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November 13, 2014 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-13

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DThe Michigan Daily ( michigandailycomI Thursday, November 13, 2014

t's 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, Nov.
7, and the Michigan Theater is
buzzing with excitement. Hun-
dreds of Art & Design students
crowd the rows, pink attendance
slips in hand, intermingled with
Ann Arbor residents holding tubs
of popcorn. The classic architec-
ture of the Michigan Theater con-
trasts the modern Penny W. Stamps
Distinguished Speaker Series logo
displayed on the projection screen.
one thing is clear - this is impor-
tant; this is innovation.
"The main purpose of the speak-
er series would be a platform for
engaging with new and innova-
tive, sort of progressive and tran-
scendent ideas with people who
are successful artists and design-
ers and creators in the world," said
Chrisstina Hamilton, Director of
Vistors' Programs. "And also an op-
portunity to have social dialogue in
our community about it."
For more than 10 years, The Uni-
versity of Michigan's School of Art
& Design has hosted weekly lec-
tures for a wide range of design-
ers and artists thanks to the gener-
ous support of Art & Design alum
Penny W. Stamps. Every Thursday,
speakers come to the Michigan
Theater to share their work with
students, faculty and the Ann Ar-
bor community. Following their
lectures, students and community
members may attend a Q&A ses-
sion held in the theater's screening
"It is an exciting and challenging
and rewarding thing to do when it
all works," Hamilton said.
Prior to being a formalized
weekly event at the Michigan The-
ater, the series began as loosely
organized lectures at the Univer-
sity exclusively for students of

the School of Art & Design. Now,
they're weekly installments that
average around 1,000 attendees
per week.
"As far as I've seen, the vision
that started it has continued the se-
ries. It's been a fabulous vision and
the fact that it takes place at the
Michigan Theater, which is a com-
munity venue as opposed to a Uni-
versity venue, the capacity is such
that it allows more than just the
target arts students to come," said
Russ Collins, Executive Director
and CEO of the Michigan Theater.
"It makes it a very special event.'
The attendance of many non-
students amplifies the impor-
tance of the lectures. The Penny
W. Stamps Distinguished Speaker
Series can no longer be defined as
a niche offering for School of Art
& Design students and has now
expanded beyond the confines of
the University to become a valued
community event.
"Society needs places to engage
with ideas and to have conversa-
tions aound them. That is a basic
need of a community," Hamilton
A committee of Art & Design
students and faculty, appointed by
Dean Gunalan Nadarajan, decide
which speakers to invite to the se-
ries. According to Hamilton, the
committee works to bring in speak-
ers whom they feel fit into areas of
media or issues they would like to
focus on.
"The series is constantly evolv-
ing programmatically because it
has to always be answering to the
issues at the moment. So that's
a constant challenge" Hamilton
said. "If we can continue to do that,
then we are doing a great job.'
See STAMPS, Page 4B

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