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College of Arts and Sciences

Atkinson Forum hosts Fisk Jubilee Singers Oct. 26

By: Kathy Hovis,  A&S Communications
October 15, 2019

For 16 years, Cornell audiences have enjoyed lectures, performances and events sponsored by the Atkinson Forum in American Studies. This year, the Fisk Jubilee Singers will visit campus for a concert at 8 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Alice Statler Auditorium.

Doors will open at 7:15 p.m. and the concert is free and open to the public.

The Fisk Jubilee Singers are vocal artists and students at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., who sing and travel worldwide. The original Fisk Jubilee Singers introduced “slave songs” to the world in 1871 and were instrumental in preserving the unique American musical tradition known today as Negro spirituals.

 Fisk Jubilee SingersThey broke racial barriers in the U.S. and abroad in the late 19th century and entertained kings and queens in Europe, at the same time raising money to support their school.

“As they have done in so many areas at Cornell, David and Pat Atkinson have contributed so very much to American Studies at Cornell,” said Glenn Altschuler, the Thomas and Dorothy Litwin Professor of American Studies and dean of continuing education and summer session. “From the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who also began the series in 2003, to a jazz concert by Jason Moran, films on sustainability (and Bob Dylan), performances of Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Mass’ and ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ at the Schwartz Center and exhibits at the Johnson Museum, the Atkinson Forum has enriched Cornell and the Ithaca community.”

The Atkinson Forum in American Studies has been held twice a year since 2003 and brings individuals and groups to campus to enrich the curriculum of the American Studies Program and the cultural life of the university. It has been sponsored by David R. ’60  and Patricia D. Atkinson.

“The Atkinsons’ generosity has given generations of Cornellians the opportunity to enjoy and learn from writers such as John Updike and musicians as varied as Afrika Bambaatta, After Experimental Music and Son Jarocho and the Mexican-American Imagination,” said Nick Salvatore, the Maurice and Hinda Neufeld Founders Professor in Industrial and Labor Relations. “The contribution of Dave and Pat Atkinson has enriched the cultural life of the campus. We thank them with deep gratitude.”