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Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, as a high-end Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 mph. According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the hurricane hit the island with the destructive force of a "50- to 60-mile-wide tornado.” Destroying the island’s power grid, and decimating the territory’s agricultural industries, the storm left a shattered infrastructure, a crippled economy, and numerous public health emergencies.

Tonight, a distinguished panel from diverse fields will address questions regarding the ongoing humanitarian crisis and its lessons for the future in an event presented by The New York State Writers Institute and cosponsored by the Journalism Program of the University at Albany Department of Communication. The event, entitled "The Lessons of Hurricane Maria: Puerto Rico: The Hurricane, the Response, Preparing for Future Disasters," is free and open to the public and will take place at Page Hall on UAlbany’s Downtown Campus at 7:30 p.m.

One of the panelists is Robert Griffin - founding dean of the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany, the first college of its kind in the nation.

Dean Griffin has a long career in homeland security at the Federal and local levels of government. He served as the acting undersecretary for Science and Technology at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the deputy undersecretary for Science and Technology, and director of the Science and Technology Directorate’s First Responders Group.

Broadway legend Patti LuPone will appear at two events in the Capital Region this week. 

On Thursday, April 26 she will join Joe Donahue in a Creative Life conversation about Ms. LuPone’s career and devotion to the arts and high standards therein. The conversation will take place at Page Hall on UAlbany's downtown campus at 7 p.m. The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

On Friday, April 27, Ms. LuPone will perform "Don't Monkey With Broadway" at Proctors in Schenectady at 8 p.m. "Don’t Monkey with Broadway" features music by the likes of Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Jule Styne, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

  Legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp is in our region for the next 6-weeks for the Capital District/Hudson Valley Pathways To Dance Initiative. The project, supported by a $90,000 grant from the NYS Regional Economic Development Council, is designed to support dance programs and performance at ten venues in eight upstate counties.

A work-in-progress showcase will occur April 16 at the Catskill Mountain Foundation's Orpheum Film and Performing Arts Center in Tannserville, with a premiere set for June 30th at SPAC.

Joe Donahue interviewed Twyla Tharp about her legendary career and upcoming projects in a conversation before a LIVE audience at Page Hall in Albany.