Culture is alive and well in the Rim Country with the support of Gila Community College's "Edu-tainment" series -- a group of events designed to keep the community informed about local science and arts projects.
Two concerts highlight the artistic impetus of the new series.
"All of these (concerts) are part of the Free Payson Discovery Forum Edu-tainment programs," said Dean Harry Swanson.
Japanese pianist Keiko Sato, trained by local musician Victoria Harris, kicks off the musical acts.
"She's a brilliant young classical pianist," Harris said. "She's very accomplished and a very motivated performing musician. She's captivating to an audience."
The paths of Sato and Harris crossed at Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio in 1992. Sato, a native of Osaka, Japan, has earned high commendations for her work; she graduated cum laude from the Kent State University in 1994.
Sato performs a free public concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16.
A former pianist and Payson resident, Laurie Galster started plucking away at the harp as an adult. Galster's interest in the harp piqued after attending a concert with her husband.
Galster performs at all types of events -- everything from birthday parties to fund-raisers. Her repertoire includes the music of Rogers and Hammerstein, Bach, Pachelbel and Mendelssohn. She conducts her free public concert beginning at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 2.
The programs of Sato and Galster are sponsored by the Gila Foundation for Higher Education and supported by the Mogollon Health Alliance Volunteers.
Other presentations include:
Monday, Sept. 11, 6 p.m.: An introduction to arctic and sub-arctic cultures. Presented by Dean Harry Swanson, Ph.D.
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 3 p.m.: Health and Heavy Metals: Analysis of hair samples; the metals that cause maladies; the origin of these metals; and using this knowledge to promote health. Presented by Dr. William Risley.
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 3 p.m.: Ecology and Evolution of Infection Disease. Presented by Dave Wagner, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Microbial Genetics and Microbial Genetics and Genomics Center.
Monday, Nov. 6, 6 p.m.: Men Can Be Great Wives! Using Male Resources to Achieve in a Gender-Biased World. Presented by Penny Minturn, Ph.D.
Wednesday, Nov. 22: Scuba Diving Adventure. Presented by Scuba instructor Al Poskanzer.
Friday, Dec. 2, 1 p.m.: Talent Showcase: Music recitals by students and instructor Victoria Harris, Ph.D.
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 3 p.m.: Biology 101 student presentations: Biology of Green Valley Lake.
For more information contact GCC at (928) 468-8039.