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The Arcade Fire's Will Butler: Civilly Minded Speaking at Northwestern

By Michele Lenni in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 18, 2010 7:40PM

800px-Arcade_fire_mg_7179.jpg Multi-instrumentalist William Butler of the irrepressible, chart-topping rock institution that is The Arcade Fire has set his sights to speak at his alma-mater, Northwestern University, on November 2 according to according to student website They go on to say:

“He’s a really unique and interesting individual because he’s taken a field like music that a lot of people don’t necessarily associate with social activism,” says Asha Toulmin, a Medill senior and former North by Northwestern staffer serving as student fellow with the Center for Civic Engagement. “He’s a really good example of how you can incorporate that mentality into whatever you do.”

Butler will be a part of this three-day-event taking the role of the keynote speaker as a part of One Book, One Northwestern programming at Northwestern's Center for Civic Engagement. He will be conveying his thoughts on social activism and how it has intertwined with his career as a prominent musician. Organizers are obviously hoping for an impromptu performance from Butler, but no promise of an spontaneous jam session has been made.

This year’s selection for the One Book, One Northwestern event is “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” by Tracy Kidder, the story of prolific global health hero Dr. Paul Farmer and his charity Partners in Health. Arcade Fire has played a big part in working with Partners in Health for years to raise money for Haiti, and has pledged to donate $1 million to Haiti charity Kanpe.

November 2, McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Dr., Evanston, 7 p.m., all ages