Spring 2019 Event Series

Folk/Americana: Music, Art, and Social Change

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact folklore@psu.edu

Film Screening: Lowdown Tracks

Thursday, February 7 at 7PM in Gallery Lounge (W107) Olmsted Building

Lowdown Tracks has been identified as a highly effective call to action, addressing mental health stigma and issues of homelessness in Canada. The film’s main subjects are talented street musicians and the face of some of Canada’s most vulnerable individuals. As our homeless crisis grows, life on the margins threatens more and more people. The causes, from abuse to mental health to simple bad luck, are all touched on in the film. At its heart, Lowdown Tracks is about bringing into focus the heartache and the beautiful potential we should see when we walk by
someone on the street. In the end, it is a celebration of the power of music and survival.

Poetry Reading: Russell Brakefield

Wednesday, April 3 at 6PM in the Oliver LaGrone Cultural Arts Center (W132), Olmsted Building

Russell Brakefield received his M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. His writing has appeared in national journals and anthologies including The Southeast Review, The Literary Review, and BOMB magazine. He has received fellowships from the University of Michigan Musical Society, the Vermont Studio Center, and the National Parks Department. He teaches writing at the University Writing Program at the University of Denver. His book Field Recordings (Wayne State University Press, 2018) uses American folk music as a lens to investigate themes of personal origin, family, art, and masculinity. Inspired by the life and writings of famous folk music collector and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, Field Recordings explores the way art is
produced and translated, the line between innovation and appropriation, and the complex, beautiful stories that are passed between us. From poetry readers to poets, music fans to musicians, this collection will
undoubtedly appeal to a wide audience.

This event was jointly organized with the Penn State Harrisburg School of Humanities’ Visiting Writers Series.

Concert: Apes of the State

Thursday, April 25 at 7PM in the Stacks Market Stage, Olmsted Building

Hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Apes of the State is a self-described “folk-pop-punk” group. Their first album, This City Isn’t Big Enough, debuted in 2016 and was followed with two national tours. Influenced by storyteller singer/songwriters such as Paul Baribeau and Everyone Except Me, Apes of the State’s music combines a straightforward, emotional, and lyrical style with the drive and power of a full acoustic band. The group features Dan Ebersole on the mandolin/guitar, Mollie Swartz on the violin, and April Hartman on the guitar/lead vocals. Their ever-changing sound is deeply rooted in punk rock, folk, and bluegrass, but with millennial sensibilities. Their songs explore love, heartbreak, student loan debt, regret, and overcoming addiction. As a band, they are driven by DIY ethics with a goal of helping as many people as possible with their music, and have been especially active in addiction recovery causes.

Click on the image below for a series flyer: