus: Status and Its Current State of Remediation” (Kimberly Fouad); “Is Nuclear Fusion about to Change Our World?” (Samuel Wieczerzak); and “The Ripples in the Fabric of Space Time” (Sarah Schneider). Crabiel Hall, Room 101, 11 a.m.
“Why Should I Care? The Impact of Big Agribusiness on Our Health and the Health of the Planet.” Participants will learn how the agricultural industry has changed over time in order to support the world’s growing demands for meat and animal-based products. The presentation will explore big agricultural businesses and the impact they have on our bodies and our planet. Alexandra Fields, Crabiel Hall, Room 103A/B, 12:30 p.m.
April 25 “Fish Tales.” To coincide with the opening of trout season, Mathew Spano will read from his own published fish tales as well as those reeled in from the classics of world literature. Mathew Spano, Crabiel Hall, Room 103A/B, 2 p.m.
April 26 “Demography and Presidential Elections.” This presentation explores how demographic changes in the United States have affected and will continue to affect the outcome of presidential elections. The impact of these results on future national policy development will also be discussed. Andrew Dzurisin, Crabiel Hall, Room 102 & 104, 2 p.m.
April 27 “Myths for Moderns: Classic Tales for Contemporary Concerns.” The students in the Honors Mythology in Literature class will each present a classic myth from world literature, re-told to address the needs and concerns of a modern audience. Mathew Spano, College Center, Room 319/321, 11 a.m.
April 28 “Henrietta, Who?” After hearing a retelling of the life of Henrietta Lacks, a low-income African-American woman whose cells were taken by doctors and immortalized forever without her consent, participants will explore racism, classism and ethics within the medical community. Alexandra Fields, College Center Gallery, 11 a.m.
“Encounters: Tales of Love and Conflict.” Enjoy a program of curated plays written by MCC students. Benjamin Marshall, College Center Gallery, 2 p.m.
“Final Round of Speech Competition.” Students in the Fundamentals of Public Speaking class participate in the final round of the speech competition. Crabiel Hall, Rooms 102 & 104, 6 p.m.
April 30-May 2 “Dance Concert.” Enjoy a program of dance pieces performed and choreographed by the MCC Dance Ensemble. Aimee Mitacchione, Performing Arts Center, Saturday, April 30, 7 p.m. & Sunday, May 1, 2 p.m.