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Otterbein, Westerville Library Awarded $2,500 Grant

November 30, 2012

Otterbein University and the Westerville Public Library Awarded $2,500 Grant to Present America's Music

Westerville, Ohio – Otterbein University and the Westerville Public Library have been awarded a $2,500 grant to host a free six-week public program series featuring documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions of twentieth-century American popular music.

Starting in January 2013, Otterbein and the Library will host the “America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway” series to enlighten audiences about uniquely American musical genres including blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock n’ roll, mambo, and hip hop. This Westerville partnership is one of fifty locations nationwide selected to host this series, with Otterbein claiming honors as only one of 17 Universities. “America’s Music” is a project by the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music. “America’s Music” has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for people from all generations and musical interests to gather, share stories, and learn about the music that is near and dear to them” said Dr. Michael Yonchak, Assistant Professor at Otterbein University, and the program’s lead scholar. Dr. Yonchak will lead the inaugural discussion for the program on Sunday, January 6, at 2pm at the Library.

“America’s Music,” designed for a general audience, will introduce genres of twentieth century American popular music that are deeply connected to the history, culture, and geography of the United States. A roster of nationally recognized scholars in various popular music styles has been invited to campus to lead discussions, starting with Otterbein’s 2011 Common Book author and noted music critic Tom Piazza on Monday, January 7. All events in this series are free and open to the public, but many request pre-registration through the Library.

Click here to download a complete list of events.

The onset of the twentieth century brought pervasive changes to American society. During the early part of the century, these social changes combined with new technologies to create a mass market for popular music that evolved over the next hundred years. Each of the six programs in the America’s Music series will examine an important American musical genre in the context of key social and historical developments, with events in American music history acting as a catalyst for that examination.

For details, registration, or to obtain copies of program materials, please visit http://bit.ly/americasmusic, or contact Lindsey Batchelder, 614.882.7277, lbatchelder@westervillelibrary.org

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