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Dr. Barbara Korner, Dean of the College of Arts and Architecture, Penn State University


February 2, 2013 at 9:30 PM EST


411 Willard Straight Hall

Barbara O. Korner, Dean of the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State University, will be performing Responding to the Call:  Women of Spiritual Action.
The program includes selections from Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Sojourner Truth, Jarena Lee, and Emma J. Ray.  John Wesley, evangelist to America and spiritual reformer, took a bold stand against the practice of slavery.  While the American church was deeply divided over this issue, many blacks, along with many women, discovered that the heritage of Wesley’s vision allowed them freedom to practice and preach their faith.  This dramatic presentation brings to life the voices and stories of African-American female preachers who broke through race and gender barriers to preach the gospel in the U.S. in the 19th and early 20th century. 
” I want to encourage you to ponder how Christ empowers the most marginalized to speak out; and to discover common bonds with women from a different time and place.   I will share the writings of women who experienced prejudice and often persecution in American culture in ways I never will, and all of whom speak to me and challenge me to continue to stretch my own comfort levels and consider what I am doing to make a difference in the lives I touch.” -Dr. Barbara Korner
We welcome our guests to enjoy the evening’s program at no charge.  Guests who would like to contribute to the expense of presenting ‘Responding to the Call’ will have an opportunity to do so at the conclusion of the program. 
More on Dr. Korner:

As dean of the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, Dr. Barbara Oliver Korner oversees seven academic units plus the Center for the Performing Arts, Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State Centre Stage, and Music at Penn’s Woods. The college offers more than 20 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in architecture, landscape architecture, art history, integrative arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. With approximately 1400 undergraduate students, 200 graduate students, 200 faculty and 100 staff, the College of Arts and Architecture boasts a strong presence on the University Park campus, offering hundreds of musical and theatre performances, visual arts exhibitions, and related events each year.

Before coming to Penn State in June 2007, Dr. Korner, who holds the rank of professor of theatre, served as associate dean for academic and student affairs in the College of Fine Arts at the University of Florida for seven years. While there, she also spent a year as interim dean of the College of Fine Arts. Her other academic administrative experience includes serving as dean of fine and performing arts at Seattle Pacific University and special assistant to the chancellor at the University of Missouri at Columbia, in addition to positions at Ohio University.

Dr. Korner holds a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary fine arts from Ohio University, a master’s in theatre performance, and an undergraduate degree in theatre production. She has been recognized as a distinguished alumna of the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University. Her women’s history performances have been funded by humanities councils in both Missouri and the state of Washington. With Carla Waal, she is the co-editor of Hardship and Hope: Missouri Women Writing About Their Lives. She is the writer/performer of Responding to the Call: African-American Women Preachers, which she will present at Penn State in February as part of the School of Theatre’s Cultural Conversations new play festival. She also recently performed in the two-woman play Vita and Virginia at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art, in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition of work by the Bloomsbury artists.

Dr. Korner holds a certificate from the Institute for Management and Leadership at Harvard University. She is the co-director of the Leadership Institute of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), which she founded with Mark Heckler, president of Valparaiso University. Since 2000, that program has influenced more than 200 academic leaders of theatre and fine arts programs in higher education. She has served on several regional and national arts and cultural boards, including two terms as vice president of ATHE. Most recently, she was elected to the board of directors for the International Council of Fine Arts Deans. She maintains an active role as a performer and presents communication, leadership, and strategic planning workshops to a wide range of organizations and institutions.


Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, directed by Baruch Whitehead

Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers are a group of community singers, dedicated to the preservation of the “Negro Spiritual.” Established in 2010, the group is named in honor of civil rights pioneer Dorothy Cotton, a resident of Ithaca, NY, who served as education director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Chesterton House Painting