Ronnie Hess, coordinator of the long-running Academy Evenings talks, says the program's mission is to bring people together. "Engaged, thoughtful conversation is something we believe should be cultivated, and done in person," she says of the events, presented by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. "There's something transformative about listening to someone who's knowledgeable on a subject and then talking to her or him about it."
On Sept. 11, Academy Evenings attendees will discuss an especially shattering subject: the deadly terrorist attacks 10 years ago. Perspectives on a Post-9/11 World is a program of panel discussions, which begin at 1 p.m. in the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's lecture hall. They're part of remembrances throughout the day at Overture Center, including a memorial concert by the Madison Symphony Orchestra and a reception for a photography exhibit called 9/11 Then and Now: How Life Has Changed.
The MSO program, hosted by NBC 15's Carleen Wild, will be performed at 3 p.m. in Overture Hall. It will include readings, as well as music of Brahms, Fauré, Ennio Morricone and Samuel Barber. Guest soprano soloist Caitlyn Cisler and organist Bruce Bengston are featured performers, and an honor guard of Madison police officers and firefighters will present colors.
The Academy Evenings discussion series features three panels: "At Home and Abroad in a Post-9/11 World" (1 p.m.), "Islam and America: Citizenship and Democracy" (2:45 p.m.) and "Making Art, Making War" (4 p.m.). Participants include UW professors of history, political science and law, as well as arts experts like MSO music director John DeMain.
Says Hess, "We thought the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was a good time to take stock of who we are as Wisconsinites and Americans in an age of global terrorism, liberation movements, technological upheavals, economic insecurity, and fractious politics."