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Susquehanna Life

“Coal Collections” Series Continues this Spring

Jan 17, 2017 11:10AM ● By Erica Shames

The Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University and the Place Studies program of the Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment (BCSE) are pleased to announce twelve more events related to the year-long series, Coal Collections: Local, National and International Stories. The series celebrates connections between the broader Bucknell community and Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal region as it highlights histories, cultures, and stories from coal regions around the world.

Noon Lecture Series:  Athletics in the Anthracite Coal Region

Thursday, January 26, Noon-2 p.m., Weis Center Atrium Lobby, Free

Drew Kelly (94KX) will moderate two panel discussions about the relationship between the coal region and its athletes. Panelists will include current Bucknell student athletes, as well as Bucknell Hall of Fame alumni Jennifer Yuengling (‘93), Clifford "Mickey" Melberger ('61, M'62, GP'14) and Pat Flannery (‘80, M’83). Local sports commentators Chuck Souders and Tommy Ryan will join former MLB relief pitcher Steve Kline and former NFL running back Henry Hynoski Sr. in the second half of the program.

Film Screening of “Stories from the Mines” and Discussion

Thursday, February 9, 12 Noon, Weis Center Atrium Side Lobby, Free

WVIA’s documentary, “Stories from the Mines,” dramatizes and documents anthracite coal's profound influence on the relationship among organized labor, organized wealth, and the United States government. WVIA President and executive producer of the film, Tom Curra, and Michael Johnson-Cramer, Associate Professor of Management and interim Dean of the School of Management will discuss the film.

Noon Lecture Series: Creators of El Silencio del Carbón

Thursday, February 16, Noon-1 p.m., Weis Center Atrium Lobby, Free

Associate Professor of Spanish Fernando Blanco and puppeteers from Silencio Blanco will discuss coal mining in Chile and puppetry as a means of storytelling.

Weis Center Performance

Silencio Blanco: Chiflón, El Silencio del Carbón

Friday, February 17, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Weis Center

This Chilean-based puppetry ensemble is known for working with white marionettes, constructed with a newspaper base, that perform in silence. The work explores the story of a young miner forced to find work in one of the most dangerous mines in Chile after the mine where he worked collapses. Suggested for ages 10+

Adults: $15, Seniors 62+: $12, Youth 18 and Under: $5, Bucknell Employees and Retirees (limit 2): $5, Bucknell Students (limit 2): $5. Tickets: 570-577-1000,, or at a Campus Box Office location

Darwin Day Lecture - Coal-bed Fossils: Tales of Plant Evolution

Thursday, February 23, Noon, Trout Auditorium, Free

Professor Ellen Currano, Assistant Professor of Paleobotany at the University of Wyoming, will present “Tales of plant evolution and ecology recorded by the fossils between the coal beds.” Co-sponsored by the Department of Biology, Department of Geology, and the David Burpee Chair in Plant Genetics.

Art Installation: “Dust & Light: Images of PA Coal Communities”

Monday, March 20 onward, Weis Center Atrium Lobby, Free

Art exhibit curated by the Samek Art Museum.

Noon Lecture Series:  Arts and Visual Culture of the Anthracite Coal Region

Thursday, March 23, Noon-1 p.m., Weis Center Atrium Lobby, Free

Greg Stuart, Samek Art Museum Public Programs & Outreach Manager, will discuss the art and visual culture of the region, and how artists traveling to it both represented and misrepresented the area. Steven Lichak, Managing Trustee and Curator of the WYSO Foundation, will share the life and artwork of Frank Wysochansky, a self-taught artist of the coal region and son of a coal miner, born to Ukrainian immigrants. The talk also promotes the “Dust & Light: Images of PA Coal Communities” art installation at the Weis Center.


Noon Lecture Series: Immigrant Experiences of the Anthracite Coal Region
Tuesday, March 28, Noon-1 p.m., Weis Center Atrium Lobby, Free

Nicholas Kupensky, Visiting Professor of Comparative Humanities, and Bode Morin, site administrator of the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces, will discuss ways in which we can discover and share the physical and cultural stories of immigrant hard-coal mining experiences.


Noon Lecture Series: Pennsylvania's Anthracite Coal Region: Present to Future
Thursday, March 30, Noon, Weis Center Atrium Lobby, Free
Carol Parenzan, from the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, and Maureen B. Hauck, from the Bucknell University Small Business Development Center -- both of whom have significant connections to PA’s anthracite coal region -- will discuss present and future prospects.


Noon Lecture Series: The Creation of Anthracite Fields

Friday, March 31, Noon-1 p.m., Weis Center Atrium Lobby, Free

G.C. Waldrep, Associate Professor of English, will interview Julia Wolfe, composer of Anthracite Fields, Laurie McCants, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble and advisor to the project, and Beth Willer, Professor of Music and conductor for the Weis Center performance.  


Weis Center Performance
Anthracite Fields

Performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars, featuring Bucknell University Camerata

Saturday, April 1, 7:30 pm, Weis Center

Haunting, poignant and relentlessly physical, Julia Wolfe's Anthracite Fields is a lovingly detailed oratorio about turn-of-the-20th-century Pennsylvania coal miners, and a fitting recipient of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Adults: $25, Seniors 62+: $20, Youth 18 and Under: $15, Bucknell Employees and Retirees (limit 2): $15, Bucknell Students (limit 2): $10.

Tickets: 570-577-1000,, or at a Campus Box Office location


Opening Act for Anthracite Fields: Jay Smar, 6 p.m., Weis Center Atrium Lobby, Free

Jay serves his audiences an “acoustic buffet” of traditional American and original folk, ol’ time mountain music, bluegrass and gospel tunes, as well as coal mining songs of Northeast PA.


Film Screening

Tuesday, April 4, 7 p.m., Campus Theatre, 413 Market Street, downtown Lewisburg

This film is part of the University's Tuesday Film/Media Series and is co-sponsored by the BCSE. Admission is free for Bucknell students and $2 for others. More info about the selected film will be available at and

Coal Collections Postcard Available

To request a hardcopy postcard about the spring “Coal Collections” series, contact Lisa Leighton, Weis Center marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by email and one will be mailed to you at no cost.

For more information about the Coal Collections series, please visit


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