Intriguing acts make their way to Bovard

Visions and Voices, President C. L. Max Nikias’ brainchild and thriving pulse behind all spectacular and monumental events on campus, is a university-wide performing arts and social issues series.

Slammed · Javon Johnson will be returning to Bovard Auditorium, joined by such stars as We are Heroes and Kenton Chen for Visions and Voices’ SPARK! event, Thursday, Aug. 18, at 5:30 p.m. - Photo courtesy of Visions and Voices

Upcoming events lined up for the fall explore concepts of fusion and include comedy and ecstatic dance, film festivals, multi-vocal cultures in America, the Tim Burton Exhibition at LACMA, various operas and ballets on and off campus, an evening with director John Waters, a visit with Helen Hunt, women composers and Lisa Gay Hamilton onstage.

Fall semester’s event calendar is full of exotic flair as Visions and Voices will feature many events with an international spin.  This exclusive preview is merely a sampling from the skyscraper-sized calendar of events that Visions and Voices has put together this semester.


Thursday, Aug. 18, 5:30 p.m.


A sneak peak of Spark! unveils stars such as We Are Heroes, an all-female dance crew who won season four of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew; National Poetry Slam champion Javon Johnson, who is also a professor at USC; Kenton Chen music director and founding member of The Backbeats, an a cappella group that placed third on season two of NBC’s The Sing-Off; and two-time HBO Def Poet Joe Hernandez-Kolski.

Pick up a wristband at the event check-in starting at 4:30 p.m. on Trousdale Parkway in front of Bovard Auditorium. Seating is limited, so arrive early and stay after for the reception. Attendees will receive free Visions and Voices T-shirts and bags distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club featuring Omara Portuondo

Wednesday, Aug. 24,
6 p.m.


Visions and Voices will take to the Hollywood Bowl for the first time in its brief existence.  For this exciting moment of history, the world-renowned Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, along with acclaimed singer, Omara Portuondo, will emphatically hit the stage.

Expect a night of timeless music with these legends of Afro-Cuban music and culture, as well as photo projections of historic and present-day Cuba.  Available for USC students, sign up in advance for this exciting event.

Transportation will be provided by USC, but space is limited and an RSVP is required.

PIKA PIKA: Light-Animation Workshop

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 7 p.m.


An interactive, light-animation workshop by Japanese artists Kazue Monno and Takeshi Nagata, known together as TOCHKA, will engage its participants in using flashlights to paint colorful animations outside the School of Cinematic Arts.

Most notable for its award-winning experimental light-animation projects, TOCHKA brings its forward-thinking, progressive, new wave form of art to campus in hopes of engendering an unspoken language.

The modern duo hopes to share its passion to USC and inspire students to challenge themselves and break the boundaries of cultural, ethnic and linguistic differences via communication through art.

AMBULANTE Film Festival

Saturday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m.


This year AMBULANTE, a nonprofit that produces, distributes and exhibits documentaries in Mexico, will be coming to Los Angeles for the first time in its history.

Started by Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and Pablo Cruz in 2005, AMBULANTE is a promising film festival that showcases international documentaries that include releases and cult classics.  Check out the festival at McCarthy Quad to learn more about AMBULANTE and have a chance to watch four films that are sure to fuel discussion and provoke cultural thought.

Thai Town: A Culinary and Historical Tour

Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011.
9:45 a.m.


Los Angeles is not just hot for its Hollywood celebrities and nightlife but for its cuisine as well. With the largest Thai population outside of Thailand itself, East Hollywood is home to the world’s first and only Thai Town.

On this walking tour, exclusive to students, participants will visit the neighborhood and enjoy several shops and samples from local Thai restaurants with an authenticity that goes beyond the tried and true pad thai and chicken satay.


Measures of Humanity: An Evening with Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire

Friday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m.


For another of Visions and Voices’ signature events, Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire, who served as force commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, after Rwanda’s four-year civil war, will be coming to Bovard for a personal recount of his own dark experiences.

After its civil war, Rwanda became an unstable country, running rampant with crime and murder. Dallaire, however, persevered in the face of danger to help the innocent citizens of Rwanda that were struggling in peril.

Come to Bovard on Nov. 4, to appreciate a night of humanitarian excellence, and to learn how Dallaire is presently working to fortify human rights movements in countries like Sudan and Sierra Leone.

An Evening with Amiri Baraka

Wednesday, November 16,
7 p.m.


The campus center will be hosting Amiri Baraka, founder and participating poet and political activist of the Black Arts Movement, later this semester.

Baraka, one of the most tendentious writers of our time, will be taking part in an evening filled with poetry, performance and personal conversation.  Baraka’s dedication to his craft and his commitment to the Black Arts Movement has left a powerful and unique impression on the mission of Black Nationalism.

You won’t want to miss this extraordinary evening or the opportunity to celebrate Baraka’s presence at USC.


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