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Old Dominion University


Grit and Grace

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In these times of heightened strife and violence, vulnerability and threat, the news is constantly filled with quarrelsome noise; with stories of seas rising and cities in quarantine, with the heavy climate of doom and gloom. 

But even as we know and are burdened by this knowing, we also marvel at those individuals among us who immediately turn to the best resources they have to rally and inspire, to encourage others, and to help stave off the anxiety and paralysis that can set in when the world feels too overwhelming. 

Many are leaders of social change: philanthropists, economists, technological innovators, scientists and environmental activists; philosophers, teachers, educators, community organizers. 

Among them are artists and writers whose work is so important—They are the ones who stand with us in the grit of everyday life, and help us find grace again even as we continue facing our most challenging realities. 

As our current US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo reminds us: “Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning—We will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.”

from Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems

Luisa A. Igloria  and Katherine Jackson
2020 Festival Directors

This festival is made possible in part through sponsorship by the City of Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

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Box Office Hours
Box Office Hours
TUES: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
THU: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM