Performing and Visual Arts

The arts are an effective tool for peacemakers to use to raise the collective cultural, social, and political conscience. The Center for Peacemaking invites artists and thinkers to campus to share their work and foster the intellectual and creative habits required to develop more peaceful societies and a holistic world view.

Additionally, the Peacemakers student organization regularly hosts an Open Mic Night for Peace event in which students, staff, and community members perform songs, spoken word, and poetry.

Past Performances

13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance - Melissa Cardoza and Karla Lara

Melissa Cardoza’s book 13 Colors of the Honduran Resistance shares the stories of women who joined the resistance to the U.S.-backed 2009 coup d’etat. Cardoza, an afro-indigenous journalist, poet, writer and feminist organizer, lead the live performance of three stories from her book.

Karla Lara, a jazz/folk protest singer in Honduras, who is featured in the book also perform a few songs that have defined the Honduran resistance.

Black Lives Matter co-founder, Alicia Garza, calls the book a “must read.” She added, “These stories of bravery, of struggle and pain, and ultimately of a resilience rooted in a love for freedom will grip your heart.”

The Life and Legacy of Henry David Thoreau - Dr. James Mathew

This theatrical performance of dramatic readings brought to life the works and legacy of Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was an American poet, philosopher, polymath, abolitionist, naturalist, and transcendentalist who influenced Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He is best known for his book Walden and his essay Resistance to Civil Government.

Dr. James Matthew was the script writer, producer, and director. The cast included Robert Pavlik, Jacquelyn Ranallo, Patrick Kennelly, Anne Gorski, James Huston, Heather Ho, Paul E. Seifert, Harlan Petersen, Vicki L. Watkins, Scott Riedel, and Darren Schacht.

Unplugged: A Theatrical Rock Show to Combat Rape and Despair - Paul McComas and Maya Kuper

Paul McComas and Maya Kuper joined by Tim Buckingham and Mike Holden presented Unplugged, a one-hour program of scenes and songs to combat rape and despair, adapted from McComas' critically acclaimed novel.

This theatrical rock show told the story of troubled young alternative-rocker and rape survivor Dayna Clay, including her solitary journey into the wilderness of the South Dakota Badlands and her subsequent struggle to recover from depression, come to terms with her traumatic childhood, and secure a hard-won inner peace.

McComas is a Milwaukee native and two-time recipient of the Chicago Reader's "Critic's Choice" in Theatre & Performance. He has also published four other acclaimed books: Planet of the Dates, Unforgettable (a Silver Prize-winner at 2012's Midwest Book Awards),Twenty Questions, and Fit for a Frankenstein. He has also received the Mental Health Association's Distinguished Service Award.

Scribe of Social Conscience: Steinbeck Plus Seventy-Five - Paul McComas

(M)other: Panel and Play - Dr. Beth Osnes

Dr. Beth Osnes' performance explored what it might take for the mothers of one country to authentically care about the mothers and children of another country. The show’s opening describes a fictional program, called “Baby Swapping,” created by the United Nations to generate concern for the world’s children. In this small, limited pilot program, seven mothers from seven nations from around the world are required by their governments to swap their six-month-old babies with another mother from another nation for one month. What follows is an intimate look at one of these mother’s experiences and her eventual realization of her interconnectedness with these other mothers, their children, and their nations.

The post-show panel explored motherhood and peacemaking through a variety of lenses – nursing, journalism, psychology, and the performing arts. This inter-disciplinary panel consisted of Dr. Ana Garner, Dr. Beth Osnes, Dr. Karen Slattery and Dr. Leona Vande Vusse who discussed how their research contributes to how society approaches motherhood and peacemaking.

Emma's Revolution Concert - Pat Humphries and Sandy O

As part of the 2009 Peace and Justice Studies Association annual conference, the award winning duo of Pat Humphries and Sandy O (Emma's Revolution) performed at Marquette's Weasler Auditorium. In 2002 the duo won the grand prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.