From January thru May, 2018, the Norton Center, along with other Centre College and community partners will present a series of programs that address difficult humanitarian issues that are at the forefront of most, if not all, of our daily conversations and lives. Within the series, Exploring Conflict: An Artistic Perspective, the focus for each of these programs is to explore the human experience and human condition. Using many different art forms, these global and local stories of hope, maintenance, humor, survival and reconciliation all show that as different as we all are, we collectively share core traits.

The commonality among this theme and all of the various stories of the human condition is one action: conflict.

The outcomes from this action affects most of us, if not millions of people, worldwide. Whether the conflict stems from race or ethnicity, religion or faith, sexual orientation or gender, power or poverty, health or misfortune, it seems to focus on personal advantage over the celebration of our commonalities. Conflicts, whether personal or collective, local or global focus on the singularly important component – human lives – and tends to create symptoms of fear based on uniqueness. And, in fearing differences between or among persons, people or communities, reactions can quickly develop into divisions and systems begin to break down.

From January to May, we extend an open invitation to examine stories as responses, not reactions, to conflict. We identify ways people heal, forgive, rebuild, survive, and help to bring us back together. We celebrate the stories of our global brothers and sisters as survivors – not victims.  Through the list of activities below we invite you to explore, examine, and discover.

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War is Only Half the Story:  The Aftermath Project at 10 Years

January – May 2018 | Grand Foyer | Visit the Visual Art Page
“War is Only Half the Story” is the tenth-anniversary exhibition of The Aftermath Project, a non-profit, grant-making and educational organization that supports photographers documenting the aftermath of conflict. The exhibition highlights The Aftermath Project’s commitment to educating the public about the true cost of war and the real price of peace through visual storytelling that explores what it means for individuals to learn to live again, to cope with the lingering wounds of war, to rebuild lives and homes destroyed by conflict, to restore broken relationships and recreate civil societies.


Sara Terry

April 5, 2018 | 7:00 PM | Grand Foyer 
Sara Terry is an award-winning documentary photographer and filmmaker best known for her work covering post-conflict stories. She is a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow in Photography, for her long-term project, “Forgiveness and Conflict: Lessons from Africa.” Her first long-term post-conflict body of work, “Aftermath: Bosnia’s Long Road to Peace,” led her to found The Aftermath Project in 2003 on the premise that “War is Only Half the Story.”


Fumbol Tok: A Documentary Film About the Power of Forgiveness

April 5, 2018 | 7:15 PM | Newlin Hall
Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war come together for the first time in an unprecedented program of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. Through reviving their ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk), Sierra Leoneans are building sustainable peace at the grass-roots level – succeeding where the international community’s post-conflict efforts failed. Filled with lessons for the West, this film explores the depths of a culture that believes that true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals – and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.


Post-Conflict Healing & Forgiveness

April 5, 2018 | 8:30 PM | Newlin Hall
This panel discussion will focus on how people grieve, heal and forgive following the traumas of conflict.  For this program, conflict is defined as those situations that adversely affect communities and individuals, globally and personally.  From national trauma and war to community-based attacks of individual identity, there is an aftermath when people finally are able to pick up the pieces and move forward.  Panelists will include Sara Terry; Dr. Isabella La Rocca: Docu-photographer, activist, artist and Centre College Assistant Professor of Art; Dr. John Earle:  Centre College Assistant Professor of History and Chair of the African and African American Studies Program; and Dr. Kaelyn Wiles: Centre College Assistant Professor of Sociology.  Moderated by Steve Hoffman.


An interactive display that allows viewers to create their own photo narrative and write their own stories using prompts and photos.  Join the conversation by sharing your creation on Instagram using #shareyourstoryNC

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Jessica Lang Dance

Saturday, January 20, 2018 | 8:00 PM | Newlin Hall 
New York-based Jessica Lang Dance makes its Norton Center debut with a repertoire rich in stunning movement, compelling visuals and beautiful cinematic composition that will leave you breathless.


The Making of “Thousand Yard Stare”

Saturday, January 20, 2018 | 7:00 PM | Norton Center Grand Foyer | Free & Open to the Public
Join Company Instructor William Whitener before the performance to discuss the creation of “Thousand Yard Stare,” a work embodying the incredible pride, honor, and searing loss experienced by military veterans, set to emotive Beethoven music.



Personal Reflections of War: The American String Quartet with Tom Sleigh & Phil Klay

February 9, 2018 | 7:30 PM | Newlin Hall
The 90 minute program combines searing music written in response to war and performed by the American String Quartet with Phil Klay and Tom Sleigh reading excerpts from their works throughout the program in equal rotation.


Exploring War and the Human Condition Through an Artistic Perspective

Thursday, February 8, 2018 | 11:20 AM | Weisiger Theatre | Free & Open to the Public
From biblical times through Goya, Guernica and Abu Ghraib, artists have been moved to bear witness to the savagery of war.  But what does witness mean?  What if their art is turned into chauvinistic propaganda?  What responsibility does the artist bear to depict the violence without exaggeration? Students, Faculty, and the general public will be invited to discuss these and other related questions with a distinguished panel comprised of the artists from the American String Quartet, poet Tom Sleigh, and author Phil Klay. This panel discussion is presented as part of the Norton Center’s Creative Conversations Series.


Workshop with Poet Tom Sleigh and Author Phil Klay

Thursday, February 8, 2018 | 12:40 PM  | Free & Open to the Public

Tom Sleigh will discuss his current body of work, experience as a long-form journalist in the Middle East and Africa, and his 2018 (set to be released) book of essays, “The Land Between Two Rivers: Poetry in an Age of Refugees” and companion book of poems “One War Everywhere.” Tom is the author of more than nine volumes of poetry and has received the Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America, an Individual Writer’s Award from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, a Guggenheim grant, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, the Kellen fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the John Updike Award, also from the American Academy.

Phil Klay’s “Redeployment” takes readers to the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival, the characters in these stories struggle to make meaning out of chaos. In this lecture and workshop, Klay will discuss his writing, real life experience serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as a US Marine, and the intersection of both.

Workshop with The American String Quartet

Friday, February 9, 2018 | 3:00 PM | Free & Open to the Public


globalFEST on the Road: The New Age of Latin Music
featuring Las Cafeteras and Orkesta Mendoza

February 21, 2018 | 7:30 PM | Newlin Hall
he New Golden Age of Latin Music is being forged right here in the US with Mexican-American communities emerging as hotbeds of musical creativity, blending upbeat styles that reflect shared cultural identities. Orkesta Mendoza and Las Cafeteras are two of today’s most exciting groups forging inspired new paths for Latin and Latin-American music


Racism: Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

February 20, 2018 | 11:20-12:20 | Newlin Hall | Free & Open to the Public
With more students of color attending Universities every year, schools need a fresh and updated lens to talk about race and diversity on campus. This participatory workshop breaks down stereotypes, uses ‘conscious comedy’, and engages students and staff in new conversations about Race, Identity and Privilege. Using videos, break out discussions, and facilitating honest conversations, students will be given social tools to deconstruct interpersonal, as well as institutional patterns of oppression, so as to heal and proactively address concerns as young agents of change. This panel discussion is presented as part of the Norton Center’s Creative Conversations Series.


Mujer Soy: Reclaiming Identity, Sisterhood, and Mujerismo

February 20, 2018 | Free & Open to the Public
The seeds “Yo no vengo a disculparme, mujer soy y lo sere…” Let’s face it, the personal is political, and identifying as a womyn of color often means navigating a world of silence and lack of power-full spaces. Join the womyn of Las Cafeteras in an interactive dialogue focused on breaking down social and cultural influences on female identity, perceptions of gender, privilege & power, and reclaiming the diversity of womyn’s experiences. Through activities centered around storytelling, self-care, and sisterhood we will reinterpret our her-story and its place in building healthy communities.

Living on the Borderline: Cuban and Mexican Identity in Music

February 20, 2018 | Free & Open to the Public
Orkesta Mendoza and Las Cafeteras discuss how their identity manifest in their music, and how it speaks to the transformation of traditional music.


The Sounds of Resistance: From Storytelling to Movement Building

February 20, 2018 | 5:30 PM | Norton Center Grand Foyer | Free & Open to the Public
This interactive session allows participants to engage in the Power of the Storytelling. Without our voices, His-story, Her-story, Your-Story and Our-story become defined through power, privilege and silence. Students will be given tools and poetry prompts to begin to extract their own personal narrative. The session will end with each participant writing and sharing their poetry to a live musical performance by Las Cafeteras.



RENT, The Musical:  20th Anniversary Tour

February 18, 2018 | 7:00 PM | Newlin Hall 
In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. Now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®- winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th-anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La BohèmeRENTfollows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters— love.


Same Story Different Decade

Sunday, February 18, 2018 | 5:30 PM | Norton Center Grand Foyer | Free & Open to the Public
The seeds of AIDS awareness, displacement due to urban gentrification, and LGBT activism were newly planted when RENT premiered on Broadway over 20 years ago. Yet these thematic elements remain at the forefront of our national dialogue still today. Michael Aldridge, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kentucky, joins Isabella La Rocca, Assistant Professor of Art, and Sara Egge, Assistant Professor of History, to discuss why this award-winning, unforgettable show still resonates with audiences today as it puts a fresh, perhaps often forgotten, face on societal marginalization. This panel discussion is presented as part of the Norton Center’s Creative Conversations Series.

These events contain mature themes and are recommended for ages 13+. 


One Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody

Friday, May 11, 2018 | 8:00 PM | Weisiger Theatre 
From the madman behind One Man Star Wars and One Man Lord of the Ringscomes an irreverent parody and homage to the Dark Knight Trilogy. Two-faced super-nerd, Charles Ross, lovingly tears Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece a new one in his new One Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody. No costumes, no sets, no Batmobiles. Ross takes you on a comedic joyride, from Batman’s origins to his epic battles against Gotham’s super-villains. Hold on to your utility belt!
The “Dark Knight” films are rated PG-13.


The Resurgence of Superheroes: A Symbol of Conflict-Resolution in Everyman

Friday, May 11, 2018 | 7:00 PM | Norton Center Grand Foyer | Free & Open to the Public
More info and panelists to be announced soon!



Photography and Collective Memory
by Isabella La Rocca, Centre College Assistant Professor of Studio Art

Soldier’s Heart
by Stan Campbell, Director of Library Services at Centre College

Torn Apart: A History of Rent
by Sara Egge, Centre College Assistant Professor of History

Music That Transcends Borders
by Dr. Satty Flaherty-Echeverría, Centre College Associate Professor of Spanish

The Dark Knight and the Robber Barons
William (Beau) Weston,  Ph.D., Dept. of Sociology