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Spring 2021 Residency

The Center for the Arts and Humanities welcomes back Rhiannon Giddens, the 2019-2021 Frank Sinatra Artist-in-Residence, and guest Francesco Turrisi.

For a full list of the April 26-30 events, see below. All Pacific Time.

Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi

The following events are open to all:

Monday, April 26

  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


    Rhiannon Giddens & Francesco Turrisi: They’re Calling Me Home

    Join us for a concert live streamed from Ireland, where the artists live when they aren’t on tour. At home since March 2020 due to the pandemic, the two expats found themselves drawn to the music of their native and adoptive countries of America, Italy, and Ireland during lockdown. They decamped to a small studio on a working farm outside of Dublin to record these songs over six days, exploring the emotions brought up by the moment. 

    In addition to her appointment as the Frank Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts at Santa Clara University, the past two years Rhiannon Giddens has been profiled in the New Yorker, featured on multiple magazine covers, and appeared in Ken Burns’ Country Music on PBS and Samuel L. Jackson’s Epix series Enslaved, among other appearances. She received the inaugural Legacy of Americana Award at the Americana Awards & Honors, composed her first opera, Omar (with a forthcoming debut at Spoleto Festival USA), shared remote performances for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, and was named Artistic Director of the Silk Road Ensemble.

    Welcome and introduction by Michelle Burnham, Director, Center for the Arts and Humanities, and Professor of English.

Tuesday, April 27

  • 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM


    Cooking Italian with Francesco Turrisi

    So you think you know how to cook pasta carbonara? Learn the truth about this special dish — and the debates about how to make it — with multi-instrumentalist, composer, and home chef Francesco Turrisi. Follow along with the live stream as Francesco cooks spaghetti alla carbonara and a tasty crema al mascarpone from his home kitchen in Ireland.

    Ingredient list to be shared beforehand with those who register for this event. Program will be presented in English (although Italian may break out).

    Hosted by Christina Zanfagna, Center for the Arts and Humanities 2020-21 Sinatra Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Music and Ethnic Studies.

Tuesday, April 27

  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


    Careers in the Arts Panel

    Musicians and composers Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi will share their stories — along with four SCU faculty who also work as artists — in the fields of printmaking, music, acting, directing, and filmmaking. Learn how these artists made their way from undergraduate studies into careers, what their involvement with the arts looks like now, and what advice they have for those who are aspiring to work in the world of visual arts, performing arts, film, and other creative professions.

    We invite students, alumni, and anyone with an interest in creative arts careers to join us for this discussion, which will include time for audience Q&A with the panelists:

    • Kathy Aoki, Art and Art History, printmaker and visual artist
    • Ray Furuta, Music, flutist and curator
    • Nico Opper, Communication, film director and producer

    Moderated by Jeffrey Bracco, Theatre and Dance, director and actor.

Friday, April 30

  • 9:15 AM - 10:20 AM


    Rhiannon Giddens on the Arts and Mental Health

    For time immemorial a relationship has existed between the arts and mental health. Evocative processes labeled as artist angst or genius permeate both worlds. Given this relationship, the Cowell Center could think of no better person to help us launch May Mental Health Month and our week of Suicide Prevention than the SCU Frank Sinatra Artist-in-Residence Rhiannon Giddens. 

Friday, April 30

  • 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

    Black Italian Crossroads

    Black-Italian Crossroads

     Musicians and composers, Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, will be joined by a filmmaker and scholars to discuss and explore the connections between African Americans and Italian Americans, revealing longstanding sonic and social affinities as well as overlapping histories of racial and ethnic exclusion.

    • John Turturro, actor, director, and producer
    • Camilla Hawthorne, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (UC Santa Cruz)
    • John Gennari, Professor of English and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (University of Vermont)

    Moderated by Christina Zanfagna, Center for the Arts and Humanities 2020-21 Sinatra Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Music and Ethnic Studies.

The following events are also happening this week but are not open to the public:

  • Culture, Tradition, and Sociality with Michelle Bezanson (Anthropology) Video Recording
  • Music Writing and Research with Christina Zanfagna (Music)
  • Justin "Demeanor" Harrington joins the Laptop Orchestra with Bruno Ruviaro (Music)
  • Francesco Turrisi joins Destination Italy: Immigration in Film and Literature with Evelyn Ferraro (Italian Studies)
  • Social Justice and the Arts with Brian Thorstenson (Theatre & Dance)