Thank you for supporting the Day of Giving

Thank you for supporting the Day of Giving

Day of GivingThank you for your support of NIU’s first-ever Day of Giving.  NIU raised more than $750,000 in 1895 minutes (to honor the founding of the university nearly 125 years ago), and the College of Visual and Performing Arts totaled the second most gifts of any college in raising more than $50,000 to support students, scholarships and programs.

Thank you, Huskies!

Join in the fun of NIU’s Day of Giving and support students of the arts!

Join in the fun of NIU’s Day of Giving and support students of the arts!

NIU’s first-ever Day of Giving is underway.  A university-wide online fundraising event, the Day of Giving provides a great opportunity to support students, scholarships and programs at NIU.

In the College of Visual and Performing Arts, you have multiple opportunities to contribute:

Strategic Priorities – The Strategic Priorities Fund in the College of Visual and Performing Arts provides flexible, essential resources for students and faculty and allows college leadership to respond to the most pressing needs and opportunities. Current priorities include but are not limited to: student and faculty travel, equipment, visiting artists and experiential learning opportunities.

Scholarships – A well-timed scholarship can change the life of an NIU student. Your gift will support recruitment and retention scholarships for students studying art, music, theatre or dance.

School/Unit Support – The College of Visual and Performing Arts is comprised of three schools – Art and Design, Music and Theatre and Dance – as well as the NIU Art Museum and the Community School of the Arts. Your gift can be designated specifically to one of the schools or units to support their area of greatest need.

Through your support of the Day of Giving, you are helping to unleash the next generation of artists studying at NIU. You are helping to train outstanding music and art teachers, actors, musicians, dancers, designers, visual artists, art historians – and the list goes on.

This is an opportunity to Unleash an Artist, and transform the lives of students studying the arts at NIU.

College of Visual and Performing Arts Day of Giving Challenges

Annette and Jerry Johns College of Visual and Performing Arts Challenge
Annette and Jerry Johns want to start the Day of Giving off right. When the College of Visual and Performing Arts reaches 125 total donors, they will make a gift of $6,000 to support the Aspirational Impact Fund in the School of Art and Design to encourage creative endeavors that current funds do not allow for or provide. 

CVPA Leadership Society Challenge for the School of Music
Members of the Leadership Society have combined their support to incentivize giving from alumni and the community to the School of Music. When 50 donors make a contribution to support the school, it will unlock gifts totaling $5,000 from the VPA Leadership Society. 

Johns Challenge for the NIU Art Museum and Community School of the Arts
Annette and Jerry Johns want to challenge alumni, friends and the community to support the NIU Art Museum and the Community School of the Arts. To incentivize giving to these units, the Johns will add a gift of $5,000 to the Day of Giving totals when each unit exceeds 25 donors. 

CVPA Advisory Council Challenge for the School of Theatre and Dance
The Dean’s Advisory Council in the College of Visual and Performing Arts is challenging the community and alumni to support the School of Theatre and Dance. Gifts totaling $3,000 from members of the council will be added to the day of giving totals when the school reaches 25 donors. 

Morrissey Family Challenge for Music Education
The Morrissey family challenges alumni and friends to support the Music Education program during the Day of Giving. Funds will support guest speakers, conducting workshops and other enrichment experiences for students. The family will make a contribution of $1,500 when 25 gifts have been made to Music Education. 

Janet Hathaway Challenge for Visual and Performing Arts
Janet Hathaway is encouraging donors to help double her support of the Strategic Priorities Fund in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Janet will match gifts made today, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1,500. 

Chris and Eric Luskin Scholarship Challenge
Chris and Eric Luskin want to inspire scholarship giving to the College of Visual and Performing Arts. When the college reaches 50 donors to the scholarship fund, it will unlock a $10,000 gift in support of student scholarships. 

Altendorf Momentum Challenge
NIU alumnus Michael Altendorf ’79, ’81 MBA, and his wife Susan are impressed by NIU’s Day of Giving progress and want to see it continue.  When we reach 700 total donors, it will unlock a $26,000 gift to support student scholarships.

Recent Grad Challenge
A group of NIU recent graduates (Classes of 2009-2018) are challenging fellow Huskies to make a gift.  When 100 recent graduates make a gift during the Day of Givin, an additional gift of $2,500 to support student scholarships will be added to our giving day totals.


NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts to present Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín and related art exhibition and theater performance

NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts to present Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín and related art exhibition and theater performance

The NIU School of Music presents, Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín in concert Sunday, April 28 at 3 p.m. in Boutell Memorial Concert Hall in NIU’s Music Building. 

The signature concert of The Defiant Requiem Foundation, Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín, tells the story of the courageous Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp (Terezín) during World War II who performed Verdi’s Requiem while experiencing the depths of human degradation. With only a single smuggled score, they performed the celebrated oratorio sixteen times, including one performance before senior SS officials from Berlin and an International Red Cross delegation. Conductor Rafael Schächter told the choir, “We will sing to the Nazis what we cannot say to them.”

Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín is a concert-drama that was conceived and created by Foundation President, Maestro Murry Sidlin. It combines the magnificent music of Verdi with video testimony from survivors of the original Terezín chorus and footage from the 1944 Nazi propaganda film about Theresienstadt. The performance also includes actors who speak the words of imprisoned conductor Rafael Schächter and others.

The performance at NIU will feature the NIU Concert Choir, the NIU Philharmonic, Cor Cantiamo, Voices in Harmony, and the McHenry County College Chamber Choir. The performance will be conducted by Maestro Murry Sidlin and soloists include Sara Gartshore (soprano), Susan Platts, (mezzo-soprano), Andrzej Stec (tenor) and Samuel Handley (bass).

Due to high demand it is recommended to purchase tickets online before the concert, though tickets will be sold at the door space permitting.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

A companion art exhibition, Expressions of Defiance, presented by the Jewish Artists Collective-Chicago will be held from the date of the performance through May 15 in the Reynolds Whitney Gallery adjacent to the concert hall.  The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Expressions of Defiance addresses the timeless theme of the arts as a response to oppression, and also to the humanizing and life-giving power of making art in inhuman circumstances. Expressions of Defiance is a multi-media exhibition of art in a dialogue with the Defiant Requiem.

Bent by Martin Sherman is a collaboration project between Northern Illinois University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, The Graduate School, Gender/Sexuality Resource Center, School of Theatre and Dance, School of Music, and School of Art and Design.  The play brings awareness to the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust, and will be performed Thursday May 2 to Saturday May 4 at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Black Box Theatre in the NIU Stevens Building, home to the NIU School of Theatre and Dance.

Tickets for Bent are $5 for NIU students and $10 for adults. Tickets are available at https://bent.brownpapertickets.com

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Terezin stamp

Arts and Culture at Terezin

Situated northwest of Prague, Terezín was originally founded as a garrison city under Emperor Joseph II at the end of the 18th century. After the destruction of Czechoslovakia by the national socialist occupiers in 1938, a Gestapo prison was established in Theresienstadt’s so-called “Small Fortress.” In the autumn of 1941 this civil town, whose inhabitants were relocated bit by bit, became a transit and collection camp for Jews of the region then called the “Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.”

Terezín became the so-called “old-age ghetto” for war invalids and persons of special merit in the First World War, as well as for well-known Jews including scholars, philosophers, scientists, visual artists, and musicians of all types, some of whom had achieved international renown, and many of these contributed to the camp’s unique cultural life.

The Nazis kept a tight rein on the world’s perception of activities within Terezin proclaiming it a “village gifted by the Führer to the Jews.” In a propaganda effort designed to fool the Western allies, the Nazis publicized the camp for its rich cultural life. This included preliminary deportation of the more sickly to Auschwitz to minimize the appearance of overcrowding and a late 1943-44 beautification and embellishment campaign constructing fake shops and cafés along a controlled tour path in preparation for a June 23, 1944 delegation from the International Red Cross to view the camp.

Imprisoned visual artists including Bedřich FrittaNorbert TrollerLeo Haas, Otto Ungar, and Petr Kien, were officially employed by the Arts Department to create drawings of life and work at Terezin on the orders of the SS. The artists, however, depicted the ghetto’s actual conditions in their spare time. Several of these artists were caught smuggling their work out of the ghetto and accused of “atrocity propaganda” and tortured. Much of their artwork was not rediscovered until many years later, and has been a useful tool for historians.

Drawings and paintings by the children interned at the camp were also smuggled out or hidden in the walls at Terezin and have become testimony to the courage of the children and their teachers, who continued to live, to teach, to paint, to learn, and to hope, despite the constant fear of violent death, a fear based on a realistic assessment of the situation in which they found themselves.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Defiant Requiem Foundation, defiantrequiem.org