Category Archives: Features

The Features section caters to everything you need to know about culture on campus and the Louisville community. Here we explore the arts, student events and the latest trends that make U of L unique.

Laureate Maureen

Axton Reading Series brings Poet Laureate Maureen Moorehead to campus

By Genevieve Mills–

This year’s Axton Reading Series started with Kentucky poet laureate Maureen Morehead. Morehead is a U of L graduate who has written four books of poetry, and taught at the nearby Manual High School for over 30 years. In Ekstrom’s Chao Auditorium, Morehead read both older and most recent poems from her various books.

As Sena Naslund, U of L’s Writer in Residence, said in her introduction, Morehead’s poems are “full of color.” Ranging in topic from tsunami survivors to teaching, Morehead manages to create vivid images without many words. All her poems were rather short, but very descriptive.

In the first poem she read, titled “A Woman Remembers Hiroshima” is from the point of view of a Hiroshima survivor, a girl who wrote her name on her arm because she thought she was going to die and wanted people to be able to recognize her body. Morehead writes that the moment the bomb dropped “I winced, looking/and then my father was gone/ and the garden also/ and then there was nothing/ but light and pain.”

Morehead read her poems in a conversational tone. She explained how studying literature shows in her poetry, and how teaching English has affected her poetry as well.

For example, in “Daniel Gray”, which is  written  from  a teenage boy’s point of view, the title character has to write an essay on Hemingway for class so Moorehead slips imagery from Hemingway into the poem.

Her poems are written in many different points of view, but in a way that is unmistakably Morehead’s. Her language is often simple but creates strong images and feelings. In “The Test” she writes about her students taking the ACT, but manages to give a deeper meaning to the simple event, “In a silent room/ with fluorescent sun/ to win what armors/ can be won.”

After she read from her poems, there was a question-and-answer session, as with every Axton reader. When asked how much time daily she dedicates to writing, Morehead answered that it’s just something she does when the spirit moves her, but she says this is horrible advice for aspiring writers, and anyone who wants to write should schedule time for it every day. She said she often writes in the family room where she “can see the trees” and raising children she has learned to write with noise around her.

The Axton reading series continues Oct. 13th at the Writer’s Block Festival with Anis Mojgani. He’ll read from one of his two poetry collections at 6 p.m. at the Cressman Center.

The next reader at U of L will be Mary Reufle, a winner of the William Carlos Williams award and author of multiple books of poetry and prose. She’ll read Nov. 8th, 7:30 p.m. in Ekstrom’s Bingham Poetry Room. The next day she will host a master class in Humanities room 300 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Photo courtesy University of Louisville

Jeanna de Waal (left) as Glinda and Christine Dwyer (right) as Elphaba in “Wicked."

Wicked flies back to Louisville for a third time

Jeanna de Waal (left) as Glinda and Christine Dwyer (right) as Elphaba in “Wicked.”

By Esther Lee–

“Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz” was a visually compelling and musically astounding theatrical experience. The past two weeks from Sept. 12 to Sept. 30, Louisville’s Kentucky Art Center featured the universally beloved musical.

Based on the 1995 Gregory McGuire novel, “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” which was a parallel novel to the L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonder Wizard of Oz” and America’s classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”, the musical retold the family story in a new angle and shed a new perspective on the story of the infamous iconic villian of the wicked witch of the west and her counterpart of the good witch.

As the official Broadway musical poster claimed, “So much happened before Dorothy dropped in,” “Wicked” revealed “the untold story of the Witches of Oz.” The musical followed the smart, outspoken and misunderstood Elphaba, the wicked witch of the west, who was born with green skin and the bubbly, beautiful and popular Glinda, the good witch, and told of their unlikely but unbreakable friendship.

In the gist of things, Elphaba and Glinda went to the same college and were roommates. At first they loathe each other but in a turn of events become friends. Like all relationships, the two’s friendship struggled. Their opposing personalities, perspectives, rivalry of the same love interest and Elphaba’s public fallout ultimately led them to follow separate paths.

Even with the unforgettable plot detailing how Elphaba was unrighteously dubbed the wicked witch, the detailed set design, lighting, memorable cast, orchestra, special effects and of course, music all contributed on how “Wicked” succesfully enchanted the audience.

Chirstine Dwyer was an excellent Elphaba. She was awkward, yet compassionate, terrifying, yet powerful during her performance. During her solo score, “I’m Not That Girl,” Dwyer portrayed the strong but vulnerable Elphaba absolutely perfectly. Also, the last song of Act I, “Defying Gravity,” Dwyer overwhelmed the stage with her outstanding and prevailing voice leaving the audience in awe even during intermission.

Elphaba wouldn’t be where she is without Glinda. Glinda was played by Jeanna de Waal. She portrayed the bubbly Glinda perfectly- down to the last blond hair and especially during her “toss-toss” moments-people who have seen the show know what I’m talking about. Not only was Waal a great fit for the role of Glinda visually, but also vocally. Jeanna de Waal was stunning and peppy during her eccentric solo number, “Popular,” when she was giving Elphaba a needed makeover. Waal was also able to convey Glinda’s genuine concern and care for Elphaba during their duet “For Good.”

Although not exactly in the spotlight, the orchestra playing underneath the special effects and stage should not be ignored. Utilizing every inch of the stage and space of Whitney Hall, all of these brought the story to life and helped the audience focus on the story and characters by becoming part of the ‘wicked’ world.

“Wicked”, the musical, is definitely a must-see. The musical brought out laughter at the comedic moments of Glinda, tears during Elphaba’s heartwrenching scene and smiles at the finale. Joining the collection of Oz classics, the Broadway musical was wonderfully wicked.
Photo courtesy

Elle Raiser raises his "L" in support of his favorite university

Who is Elle Raiser?

Elle Raiser raises his “L” in support of his favorite university

Michael Paoloni steps out as the most famous Cardinal fan

By Anna Meany–

You may have never heard of Michael Paoloni, who, until just recently, has kept his identity a secret – but there’s a chance you’ve heard of Elle Raiser.

Paoloni, senior who hails from Palm Beach, Florida, is a Sports Administration major with a double minor in Justice Administration and Communications.

Elle Raiser – it’s hard to define exactly what it is. Firstly, it’s a Twitter and Facebook account. Paoloni stepped inside the Cardinal’s office to talk about his baby – an internet domain that’s transformed how UofL athletic fans connect.

Secondly, Paoloni is Elle Raiser. “Anyone that knows me knows that I’m on my phone every day from when I wake up until when I go to bed.” It’s a full-time job that he’s taken on for the love of Louisville.

“The reason why I wanted to keep it a secret is because it’s not about me. If someone reads a sports website, everyone knows whose opinion it is. The focus wasn’t on me…it’s about the sports and athletes.”

The Florida native explained that it all started with an RSO called L-Raisers, and when he saw opportunity to make the name much bigger than it was, he went for it.

But Elle Raiser has become so much more than an online username. Paoloni started Elle Raiser to bring Cardinal love to sports that didn’t always receive the most primetime coverage.  He’s taken to Facebook and Twitter to post about athletes and fans – as well as interact with just about everyone who talks to him. He’s a cool, collected guy who’s clearly working for his fan base.

Not to mention, one retweet from Elle Raiser can earn you not only a couple more followers, but a tiny ego boost.

“It’s interesting now that everyone knows who I am because people are wanting to take pictures with me, and I’m just not used to that. It’s weird having the celebrity status.”

Paoloni connects with students and Cardinal fans of all ages online. “There are 60 year-old men and women who send me pictures of their grandkids in Louisville stuff. I just got a message from a kid in Kansas telling me that he loves what I do – and that’s what I really love.”

Maybe what everyone loves about Paoloni is because he’s not on ESPN making thousands of dollars to say he’s a Cardinal – he’s a student just like us. “I can relate to the students.”  But don’t go thinking that his superego takes away from his studies.

“Sometimes, you’ll see a gap in my tweets. I have tests and homework and class. I’m a college student, too.”

Paoloni is definitely a candidate for most school spirited – he’s started selling t-shirts, which reminds me of how close-knit my high school was. As funny as it sounds, seeing men and women all over campus draped in “You Don’t Want These Cards” shirts is pretty empowering.

He says “now that I’m friends with most of the athletes, I like doing it for them. They deserve the recognition.”

And all of this came from a converted Miami fan? “I knew one thing about Louisville before I came here. I was in my dorm room watching the Rutgers game when they blocked the field goal. I had no idea that blocked field goal would change my entire college experience.”

But Elle Raiser has changed the student experience at UofL – spreading cardinal love via the Internet has changed the way we interact. He mentioned how much attention Tailgate with Pink got – an online competition between colleges to get the Victoria’s Secret Pink Bus to visit campus – and the success of his video, “Lexington is for the Birds.”

“It shows the impact of social media on us,” but also reflects the influence cardinal fans have had on social media.

Even though he’s as recognizable as some of the players he cheers for, Paoloni hasn’t lost the pride that inspired Elle Raiser.

“I’m humbled that it has become what it is.”

Still, Elle Raiser doesn’t have an easy definition – but students and fans everywhere can agree that it’s a force not to be reckoned with.

As for the senior, fans should have no concern that he’ll disappear anytime soon. “I want to keep doing Elle Raiser even after I graduate.”

Elle Raiser can be followed at or on Twitter @elleraiser.
Photo by Anna Meany / The Louisville Cardinal

Lotus cured cases of “the Mondays” on Monday, Sept. 24 at Headliners Music Hall.

Lotus comes on unexpected and energetic

Lotus cured cases of “the Mondays” on Monday, Sept. 24 at Headliners Music Hall.

By J. Wesley Wilson–

For a band with a name that suggests the peace and tranquility that meditative reflection can bring, Lotus sure knows how to throw a dance party. The Indiana based five-piece came into Headliners music hall last Monday night and unleashed a relentless assault of electronically infused dance-rock for nearly three hours.

Lotus isn’t exactly your straightforward rock band. They’re self-described as “post-everything”. Their songs are entirely instrumental, hinting at acts like Explosions in the Sky, but with the added benefit of a danceability that flourishes with their use of synthesizers. And not just light synthesizers. Heavy, bass-filled synths that are as distorted as anything you would hear from electronic groups like Black Moth Super Rainbow. This fusion of rock and electronica is what seemed to have brought the crowd that assembled, as many of them seemed to be fans of the electronic dance music craze that was brought by the likes of Skrillex and other heavy dubstep engineers.

Unlike most bands you see at Headliners, Lotus is one for which the set list isn’t really an important factor. They played almost non-stop, and with an emphasis on taking the crowd for a roller-coaster ride of a show. The band alternated between fast, groovy tracks and mellow-toned, contemplative jams with relative ease, and at every twist and turn, the light show was there to perfectly match and reinforce the moods that Lotus were conjuring in the crowd.

And what a crowd they were. The fans of Lotus really get what the music is about: carefree dancing. The usual problem with dancing in a crowd is that a lot of prospective dancers get self-conscious about how they’re going to be perceived by everyone else. With the crowd Lotus drew, that wasn’t a worry. Their fans were warm and inviting, but more than anything, they expected you to dance as fiercely as they did.

All in all, going to see a groovy dance-rock band with a hardcore following definitely isn’t the worst way to spend an evening out. Lotus brought an energetic crowd, an immensely talented set of musicians, and a grooviness that would make even Reverend Moore from “Footloose” tap his toes—at least!
Photo: J. Wesley Wilson/The Louisville Cardinal

Continuing student Don Stern prepares for class.

Continuing studies at U of L: The Cardinal talks to Don Stern, Anita & Al Goldin

Continuing student Don Stern prepares for class.

By Harry Jacobson-Beyer–

As explained in part one of this series on the Continuing Studies program at U of L, one group of continuing studies students are adults 65 years of age and older. These senior students attend the university tuition free and are not interested in obtaining a degree. They attend classes for the challenge of learning something new.

There are 53 senior adults enrolled in this program and five of them spoke to the Cardinal about their experiences at U of L and shared some of their life stories. Here are two of those stories.

Don Stern, 80, is a retired pharmacist. He owned his own pharmacy for 40 years and retired in 1997. He is married and has three daughters.

Don received his pharmacy degree from the University of Kentucky. His undergraduate studies were mostly science courses. He has been a Continuing Studies student for 18 years and all of his classes have been in the liberal arts.

“I’m interested in a lot of things because my training was all scientific. I missed all the liberal arts [in college] so I’ve been picking up the stuff I missed the first time around: history, political science, art history, music history, philosophy,” Stern told the Cardinal.

While continuing studies students may take courses for grades, Don audits all of his courses and doesn’t take exams, though he has taken an occasional quiz and has written a paper or two. He also does the reading.

“I did all the reading in philosophy and political science because I had no background at all in those courses and needed the reading to really get a foundation so I could even understand what the professor was talking about,” Stern said.

Senior adults take classes with the general student population. Most of their classmates are 18 to 22 years old. When asked about his relationship with his younger classmates Stern said “They keep you young….it’s a real kick to walk down one of the sidewalks on campus and somebody yells out ‘Hi Don.’ That takes 20 years off your life. It’s very, very, very heart warming.”

In addition to taking two courses a semester, Don is involved in the community. While working as a pharmacist, he was president of his synagogue and on the boards of the Jewish Federation and the Jewish Family and Vocational Services, JFVS, (now Jewish Family and Career Services). Currently, Don is on the Board of the Louisville chapter of the Kentucky Civil Liberties Union and the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Stern once told a friend he was taking classes at U of L. Stern said, “My friend said I was a sponge, that I have a thirst for learning. And I do and I am lucky it turns me on.”

Anita Goldin, 83, is a native Louisvillian, who attended Belknap Elementary and Highland Middle schools. She graduated from Atherton High School in 1946.

Anita received her undergraduate degree, a BS in Nutrition, in 1950 from Cornell University where she played women’s basketball, a very different game from today’s basketball.

Anita also played ping-pong at Cornell and was a women’s mixed-doubles champion. In the early ‘50s, during the Korean War, her husband, Al, was stationed at the POW command in Korea and provided medical treatment to the POWs. He was then stationed in Japan. Anita joined him there and told the Cardinal “I beat the colonel, the commanding officer of the base in Japan, in ping pong.”

Anita received her MA in sociology from U of L in 1969 and taught sociology at the university for 8 years. In 1978 she earned her MSSW from the Kent School and then worked at the JFVS helping Russian immigrants settle into their new lives in Louisville.

Al Goldin, 89, a retired internist, grew up in Ohio and got his undergraduate degree at Ohio State University in 1943. He got his MD from the University of Louisville in 1946.

Anita and Al take one or two classes a semester. Anita began taking courses at U of L in 1983 and Al began in 1992. Since she began taking classes through the Continuing Studies program, Anita has amassed 168 audit hours. Among the 56 classes she has taken, Anita has studied piano, film, algebra, history economics, acting, voice, drawing, painting, nutrition, archeology and anthropology.

In his 20 years in the Continuing Studies program Al has taken 37 classes and earned over 100 audit hours. He has studied music composition, english, art history, philosophy anthropology and more.

When asked about their interaction with the younger students Anita said, “They are very polite. They think we are so cute because we are so old. Al says I have to hold hands with him because my walking isn’t good. Someone said ‘it’s so good to see you so much in love.’ We are sort of an inspiration.”

In his spare time, Al still works part-time in his medical practice, Al plays the clarinet in the “River City Klezmer Band.” He also leads a Yiddish program at the Jewish Community Center (JCC). The group reads books written in Yiddish and discusses them—in Yiddish.

In the 1985 Al wrote “Your Guide to Care of the Heart,” a how-to book for the layman. He also translated and self-published a book from the Yiddish: “Shabtai Zvi, the Man Who Believed He Was the Messiah,” a historical novel by Shlomo Rosenberg.

In her spare time, Anita manages the family expenses and works out two times a week at the JCC.

Disclosure: Harry Jacobson-Beyer is a continuing studies student who qualifies for tuition remission.

This is the second installation in a four-part series on the continuing studies program.

Read on:

Pt. I: Continuing studies: Students 65+ enrolled at UofL

Pt. III: Continuing studies at U of L: The Cardinal talks to  Betty Neurath and Callie McCrocklin

Pt. IV: My UofL experience: The campus life of a  continuing studies student
Photo: Nathan Gardner/The Louisville Cardinal

Continuing studies: Students 65+ enrolled at UofL

By Harry Jacobson-Beyer–

In the basement of the Houchens Building near the eastern edge of campus is the Office of Transfer and Adult Center/Office of Military and Veteran Student Services. This office is part of the Office of Admissions and works with transfer students, veterans and other adults who want to further their education – it’s also the office for continuing studies students.

Continuing studies students are adults, ages 22 and older, who want to attend the university for the first time or who have some college credit and want to get a degree. Other continuing studies students need additional course work before they can enroll in graduate school, and still others want to further their education to retool for the modern day working world.

Another group of continuing studies students are adults, 65 and older, who are not interested in obtaining a degree but want to attend classes just for the sake of learning something new. This class of students can attend the university tuition free; however, they must pay for books and parking. According to the University of Louisville Office of Institutional Research and Planning, there are 110 adults enrolled in the Continuing studies program. Of those, there are 53 adult students who are 65 and older.

Senior continuing studies students may audit their classes or, if they wish, they may work for a grade; however, those classes may not go towards a degree.

Continuing studies students must apply for admission either on line or in person at the Transfer Center, in the Houchens Building LL08. They can be reached at 852-0166. Students 65 and older must show proof of age at the Bursar’s office to receive tuition remission.

Once enrolled in the university, Continuing studies students 65 and older may sign up for classes online after the early enrollment period because traditional students get first choice in classes. If these senior adults want to audit the class, they must fill out the audit form, get it signed by their advisor and turn it in to the registrar’s office.

More information about the Continuing Studies program can be found online at  Applications for tuition waivers are located to

Harry Jacobson-Beyer is a continuing studies student who qualifies for tuition remission. 

This is the first installation of a four-part series on continuing studies students.

Read on:

Pt. II Continuing studies at U of L: The Cardinal talks to Don Stern, Anita & Al Goldin

Pt. III: Continuing studies at U of L: The Cardinal talks to  Betty Neurath and Callie McCrocklin

Pt. IV: My UofL experience: The campus life of a  continuing studies student
Photo: Flickr/UniversityofLouisville

Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. logo.

Marvel universe expands to television

Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. logo. Illustration by Patrick McGrath/Marvel Comics

By Rebecca Timberlake–

In May 2008, Marvel Entertainment released “Iron Man,” their first film in what would become known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Marvel only released information for the Phase I films at the time, “Iron Man”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “Iron Man 2”, “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger”, the company was upfront about intending to create a universe of movies lasting until 2017. However, with nearly ten years between the first cinematic release and the last, critics were quick to point out that keeping the attention span of the audience and ticket sales up for so long would be nearly impossible.

Still, Marvel never questioned the comic book fans’ interest or the appeal of the superhero genre to the masses. Neither did the actors, who have noted the intense interest in superheroes on more than one occasion. “In our increasingly secular society, with so many disparate gods and different faiths, superhero films present a unique canvas upon which our shared hopes, dreams and apocalyptic nightmares can be projected,” said Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in “Thor” and “The Avengers”.

Now, four years later, Marvel has completed Phase I and is now moving into Phase II, which will begin with the release of “Iron Man 3” next May, already one of 2013’s most anticipated films. Coming off this year’s highly successful “The Avengers”, on DVD and Blu-ray September 25, which broke multiple records in theaters and is the third highest grossing film of all time, critics are once again pondering the continued success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.

How do they intend to maintain relevance as their releases become more spread out and about less popular characters like the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man? And how can Marvel create such an intricate universe with only three releases every year? Well, Marvel seems to have found the answer in television legend Joss Whedon.

Giving Whedon control over Marvel and ABC’s series “S.H.I.E.L.D.” is Marvel’s attempt at giving more story to fans without having to clear big budgets on movie shoots.

As “The Avengers” writer and director, Whedon has won the trust of the company and fans alike, many are pleased that he has agreed to accept some control over the show.

After ABC announced they green lit the show, Whedon clarified, as best he could without telling too much, what the show would be: “The S.H.I.E.L.D. show kind of dropped in my lap, and I love working in TV… I get to really build a show with people I really trust and love. What we’re building is entirely autonomous from ‘The Avengers’. It’s got to be a show that works for people who haven’t seen the Marvel movies. It will please Marvel fans, I think.”

For fans of Whedon, his involvement in the show, to any extent, is cause for celebration. The “Buffy” and “Angel” creator has left a large impact on television – at least for those born in the mid-eighties and later. Although he has denied he will be the show runner for “S.H.I.E.L.D.”, but instead just a consultant sharing his ideas and experience with whomever the show runner may be, knowing he has a presence on set has excited many fans of both the writer/director and Marvel. Whedon was also recently given the job of writing and directing “The Avengers 2”, which is set for release May 1, 2015. And the pressures of sequels are something not lost on the cast. Robert Downey, Jr. has discussed how he felt going into “Iron Man 2”, saying, “I’ve never been in a sequel, and it’s very daunting because I feel the expectation of the millions of people who watched it and enjoyed it and told me that it was a little different than your usual genre picture and that they expected us to not screw up. So I actually have taken ‘Iron Man 2’ probably more seriously than any movie I’ve ever done, which is appropriately ridiculous for Hollywood.”

Phase III should begin within months of “Avengers 2” and start winding down the Universe in 2015 until the final film in 2017. Which heroes audiences are to meet then has yet to be determined, but with the recent reacquisition of the rights to Daredevil from Fox, comic book fans are hopeful they will see a reboot soon.

The Tarzan collection at Ekstrom contains the largest amount of memorabilia surrounding the Edgar Rice Burroughs character.

Edgar Rice Burroughs Collection: the hidden jungle of Ekstrom

The Tarzan collection at Ekstrom contains the largest amount of memorabilia surrounding the Edgar Rice Burroughs character.

By Esther Lee–

Deep in the heart of the University of Louisville Ekstrom Library lies a hidden treasure: the world’s largest institutional collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ writings and memorabilia of his most well-known literary creation, Tarzan.

The collection was donated by George McWhorter, who also serves as the collection’s curator. McWhorter started his Borroughs and Tarzan collection, which now includes over 200,000 items in 1936. He donated the collection to the library in 1976. It was dedicated to his mother, Nell Dismukes McWhorter, who taught him to read at the age of five.

“[Burroughs] had a great sense of humor that appealed to me. His philosophy and one of his techniques were cliffhangers, so you always wanted to read more,” McWhorter said.

When I first learned about this massive Tarzan collection in the library, I imagined a jungle, and this was not far from the truth. In the display room, there were bright, colorful Tarzan posters hanging on the walls and countless Tarzan figurines, ornaments, comics and even a pencil sharpener in the glass display cases.

“The collection was absolutely amazing. It had everything from Sunday comics from 1931 to foreign movies about Tarzan,” Keyonna McKinsey, bioengineering major, age 19, expressed when asked about her thoughts on the collection.

Not only does the collection include Burroughs collector’s items, but there are also Burroughs’ personal items such as membership cards, including War Correspondent US Pacific Fleet, United Press Correspondent and Hollywood Country Club. Another fascinating and amazing item in the display room was a personal letter from President Ronald Reagan. “The most amazing thing in my opinion is the letter written by Borroughs sent to President Reagan, and the fact that Reagan had even responded was pretty astounding in itself,” McKinsey said.

At the end of the display room was another door that led into the main exhibit. It overflows with all sorts of items such as Sunday funnies, movie scripts, badges from Dum-Dum conventions hosted by the Burrough Bibliophiles and photographs of all 22 official Tarzan actors. “I never knew that there were so many movies, TV shows and books of Tarzan. I didn’t know it was so popular,” Steven Schweinhart, computer engineering and computer science major, age 19 said.

At the end of the room, there was even a Martian chess-set, an extension of the traditional game that is based on Burroughs’ science fiction novels. Also, wedged between the bookshelves were miniature representations of Tarzan’s birthplace and Burroughs private library.

Nothing Burroughs-related escaped the collection. Not even Star Trek items that drew Burroughs references were excluded.

And of course the Burroughs Collection would not be a collection without the books. There were countless volumes including all 30 first-edition Tarzan books, reprints, foreign editions and braille copies. Although the collection is sizable already, the collection will continue to grow as the lasting impression of Burroughs’ Tarzan develops. “There will always be more adaptions of Tarzan,” McWhorter stated.

The massive collection is truly inspiring. Anyone who visits the collection would be encouraged to read early literacy classics. “I want them to need to read for themselves.” McWhorter said. “If  it’s through Burroughs, then that’s great, but it’s okay even if it’s Peter Rabbit to get them to learn to read.”

The collection’s most outstanding feature was not its impressive number of books or items, though. It was the love and dedication McWhorter has put into the collection over the decades.
Photos: Nathan Gardner/The Louisville Cardinal

By Val Serdino

Lights off, future on: Speed Art Museum celebrates upcoming renovations

By Aimee Jewell–

Hustle and bustle around the grounds of the Speed Art Museum is a surprise to no one. Patrons and visitors often flow in the Museum doors for functions, however, this past weekend was a party unlike any other. With renovations spanning over the next three years, the Speed is closing their doors to the public. But not before they throw one last hoorah. Between a Groundbreaking Ceremony on Friday, the Family Fun Day, 100/100 Event and Art After Dark: Lights off on Saturday, and the Final Viewing Day on Sunday, the museum staff had their hands full and museum patrons had their weekends booked.

Targeted at 20 and 30-somethings, Art After Dark: Lights Off took place from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday evening into Sunday morning. With a $5 student fee for University of Louisville students, the event was an affordable weekend option with many diverse activities to offer visitors. The legendary DJ Scratch, along with DJ Nathan Salsburg, provided a soundtrack for the evening, while bowling, glow-in-the-dark face painting, a museum-wide scavenger hunt, t-shirt deconstruction and numerous other activities took place throughout the museum.

Lisa Resnik, Chief Operating Officer of the Speed Art Museum, and Kristen Popp, the Speed’s Manager of Media and Public Information, sat down on Thursday to discuss their excitement about the event. “All night long we have different music happening, different events, [and] lot of transitions going on,” she said. “It’s all kind of signifying the new Speed and our transition from what it is now to what it will be,” Popp added.

Outside, video instillation produced by Jonathan Klingenfus, Andrew Vititoe, Tim Furnish and Ryan Daly, took place during the evening’s events. The front of the museum came alive Saturday night with abstract images, distorted silhouettes, and trippy color patterns, while the spinning records played in the background. Inside the museum, participating in a warmer option, guests drew on walls with paint markers, colored on chalkboards, and left their own mark on Speed walls before the museum closes down for the next three years.

Food trucks, Quills coffee, a cash-bar, and celebratory cake helped ensure that event-goers stomachs were full as they participated in the events going on throughout the evening. Many joined in deconstructing t-shirts, taking the shirts donated by Café Press, and putting their own personal flair on them. Carissa Christian painted patrons’ faces while others danced the night away on the neon-lit dance floor.

The event may be over, and the museum closed now, but the Speed Art Museum will not stop influencing the Louisville art community. The Speed has already organized a “Speed About Town” program, and plans on displaying their pieces on the museum’s website, showcasing pieces throughout the Louisville area, and has already put together a 2012-2013 concert series. “We’re very excited for what’s to come,” said Popp.
Photos: Val Serdino/The Louisville Cardinal

Cage the Elephant’s Matt Schultz performs at Starry Nights Music Festival in 2011. The band has been involved with the music fest since 2010 and aims to create an intimate festival experience for all patrons.

Cage the Elephant curates Bowling Green music festival

Cage the Elephant’s Matt Schultz performs at Starry Nights Music Festival in 2011. The band has been involved with the music fest since 2010 and aims to create an intimate festival experience for all patrons.

By Anna Meany–

Sept. 28 and 29 mark the 5th annual Starry Nights Music Festival, taking place in Bowling Green, just two hours down I-65.

Curated by Bowling Green natives Cage the Elephant (CTE), Starry Nights is an attempt to create a big music festival that feels like a camping trip with close friends. Although the festival is the brainchild of Michael Graves, band members started their involvement in 2010. Take the word ‘involvement’ lightly – this music festival is their baby.

Brad Schultz, guitarist in CTE, said the band started propelling Starry Nights in efforts to “expose people to bands and music…and have people coming from all over the world to discover Bowling Green bands.”

They’ve partnered with C3, a kind of music festival guru company that takes charge of producing entire festivals, including ACL, Counterpoint and Lollapalooza.

Fans could call Starry Nights a warped, hipster version of a very cool family reunion. “We’re friends with the bands that we’ve brought in. Some of the bands are friends of friends.” Schultz explained that they’re close with tour mates Manchester Orchestra and Sleeper Agent, as well as Morning Teleportation and Margot and the Nuclear So & So’s. Members of CTE are no strangers to giving fellow musicians a lift – hometown neighbor Sleeper Agent gained serious stardom after CTE brought them on tour. They’ve even opened five slots at Starry Nights to be filled by local bands handpicked by fans via online voting.

“They look at music the way we look at music – and that’s to bring people together. We try to get bands that have the same mindset we want people at Starry Nights to feel.”

“Our whole mantra to the festival was to do things that other festivals wouldn’t dare do… it’s not like we’re doing something super extreme, but we’re doing stuff out of the box.”

Besides having one giant graffiti wall, which will be a collaborative effort by all artists, they’re planning to have what he calls a “hammock haven” – literally a bunch of hammocks set up in the shade so patrons can relax. Starry Nights will even have an organic pancake breakfast – and for downtime, fans can join in a giant game of disc golf in the center of the festival or go up in the hot air balloon. There’s no telling how Cage the Elephant rigged all of these perks, but attendees will surely never be bored. Schultz said they’re “bringing people together and creating a sense of community that sometimes gets lost at other festivals.”

They even have a DJ competition – opening up the contest to any mixer to submit their best remix of “It’s Always Something” by CTE. And the winner receives a full DJ set at Starry Nights.

He also said that they grabbed inspiration from other music festivals they’ve played and attended that “more sense of community.” He described his favorite festival experience “in the rain at Lollapalooza 2011. I’ve never experienced a moment quite like that.”

Schultz said the band hopes to grow Starry Nights to the size of more widely-known festivals, like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. He even sounded shocked to hear himself talk about ticket sales. “We sold tickets in the UK and Australia and 33 different states this year. I don’t think it’s even reached the midway point.”

Tickets cost $45 for the two-day September festival – a price Schultz describes as affordable compared to most music festivals. Look to for more information and ticket sales.
Photo courtesy AndrewMPearson/Yellowberri Music