WSCC presents the Humankind Series

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01.19.2018 Filed Under: Community


This semester, West Shore Community College’s Humankind Series is continuing its exploration of the parallels between Sub-Saharan Africa and Western Michigan and will focus on farming and agriculture, health, arts, and culture.

January 22 - February 23 - African Textiles and Beadwork
Manierre Dawson Gallery

The current exhibit in the Manierre Dawson Gallery, “African Textiles and Beadwork: Color and Diversity Across a Continent,” features textiles and beadwork which are an important part of the aesthetic language and traditions while six Rwandan portraits, created by Ludington artist, Ellen Niemann, are located in the adjacent hallway.

The mostly woven textiles represent cultures and countries across Africa using a variety of techniques and distinctive designs that highlight the continent’s artistic achievement and stylistic diversity. Objects also range widely in function from the “Grand Boubou,” a prestigious costume worn by Hausa men on special occasions, to the numerous large cloths worn by women; all exhibit strong color and pattern.

Other items of interest include a decorated Tuareg camel bag and a beautiful, heavily-beaded lizard made to be worn by a Yoruba diviner.

Ellen Niemann is a largely self-taught artist whose mixed media portraits are created using liquid acrylics, pastels, and gold leaf. She has made several trips with her husband Noel to Rwanda, where she was able to photograph survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide and their children.

According to Niemann, she intends that “these paintings will express the truth, beauty and hope of the people of Rwanda.”

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 on Fridays. The gallery is also open on evenings and weekends during events and performances in the Center Stage Theater.

February 15 - How will GMOs impact our future? 

Examining Genetic Engineering: How our past can prepare us for the future
11am & 7pm - Center Stage Theater

An expert panel will share their variouis perspectives on GMOs and their impact on life in developing nations versus our own. Join the discussion about the ethical impact of crop sciences and the parallels between Nigeria and the United States.

March 15 - Why is simple disease not so simple in Third World countries?

Effects of parasitic diseases in Michigan and Sub-Sharan Africa
11am - Arts & Sciences Center, Room 357; 7pm - Ludington Area Center for the Arts 

Imagine the impact on our culture if we did not have access to a simple solution for something as common as swimmer's itch or heartworm. These parasites we deem treatable are a threat to all living things in Africa. Dr. Judith Humphries will compare the effects while providing perspective on their impact here and in developing countries.

March 16 - Out of Africa: A Dynamic Music and Dance Experience

7:30pm - Center Stage Theater

Join us for an unforgettable music and dance experience featuring world renowned percussionist Dane Richeson, the leading Ghanaian dancer of this generation, Nani Agbeli, and the award-winning player of the African kora and oud instruments Kane Mathis.

Earlier in the day, the performers will conduct workshops in area high schools.

Tickets for the concert are on sale now at the WSCC Box Office, 231-843-5507 or online.


Author: Thomas Hawley | Executive Director of College Relations

Tags: Community Event