Tapestry theme highlights 2001-2002 WAIS

Release Date: 8/20/2001

Clarksville, Ark. --- "A Tapestry of Cultures" will be the theme of the 2001-2002 Walton Arts & Ideas Series (WAIS), the annual University of the Ozarks year-long program that brings cultural events and entertainment to the campus.

This year's series will include five performances which explore the fascinating tapestry of cultures that makes America a true melting pot of ideas, art, personalities and beliefs, according to WAIS Director Ginny Sain. "We are going to bring in a good mix of artists, entertainers and thinkers who represent various cultures and who epitomize America's melting pot heritage," Sain said. "By delving into the richness of these cultures, we discover much about ourselves. Most importantly, we discover that, despite our differences, we all share common emotions, dreams, sorrows and joys." The 2001-2002 WAIS will begin on Sept. 11 with performance artist Anna Deavere Smith and her program, "Snapshots: Glimpse of America in Change." Hailed by Newsweek as "the most exciting individual in American theatre," Smith uses the art of theatre to explore issues of race, community and character in America. The year's second program is "Kathak Dance of North India" on Oct. 23. Performed by the Katha Dance Theatre, this beautiful and graceful Indian classical dance is derived from the word "Katha," meaning story. This spontaneous art form is characterized by rhythmic footwork, flowing gestures, colorful costumes and the blending of music, dance and storytelling. Christina Chan's "Unbinding Our Lives --- Chinese Women in America," will continue the series on Feb. 12. This one-woman show features Chan portraying three real Chinese-American women from the 1800s. She shares with audiences their extremely personal stories of being sold into child slavery, abandonment on the streets of China, their journeys to America and what awaited them here.     Guitarist Sharon Isbin will perform "Dreams of a World" on Nov. 13. The Grammy Award winner has been called "the preeminent solo guitarist of our time," and her performances have been described as a "whirlwind tour of the globe."      The series concludes on March 25 with Irish band Claddagh Ring performing "A Celebration of Celtic Music." Using instruments that have not changed much in hundreds of years, this energy driven band will delight audience members of all ages with its musical tour of the Emerald Isle. All of the 2001-2002 WAIS events begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Tickets for individual performances are $10 each or season tickets for all five events can be purchased for $40. For more information on the WAIS, please call (501) 979-1346 or (501) 979-1349.