David Schein Returns to Jamestown for the First “Arts On Fire LIVE” Performance at Reg Lenna Center for the Arts


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Reg Lenna Center for the Arts

David Schein, former Executive Director of the Reg Lenna Civic Center and Arts Council for Chautauqua County returns to Jamestown Thurs., April 4 at 7:30 p.m. to read from his novel, “The Adoption”. WRFA Station Manager Dennis Drew will also interview Schein before a live audience. The reading and interview will be the first of a new series of events produced by WRFA at The Reg called “Arts On Fire LIVE”. The event is free to the public and will take place in the new Media Arts Studio on Reg Lenna Center for The Arts’ 3rd Floor.

“Arts on Fire LIVE” will be the first multimedia series in the Media Arts Studio as WRFA marks its 15th anniversary of being on the air.

Gleaned from Schein’s many travels to Ethiopia, where he co-founded with the children of the Southern Dawn Circus, the One Love AIDS/HIV Awareness Theater, “The Adoption” fictionalizes the lives of children growing up in Ethiopia and the USA over the span of the last twenty years.

The book opens with the adoption of an Ethiopian girl, Kalkidane, by an interracial American couple who live in Chicago. Kalkidane is supposedly an orphan, but her adoptive parents discover that the adoption was not as promised; in fact she has a real family, still living in Ethiopia, who never fully understood that an adoption was forever.

Travelling to Ethiopia the Chicagoans meet Kalkidane’s birth parents and her sisters and brother. Thus begins a relationship lasting twenty years, as the book alternates between Kalkidane’s life in Chicago and her sibling’s lives in Ethiopia, chronicling the always disruptive visits of the American family and the gradual dispersal of the Ethiopian teenagers from their hometown, Dice Dota. Their stories culminate in a huge demonstration on Bob Marley’s birthday in Shashamene.

Schein is on a book tour that has taken him to New Orleans and Chicago. In the fall of 2019 he will give readings on the West Coast. He hopes to engage the huge Ethiopian Diaspora in the USA, and to have “The Adoption” translated into Amharic, the lingua franca of Ethiopia.

“Arts on Fire LIVE” is planned to be a series of concerts, readings, interviews and more presented before small audiences. Most of these events will be recorded with live audiences and broadcast on WRFA, 107.9 FM. Patrons are invited to enjoy refreshments before the performance and meet Mr. Schein after the performance in the adjacent Pre-function Room, also on the 3rd Floor. The book will also be for sale at that point.

“Arts on Fire LIVE – The Adoption” is free and open to the public. As seating for the event is limited, patrons must RSVP by calling 716.484.7070 or sending an email to RSVP@reglenna.com. The Media Arts Studio is located within the Reg Lenna Center for The Arts. Patrons may enter the awning entrance of the building at 108 E. 3rd St. (between Forte and 3rd on 3rd Gallery) and take the elevator to 3R. “Arts on Fire LIVE” is made possible by support from Arts Consulting Group.

“Arts on Fire” is a weekly radio program airing Fridays at 5 p.m. on WRFA-LP 107.9 FM. The show is curated and hosted by WRFA Public Affairs Director Jason Sample and features interviews with and performances from local, regional and national artists who present their work in Jamestown and the Chautauqua region.

The Media Arts Studio is possible with grants from the Sheldon, Gebbie and Lenna Foundations, Downtown Redevelopment Initiative, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and Holmberg Foundation.

For more information, visit reglenna.com.