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Upcoming Lectures

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The John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute announces a very special distinguished lecture to help celebrate Black History Month. The lecture will be with Mr. Ben Vereen – the consummate actor, singer, and all around entertainer of our times. The lecture will take place on Friday, February 12, 2016 at 7:00 PM. It will be held at the Wagner-Noël Performing Arts Center, 1310 N FM 1788, Midland, TX 79707. The title is, “Black History – A Cornerstone of Americanism”.



Ben Vereen has a legendary career. His performances transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country’s artistic legacy. On Broadway, Ben Vereen has appeared in Wicked, Fosse, I’m Not Rappaport, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, Grind, Jelly’s Last Jam and A Christmas Carol. His role in Pippin garnered him both the prestigious Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for “Best Actor in a Musical.”

Ben’s television guest appearances include How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy, for which he won the Prism Award, House of Payne, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, OZ, Touched By An Angel, Second Noah, New York Undercover, The Nanny, Star Trek – The Next Generation, The Jamie Foxx Show, The Promised Land, and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as well as recurring roles on Silk Stalkings, Webster, J.J. Starbuck and Booker. His own network television shows are Ben Vereen: His Roots (Seven Emmy Awards), Tenspeed and Brownshoe and You Write the Songs.  Ben celebrated Eartha Kitt’s 80th birthday in concert at Carnegie Hall to multiple standing ovations and in front of the Armed Forces for those men and women who have served in Iraq, truly a major highlight of his career.


We look forward to Ben’s thoughts on the many proud contributions of African-Americans, current social movements and what we all can do to ensure maximum inclusion of every American. Bob Brescia, Executive Director of the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute and Pat Canty, Publisher of the Odessa American will co-moderate. Tickets for this event are free and available at the Wagner Noël box office or by calling 1-800-514-3849. Tickets will also be available on line through www.wagnernoel.com, but there will be a small convenience fee.


The John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute is the state’s Center of Excellence for public leadership education, ethics, and public service. It prepares young Texans in these areas and conducts on-site leadership training at schools and organizations throughout Texas. The JBS Institute is co-located and part of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB). Information about the Shepperd Institute and the Texas Leadership Forum is available at www.shepperdinstitute.com.

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