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Distinctly Skidmore  |  Performances  |  Talk   |  Exhibits 

Performance Types:  Art  | Classical Music  |  Dance  |  Jazz  |  More Students on Stage


Distinctly Skidmore

May the Best Plan Win

Six student-led businesses—some startups, some existing—will compete in the final round of the Kenneth A. Freirich Business Plan Competition on Friday at the Tang Museum. The student entrepreneurs will vie for a first prize of $20,000 and second and third prizes of $10,000 and $5,000.

They are:

"Each year, the quality of the plans and the presentations just keeps improving," says Ken Freirich ’90, founder of the contest. He started his own publishing business as a student and is now president of Health Monitor Network. "It’s deeply rewarding to see so many students following their passions and developing these businesses with such talent and creativity. I continue to get inspired by them," he adds. As he did last year, Freirich contributed $20,000 toward the first prize. Other alumni contributed prize money as well.

Friday, April 11, 2 p.m., Payne Presentation Room, Tang Museum


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Letters from the Front

If All the Sky Were Paper“The world’s greatest undiscovered literature.” That’s how author Andrew Carroll describes letters written during wartime by Americans in combat and their loved ones at home. Over the last 15 years, Carroll collected more than 90,000 letters from every war in which Americans have fought. They provide the essential script for If All the Sky Were Paper, the spring mainstage production presented by the Theater Department.

Directed by Lary Opitz, professor of theater, the play is based on War Letters and Behind the Lines, the two best-selling books Carroll produced from the Legacy Project, which encourages Americans to honor military service members by preserving their letters and e-mails home. Opitz says he selected the play for its timeliness and the “opportunity to remind students and those who see the play that thousands of our fellow Americans are actively engaged in a war in Afghanistan.” But he continues, “The play is not political in any way. It honors all of those who have fought for their country and continue to fight today. It reminds us of the impact of war.”

Opitz first discovered the play when it came to Albany last year as part of a 50-state Legacy Project tour and he joined the production as one of five actors. For Skidmore, he adapted it for 11 actors and dramatized the narration for more action. Students play the roles of military men and women and their families and friends, acting out the full spectrum of emotions and experiences in the letters.

Tickets: $12 general admission, $8 students and senior citizens.

Thursday, April 10, Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 13, 2 p.m.; Thursday, April 17, and Friday, April 18, 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 19, 2 p.m., Janet Kinghorn Bernard Theater



Classical Music




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Dave BalterInnovating on the Web and in Business

Few Skidmore alumni have navigated the emerging world of social media with greater success than David Balter ’93, who in 2004 made the cover of the New York Times Magazine for his launch of BzzAgent, his path-breaking social-marketing firm.

Balter is now executive chair of BzzAgent, as well as a member of the global executive team and global head of investments for Dunnhumby, a top “customer science” firm, to which he sold BzzAgent in 2011. A cofounder of the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association, he is also CEO of Smarterer, a venture-backed startup that assesses digital, social, and technical skills.

In his April 15 dialogue with Catherine Hill, Skidmore’s F. William Harder Professor of Business Administration, Balter will share his perspective on the ever-shifting landscape of the virtual world and describe the wealth of opportunities he sees for entrepreneurs, marketers, interactive designers, and content creators.

Connecting people and their favorite brands since 2001, BzzAgent remains the nation’s leading social marketing company. It puts products in the hands of hundreds of thousands of everyday consumers and helps them share their opinions of them with their friends and family via reviews, Facebook posts, photos and videos, blog posts, and more. Founded in 2010, the Google-backed Smarterer uses crowd-sourcing to help large enterprises create skill inventories; its technology can validate anyone’s skill in just about any area in 10 questions, 120 seconds.

Tuesday, April 15, 7 p.m., Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall.

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One WorkGo Large, and Go Live

The Tang Museum is offering an unusual chance to view large-scale works from its collection and to gain a greater appreciation for the role of a “teaching museum.” The One Work exhibition (open through June 1) is accompanied by a series of dialogues with the artists conducted side-by-side with their works. “We are turning our Wachenheim Gallery into a classroom and inviting the public in,” says the Tang’s Dayton Director Ian Berry, who is teaching a related art-history seminar. He says the nine works in the show form a syllabus for his class, and the students’ interviews with the artists will be recorded and archived.

In the One Work: One Hour dialogues, the public can engage in conversations with two artists: Beverly Semmes, a sculptor who has had more than 50 solo exhibitions and teaches at New York University’s Steinhardt School and the Pratt Institute, will discuss her work included in the Tang show. And Julian LaVerdiere, co-creator of Tribute in Light, the installation at the World Trade Center site that creates impressive towers of light will discuss his work and its Hollywood connection: his Lost Cornerstone at the Tang is a recreation of one of the giant eagle sculptures from the entrance of NYC’s old Penn Station and has a cameo role in the upcoming movie The Amazing Spiderman 2.

Semmes dialogue: Thursday, April 3, 5:30 p.m., Wachenheim Gallery, Tang Museum
LaVerdiere dialogue: Thursday, April 24, at 5:30 p.m., Wachenheim Gallery, Tang Museum


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