Associate Professor Lisa Channer is Featured in “At The Podium” Podcast

Professor Lisa Channer sits down with “At The Podium” podcast host, Patrick Huey, for a discussion about the necessity and relevance of art in our world today.
A purple stripe on the left side of the image reads, "Episode 21: Lisa Channer." Professor Channer smiles softly for a photo, wearing a black top, red lipstick, and a red scarf, and has two shelves filled with colorful books in the background.
Photo courtesy of At The Podium.

“At the Podium” is a multimedia platform that is dedicated to self-empowerment and career-building. This episode of the podcast features an interview with UMTAD Associate Professor Lisa Channer, and discusses the necessity and relevance of art in the world today. Listen to the podcast here.

The “At The Podium” website says about the podcast episode: 

“The 1960s were a trying decade. The social compact in America was disintegrating. From 1963 - 1968, Megdar Evers, John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated. The nation stewed in the sewage of political turmoil as Lyndon B. Johnson’s once ascendant political star jarringly dimmed over his handling of the Vietnam War (America’s other 20-year war) which would rage until 1975. Race relations were at their nadir, and it wouldn’t be long before the LaBianca and Sharon Tate murders in Southern California shocked the world. 

In the midst of this turmoil, Dionne Warwick popularized this song and lyrics written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach – “What the world needs now is love sweet love/No not just for some, but for everyone.” It demonstrated the power and usefulness of art, any art really. At its best art can reflect, it can act in counterpoint, and it can enrage and inspire. 

The necessity and relevance of art is a conversation needed today given that we live in tumultuous times, not unlike the 1960s. And if we are going to have this conversation, Lisa Channer is a voice that must be heard. She is a director, producer, dancer, performer, educator, wife and mother. She’s created new work around the world even in Russia using hidden Russian texts that didn’t see the light of day until after the fall of the Soviet Union. She has wrestled with the whiteness and maleness of the Western Theater’s Canon that includes luminaries like Shakespeare, Moliere and O’Neill to find her voice within the work. Her approach to art is Jazz-esque – learn the notes so you can blow them up, make them your own. Hers is a voice, a life and a career that she’s built on her own terms. 

Ask her what the world needs now, and she finds her answers in the molecules of the theater: Compassion, Empathy, Collaboration and Non-Binary Thoughts. For Lisa, art lives in the smudges between boundaries, and in a time when the boundaries are tested daily, it’s the artists who will hold us together.

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