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UMPI announces spring semester events

The University of Maine at Presque Isle is pleased to announce a diverse and full schedule of spring semester events. From the Distinguished Lecturer Series to concerts and other special events, campus and community members can participate in activities designed to entertain, engage, and educate.

The university’s newly-established 7-OH-9 Coffee House will begin its semester activity with their Sweet Sounds Open Mic and Karaoke Night on Feb. 17 at 7:09 pm in the Campus Center. During the semester, the Coffee House will also host New York-based musician, Rachel P. on Mar. 1, and another Open Mic Night, appropriately named No Mo’ Sno’, on Apr. 19.

Spring semester cultural events and concerts include the The Kinsey Sicks on Mar. 29 at 8 pm. This dragapella beauty-shop quartet will deliver a night full of award-winning a capella singing and comedy. Since 1993, the group has performed in more than 40 states around the country, along with appearances in Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia, an Off-Broadway show, and an extended run in Vegas.

UMPI will welcome Congo native Michel Chikwanine on April 4 at 7 pm. A former child-soldier, Michel grew up amid the terror of the Great War of Africa that claimed the lives of 5.8 million people, including his father. Michel was forced to leave his home and become a refugee at age 11. Today, he is an accomplished motivational speaker, addressing audiences across North America. Michel has spoken to over 100,000 people leaving audiences with a new perspective on life, a sense of hope through social responsibility, and a desire for change.

In addition, the spring semester activity includes concerts by fiddle-playing singer Natalie Stovall and the UMPI/Community Band, performing on May 7 and May 9, respectively. Tickets and more information about The Kinsey Sicks, Michel Chikwanine, and Natalie Stovall events are available by contacting April Sue Platt, 768-9582 or

The University’s Reed Fine Art Gallery located in the campus center will host several exhibits during the spring semester, beginning with the Art Faculty Group Exhibition. This exhibit features recent work by six members of the University art faculty and closes on Feb. 19. JUST LINE, a juried exhibition of drawings by Aroostook County artists, will open on Feb. 27. JUST LINE is a statewide collaboration among Maine museums and arts organizations. Spring semester activity in the gallery will conclude with Fine Art Senior Exhibitions in April and May 2011. More information about the gallery and exhibits is available from Sandra Huck, 768-9611 or

UMPI will recognize Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence month by hosting a Walk in Her Shoes event on Mar. 9. This international men’s march to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence was established in 2001. It has become a world-wide movement with tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexualized violence education, prevention and remediation programs. During the event, a group of men will begin at the Campus Center and walk a designated path, equivalent to 1 mile, in women’s shoes. The event will conclude with a “Speak Out”, where survivors and volunteers will share their story of rape, domestic violence, and hope.

2011 marks the 10th annual University Day event for the UMPI campus. It will be held on Apr. 13. University Day is an event designed to heighten student and community awareness of the work being done by UMPI students in all of the disciplines represented on campus. Student-led presentations allow students and community members to better understand how disciplines interrelate and how academic work applies to the local and global community. University Day is a conference-style event and the public is welcome to attend.

University Day will also feature the second Distinguished Lecturer Series event for the spring semester. Anthony Cortese, ScD. will speak at 7 pm on Apr. 13. Cortese is co-founder, with U.S. Senator John Kerry and Teresa Heinz, of Second Nature and serves as its president. This non-profit organization founded in 1993 has a mission to develop the national capacity to make healthy, just, and sustainable action a foundation of all learning and practice in higher education.

Community members are invited and encouraged to attend all of these campus activities. Additional information about each event will be released during the semester and is also available by contacting the Community and Media Relations Office at 768-9452.