Monday, March 23, 2015  
BGSU-Kenya partnership empowers women| Improvisation conference slated
Against a backdrop of Kenyan textiles are Diane Frey (left) and Megan Schmidt, who displays samples from her handbag product line featuring her "Elephant Walk" fabric.

Dr. Diane Frey never thought she would visit East Africa, much less become involved in educational partnerships with Kenyan schools for girls and women with HIV-AIDS. But a Christmas visit to her sister in Nairobi, Kenya, several years ago led first to a personal passion and now professional engagement with support organizations, plus mutually beneficial relationships between Kenyan and BGSU students.

For the past two years, students in BGSU's Apparel Merchandising and Product Design (AMPD) Program have been partnering with students and residents of two nongovernmental organizations in Nairobi. The goal is to help Kenyan women become successful in micro-enterprise businesses through producing textile products that will be marketable in the U.S., Canada and Kenya and provide a sustainable income for them and their families.

The vehicle for this is the "Authentic Kenyan" handbag collection.

"I love this project," said senior Jaclyn Wiederman, an AMPD major from Swanton, whose class has recently begun work on it. "It gives me a sense of inspiration, and I love doing something that has meaning behind it and deals with a real-world situation."


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Improvisation is not only central to music and art, in a world where the only constant is change, it has become a necessary tool to deal with society's daily uncertainties. As rules, guidelines and planning become increasingly obsolete, qualities such as spontaneity, inventiveness and creativity become important to our lives.

A two-day conference will explore "Improvisation in the Arts and Everyday Life." Hosted by the Department of German, Russian and East Asian Languages (GREAL), the symposium will be held April 10-11 at BGSU and downtown Bowling Green's Clazel Theatre, 129 N. Main St. Throughout the event, experts on improvisation from various fields will address recent advances in the understanding of improvisation, its history and cultural significance, and its relevance in today's society through performances, dialogues and seminars.



Bowling Green Opera Theater will present Francis Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites" Friday (March 27) and Sunday (March 29). The powerful 1957 opera concerns an order of Carmelite nuns who refuse to renounce their beliefs in the wake of the French Revolution.

Get details In Brief.