Dialogue on worldly topics opens in Carbondale | AspenTimes.com

Dialogue on worldly topics opens in Carbondale

CARBONDALE ” A new nonprofit organization is working to bring prominent national and international speakers to the lower Roaring Fork Valley for a series of dialogues on issues of global importance.

The Roaring Fork Cultural Council is being funded by 26 local founders. It is co-chaired by Carbondale philanthropist Jim Calaway and local businessman Craig Rathbun.

Three-time ambassador and former director of the U.S. Information Agency Henry Catto will be the first presenter on Friday, Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m., at Thunder River Theatre, 67 Promenade, in Carbondale.

The question-and-answer session, moderated by Calaway, will engage the audience as Catto shares his ideas on the foreign policy challenges facing President-elect Barack Obama, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

The dialogue format is similar to events hosted by the Aspen Institute, of which Calaway is an honorary trustee. He emphasized that the presenters in the series “will not make speeches.”

“About six or seven years ago when I was helping raise money to build Thunder River Theatre, I mentioned that one of the things I envisioned was to have events similar to the Aspen Institute at the theater,” Calaway said.

“The idea is to bring in people of distinction to talk about cultural, political, ecological and other issues that we want to know about, and that we ought to know about,” he said.

The Cultural Council is a partnership with Colorado Mountain College, the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities, and the Thunder River Theatre Company.

“We really want this to grow into something that adds to the community that we love so much,” Calaway said.

Six additional events are being planned this year, including a March 28 presentation by John Bennett, a researcher who will speak about the pine beetle problem that has manifested between Canada and Colorado.

A May 22 event will bring a distinguished chief from the Dakota tribe to speak about the mythology and theology of Native American ways of living and thinking.

Other speakers and topics in the series, with dates to be announced, include:

– Dr. Michael Brown, Nobel Laureate, who will speak on matters of health, moderated by a cardiologist from Valley View Hospital;

– Dr. Sylvia Earl, a prominent oceanographer who will talk about ocean changes and global warming;

– A dialogue about Islam and the West, inviting one or two recognized Islamic scholars;

– And a dialogue on energy policy, focusing on developing energy independence.

Tickets for the Jan. 16 visit by Henry Catto are $10 and may be purchased in advance from http://www.rfculturalcouncil.org, the Colorado Mountain College Glenwood Center, 1402 Blake Ave., or the CMC Lappala Center, 690 Colorado Ave., Carbondale.

For more information about the Roaring Fork Cultural Council, visit http://www.rfculturalcouncil.org.


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