The West Virginia University College of Creative Arts plans a series of special events at the Mountainlair during September in observance of the anniversary of Sept 11. The Arts and Human Conflict Series will include lectures and concerts by College of Creative Arts faculty and students, as well as a special presentation by Judy Shepard, mother of hate crime victim Matthew Shepard.


All the events in the series are free and open to the public. They will be held at 7:30 p.m. each Tuesday from Sept. 3 through Oct. 1 at the WVU Mountaineer Gluck Theatre, except the presentation by Shepard, which will be at the WVU Health Sciences Center Main Auditorium.


The program schedule includes:


  • Sept. 3 “Art and the Urgency of Social Change,”a lecture by WVU College of Creative Arts Dean Bernie Schultz, who is also professor of art history in the Division of Art. The lecture will be a discussion of the role of the visual arts as a means of effecting social change during times of conflict and peace.

  • Sept. 10 “Remembrance,”a concert coordinated by William Skidmore, professor of cello, featuring performances by a variety of faculty and students groups from the Division of Music. The contemplative concert will feature traditional, contemporary and new works selected in remembrance of the events of Sept. 11.

  • Sept. 17 “Hostile Movements,”a progressive theatre-movement piece by Jessica D. Morgan, assistant professor of stage movement in the Division of Theatre and Dance. Morgan and students from the division will present the choreography, which was conceived around issues and outcomes of human conflict and resolution.

  • Sept. 24 “Supporting Hate Crimes Awareness and Prevention: The Legacy of Matthew Shepard,”by Judy Shepard, is a multimedia presentation that utilizes a combination of video, court statements and discussion to educate the public on hate speech, hate crimes and the power that every individual possesses to create positive change.

  • Oct. 1 “The Contemplative Power of Music in Contemporary Society,”a lecture and presentation by David Bess, chair of the WVU Division of Music. As a means of aiding our response to the strife and angst in our society, this presentation will explore the spiritual and restorative powers of music, as well as its evolving role in the modern world.


The Sept. 24 visit by Judy Shepard is in conjunction with the WVU Division of Theatre and Dances first play of the semester,”The Laramie Project,”written by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project.


The performance chronicles life in Laramie, Wyo., during the year following the murder of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard in 1998. Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, tied to a fence and left to die because he was gay. His death became a national symbol of intolerance and the play is a complex portrayal that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.


“The Laramie Project”runs Sept. 27 through Oct. 5 in the Gladys G. Davis Theatre of the CreativeArtsCenter. Other tentative special events associated with the play include a Sept. 28 benefit performance and reception co-sponsored by Safe Zone and an Oct. 3 post-show panel discussion with Professor Don Fidler of the WVU School of Medicines Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, Safe Zone and other guests.


For more information about the Arts and Human Conflict Series, contact the College of Creative Arts at 304-293-4841, ext. 3109.


For information about”The Laramie Project,”contact the WVU Box Office at 304-293-SHOW or the Division of Theatre and Dance at 304-293-4841, ext. 3120.