By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)–November is Native American Heritage Month, and The Adult Student Center (ASC) is celebrating with a lunchtime concert by award-winning singer and songwriter Michael Jacobs on Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 12-2 p.m.
Jacob’s music spans genres, blending elements of rock and folk music.
First proclaimed in 1990, Native American Heritage Month involves The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum who join in paying tribute to the ancestry, traditions, presence and impact of the continent’s first peoples.
For Jacobs, who is of Cherokee ancestry, the occasion is an opportunity to perform music that is both highly personal and expressly social, infused with positive messages that reinforce his core values of honor, respect and responsibility to one’s community.
His songs address subjects ranging from relationships and wholeness to peace, justice and the environment.
“Music has a way of getting past our natural defenses, getting stuck in our brains and embedded in our hearts,” Jacobs said.
A veteran of campus concerts, Jacobs considers himself a lifelong learner, and his songs resonate with the wisdom of experience, honestly earned and expressed.
“I think continued learning is key to living a successful and fulfilling life,” Jacobs said. “I’m always interested in growing and improving. I’m aiming for perfection in my life and art, and while I may never achieve it, I’ll definitely improve if I persist in the quest.”
This is the second time Jacobs has performed at the ASC. Last year, Kimberly Dawn Pelle, coordinator of non-traditional student and family programs, and ASC manager, invited him to campus after fielding his cold call and exploring his music and message. The concert was a success, with a mixture of calm and excitement in the air, as Pelle recalls.
“Once I heard him play, I knew I would invite him to come back,” Pelle said.
The ASC has a mission to bring diversity events to campus, and celebrates several cultural heritage months during the year. It has hosted International Education Week events, featured Common Experience movies and presented Ethiopian coffee and Japanese tea ceremonies.
“Adult learners want to absorb everything the university has to offer, especially learning about different cultures, travel abroad, history and different lifestyles,” Pelle said. “Michael’s music offers them all of this, and in an environment that is more intimate and serious.”
“To me life is a journey,” Jacobs said. “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards.”
The Adult Student Center is located in University Center South, second floor.
Homepage photo courtesy of Michael Jacobs.