Things to Do at Penn State: Sept. 9-16

September 08, 2021

What's happening at Penn State? Here's a look at some of the cultural events — both in-person and virtual — taking place across the University this weekend and next week:


Rosemarie Fiore  2 p.m., Sept. 9, HUB-Robeson Lawn, University Park campus. New York artist Rosemarie Fiore will perform her smoke painting. Free.

Bill Burr7 p.m., Sept. 10, Bryce Jordan Center, University Park campus. Grammy-nominated comedian Bill Burr will perform at the University Park campus.

Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra3 p.m., Sept. 12, recital hall, Music Building I, University Park campus. The Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra will perform its opening season concert.

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood: The Sacred Scriptless Tour 7:30 p.m., Sept. 12, Pullo Center, Penn State York. Comedians Coilin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood take to the stage armed with nothing but their sharp with as they create hilarious and original scenes in their two-man show. 

Inside the Music: Mwenso and the Shakes5 p.m., Sept. 14, 3 Dots Downtown, State College. Harlem-based roots band Mwenso and the Shakes will do an acoustical performance on the terrace. Free.

Remember When Rock Was Young: The Elton John Tribute 7:30 p.m., Sept. 16, Pullo Center, Penn State York. Singer/actor/pianist Craig A. Meyer pays tribute to the works of legendary singer Elton John.

Mwenso and the Shakes 7:30 p.m., Sept. 16, Eisenhower Auditorium, University Park campus. The Harlem-based roots band will perform "Love Will Be thee Only Weapon." Free, but tickets required.


LION Bash — 5-8 p.m., Sept. 9, Allen Street Gates, State College. The annual Living In One Neighborhood, or LION Bash is an annual block party designed to foster a sense of community between long-time residents and students in the State College Borough. The event will feature food, music and fun for residents of all ages. Free.

Blue-White Block Party 5 p.m., Sept. 10, 100 block of Fraser Street, State College. The Downtown State College Improvement District and Penn State Athletics will host an event to welcome students for the start of the fall semester and visitors for Penn State's football home opener. Free.


Mary E. Rolling Reading Series: James Charlesworth and Leah Huizar — 7:30 p.m., Sept. 9, Foster Auditorium, Paterno Library, University Park campus, and via livestream. Novelist James Charlesworth and poet Leah Huizar start the fall Mary E. Rolling Reading Series. Free. 

Smith Creative Writers Reading Series: Amy Hempel  6 p.m., Sept. 9, via Zoom. Penn State Behrend presents Amy Hempel, author of five story collections, including "Sing to It," which was published in 2019. Free.

"A Reflection on 9/11 and its Impact on Law and International Affairs"10 a.m., Sept. 10, via Zoom. Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs will discuss 9/11 and its aftermath from the perspectives of immigration, national security, surveillance and veterans' affairs. Free, but registration required.

John M. Anderson Endowed Lecture Series: Nekisha Durrett11:30 a.m., Sept. 13, via Zoom. Washington, D.C.-based artist Nekisha Durrett, who creates bold and playful large-scale installations and public art that aim to make the ordinary enchanting and awe-inspiring while summoning subject matter that is often underrepresented or overlooked in visual culture, will be featured. Free.

Consortium for Integrated Energy Systems discussion seriesNoon, Sept. 15, via livestream. The Consortium for Integrated Energy Systems will discuss its mission and how it will help Penn State researchers address the energy-climate-people nexus. Free, but registration required.

Health and Human Development Dean's Lecture Series: Daniel Salmon4 p.m., Sept. 15, via Zoom. Daniel Salmon, professor of international health and health, behavior and society and director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University will present "Missed Opportunities with the COVID-19 Vaccination — Maybe it's not too Late." Free.

"Coming Out in America" 6:30 p.m., Sept. 15, LL011 HUB-Robeson Center, University Park campus. Mwenso and The Shakes artists Michael Mwenso, born in Sierra Leone, and Vuyo Sotashe, a native of South Africa, will discuss how Black cultural icons have helped them negotiate their LGBTQ+ identities while living in the United States. The informal one-hour conversation will include discussion of their musical influences and Black queer artists. Free.

Smith Creative Writers Reading Series: Frank Paino  6 p.m., Sept. 16, via Zoom. Penn State Behrend presents Amy Hempel, author of five story collections, including "Sing to It," which was published in 2019. Free.

"Can the U.S. Constitution Save Democracy?" 7 p.m., Sept. 16, 150 Franco Building, Penn State Berks and via Zoom. Attorney Scott How will present this Constitution Day talk as part of the Berks campus LionSide Chat series. Free.

Virtual Exhibits

"African Brilliance and the Purpose of Art" — This interactive virtual tour accompanied the Palmer Museum of Art’s spring 2020 special exhibition "African Brilliance: A Diplomat’s Sixty Years of Collecting" and will remain available throughout the current academic year. Explore the exhibition installation, images of selected works, videos for guided viewing and related art-making activity suggestions. Free.

"Celebrating the ADA: The Legacy and Evolution of Disability Rights and Lived Experiences at Penn State" — The University Libraries virtual exhibit explores the first 100 years of national disability rights legislation and the movement's impact on the Penn State community. Free.

"Global Asias: Contemporary Asian and Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundations" — This web-based, interactive program from the Palmer Museum of Art features guided video tours of selected exhibition artists in addition to an introductory overview by the curator. Learn about the “Global Asias” concept of personal and cultural identity in a contemporary world. Artists featured include: Jacob Hashimoto, Dinh Q. Lê, Hung Liu, Takashi Murakami, Roger Shimomura, Do Ho Suh, and Rirkrit Tiranvanija. Free.

"Pandemic Spaces (1918 Edition)" — The University Libraries virtual display explores how architecture related to the devastating influenza epidemic of 1918. Free.

"Who Am I? Art and Identity" — This self-directed, interactive, online tour features a selection of objects from diverse areas of the Palmer Museum of Art’s collection, related through a common exploration of personal or cultural identity. Free.

"Women in Art: Activism + Resistance" — This self-directed, interactive, Palmer Museum of Art online tour is intended for college-level courses and features a selection of objects by female artists in the museum’s collection. In celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, this tour highlights artists working in a variety of mediums during the 20th and 21st centuries who have contributed to political, social, and cultural change. Free.

In-Person Exhibits

"Private Domain" — Through Oct. 8, McLanahan Gallery, Misciagna Family Center for the Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona. “Private Domain” is a series of narrative paintings which blend symbolism from mythology and alchemy.  In recent years this series has increased in complexity to push the viewer to question what is revealed and what is concealed within the piece, allowing them to conclude multiple interpretations from the visual transformations within the work. Free.

Nishiki Sugawara-Beda — Through Oct. 8, McLanahan Gallery, Misciagna Family Center for the Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona. Sugawar-Beda’s work is inspired and established by Japanese calligraphy, which served as a gateway for her to understand her culture and the overall deeper meanings of existence. Through her work, she encourages the viewer to connect to themselves on a deeper level. Free.

"Wind Spirits" — Through Nov. 20, Art Alley, HUB-Robeson Galleries, University Park campus. Wind Spirits" is an exhibition of artists Tatiana Arocha, Deirdre Murphy and Rachel Sydlowski, considering the power and delicacy of Earth’s avian creatures and the larger implications that duality poses for human roles in the natural world. Free.

"Ukiyo-e: Images of the Floating World, Japanese Woodblock Prints from the Permanent Collection" — Through Dec. 5, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park campus. The art of ukiyo-e flourished in Japan during the Edo period (1615-1867). Period artists specializing in genre scenes, portraits of actors and courtesans, and later, landscape, in a manner that reflected the most contemporary fashions and attitudes, their work became known as ukiyo-e, or “pictures of the floating world.” Free.

"Blackout Poetry" — Through Dec. 10, campus library, Penn State Fayette. “Blackout Poetry" is a creative way to bring new meaning to any written text and make it your own. Redact words in order to create a one-of-a-kind piece. All entries will be displayed in the campus library. Free.

"Patchwork Voices Community Collection" — Through Dec. 10, Coal and Coke Heritage Center, campus library, Penn State Fayette. The Patchwork Voices Community Collection is one of the Coal and Coke Heritage Center's unprocessed collections. Unprocessed means that a traditional finding aid has not been created for researchers to access materials. The collection consists of smaller, family collections. Visitors will find materials such as photographs, letters, recipes, mining certificates, newspapers, magazines, Union materials, clothing and mining tools. Free.

"Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II" — Through Dec. 10, campus library, Penn State Fayette. The exhibit examines the complicated history and impact of Executive Order 9066 that led to the incarceration of Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Free.

"Celebration of Trees" — Through Dec. 12, Henry Gallery, Penn State Great Valley. The presentation hosts photographs, prints, paintings and mixed media works. All of the artists are inspired by the architecture of trees themselves, formative memories, the experience of being in nature, and environmentalism. To support improved environmental policies and draw attention to climate change, they manifest a connection to the earth and an understanding of the importance of forests. Free.

"Global Asias: Contemporary Asian and Asian American Art from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation" — Through Dec. 12, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park campus. This web-based, interactive program features guided video tours of selected exhibition artists in addition to an introductory overview by the curator. Learn about the “Global Asias” concept of personal and cultural identity in a contemporary world. Free.

"Place to Place: Recent Gifts of American Drawings and Watercolors, 1900-1950" — Through Dec. 12, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park campus. "Place to Place" offers a jaunt around America in the first half of the 20th century. From New York to New Mexico to New Orleans, a range of sites in several different media are gathered to explore notions of place. International locales represented include Belgium, England, France, Germany and Morocco. Free.

"Documenting the Moment: A Visual Journal"  Through Dec. 31, Ronald K. DeLong Gallery, Penn State Lehigh Valley. The exhibit features a collection of artist Jason Travers’ ink and graphite drawings that capture what he’s seeing in real time at a particular moment The gallery is also showcasing student works depicting significant moments shown from various perspectives. Free.

"Lost Bird Project" — Through Jan. 26, 2022, exhibition cases, HUB-Robeson Galleries, University Park campus. "Lost Bird Project" consists of five sculptural monuments to extinct bird species. Conceived by artist Todd McGrain, the "Lost Bird Project" recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing the five most recently extinct North American birds. Free.

"Why Biodiversity Matters" — Through Jan. 26, 2022, exhibition cases, HUB-Robeson Galleries, University Park campus.  "Why Biodiversity Matters" includes avian research and educational materials from Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and Penn State’s Wildlife and Fisheries program. Free.

"Altar" — Through Jan. 30, 2022, exhibition cases, HUB-Robeson Galleries, University Park campus. Kiana Honarmand’s installation in the exhibition cases utilizes text from the poem “Gift” by Iranian feminist poet Forough Farrokhzad to pay homage to the history of hiding critical commentary in Persian poetry and visual arts.

Last Updated September 08, 2021