Texas Tech University

Chris Jones

WHAT: The College of Visual & Performing Arts welcomes Chicago Tribune chief theater critic and culture columnist Chris Jones to Texas Tech University as a Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar in Cross-Disciplinary Arts. Jones will present a lecture, “Truth and Reconciliation: The Joys and Perils of Arts Criticism in Today's Fractured America,” that is open to the community while admission is free. A reception will follow the lecture.

During his three-day visit, Jones also will speak to graduate and Fine Arts Doctoral Program students and will interview entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte, who will be on the Texas Tech campus as part of the African-American History Month Lecture Series. Belafonte also is a Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar.

(Previously scheduled: Lecture: 6 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 17); Reception: 7 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 17))

WHERE: Laboratory Theatre, School of Theatre & Dance

Parking will be available for $1.50 per hour on the fourth floor of the Flint Avenue parking garage at 18th Street and Flint Avenue.

WHO: Chris Jones is the chief theater critic and a Sunday culture columnist for the Chicago Tribune, where he has been on staff since 2002. He has written thousands of theater, performance, circus and comedy reviews and his work has appeared in several publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

He appears weekly as a critic for CBS-2 Chicago and was named director of the National Critics' Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut in 2014. His book, “Bigger, Brighter, Louder: 150 years of Chicago Theater,” was published in 2013 and he has twice served on the drama committee of the Pulitzer Prizes.

Jones received his doctorate from Ohio State University in 1989 and spent a decade teaching at Northern Illinois University as a tenured associate professor and associate director of the School of Theatre and Dance. He also served as associate dean of DePaul University's Theatre School and continues to be an adjunct professor in its graduate program.

His honors include the Gold Medallion from the American College Theatre Festival for his work with young theater critics, the 2012 Award of Honor from the Illinois Theatre Association and the 2013 Society for Midland Authors' James Friend Award for Literary Criticism. He delivered the keynote address at the Educational Theatre Association's national conference in 2011.

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CONTACT: Brian Steele, associate dean of the College of Visual & Performing Arts; Director, Fine Arts Doctoral Program, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-0700 or brian.steele@ttu.edu