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Summer Session Music and Films
Continue at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: June 27, 2007

Billy Krause Trio
Billy Krause Trio

EAU CLAIRE — The Billy Krause Trio will present a free outdoor concert Monday, July 9, highlighting a week of Summer Session Programs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The Music on the Mall show will run from 7-9 p.m. on the Central Campus Mall. Refreshments will be sold. Audience members are invited to bring blankets or folding chairs for lawn seating. Refreshments will be sold, and popcorn is free.

Since 1967, singer-songwriter Billy Krause has entertained audiences throughout the Midwest with his brand of folk music. He was influenced at an early age by such artists as Ritchie Havens, Dave Van Ronk, Danny O'Keefe and Gordon Lightfoot, and the results can be heard in the music he writes. His songs tell tales of broken hearts, new-found love and sometimes bring the darker side of the human condition to light. Whether it be the gravel-in-the-can, the holler of the boogie-woogie, or the soft croon of a ballad, the music makes you feel right at home.

Henry Aaron in 1952 with the Eau Claire Bears baseball team
Henry Aaron in 1952 when he played with the Eau Claire Bears baseball team. (contributed photo)

Combining documentaries with thoughtful dialogue, the Summer Cinema series will continue with "Henry Aaron's Summer Up North" (2005), screening Tuesday through Thursday, July 10-12. The film chronicles the first three months of Aaron's professional baseball career, when he played shortstop with the Eau Claire Bears in the summer of 1952. The 70-minute documentary will be shown at 7 p.m. all three evenings in Davies Theatre. Admission is free.

"Henry Aaron's Summer Up North" relates a largely unknown chapter of the home run king's life — his struggles, setbacks and successes in one important summer of minor-league baseball in Eau Claire. The documentary traces how Aaron bridged the cultural divide between growing up in the segregated South and, as a shy 18-year-old, starting his professional baseball career in the North. Using archival footage, still photos and stylistic recreations, "Henry Aaron's Summer Up North" showcases Aaron's experiences on and off the field by retelling and reliving moments with former teammates, friends and colleagues. Interviews with Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, UW-Eau Claire professor of history, provide context and perspective.

News wire editor and columnist for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Jerry Poling also appears in the film, which is based upon his book "A Summer Up North: Henry Aaron and the Legend of Eau Claire Baseball" (2002).

"You see people being interviewed, and you see them speaking with real emotion and conviction about what they thought of Aaron," Poling told Leader-Telegram reporter Dan Lyksett. "You see it in their eyes and in the statements they make. You have people bringing to life a perspective of what it was like to be black in Eau Claire in 1952. And even in the re-enactments, when you see Henry, there's no dialogue, the character is quiet, and that's the way Henry was too. I really think you come to understand what Eau Claire meant to Aaron, and what Aaron meant to Eau Claire."

"Henry Aaron's Summer Up North" was made by Milwaukee natives William Povletich and Joshua Adams. A filmmaker now based in Los Angeles, Povletich has contributed to many highly acclaimed films and TV programs. His projects have included "Inside Pol Pot's Secret Prison," an episode of the History Channel's "History Undercover" series that was nominated for two Emmy Awards in 2003 and was named Best Documentary in a Continuing Series at the prestigious International Documentary Association Distinguished Achievement Awards.

Joshua Adams has worked on five continents as a producer, director, video designer and director of photography. He has been recognized in the Rolling Stone special issue "Top 10 Concerts of the '90s" for his work with Beastie Boys on the 1999 world tour. He began his entertainment career as video designer and assistant director on Tina Turner's "Wildest Dreams" tour, and has since worked with Janet Jackson, Barenaked Ladies, Journey and others. He currently lives in Wauwatosa and is head of Mindpool Productions, overseeing the production of regular original programming featuring the NBA, Major League Baseball and NCAA.

Povletich and Adams both graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1994, receiving bachelor of arts degrees in radio, television and film.

The screening Wednesday, July 11, will be preceded by an informal discussion at 6 p.m., featuring the two filmmakers and author Jerry Poling. The discussion will take place in the Skylight Lounge of Davies Center. Free baseball-themed snacks and beverages will be provided.

At all showings of "Henry Aaron's Summer Up North," the Chippewa Valley Museum will sell copies of the film on DVD, Poling's book and Eau Claire Bears hats and t-shirts.

The Summer Cinema screening of "Henry Aaron's Summer Up North" was planned to coincide with the Eau Claire Express baseball team's Turn Back the Clock Night on July 14, at which two Northwoods League teams will pay tribute to the Northern League by wearing replica jerseys from the past. Saturday at 7:05 p.m. in Carson Park, the Eau Claire Express (as the 1952 Eau Claire Bears) will play the Duluth Huskies (as the 1961 Duluth Dukes). Ticket information is available online.

Funded by the students of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Summer Session Programs continue through Aug. 2. A complete schedule is available from the Activities and Programs office, Davies Center 133, 715-836-4833, or online.

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JS/KH

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