Sister Prejean, jazz band highlight 2011-2012 Walton Series

Release Date: 8/19/2011

Clarksville, Ark. --- A wide range of concerts, lectures and presentations will highlight the University of the Ozarks' 2011-2012 Walton Arts & Ideas Series, which gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 17, with an informative open house event on campus.

The annual series will feature at least 10 events throughout the academic year, including a concert by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans and a visit by human rights activist Sister Helen Prejean, whose story was the basis for the 1995 hit movie "Dead Man Walking."

The 2011-2012 Walton Series will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 17, with an open house for the public in the Walton Fine Arts Center. The event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will include information about the upcoming events as well as a "behind the scenes" tour of the theatre, music, and art facilities at the University.

Sister Helen Prejean

Sister Helen Prejean, Pulitzer-Prize nominated author, will present an account of her work as an activist.

"People can find out about all the wonderful events and activities planned for the coming year and how our local community members can get involved as audience members and as participants," WAIS Director Ginny Sain said of the open house. "They can sit in on special demonstration performances and discussions. Plus, we'll have children's activities and goodie bags, live music, and free hot dogs and refreshments. We encourage people to bring the whole family out for a fun day as we celebrate the strength of the arts on our campus and in our community."

At 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 6, Sister Prejean, author of the Pulitzer-Prize nominated book, "Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States," will present a vivid account of her life as an activist. Her endless work as an educator and organizer against the death penalty as well as her work with families of murder victims and inmates on death row has inspired audience members for years. She is also scheduled for a meet-and-greet and book-signing session in the Walton Fine Arts lobby immediately following her presentation. Tickets for the event are $8.

On Friday, Nov. 18, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band will return to the Walton Fine Arts Center after a hugely popular concert there several years ago. The band, which gets its name from the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans, has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and in front of British Royalty and the king of Thailand. Tickets for the concert are $10 each.

On Sunday, Oct. 30, the Arkansas Symphony Chamber Concert will present a concert beginning at 3 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $8 each.
At 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park (OSP) will present "A Christmas Carol." This OSP production of a holiday classic is a fast-paced, energy-filled, original adaptation of the Dickens story. Tickets for the performance are $8 for adults and $5 for children under 10. OSP will also be offering special performance workshops for children and adults on the day of the performance. No prior experience is required to take part in the workshops and the public is invited to attend these free workshops.

On Thursday, March 8, writer and photographer Scott Wallace will present a lecture titled "The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes." Wallace will discuss his new book, which describes his journey into the deepest Amazon wilderness to track an uncontacted indigenous tribe. Wallace will also be available for a meet-and-greet session and book-signing after the event. Admission to Wallace's lecture is free.

The series will continue on Sunday, April 8, at 2 p.m. with a children's concert by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. The concert, titled "Symphony Safari," is a fun-filled, child-friendly concert that is considered an ideal way to introduce children to the symphony. There will also be music-themed goodie bags and an "instrument petting zoo" available for children. Tickets are $5 for adults and children over 3.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band will perform in the Walton Fine Arts Center on Friday, November 18.

The final event of the series will be at 7 p.m., Monday, April 30, when author and speaker Dan Savage, creator of the "It Gets Better" project, visits the university. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller "It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living." Tickets to the event are $10 each.

There will be several other free events throughout the year, beginning on Sept. 27 with a lecture by Dr. William F. May at 7 p.m. May, a senior fellow at the Institute of Practical Ethics and Public Life at the University of Virginia, will give a lecture titled, "Moral Leadership in a Shaken Democracy." Novelist and writing instructor Anna Meyers will present a lecture titled "How to Write and Sell Your First Novel," on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Myers has published 19 books for young adult readers. Spanish-American novelist Arturo Arias will give a lecture titled "Central American Identity" on March 28. All three events are free and open to the public.

Adult season tickets will go on sale Sept. 6. A season ticket will include a ticket to each of the following events: Sister Helen Prejean, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, "A Christmas Carol," Symphony Safari Concert, the Arkansas Symphony Chamber Concert, and Dan Savage. Season ticket holders are also invited to a special New Orleans buffet dinner before the Preservation Hall concert and a reception with Savage following his lecture. Season tickets are $40 for adults and $35 for seniors 60 and older.

For more information on the 2011-2012 Walton Series, please contact Director Ginny Sain at 479-979-1346 or visit http://www.ozarks.edu/wais.