Steve Cunningham, professor of EAP

SteveCunninghamPictureThe professor of English as a Second Language for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Valencia College’s Osceola Campus is using his Tupperware Corporation Chair in Community Quality to bring in a visiting Brazilian artist: Clovis Junior.

The artist is well-known in Brazil for his outstanding use of vivid colors, painting scenes that depict Brazilian folk heroes, and for the use of the cashew fruit in his paintings. The cashew tree is native to the northeastern region of Brazil where the artist lives.  It is a large spreading tree that is rapidly losing its habitat to development.  Clovis strives to raise awareness of this issue by including a depiction of the cashew fruit in each of his works.

“I feel strongly that bringing art into a community improves the quality of life,” says Professor Cunningham.clovis

This project will accomplish this in three ways:

  1. Clovis will exhibit his paintings on both the Osceola and West Campuses during the week of February 22-26, 2016.  The exact dates and locations are yet to be determined.
  2. Clovis will give an art class at Central Avenue Elementary School. During this class, the elementary school students will work with the artist to complete their own painting. Both Clovis and the student will sign their paintings. In addition to having a healthy dose of creativity during the class, the students will also be exposed to Brazilian culture and learn a few phrases in Portuguese.
  3. Clovis will leave one of his paintings for the Valencia Foundation to be auctioned at the next Taste for Learning.  The proceeds of the sale will go to student scholarships.

clovis-junior-540x432As well, “the artist will interact with our partners in the Brazilian community, and students in Valencia’s art, humanities, and foreign language programs, who will act as local guides and volunteer translators,” adds Cunningham.

This year, Professor Cunningham completed his 15th year at Valencia College as a full-time professor of EAP.  He received tenure in 2003.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Paper Engineering at Western Michigan University and his master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language at Michigan State University.  He has also taken classes at the University of Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia.  More recently, he has studied the Portuguese language at PUC in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and at UFOP in Ouro Preto, Brazil.

Professor Cunningham teaches at the Osceola campus.

a world gone mad

Marat/Sade Depicts a World Gone Mad

The Valencia Character Company will present Peter Weiss’ play-within-a-play, “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade,” better known as “Marat/Sade.” Showtimes are February 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., and February 28 at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theater at Valencia Community College’s East Campus.

The Marquis de Sade—the man after whom sadism is named—was indeed imprisoned at Charenton Asylum where he produced plays with the inmates there. “Marat/Sade” takes place in the asylum, with de Sade directing and acting in a play set during the French Revolution, while the outside world has fallen under Napoleon’s rule. The result is a powerful examination of the tension (and similarity) between creation and chaos, government and freedom, revolution and anarchy. “Marat/Sade” offers historical, social and political commentary that is relevant still to the problems of contemporary society. It asks whether true revolution comes from changing society or changing one’s self, as Marat implores the audience to “Turn yourself inside out and see the whole world with fresh eyes.”

The production features John DiDonna as the Marquis de Sade and Christian Guevarra as Marat, with direction by Valencia theatre professor, Michael Shugg.

Ticket prices are $8 for general admission, and $6 for students, seniors, Valencia staff and alumni. Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando. Seating is limited in the Black Box Theater, so advance ticket purchase is suggested and latecomers may not be seated until intermission. Please be advised that this play contains language and themes that might be offensive to some and are not suitable for children.

For reservations or further information, please call the box office at 407-582-2900. Tickets are also available online at

Reprinted from: Valencia Community College press release, Contact: Carol Traynor, Marketing & Media Relations, Orlando, FL, February 4, 2010.