NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The spotlight will be on additions and major renovations in and around Bethel College’s Fine Arts Center (FAC) during this year’s Fall Festival, Oct. 16-19, with most events Oct. 18 on campus.
Oct. 18 at 9 a.m., there will be a rededication of the FAC, which will include unveiling the new name for the facility.
The short ceremony will take place on the plaza in front of the FAC (Krehbiel Auditorium inside, if rain) and will include formal recognition of the brand-new Robert W. Regier Art Gallery, in the same area as the former FAC Gallery, and the Molex Patio outside the gallery.
There are new finishes and furnishings throughout the common spaces in the building, displays highlighting Bethel’s rich history in theater, music and forensics, and a special area dedicated to emeritus fine arts faculty.
There are also several performances scheduled on the Prairie Sky Stage, the new outdoor stage on the northwest side of the FAC.
At 10 a.m., Siobhan Scarry, visiting professor of literary studies, will read from her new book of poetry, Pilgrimly. Students will also read their work. Bethel student musicians will perform 11 a.m.-noon – blues by Leland Brown, Galveston, Texas, on vocals and James Goerzen, Goessel, on guitar, and selections from the women’s a cappella group Woven and men’s a cappella group Open Road.
As always, Taste of Newton downtown is the first major event of Fall Festival, Oct. 16 from 6-9 p.m., featuring a wide variety of food from local restaurants and church and civic groups, plus live entertainment.
Oct. 17, in addition to the 8th annual STEM Symposium, this year honoring psychology, there will also be a special social work symposium, the first of several events throughout the weekend marking the Bethel Department of Social Work’s 40th anniversary.
The social work symposium begins at 1 p.m. with an opening plenary and address by Orlyn Zehr, Newton, in the basement of Bethel College Mennonite Church, with alumni presenters throughout the afternoon. CEUs are available by calling Tricia Lopez at 316-284-5255.
The STEM Symposium also begins at 1 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. Alumni speakers are Louise Hawkley, Homewood, Illinois, and David Stigge Kaufman, St. Louis, on Friday, and Angela Troyer, Toronto, on Saturday (keynote, in the Ad Building chapel). All lectures are free and open to the public.
The Fall Festival theater production this year is the long-running Broadway musical Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh, with the first performance Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. (additional shows Oct. 18, 3:30 p.m., and Oct. 19, 2 p.m., all in Krehbiel Auditorium). Tickets are on sale at Thresher Bookstore in Schultz Student Center during regular business hours or one hour before each performance, subject to availability, in the Fine Arts Center ticket office.
An artist reception for Bethel art faculty David Long and Rachel Epp Buller will be Oct. 17 from 6-8 p.m. in the Regier Gallery area. Their exhibit, “10.14,” featuring recent work (photography, ceramics and prints) will be open in the gallery Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 2-4 p.m.
On Oct. 18, Fall Festival Fair Day on the Bethel campus, food and craft booths as well as exhibits by student, alumni and local organizations open beginning at 9 a.m. on and around the Green.
In the Entertainment Tent on the Green in the center of campus will be the Bethel student bluegrass group The Flannelbacks (Matthew Graber, Freeman, South Dakota, Tim Regier, Newton, Chase Stucky, Moundridge, and Braden Unruh, Goessel) at 9:30 a.m., and the Newton Community Children’s Choir, 10:30- 11 a.m.
The biennial Schweitzer dialect program takes place at 11 a.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. There is no admission charge but a freewill offering will be taken to support Bethel College.
The fifth annual Jazzfest in the Entertainment Tent will feature Newton High School at noon, Hesston High School at 12:30 p.m. and Bethel jazz groups at 1 p.m.
Other musical offerings are Kindermusik workshops at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. in the Fine Arts Center, and “Shape and Sound” at 1 p.m. in Memorial Hall, a presentation by students and faculty of the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts that incorporates music, dance and visual arts.
BCAPA is also sponsoring a 2-mile fun run/jog/walk starting in the Thresher Sports Complex at 9:30 a.m. “Dart for Art” is a fundraiser to support arts education. Registration forms are available in Mojo’s Coffee Shop and Thresher Bookstore, both in Schultz Student Center, or call BCAPA at 316-283-4902.
There are a number of athletic events on campus Oct. 18, starting with the first KCAC cross-country meet to be held on Bethel’s new cross-country course just north of the Mennonite Central Committee Central States building, beginning at 10 a.m.
There is junior varsity volleyball at 12:30 p.m. and varsity at 2 p.m., with Bethel playing Grace University, Omaha, Nebraska.
Women’s soccer plays at 1 p.m. and men’s soccer at 3:30 p.m. on Joe W. Goering Field vs. Southwestern College.
Special events at Kauffman Museum include “Measuring the Carbon Cycle 101” by Thad Miller, Lincoln, Nebraska, 11 a.m. in the museum auditorium, and a chance to meet new museum director Annette LeZotte at a come-and-go reception from 1:30-3 p.m.
Admission to the museum, including the special exhibit “Climate & Energy Central: Doing Science in Kansas,” is free throughout Fall Festival, Oct. 16-19.
The homecoming football game pits Bethel against Southwestern College at 7 p.m. Bethel student-athletes will be recognized at 6:30 p.m., right before the game, on Joe W. Goering Field.
Other popular Saturday events are the come-and-go reunion of Freeman (South Dakota) Academy and Freeman Junior College alumni, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Room 172 of the Fine Arts Center, the hymn sing, 2 p.m. in the Administration Building chapel and the Children’s Park sponsored by the Parents Association, just north of the Ad Building, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Reunions for classes celebrating 10 through 45 years will be held at various times in the Mabee Atrium of the James A. Will Family Academic Center.
The Saturday evening meal option is a tailgate barbecue catered by Bethel’s food service, Aladdin. Tickets must be purchased by the Oct. 10 deadline (adults $10, non-meal plan students $9, children 5-12 $6.50, children under 5 and Bethel students on the meal plan free).
For more details and a complete Fall Festival schedule, go to www.bethelks.edu/fallfest. You can view and print a festival program at this site.
Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.