Homecoming is almost here. Which arts-and-culture events will you attend?

The University’s Homecoming 2012 countdown is well underway, with only 16 days until this year’s alumni-focused weekend begins. As we’ve done in past years, here are some of the arts and cultural events we’re particularly looking forward to this time around:

FRIDAY, OCT. 26, 2012

  • Tour of Penn’s Architectural Masterpieces (2–3:30 p.m., leaves from the Penn Museum): David Brownlee, the Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of the History of Art, will illuminate campus architectural gems built in the 1870s and first half of the 20th century. (Pre-registration required. A second tour on Saturday will visit buildings from the last 50 years.)
  • Beyond the Screen: Social Impact through Film (3:30–5 p.m., Claudia Cohen Hall): Hear from alumni documentary-makers who strive to make a difference through their work. Panelists include Melissa Fitzgerald C’87 (who we wrote about here and here); David Novack EAS’86 and Nancy Levy Novack C’87. (Advance registration encouraged.)
  • Classes Without Quizzes: “What Is Contemporary?” and Arts@Homecoming Launch Party (46 p.m., Institute of Contemporary Art): ICA Senior Curator Ingrid Shaffner presents her sixth-annual lecture on contemporary visual art. A reception will follow.

SATURDAY, OCT. 27, 2012

  • Classes Without Quizzes: Frank Furness and the Evolution of the Modern Library (9:30 a.m.11 a.m., Fisher Fine Arts Library): Four architecture experts will discuss Furness’s work inside the famous Penn library he designed. Participants include architectural historian James F. O’Gorman; cultural historian George E. Thomas, Gr’75; Henry Myerberg, C’76, an architect with a specialty in library design; and William Whitaker, GAr’96, who curates the University’s architectural archives and Kroiz Gallery. (Advance registration encouraged. A continental breakfast starts at 9 a.m.)
  • Performing Arts & Children: Beyond the ‘Mozart Effect’ (11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Annenberg Center): Aside from entertainment, what do the performing arts offer children and their families? Alumni panelists will include Amy Friedman C’86, GED’86, former SVP/Creative Director at Nickelodeon, Noggin and TeenNick; Ruth Mercado-Zizzo W’98, director of Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion Initiative, EdVestors; Jenny Peek C’85, founder of The Manton Avenue Project, Rhode Island; and Daniel J. Roberts C’92, a novelist, playwright and founder of Private Solutions to Public Problems.
  • Memoir: Methods and Meanings (4:30–6:30 p.m., Kelly Writers House): Moderated by our editor John Prendergast C’80, a group of alumni authors will read and discuss their memoir work. Panelists include Cynthia Kaplan C’85, author of Why I’m Like This and Leave the Building Quickly; Beth Kephart C’82, who has written multiple memoirs and young-adult novels, including the forthcoming Handling the Truth; and James Martin W’82, author of In Good Company and eight other books.
  • Book Party for Songs of Penn (68 p.m., Houston Hall): After his retirement in 2000, Bruce Montgomery, the former Penn Glee Club director who we wrote about here and herefinally had time to collect, research, annotate and edit more than 50 Penn songs. He completed the manuscript Songs of Penn shortly before his death in 2008, and this event will celebrate the newly published tome.
  • Alumni Bacchanal (9–11 p.m., Platt House): Performing arts alumni unite to chat, sing and celebrate Penn’s arts scene.

SUNDAY, OCT. 28, 2012

  • Barnes Foundation Garden and Art Tour (10 a.m.–2 p.m., bus departs from 36th and Walnut at 9:30 a.m.): PennDesign professor Lauri Olin, a renowned landscape architect, leads a tour of the newly relocated Barnes Foundation’s grounds. Participants will explore the museum on their own afterward. (Pre-registration required and there is a $20 ticket fee per person.)
  • My Barbarian presents Post-Living Ante-Action Theater (2 p.m., ICA): Organized by performance troupe My Barbarian, this event marks the culmination of a multi-day workshop at the ICA. Penn students will feature prominently in the public performance.

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