On Thursday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m., hunger activist/singer/songwriter Jen Chapin and her band will headline Virginia Tech's three-day Local Food and Global Hunger: Learning, Sharing, and Serving event with a concert at The Lyric Theatre, 135 College Avenue. The Local Food and Global Hunger event, from Sept. 30-Oct. 2, focuses on the intersections of world hunger and global food sustainability activism at Virginia Tech and throughout the New River Valley.

The concert is presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech in collaboration with the university's Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships (CSECP) and Office of Continuing and Professional Education. Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for the public seating is general admission. To purchase tickets, call (540) 951-4771, go to The Lyric website, or go to The Lyric Theatre box office.

Jen Chapin’s music is urban folk — story songs that search for community and shared meaning, powered by the funk, soul and improvisation of the city. Check out Chapin's original "Let It Show" and Stevie Wonder cover "You Haven't Done Nothin'." Critics have hailed her work as “brilliant.. soulfully poetic” (NPR), “thoughtful.. worth-savoring” (People), and “addictive” (Boston Globe). She has been featured on Late Nite with Conan O’Brien, honored by the USA Songwriting Competition, appeared on stage with Bruce Springsteen, and opened up for Bruce Hornsby and the Neville Brothers.

The band includes Chapin's husband/acoustic bassist Stephan Crump and guitarist Jamie Fox. Jen Chapin is a longtime member, chair and secretary of the board of WHY (World Hunger Year), an organization started by her late father, Harry Chapin, the singer-songwriter best known for his folk rock songs, including "Cat's in the Cradle."

Demonstrations about Sustainable Agriculture

Chapin will participate in Sustainable Agriculture for the Common Good held on the Drillfield from noon-4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30. Participants, including representatives from local community gardens, farmers markets, and county extension agents, will exhibit research and provide hands-on demonstrations related to sustainable agriculture. 

WUVT "The New River Sampler"

Chapin will perform and be interviewed on WUVT's "The New River Sampler" from 7-9 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 1 by the show's host, Jim Dubinsky, director of Virginia Tech's Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships.

Summit on Food Security and Sustainability

Chapin will give the plenary speech after lunch at this day-long summit working to bridge the issues of food sustainability and hunger at the New River Valley Competitiveness Center in Radford.  This event, co-sponsored by CSECP and the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, will bring together members of New River Valley Food Share and the Local Food Coalition with the AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers. Registration is required to attend. To register or for more information, go to VT Engage or call (540) 231-9186.

A million meals for Haiti

On Saturday, Oct. 2, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Chapin and about 2,000 volunteers will pack 1 million meals for Stop Hunger Now in the Commonwealth Ballroom in Squires Student Center. The meals will benefit the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. This event is sponsored by Blacksburg United Methodist Church and supported by Hokies United and VT-ENGAGE.

The concert and these activities are part of a year-long series of activities in support of Virginia Tech's Common Book for 2010-11, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver. The Common Book project continues a university-wide commitment to involve first-year undergraduate students in shared educational experiences. 

Through the comprehensive Arts Initiative, Virginia Tech has made a strong commitment to the arts on campus and in the surrounding communities. The cornerstone of the Arts Initiative is the $89 million Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech. Opening in 2013, the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech will include: a 1,260-seat, state-of-the-art performance hall for music, theatre, and dance performance and visual arts galleries for traditional, digital, and new media exhibitions. It also will include the Center for Creative Technologies in the Arts, a laboratory for innovation where faculty and students in coordination with partners from Virginia’s school systems can research, develop, and apply modules for learning in a collaborative, trans-disciplinary setting. Built in conjunction with the existing resources at Virginia Tech, the charge of the Center for Creative Technologies in the Arts will be to address educational, economic, and cultural needs in southwest Virginia.