Neumann University Cultural Arts Forum


Founded by Dr. Margaret Mary Kearney, a former broadcast personality and friend of Neumann University the Cultural Arts Forum hosts six lectures each year and an annual high tea and fashion show to foster cultural programming and enrich the educational experiences of the University and the larger community. Proceeds from these events benefit the Dr. Margaret Mary Kearney student scholarship which assists non-traditional students.

All seminars are held at 1:30 p.m. in the Fred P. Meagher Theatre, in the Thomas A. Bruder, Jr. Life Center, unless otherwise noted. Both the Bruder Life Center and Meagher Theatre are handicapped accessible. Admission is $10 per person per seminar or FREE with $40 CAF membership. To become a member, complete the form within the Cultural Arts Forum Brochure. (PDF)

Fall 2018 Events:

Bessie Coleman: "Fly! Bessie Fly!"

Dr. Daisy N. Century, perfomer/lecturer
Thursday, September 13, 2018
• 1:30 p.m.
Bessie-Coleman-1-1Bessie Coleman (January 26, 1892–April 30, 1926) was an American aviator and the first black woman and Native American to earn a pilot’s license. Dr. Century will present the story of Ms. Coleman, a pioneer and inspiration to early pilots and to the African-American and Native American communities. Daisy Century is an actress, speaker, author, radio talk show host and educator. She has traveled throughout the United States portraying figures of history.

How to Listen to Music and Grow your Brain: From Bach to Billy Joel

Susan Dodson, presenter
Thursday, October 11, 2018
• 1:30 p.m.
Music is constructed so the listener can solve puzzles. What does the composer expect you to do while you listen? Susan Dodson, who holds a BS in Music Education from Susquehanna University and a master’s degree from
West Chester University, will discuss how musicians create their work. She enjoyed a long career of music education in Philadelphia and Delaware County. Come learn things about music that you never knew!

Those Fascinating Brits: The Enduring Appeal of Reading Jane Austen and Watching Downton Abbey

Dr. Barbara Betz, presenter
Thursday, November 8, 2018
• 1:30 p.m.
For those who love to explore and enjoy British literary culture, the program will focus on the passion that Austen readers and Downton viewers bring to their chosen texts. Dr. Betz will discuss some interesting themes, including the role of women, modernity vs. tradition, a place for the aristocracy in the modern world and how war might factor in with character and plot. Dr. Betz has a PhD in English with a specialty in Victorian literature and women’s fiction, and has taught at West Chester University for over 25 years.

Navigating The Middle

Heidi-HayesHeidi Hayes, musical performer
Thursday, December 6, 2018
• 1:30 p.m.
In the course of 14 months, Heidi survived many life-changing events, which she has chronicled in her book, Navigating The Middle, a collection of stories and songs that celebrate modern life. She is a singer, actor, arts educator and blogger. Her many credits include a nine-month tour in Troika Entertainment’s Sister Act and Mamma Lilly in Hank Williams: Lost Highway at Gretna Theatre. She is a longtime faculty member at the Walnut Street Theatre School and maintains a private voice studio in Bryn Mawr and New York City.


Alice Paul: A Suffragette’s Story

Alisa Dupuy, performer
The Ladies of History: Historical Productions
Thursday, March 7, 2019
• 1:30 p.m.
Alice Stokes Paul (January 11, 1885 – July 9, 1977) was an American suffragist, feminist, women’s rights activist, and one of the main leaders and strategists of the campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits sex discrimination in the right to vote. Enjoy Ms. Dupuy’s portrayal of Alice Paul, as she recounts her life and contributions to the women’s suffrage movement.

This Old Hat, Patriots of Liberty

pattie-carverPattie Carver, presenter
Thursday, April 11, 2019
• 1:30 p.m.
Historically correct, entertaining and filled with music, this program is sure to delight, inspire and inform audiences of extraordinary women that played important roles in American History. Patty Carver’s Patriots of Liberty will bring Betsy Ross, Deborah Sampson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Amelia Earhart to life. Ms. Carver is a singer, actress, and writer with international credits and has appeared across the country in numerous stock and regional musicals.

Author's Corner

Life is a Rough Draft

Annabel Liu, author
Friday, October 19, 2018 • 1:30 P.M

A bilingual writer who began writing in English at the age of 75, Lui has written three memoirs, each about a different facet of her life. In essence, they are her separate attempts at understanding herself and her life – the circumcumstances she happened to be born into and the choices she has made along the way. This engaging and witty speaker was born in Shanghai, China, and has written many essays, feature stories, and 11 books in Chinese and English. A resident of Wallingford, PA, she taught journalism at Iowa State University and the University of Tennessee

Love and Loyalty

Josephine Pasquarello, author
Friday, March 15, 2019 • 1:30 P.M

With the excitement, humor and pathos of a novel, Josephine Pasquarello recounts growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in Philadelphia. She will talk about being Italian, single parenting, dealing with sudden death, being both a mother and father, and burials. The 10th child of an immigrant woman who is the subject of her book, she is a wife, mother and grandmother, who owned several businesses in the local area. She is now retired and devotes most of her time to family and writing.

Diary of a Single Mom: Learn How I turned My Pain Into Power

Vanessa B. Jackson ’18, author
Friday, May 10, 2019 • 1:30 P.M

Join Vanessa Jackson as she tells her very personal story of a difficult life journey that brings her to Neumann University and a successful career. Her story is motivational and inspirational as she learns to turn her pain into power. Ms. Jackson’s book is designed to help those who are going through hard times and for those looking for positive guidance, uplifting stories and motivation.

Special Events

Fashion Show & Luncheon

fashion showPenn Oaks Golf Club, West Chester, PA Cost: $40 Reservations required.
Sunday, November 11, 2018 • 11:30 A.M.

Relax and enjoy the view of the latest styles as you dine on a tasty luncheon prepared by chefs of the Penn Oaks Golf Club, West Chester, PA. Try your luck on a variety of theme baskets and a cash raffle. All proceeds benefit the Dr. Margaret Mary Kearney Scholarship. Fashions provided by Claire’s Fashions of Wilmington. Children fashions, various clothing selections and beautiful accessories will be available from local vendors.

A Day of Spiritual Renewal

spiritual renewalSister Julie Keegan, OSF, presenter Cost: $35
Monday, March 18, 2019 • 8:30 A.M.

As Easter approaches, come set aside a day for quiet communion and contemplation. This short retreat will be conducted in an atmosphere of silence to foster personal prayer life. Held at the Franciscan Spiritual Center at Our Lady of Angels Convent, the day promises to be spiritually refreshing and a perfect way to come together with others in peace and harmony. The day includes presentations by Sister Julie, reflection time, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Mass and lunch. Reservations are required. Call 610-558-5626 for details.

High Tea with A Cappella Pops

high teaThe Ballrooms of Boothwyn • Lia’s Catering 1405 Meetinghouse Road Upper Chichester, PA Cost: $40 Reservations required
Sunday, April 28, 2019 • 2:00 P.M.

Spend a relaxing afternoon with family and friends. Enjoy scones, tea sandwiches, and special desserts while being entertained by A Cappella Pops, a mixed-voice chorus who performs with flair! Don’t be afraid to wear your favorite hat!


Create a Thanksgiving Centerpiece

centerpieceLeona M. Swiacki, florist Bruder Life Center Cost: $35
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 • 7:00 P.M.

Create your very own Thanksgiving Centerpiece just in time for the holiday! Using fresh flowers, berries, pods, and other natural accents, Ms. Swiacki will show you how to construct a fresh flower creation with “hands-on” time to design your own arrangement. Light refreshments will be served. Floral materials and container will be provided. Please bring your own floral shears or scissors. Reservation needed. Call 610-558-5626.

Painting Party

paintingPainting Party Christine Burke, artist Cost: $35
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 • 7:00 P.M.

Enjoy a relaxing evening with friends and family while Christine Burke assists you in painting your own landscape masterpiece. You will be encouraged to add unique touches to your very personal creation. Limited seating available. Reservations are necessary. Call 610-558-5626.