The fall Arts and Humanities Symposium at Hope College on Friday, Oct. 23, will explore “Music, Art and Placemaking,” featuring scholars from multiple disciplines discussing how public spaces can help to build community in their design and purpose.

The symposium, scheduled in conjunction with the college’s Homecoming Weekend, will feature a keynote address at 11 a.m. in the DeWitt Center, and a triad of presentations from 1-4 p.m. and a closing reception in the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.  Those attending are welcome to come and go throughout.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The purpose of the Arts & Humanities symposium is to bring to important and timely topics an interdisciplinary conversation that displays the academic disciplines at their best.  Each academic discipline equips its practitioners with particular skills and training that, when juxtaposed to other disciplines, can provide the best solutions to the problems society faces.

“Although the idea of placemaking has been around since the 1960s, contemporary needs in the early 20th century have caused a resurgence of discussions about communities and the settings in which creativity can abound,” said Dr. Patrice Rankine, who is dean for the arts and humanities and a professor of classics at Hope.  “At Hope College, the recent additions of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts and the Kruizenga Art Museum prompt us to consider uses of these spaces, philosophically and in reality. The fall symposium will focus on music and placemaking, while in the spring we will turn to art and museums for the symposium on February 19.”

The events will begin with the keynote address “We Are All a Collage: Romare Bearden, Toni Morrison, Homer’s Odyssey” by Robert O’Meally, professor of English at Columbia University, at 11 a.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.  The talk will emphasize collage as a metaphor for making modern art as well as for conceiving modern selves and communities.  Its focus is on Romare Bearden’s transformation of Homer’s Odyssey into collage, and also considers Toni Morrison, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong as collage-style improvising artists in search of pathways home.  Prior to his address, O’Meally will have met with faculty, staff and students at the college’s Kruizenga Art Museum to view two pieces by Bearden.

A series of three presentations and responses will follow during each of the next three hours beginning at 1 p.m. in the John and Dede Recital Hall of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.

At 1 p.m., Christopher Theofanidis, a composer on the faculty of the Yale School of Music, will present “Storytelling in Music, and How It Defines Place.”  The response will be by Temple Smith, assistant professor of sociology at Hope.

At 2 p.m., Bill Blanski, who is a design principal in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, office of HGA (Hammel Green and Abrahamson Inc.), an integrated architecture, engineering and planning firm, will present “Reflections and Thresholds—Architectural Musings on The Miller Center.”  The response will be by Brian Coyle, professor of music at Hope, and Steve Nelson, associate professor of art at Hope.

At 3 p.m., O’Meally will present “We Are All Collages, Redux.”  The response will be by Charles Mason, who is the founding director and Margaret Feldmann Kruizenga Curator of the Kruizenga Art Museum at Hope.

A closing reception will be held from 4-5 p.m. in the John and Dede Howard Recital Hall of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.