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February 09, 2012 - Image 38

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-02-09

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Wharton Center Ovation Awards applaud Broadway hopefuls

High school students in Michigan who dream of

solo performances

winning an Oscar or Tony Award don't have to

that will culminate

wait to be recognized for best performance. MSU's

in the selection of

Wharton Center invites high school students

Best Performance

statewide to participate in the Ovation Awards—a

by an Actor and Best

performing arts competition that offers two winning

Performance by an

students a true Broadway experience.


"We want to celebrate the work of talented high

The two Ovation

school students," says Dana Brazil, associate director

Awards winners will

of the MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Arts

each receive a $1,000

and Creativity at the Wharton Center.

The Wharton Center is one of 30 venues

nationwide—and the only one in Michigan—

partnering with the National High School Musical

Theater Awards' Ovation Awards competition.

Wharton Center's Ovation Awards competition

is open to all high school students in Michigan.

Teachers may nominate one student from their

school who has played a lead role in a high school

musical performance. The 2012 deadline for

cash prize and a

scholarship to the

Wharton Center's

Take It from the Top

summer Broadway

intensive workshop.

They'll also receive an

all-expense-paid, six-

Michigan high school students belt out a musical number during the Wharton Center's Take It from the Top
program, a series of workshops taught by Broadway professionals.

day trip to New York

City where they'll

participate in a performance enrichment program

nominations is April 20.

and represent Michigan in the National High School

A panel of three judges with Broadway experience

Broadway in June.

will review applications and select 50 high school

students-25 young women and 25 young men—to

come to campus May 19 for a series of ensemble and

Musical Theater Awards at the Minskoff Theatre on

"These students are our future entertainers and

future audience members," says Brazil. "It's a great

experience to perform for Broadway people. Getting

feedback from people who are doing what they

want to be doing is really invaluable."

For more information on the Ovation Awards, visit

whartoncenter.com/education/ovationawards .

aspx. 0

Jewish Studies Pr ram initiative helps community discover, share family stories

A yearlong initiative by MSU's Jewish Studies

individuals how to search genealogy resources and

Program that includes programming on campus

a series of events that began last fall and continues

and across the state is exploring the intersections

through spring featuring genealogists and

between personal family stories and academic

professors from around the country.

research on families.

Kirsten Fermaglich, associate professor of history

The Telling Family Stories: Jews, Genealogy, and

and Jewish studies at MSU, wrote the grant proposal

History initiative encourages Michigan residents to

and is leading the storytelling project.

share their family stories on its website and to

explore their heritage through educational

opportunities. Opportunities include teaching

The exhibit "Telling Family Stories:
Jews, Genealogy, and History" will be
featured at the MSU Main Library
February through April.

"This entire project is a partnership between MSU

and the community," says Fermaglich. "We hope

people share their own histories and find

connections between the stories being told

in their families and academic history."

In 2011, the MSU Jewish Studies/Hadassah

brunch and a presentation on "Jewish

Genealogy: Where Do We Go from Here?

Possibilities and Problems" both featured

Sallyann Sack, a leading Jewish genealogist

in the United States. In March, the Library of

Michigan in Lansing will host a hands-on

seminar about exploring family history.

In addition to special events throughout

the year, the exhibit "Telling Family Stories:

Jews, Genealogy, and History" will be

Annette Serling, left, poses for a photograph with a fellow Girl Scout leader on
the MSU campus in 1951.

featured at MSU's Main Library from

February through April.

"We hope to have a dialogue with the community

and help them tell the Jewish American story, which

is one of immigration, of building new communities,

and of becoming successful," says Kenneth Waltzer,

director of MSU's Jewish Studies Program.

The storytelling project was made possible through

a grant from the Legacy Heritage Jewish Studies

Project, directed by the Association for Jewish

Studies. MSU is one of four universities in the

country to receive the $22,000 competitive grant to

engage the community through public


For more information about the project and to learn

about upcoming events, visit tellingfamilystories.

wordpress.com .

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