CORVALLIS, Ore. – Three-time Grammy Award-winning singer, philanthropist and human rights activist Angélique Kidjo will speak and perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the LaSells Stewart Center on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.

In her presentation, “Artist As Activist: A Passion for Freedom and Social Justice,” Kidjo will discuss the responsibility of artists to use their platform for social justice, the many ways in which people can give back and the impact individuals can make in the world.

The talk will be interjected with musical performances. At the end of the presentation, Kidjo also will take questions from the audience, facilitated by College of Liberal Arts Dean Larry Rodgers.

Kidjo’s music cross-pollinates the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America. She has released 13 albums.

She is also a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and travels widely to campaign and raise awareness on behalf of the poor and as a champion of women and children around the world. Kidjo believes that artists can apply their creativity, public platform and unique perspective as agents of change throughout the world. She has spoken out about fair trade initiatives, worked to curb climate change and urged a ceasefire in war-torn Sudan.

As a youth living in Benin, Kidjo invented the word “Batonga” as a defiant response to classmates and critics who told her that girls do not belong in school. Today, she is co-founder of the Batonga Foundation, which equips girls in Benin with the knowledge, technology and skills to become agents of change in their communities and in their own lives.

The performance is part of SAC Presents, a visual and performing arts events series presented by the School of Arts and Communication at Oregon State University. The series brings well-known headliners, rising stars and unique, lesser known artists and ensembles to the community. The lineup of artists represents a broad spectrum of music genres as well as other types of performers and speakers.

The event is also part of OSU’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, which takes place Jan. 19 – 25. For a complete listing of all of those events, visit:

Tickets for Kidjo’s performance are $30 to $35 in advance, or $35 to $40 at the door. All seating is reserved. OSU students will be admitted free with ID. Corvallis Arts for All discounts apply, allowing purchase of up to two tickets for $5 each with presentation of valid SNAP/Oregon Trail Card. Student and CAFA tickets are subject to availability. For accommodations relating to a disability please call 541-737-5592, preferably at least one week in advance.

To purchase tickets, visit or call 541-737-5592.

SAC Presents is funded in part by donations made during the Cornerstone Campaign for the Arts and by OSU Friends of the Arts.

College of Liberal Arts

About the OSU College of Liberal Arts: The College of Liberal Arts encompasses seven distinct schools, as well as several interdisciplinary initiatives, that focus on humanities, social sciences, and fine and performing arts. Curriculum developed by the college’s nationally and internationally-renowned faculty prepares students to approach the complex problems of the world ethically and thoughtfully, contributing to a student's academic foundation and helping to build real-world skills for a 21st century career and a purposeful life.


By Erin Sneller, 541-737-5592, [email protected]


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