Indiana University

News Release

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Last modified: Thursday, February 19, 2009

Maya Angelou visit highlight of IU's 25th Annual ArtsWeek celebration

  1. Print this page

WHAT: Maya Angelou appearance
WHEN: March 1
WHERE: IU Auditorium, 1211 E. Seventh St.
TICKETS: FREE and available to be picked up at the IU Auditorium box office beginning Monday, Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call (812) 855-1103.

Feb. 19, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In one of the signature events of Indiana University's 25th Annual ArtsWeek, the legendary author Maya Angelou will appear at IU Auditorium in Bloomington on March 1 at 7 p.m.

Free general admission tickets will be distributed to IU students, faculty, staff and members of the community beginning on Monday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m. at the IU Auditorium Box Office until all tickets have been distributed.

"Maya Angelou has a rare ability to help us re-imagine our lives as she reveals her own journey to live a life with meaning," said Sherry Knighton-Schwandt, coordinator of ArtsWeek. "She is a quintessential poet, historian, author, civil-rights activist, and playwright, one of the great voices of contemporary American literature. We are honored to welcome her to the stage on March 1 and delighted to offer this ArtsWeek signature event to the community."

"In collaboration with ArtsWeek, IU Auditorium is proud to continue the tradition of providing an opportunity for important voices to be heard on our campus and in our community," said Doug Booher, director of IU Auditorium. "Dr. Angelou's presentation will certainly prove to be an engaging and thought-provoking conclusion to the stellar ArtsWeek lineup."

Born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Angelou was raised in segregated rural Arkansas. Today, she lectures throughout the U.S. and abroad and is a lifetime Reynolds professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University in North Carolina (since 1981).

Angelou has authored 12 best-selling books and numerous magazine articles, earning Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award nominations and more than 30 honorary degrees. In 1993, Angelou became the second poet in U.S. history to have the honor of writing and reciting an original work ("On the Pulse of Morning") at Bill Clinton's presidential inauguration. The recognition from that event resulted in a "Best Spoken Word" Grammy award.

In the '60s, at the request of Martin Luther King, Jr., Angelou became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Angelou was among the first African American women to hit the bestseller lists with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, a chronicle of her life up to age 16 that was published to great acclaim in 1970.

She was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the National Commission on the Observance of International Woman's Year and by President Gerald Ford to the American Revolutionary Bicentennial Advisory Council. She is on the board of the American Film Institute and is one of the few female members of the Director's Guild.

In the film industry, through her work in script writing and directing, Angelou has been a groundbreaker for black women. In television, she has made hundreds of appearances. She has written and produced several prize-winning documentaries, including Afro-Americans in the Arts, a PBS special for which she received the Golden Eagle Award. She was also nominated for an Emmy Award for her acting in Roots, and her screenplay Georgia, Georgia, which was the first by a black woman to be filmed.

In theater, she produced, directed and starred in Cabaret for Freedom in collaboration with Godfrey Cambridge at New York's Village Gate; starred in Genet's The Blacks at St Mark's Playhouse; and adapted Sophocles' Ajax, which premiered in Los Angeles in 1974.

IU Auditorium

Since opening its doors in 1941, IU Auditorium has served as a university and community gathering place, hosting a diverse array of world-class artists, entertainers, musicians and lecturers in an opulent 3,200-seat theater. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for all Auditorium events are also available by phone at 812-855-1103 and online.

About ArtsWeek

Since its inception in 1984, ArtsWeek has grown into a significant annual showcase for the wealth of creative work at IU and in the city of Bloomington, with prestigious performers, artists and journalists from across the country taking part in ArtsWeek activites. Over its 25-year history, ArtsWeek has extended artistic expression in startling new directions, from graffiti to 3-D computer modeling, ballet to computer-enhanced dance performance, ice carvings to sound gardens, poetry to a pie-laden table sculpture in the middle of the street.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, see the ArtsWeek 2009 Web site.

Web Version

IU News Room
530 E. Kirkwood Ave., Suite 201
Bloomington, IN 47408-4003