Thursday August 8, 2013


A year-long, campuswide initiative will combine events, courses and discussions to understand the power of the arts to create change.

When Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring made its debut before a crowd of Parisian ballet-goers in 1913, it created a fervor among an audience unaccustomed to the wild, pounding rhythms he used to convey themes of renewal and rebirth.

Turns out Stravinsky was ahead of his time. A few decades later, Walt Disney used Rite in the score for the 1940 film Fantasia, which continues to provide an introduction for many to the composition that transformed the art world.

The 100th anniversary of Rite of Spring will provide the inspiration for the University of Dayton's yearlong exploration of human rights and the role of the arts in human development during the 2013-14 academic year. Taking its name from Stravinsky's work, "Rites.Rights.Writes" is a campuswide initiative to encourage reflection, discussion and understanding of the power and influence of the arts to create ideas and promote new perspectives on what it means to be human.

"Rites.Rights.Writes" provides more than just an opportunity to expose a large number of students to a great work of Western art, said Richard Chenoweth, Graul Endowed Chair in the Arts and Languages. Discussions and performances of Stravinsky's work will intertwine with other University initiatives throughout the year, inviting faculty, students and the community to consider questions such as how the arts shape perceptions of social issues and how arts create cultural, political and personal change.

The yearlong initiative is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, Graul Chair for the Arts and Languages, University of Dayton Speaker Series, Center for International Programs, University of Dayton Arts Series, office of multicultural affairs, ArtStreet and campus ministry.

The following is a list of key events in the first two months of the initiative, called "First Rites," which includes performances by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, a human rights conference, and a concert featuring Peter Buffett. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. The entire schedule for the program, including a short video, can be viewed at the Rites.Rights.Writes page under the related link.

Sept. 21
"Rocktoberfest is Playing for Change"
6-11 p.m. ArtStreet Amphitheatre (corner of Lawnview Avenue and Kiefaber Street)
Observe National Playing for Change Day with live performances from University of Dayton student musicians.

Sept. 22
"The Rite of Spring and Its Legacies: Global and Regional Perspectives"
2-5:30 p.m. Sears Recital Hall, Jesse Philips Humanities Center
Igor Stravinsky's familiar score for The Rite of Spring will be featured in a dynamic solo performance by adjunct professor of music Ingrid Keller, with presentations by leading scholars of fashion, ballet, music, set design and painting.
Free admission, but tickets required, visit the Kennedy Union box office at

Sept. 23
"Stravinsky, Faith and Revolution: Intersections of Arts, Culture and Human Rights"
7 p.m. Kennedy Union Boll Theatre
Engage in a wide-ranging discussion about the cultural and artistic expressions of critical human rights issues facing societies across the globe. Panelists include maestro Neal Gittleman of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Miguel Díaz, University Professor of Faith and Culture, and Mark Ensalaco, associate professor of political science and director of human rights research, with College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Benson as moderator and remarks by University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran.

Sept. 26-28
The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in concert
8-10 p.m., Schuster Center for the Performing Arts, 126 North Main St.
Sept. 26 and 28: "Russian Rites"
The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra in concert performing "Russian Rites," featuring Alexander Toradze on piano. The program includes Stravinsky's Fireworks, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3, and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring.
Sept. 27: Classical Connections: "Igor Stravinsky and His Rite of Spring"
Hosted by conductor Neal Gittleman, a behind-the-scenes look at the life of Igor Stravinsky and his transformational composition, The Rite of Spring.
Events are open to the public. Visit the DPO website for ticket information at

Sept. 27 through Oct. 31
"The One and the Many: Art & Human Rights"
Gallery 249, College Park Center, 1529 Brown Street
Opening Reception: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 5-7 p.m. (Artist's talk at 6 p.m.)
From a bustling beach on the Turkish coast to the somber interiors of abandoned schools on an Oklahoma Seminole reservation, this exhibit examines notions of human dignity from multiple perspectives. Are human rights pre-political or are they the artifacts of laws and institutions? Do they belong only to individuals or also to groups? How can we re-vision and de-center human rights to more broadly address the human condition for both the self and the community? This exhibition brings together an international roster of artists whose works speak, each in its own idiom, to human capability and the pursuit of both happiness and social justice. Curated by Glenna Jennings.

Oct. 3
"Speaking Up in Concert: 20th Century Composers Take on Human Rights"
8 p.m. Kennedy Union Boll Theatre
General admission is $20; $15 for University of Dayton faculty, staff and alumni; $10 for University of Dayton students and youth.
Maestro Neal Gittleman leads the Dayton Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra back to campus for the first time in 40 years with heady works that speak to the challenging issues of human rights. Featured will be Dmitri Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony #1, composed initially as a guitar quartet during a trip to Dresden in 1960 and dedicated "in memory of the victims of fascism and war." Gittleman will also conduct a rare performance of Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together/Attica. Written in response to the 1971 Attica, N.Y., prison uprising, this dramatic work incorporates a spoken text written by an inmate killed during the riot. The evening will invite audience members to "speak up" in response to the music as well as the commentary provided by Gittleman.

Oct. 3-5
"The Social Practice of Human Rights: Charting the Frontiers of Research and Advocacy"
University of Dayton River Campus, 1700 South Patterson Blvd.
An international conference for human rights scholars and practitioners to bring about greater self-reflection and constructive critique within the human rights movement. This conference is the academic component of a campus-wide initiative on human rights and the arts.
This event is open to the public. Registration for the weekend is $200 and includes meals. Discounts will be available to emerging scholars and graduate students. For more information, visit

Nov. 12
"Life Is What You Make It: A Concert & Conversation with Peter Buffett"
7 p.m., Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St.
Tickets: $10
A multimedia presentation that takes the audience on a journey with artist and philanthropist Peter Buffett from his discovery of the piano to writing music for commercials and film, and then on to how his current philanthropic work with the NoVo Foundation has ultimately influenced his songs and life. Accompanied by cellist, Michael Kott. The mission of the NoVo Foundation is to foster a transformation from a world of domination and exploitation to one of collaboration and partnership. Book signing immediately following. Visit

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communications, at 937-229-3256 or