Calendar of Events

Check out the dynamic arts performances and events that Holy Cross has lined up.

Fall 2021 Arts Events

A projected image from the film displaying a silhouette of Gwendolyn Brooks is displayed on a wall above musicians and artists.

Sept. 3-5
Manual Cinema’s “No Blue Memories”
(HC Community:
see MyHC for outdoors screenings)

Register to receive streaming link and password

Manual Cinema’s “No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks” brings to life the story of one of Chicago’s most beloved figures. She was an icon, a poet laureate, and a Pulitzer Prize winner — but she was also a treasured educator and mentor to the countless writers and children who knew her as their very own “Miss Brooks.” Weaving together poetry, storytelling, sound design, original music, and striking visuals, “No Blue Memories” is an exploration of Brooks’ beloved city and a story of how she navigated identity, craft, and politics over the course of one of the most remarkable careers in American literary history. The performance combines intricate paper puppetry, live actors working in shadow, and an original score for an unforgettable multimedia experience.

Featuring a screenplay by Eve L. Ewing and Nate Marshall of Crescendo Literary and with music by Jamila Woods and Ayanna Woods, “No Blue Memories” was commissioned by the Poetry Foundation for the Brooks Centenary and premiered in Chicago in November 2017.

Sponsored by Arts Transcending Borders

Photo credit: Lindsey Warren

A print by Elizabeth Catlett: On the left side is the profile of a woman's head rendered as both positive and negative, with abstracted women's figures in rainbow colors running as a band from the top to the bottom of the right-hand side of the image.

Sept. 7 – Dec. 15
Cantor Art Gallery

10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday | Noon – 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday
Closed: Oct. 11, Nov. 11, and Nov. 25 – 28
“The Art of Elizabeth Catlett from the Collection of Samella Lewis”

Widely recognized as one of the more important artists of the 20th century, Elizabeth Catlett (1915 – 2012) was a printmaker and sculptor whose career spanned more than 6 decades. “The Art of Elizabeth Catlett” comprises prints and sculpture created between 1946 and 1996, exploring the many themes that permeate Catlett’s work: social and racial justice, motherhood, and the Black-American experience; and includes works by Catlett’s husband Francisco Mora and student and longtime friend, Samella Lewis. This exhibition was organized by Landau Travelling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California.

Sponsored by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery

Rebecca VanDiver, wearing an animal print patterned shirt, smiles into the camera.

Sept. 9 | 4:30 p.m.
Zoom webinar virtual lecture | Register
Opening Celebration: “The Art of Elizabeth Catlett from the Collection of Samella Lewis

Lecture by Dr. Rebecca VanDiver, professor of African American Studies, Vanderbilt University

“My Art Speaks for Both My People: An Introduction to Elizabeth Catlett’s Artistic Activism.”

Please note: This lecture was previously scheduled in Rehm Library, but is now a virtual event. Reception in Stein Tent has been canceled.

Sponsored by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery

Sept. 23 | 7:30 p.m.
Rehm Library
Faculty Reading by Hugh Martin & Xu Xi

Join us for an event showcasing work by Holy Cross’ own creative writing faculty.

Hugh Martin, wearing a blue t-shirt, smiles and stands in front of a brick wall.

A veteran of the Iraq War, Hugh Martin is the author of “In Country” (2018) and “The Stick Soldiers” (2013). The recipient of NEA and Wallace Stegner Fellowships and a Pushcart Prize, he is currently working on a collection of essays interrogating how the military-industrial complex shapes discourses of masculinity, remembrance, and veteran identity.


Xu Xi, wearing a white shirt, smiles and leans on a yellow helicopter.

Xu Xi 許素細, the College’s Jenks Chair of Contemporary American Letters, has authored or edited nineteen books including “This Fish is Fowl” (2019) and “The Art and Craft of Asian Stories” (October 2021). A new collection, “Monkey in Residence and Other Speculations,” is forthcoming in 2023. Xu is Indonesian-Chinese, born and raised in Hong Kong and has taught creative writing at universities internationally since 2002.

Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program

Nadine Knight, wearing a red shirt and black jacket, smiles into the camera.

Sept. 28 | 12:15 p.m.
Cantor Art Gallery

Noontime Lecture Series @ The Cantor

Professor Nadine M. Knight, Africana Studies and English Department
“Visions of Black Motherhood in the Black Arts Movement”

Sponsored by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery

Portrait of Dr. Craig Cramer with organ in the background.

Sept. 28 | 7:30 p.m.
Saint Joseph Memorial Chapel
Chapel Artist Series 2021-2022

Organ music performed on one of the most beautiful and important organs in the world in our very own St. Joseph Memorial Chapel by Dr. Craig Cramer, visiting professor of organ at Yale University.

Sponsored by the Department of Music

Jan Muller-Szeraws, wearing a suit, smiles into the camera with part of his cello visible.

Oct. 1 | 12:15 p.m.
Cantor Art Gallery

Cantor Gallery Concert

Jan Müller-Szeraws, cello and Brooks Scholar Joe Cracolici

Sponsored by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery


Johnny Gandelsman stands sideways to the camera looking down at his violin which he is holding under his right arm.
Osvaldo Golijov, wearing a grey shirt, smiles at the camera while standing in front of a brick building with tall white columns and ivy growing on its side.

Oct. 4 | 12 p.m.
Brooks Concert Hall
On Bach: Johnny Gandelsman, violin, Jan Müller-Szeraws, cello, with composer Osvaldo Golijov


Sponsored by Arts Transcending Borders and the Department of Music

Johnny Gandelsman looks down at his violin which he is holding horizontally in front of him.

Oct. 5 | 7:30 p.m.
Brooks Concert Hall
Johnny Gandelsman, violin
This is America

Tickets: $25//general, $10//HC faculty & staff, $5//students
RSVP here

"...sparklingly personal Bach, shorn of grandeur, lofted by a spirit of dance, and as predictable as the flight of a swallow."

— The Boston Globe 

A founding member of Brooklyn Rider and a member of the Silkroad Ensemble, Grammy-award winning violinist and producer Johnny Gandelsman returns to Holy Cross with a solo program featuring J.S. Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3 on the violin and selections from “This Is America,” a new commissioning and recording project featuring over 20 new works for solo violin, written by American and U.S.-based artists.

“This is America” celebrates America's rich cultural tapestry and its myriad perspectives, thoughts and ideas, offering a vivid counterpoint to the idea that this land can be understood through a singular, dominant point of view. Each composition in the anthology reflects on the current state of American society in a personal and intimate way, looking through an unflinching lens at universal topics like separation, loneliness, hope and love.

Sponsored by Arts Transcending Borders

Susan Schmidt, wearing a black and white shirt and a colorful scarf, smiles while holding onto a banister.
Michael Beatty, wearing a blue and white shirt, smiles into the camera.

Oct. 6 | 12:15 p.m.
Cantor Art Gallery
Noontime Lecture Series @ The Cantor

Professors Susan Schmidt and Michael Beatty, Department of Visual Arts
“Elizabeth Catlett: A Conversation on her Sculptures and Prints”

Sponsored by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery

Jo Ann Beard, wearing a black jacket, smiles and stands against a wall.

Oct. 7 | 7:30 p.m.
Rehm Library
Reading by Jo Ann Beard

Jo Ann Beard changed the landscape of creative nonfiction when she published her now-famous essay about a workplace massacre, “The Fourth State of Matter,” in The New Yorker. Her most recent collection, “Festival Days,” was published in 2021 by Little Brown. She is the author of a collection of autobiographical essays, “The Boys of My Youth,” and the novel “In Zanesville,” and her work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies including “Tin House” and “Best American Essays.” The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program

Terence Blanchard is pictured playing the trumpet. Other musicians are seated behind him wearing masks in a room with large windows.

Oct. 21 | 7:30 p.m.
Mechanics Hall, Worcester

Absence: Terence Blanchard feat. The E-Collective and Turtle Island Quartet
Tickets: $25/general, $5/students


In “Absence,” 2018 USA Fellow, Oscar nominee, and five-time Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard celebrates both the brilliance of jazz master Wayne Shorter’s legacy and the inspiration he has given Blanchard, influencing his ever-expanding amalgam of music and storytelling.

For this monumental task, Blanchard unites his internationally acclaimed band The E-Collective, featuring young musical pioneers Charles Altura on guitar, Fabian Almazan on piano and synthesizers, Oscar Seaton on drums, and David “DJ” Ginyard on bass, with the double Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet. The album “Absence,” celebrating the music of Wayne Shorter, will be released by Blue Note in late August.

This event is held in conjunction with the Presidential Inauguration of Vincent Rougeau, 33rd president of the College of the Holy Cross.

Sponsored by Arts Transcending Borders

Credit: Terence Blanchard

College Choir performs in St. Joseph's Chapel

Oct. 22 | 8 p.m.
St. Joseph Memorial Chapel
“Reaching for Unity”
College Choir Family Weekend
Watch the livestream

The College Choir, joined by a professional orchestra, will present three pieces on reaching for unity. Felix Mendelssohn’s beautiful Psalm 42 cantata describes a deep longing for connection with God. William Grant Still, nicknamed “the Dean of African American composers,” sets the words of poet Katherine Garrison Chapin in “Plain-Chant for America,” a work premiered in the middle of World War II. This bold piece passionately pleas for national unity through references to historical events. And finally, Gwyneth Walker’s wildly original setting of “How Can I Keep From Singing” presents an uplifting vision of humanity. Don’t miss the livestream of this moving music!

Sponsored by the Department of Music

Ana Ugarte, wearing a shirt with green and white patterns, smiles and stands in front of a fireplace mantel with books and a plant.

Oct. 26 | 12:15 p.m.
Cantor Art Gallery
Noontime Lecture Series @ The Cantor

Ana Ugarte, assistant professor, Department of Spanish
“Health Humanities and Art: Catlett, ADAL, and the Other(ed) Body”

Sponsored by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery

Dr. Ezequiel Menendez performing.

Oct. 26 | 7:30 p.m.           
Saint Joseph Memorial Chapel

Chapel Artist Series 2021-2022

Organ music performed on one of the most beautiful and important organs in the world in our very own St. Joseph Memorial Chapel by Dr. Ezequiel Menendez, visiting professor of organ at Holy Cross.

Sponsored by the Department of Music

A dancer, who is facing away from the camera, is bending backwards with arms outstretched, and their left leg raised high above their waist. Another dancer is moving in the background. Both are wearing masks.

Oct. 27 | 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Blaney Gym, Luth Athletic Complex

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company: Afterwardsness
Tickets: $25/general, $10/HC faculty & staff, $5/students 


Legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones brings his moving new work “Afterwardsness” to Holy Cross for a memorable and immersive artistic experience. The title, a Freudian term, comes very close to describing Jones’ state of mind when offered a commission to create a socially distanced work at this particular collective moment. In some ways, the title parodies Jones’ (and many others’) desire to have reached an end point to our twin pandemics: COVID-19 and ongoing violence against Black bodies.

“Afterwardsness” places the audience in an immersive space with the dancers and musicians directly on the gym floor. A poignant musical score crafted by musical director Pauline Kim Harris in collaboration with composer/vocalist/instrumentalist Holland Andrews heightens the performance. Excerpts from Olivier Messiaen’s great war-time composition “Quartet for the End of Time” and an original piece by Kim Harris paying homage to George Floyd set the tone for this profound experience.

Originally commissioned and produced by Park Avenue Armory.

Sponsored by Arts Transcending Borders

Photo credit: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company

Oct. 28 | 7:30 p.m.
Rehm Library
Reading and Discussion with Sybil Baker and Brian Leung

Sybil Baker, wearing a blue shirt, smiles with a window behind her.

Meet Sybil Baker and Brian Leung, two award-winning fiction writers who are living proof of the multiple ways of being (to borrow a phrase from Gish Jen) a “typical American.” After their reading, Jenks Chair Xu Xi will moderate a discussion around race and culture in contemporary American fiction.

Sybil Baker’s most recent novel, “While You Were Gone,” won an IPPY Silver Medal, and her book of non-fiction, “Immigration Essays,” was the 2018-2019 Read2Achieve selection for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she lives and teaches.

Brian Leung, wearing a plaid shirt, smiles and stands on a stairway.

Brian Leung is the author of a short story collection and three novels; his novel “All I Should Not Tell” is forthcoming in fall 2021. A recipient of the Lambda Literary Outstanding Mid-Career Prize, he teaches creative writing at Purdue University.

Sponsored by the Jenks Chair in Contemporary American Letters

Photo credits: Purdue University photos/Charles Jischke

An image of the play’s poster that includes graphics of footprints and a pair of handcuffs interspersed with text about the play.

Nov. 4-6 and 11-13 | 7:30 p.m.
Fenwick Theatre
“The 39 Steps”

by Patrick Barlow
Based on the novel by John Buchan and the screenplay by Charles Bennett & Alma Reville

Richard Hannay is having a very bad day. It's 1935, Europe is heating up, with World War II looming in the wings, and he’s on the run for a murder he didn't commit. Can he clear his name? Can he find love? And what are the mysterious 39 Steps? Patrick Barlow's hilarious, fast-paced take-off of Alfred Hitchcock's classic film is a tale of one man's pursuit of the truth. Scott Malia directs.

Sponsored by the Department of Theatre and Dance

Adrian Matejka, wearing a dark blue jacket and with his arms crossed in front of him, stands in front of water.

Nov. 11 | 7:30 p.m.
Rehm Library
Poetry Reading by Adrian Matejka

Indianapolis native Adrian Matejka is the author of four award-winning collections of poetry, including “The Big Smoke,” which focuses on Jack Johnson, the first Black heavyweight champion of the world, and was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award and the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. He has three books forthcoming: a mixed media collection inspired by Funkadelic, “Standing on the Verge & Maggot Brain,” a new collection of poems, “Somebody Else Sold the World,” and a graphic novel, “Last On His Feet.” He has received fellowships from the American Academy of Poets and the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is the Ruth Lilly Professor of Poetry at Indiana University Bloomington and served as Poet Laureate of the state of Indiana in 2018-19.

Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program

Photo by Polina Osherov

Headshots of performers, clockwise from top right: Matthew Jaskot (piano), Jonathan Hess (percussion), Yoko Hagino (piano), Matt Sharrock (percussion)

Nov. 11 | 8 p.m.
Brooks Concert Hall
Points of Intersection – Music for Pianos and Percussion
Yoko Hagino (piano), Matthew Jaskot (piano), Jonathan Hess (percussion), Matt Sharrock (percussion)
Watch the livestream

Pianists Yoko Hagino and Matthew Jaskot (Holy Cross faculty) team up with percussionists Jonathan Hess (Holy Cross faculty) and Matt Sharrock to present a dynamic concert of 20th and 21st-century works, featuring Béla Bartók’s groundbreaking Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion (1937). The program also includes Luciano Berio’s “Linea” (1974), Jaskot’s “Emanations” (2013) and Alvin Singleton’s “Greed Machine” (2003). Join us for this concert of spirited, powerful, and vigorous music!

Sponsored by the Department of Music

Portrait of Dr. Julia Brown

Nov. 16 | 7:30 p.m.
Saint Joseph Memorial Chapel

Chapel Artist Series 2021-2022

Organ music performed on one of the most beautiful and important organs in the world in our very own St. Joseph Memorial Chapel by Dr. Julia Brown, director of music and organist at Mayflower Congregational Church, Grand Rapids.

Sponsored by the Department of Music

Nov. 17 | 12:15 p.m.
Cantor Art Gallery
Noontime Lecture Series @ The Cantor

Dr. Meredith Fluke, director, Cantor Art Gallery
“The Art of Elizabeth Catlett: A Curator’s Perspective”

Sponsored by the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery

Chamber Singers performs in Brooks Concert Hall

Nov. 19 | 8 p.m.
Brooks Concert Hall
“Movers and Shakers”
Chamber Singers Fall Concert
Watch the livestream 

The Chamber Singers presents our most varied program yet! From Old Testament prophets to sleigh rides and crickets shaking their legs together, this program has a little bit of everything. Renaissance composers Josquin des Prez, Palestrina, and Vittoria Aleotti will be featured as well as contemporary composers Mari Esabel Valverde, Jonathan Woody, and Fahad Siadat. In addition, there will be two world premieres — a performance of Dr. Jong Yeoul Chong’s setting of the famous Korean poem “Seo Si” and Katherine Saxon’s inspired madrigal about the unique singing of cicadas, inspired by the Brood X cicadas of this past summer. Tune in to the Brooks Concert Hall livestream of this short, fun program!

Sponsored by the Department of Music

A graphic image of an upside-down black umbrella floating in water.

Dec. 2-4 | 7:30 p.m.; matinee Dec. 5 | 2 p.m.
The Pit (O’Kane 037)
“Eurydice” by Sarah Ruhl

Alternate College Theatre’s fall production is the American playwright Sarah Ruhl’s reimagining of the widely dramatized myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, in which Orpheus, the gifted musician, journeys to the underworld to persuade Hades to give him back his lost wife Eurydice. Ruhl’s version is from Eurydice’s point of view. Eile McGinn ’22 directs.

Sponsored by Alternate College Theatre

An image of an individual’s hands as they are playing a gold embellished Gamelan instrument.

Dec. 10 | 7:30 p.m.
Brooks Concert Hall
Gamelan Gita Sari Fall Concert

I Nyoman Catra’s Gamelan and Balinese Dance students take the stage for this always eagerly anticipated concert.

Sponsored by the Department of Theatre and Dance and Department of Music

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