Things to Do at Penn State: Jan. 30-Feb. 6

A selection of cultural events happening at the University this weekend and next week

Vocalist Lizz Wright will perform at the University Park campus at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 5 in Schwab Auditorium. Credit: Attila KlebAll Rights Reserved.

What's happening at Penn State? Here's a look at some of the cultural events taking place at the University this weekend and next week:


"Blind Date with a Book"Feb. 1-29, various Penn State Libraries locations, University Park campus. Visitors to the Libraries can pick up wrapped books for reading dates. Free.


"Drumfolk"7:30 p.m., Jan. 31, Eisenhower Auditorium, University Park campus. Step Afrika!, the first professional dance company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping, will premiere "Drumfolk," a celebration of community, resilience and determination featuring traditional masked dances from West Africa; a choreographic investigation of the ring shout, a 200-plus-year-old African-American percussive dance rarely seen on American stages; and a contemporary work exploring the ways the drum was reclaimed through mediums such as stepping and vocal percussion.

"Dinosaur World Live" 4 p.m., Feb. 1, Pullo Center, Penn State York. An interactive show of dinosaur exploration suited for the whole family.

Zuzu Acrobats 7 p.m., Feb. 4, Pullo Center, Penn State York. As part of Black History Month, York campus will feature the five-person Kenyan acrobatic show. Free.

"Song of the Phoenix"7:30 p.m., Feb. 4, Mukind S. Kulkarni Theatre, Penn State Harrisburg. The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company will present dazzling props, colorful costumes, mesmerizing music, fantastic acrobatics and lively dance as part of the campus' celebration of the Asian New Year. 

Lizz Wright7:30 p.m., Feb. 5, Schwab Auditorium, University Park campus. Vocalist Lizz Wright brings her repertoire ranging from spirituals and Americana to jazz and American songbook classics to the University Park campus.


Mary E. E Rolling Reading Series: Emily Rolfe Grosholz — 7:30 p.m., Jan. 30, Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library, University Park campus. Emily Rolfe Grosholz, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy, African American Studies and English, will offer a reading. Free.

"Working on an Old Question: 'How Many Visitors Can the Galapagos Hold?' Finding a Sustainable Model3:30 p.m., Jan. 31, 319 and 112 Walker Building, University Park campus. Arturo Izurieta, executive director of the Charles Darwin Foundation, will discuss sustainability and visiting the Galapagos Islands. Free.

Ashtekar Frontiers of Science Lectures: Ephraim M. Hanks11 a.m., Feb. 1, 100 Huck Life Sciences Building, University Park campus. Ephraim M. Hanks,  associate professor of statistics at Penn State, will present "Understanding wildlife connectivity and disease spread through GPS tracking." Free.

EarthTalks: Jim Kasting4 p.m., Feb. 3, 112 Walker Building, University Park campus. Jim Kasting, Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences, will present "Societal Problems, EESI Science towards Solutions." Free. 


"Coal Town Holiday Traditions featuring A Wartime Christmas" — Through Jan. 31, Coal and Coke Heritage Center, Penn State Fayette. The exhibit highlights the history of the Connellsville Coke Region, which became a booming industrial area and a melting pot of cultural traditions in the mid- to late-1800s. Free.

"Ghosts" — Through Feb. 2, HUB-Robeson Galleries, HUB-Robeson Center, University Park campus. An exhibition of works selected from the School of Visual Arts' collection of bisque ware, known as the Bisque Library. Free.

"Illuminating Illusions"Through Feb. 7, HUB-Robeson Center, University Park campus. The exhibition showcases a selection of objects and illusion examples that illustrate relevance to current day culture, scientific discovery, or both. Free.

"Cosmologies" — Through March 3, Art Alley, HUB-Robeson Galleries, HUB-Robeson Center, University park campus. An exhibition of large-scale drawings inspired by systems, steamfitter’s drawings, flight routes and electrical networks. Free.

"On/Of Paper: Work by the Faculty of Architecture at Penn State" — Through March 6, Willard Rouse Gallery, Stuckeman Family Building, University Park campus. The exhibit highlights Penn State architecture faculty members' work and the importance of drawing and paperwork are in their endeavors. Free.

"Still Here" — Through March 22, HUB Gallery, HUB-Robseon Center, University Park campus. Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, Kiara Ventura and Dexter Wimberly, "Still Here" explores stories of migration, displacement and survival by eight artists that represent a spectrum of the African Diaspora. Free.

"Women's Work" Through May 8, Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery, University Park campus. The museum presents Pennsylvania's early- top mid-20th century industrial history recorded on canvas and paper by women artists. Free.

"Grounded: Environments in Flux" — Through May 31, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park campus. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Palmer is showcasing a select group of works by contemporary artists to celebrate the poetry and power of nature, as we as the prosaic reality of environmental degradation resulting from modern interventions. Free.

"Drawing on a Legacy: Highlights from the John Driscoll American Drawings Collection" — Through June 7, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park campus. The exhibition spotlights 30 watercolors and drawings from a diverse group of 19th-century American artists. Free.

Last Updated February 12, 2020