Reinhardt College in Waleska, Ga., is continuing its "Year of" series with a focus on Eastern Europe and Russia. From October 2007 to April of 2008, the small United Methodist college in northwestern Cherokee County will host programs centering on the people, culture, geography and history of Eastern Europe and Russia, and the public is invited to take part.
This year's focus was decided almost three years ago. Dr. Ann Good, an assistant professor of history, is spearheading the Year of Eastern Europe and Russia, YEER, committee. Her goal is to be sure that the schedule is well-rounded and includes activities related to academics, religion and the arts.
"I see the 'Year of' activities as a wonderful way of broadening our students' horizons," Good said. "It is great to have, throughout the year, constant reminders of other places in this world." Students and community members will have the opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge and to acquaint themselves with modern history of this complex region, especially the Soviet Bloc countries that have gone through such upheaval in the last 10 -15 years.
The public is invited to the first YEER event on Oct. 15, 2007, at 11 a.m., on the upper floor of the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center. Tom Reed, a resident of Milton, Ga., will speak about his experiences as a young boy who survived the Holocaust. He has given numerous presentations about his experience at area colleges including The University of Georgia and Georgia State University. He has also led groups of students through Auschwitz.
"I will tell people what I have lived through," he said. "I will say, 'Think about what it would be to be a 12-and-a-half year old boy. Close your eyes and let's get going.' Then I tell them my story, what I saw and experienced."(more on Mr. Reed)
On Oct. 17, Shala Carlson, assistant editor of Habitat World, a magazine produced by Habitat for Humanity, will present "Rising From the Soviet Shadow: Experiencing the work of Habitat for Humanity in Eastern Europe and Central Asia." As the assistant editor of Habitat's educational, informational and outreach publication, she will share stories of the house-building ministry. A graduate of Tulane University, Carlson has more than 10 years experience in magazine and newspaper writing and editing. Her work has been recognized by the National Newspaper Association, the Magnum Opus Awards and the Magazine Association of the Southeast, among others. She will speak on the upper level of the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center at 2:30 p.m.
"This type of ministry means so much to so many people," Good said, "and when I saw her article, I thought, 'How very interesting!' People may not immediately think of places in Europe as needing this kind of help, but the need it there."
On Nov. 5, Paul Steinfeld, Honorary Consul of the Slovenian Consulate in Atlanta, will speak on history, culture and contemporary issues in Slovenia. This event will begin at 2:30 p.m. on the upper floor of the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center.
"It is very timely for Mr. Steinfeld's visit because on January 1, 2008, Slovenia will take over the presidency of the European Union for six months,' Good said. "Slovenia is a place with a long history but it is relatively new as an independent nation, and his visit will fit well with the 'Year of' series."
On Nov. 7, Sean Martin of the Jewish Archive of the Western Reserve Historical Society will speak on Russian Jews before World War II. He will speak on the upper level of the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center at 2:30 p.m.
On Nov. 8, Moscow Nights will perform in the Falany Performing Arts Center on the Reinhardt campus at 8 p.m. This exciting, versatile trio of world-recognized, prize-winning musicians has established themselves as one of the fastest rising folk groups in the U.S. in the past three years. After taking Western Europe by storm, they brought their dazzling, toe-tapping music to North America. The repertoire is centered on masterpieces of Russian folklore and represents the diversity of the culture, from gently humorous songs, to elaborate lyrical suites and pulsating dance numbers. Russian folk music expresses the national character -- outwardly reserved and cool, but brimming with vigor, mischievousness and vibrancy inside. For ticket information, contact 770-720-9167 or see www.reinhardt.edu/fpac
"Attending their performance was like being transported to the Russian countryside of the early 1900s," said Dr. Ric Sanchez, Director of the Falany Performing Arts Center. "When I hear the College was exploring Russia and Eastern Europe, I immediately thought of this group. I knew they would provode an excellent introduction into Russian music and dance."
Other fall events include a film series (open on to students, faculty and staff due to licensing agreements), several field trips and a luncheon featuring regional cuisine.
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