Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Award-winning singer-songwriter, peace activist, writer and public speaker David LaMotte will spend three days on the Westminster College campus as the 2023 Wayne H. Christy lecturer, speaking to students, performing for the community and meeting with local organizations.
LaMotte will offer a public concert as part of the regular at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 1, in Wallace Memorial Chapel. This event is free and open to the public.
On Monday, Oct. 2, LaMotte will speak to various classes throughout the morning and afternoon on the topic “You Are Changing the World Whether You Like It or Not,” the title of his book which examines how large societal changes happen and what society’s role in those changes can and should be. He will wrap up his day by speaking at the Rotary International Meeting at 6 p.m. in the Witherspoon Lakeview Room of McKelvey Campus Center.
On Tuesday, Oct. 3, Westminster students, faculty and staff can join him for music and conversation during the lunch hour, and from 2 to 3 p.m., he will speak with music students about choosing music as a vocational choice.
As a touring artist with a career spanning more than 30 years, LaMotte has developed a large and loyal following around the world. He has released 13 full-length CDs and performed more than 3,000 concerts in all 50 states and on five continents. Boston Globe said that his music “pushes the envelope with challenging lyrics and unusual tunings, but he also pays homage to folk tradition,” while BBC Radio Belfast praised his “charm, stories, humor, insightful songs, sweet voice and dazzling guitar ability.”
His music has been honored with numerous awards and artist grants and has been featured on dozens of artist compilations. Notably, his song “Dark and Deep” was included on “Songs Inspired By Literature, Chapter One,” a benefit CD to raise money for adult literacy. Other artists on that CD include Suzanne Vega, Grace Slick, Aimee Mann and Bruce Springsteen. His most recent album, “Still,” features “September Me,” the number one song on Folk Radio in September 2022. The album remained in the top 20 for six months.
LaMotte’s speaking and workshop calendar has included presenting at the PC(USA) Mission to the United Nations, keynoting peace conferences in India, Australia, Germany and at the Scottish Parliament, as well as offering the baccalaureate for 2016 graduates of Columbia Seminary. His TEDx Talk on what music can teach us about peacemaking is featured on TED.org.
His books, which include adult and children’s literature, examine justice issues and creative, practical approaches to large-scale problems. He is currently working on a new book, “Harmony: What Music Can Teach Us About Peacemaking in a Troubled Time.”
He is also the creator of Let’s Be Neighbors, a banner campaign based on a sign he hung on his house, and rooted in the idea that we seldom reject each other into making more compassionate decisions. Let’s Be Neighbors banners and signs are now hanging across the United States, including one in McKelvey Campus Center on Westminster’s campus.
LaMotte is a former Rotary World Peace Fellow; cofounder and president of PEG Partners, a non-profit organization that works with Guatemalan schools and libraries to promote literacy, critical thought and artistic expression; and served on the AFSC Nobel Peace Prize Nominating Task Group.
The Wayne H. Christy Memorial Lecture series honors the late Dr. Wayne Christy, a long-time faculty member and chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Westminster College. As Christy dedicated his life to relating the heritage of faith to the emerging issues of a changing culture, the lecture series seeks out men and women who distinguish themselves by relating Christian faith to issues of contemporary life.
For more information about LaMotte’s visit, please contact Westminster’s Office of Faith and Spirituality at 724-946-7117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bottom photo: LaMotte's Let’s Be Neighbors banner that stands in Westminster's McKelvey Campus Center.