Centrum unveils new arts and lecture series

Tickets on sale now for “Communiversity”

Robin Bailey

Robin Bailey

PORT TOWNSEND — Tickets are on sale now for a new Centrum arts and lecture series that will begin in February.

“Communiversity” lectures are set for 5:30 p.m. one Monday per month from February through April and from September through November at various venues in East Jefferson County.

The series is designed “to inspire thought-provoking conversations, throughout our community, highlighting a wide range of topics affecting our world,” according to a Centrum press release.

Each 90-minute session will feature selected experts in dialog with journalists and reporters from Crosscut and KCTS public media.

Fifty ticket holders at each lecture can continue the discussion over dinner at participating restaurants.

Tickets are $25 each, or $100 for the event and dinner. Dinner guests will be seated in a designated block of seats in each venue. Otherwise, seating is general admission, not reserved seating.

Details and tickets can be found online at Centrum.org or by calling 360-385-3102.

Here is the schedule.

• Feb. 3 — Fred de Sam Lazaro in conversation with Knute Berger of Crosscut, Salish Coast Elementary School, 1637 Grant St., and Finistère, 1025 Lawrence St., both in Port Townsend.

De Sam Lazaro is the PBS NewsHour correspondent and executive director of the Under-told Stories Project at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

He has directed films from India and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the documentary series Wide Angle and has reported from more than 70 countries, aiming to provide a focus under-reported in mainstream U.S. media outlets.

In the inaugural lecture, Berger and de Sam Lazaro will discuss his current work documenting the myriad causes and consequences of poverty and the work of change agents addressing them.

Seating capacity is 300.

• March 9 — Srivani Jade and Ravi Joseph Albright in conversation with Wes Cecil of Peninsula College and Brangien Davis of Crosscut, Joseph F. Wheeler Theater, 200 Battery Way, and Alchemy Bistro and Wine Bar, 842 Washington St., both in Port Townsend.

Indian ragas were first envisioned by Hindus as a manifestation of the divine — a musical expression treated as god or goddess with its own intricate personality.

The art form has two foundational elements, raga and tala. The raga, based on swara (notes including microtones), forms the fabric of a melodic structure, while the tala measures time. The raga gives an artist a palette to build the melody from sounds, while the tala provides them with a creative framework for rhythmic improvisation.

Jade, a Hindustani vocalist, composer and world musician, will join Albright, master tabla artist and accompanist, in a discussion with Cecil of Peninsula College and Brangien Davis about the history of Indian classical music. The evening will feature a complete raga performed by an ensemble of professional musicians.

Seating capacity is 280.

• April 13 — Robyn Bailey in conversation with Ted Alvarez of Crosscut, Port Townsend High School, 1500 Van Ness St., Doc’s Marina Grill, 141 Hudson St., both in Port Townsend.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world contribute bird observations to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology each year, providing data on a scale once unimaginable. Scientists use these data to reveal how birds are affected by habitat loss, pollution, disease, climate and other environmental changes.

NestWatch, the Lab’s citizen-science project on nesting birds, has been monitoring nesting birds’ reproductive success since the 1960s. This long-term database is the nation’s richest source of information on avian reproductive biology.

Bailey, project leader, will join Alvarez in a discussion about current research, education and communication initiatives for NestWatch. They will talk about small things that can be done to help birds every day.

Seating capacity is 296.

• Sept. 21 — Richard Ross in conversation with Shaminder Dulai, multimedia journalist, Northwest Maritime Center, 431 Water St., Silverwater Café, 237 Taylor St., both in Port Townsend.

Ross is an internationally recognized photographer who has focused on the American juvenile justice system and social equity.

The recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Annie E. Casey and MacArthur foundations, Ross was awarded both Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships.

His most recent work, the In Justice series, turns a lens on the placement and treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them.

Dulai will join Ross in conversation about his life’s work, many books, and traveling exhibitions of the work while Ross collaborates with juvenile justice stakeholders, using the images as a catalyst for change.

Seating capacity is 230.

• Oct. 26 — Marian Maxwell in conversation with Alvarez, South Bay Club, 120 Spinnaker Place, Inn at Port Ludlow, 1 Heron Road, both in Port Ludlow.

Maxwell, past president of the Puget Sound Mycological Society, will explain the basics of mushroom collecting, including seasons for mushroom hunting, permits required, types of mushrooms to look for, cooking, dangers and where to hunt.

Maxwell studied mycology under the renowned Dr. Daniel Stuntz and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. She is now the outreach chairperson for the Puget Sound Mycological Society and has served as one of its lead identifiers, educators and scientific display chairpersons for over 20 years.

Alvarez will moderate a dialog between Maxwell and the audience about foraging for mushrooms.

Seating capacity is 220.

• Nov. 16 — Eric Dorfman in conversation with Berger, Old Alcohol Plant, 310 Hadlock Bay Road, Ajax Cafe, 21 S. Water St., both in Port Hadlock.

Dorfman, the director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, joins Berger to unveil the science, planning and the process of acquisitions for the museum’s upcoming 2021 exhibition, “Nature’s Rainbow,” illuminating diversity in gender and sexuality among fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals, including primates.

Dorfman will talk about how this diversity develops from the action of genes and hormones and how people come to differ from each other in body and behavior.

Seating capacity is 200.

Fred de Sam Lazaro

Fred de Sam Lazaro

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