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On Thursday, March 1, from 5:30-7 p.m., the internationally acclaimed Elias String Quartet will take WorldCanvass inside the process of music-making. In a performance-filled program called Translating Music, members of the quartet and Elizabeth Oakes, director of the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program in the UI School of Music, will discuss what it takes to bring a piece to life by focusing on two themes—nationality in music and storytelling through music. WorldCanvass takes place at MERGE, 136 South Dubuque Street, and the program is free and open to the public. Please come early for a pre-show catered reception from 5-5:30 p.m.

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Contemporary African artist Eric Adjetey Anang, internationally renowned for the Ghanaian ‘fantasy coffins’ he and generations before him have created, has spent the fall 2017 semester as artist-in-residence at the UI Museum of Art. He will join UI faculty and African art scholars on the December 7 WorldCanvass in a program called “Art & the Afterlife.” WorldCanvass will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. at MERGE, 136 South Dubuque Street. The program is free and open to the public. Please come early for a pre-show catered reception from 5-5:30 p.m.

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WorldCanvass starts its ninth season by teaming up with Hancher and its Embracing Complexity project for a multi-layered program exploring the beauty of Islamic art and the diversity within Islamic cultures. Joan Kjaer hosts the program, which moves to a new location in the heart of downtown Iowa City—MERGE, at 136 South Dubuque Street. The live show takes place from 5:30-7 p.m. on Friday, September 29, and is free and open to the public. We invite you to come at 5 and join us for a pre-show catered reception!

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Cooking with firewood and other biofuels is one of the most urgent problems in the world today. It affects the health and wellbeing of those inhaling the fumes at close range, relies on increasingly scarce sources of firewood, and contributes over 20% of global black carbon emissions. The harm to individuals and the environment cannot be denied, and yet there’s little awareness of the issue among the general public. WorldCanvass host Joan Kjaer and a panel of experts drawn from multiple fields including engineering, urban and regional planning, public health, anthropology, and geography will discuss the use of traditional wood-burning cookstoves and the complex social and cultural underpinnings of the practice on the April 12 WorldCanvass, a highlight of the UI’s yearly Provost’s Global Forum. The public is invited to attend the April 12 discussion at the Voxman Music Building Recital Hall from 7:30-9:30 p.m. There will be a pre-show catered reception from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

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While immigrants have long fueled the American experiment, passionate debate about the pros and cons of immigration are nothing new. The rhetoric of recent national and local elections highlights tensions around changing demographics, inspiring debate about the impact of immigration on employment, on crime, and on community identity, while challenging the citizenry to examine their values and notions of what it means to be an American. On the next WorldCanvass, host Joan Kjaer and a diverse panel of guests will discuss the history of immigration in the Midwest over the past century and a half, as well as current questions about bilingualism, multiculturalism, and belonging and exclusion in times of international and domestic conflict. The public is invited to attend the free WorldCanvass discussion on Wednesday, March 8, from 7:30-9:00 p.m. in the Voxman Recital Hall.

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On the next WorldCanvass, we investigate adverse childhood experiences and the negative physical and mental health consequences children and adults with these experiences may face. If left unaddressed and untreated, the toxic stress of childhood adversity can have serious health repercussions throughout a lifetime. But important advances are being made in the recognition and treatment of health issues related to adverse childhood experiences, many of them led by physicians and researchers at the University of Iowa. WorldCanvass host Joan Kjaer will speak with experts from a wide range of health disciplines as well as child advocates from the Iowa City Community School District and Johnson County on February 20, from 7:30-9:00 p.m., when the topic is “Resilience Over Trauma.” The free event will be held in the Recital Hall of the Voxman Music Building. No tickets are required.

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The focus of the UI Theme Semester in spring 2017 is the Internet, the global system of connectedness that has literally made the world smaller. It enables the efficient processing of complex information, the transfer of knowledge and ideas beyond the borders of language and geography, technological advances few would have dared imagine possible mere decades ago, and rapid communication that can save lives, start a revolution, crowdfund research, and play to both our better and worse natures in interpersonal exchange. WorldCanvass guests will talk with host Joan Kjaer about “Our Lives Online” on January 17, from 7:30-9:00 p.m., in the Recital Hall of the Voxman Music Building. The public is invited to attend both WorldCanvass and the catered, pre-show reception (6:30-7:30 p.m.).

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Nationhood Redefined
What defines a nation, or a state? What’s the meaning of sovereignty, and how do communal or religious identity figure into demands for self-determination? The world community in 2016 appears to be a fractured place with aspirations to statehood like those we’ve seen in South Sudan and Palestine, as well as civil disruptions and realignments like those between Crimea, Ukraine, and Russia. Amidst all of this there are non-state actors like ISIS challenging sitting governments and established states. The 2016 Provost’s Global Forum, The Nation, the State, and the Global Redefinition of Self-Determination, will address these questions and more during a series of lectures and panel discussions on October 13-15. A highlight of the forum will be the October 15 WorldCanvass, which will be held for the first time in Des Moines at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center, from 5-6:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and begins with a reception at 4 p.m.

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Worldcanvass square Fracking and the Iowa Divide
New time, new location! Season eight of the television, radio, and internet program WorldCanvass will begin on Tuesday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m., in the newly-opened Voxman Music Building in downtown Iowa City. WorldCanvass guests will join host Joan Kjaer to discuss the controversial method of energy production known as fracking and its impact on the environment, social dynamics, and the economy. We’ll also explore through music, photography, and literature ways in which artists have documented transitions and grappled with the drumbeat of change. The public is invited to attend and no tickets are required. 

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WorldCanvass tackles informatics—also known as big data—on its final program of the 2015-2016 season. Guests from the diverse fields of computer science, medicine, sociology, public health, and geographical and sustainability sciences will discuss the proliferation of big data and their attempts to both understand and utilize this massive and, in many ways, untamed digital resource. “Big Data: Big Brother or Big Sister?” is the topic at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, at FilmScene. WorldCanvass is free and open to the public.

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