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‘Cultural Conversations’ 2016 Season Taking Place This Week

First held in March of 2007, the annual Cultural Conversations Festival is returning this week and bringing with it new works dealing with local and global diversity.

Created by the College of Arts and Architecture, the festival’s goal is to “Stop the violence” and “Start the conversation.” According to the website, it aims to:

“…foster and promote new works dealing with themes of local and global diversity. For playwrights, choreographers, and visual artists, this festival is an opportunity to workshop and show new works. For PSU students and faculty, this festival is an opportunity to work with national and international playwrights outside of our program, and for local community members, this festival affords the opportunity of participating in and/or witnessing conversations that define specific cultures. Cultural Conversations is the only university play festival in the United States devoted to bringing students, faculty, local and global artists, and community members together to discuss issues of local and global diversity through art. Once a year, The Downtown Theatre on Allen Street becomes an art gallery and performance space devoted to alternative dialogues and difficult differences.”

This year, the schedule‘s theme is “For the Health Of.” All of the following events are at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center on Allen Street. Half of the week’s proceeds go to the 4 Good Performing Troupe.

Monday’s show is “For the Health of the Body: Body Language.” It is a spoken word performance between Penn State students from Healthworks, the School of Theatre, the Penn State Sign Language Club, and the State College Area High School ESL Class. It will be at 7:30 and like all events, tickets are $3 at the door.

On Tuesday, the ETCH Modern Dance Company will present “For the Health of the Mind” at 7:30.

Wednesday’s show is a mixture of word and dance organized by Penn State professor Angèle Kingué. It’s called “For the Health of the Spirit” and is loosely based on the professor’s book, “Venus of Khala-Kanti”

Thursday’s performance is the last to start at 7:30. It’s called “For the Health of the Nations,” and it’s a spoken word, visual arts, and musical collaboration organized by a Penn State HHD class.

At 3:45 on Friday come witness storytelling, visual art, and music centered on the importance of parks called “For the Health of the Planet.”

Closing out the week on Saturday at 2 is the 4 Good Musical Theatre Company’s production, “For the Health of our Children.”

Cultural Conversations is back for its 2016 cycle. Check out the events and learn about different types of cultural health in a week full of entertainment and education.

About the Author

Katie Klodowski

Katie is a senior from Pittsburgh, PA and a retired editor at Onward State. Currently, she works as a staff writer. True to her hometown, she is a fan of Steel City sports but also uses her ballet and music training to be a tough critic of all things artsy. The fastest ways to her heart are through pizza, sushi, and a solid taste in music (this means no Taylor Swift). To be constantly razzle-dazzled, follow her on all social media forms at @KatieKlodowski


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