Depression-Era Culture on Display at Bergen

PARAMUS, N.J. – Curator and Head Archivist of the Woody Guthrie Archives and Foundation Jorge Arévalo Mateus, Ph.D., and Bergen Community College professors Andrew Krikun, Ph.D., and John La Barbera will present “The Song Catchers: Folk Singers from the Great Depression” at the College next month.

The musical and narrative performance will take place Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre at the College’s main Paramus campus (400 Paramus Road). Special guests include Bergen faculty members Leigh Jonaitis, Ed.D, and Tim Blunk.

As part of the immersive experience, attendees will hear music from artists such as Woody Guthrie, while sampling a period-piece menu of soup and bread prepared by Bergen’s culinary arts department. Gallery Bergen will present an exhibition of Great Depression photographs in the theatre lobby as well.

The performance’s cohost, Arévalo Mateus, an ethnomusicologist, arts and culture director, educator, musician and archivist, holds a doctorate in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and currently serves as the project director for the Folk Colombia Escuela in New York City. Arévalo Mateus’ areas of expertise include performance of Latin-American and Caribbean traditional and popular music, American folk and jazz and policy development.

General admission tickets are $15, with discounts offered to senior citizens ($10), and students ($5). Proceeds will benefit the Bergen Institute for the Creative Arts at the College. To purchase tickets, please call at (201) 447-7428 or visit

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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