Bundle up, Lawrentians—Winter Term has arrived.
While we’ve all spent the last two years adapting to the twists and turns of the pandemic, Lawrence students, faculty, and staff have been hard at work to make sure this term will be something to remember. Here are 10 moments you won’t want to miss:
Note: Be aware that events could change amid pandemic protocols. Keep an eye on the Event Calendar for updates.
1. THE GREAT MIDWEST TRIVIA CONTEST
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a … sleep-deprived 21-year-old running around Main Hall Green wearing bright yellow? I don’t know, trivia gets weird. But that’s the fun of it! When the games begin at exactly 37 seconds after 10 p.m. on Jan. 28, the Great Midwest Trivia Contest will begin its 57th year and embark on another 50 hours of non-stop trivia, all streamed on Twitch. In-person components are to be determined. Stay tuned to the trivia blog at https://blogs.lawrence.edu/trivia/ for updates. In the meantime, study up, form your teams, and figure out your sleep schedule! There’s a reason why it’s the longest running college trivia competition in the world.
2. MOLIERE INSPIRED
If you’re a fan of French playwright Molière—or of Lawrence’s top-notch theater program—this one’s for you. In honor of Molière’s 400th birthday, Lawrence theater is going all out: first, with a production of Molière’s The Flying Doctor, and then with two Molière-inspired one-acts, Scapin’s Tricks: The Trial and A Misanthrope or All the World’s a Stage (and All the Men and Women Merely Players). The past will meet the present as we spend the evenings of Feb. 18-19 immersed in the French-translated Molière Inspired.
3. ALEXANDRA BELL CONVOCATION
When you Google the word “convocation,” the definition is focused on calling people together. And that’s what Lawrence’s convocation series is all about: the campus community is called together to explore an intellectually stimulating and vitally important societal topic. This term, the convocation will be led by the distinguished multidisciplinary artist Alexandra Bell. With work examining the ways in which media narratives shape discourse and policy surrounding race, politics, and culture, you can catch her convocation address on Feb. 18.
4. WINTER GALLERIES
A new year always blesses the campus community with a new collection of curated art work at the Wriston Art Center. With an opening set for later this week, three exhibits will be on display. The Leech Gallery will house “Manufacturing American Women,” a student-curated exhibit examining the connections between gender and consumerism in the early 20th-century. Over in the Kohler Gallery, “Crossing the Vertical Border: On the Central American Migrant Trail”* explores critical themes through the use of documentary photography paired with literary text.
And remember that Alexandra Bell convocation we just mentioned? Well, it gets even better. Select works from her “Counternarratives” series, which powerfully critiques the way in which harmful media narratives impact society, will be featured in the Hoffmaster Gallery.
* Note: This exhibition contains textual representations of both violence and sexual assault that some visitors may find upsetting.
5. ONE-ACT OPERAS
Two operas for the price of one! Well, for Lawrence students, faculty, and staff, admission is free, but you’ll still have the opportunity to see the award-winning opera program at work in two back-to-back one-act productions. Running March 3-6, the performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica is sure to leave you reaching for the tissues, while Benjamin Britten’s Curlew River will take you all the way back to biblical times as it constructs its own parable. After a year of virtual performances, this powerhouse of a show is the perfect welcome back to the theater for Lawrence’s singers.
6. GUEST PERFORMANCES
While there’s no shortage of talent within Lawrence University, it’s always nice to see some fresh faces—especially when those faces are of immensely talented, professional musicians. Lawrentians can see two guest performances this term: Nordic folk group Dreamers’ Circus on Jan. 31 as part of the World Music Series and contemporary classical group Third Coast Percussion on Feb. 4 as part of the Artist Series. Dreamers’ Circus will be in Harper Hall and Third Coast Percussion will be in Memorial Chapel. Both will be in person for Lawrence students, faculty, and staff. The public, meanwhile, will be able to purchase livestream tickets.
7. LUNAR NEW YEAR
You thought we were finished celebrating the new year? As a collaboration between Chinese Students Association, Vietnamese Culture Organization, Korean Culture Club, the Diversity & Intercultural Center, and the Office for Spiritual and Religious Life, the annual Lunar New Year celebration will be held on Jan. 29. With high-energy performances, an introduction to the tradition of the Lunar New Year, and special booths (and maybe gifts!) set up by the participating cultural clubs, this evening of fun provides the perfect opportunity to get involved and learn something new! Besides, who doesn’t want another chance to ring in the new year?
8. WINTER CARNIVAL AND PRESIDENT’S BALL
Ditch those snow boots and put on your dancing shoes! The music will keep you warm. The annual President’s Ball serves as the conclusion to a week full of winter-themed activities and games, as students dress to the nines, take some photos, and vibe to the sounds of the Big Band. Mark your calendars for Feb. 5. And watch the events calendar for information on other Winter Carnival happenings in the days leading up to President’s Ball.
9. STUDENT RECITALS
It wouldn’t be Lawrence without plenty of student recitals—like, nearly every day. Conservatory students are always showcasing their talents with the rest of the Lawrence community. If you’re ever looking for something to do on a Friday night, check the calendar to see which of your fellow students are performing and make sure to give them a standing ovation.
10. CULTURAL EXPRESSIONS
February is Black History Month, and Lawrence’s Black Student Union always works hard to create space for Black students to celebrate their roots and culture. With events planned throughout the month, including the annual Black Excellence Ball on Feb. 19, the celebration will culminate with Cultural Expressions on Feb. 26, which you definitely don’t want to miss.
In this cherished annual event, BIPOC students are given the platform to showcase their talent and their art, in whatever form it might take. Get inspired, and celebrate Black culture and history—no matter what month it is.