Arts & Issues continues 30-year tradition with ‘eclectic series’

Arts & Issues celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and the season’s roster includes Grammy artists, best-selling authors and a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Arts & Issues director Grant Andree said he is excited about this year’s events.

“We’ve got a great season coming in,” Andree said. “This [season] kind of lays out the foundation of what it’s all about. We bring in cutting edge speakers on cutting edge topics and different styles of performing arts whether it’s music, dance, theater.”

According to Andree, each year’s series has always been “eclectic” covering topics that range from politics to science and featuring a wide range of performers.

He added that many legends and icons have appeared throughout the program’s history.

Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinman and Steve Forbes have been brought to campus in the past ten years.

University support, corporate sponsorships, gifts from foundations and individuals and ticket sales enable Arts & Issues to bring in artists and speakers “of such high caliber” at reduced prices according to Andree.

“We’re able to discount our tickets considerably,” Andree said. “That’s another reason why it’s a great program because we’re bringing in these great artists at an affordable price.”

Andree said the program is important on a number of levels.

“It brings publicity to the university. It helps maintain relationships with our alumni and community… and it helps the region economically.” Andree said.

According to Andree, students can gain new experiences and learn from the shows, master classes and discussions.

“Hopefully we’re bringing things that maybe a student hasn’t had contact with-whether it’s classical music or experimental theater or maybe getting a speaker on a subject that they didn’t know they had an interest in until they had a chance to see them or talk to them,” Andree said.

This year’s musical lineup includes Los Lobos (The Wolves), a Mexican-American band. Los Lobos is celebrating their 40th Anniversary as a group along with the 25th Anniversary of their Grammy-winning release “La Pistola y El Corazon.”  In addition, Sweet Honey in the Rock, a Grammy Award nominated singing ensemble, will perform various styles including blues, traditional gospel hymns, African chants, hip hop and ancient lullabies. Folk artist Arlo Guthrie who is also the son of singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie will perform as well.

Andree said he thinks audiences will appreciate the “caliber and diversity” of this year’s concerts.

“Los Lobos is a terrific group and as one reviewer said Sweet Honey in the Rock is the ‘gold standard…’ Andree said. “We give a nod to our own Mississippi River Festival by bringing in Arlo Guthrie.”

Arts & Issues collaborates with SIUE’s Experimental Theater Festival, Xfest, in bringing the Split Knuckle Theatre company to campus. The company, consisting of members trained at the London International School of Performing Arts, will perform “Endurance.”

Dave Barry, a humor columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner will come on campus to speak. Robert Glennon, best-selling author of “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It?” will discuss his book. Rosalind Wiseman, author of the best-selling book “Queen Bees and Wannabes” will address bullying issues.

According to Andree, the 30th Arts & Issues celebration includes commemorating three dance companies founded by SIUE alumni and former faculty: MILLS/works, Compulsion Dance Theatre and the Modern American Dance Company (MADCO).

“We wanted to highlight these extraordinary alumni as well as our dance department,” Andree said.

Tickets can be purchased online at or at the Morris University Center Welcome Desk Monday through Friday from 7:30am – 7:30pm, and Saturday 10:00am – 2:00pm. For additional information on the Arts & Issues season or to obtain a brochure call 618-650-5194.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: General CAS StoriesHappenings

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site