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Arts educator, scholar Freddi Evans to visit campus, community April 25-27

April 17, 2012

Editor's note: For more information about Freddi Evans' April 25-27 visit or to arrange interviews, contact Lee Anna Rasar at 715-836-4260 or rasarla@uwec.edu.

EAU CLAIRE — Award-winning author and musician Freddi Evans will give a series of public presentations at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire during an April 25-27 visit to campus. Evans also will spend time in the Eau Claire community interacting with incarcerated youth and adults, and visiting with volunteers at a local hospital, nursing home and jail.

Evans — an arts educator, administrator and independent scholar — lives and works in New Orleans, La. She is the author of "Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans," winner of the 2012 Humanities Book of the Year Award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. With a focus on songs, dances and instruments in New Orleans musical performances, her book answers many questions about Congo Square and New Orleans history.

"Broadening diversity is one of the areas of value that our university has espoused," said Lee Anna Rasar, professor of music therapy. "This book addresses that value, as it provides a comprehensive view about this historical place and its people, and the influences, roles and meaning of their music."

Evans also has written three historically based children's books and has worked as a music therapist at a juvenile detention center.

"As a black author who has repeatedly traveled to Africa to research the history related to Congo Square, Freddi brings a rich personal perspective from which we can learn," Rasar said.

During her visit to UW-Eau Claire, Evans will give several presentations to university classes. These events are open to the public:

  • "Folk Music in the U.S." class, 2-3:15 p.m. April 25, Haas Fine Arts Center, Room 160. Evans' book "Congo Square" is one of the texts required for the course.
  • "Voices of Color in America" Honors class, 3:25-4:15 p.m. April 25, Hibbard Hall, Room 705. Evans will discuss News Orleans' influence on American musical culture.
  • "Music History" class, 9:30-10:45 a.m. April 26, Haas Fine Arts Center, Room 159.
  • "Modern Dance" class, 11-11:30 a.m., April 26, Haas Fine Arts Center, Room 190.
  • "African American Civil Rights" class, 12:30-1:05 p.m. April 26, Hibbard Hall, Room 321.
  • "Evolution of Jazz" class, 1:15-1:50 p.m. April 26, Haas Fine Arts Center, Room 160.
  • "African American Literature" class, 2-3:15 p.m. April 26, Hibbard Hall, Room 323. Evans will discuss New Orleans music and the African influence over popular music.

Evans also will visit the following community venues, collaborating with Rasar during the visits:

  • Syverson Lutheran Home and Sacred Heart Hospital event, 6 p.m. April 25. Evans will meet with staff and volunteers from Syverson Lutheran Home and Sacred Heart Hospital to discuss music from New Orleans and how to use music to help others.
  • Northwest Regional Juvenile Detention Center, 7-9 p.m. April 26. Evans will join the music therapy anger management program. She will use the history of Congo Square to explain how to use music for expression and support in negative situations.
  • Eau Claire County Jail sessions, one with male inmates and one with female inmates, 2:10-5 p.m. April 27. UW-Eau Claire students in a music therapy internship class will join Evans for these presentations.
  • Eau Claire County Jail event, 6:30 p.m. April 27. Evans will discuss applications from the uses of music in Congo Square for assisting inmates with using music in a healthy way for emotional expression and support.

Evans' visit is made possible through a grant from the UW-Eau Claire Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and is sponsored by the departments of English and music and theatre arts.

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OJ/JP/DW

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