‘This American Life’ host to speak on arts and culture

By Sarah Cooksey—Its is said that most learning takes place outside the typical classroom, so the Hunter Lecture series has been held anywhere but there. This

 Contributed photo by Jaimie Davis, University Relations  Speak up: Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J., speaks about community building during the 2010 Hunter Lecture Series in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall at UTC.
Contributed photo by Jaimie Davis, University Relations
Speak up: Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J., speaks about community building during the 2010 Hunter Lecture Series in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall at UTC.

month, the series will showcase Ira Glass, host and producer of radio show “This American Life.”

Glass will be presenting his lecture on arts and culture on Sunday, April 7 at 4 p.m. at the Tivoli Theater.

Sara Bixler, the Event Services Manager for “This American Life,” said the show is a syndicated radio show featuring a specific theme to each episode that tells stories from fiction to nonfiction or anything in between.

She said Glass will discuss the radio show and the process of its creation, including the discovery of the stories and watching them come alive.

“It’s hard to make something that’s interesting,” Glass said. “It’s really, really hard. It’s like a law of nature, a law of aerodynamics, that anything that’s written or anything that’s created wants to be mediocre. The natural state of all writing is mediocrity. So what it takes to make anything more than mediocre is such an act of will.”

The Benwood Foundation, committed to expanding knowledge about the arts and culture, education, environment, and community building, partners with UTC annually to produce the George T. Hunter Lecture Series, which brings leaders and innovative thinkers to Chattanooga, according to the Benwood Foundation website.

The series, named after the Benwood Foundation’s founder, strives to teach Chattanooga through the eyes of others and was created for the purpose of generating knowledge about local issues in order to strengthen our community, according to the website.

DJ Sherrit, a Chattanooga sophomore, said learning from others outside of our day-to-day college student lives presents an innovative opportunity for students to hear different perspectives on various issues from well informed, experienced people.

The 2012-2013 Hunter Lecture series has featured a variety of topics and speakers, including former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, who spoke on redefining the education practice and Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times writer and reporter Thomas Friedman, who expressed his views on community development in November.

Recently, Will Allen, winner of the MacArthur “Genius” Award, discussed his support for urban faming and the positive socioeconomic impacts it has.

Clifton Burriss, a Chattanooga senior, said he was in attendance for Allen’s lecture on urban farming and said the series is a great opportunity for students.

“The dialogue was insightful,” Burriss said. “Not only do you get quality information, but you can interact and learn more.”

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