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January Series starts 24th year at Calvin College | Arts & Culture

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January Series starts 24th year at Calvin College
January Series starts 24th year at Calvin College

by Holly Bechiri in collaboration with Chelsea LaForge

Once again, Calvin College provides -free to the public- daily speakers for the month of January with a variety of topics and presentations.

Calvin College's January Series will be held January 4-24 this year, with weekday presentations starting at 12:30 in the Covenant Fine Arts Center AuditoriumAdditional viewing locations are available, as well as online streaming of audio, for most speakers. A full list of the speakers and the topics covered in their presentations can be found online.

This year's speakers range from Joel Salatin, whose story is included in books such as Omnivore's Dilemma and movies such as Food, Inc., to "world renowned expert on the Middle East" Reza Aslan, to talks about far-reaching countries such as Burma or discussions about theologians like Bonhoefferor by theologions like N.T. Wright. This free-to-the-public winter series aims to provide a diverse selection of topics and perspectives.

We had a chance to speak with director Kristi Potter about the series, now in its 24th year:

The Rapidian: What sort of planning has gone into coordinating the series?

Kristi Potter: We plan all year long, year after year, it never stops.  We are always reading and listening to speakers and looking for potential speakers for upcoming years.  We book speakers within the year so that the series stays timely, with new topics.  The series is very eclectic with it's topics, there is never a theme, each day is a completely different conversation.  Coordinating the series means handling everything from receiving speaker suggestions, inviting speakers, working with agents, coordinating schedules and travel and visits, working with underwriters so that we can provide the series free of charge, working with the 34 remote webcast sites...

TR: What speakers are you most excited about?  

Potter: I am excited for every one of them, it's impossible to pick a favorite. Each speaker and presentation will be so different from the next. That said, I am really excited about Sherry Turkleopening our series [Wednesday January 4] speaking about how technology affects us as human beings. We've been trying to get her to be on our series for a very long time, I'm thrilled that we have her coming.

TR: How are you connected to Calvin college?  

Potter: I graduated from Calvin and have been working at Calvin ever since, for almost 25 years! I've been involved with the January Series for 16 years and have been the director for the past five. Next year I will have twin sons attending Calvin as freshman, so then I will…