Cultural Enhancement Series & Southern Circuit Tour bring new voices to Bowling Green

by Jessica McCormick

Western Kentucky University’s long-standing Cultural Enhancement Series returns to Van Meter Hall to bring the community two stellar speakers, Roxane Gay and Robert Reich, to entertain and inform. Created to spark conversation and widen horizons, the Cultural Enhancement Series encourages students and all members of the community to open their minds to new voices and perspectives.

Roxane Gay

The 2017-2018 season of the Series will kick off with acclaimed author and New York Times opinion writer Roxane Gay on Sept. 19, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. Her work, which features prominent LGBTQ characters and themes of sexual assault, feminism, and body image, has been published in many mediums – novels, essay collections, short story collections, and even a memoir, Hunger, which was published in June 2017. Her New York Times bestselling essay collection, Bad Feminist, was published in 2014 and is, to Gay, more about humanity and empathy than feminism.

No tickets will be required for this free event co-sponsored by WKU’s Gender and Women’s Studies program, which focuses on the ways in which gender affects people personally, socially, and culturally.

Robert Reich

Former Secretary of Labor (1993-1997) under Bill Clinton and author of Saving Capitalism Robert Reich will be speaking in Van Meter Hall on Oct. 18, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. Reich has served in three national administrations and on Barack Obama’s economic transition advisory board. In 2008, TIME magazine named him one of the ten most successful cabinet secretaries of the past century. Reich is the author of 15 books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages. He now serves as Chancellor’s professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

As with the Roxane Gay event, there will be no tickets necessary, and seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Making Note

Roxane Gay will be speaking on Sept. 19, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in Van Meter Hall at the top of the hill on Western Kentucky University’s campus in Bowling Green.

Robert Reich will be in Van Meter to talk politics and economics on Oct. 18, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

Both events are free of charge to anyone who wishes to attend. There are no tickets or reservations for either event, meaning that seats are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Information about the current Cultural Enhancement Series can be found online at or on Facebook and Twitter.

For questions specific to the individual events, please email at least three weeks prior to the event or call the WKU Fine Arts Box Office at 270-745-2497.

Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers

Southern Circuit will be touring the southern part of the country bringing new, independent films to several towns. This fall, they will be coming to the Capitol Arts Center, 416 East Main Street, in downtown Bowling Green. Southern Circuit will take audiences away from their phones and televisions by presenting the following three independent films.

Pushing Dead

Pushing Dead, an “AIDS comedy” directed by Tom E. Brown, is about a struggling writer who has been HIV-positive for over 20 years and tells the tale of his life with a disease and no insurance plan. It will be shown on Sept. 12, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Arts Center.

SCORE: A Film Music Documentary

SCORE: A Film Music Documentary, directed by Matt Schrader, explores how composers created some of the most iconic movie scores. This film describes the evolution of sound and the influence of movie soundtracks in today’s world. See it live at the Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green on Oct. 24, 2017, at 7 p.m.

Romeo is Bleeding

Romeo is Bleeding is the tale of film subject Donté Clark, a young poet hoping to end violence in his hometown of Richmond, Calif. Clark and the other youth in his city come together to adapt Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet into an urban setting in order to start a dialogue about violence. Romeo is Bleeding will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Arts Center in downtown Bowling Green on Nov. 7, 2017.

Admission to all of the films is free, no tickets necessary. As with the Cultural Enhancement Series, seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.