CALVIN COLLEGE AND CELEBRATION! CINEMA INTRODUCE
GRAND RAPIDS’ NEW CULTURAL CORRIDOR
Grand Rapids, MI - A pair of events with a decidedly Middle Eastern theme will take place this
spring and summer along the East Beltline in Grand Rapids. Calvin College will host Petra: Lost
City of Stone from April 4 to August 15, 2005. Dubbed by one observer as Jordan's version of the
King Tut exhibition, Petra: Lost City of Stone will feature over 200 objects from the ancient Middle
Eastern City of Petra, Jordan.
Meanwhile just six miles north of Calvin, at Celebration! Cinema, the IMAX movie Mysteries of
Egypt will take to the big screen also for an April to August run.
The juxtaposition of the two caused Calvin and Celebration! Cinema folks to collaborate.
On Wednesday, March 9 they plan to introduce local teachers and student newspaper reporters to the
concept of the Cultural Corridor - the stretch of the East Beltline from Calvin to Celebration!
Cinema, a stretch that also includes the world-renowned Frederik Meijer Gardens (which is featuring
Henry Moore's sculptures, blooming butterflies and more this spring).
"We want teachers and their student reporters to be aware of the rich opportunities they'll have this
spring," says Emily Loeks director of educational partnerships for Celebration! Cinema. "Petra:
Lost City of Stone is an incredible exhibition on archeology and history. Mysteries of Egypt will
provide an immersive experience in that same region of the world. And Meijer Gardens is always a
worthwhile stop for students. In a six-mile stretch people can hit all three."
The March 9 event at Celebration! Cinema will begin at 4:45 p.m. with a presentation on the Cultural
Corridor concept and a few words from local archaeologists Neal Bierling about Petra. At 5:20 pm
there will be a press screening of Mysteries of Egypt.
And in a nod to the reporting profession attendees will be served food - in this case authentic Middle
Visit http://www.bigscreenmovies.com/imaxbroadcast/egypt/egypt_email.html and
http://www.calvin.edu/petra for more information
Contact Emily Loeks at 447-4232 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For Release: March 2005
Calvin College Professional Marketing
Phil deHaan Diane M. Jones
Director of Media Relations President
Petra: Lost City of Stone is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, and the Cincinnati Art Museum
and presented under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, Petra is the first major cultural
collaboration between Jordan and the United States. Air transportation generously provided by Royal Jordanian.
In Grand Rapids a lead, local sponsor is Huntington Bank - West Michigan.
About Petra and Petra: Lost City of Stone:
Petra: Lost City of Stone is the first major cultural collaboration between Jordan and the United States. This groundbreaking
exhibition offers North American audiences the opportunity to learn about the ancient metropolis of Petra, which was literally
carved from the red sandstone in the desert cliffs of southern Jordan. Located in the Jordan Rift Valley at the crossroads of
international trade routes, Petra was one of the most influential and prosperous commercial centers in antiquity. The rich cultural
life of the city reflected a confluence of Eastern and Western styles and traditions.
The forbidding desert was transformed by the Nabataeans into a bustling metropolis with monumental tombs carved directly into
the red sandstone hills, and hundreds of other structures including burial chambers, funerary banquet halls, residences, theaters,
bath complexes, arched gates and a complex system of water channels and reservoirs. The Nabataeans were skilled engineers and
developed and maintained an elaborate system of damming, terracing and irrigation that allowed them to maximize the
agricultural potential of the surrounding Petra plateau.
From the second century B.C. through the third century A.D., Petra prospered. A massive earthquake in A.D. 363 destroyed much
of the city, and, although partially revived after that, Petra was no longer the economic powerhouse it had been. Much of the
technological infrastructure that had made life in Petra possible fell into disuse, and political and religious changes in the ancient
world led to the eventual abandonment of the city in the seventh century A.D.
From its rediscovery by Swiss explorer Johann Burckhardt in 1812, Petra, with its savage beauty, desolate setting, the mystery
and splendor of its rock-carved architectural ruins and the variegated color of its cliff faces, has been a source of deep fascination
for Westerners. It became a major pilgrimage site for 19th century European and American artists and other travelers, and it
continues to enthrall. It was even used as a location for the popular 1989 feature film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
About Calvin College
Founded in 1876, Calvin College has become one of the largest Christian colleges in North America with over 4,000 students
from the U.S., Canada and another 50 countries around the globe. Calvin College offers nearly 100 majors and areas of study
and has 10 off-campus program options for students, including such places as China, Ghana, and Honduras. Calvin is widely
recognized for its outreach by means of scholarly study and works of art by its faculty and by student and alumni service in their
various communities. Special events also broaden Calvin’s outreach. Among them is the biennial Conference on Faith and
Writing, which brings noted writers to campus, and the annual widely-recognized January Series, a 15-day educational and
cultural series, which brings to campus internationally recognized musicians and scholars on timely topics. The archaeological
exhibit Petra: Lost City of Stone is brought to Calvin College as part of its dedication to community education and outreach.