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Arts & Culture

Visiting Writers Series Presents NoViolet Bulawayo


PUBLISHED ON Feb 12 2015

Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award winner NoViolet Bulawayo will speak on February 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Atherton Union Reilly Room as part of Butler University’s spring 2015 Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writers Series.

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

Bulawayo is the author of We Need New Names (May 2013), which has been recognized with the LA Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Pen/Hemingway Award, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, and the Barnes and Noble Discover Award (second place), as well as been selected for the National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” list .

We Need New Names was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award and selected to the New York Times Notable Books of 2013 list, the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers list, and others. Her story “Hitting Budapest” won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing.

She earned her MFA at Cornell University, where she was a recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where she now teaches as a Jones Lecturer in Fiction. She grew up in Zimbabwe.


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

CCOM Presents a Four-Day Symposium on Servant Leadership


PUBLISHED ON Feb 09 2015

The President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a former CIA officer whose job included briefing former President George W. Bush, and the new CEO of the Indiana-based Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership will be among the speakers at Butler University’s College of Communication (CCOM) Symposium on Servant Leadership, March 2–5.

The second annual symposium presented by the Conference on Ethical Public Argumentation (CEPA) also will feature the Sports Editor of The Nation magazine and the Head of Leadership and Management Programs at the Poynter Institute, as well as nearly a dozen other speakers.

Presentations are free and open to the public. All events are in the Robertson Hall Johnson Boardroom at Butler, unless otherwise noted below.

For more information, call 317-940-9625.

Dr Kent BrantlyDuring the symposium, CEPA will honor Indianapolis native Dr. Kent Brantly, the American physician who recovered from Ebola that he contracted while he treated Liberian patients suffering from the often-fatal disease. Brantly will be the first recipient of a conference award recognizing premier examples of effective and ethical communication on issues of significant public interest. (Due to a scheduling conflict, Brantly will not be able to attend the CEPA award ceremony at Butler on March 5 at 6:00 p.m.)

“The idea of servant leadership was suggested by the faculty,” said Gary Edgerton, Dean of the College of Communication. “All six CCOM departments were involved. And it’s a fitting topic. Leadership is on everybody’s mind, and this is an approach that’s consistent with the Butler Way—instead of the top-down, authoritarian strategy of leadership, the whole idea is that leaders serve, real creativity comes from interactions with others, and lots of good ideas come from the bottom up.”

A day-by-day schedule of the Symposium on Servant Leadership follows, and there’s more on Brantly below.

Monday, March 2
Student Day

10:30 a.m.: BU Student Servant Leadership Panel with current students Brittney Stephan, Eric Day, Liz Niemiec, and Maggie Brennan.
Patricia Falotico

Noon: Patricia Falotico, CEO, Robert K Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership. Before joining the Greenleaf Center in September 2014, Falotico spent 31 years at IBM, where she worked on projects including technical sales, sales management, service business development, software distribution, marketing, and development of business partner relationships.

2:00 p.m.: Courtney Knies, Greenleaf Workshop on Servant Leadership. Knies currently serves as the Executive Director of Mentors for Youth of Dubois County, formerly Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

6:00 p.m.: Jill Geisler, Principal of Jill Geisler Leadership LLC and an Affiliate Faculty Member at the Poynter Institute. An internationally recognized expert in leadership and management, Geisler has led Poynter Institute leadership and management programs for journalists worldwide. She is the author of Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know.

Tuesday, March 3
Doug Boles

10:30 a.m.-noon: Noah Parker, Doctor of Laryngology. Parker, whose talk is titled “Servant Leadership in Healthcare and Finding Fulfillment in Your Work,” is a surgeon specializing in voice, swallowing, and breathing disorders, otherwise known as the field of laryngology.

Noon: Doug Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Boles, whose talk is called “Winning—When Others Cross the Finish Line First,” was named the President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July 2013 after serving as the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Communications for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation and its parent company, Hulman & Company.

4:15 p.m.: Local leaders panel, featuring Heidi Schmidt of College Mentors for Kids, Amanda Moore of the Intercollegiate YMCA, Terri Morris Downs of the Immigrant Welcome Center, and Jonathan Allinson with People for Urban Progress.

7:00 p.m.: Benefit concert for the Butler Aphasia Community, featuring the Jai Baker Band.

Wednesday, March 4
Ann Lieberman

Noon: College of Education collaboration, featuring Ann Lieberman, Senior Scholar at the Stanford Center for Opportunity and Policy in Education; Professor Emeritus—Columbia University.

2:30 p.m.: Ted Green, Emmy-winning Indianapolis filmmaker. Green has produced five documentaries in the past five years, including Undefeated: The Roger Brown Story and Bobby 'Slick' Leonard: Heart of a Hoosier.
James Trippi

4:15 p.m.: Dr. James Trippi, Gennesaret Free Clinics. Gennesaret Free Clinics came into being in 1988, when Trippi, a local physician, was volunteering at a church soup kitchen. His clinics were the first agency in Indianapolis to bring medical care to the homeless.

6:00 p.m.: Dave Zirin, The Nation. Zirin will deliver the Howard L. Schrott Lecture. Named by UTNE Reader as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Zirin writes about the politics of sports for The Nation magazine. He is their first sportswriter in 150 years of existence.

Thursday, March 5

3:00 p.m.: John “Stan” Schuchman, Professor Emeritus and former Dean, Vice President, and Provost of Gallaudet University. With Gallaudet from 1967 to 1999, Schuchman was honored with a Distinguished Faculty award (1991) and a research appointment as Schaefer Professor (1998). He developed techniques for videotaping oral history interviews of deaf individuals who use sign language. In 1991, he organized and chaired the first international conference on deaf history.
Dennis Bowden

7:00 p.m.: Dennis Bowden, former CIA officer. Bowden will speak on “Servant Leadership in the Shadows: Leading and Following in the CIA.” He served as a CIA officer and manager for 26 years, holding several executive positions at the CIA, including responsibility for the President’s Daily Intelligence Briefing.

More about CEPA award winner Dr. Kent Brantly is below and at

Kent Brantly, who was named along with other Ebola fighters as Time magazine “Person of the Year for 2014,” has been a forceful advocate for increasing awareness and aid for the West African nations and peoples suffering from the Ebola outbreak there.

He is a native of Indianapolis and a graduate of Indianapolis Heritage Christian School. He received his undergraduate degree from Abilene Christian University in 2003 and went on to medical school at Indiana University, receiving his medical degree in 2009. Brantly completed his residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2013, and then became a family physician in Fort Worth. During his academic career, he exhibited a definite, powerful calling to be a medical missionary.

While at Abilene Christian, he went on mission trips to Tanzania and Uganda. Fluent in Spanish, he also participated in two mission trips to Honduras and Nicaragua. He took on a two-year commitment with the organization Samaritan’s Purse as a physician at the ELWA (Eternal Love Winning Africa) Hospital in Liberia.

Brantly and his wife, Amber, moved to Monrovia, Liberia, with their two children in October 2013, and were in that country when the Ebola epidemic surfaced in 2014.

They were on the ground when the disease spread to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in West Africa.

“I worked as a physician to support the woefully inadequate healthcare system of a country still struggling to recover from a brutal civil war,” he told the U.S. Senate in September. “Resources were limited, and we often saw patients die of diseases that would be easily treatable in the United States. It was a challenging job to provide quality care even before the Ebola virus tore through the country.”

Brantly came to personalize the Ebola epidemic for Americans when he was stricken with the disease in summer 2014. Healthcare workers are at extreme risk during this emergency because of their close contact with persons suffering from this highly infectious disease. When only two doses of an experimental medication (one never tested on human subjects at that time) were made available, he insisted that another American healthcare worker be the first to receive them. But doctors decided Brantly’s case was so grave that he had to be given a first dose.

He was then airlifted to the United States for treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and subsequently recovered from the disease. He has since provided blood for others suffering from Ebola, which it is thought could serve as a sort of vaccine for such patients.


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

Visiting Writers Series Presents Maurice Manning


PUBLISHED ON Jan 27 2015

Poet Maurice Manning will speak on February 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Clowes Memorial Hall Krannert Room as part of Butler University’s 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.

Maurice ManningManning was born and raised in Kentucky and often writes about the land and culture of his home. His first book of poems, Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions (2001), was chosen by W.S. Merwin for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award.

His subsequent books include A Companion for Owls: Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone, Lone Hunter, Back Woodsman, &c. (2004); Bucolics (2007); The Common Man (2010), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry; and The Gone and the Going Away (2013).

Manning has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has taught at DePauw University, Indiana University, and the Sewanee Writing Conference and in the MFA program at Warren Wilson College. He is a Professor of English at Transylvania University.

Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

Illustrator Michele Wood to Sign Books at Butler


PUBLISHED ON Jan 26 2015

Butler Libraries will host a book signing with local children’s book illustrator Michele Wood on Wednesday, February 5, from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in Irwin Library as part of Butler Founder’s Day activities.

Chasing Freedom CoverThe public is invited to attend.

A representative from the University bookstore will be on hand to sell copies of Wood’s new book with author Nikki Grimes, Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony Inspired by Historical Facts. Chasing Freedom richly imagines the experiences of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, illuminating historical events like the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Wood, an Indianapolis native, is a painter, illustrator and designer. She won the American Book Award for Going Back Home and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for I See the Rhythm. More about her is at

Grimes won a 2014 Coretta Scott King Honor for Words with Wings, and she is the author of four other Coretta Scott King Honor books: Talkin’ About Bessie, Jazmin’s Notebook, The Road to Paris, and Dark Sons. She also won the Coretta Scott King Award for Bronx Masquerade and is the recipient of the 2006 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. More about her is at



Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

Artwork on Display, Inspired By Biblical Text


PUBLISHED ON Jan 22 2015

Artists who participated in Butler University’s fall Religion, Spirituality, and the Arts symposium will show their work at a culminating exhibition on January 28 at Christian Theological Seminary’s Shelton Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
Isaac, the Defiant -- by KC Ferrill

More information can be found here:

A reception at 6:00 p.m. will begin the evening with visual work from Kyle Ragsdale, Casey Eskridge, KC Ferrill, Sofiya Inger and Bruce Lowenthal, who were among the participants in this initiative designed to bring together people from diverse artistic disciplines, practices, and religious/spiritual perspectives for sustained study and reflection on a biblical text.

At 6:30 p.m., the program will begin with compositions and performances by Jean Arnold, Gabrielle Cerberville, Anthony Elia, Heidi Fledderjohn, Gail Payne, Wendy Vergoz, Shelly White Wood, and Roger Roe.

Twelve selected participants were part of the seminar, using sacred text to inspire new work that could include music, poetry, visual art, dance, drama, narrative, or liturgical art. The initiative is directed by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and is a project of the Butler Center for Faith and Vocation.

The project continues in spring 2015 with new artists. They are: Von Biggs, Michael Brady, Hector Hernandez, JL Kato, Kris Mobley, Kate Oberreich, Terry Ofner, Sherry Polley, Ben Rose, Jeff Rothenberg, Gary Walters, and Michele Woods.

Faculty participants for round three will be Michael Sells, Julia Muney Moore, and Shari Wagner.



Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & Culture

Celebration of Diversity Lecture Series Announces Spring Speakers


PUBLISHED ON Jan 21 2015

Actor/social activist George Takei, urban revitalization strategist and Peabody-winning radio broadcaster Majora Carter, and journalist Michel Martin will speak at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University this spring as part of the Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series.

Takei will begin the series on February 16, followed by Carter (March 18) and Martin (April 2).

Admission to all talks in the series 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.

More about each speaker follows.

George TakeiGeorge Takei
February 16, 7:30 p.m.
Clowes Memorial Hall
“An Evening with George Takei”

Takei is an actor, social justice activist, social media mega-power, star of the upcoming Broadway musical Allegiance, host of the AARP-produced YouTube series “Takei’s Take,” and subject of To Be Takei, a documentary on his life and career.

Takei is known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise. He starred in three seasons of Star Trek and later reprised his iconic role in six movies. in 2012 reported Takei is the most influential person on Facebook, currently with more than 7.2 million likes. Takei also has more than 1.25 million followers on Twitter.

Takei, a Japanese American who from age 4 to 8 was unjustly interned in two U.S. internment camps during World War II, is an outspoken supporter of human right issues and community activist. Takei is Chairman Emeritus and a Trustee of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

The openly gay Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign "Coming Out Project," and was Cultural Affairs Chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League. He was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S. - Japanese relations.

Majora CarterMajora Carter
March 18, 7:30 p.m.
Clowes Memorial Hall
“Home (town) Security”

Carter 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.

Michel MartinMichel Martin
April 2, 7:30 p.m.
Clowes Memorial Hall
“Tell Me More”

Martin 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

Arts & Culture

Fred Hammond to Headline 26th Annual GospelFest


PUBLISHED ON Jan 13 2015

Fred Hammond, the “father of urban gospel,” will headline Butler University’s 26th annual GospelFest on Saturday, February 7, at 7:00 p.m. in Clowes Memorial Hall, with special guests Hezekiah Walker and Le’Andria Johnson.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $36 for seniors, and $32 for students. They’re available at the Clowes Hall box office and Ticketmaster. For more information, contact the Butler University Office of Diversity Programs at 317-940-6570.
Fred HammondGospelFest 2015 is presented by the Butler University Office of Diversity Programs, Efroymson Diversity Center,, Meridian Media Productions, WHMB-TV, and the stations of Radio One.

More about the artists follows. (Information from

Hammond, a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist for the soulful black gospel group Commissioned during the 1980s and 1990s, also became one of the most popular praise and worship leaders in the field. Born in Detroit, Hammond began singing with his church choir at the age of 12. He played bass and sang with the Winans during the early 1980s, then joined Commissioned later in the decade. Hammond's concurrent solo career began in 1991 with I Am Persuaded. Hammond set up his own label imprint, Hammond Family Entertainment, and released the CD/DVD set Life in the Word in 2010. God, Love & Romance followed in 2012. Hammond is a Grammy winner, and has won multiple Dove and Stellar Awards.

Brooklyn, New York-based Pastor Walker was the leader of the Love Fellowship Tabernacle Church Choir, one of the most popular choral groups in contemporary gospel. Debuting in 1990 with Crusade Choir, Walker and his singers quickly became one of the star attractions on the church circuit, earning their greatest success to date when 1994's Live in Atlanta at Morehouse College scored a Grammy. His most recent recordings include Souled Out (2008) and Azusa: The Next Generation (2013).

Johnson was the twice-divorced single mother of three children when she fell on hard times, losing her home to foreclosure the day before a friend convinced her to drive to New Orleans in a borrowed car to audition for the BET’s Sunday Best. Johnson ended up being declared the winner at the end of the show's third season in 2010, a placing that not only came with the gift of a new car and a cash prize, but also, in time, a recording deal. A debut seven-song EP, The Awakening of Le'Andria Johnson, was released in 2011, earning her first Grammy for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music performance for her debut single, "Jesus." This was followed by a second seven-song EP, The Evolution of Le'Andria Johnson, in 2012. A second full-length, live CD, Le’Andria Johnson - The Experience, also appeared in 2012.

Arts & Culture

A 4,763-Mile Trip for Five Minutes Onstage? Yes, Please.


PUBLISHED ON Nov 17 2014

Butler Dance Professor Marek Cholewa took five Butler Ballet students to Bratislava, Slovakia, November 19-24 to participate in the “International Concert of Dance Schools,” a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the prestigious Dance Conservatory of Eva Jacz.

Marek Cholewa with Eileen Frazer and Ricardo Dyer
Marek Cholewa with Eileen Frazer and Ricardo Dyer


Butler students Ricardo Dyer, Eileen Frazer, Marie Harrison, Taylor Nash, and Renee Roberts, who were selected through an audition process, performed on a program that includes conservatories from Berlin, Budapest, London, and Vienna, as well as professionals from around Europe.

Each group was only onstage for five minutes, but Cholewa said the 4,763-mile trip was worthwhile for the students and the Butler Ballet program.

“There’s a certain level of PR for us presenting our school among the best schools,” he said. “We will be seen by many very well-known choreographers and teachers. It is a very important opportunity for the dancers. Since we will be bringing three seniors who will be looking for jobs in the near future, there will be a chance for them to network on a global level, which doesn’t happen that often for dancers from the United States.”

Cholewa said when dancers are auditioning for a company or in the audition process, they typically can only demonstrate their technical skills.

“Granted, that is a necessary stage in the process,” he said. “However, the artistry and beauty of the dancer that is garnered from a choreographic piece cannot be demonstrated that way. The totality of a dancer cannot be ascertained through just the means of an technical audition.”

The invitation to perform in Slovakia came after Cholewa had taken a group of 36 students to Europe in May. One of the stops was Bratislava, where the Butler group worked with the Eva Jacz conservatory.

The piece they performed at the November 21 event is called “Displacements.” Cholewa, who choreographed the dance to an original score written by Butler Dance Department Chair Larry Attaway, describes the choreography as a contemporary new work that tells the story of a group of people who attempt to drift from one another as a way to create change within their own lives. But they also have to acknowledge that this is not possible and soon realize that the attraction that bonds them is inseparable and cannot be undone.

Attaway said the trip was an incredible opportunity for the Butler dance program to be seen on a truly global stage.

“We are so honored to be included in this extraordinary group of dance schools,” he said, “and we are so proud to present this quintet of performers as international ambassadors representing dance in the United States.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan

Arts & CulturePeople

StoryCorps Editor Tells Freshmen: Learn From Those Around You


PUBLISHED ON Aug 25 2014

Lizzie Jacobs remembers the story of that day in 1997 when she left her suburban Chicago home for Williams College in Massachusetts.

Lizzie Jacobs, outside Clowes Hall
Lizzie Jacobs, outside Clowes Hall


“Arthur, my teddy bear, had fallen out of the minivan—or possibly been pushed,” she said. “It was like a cord cutting. I think I was nervous, but I also was excited because I felt like everything was ahead of me and I was on my own. I actually wasn’t on my own—my sister went there—but I felt like I was on my own in all the good ways.”

So when Jacobs, the Co-Executive Producer, Animation and Senior Editor for Print at StoryCorps, got in front of Butler University’s Class of 2018 on Monday at Clowes Memorial Hall, she understood how they might be feeling.

Jacobs was at Butler to talk about Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps, this year’s common reading for the incoming class. Jennifer Griggs, Director of Butler’s Learning Resource Center, said the University chose Ties That Bind as the common read because “it really had an angle on diversity that matched our common values.”

“I believe this book is a perfect book for this time in your lives,” Jacobs told the 974 first-year students. “It’s a book about relationships—the surprising ways they begin and the myriad ways they change our lives for the better. And, yes, you’re all here to learn. You come here to learn and to prepare for the working world, and you’ll be in labs and music rooms and classrooms and library carrels.

“But all that time, if you’re smart, you’ll be focusing just as much on the people around you—your professors, of course, but also the staff in the dining hall and the dean’s office, the people maybe at the pizza joint, and, most of all, each other. The people sitting to the left and the right of you and that you’ll be surrounded by every day of your time here. Your freshman roommate, your lab mate, classmate, teammate. And years from now, you’ll remember and lean on the things you learned from each other as much as what you learned in class. And if you’re lucky, there’ll be two or three whose friendship will change your life forever.”

Jacobs said being part of StoryCorps, the national project to inspire people to record each other’s stories, has taught her to ask questions that get meaningful answers and encourage loved ones to be open and honest.

Too often, she said, we smooth things over and keep the conversation light. But StoryCorps, which over the past 10 years has recorded the stories of more than 50,000 people, shows that asking the right questions and encouraging others to talk helps us understand each other.

“People actually want to be asked about their lives,” Jacobs said. “When you ask them to share something about themselves, it tells them they’re important to you. So in these coming months and years, as you spend time together … try asking them about their grandparents. Or what their dreams are. Why did they come here? What are they proudest of? These are the big questions we encourage you to ask. And you might get some surprising answers. You might actually get to know one another.”


Media contact:
Marc Allan