May 23, 2017
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Fine Arts on Campus: Disney film could open doors for Parkside children’s series

By Jessica Stephen


Two free screenings of “Queen of Katwe” could lay the foundation for a new children’s film series at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

“Every now and again, I will get a request that we show a film or two that is more accessible to a younger audience,” said Norm Cloutier, director of Parkside’s Foreign Film Series. “We have had some very preliminary conversation about perhaps in the future putting together an entire program that would be very specifically toward a young audience. This is our first foray in that direction.”

The Ugandan-based Disney film was not at all on Cloutier’s radar, but he quickly came around after members of the school’s Black Student Union suggested a special showing in honor of Black History Month.

“It’s not a film that I think would have ever made it into our regular program; it is very much a Disney film. But I think that’s a good thing in terms of its accessibility to young people,” Cloutier said.

For BSU President Britney Wood, getting the film in this year’s foreign film series was an important counterpoint to what people might think they know about the black experience.

“The media is flooded with films and images that depict black people in a negative light,” Woods said. “As a student organization dedicated to the uplift and advancement of our people, it was important for us to provide the campus with a film that challenged the status quo.”

The film is based on the true story of 10-year-old Phiona. Living in poverty in Uganda, her life takes a turn when she discovers chess and, against the odds, becomes a national champion.

But, Woods said, “Queen of Katwe is a story about more than just the game of chess. It’s about the power of community, self-determination and perseverance.”

And, with director Mira Nair, known for the classics “Salaam Bombay!” and “Mississippi Masala,” among other films, the film isn’t such a stretch for the Foreign Film Series, despite its Disney pedigree.

“It actually has a foreign film feel,” Cloutier said.

“Queen of Katwe” (PG) will be shown at 7:30 tonight (Feb. 16) and 2:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 17) in the UW-Parkside Student Center Cinema.

Admission is free, although donations to support the Black Student Union will be accepted.

UWP Noon Concert Series: Aaron Stampf

When: Noon, Friday (Feb. 17)

Where: Bedford Hall, Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities, UW-Parkside, 900 Wood Road

Tickets: Free

Synopsis: Pianist Aaron Stampf will perform as part of the BMO Harris Noon Concert Series, which features free weekly musical performances and lectures.

Brahms remembered at Carthage College

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 18)

Where: A.F. Siebert Chapel, Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Drive

Tickets: Free

Synopsis: Pianist and Carthage faculty member Wael Farouk will accompany the Carthage Faculty Trio in a special performance commemorating the 120th anniversary of composer Johannes Brahms’ death. The show will be part of a 10 recital series, which will be presented over the next two years.

UWP Jazz Studies director performs

When: 3 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 19)

Where: Bedford Hall, Rita Tallent Picken Regional Center for Arts and Humanities, UW-Parkside, 900 Wood Road

Tickets: Free

Synopsis: Trumpeter, composer, award-winning teacher and, now, director of jazz studies at UW-Parkside, Ron Johnson will perform with fellow jazz musicians. Johnson won Parkside’s Stella Gray Teaching Excellence award in 2016. He moved to the Midwest after spending nearly 25 years as a jazz musician in New York City.

Parkside lecture series: Community Oriented Policing

When: 2 p.m. Monday (Feb. 20)

Where: Student Center Cinema, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 900 Wood Road

Tickets: Free

Synopsis: Racine Police Chief Arthell Howell will explain his department’s Community Oriented Policing program. Focused on promoting good community relationships, the concept has been incorporated into public high schools in Racine.

Coming up

* UW-Parkside Foreign Film Festival: Youth, Feb. 23 to 26, Student Center Cinema, UW-Parkside

* University Chorale and Voices of Parkside, featuring Conrad Chamber Orchestra, Feb. 23, UW-Parkside

* BMO Harris Noon Concert Series, Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Feb. 24, UW-Parkside


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