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>  News Releases >   2003 >   May

Odetta is Center for Women and Gender's Visionary in Residence

Posted 05/16/03


Several years ago, students working at the Center for Women and Gender commented that they spent much of their time discussing problems instead of solutions. Why not, they asked, focus more on a vision for positive change?

Enter the Visionary in Residence program. Instituted approximately five years ago in response to these student comments, the program brings to campus each year an individual who has been active in working for positive change and presenting a vision for justice, often around issues of gender equity.

This year's Visionary in Residence has devoted more than 50 years to promoting such a vision. Born in Alabama in 1930, she went from singing in a San Francisco night club to singing in front of thousands at Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1963 March on Washington.

Now 72, Odetta has produced more than 27 folk and blues albums - her most recent nominated for a Grammy - and has been credited for inspiring a generation of musical performers, including Bob Dylan.

She has performed in Carnegie Hall, to historical luminaries like Pres. John F. Kennedy. She has been presented with lifetime achievement awards from organizations like the World Folk Music Association and the Federation of Protestant Charities. She has been called one of the brightest stars in the 1960s folk music renaissance and one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

Throughout the years she has remained committed to working for peace and civil rights. Odetta is "a walking archive of American history.... It's amazing to talk to her; she sees the connections between civil rights for African Americans and other issues," said Giavanna Munafo, director of the Center for Women and Gender (CWG).

As the CWG's Visionary in Residence, Odetta will be on campus May 20-22. She will visit classes, hold "salon hours" talking to students, and meet with various student groups. On Thursday, May 22, she will receive the "Visionary Award" during a community dinner at the Roth Center.

The highlight of her visit, organized by Assistant Dean of the Tucker Foundation Lynn C. White Cloud, Lois Schonberger '03 and David Bradt '05, will be a concert held in Spaulding Auditorium on Tuesday, May 20, at 8 p.m. titled "Where Do We Stand Now: 50 Years of Activism." College students are Odetta's favorite audience, because their "listening muscle," she says, needs development.

Odetta's visit is cosponsored by the Tucker Foundation, the Bildner Endowment and the Rockefeller Center.

Organized by Assistant Dean of the Tucker Foundation Lynn C. White Cloud, Lois Schonberger '03 and David Bradt '05, the concert and other Visionary in Residence activities are designed to draw together diverse groups of students around issues of activism and conflict, those interested in music, in women's and gender issues, and in African American and civil rights issues, Munafo said.

The May 20 concert is free, but seating is limited. Tickets will be available at the Hopkins Center Box Office starting May 13.


Tuesday, May 20
* "Where Do We Stand Now?"

Community Concert sponsored by the Tucker Foundation.

8 p.m., Spaulding Auditorium (free tickets available starting May 13 at the Hopkins Center Box Office)

Wednesday, May 21
Food for Thought

Lunch with Odetta. RSVP needed.

12:30 p.m., CWG

Drop-In Hours
4-5:30 p.m., Cutter Shabazz Lounge

Dessert Reception
RSVP needed.

8 p.m., 13 E. Wheelock Street

Thursday, May 22
Visionary in Residence

Community Award Dinner
RSVP needed.

6 p.m., Roth Center for Jewish Life

To reserve a space at lunch, dinner or the dessert reception, or for more information about how to participate in the residency, contact Xenia Markowitt, Outreach Coordinator for Dartmouth's Center for Women and Gender, at (646-3456).

-Kathleen McDermott '03

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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