Society & Culture

Sound-effects ‘voice’ of ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ to visit UGA, lecture

Sound-effects ‘voice’ of 'A Prairie Home Companion' to visit UGA, lecture

Athens, Ga. – Noted sound artist, award-winning writer and producer and UGA graduate Fred Newman will be on the UGA campus Feb. 22-25 as a Willson Center for Humanities and Arts Visiting Artist. As part of his visit, Newman will deliver a lecture in the Chapel.

Newman, who specializes in sound effects and voice-over work and is the “sound behind the skits” on NPR’s long-running radio show “A Prairie Home Companion,” will deliver his lecture, “Growing Up Weird” as part of his week in Athens. It will be in the UGA Chapel on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Newman was nominated as a visiting artist by Franklin College Senior Associate Dean Hugh Ruppersburg, who is also on the faculty of the department of English.

In addition to his public lecture, Newman will visit with students in English, creative writing, speech communication and theatre and film studies in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and also in the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Newman earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from UGA in 1974 and an MBA from Harvard after that. But as the feature article on Newman in Georgia Magazine (March 2007) points out, his passion is educational programming.

He writes and stars in the Emmy award-winning “Between the Lions,” a PBS series that teaches children to read.He is currently working on a new PBS show for children to be called “Fred,” and each year serves for a week as guest artist for underprivileged children, usually in Georgia or Alabama schools.

While at UGA, Newman was in the Honors Program, on the student government executive council in 1973, was a Blue Key Scholar, anda member of Sigma Chi and Phi Beta Kappa.

He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children.

Founded in 1987 as the Humanities Center and named in 2005 for its benefactors, the Jane and Harry Willson Center for Humanities and Arts promotes scholarly inquiry and creative activity in the humanities and the arts by supporting faculty research grants lectures, symposia, publications, visiting scholars and public conferences, exhibitions, and performances.

For more information, contact Linda Bachman at 706/583-5524.