Fifteen years ago, Cultural Thursdays became an official Central Lakes College event under the direction of Jan Kurtz. On Thursday, May 1 at noon, in the Chalberg Theater, Jan will be hosting her final show entitled: “Fun Foreign Fotos”, before retiring.
“As a finale” Jan said, “I wanted to look over a span of time and favorite photos to share with the audience. I have chosen examples from seven countries taken on eleven different trips. The idea is to graduate from being ‘just an observer’ of travel, taking only photo ops, to being a seasoned traveler who includes knowledge of culture, history and yes, languages in their experience.”
Cultural Thursdays began in the classroom, with instructors volunteering to share their travels to audiences of 10 – 25 participants. “For one of my first presentations, I demonstrated how to make Mexican God’s Eyes as a Christmas idea,” Kurtz recalls. “Every first Thursday, we have gone to a different country and culture, thanks to volunteer faculty, student and community speakers. They have put me in Afghani burkas, Mayan traditional blouses, Panamanian Cuna skirts and Spanish Flamenco hats to attract student attention before the shows! Professors encourage attendance by including these events as outside assignments in the form of journaling, intercultural communication and discussion platforms.”
“It has been an excellent venue for our community. After attending, people have networked mission experiences, reached out to international students and used new contacts to plan their next trip! I have been delighted with the population that I call “the groupies”, attending regularly over the years. It is a joy to see them come, bring their friends and then go off to lunch, all part of their Cultural Thursday tradition. Who knew that Cultural Thursday would become a ‘travel destination’?
For her finale, Jan is cordially inviting you to view some of her ‘Fun Fotos’ and stay a few moments afterwards, to greet each other and exchange your favorite travel stories. An informal reception is being planned to commemorate all the trips we have taken together.
Cultural Thursdays are part of the Resource Center for Cultures and Languages of the Americas (RCCLA). Contact: Jan Kurtz at firstname.lastname@example.org ; office 855-8183.