Sunday, February 12
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm Eastern U.S. Time;
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Lagos Nigeria Time
Join social therapist Jennifer Bullock for an interactive presentation of the unique emotional support sessions offered as part of the Global Play Brigade movement. She will share the origins and practices of the Brigade’s emotional support sessions which sprung from young people in Nigeria and around the world requesting mental health support in the face of fighting against injustices and police brutality. The program quickly expanded to anyone of any age around the world wanting to experiment with creative ways to develop our emotional and social wellness with all of life’s struggles and experiences.
Maria Teresa Continanza
Saturday, February 18
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, Palestinian Time;
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, Argentina Time;
11:00 am – 12:30 pm, Eastern U.S. Time
Among the creative possibilities opened up by the pandemic lockdown have been new ways of using Zoom to create theatre across national borders and cultural divides. Theatre artist and English teacher Maria Teresa Continanza, working the British-based Hands Up Project, has brought together, on Zoom, elementary school children from her native Argentina with students from Gaza in Palestine to create and perform new theatre pieces. In this participatory workshop she will teach some of the remote theatre techniques they used, share a short play the children created, and have class participants improvise and perform a play your own.
Dr. Nick Gross, Allison McCarthy, Eric Powell, and Emma Lovett
Saturday, February 25, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, Eastern U.S. Time
Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered about the planets, the stars, the galaxies and the vastness of the universe? Join Dr. Nicholas Gross, senior research scientist at Boston University, as he leads a discussion with graduate researchers from the Astronomy Department of Boston University who work with observatories, spacecraft, and computer models. Their research includes work on Brown Dwarfs (substellar objects that are not massive enough to sustain nuclear fusion of ordinary hydrogen into helium), the Heliosphere (the giant magnetic field that envelops our solar system), and the atmosphere of Europa (one of Jupiter’s moons). They will share their backgrounds, what drew them to the stars, talk about the work they do and respond to your questions.
Dr. Dan Friedman
Saturday, March 11, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern U.S. Time
People all over the world become activists because they want to change things. To change things you need power. Yet the meaning of power is not clear. Think of the slogans we’ve grown up with: “Fight the Power,” “Power to the People,” “Power Corrupts.” Taken together they don’t make sense. If power corrupts, why would we want to give to the people? Do we want to corrupt them? Dan Friedman, program manager of Let’s Learn!, East Side Institute faculty member, lifelong progressive activist and author of the upcoming booklet, “What Is Power?,” invites you to this open-ended conversation about the nature of power, its relationship to authority and the various ways it being exercised around the world.
Saturday, March 18, 11:00 am -12:30 pm Eastern U.S. Time
Thanks to hip-hop, remixing—the art of combining or editing existing materials to create something new—has become a celebrated part of international popular culture. Although the term “remix” is new, the activity isn’t. Remixing has always been the key to innovation—artistic, scientific, and social/political. It is what creativity is all about—and it’s something we can all learn to get better at. This class, led by Gwen Lowenheim, an English professor at Pace University in New York City and a lifelong community organizer, will support you to develop your ability to remix with everything around you: your life experience, our 5,000 years of recorded history, the latest digital tools, etc. The class will play with a variety of remixing activities that we can put to use in all aspects of our lives—from developing new job skills to building creative partnerships, from writing poetry to approaching academic work.
Dr. Nadja Cech
Saturday, March 25, 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm Eastern U.S. Time
Nadja Cech grew up off grid in the Oregon Wilderness. She spent much of her childhood in the company of plants, drawing them, cultivating them in the garden, and making medicine from them. Those early experiences inspired in her a fascination with the relationship between plants and humans, a relationship that she eventually sought to understand more deeply by pursuing a PhD in chemistry. Today, Dr. Cech is Patricia A. Sullivan Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She works with an extraordinary group of students and scientists from around the globe to discover plant molecules that can be used to treat infectious diseases . In this class, she will share some historical examples of how plants have been turned into some of today’s most effective medicines. She will also tell the story of her own research on the medicinal plant echinacea, a story that illustrates the beautifully complex interactions between plants and the humans who cultivate and consume them. Participants are welcome to come with questions or with their own stories to share.
Dr. Nick Gross and Friends
Saturday, April 1, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern U.S. Time
Ever wonder why adding lemon juice or salt not only adds flavors to food, but also can have significant effects on the texture structure of the food? Why is kneading dough is important to the texture of bread, or how flour acts as a thickener? Dr. Nicholas Gross of Boston University will be joined by a guest chef to answer these questions and explore the science behind the chef’s favorite traditional dishes.
Ron Short and Ben Fink, Roadside Theatre
Tuesday, April 11, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
We all have stories to tell, many passed along to us by our parents, grandparents or the uncle who lives up the road or around the corner. These stories can provide us with identity, continuity and a sense of history. They help shape how we see ourselves and the world. They are one of the foundations of our culture(s). Join master storyteller, playwright, composer, musician and performer Ron Short as he tells stories drawn from his Appalachian heritage and helps you find ways to tell yours. Short has been a member of Kentucky’s Roadside Theater since 1979 and his stories have been the basis of many of the theatre’s plays. He will be joined by Ben Fink, a Roadside ensemble member, the founding organizer of the Letcher County Culture Hub and the Performing Our Future coalition. For more about Roadside Theatre’s newly published book of its plays, go to https://www.artinademocracy.org/about
Dr. Omar Ali, Dr. Lois Holzman, and Friends
Tuesday, April 18, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Eastern U.S. Time
Democracy is a word that gets thrown around a lot. Everybody claims to support it. But what does it mean? This conversation will explore democracy in a global context. Lloyd International Honors College dean Dr. Omar Ali and co-founder and director of the East Side Institute, Dr. Lois Holzman, will lead a conversation with democracy activists from different parts of the world about the various understandings and practices of democracy and how they’re developing (or not).
(Leadership Through Performance Activism)
Jorge Burciaga-Montoya, Miguel Cortes, Sandra Paola Lopez-Ramirez
Sabado/Saturday, Septiembre/September 10
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Hora del este EE.UU./ Eastern U.S. Time
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Ciudad Juarez-El Paso Time
¿Ha oído hablar del ‘Activismo Performativo,’ el nuevo enfoque lúdico y performativo para abordar cuestiones sociales, culturales y políticas? ¿Le gustaría conocer a estos activistas y aprender sobre lo que hacen y cómo repercute en sus comunidades? Entonces ven a esta primera clase de ¡Aprendamos! en español, en la que tendrás la oportunidad de dialogar con algunos de los que están experimentando con esta nueva forma de activismo en diferentes regiones hispanohablantes del mundo. Compartirán cómo han creado espacios performativos fuera de las limitaciones institucionales del teatro donde pueden surgir la creatividad, el desarrollo personal y grupal y la transformación social. Quién sabe, quizá usted también quiere llevar el activismo performativo a tu comunidad.
Have you heard about Performance Activism, the new playful, performative approach to engaging social, cultural and political issues? Would you like to meet such activists and learn about what they do and how it impacts on their communities? Then come to this first ever Let’s Learn! class in Spanish where you will have the opportunity to dialogue with some of those experimenting with this new form of activism in different Spanish-speaking regions of the world. They will share how they have created performative spaces outside of the institutional constraints of the theatre where creativity, personal and group development and social transformation can emerge. Who knows, maybe you’ll want to bring performance activism to your community as well!
Dr. Dan Friedman
Monday, September 12, 6:00 pm -7:30 pm, Eastern U.S. Time
Dan Friedman, the Artistic Director Emeritus of the Castillo Theatre in New York City, has long been active in progressive political and community-based theatre. He will introduce us to a new way of exercising power that is emerging around the world: Performance Activism. Not over determined by what it’s against, Performance Activism is a reconstructive approach to changing the world. It allows us, through play and performance, to generate new ways of seeing, build new kinds of relationships, and imagine new social and political possibilities. Over the last three decades, performance activists have brought play and performance into classrooms, workplaces, community centers, hospitals, prisons, and onto the streets. Dr. Friedman will unpack how and why Performance Activism has emerged—and why it’s important in a world facing so many crises. There will be ample time for questions and conversation.
Ethan Divon & Dr. Omar Ali
Monday, September 19
12:15-1:00 pm Eastern U.S. Time/2:15 am-3:00 am Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea Time
Ok, so if you want to get better at playing basketball, what do you do? Play basketball! If you want to get better at having conversations, or become a better learner, improve your grades, get a new job, win the lottery, go to the moon, or fly like an eagle into the future … come to Monday Play! That’s right, we invite you to join one of our weekly open improv sessions co-led by Ethan Divon and Omar Ali of Lloyd International Honors College at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Come practice ‘yes, anding’ with others—that is, build on what others say or do, and create new possibilities together. Zero humor and/or related skills required, just a willingness to play.
Purvi Sanghvi & Dr. Nick Gross
Saturday, September 24
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern U.S. Time/8:30 pm – 10:00 pm Mumbai Time
A physicist and an historian walk into a kitchen. The historian also happens to be a wonderful cook. The physicist is an innovative grassroots educator. What do you have? This class. Join Purvi Sanghvi, a graduate student in history at Georgia State University, and Nicholas Gross, senior research scientist at Boston University, for a cooking class … with a twist. Sanghvi will share her traditional family recipes from India, while Gross will discuss the science behind why these recipes work the way they do and what the benefits of the ingredients and cooking process are. It promises to be an informative and delicious class.
Qazi Abdur Rahman
Saturday, October 1
10:00 am – 11:30 am Eastern U.S. Time/8:00 pm – 9:30 pm Dhaka Time
Longtime educator Qazi Abdur Rahman of the Oxford International School in Dhaka, Bangladesh, leads us on a discovery of some of the greatest Bangla poets of all time. He will open the class with a brief introduction to Bangla literature, going back to its origins 1,500 years ago and tracing it to its modernist flowering in the 20th Century. The life and impact of five Bangla poets will be introduced and a poem from each will be performed in the original Bangla by Rahman’s students from Oxford and in English translation by Let’s Learn! class participants. The readings will be followed by reflection and discussion.
Dr. Jaime E. Martinez
Thursday, October 20th, 1:00 pm-2:30 pm Eastern U.S. Time
Let’s Learn! is all about bringing together people from all walks of life all over the world to share and create knowledge and culture together. Just how can we do that? This is a chance for students, teachers, and life-long learners of all sorts to get together and play with new possibilities for teaching and learning. Join Dr. Jaime E. Martinez, associate professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Sciences at the New York Institute of Technology, in this participatory workshop, inspired by teams working to explore educational needs and finding new ways of engaging them. No experience with formal education needed—just curiosity and a willingness to explore the unknown with others.
Arts Into Acts
Saturday, October 22
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern U.S. Time/4:00 pm – 5:30 pm London Time/6:00 pm – 7:30 pm Lesbos Time
The Greek island of Lesbos lies just 12 kilometers (7 miles) off the coast of Turkey. Since 2015, millions of refugees and asylum seekers, fleeing war, violence and political persecution have passed through the island seeking a better life. Thousands of people have lived in the Moria Refugee Camp, which Doctors Without Borders has called “the worst refugee camp in the world.” Initially many locals welcomed the refugees. However, in the years since, the political climate has grown divisive. Anti-migrant nationalism has grown and incidents of racism have become an everyday reality. At the same time, Mytilene, the capital city of Lesbos, has become a melting pot of cultures, languages, lives, and dreams. There young people have found ways to connect and create art and community. Through their art they responded to alienation, creating collective power and giving expression to a collective voice. Their arts became acts of solidarity and hope. During this session young people will share their arts and their acts, their journeys, and what inspired and maintained them. The session itself will become an act of support for their dreams. We will interweave conversation and performance, inviting the participants of the class to join us to co-create a world stage for their acts. The session will be hosted by Elena Boukouvala, dramatherapist, performance activist and action researcher who has worked and played in the camps and communities of Lesbos (and beyond) since 2016. The session is inspired by the action research project “Arts into Acts.”
Saturday, October 29
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Eastern U.S. Time/7:00 pm – 8:30 pm South African Time
In this participatory workshop, Alex Sutherland, the Coordinator of Creativity in Activist Education and acting Head of Programs at the Tshisimani Center for Activist Education in Cape Town, South Africa, will lead an exploration of the ways in which creativity and imagination are key to political and social activism. We will look at case studies from around the world that have used play, humor and creativity to re-imagine another world while voicing resistance to the status quo. There will be a special focus on Africa where liberation struggles have consciously embraced arts and culture in organizing and campaigning. Workshop participants will engage in simple activities that can build an artistic activist repertoire of resistance and imagination.
Dr. Syed Mizanur Rahman
Friday, November 4
9:00 am – 10:00 am, Eastern U.S. Time/7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Dhaka Time
Daffodil International University in Dhaka, Bangladesh has a policy of “One Student, One Laptop.” Each student is provided with a laptop so they can fully participate in 21st Century education and connect with the wider world. When the pandemic lockdown struck in 2020 and students needed to return to their home villages, they were asked by the university to take their laptops with them and to use them to generate curiosity and learning back home. In this conversation led by Dr. Syed Mizabur Rahman, director of the General Education Department at Daffodil, a group of returning students share their experiences and how it impacted on them and on their communities.
Daniel Maposa & Dan Friedman
Tuesday, November 15
10:00 am – 11:00 am, Eastern U.S. Time/4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Zimbabwe Time
Zimbabwe has a history of creative and combative political theatre stretching back to its War of Liberation in the 1970s. Daniel Maposa is the founder and leader of the Savanna Trust, one Zimbabwe’s most impactful political theatres. He has led its evolution from “hit and run” street theatre under the Mugabe dictatorship to the participatory performance workshops it generates today in villages all over the country. These workshops organize local residents to create their own interactive plays about issues of importance to them. Join Maposa in conversation with Dan Friedman, author of Performance Activism and Artistic Director Emeritus of New York’s Castillo Theatre, for a conversation about Zimbabwe’s political theatre—past, present and future.
Monica Carrillo & Nodia Mena
Thursday, February 17, 7:00pm – 8:30 p.m.
This sweeping presentation and conversation on the history, culture, and politics of Afro-Latin America will be given by Monica Carrillo, human rights leader, poet, and Grammy Award-winning Afro-Peruvian artist, and Nodia Mena, Garifuna (African and Indian-descended) cultural ambassador from Honduras, dancer, and educator based in North Carolina. Q&A with Carrillo and Mena will follow moderated by Omar Ali, historian of the global African Diaspora and Dean of Lloyd Honors College, University of North Carolina, Greensboro. The event is co-sponsored with the Greensboro Public Library and the African American & African Diaspora Studies Program at UNC Greensboro.
Saturday, February 26, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Join professional dancer and choreographer Valerie Green, artistic director of Dance Entropy, in this unique workshop which explores the complex and subtle relations between movement and emotionality. Words label what we know; movement can reveal the unknown. Starting with expressive movement exercises, Green will lead students on their own personal movement journey within a safe and nurturing environment. This workshop aims to find a physical expression to the feelings, whereby a healing process can begin. No previous dance experience needed. Wear clothing you can move in.
Nadja Cech & Omar Ali
Tuesday, March 1, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
When you think of science do you think of complex formulas or memorizing charts and tables or do you feel curiosity and the excitement of discovery? For Dr. Nadja Cech, Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, it’s the latter. Join her in conversation with historian Omar Ali, Dean of Lloyd International Honors College, to explore the joy and wonder to be found in the ongoing quest of discovering how the universe works by asking big and small questions, and drawing from all disciplines and approaches. The conversation is part of a class they regularly co-teach entitled “How do we know what we know?: Power, Epistemology, and Methodology.” The conversation is being co-sponsored by Cultivating Ensembles, which brings together individuals with different sensibilities and interests in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) to celebrate the interwoven nature of sciences, technologies, humanities, and arts as human activities.
Monday, March 7, 10:30 am – 11:45 am
“The heart of improvisation is transformation.” – Viola Spolin
Improvisation, the ability to actively listen, accept “offers” from fellow performers, and create something new together, is a vital life skill. Learn the basics of improv—group warm ups and “yes, and” scenes—from Marian Rich, a talented teacher, improvisational performer and co-founder of the Global Play Brigade. Since this is Improv for everyone, no experience necessary!
Raquell Holmes, Nick Gross, Martha McCoy & team
Saturday, March 12, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
When you ask a scientist a question, you may get an answer, but you may also get a question back. Have you ever wondered why the weather changes on Earth—or Mars? What makes water healthy, or not? How do vaccines work? What are “black holes”? Bring your questions to this conversation with scientists in physics, medicine, biology, mathematics, and computing. Discover how different scientists respond. Do scientists all think alike? How do they develop their ideas? We’ll create answers together with the essential tools of science: drawing, curiosity, and building with the contributions of others. Let’s develop our relationships to science and to one another.
Sanjay Kumar & Dan Friedman
Sunday, March 20, 9:30 am – 11:00 am
REGISTER HERE: https://uncg.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMof-CtrzwsHNDkgJF1UJHR6dEsHvgf8nD7
India has a rich and varied theatre history stretching back two thousand years. It also has one of the most wide-spread and deeply-embraced progressive political theatre movements in the world. Sanjay Kumar, who teaches theatre and literature at Hans Raj College of Delhi University and is founder and leader of the pandees, one of India’s most impactful political theatres, lives and breathes this history. Join him in conversation with Dan Friedman, author of Performance Activism and Artistic Director (Emeritus) of New York’s Castillo Theatre, for a conversation about India’s political theatre—past, present and future.
Dr. Wen Der Jan & Mei Hui Zhang
Friday, April 1, 9:00 pm – 10:30 pm.
Chinese medicine approaches health and illness from a different perspective than medicine in the West—and has much to offer a world that is seeking healing and wellness. Join Dr. Wen Der Jan and Mei Hui Zhang of the Ludi Community School in Taipei, Taiwan, for this introduction to the basic assumptions and methods of Chinese Internal Medicine. The class will be conducted in Chinese (Mandarin) with simultaneous English translation.
Sunday, April 10, 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Omar Ali & Dan Friedman
REGISTER HERE: https://uncg.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEqfuyspjMuHNaCiZX3nZgHOjslAalH_h9A
All over the world today—in the United States, Brazil, France, Hungry, the Philippines—anti-democratic, authoritarian and neo-fascist movements are being called “Populist” by the media and political pundits. Yet Populism started in the late 19th Century in the U.S. as a movement of poor farmers and workers to oppose the authority of the big corporations and their political parties. It was a movement for more democracy, not less. What has happened since and why this confusion? Dr. Omar Ali, Dean of Lloyd International Honors College, and author of the pioneering study, In the Lion’s Mouth: Black Populism in the New South: 1886-1900, in conversation with Dr. Dan Friedman of the East Side Institute, will discuss the history and significance of Populism and how and why its name is being misused today.
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed
Monday, September 20 – 6:30 pm–7:30 pm (US Eastern Standard Time)
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, will discuss Islam in Europe and around the world, and the challenges of immigration and identity with Dr. Omar Ali, Dean of Lloyd International Honors College at UNC Greensboro. One session.
WATCH RECORDED EVENT BY CLICKING HERE
Sundays, September 26 and October 3 – 12:00 pm–1:30 pm (US Eastern Standard Time)
Over the past decades, street art has evolved from an illegal and persecuted street activity by youth, mainly young men, to a celebrated art form around the world. This class will explore the history and politics of street art. We will be viewing all forms of street art, including graffiti, murals, stenciling, wheat pasting, tagging, and bombing. We will explore the question of what is art and who gets to answer that question. The class will include videos of street artists speaking about their work. Topics for discussion will include: street art as a tool for democratizing art, graffiti vs. street art, the commodification of street art, the relationship between street art and gentrification, women and LGBTQ+ street artist, street art as a tool for community development and other topics. Students will be encouraged to go out street art hunting and to bring photos of street art to the second class. Two sessions.
Henry Ferris & Susan Massad, M.D.
Wednesdays, September 29 and October 6 – 2:00 pm–3:30 pm (US Eastern Standard Time)
Writing your own story is exhilarating, thrilling, nerve-wracking and cathartic. Emotions run high and the drama is real. In this two-part class, you will discover the skills needed to unfold a narrative, realize characters, compose dialogue and find the words that tell the story inside you in a compelling way. Veteran book editor Henry Ferris and veteran writing teacher Susan Massad will provide you with tips and pointers to help you focus on the right tale, the themes you want to explore, and proven methods for making it all come alive on the page. You will write during class and receive guidance on how to improve and keep going forward with your writing. Join us and bring your story out to the world! Two sessions. Enrollment limited to 30 students.
Monday, October 18 – 10:30 am–11:45 am (US Eastern Standard Time)
“The heart of improvisation is transformation.” – Viola Spolin
Improvisation, the ability to actively listen, accept “offers” from fellow performers, and create something new together, is a vital life skill. Learn the basics of improv—group warm ups and “yes, and” scenes—from Marian Rich, a talented teacher, improvisational performer and co-founder of the Global Play Brigade. Since this is Improv for everyone, no experience necessary! One session.
Jazmin Graves, Ph.D.
Tuesday, October 19 – 6:00 pm–7:15 pm (US Eastern Standard Time)
Dr. Jazmin Graves, Assistant Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies (AADS), who recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago will discuss her research on the communities of African-descended people in India with Dr. Omar Ali as part of this AADS Conversation with the Community/Let’s Learn! initiative. One session.
Thursday, October 21 – 12:00 pm–1:00 pm (US Eastern Standard Time)
An accomplished stage performer and co-founder of Global Play Brigade: Play it Forward. Change our World, Cathy Salit will discuss her work using play and performance to help build a global community of ‘players’ during the pandemic … and beyond! The session will include practical (playful) tips on performing that can help everyone be more creative and connect with others. One session.
Friday, October 22 – 6:30-7:15 pm (US Eastern Standard Time)
“The Crisis” is an opera based on an unfortunate and all-too-common experience in a NYC emergency room.
Singers: Sishel Claverie, Tomas Cruz, Gabriel Hernandez, Joshua Jeremiah, Emily Suuberg
Piano: Dima Glivinskiy
Creating the opera changed everything. Come hear this beautiful musical piece and join us in the conversation that follows.
Raquell Holmes, Ph.D. and Colleagues
Saturdays, October 30 and November 6 – 1:00 pm–2:30 pm (US Eastern Standard Time)
Have you ever wondered about why the weather changes on Earth—or Mars? What makes water healthy, or not? How do vaccines work? What are “black holes”? Do scientists all think alike, or do they have disagreements? Bring your questions to this two-part conversation with a physicist, chemist, biologist, mathematician and computer scientist. We’ll create and answer questions together in ways that challenge our relationships to science and to one another. Two sessions.