Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Susanne Baer to address social justice and the performing arts at SMTD

As part of the U-M Bicentennial, the University of Michigan will welcome United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Susanne Baer (LLM ’93), of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, to participate in the first of three 2017 Presidential Bicentennial Colloquia.

Taking place on Monday, January 30, the colloquium will feature a number of events across campus, including a sold out keynote address in Hill Auditorium at 9:30 a.m. It will culminate with “Social Justice and the Performing Arts” at Stamps Auditorium at the Walgreen Drama Center at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets for “Social Justice and the Performing Arts,” presented by the School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), are free, but a wait list is currently in place at EventBrite. However, the event will be live-streamed to the Arthur Miller Theatre, also at Walgreen. Tickets are required and can be acquired via EventBrite. (No internet live-stream will be available).

Presented in partnership with the Sphinx Organization, “Social Justice and the Performing Arts” will feature a conversation with Justices Sotomayor and Baer that highlights the prominence of the performing arts in promoting social justice, as well as scholarly work that illustrates the influence of the arts on the overall University community and society in general. The discussion will focus on the impact of the arts on generating awareness, building community, and motivating individuals to pursue social change. It will be facilitated by Aaron Dworkin, dean of SMTD, and his wife Afa Dworkin, president and artistic director of the Sphinx Organization.

The event will also feature a tribute performance by SMTD alumna Carla Dirlikov Canales (BM ’02, voice). Canales, a renowned mezzo-soprano, was the first singer ever to win the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, an honor bestowed upon her by Justice Sotomayor in a ceremony and concert at the U.S. Supreme Court. Canales has established herself as a leader in using the arts to advance important social issues, and is especially interested in issues related to Americans of diverse heritage, with the goal of building unity and understanding.

SMTD students will also be featured at the event, performing several dance numbers, an excerpt from Ybor City: The Musical, and theatre monologues. Two music quartets will also perform, and a special presentation will be made by the Michigan Men’s Glee Club.