Everyone from a political candidate and journalist to artists and activists are featured during Blue Mountain Community College’s Arts and Culture Series.

With a theme of “Sense of Place,” the 21st annual event kicks off Monday, April 15 through Thursday, April 18. It includes activities on BMCC’s Pendleton campus, 2411 N.W. Carden Ave., and Eastern Oregon Higher Education Center, 975 S.E. Columbia Drive, Hermiston. The activities are free and open to the public.

“Our Arts and Culture Series brings to you several complicated and thought-provoking ideas around belonging, around sense of place,” said Alison Timmons, series chairperson and BMCC writing faculty.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner will share on the topic of “Bridging the Divide in Oregon: A Purposeful Focus on how we Communicate” Monday at 9 a.m. in Pioneer Hall-132 (Pendleton). A democrat, McLeon-Skinner mounted a campaign hoping to unseat 10-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Greg Walden as Oregon’s District 2 representative.

Other Monday highlights in Pendleton include Luther’s Boots (11 a.m., Bob Clapp Theatre), which was inspired by the 50-year anniversary of Johnny Cash performing a concert at California’s Folsom Prison. Also, East Oregonian photojournalist Kathy Aney and her husband, Bill Aney, will share about the people, landscapes and wildlife of Madagascar at noon in the theatre. And, at 6 p.m., there’s a screening of “100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice.” The documentary is about the efforts of Elouise Cobell (1945-2011) of the Blackfoot Nation. A tribal treasurer turned activist, she filed suit against the United States government for mismanagement of money held in Indian trust funds.

The event’s artist-in-residence is Bette Husted. She is a writer and retired BMCC English instructor. The author of “All Coyote’s Children” and a published poet, Husted will make a pair of presentations in Pendleton (Monday, 10 a.m.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.) and a writer’s workshop in Hermiston (Wednesday, 2 p.m.). In addition, Husted, along with Rich Wandschneider and Pam Steele-Reese, are featured in Writers in the Round Thursday, April 18 at noon in Bob Clapp Theatre.

Oregon Humanities Conversation Project facilitated discussions are included as part of the activities. The program’s mission is to bring Oregonians together to talk about important ideas and issues.

“(They) have been fabulous supporters of the Arts and Culture Series, and BMCC is very lucky to have built a solid relationship with them,” Timmons said. “The facilitators are reliably good, and their topics are current and meaningful.”

The Arts and Culture Series also features Conversation Project activities May 20-21. Additional information will be provided as the dates get closer.

A “Paint Along” (Wednesday, 2-4 p.m. in the student union) activity sponsored by the Associated Student Government requires advance registration. Timmons also encourages people to check out the creative writing contest (Tuesday, 2 p.m. in Betty Feves Memorial Gallery) and a video contest (Wednesday, 9 a.m. in the student union).

For more information, contact Timmons at atimmons@bluecc.edu or 541-289-2832. For a full schedule, visit www.bluecc.edu/community/diversity-at-bmcc/arts-and-culture. For more about the Conversation Project, search www.oregonhumanities.org.

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Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539

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