Things to Do at Penn State: Sept. 23-30

A selection of virtual and in-person cultural events happening at the University this weekend and next week

En Garde Arts' production of "Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes)" will occur at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 at Eisenhower Auditorium on the University Park campus. Credit: Maria BaranovaAll Rights Reserved.

What's happening at Penn State? Here's a look at some of the cultural events — both in-person and virtual — taking place across the University this weekend and next week:


Phil Vassar's Piano Bar — 7:30 p.m., Sept. 26, Pullo Center, Penn State York. Country music star Phil Vassar will play his hits, along with covers from his favorite icons.

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"Sept. 28-Oct. 9, Playhouse Theatre, University Park campus. Penn State Centre Stage presents the Tony Award-winning play based on the novel by Mark Haddon. Sensory-friendly performances will be hosted on Oct. 3 and 9. 

"Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes)"7:30 p.m., Sept. 30, Eisenhower Auditorium, University Park campus. En Garde Arts' production is inspired by interviews with undocumented Lantinx immigrants and takes the form of a fandango, a community celebration in which stories are brought to life through music and dance.


2021 Emily Dickinson Lecture: Alicia Ostriker 7:30 p.m., Sept. 23, via Zoom. Multiple award-winning poet and critic Alicia Ostriker will deliver this year''s Emily Dickinson Lecture. Free, but registration required.

Department of Geography Coffee Hour: Rajashree (Tri) Datta4 p.m., Sept. 24, 112 Walker Building, University Park campus. Rajashree (Tri) Datta, research associate in the Ice Sheets and Climate Group in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder, will present "Extreme events on the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets." Free.

John M. Anderson Endowed Lecture Series: Guadalupe Maravilla3 p.m., Sept. 27, via livestream. Maravilla traces the history of the displacement of Central Americans and interrogates the parallels between pre-Columbian cultures and border politics. Free, but registration required.

Pauline Schmitt Russell Research Lecture: David Almeida4 p.m., Sept. 29, via Zoom. David Almeida, professor of human development and family studies and a faculty member with the Center for Healthy Aging, will present "Health as a Daily Experience: Lessons from 42,243 Days of U.S. Adults." Free.

Evening Talk Series: Barrett Scroggs 7:30 p.m., Sept. 29, via Zoom. Barrett Scroggs, assistant professor of human development and family studies at Penn State Mont Alto, will present "Into the thick of it: Reclaiming the great outdoors for ALL." Free.

"A Briefing with Black Leaders: A Conversation with Black Women Who Serve as Law School Deans" 12:45 p.m., Sept. 30, via Zoom. The event will explore the benefits of having Black women in academic and legal spaces and the challenges experienced by Black women in these spaces. Free, but registration required.


Community Fandango 6 p.m., Sept. 28, Dr. Martin Luther King Plaza, South Fraser Street, State College. The cast and creative team of "Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes)" will lead a traditional community celebration in which attendees are invited to participate. Free.

Virtual exhibits

"African Brilliance and the Purpose of Art" — This interactive virtual tour accompanied the Palmer Museum of Art’s spring 2020 special exhibition "African Brilliance: A Diplomat’s Sixty Years of Collecting" and will remain available throughout the current academic year. Explore the exhibition installation, images of selected works, videos for guided viewing and related art-making activity suggestions. Free.

"Celebrating the ADA: The Legacy and Evolution of Disability Rights and Lived Experiences at Penn State" — The University Libraries virtual exhibit explores the first 100 years of national disability rights legislation and the movement's impact on the Penn State community. Free.

"Global Asias: Contemporary Asian and Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundations" — This web-based, interactive program from the Palmer Museum of Art features guided video tours of selected exhibition artists in addition to an introductory overview by the curator. Learn about the “Global Asias” concept of personal and cultural identity in a contemporary world. Artists featured include: Jacob Hashimoto, Dinh Q. Lê, Hung Liu, Takashi Murakami, Roger Shimomura, Do Ho Suh, and Rirkrit Tiranvanija. Free.

"Pandemic Spaces (1918 Edition)" — The University Libraries virtual display explores how architecture related to the devastating influenza epidemic of 1918. Free.

"Who Am I? Art and Identity" — This self-directed, interactive, online tour features a selection of objects from diverse areas of the Palmer Museum of Art’s collection, related through a common exploration of personal or cultural identity. Free.

"Women in Art: Activism + Resistance" — This self-directed, interactive, Palmer Museum of Art online tour is intended for college-level courses and features a selection of objects by female artists in the museum’s collection. In celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, this tour highlights artists working in a variety of mediums during the 20th and 21st centuries who have contributed to political, social, and cultural change. Free.

In-person exhibits

"I50LATION" Through Oct. 1, Zoller Gallery, Visual Arts Building, University Park campus. The traveling exhibition features a portfolio of 50 drawings by 50 women sculptors created during the COVID-19 pandemic. Free.

"Private Domain" — Through Oct. 8, McLanahan Gallery, Misciagna Family Center for the Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona. “Private Domain” is a series of narrative paintings which blend symbolism from mythology and alchemy.  In recent years this series has increased in complexity to push the viewer to question what is revealed and what is concealed within the piece, allowing them to conclude multiple interpretations from the visual transformations within the work. Free.

Nishiki Sugawara-Beda — Through Oct. 8, McLanahan Gallery, Misciagna Family Center for the Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona. Sugawar-Beda’s work is inspired and established by Japanese calligraphy, which served as a gateway for her to understand her culture and the overall deeper meanings of existence. Through her work, she encourages the viewer to connect to themselves on a deeper level. Free.

"Wind Spirits" — Through Nov. 20, Art Alley, HUB-Robeson Galleries, University Park campus. Wind Spirits" is an exhibition of artists Tatiana Arocha, Deirdre Murphy and Rachel Sydlowski, considering the power and delicacy of Earth’s avian creatures and the larger implications that duality poses for human roles in the natural world. Free.

"Ukiyo-e: Images of the Floating World, Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Permanent Collection" — Through Dec. 5, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park campus. The art of ukiyo-e flourished in Japan during the Edo period (1615-1867). Period artists specializing in genre scenes, portraits of actors and courtesans, and later, landscape, in a manner that reflected the most contemporary fashions and attitudes, their work became known as ukiyo-e, or “pictures of the floating world.” Free.

"Blackout Poetry" — Through Dec. 10, campus library, Penn State Fayette. “Blackout Poetry" is a creative way to bring new meaning to any written text and make it your own. Redact words in order to create a one-of-a-kind piece. All entries will be displayed in the campus library. Free.

"Patchwork Voices Community Collection" — Through Dec. 10, Coal and Coke Heritage Center, campus library, Penn State Fayette. The Patchwork Voices Community Collection is one of the Coal and Coke Heritage Center's unprocessed collections. Unprocessed means that a traditional finding aid has not been created for researchers to access materials. The collection consists of smaller, family collections. Visitors will find materials such as photographs, letters, recipes, mining certificates, newspapers, magazines, Union materials, clothing and mining tools. Free.

"Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II" — Through Dec. 10, campus library, Penn State Fayette. The exhibit examines the complicated history and impact of Executive Order 9066 that led to the incarceration of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Free.

"Celebration of Trees" — Through Dec. 12, Henry Gallery, Penn State Great Valley. The presentation hosts photographs, prints, paintings and mixed media works. All of the artists are inspired by the architecture of trees themselves, formative memories, the experience of being in nature, and environmentalism. To support improved environmental policies and draw attention to climate change, they manifest a connection to the earth and an understanding of the importance of forests. Free.

"Global Asias: Contemporary Asian and Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation" — Through Dec. 12, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park campus. This web-based, interactive program features guided video tours of selected exhibition artists in addition to an introductory overview by the curator. Learn about the “Global Asias” concept of personal and cultural identity in a contemporary world. Free.

"Place to Place: Recent Gifts of American Drawings and Watercolors, 1900-1950" — Through Dec. 12, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park campus. "Place to Place" offers a jaunt around America in the first half of the 20th century. From New York to New Mexico to New Orleans, a range of sites in several different media are gathered to explore notions of place. International locales represented include Belgium, England, France, Germany and Morocco. Free.

"Documenting the Moment: A Visual Journal"  Through Dec. 31, Ronald K. DeLong Gallery, Penn State Lehigh Valley. The exhibit features a collection of artist Jason Travers’ ink and graphite drawings that capture what he’s seeing in real time at a particular moment The gallery is also showcasing student works depicting significant moments shown from various perspectives. Free.

"Lost Bird Project" — Through Jan. 26, 2022, exhibition cases, HUB-Robeson Galleries, University Park campus. "Lost Bird Project" consists of five sculptural monuments to extinct bird species. Conceived by artist Todd McGrain, the "Lost Bird Project" recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing the five most recently extinct North American birds. Free.

"Why Biodiversity Matters" — Through Jan. 26, 2022, exhibition cases, HUB-Robeson Galleries, University Park campus.  "Why Biodiversity Matters" includes avian research and educational materials from Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and Penn State’s Wildlife and Fisheries program. Free.

"Altar" — Through Jan. 30, 2022, exhibition cases, HUB-Robeson Galleries, University Park campus. Kiana Honarmand’s installation in the exhibition cases utilizes text from the poem “Gift” by Iranian feminist poet Forough Farrokhzad to pay homage to the history of hiding critical commentary in Persian poetry and visual arts.

Last Updated September 22, 2021