Amalia Vagts and Namoli Brennet to lead Luther College Sihler workshop April 15

March 28, 2012

Luther College alumna Amalia Vagts and musician Namoli Brennet will present the 2012 Luther College Sihler workshop Sunday, April 15 at 3 p.m. in Studio II in the Center for the Arts.

The workshop, titled "Singer, Shine your Light/Doer, Do your Thing: Adventures in Faith, Gender, Music and Activism," is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Vagts and Brennet will lead an interactive afternoon performance exploring finding and using your voice in faith and activism. During the workshop Vagts and Brennet will share their own adventures via voice, imagery, movement and music.

During the second half of the workshop participants will be invited to watch or engage in an "open stage" format with their own stories, performance or questions.

Attendees are invited to bring a musical instrument or other prop and prepare one selection of music, writing, movement, stand-up or other original, personal reflection connected to faith, gender and activism.

Vagts, a 1995 Luther graduate, grew up in a strongly Lutheran environment and her passion for social justice and the role of women in the church was ignited at an early age. This passion and ensuing questions and challenges continued when she studied religion and English at Luther.

A long-time activist on women's and LGBTQ issues, Vagts currently serves as executive director for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a social justice ministry that expands opportunities for Lutheran rostered leaders and seminarians who publicly identify as LGBTQ. 

Brennet, a Tuscon-based songwriter, tours the country with her own brand of moody and inspiring folk music. She is a multi-instrumentalist often playing guitar, piano, percussion and horns on her own recordings.

She released her first CD in 2002 and is currently touring with her ninth CD "We Were Born to Rise."

Brennet has been described by critics as a cross between Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin and Sheryl Crow. Zocalo magazine called her music, "Gorgeous and introspective."

Born male, Brennet transitioned to female in her late 20s. Many of Brennet's songs deal with spirituality, meaning, social issues, justice and compassion.   

Vagts and Brennet became friends in 2007 when they collaborated on a benefit CD for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries. Their friendship led to multiple shows and mini-tours together over the past four years.

The Sihler workshop is organized by the Luther women and gender studies program and is funded by the Sihler Endowment.