School of Arts and Communication

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2016 SOAC Focus Series


The SOAC FOCUS Series brings together SOAC’s talented students and faculty to examine a chosen theme through a multi-disciplinary approach. Through music, art, theatre and communication we will come together to explore the theme of Re-forming, as we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation and honor the core tenets of Lutheran higher education – critical questioning, freedom for expression, foundation in the liberal arts, learning and research within community, intrinsic value of educating the whole person, discerning one’s vocation in the world, and service to the advancement of life, health, and wholeness.

Past themes have explored compassion (2012), empowerment (2013),  entrepreneurship (2014),  perspective (2015) and storytelling (2016). Gain a new perspective and join us in Spring 2016 for this dynamic series. Watch for event announcements early this fall.

Thursday, February 23 at 6pm

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Reflective Viewing: Finding the Divine Within You

Mare Blocker, Lecturer  |  Ingram 100 • Free

Selected pages from the St. John’s Bible will be used to practice Visio Divina, a contemplative, repetitive, prayerful viewing of the illuminations on the page. In an increasingly visual culture, where the images we view are fast paced, this technique invites the viewer to slow down and see the image. Workshop participants will identify symbols that represent the divine within themselves, and use them to make collages, drawings or poems. We will ask ourselves, as visual thinkers and makers, how do we communicate our ideas effectively, with intention to the world, and yet, still create an opening for our viewers to include their own narrative in our work?

Wednesday, March 15 at 5pm

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Migration Exhibition

University Gallery, Ingram Hall  |  Free

The places we are from, the places we are now, directly contribute to the people we have become and ultimately, where we will go. Artist Matthew Olds’ work is based in critical inquiry of the world around us. In his exhibition Migration, he looks into the relationship of people moving through places, from local daily movements in the Tacoma area, to current desperate global migrations, and ultimately considers the journey from life to death. Olds’ work invites the viewer into a space framed around critical questioning of knowledge and values and provides room for reflection upon the importance of expression and the protection of learning.

Exhibition runs March 15 – April 12

Friday, May 12 at 7:30pm

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Moon Over Buffalo

Tom Smith, Director  |  Eastvold Auditorium, Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
General Admission $8 | 55+ Military & Alumni $5 | PLU and 18 and younger $3

Fading stars George and Charlotte Hay are stuck in Buffalo, New York performing for small audiences with an even smaller company of actors. But when word arrives that a film director is coming to their matinee, George and Charlotte do what they must to leave the small time for the big time. A madcap farce that will keep you laughing well after the final curtain!

Wednesday, March 15 at 8pm

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Jazz Ensemble - Duke Ellington

David Deacon-Joyner, Director  |  Lagerquist Concert Hall, Mary Baker Russell Music Center
General Admission $8 | Military, 55+ & Alumni $5 | PLU & 18 and younger, Free

The University Jazz Ensemble and University Chorale perform selections from Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concerts. Professor of Religion Doug Oakman will speak, highlighting the intersection of faith and music.

From 1965 until his death in 1974, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington RE-formed both his worldview and his music. With his advancing age, failing health, and the death in 1967 of his beloved co-composer Billy Strayhorn, Ellington came to REalize the impermanence of earthly things and RE-kindled the deep faith instilled in him by his mother. He called the first of his three Sacred Concerts “the most important thing I’ve ever done.” RE-purposing earlier pieces from his career and adding new music of praise and testimony, Ellington proclaims the magnificence of God, the call for equality and love for our neighbor, and bridges the gap between the language of entertainment and religious expression. Ellington has often been compared to visual artists, with his orchestra being his sonic palette. In this concert, the University Chorale and Jazz Ensemble couple selections from the Sacred Concerts with the illuminations of the St. John’s Bible.