The Vail Symposium announces its winter line-up |

The Vail Symposium announces its winter line-up

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Heading into its 37th year in the Valley, the Vail Symposium is presenting over 35 programs during the winter of 2008. Vail Symposium’s programs are educational, cultural, thought-provoking, affordable, and open to all and Symposium organizers say they are excited to embark on another season of community programming.

A non-profit organization, the Vail Symposium was originally created in 1971 as a once-yearly weekend “think tank” for the early residents of Vail. As the community grew over the years, so too did the Symposium. Now offering over 60 programs a year, the Symposium’s topics cover politics, culture, society, arts, science and the economy. The Symposium brings experts from all of these fields to our community to lead talks, tours and discussions. Paramount to every event is the mission to promote continued learning in the Vail Valley.

While the more than 35 programs are too diverse to lump together, they are broken into eight series to ease the selection process. Stick to your favorite series, or better yet, try one of each!

Arguably the Symposium’s most recognizable series, Hot Topics feature experts in the fields of international and national interest. Kicking off the 2008 season in the shadow of the baseball drug scandals will be a discussion of sports medicine today with Dr. Jordan Metzl on Jan. 3, encompassing the repercussions of the latest technology for sports icons as well as the rest of us. This season’s Hot Topics will continue through March. We will hear about post-Taliban Afghanistan with Ahmad Nader Nadery; Mexican immigration from leading columnist and author Gregory Rodriguez; Rapid growth in India with Mira Kamdar; as well as a discussion the science and ethics of organ transplant and trade with Drs. Broelsch and Kam.

Daring and enlightening, the Unlimited Adventure Series returns to Donovan Pavilion on Thursdays this winter starting Jan. 31. This free series is great for adventurous spirits of all ages, and even those spirits who wish they were a little more adventurous. Rocking another all-star line-up, the 2008 Unlimited Adventure Series will showcase courageous teams of expedition warriors, scientists who are pushing the boundaries of physical and outer-space and record-setting athletes from across the seven continents of the world. Experience life’s courageous stories from Michael Brown on Jan. 31, brotherly love from Earth to space with the Devlin brothers of BLAST, bike tour of the Himalayas with Matthew Cull, inspiration to conquer the world at any age with Phil and Susan Erschler, the thrill of Colorado’s 14-ers with skier and author Chris Davenport, and the discovery of the unknown with renowned caver Hazel Barton when the series concludes on March 6.

From watching to performing, and from workshop to playshop, winter 2008 is an exciting season for arts and culture. The Symposium is introducing two special new tours to take us inside some of the finest individual, local art collections in town. For those who prefer to “do,” there are four great art workshops featuring painting, pruning, poetry and pouring. Make plans to attend the Japanese Brush Calligraphy workshop with the Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi on Jan. 26. The ancient art of bonsai comes to the valley in March when expert Harold Sasaki leads a bonsai workshop, complete with tips for growing bonsai in high altitude. Poet Rosemerry Whatola Trommer will join us for two great programs, a poetry performance on Feb. 29 and a poetry playshop (not workshop) on March 1. The weekend of Jan. 18-20 will feature bronze and iron pouring of sculptures throughout Vail in conjunction with Art in Public Places.

Mark your Tuesdays in January, because it is documentary month in the valley! This year, the Symposium is presenting “The Real Dirt on Farmer John” and “Fog of War” along with discussions with Denver film critic Walter Chaw. Producer and director Anna Stevens will close the series with her documentary “Woven Songs of the Amazon.” Tickets are available by calling the Vilar Center Box Office at 845-TIXS.

Save the third Wednesday evening of the month for Active Minds, a free program providing impartial, wide-spectrum understandings of historical and timely subjects, all the while, stimulating the mind. This season’s line-up includes: The Future of Pakistan on Jan. 16, Social Security on Feb. 20, Democratic Socialism on March 19, Buddhism on April 16, and Cuba on May 21. While geared to seniors, this program has been receiving rave reviews from all. Active Minds will alternate between the Singletree Community Center in Edwards and the Golden Eagle Community Center in Eagle.

Get to know your valley! Learn about today’s valley by taking a look behind the scenes of Vail Mountain or Beaver Creek Mountain. Or, learn about the history of the Valley on an historic snowshoe tour of Camp Hale and talk with a veteran from the 10th Mountain Division. Kirk Johnson will join us for a special St. Patrick’s Day presentation to describe the fossils and remains of earlier ages that are located all around the Valley and the corner states, many that you can spot right from the highway.

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