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PAST EXPERIENCES

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2017: Full Disclosure Festival: RADICAL INTERCONNECTEDNESS,

was a weekend long festival that took place on October 20 and 21, 2017 on the Town Common and in a variety of spaces all within walking distance in Downtown Amherst. Regional artists were commissioned to create work upon the theme of our inter-connection with one another and to the earth. Art included original dance, theater, sculpture, immersive theater, folk opera, music, spoken word, and a primordial web of connection built on the Common. Also, conversations with thought leaders who study the ways we are connected (ie physicists, social activists, etc.) were offered in nooks and crannies of local businesses.
 

The art:

1. from Walt, from me, to You is Katherine Adler's movement offering presented in Pacific Lodge. It's a movement based examination of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and the ways that the human experience evolves through spheres of connection to nature, self, and humanity featuring the Hampshire Young People's Chorus.

2. John Sheldon’s orchestra featuring John, Tony Vacca, and Paul Richmond will perform a new version of The Same Water, a musical journey into the spirit of water. Using music, storytelling, and images, the piece explores our relationship to the sacred element which makes life possible.

3. The Water Project Folk Opera is Emma Ayres' reimagining of her original play, The Water Project, in a rough draft workshop. Set in a rural Western-Mass dreamscape of the Great Depression, the story illuminates the archetypal conflict of big business interest and political corruption versus the working-class poor. In the Swift River Valley during the year 1938, a clock struck midnight, ringing in disincorporation, heartbreak and loss of place, all in the name of progress. Some say it is a devil. Some say it is a dream. "Newspaper headlines read: 4 towns flooded, 2,500 people relocated, houses moved on the backs of trucks, 7,500 graves dug up and reburied on higher ground, memories drowned, and little know..." the water is rising.

4. LUNGS is a love story about a couple who, despite reservations about the consequences, decide to have a child. Two actors on a bare stage explore intimacy and searing emotion directed by Ellen Kaplan.

5. John Bechtold creates an immersive binaural audio experience in a small audience immersive theater environment to explore the natural history of selected architecture and sites in downtown Amherst.

6. UNDER QUABBIN, a film by WGBY. Beneath the millions of gallons of water that flow into homes across eastern Massachusetts is a story of buried history, scientific discovery, & individual hopes & dreams destroyed in the name of progress. Produced by Libby and Edward Klekowski, the film chronicles an unprecedented search for the remains of four lost towns under the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, MA

7. Ayshia Stephenson and Samantha Wood present Touching Myself - Two friends meet at a bar and say what they really mean, an installation of poetry, projection, and movement.

8. Amy Johnquest creates an original banner/mural/fabric art entitled THE TUNNEL OF LOVE to be displayed.

9. OUT TO DRY connects our Festival audiences with local businesses. A clothesline wraps around the common & participants enter local/contiguous businesses to pick up a square of cloth (we supply along with Sharpies & clothes pins) & people write a message & hang. Squares with messages form a live installation on the Common.

10. Fine House, an outdoor gallery of moving installations, where fine art and fun house collide. Featuring Lori Holmes Clark and Joe Dulude II as human expressions of great masterworks of art.

11. Melinda McCreven builds an organic web of connection on the Common.

12. Christian McEwen:  The Giant Listening Ear. In a world increasingly dominated by cell-phones and computers and other entrancing devices, the LISTENING EAR is intended as a joyous and subversive antidote, reminding us of the special pleasure to be found in long, meandering, face-to-face conversation, most especially with friends and family.

13. Falsa performs 14th century Sufi music, described as a "cure for modern day alienation". Umer Piracha on Vocals, accompanied by Siddharth Ashokkumar on Carnatic Violin, Tom Deis on Guitar/Harmonium, and Rob Schwartz on Percussion. The effect of listening to Falsa is to be transported both inwards and across centuries of joys, sorrows and longings

14. Joseph Dulude’s Wound is an expression of the danger that our current political state of the danger that our current political state could take us to. Those of us who are different - who are POC, who are LGBTQ, who rally for what is decent and right and equal in our society - are in danger of being attacked, abused, and often killed. “Wound” seeks to make those fears tangible and warn against a reality that is all too terrifying and all too imminent. I asked people what they were afraid of with the country and the world in the state it is in and then interpreted that into a wound makeup and took the photos.

 
 

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2017: PERCEPTION,

a theatrical evening of concert dance with Fine House by Lori Holmes Clark on June 23 and 24, 2017 was presented at the Hess Theatre at Deerfield Academy. 

The creators sought to invent an experience that stretches our ways of perceiving the human form and the art that that form creates in a two part experience: Fine House and PERCEPTION. 

 
 

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2017: YOU DON’T KNOW JACK,

June 2 & 3, 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Shea.  Jack Golden has spent almost a half a century travelling the country as a performance artist. Early on, he was bestowed his clown shoes by the renowned Pickle Family Circus (where Bill Irwin got his start), and honed his expressive body with Tony Montanaro, all the while telling stories to inspire and tickle. Jack has evolved his own alchemy of clowning, story, and movement that belongs to him alone. YOU DON’T KNOW JACK shares the story of his life through his life’s work in ways that will bring laughter, tears, and reflection. You’ll find yourself in the company of a guide who has it all: a red nose, an open heart, and a finely tuned compass for comedy.