Fulbright Scholar to Speak at screening of Moonlight

Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts (THELMA) announced that its February 25 showing of Moonlight, part of the Academy Award Film Series, will feature a talk by author and historian Gerald R. Butters, Jr.

Last year’s Academy Award winner for best picture, Moonlight, chronicles the childhood, adolescence and burgeoning adulthood of a young, African-American, gay man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami. The film was directed by Barry Jenkins and stars Mahershala Ali, Shariff Earp, and Duan Sanderson.

Gerald Butters is a Professor of History at Aurora University.  He also teaches in the graduate Liberal Studies program at Northwestern University. A Fulbright scholar, Butters has published four  books including Beyond Blaxploitation (2016), From Sweetback to Superfly: Race and Film Audiences in Chicago’s Loop (2015), Banned in Kansas: Motion Picture Censorship, 1915-1966 (2007) and Black Manhood on the Silent Screen (2002).  His research and publications focus on the intersection of race and gender in American popular culture.

Butters’ essays have appeared in American Historical Review, Flow, Choice, Reviews in American History, Cercles, The Journal for Multimedia History, Film and History and Film/Literature Quarterly.  Butters has lectured internationally, including an address to the European Commission in Luxembourg in 2009.

Tickets for the event are $5 ($4 for THELMA members). Bar opens at 6:30 pm, film begins at 7. A question and answer period will follow the film. The film is rated R and contains adult themes.

THELMA’s Academy Award Film Series begins February 18 with Wings, a silent film that won the first Academy Award for Best Picture.

Directed by William A. Wellman and Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast, Wings will be shown at THELMA with Chicago’s foremost photoplay organist Jay Warren.

Warren brings all the color, excitement, and glamour of the silent film era back to life with his original scores for the silver screen. As a regularly featured photoplay organist for the Silent Film Society of Chicago, he has accompanied most of the great silent films throughout his forty-year career in his famous rousing style. He has been featured annually for the society’s highly regarded Silent Summer Film Festival since its inception in 2000.

In Wings, two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I. It stars Clara Bow, Charles ‘Buddy’ Rogers, and Richard Arlen.

The series concludes March 4 with a 90th Academy Awards Viewing Party. Guests may participate in exciting contests, including And the Oscar Goes To…” to guess the winners in the top six categories, and the Acceptance Speech competition for contestants to give their best Academy Awards acceptance speeches. Winners for Best Dressed Male & Female will be chosen before the evening is through. This is your chance to show off your Oscars expertise and win special THELMA prizes. Get ready for your grand red-carpet entrance, and don’t forget to thank the Academy! Bar opens at 6pm.

More information about the Academy Award Film Series can be found at Get tickets here.

THELMA is located at 51 Sheboygan St., in the heart of Downtown Fond du Lac’s Arts and Entertainment District. THELMA is a member-based, privately-funded non-profit dedicated to providing arts experiences not readily available in the area. Intimate concerts in the Great Hall, street concerts with major performers, indoor films, and art from world-renowned artists are available at THELMA. THELMA also offers a stunning backdrop for weddings, meetings and all social and corporate gatherings.

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