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August 9, 2006

Contact Apryl Denny at 608-796-3488 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Presentations by three award winning women, an author, a composer, and an artist, will highlight the “Women Speak: Listening to Women’s Voices Within and Beyond the Academic Disciplines” symposium to be held at Viterbo University Tuesday, Aug. 22.

All events are free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the Viterbo Women’s Studies department and the Wisconsin Humanities Council.

Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of Speak, a book for young adults that was named a National Book Award Finalist and the School Library Journal’s Best Book of the Year. Libby Larsen is one of the country’s most prolific and most-performed living composers. She has received numerous accolades, including a Grammy Award. Mary Merkel-Hess’ art combines sculpture and basket weaving and is on exhibit at the metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

A pre-event book discussion will be held Monday, Aug. 14 at the La Crosse Public Library.

The complete schedule of events:

Monday, Aug. 14

6:30–8:30 p.m. Book discussion of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak led by Apryl Denny, coordinator of Women’s Studies at Viterbo. Please contact Patt Boge at the La Crosse Public Library to obtain a book and a copy of the discussion questions.

Tuesday, Aug. 22

Morning events are held in the Viterbo Fine Arts Center Main Theatre unless noted.

8–8:30 a.m. Complimentary breakfast, Fine Arts Center lobby

8:30–10 a.m. Keynote address by Laurie Halse Anderson

9:45–10 a.m. Audience discussion with Laurie Halse Anderson

10:15–11 a.m. Address by composer Libby Larsen

11–11:45 a.m. Address by artist Mary Merkel-Hess

11:45 a.m.–noon Break and snacks in the Fine Arts Center lobby

Noon–1 p.m. Presentations by Viterbo faculty members in the Fine Arts Center. Participants can choose from a number of presentations and discussions. Presentation topics include women in business, women and leadership, women in art and writing, Hmong women in higher education, and women in academe.

Afternoon and evening events are held at the locations noted below.

1:15–2:30 p.m. Luncheon discussion, “Teaching Speak” with Laurie Halse Anderson and middle and high school English teachers, Viterbo Reinhart Center room 107. This event is by invitation only. Teachers should contact Grant Smith at

4:30–5:30 p.m. Book signing with Laurie Halse Anderson, Viterbo bookstore

6–7:15 p.m. Opening reception for artist Mary Merkel-Hess’ exhibit Patterns of Growth, Fine Arts Center gallery, third floor of the Fine Arts Center

7:30–9:30 p.m. Concert with Libby Larsen and Viterbo faculty, Fine Arts Center Recital Hall

For more information, please contact Apryl Denny at or 608-796-3488 or 608-782-0333.


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