An array of multi-talented UW–Madison alumni will bring their specialties home for this fall’s Multicultural Homecoming celebration the week of October 15.
The line-up of 2018 UW Homecoming events includes:
· RedTalk, featuring Frank Gatson Jr. and Rebecca Arends, Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 330 North Orchard Street;
· Multicultural Homecoming Student Alumni Networking, (an invitation-only opportunity for students to meet and network with influential alumni), Thursday, Oct. 18, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at Heritage Hall, Camp Randall Stadium;
· Multicultural Homecoming Townhall: From the Classroom to the Kitchen, a conversation with Matt Kebbekus & Gabe Stulman from Happy Cooking, Friday, Oct. 19, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., in the Red Gym, 716 Langdon Street;
· Multicultural Alumni Reception, Friday, Oct. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m., in the Memorial Union’s Main Lounge, 800 Langdon Street;
· ReUnite: The ReUnion Experience multicultural homecoming concert, featuring Frank Gatson Jr., June’s Diary, Band Bazaar, Rebecca Arends and more, Friday, Oct. 19, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., in Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall, 800 Langdon Street;
· UW-Madison Homecoming Game Tailgate and Watch Party, Saturday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., AT&T Lounge at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street.
“Homecoming is a very special time for all of us at UW–Madison,” said Tracy Williams-Maclin, chair of the Multicultural Homecoming Committee. “This year many campus partners and supporters have come together to celebrate and highlight accomplishments of our alumni and to host meaningful events that will resonate with diverse alumni, students, family and friends of the university. Our goal is to ensure that they know without a doubt that they are welcome here and we want them to come back for years to come.”
The premiere event of the weekend will be ReUnite: The ReUnion Experience, a free musical concert at 7:30 p.m. in Shannon Hall headlined by June’s Diary, which is managed by renowned director, manager, choreographer and artist Frank Gatson Jr. (’80) and dance mogul Rebecca Arends (’04).
The Band Bazaar, one of Milwaukee’s hottest bands featuring homegrown musicians whose talents have graced stages nationally and world-wide, concert will be a unique production comprised of singing, dancing and live performances by talent from across the country. The attendees of the homecoming concert can anticipate an engaging show hosted by Chicago comedian T. Murph. The show will include the soulful sounds of national recording artist June’s Diary and words from UW–Madison alumnus and world-renowned director and choreographer Frank Gatson. The show will feature captivating dance performances by UW–Madison alumna Rebecca Arends, as well as a performance by UW–Madison student Alberto Kanost and Madison’s Angela Puerta. The crowd can expect exciting step performances from the Alpha Phi Alpha and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Greek organizations on campus. Guests also will have the opportunity to view a phenomenal art presentation by UW–Madison’s own Professor Faisal Abdu’ Allah.
Frank Gatson, Jr. graduated from UW–Madison in 1980 and began dancing and traveling world-wide with Up With People. After working his way to managing the show and performance troupe, he went to New York to study at the Broadway Dance Center and Alvin Ailey Dance Center. His first professional break came when he had the opportunity to dance in Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” video. Gatson went on to become the creative director and choreographer behind Destiny’s Child while also directing music videos for Trisha Covington, Smooth, R Kelly, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Usher, Maxwell, Tyrese, Toni Braxton, Debra Cox and New Kids On the Block. He also has choreographed and creatively directed stars such as Vanessa Williams, Debbie Gibson, Maxwell, Seal, TLC, Mary J. Blige, Tamar Braxton and Ciara.
Rebecca Arends earned degrees in history and Afro American Studies from UW–Madison, where she was a Powers-Knapp Scholar. Following graduation, Rebecca attended The Ailey School under the direction of Denise Jefferson and was awarded the Oprah Winfrey Foundation Fellowship. Now an Adjunct Assistant Professor, Assistant Director of Drexel Dance Ensemble, she has been a member of the Seán Curran Company for nine seasons. She is the resident contemporary and jazz instructor for SPARKS Dance Company at the University of Pennsylvania and teaches jazz and modern dance performance courses at Drexel University.
Among a week of homecoming activities, the Multicultural Homecoming Committee will welcome alumni at the Multicultural Alumni Reception on Friday, Oct. 19, at 5 p.m. in the Main Lounge on Memorial Union’s second floor, 800 Langdon St. Following the homecoming parade on State Street come together to reconnect with old friends while enjoying music and delicious food during the Multicultural Homecoming Reception, hosted by the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association and the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement. Special guests Gabriel Stulman (’03), founder and CEO of Happy Cooking Hospitality, and restaurant partner Matt Kebbekus (’03) will be on hand to discuss their stellar entrepreneurial journeys.
A celebrated restaurateur, Stulman has quietly built a neighborhood empire in New York’s West Village, the neighborhood that houses his collection of laid-back, cozy spots. His first restaurant, Joseph Leonard, is a tight 620 square feet, and Bar Sardine is just another 600.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Multicultural Homecoming Committee is hosting a tailgate and football game watch party from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the AT&T Lounge at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St., so alumni and students can continue connecting with fellow Badgers, friends and family. There will be a DJ, food, drinks, and games.
Other events that are open to the public throughout homecoming week include the traditional Homecoming RedTalk on Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St., where Frank Gatson and Rebecca Arends will be the featured speakers.
For more information, contact Multicultural Homecoming Committee Chair Tracy Williams-Maclin at firstname.lastname@example.org.