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Butler to Hold Peace Festival


PUBLISHED ON Oct 08 2015

Butler University will hold a Peace Festival October 19–22 that will feature discussions about topics such as sustainability and the Darfur refugee crisis, and culminate with an address by Holocaust survivor Eva Kor called “The Triumph of the Human Spirit: From Auschwitz to Forgiveness.”
Butler's Peace Pole stands between Jordan Hall and Atherton Union.

“The purpose of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program is to reach out to students of all backgrounds and show that social justice issues, as well as opportunities to promote reconciliation and peace, can exist within many different parts of life,” said Annika London ’17, the coordinator of the festival. “We want the Peace Festival to reflect on that concept by giving students a chance to learn about some of the biggest current conflicts here and abroad, and how they can participate in making a positive change both as individuals and as a community.”

Here is the schedule of events:

October 19–22
• “Remembering Our Youth,” Boots Display by Veterans for Peace, Chapter 49, 11:00 AM–2:00 PM, at the Peace Pole outside Starbucks.

October 19
• “2016: Can Elections Make Room for Peace?” Panel Discussion with Veterans, Students, and Peacemakers, 7:00 PM, Pharmacy Building room 150.

October 20
• Yoga at the Blue House, 8:00–8:45 AM, Center for Faith and Vocation.
• “Privilege and Opportunity, It’s All in the Game,” with Professors Vivian Deno and Terri Jett, 4:30–6:30 PM, Pharmacy Building room 106B. Snacks provided.
• Luminaries for Domestic Violence Awareness, 8:00 PM, at the Peace Pole.

October 21
• Darfur Women Information Table, 11:00 AM–1:00 PM, Starbucks.
• Sustainable Indiana 2016, followed by a dance piece by the Movement Exchange called “On the Edge,” 4:30–5:30 PM, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall.

October 22
• Thoughts and Prayers for Peace, 12:20-12:50 PM, at the Peace Pole.
• Beyond Right and Wrong, film screening sponsored by the Desmond Tutu Center for Peace, Reconciliation, and Global Justice, 6:30 PM, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall.
• “The Triumph of the Human Spirit: From Auschwitz to Forgiveness,” an address by Holocaust survivor Eva Kors, Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series, 7:30 PM, Clowes Hall. Free tickets available at Clowes box office.

For accessibility information or to request disability-related accommodations, please visit,


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & CultureCommunity

Visiting Writers Series Presents Laila Lalami


PUBLISHED ON Oct 06 2015

Author Laila Lalami will speak in the Atherton Union Reilly Room on Tuesday, October 13, at 7:30 PM as part of the Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series.

The event is free and open to the public without tickets. For more information, call 317-940-9861.Laila Lalami

Lalami is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize longlist, and The Moor’s Account, which was a New York Times Notable Book, a Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, a nominee for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award, and a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, the Guardian, the New York Times, and in many anthologies. Her work has been translated into 10 languages. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship. Lalami is a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.


Media contact:
Marc Allan


Arts & CulturePeople

Ty Sutton Named Executive Director of the University Arts Center


PUBLISHED ON Sep 11 2015

Ty Sutton, the General Manager of the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center in Midland, Texas, has been named the new Executive Director of the Butler University Arts Center, which includes Clowes Memorial Hall, Schrott Center for the Arts, Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, and the Black Box Theatre in Lilly Hall.

Sutton, who will start at Butler on October 19, has more than 16 years of event and venue management experience—from Olympic venues to the position he’s leaving at the 1,827-seat, University of Texas-owned theater.

Ty Sutton“I enjoy working in an academic environment, and I think Butler has a lot to offer,” Sutton said. “I run a University-owned building now, and it’s one of the busiest in the country. So this move made sense in a lot of ways.”

Sutton has been at the Wagner Noël for three years. Previously, he was General Manager of The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. He also has worked in several arts administration positions, including Programming Director at the University of Utah and Audience Services Manager at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, California.

He was a partner at Encore Entertainment, a Salt Lake City-based concert and event touring company, and worked as a Venue Manager for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games.

“It was a fantastic experience to see the highest level of customer service and event planning,” he said. “You have one shot for 16 days to get something right, and, if you don’t get it right, there are no do-overs. That can be really intimidating, but I found it empowering.”

He also held the position of Event Services Manager for Anaheim’s Honda Center, home of the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks and one of the busiest arenas in the country.

“Ty brings a background and skillset that will serve both Butler and the Central Indiana community well,” said Ronald Caltabiano, Dean of Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts. “He will build on the great work that’s already been done in these venues, and his commitment to the highest quality of student, community, and professional performances is evident. Indianapolis is a world-class city with a burgeoning arts scene, and the Butler Arts Center is well positioned to thrive under Ty’s leadership.”

A native of Danville, California, in the San Francisco Bay area, Sutton earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Utah and is a graduate of the International Association of Venue Manager’s Venue Management School. He and his wife, Polly Creer Sutton, a retired professional ballerina, have a 6-year-old son, Cooper, and a 1-year-old daughter, Tatum.

He takes over Clowes Memorial Hall from longtime leader Elise Kushigian, who retired in August after more than 20 years, and Interim Executive Director Karen Cromer. The newly created position at Butler has him overseeing operations of all performance venues.

Sutton, who was selected at the conclusion of a thorough national search conducted by the Arts Consulting Group, described his approach to the arts as “very entrepreneurial.”

“Whenever we can drive revenue to the arts by selling tickets and creating sponsorships, the more opportunity we have to expand our offerings," he said. "I want us to create attention for our venues and programs, and provide experiences for our patrons that they'll remember for the next 20 years."


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

Diversity Lecture Series Begins With Holocaust Survivor Eva Kor


PUBLISHED ON Aug 19 2015

Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor, who emerged from a trauma-filled childhood to become a brilliant example of the human spirit's power to overcome, will open Butler University’s 2015–2016 Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series on October 22 at 7:30 PM in Clowes Memorial Hall.

Tickets are free, but they are required for admission. They will be available at the Clowes Hall box office beginning September 14 at 10:00 AM.
Eva Kor

Born in 1934 in Portz, Romania, Kor and her twin sister, Miriam, were 6 when their village was occupied by a Hungarian Nazi armed guard. In 1944, the family was transported to a regional ghetto, then packed into a cattle car and transported to the Auschwitz death camp. There, Eva and Miriam were subjected to experiments by Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele.

Estimates are that 1,500 sets of twins—3,000 children—were abused, and most died, as a result of Mengele’s experiments. Eva herself became deathly ill, but through sheer determination, she stayed alive and helped Miriam survive.

When the camp was liberated on January 27, 1945, approximately 200 children were found alive, including Eva and Miriam Mozes. They returned to Romania to live with their aunt, then immigrated to Israel in 1950. Over the next 10 years, Eva received a good education from an agricultural school, and went on to attain the rank of Sergeant Major in the Israeli Army Engineering Corps. She met Michael Kor, a Holocaust survivor and American tourist. In 1960, the couple was married in Tel Aviv, and Eva joined her husband in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Eva became a U.S. citizen in 1965, and the couple raised two children, Alex (a 1983 Butler graduate) and Rina. In 1984, Eva founded CANDLES (Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors), a name she chose because she wanted to shed light on this dark chapter of the Holocaust.

Eleven years later, she opened the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute. Thousands of people, mostly school-aged children, have visited the center since then.

“Eva Kor’s life is one of the greatest examples of what we mean when we talk about ‘the triumph of the human spirit,’ ” Butler University President James M. Danko said. “In living an inspiring life powered by what she calls a ‘never-give-up attitude,’ she has served as a champion of human rights, a tireless educator, and a community leader.”

Kor was the speaker at Butler’s spring 2015 Commencement. In her talk, she advised graduates to never give up on themselves or their dreams. She said one of the great lessons of her life was learning to forgive the Nazis as well as “everyone who every hurt me.”


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Arts & Culture

Visiting Writers Series Presents Catherine Barnett and Ellen Bryant Voigt


PUBLISHED ON Apr 06 2015

Poets Catherine Barnett and Ellen Bryant Voigt will conclude the spring 2015 Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Clowes Memorial Hall Krannert Room.

All events in the series are free and open to the public without tickets. For more information, call 317-940-9861.

Catherine BarnetteEllen Bryant Voigt

Poet, editor, and teacher Catherine Barnett is the author of two collections of poetry: Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (2004) and The Game of Boxes (2012), which was the recipient of the 2012 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her other awards and honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writers’ Award. Barnett works as an independent editor and as Writer-in-Residence at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, where she teaches writing to mothers in the shelter system. She has been the Visiting Poet at Barnard College and teaches at the New School and New York University.

Ellen Bryant Voigt’s poems traverse the worlds of motherhood and family, the rural South, and music. Her 1995 collection Kyrie: Poems is a book-length sonnet sequence exploring the lives of people affected by the influenza epidemic of 1918–1919. She published a volume of selected poems, Messenger, in 2007. Her most recent book is Headwaters.

Voigt was a founder of the Goddard College low-residency MFA program, the first program of its kind, which is now the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, and she continues to teach creative writing. She has also written a study of the sentence in poetry, The Art of Syntax: Rhythm of Thought, Rhythm of Song, and a collection of essays, The Flexible Lyric (1999). With Gregory Orr, she co-edited Poets Teaching Poets: Self and the World (1996), a selection of essays on writing.

Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

Visiting Writers Series Presents David Gessner


PUBLISHED ON Mar 24 2015

Natural history essayist David Gessner will speak on April 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Clowes Memorial Hall Krannert Room as part of the spring 2015 Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series.

All events in the series are free and open to the public without tickets. For more information, call 317-940-9861.

David GessnerGessner, winner of the John Burroughs Award for Best Natural History Essay, is the author of nine books, including the forthcoming All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West; Sick of Nature (2003); My Green Manifesto (2011); and The Tarball Chronicles, which won the 2012 Reed Award for Best Book on the Southern Environment and the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment’s award for best book of creative writing in 2011 and 2012.

His Return of the Osprey (2002) was chosen by the Boston Globe as one of the top 10 nonfiction books of the year and the Book of the Month club as one of its top books of the year. The Globe called it a "classic of American nature writing."

Gessner taught environmental writing as a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard and is currently a Professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he founded the award-winning literary journal of place Ecotone.


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

Celebration of Diversity Lecture Series Presents Michel Martin


PUBLISHED ON Mar 23 2015

Journalist Michel Martin will speak at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University on April 2 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

Admission is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available in person at the Clowes Hall Box Office or online at

There is a limit of two tickets per person.

Michel MartinMartin has spent more than 25 years as a journalist—first in print with major newspapers and then in television. Her NPR show “Tell Me More,” which aired from 2007–2014, marked her debut as a full-time public radio show host. Martin has also served as contributor and substitute host for NPR newsmagazines and talk shows, including “Talk of the Nation” and “News & Notes.”

Martin joined NPR from ABC News, where she worked since 1992. She served as correspondent for “Nightline” from 1996 to 2006, reporting on such subjects as the Congressional budget battles, the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, racial profiling and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At ABC, she also contributed to numerous programs and specials, including the network's award-winning coverage of September 11, a documentary on the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas controversy, a critically acclaimed AIDS special, and reports for the ongoing series "America in Black and White."

Before joining ABC, Martin covered state and local politics for the Washington Post and national politics and policy at the Wall Street Journal, where she was White House Correspondent. She has also been a regular panelist on the PBS series “Washington Week” and a contributor to “NOW with Bill Moyers.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan

AcademicsArts & Culture

A Night at the Opera: Soulful, Vengeful, Comedic and More

BY Sarvary Koller ’15

PUBLISHED ON Mar 17 2015

After more than 30 years as Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Opera and guest conducting across the country, James Caraher now relies on his vast expertise to prepare the next generation of opera talent—students.

Caraher, who joined the Butler Opera Theatre as Music Director in January, has opera students preparing for the upcoming “A Night at the Opera” performances, March 27-29 at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts.
James Caraher

Show times are March 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. and March 29 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for seniors and students. Tickets and more information are available at The program is below.

The performances join the opera theatre and Butler Symphony Orchestra for an unamplified, live musical journey through contemporary and historical opera.

Carissa Riedesel, a graduate student in her final year of the Master of Music in Voice Performance program, will perform an aria as Sesto, a revengeful and hot-headed young man from the Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Julius Caesar in Egypt), and a comedic scene as Despina, a snarky maid who claims all men are the same—useless—from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.

Riedesel said getting to perform in the Schrott Center with a live orchestra is a valuable experience for singers in the program. The opportunity to spend time developing her characters and then to bring them to life onstage with an orchestra has provided “a vivid glimpse into professional life.”

Thomas Studebaker, Director of the opera theatre, said he offers all seniors and graduate students the chance to perform an aria with the orchestra. The experience is advantageous for Butler students thanks to the small size of the program.

He hopes to grow the number of professional performance opportunities for Butler opera students in the coming years. The goal: to hold an opera performance each semester, including full operas and scene performances.

But the dream doesn’t end there. For opera students to gain realistic performance experience, there must be “butts in seats” to provide a live audience to engage with, Caraher said.

With soulful American tunes, vengeful Italian arias, and hilarious comedies about unrequited love, he encourages people from Butler and the surrounding community to give “A Night at the Opera” a chance and support the student singers armed with only their voice and expression, not even a microphone.

“It’s music theatre,” Caraher said. “Everybody thinks of oversized folks with horns on their heads screaming, but that’s not the case. It’s vocal music, orchestral music, drama, and theater. It’s many art forms in one big package—there is something for everybody.”


Overture from Guillaume Tell (Gioacchino Rossini)

Act I Trio from L’elisir d’amore (Gaetano Donizetti)

L’angue Offeso from Giulio Cesare (G.F. Handel)

The Trees on the Mountain from Susannah (Carlisle Floyd)

Act II Trio from Così fan tutte (W.A. Mozart)

Sous le dôme épais from Lakmé (Leo Delibes)

Donde lieta usci from La Bohème (Giacomo Puccini)

Evening Prayer duet from Hansel und Gretel (E. Humperdinck)

Bacchanale from Samson et Dalila (Camille Saint-Saëns)


Three Little Maids from School from Mikado (Sir Arthur Sullivan)

Quanto è bella from L’elisir d’amore (Gaetano Donizetti)

Finale from Mitridate, Re di Ponto (W.A. Mozart)

Vilia from Die Lustige Witwe (Franz Léhar)

Act III Quartet from La Bohème (Giacomo Puccini)

Ach, ich fühls from Die Zauberflöte (W.A. Mozart)

Act III Trio from La Rondine (Giacomo Puccini)

Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (Pietro Mascagni)

Va, pensiero from Nabucco (Giuseppe Verdi)

Arts & Culture

Celebration of Diversity Lecture Series Presents Majora Carter


PUBLISHED ON Mar 05 2015

Urban revitalization strategist and Peabody-winning radio broadcaster Majora Carter will speak about "Home (Town) Security" at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University on March 18 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

Admission to all talks in the series is free, but tickets are required. They are available at the Clowes Hall Box Office or online at

Majora CarterCarter is probably the only person to receive an award from John Podesta's Center for American Progress and a Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement from Rupert Murdoch's New York Post. Fast Company named her one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business; The New York Times described her as "The Green Power Broker;" and the Ashoka Foundation's recently dubbed her "The Prophet of Local."

Carter hosts the Peabody Award-winning public radio series "The Promised Land" and serves on the boards of the U.S. Green Building Council and The Wilderness Society. She has a long list of awards and honorary degrees, including a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.

Carter founded and led Sustainable South Bronx, from 2001 to 2008, when few were talking about "sustainability"—and even fewer in places like the South Bronx.

By 2003, Carter coined the phrase "Green the Ghetto" as she pioneered one of the nation's first urban green-collar job training and placement systems, and spearheaded legislation that fueled demand for those jobs. Her 2006 TEDtalk was one of six presentations to launch that groundbreaking website.

Since 2008, Carter's consulting company has exported climate adaptation, urban revitalization, and leadership development strategies for business, government, foundations, universities, and economically underperforming communities.


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

Woods Series Presents Jessica Green


PUBLISHED ON Mar 05 2015

Jessica Green will discuss “Cities Unseen: How Microbes Can Make Public Spaces, Buildings, and Human Beings Healthier" on April 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Atherton Union Reilly Room, the final lecture in Butler University’s 2014-2015 J. James Woods Lectures in the Sciences and Mathematics.

Her talk is free and open to the public without tickets. For more information, call 317-940-9657.

Jessica GreenHow can a deeper understanding of microbes help us create sustainable cities, healthier buildings (including our hospitals and homes), and more robust green spaces? Green explains how in this visually stunning talk, while ultimately touching on even deeper questions about humanity: What does it mean to be an individual? Where does your identity begin, and where does it end?

Every person has a unique and unseen universe of microorganisms living in, on, and around them. These trillions of tiny creatures define who we are. Yet we are only just beginning to understand how our microbes interact with the people around us, our buildings, and the natural environment. How do microbes make us healthier, more resilient, and more vibrant? How do microbes influence our moods, our public spaces, our relationships with everything we touch? Green, a scientist and TED Fellow, explores the microbial cities living in our gut, on our skin, and in our homes.

A Professor at both the University of Oregon and the Santa Fe Institute, Green wants people to see how the microbial blueprint of our bodies, homes, cities and forests impacts our world, and our future. As founding director of the innovative new Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) Center, she envisions a future for urban design that promotes sustainability, human health and well-being.

Green is internationally recognized for highly cited publications in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Her research has been featured in Discover, Scientific American, the Boston Globe, and she was selected for the 2012 Portland Monthly Brainstorm award (one of eight “innovators changing our world”).  She was a National Science Foundation bioinformatics postdoctoral fellow, completed a PhD in nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, and earned a BS in civil and environmental engineering at UCLA.


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

Visiting Writers Series Presents Lois Lowry at Clowes Hall


PUBLISHED ON Feb 20 2015

Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry will speak in Clowes Memorial Hall on March 4 at 7:30 p.m. as part of Butler University’s spring 2015 Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series.

Admission is free and open to the public without tickets. For more information, call 317-940-9861.

Lois LowryLowry writes in many ways about the importance of human connections. A Summer to Die (1977), her first book, is a fictionalized retelling of the early death of her sister and of the effect of such a loss on a family. Number the Stars (1989), set in a different culture and era, tells the story of the escape of a Jewish family from Copenhagen during the Occupation of Denmark in Second World War.

The Giver (1993)and the three subsequent books of the series it started—speak to the need of people to be aware of their interdependence, not only with each other, but with the world and its environment. The Giver was made into a major motion picture in 2014 with a cast that included Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Katie Holmes, and Taylor Swift.

Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

When Jonathan Franzen Speaks, People Bristle

BY Maggie Sweeney MFA '17

PUBLISHED ON Feb 17 2015

One of the perks of being an MFA student at Butler is meeting renowned visiting writers such as Margaret Atwood, Louise Gluck, Cheryl Strayed, and Jonathan Franzen. In addition to the public readings, students are invited to intimate Q&A sessions and private dinners. Whenever possible, MFA students also get the opportunity to interview writers for Booth, the Butler MFA program's literary magazine.
Jonathan Franzen

When Franzen came to Butler on October 28, 2014, MFA nonfiction student Susan Lerner interviewed him, and their conversation in Booth kicked up other conversations across the Internet.

Lerner's story was posted on Friday, February 13, and within eight hours, the interview had generated over 13,000 views. Sites including Salon, Jezebel, Vulture, Huffington Post, Gawker, and Flavorwire all responded to the interview, in which Franzen expressed derision about Young Adult fiction and the work of author Jennifer Weiner.

The interview even trended on Twitter.

Lerner is notorious in the program for her preparation and hard work, which paid off in the interview.
Susan Lerner

“I pretty much abandoned my family for the month before the interview, reading every other interview he’s done and dissecting his work,” she said. “I did my homework and felt really prepared. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had enough confidence to poke him a bit.”

The students and faculty are proud and impressed with Lerner’s interview. She returns the compliment.

“Nowhere else in the country would an MFA student get this opportunity!" she said, handing out kudos to English Department Chair Andy Levy, MFA Program Chair Hilene Flanzbaum, and the Vivian S. Delbrook Writers Series. She also credited Robert Stapleton, Booth's Editor-in-Chief, "who had the chutzpah to ask Franzen for an interview (which I don’t think he grants very often) and gave me the gig.”

She also credits Franzen.

“He’s the best kind of interviewee,” she said. “He has strong opinions and doesn’t mind being provocative.”