Thank you to Campus Fine Wines, 2012-13 season sponsor of Athenaeum programs!
Programs are made possible in part by a grant from the RI State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the RI General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Programs are made possible in part through major funding support from the RI Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED
Wed 5/1, 8pm: Aurea in concert with their original work, Melville and the Great White Whale – rescheduled from April 2012.
Last spring, just as the members of Aurea were about to present their latest work at the Athenaeum, founding member and violinist Chuck Sherba was diagnosed with cancer. The concert was canceled in order that Chuck and his family could devote themselves to getting the best treatment for his illness. Along with many, many others, we followed the news of his treatment, recovery, and return to performing over the past year, and we are truly thrilled to have Chuck and Aurea back to perform Melville and the Great White Whale – which was initially created for the Athenaeum in 2011 as a short benefit performance. The program dives into the life of Herman Melville and his seminal work, Moby-Dick, fusing passages from the book, Melville’s letters to Nathaniel Hawthorne, string quartets of Beethoven and Webern, along with sea shanties and improvisations of Chris Turner, to highlight the philosophical themes inherent in this great American novel. This new version gives the audience a concert-length look into the life, times, and work of Melville. Performers include Emmanuel Feldman, Chuck Sherba, Consuelo Sherba, Chris Turner, and Katherine Winterstein.
The concert is SOLD OUT. Please call the circulation desk at 401-421-6970 if you would like to get on the waiting list.
Fri 5/3, 5-7pm, SALON: “Curating the City: Temporary Installations, Permanent Impressions” series, part 3 - Artist/Researcher Adj Marshall in conversation with Marc Levitt, host of AS220's Action Speaks, on Marshall's “Wasteland National Park” project, a museo-memorial for the interstitial space between the Providence East Side Railroad Tunnel and the Providence Drawbridge.
Interstices, the empty spaces or gaps between spaces full of structures or matter, are easily overlooked and forgotten. Wasteland National Park, a project of Wasteland Twinning (wasteland-twinning.net) an international network of artists who are developing creative research practices to explore the role of wasteland spaces in contemporary cityscapes, seeks to explore and understand this interstitial Providence space by means of creative research and collaborative interpretation with the community. Marshall will discuss cultural, economic, historical, and ecological interpretations of space, industrial ruins, “place making,” and heterotopias. Series curated by James Brayton Hall.
Sponsor: Knoll Environmental Inc., knollenvironmental.com.
Sun 5/5, 2:30–4:30pm: The Hi-Fi (Historical Fiction) Collaborative, in partnership with the Providence Public Library and the Providence Athenaeum, presents “The Craft of Historical Fiction Forum,” with authors Adam Braver, Ann Hood, Thomas Cobb, and Taylor Polites.
Local historical fiction authors Braver (Misfit), Hood (The Obituary Writer), Cobb (There Will be Blood in Their Eyes), and moderator Polites (The Rebel Wife), will discuss their recent works and explore the fine line between literature and history, creative expression and scholarly research, poetic license and factual accuracy. The HiFi Collaborative is a monthly writing group in which participants explore the challenges of historical fiction writing and critique each other’s work. This event is made possible in part by a grant from the RI Council for the Humanities, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Tues 5/7, 7-8:30pm, co-presented with the Providence Children’s Museum: “Play & Risk: How Safe is Too Safe?” part 3 of “Time for Play,” a 3-part discussion series created to raise awareness of the critical importance of self-directed play for children’s healthy growth and development.
Acceptable risk is beneficial to kids’ physical and emotional development, so when did it become a 4-letter word? Taking risks helps children learn about their own capabilities and limits while increasing their comfort with making mistakes and taking on challenges. Discuss ways to foster healthy risk-taking in kids’ play. Panelists: Dr. William Hollinshead, pediatrician; Wendy Nilsson, director, Partnership for Providence Parks; and Sarah O'Brien, LICSW, play therapist.
Series is sponsored by online parent resource Kidoinfo. RSVPs are welcome to Lindsay Shaw, email@example.com or (401) 421-6970 ext. 17.
Thurs 5/9, 5-8pm (5 to 5:30 for refreshments, activities begin at 5:30), co-presented with Not About The Buildings: Micro-Memoir!
Join us to write and read aloud extremely short (200-word) personal memoirs based on an object/concept to be presented by our workshop facilitator, the noted short-short prose pioneer Karen Donovan, as the session begins. Participants will experience both the rigors and elation of writing short-short prose, and the reading aloud segment will be buoyed by the energy of surprise and speed. The more diverse the writing is, the more exciting the readings will be, so bring your parents, your children, and your friends, old and young.
Fri 5/10, 5-7pm, SALON, co-presented with the Museum of Art RISD: “Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion” series part 4 – Collector, bibliographer, typographer, special collections curator, and practicing dandy Mark Samuels Lasner on “Sir Max Beerbohm, Muse.”
No matter how individual his or her own style might be, the dandy always pays homage to the well-dressed who came before. Lasner will speak on the figure who has most influenced him, the writer and caricaturist Sir Max Beerbohm (1872-1956). In a nod to J.P. Morgan’s librarian Belle Da Costa Greene, who asserted, “Just because I am a librarian does not mean that I have to dress like one,” Samuels Lasner has amassed the largest collection of Beerbohm drawings, manuscripts, and printed materials in private hands—and has gone so far as to become a living Beerbohm caricature, replete with monocle, cane, and versions of his hero’s wardrobe. His remarks on Beerbohm will lead to a larger discussion of other “clothes-wearing” men (and women), collecting as a dandy activity, and perhaps even consider the place of the dandy in the contemporary world. Made possible in part by Dr. Joseph A. Chazan and Dr. Philip Maddock.
Series sponsor: Dr. Joseph A. Chazan
Thur 5/16, 12-1pm: Lunch with the Librarians: Circulation Assistants RJ Doughty and Amy Eller Lewis discuss Young Adult fiction and reading recommendations.
Join us for informal conversation with a rotating cast of the Athenaeum’s librarians. Hear about their careers, the ins and out of their daily work, their book recommendations and more - and ask anything you’re curious about! Light lunch served. Reservations a must! Robin Wetherill, firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-421-6970 x14.
Fri 5/17, 5-7pm, SALON: Gloria Jean Masciarotte, Senior Lecturer, RISD; Jeanine Chartier, Executive and Artistic Director, VSA Arts RI; and Vanessa Gilbert, producer, “Writing Is Live, Brown University, former Executive Artistic Director, Perishable Theatre, on “Getting Away With It”: Lucy Truman Aldrich’s Weekend with Chinese Bandits.
On a 1923 sight-seeing, art-collecting trip in China, Lucy Truman Aldrich, the adventurous, iconoclastic daughter of U.S. Senator Nelson Aldrich and sister of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, was kidnapped by warring Chinese bandits. Born Deaf, Aldrich traveled with a paid companion/communicator, who was left behind in the abduction. Separated from her ‘crutches,’ Aldrich felt not afraid, but liberated. With ironic freedom, she later recorded the experience in My Weekend with Chinese Bandits, an essay published in the Atlantic Monthly. Masciarotte, Chartier, and Gilbert use Aldrich’s story to explore ideas of “Otherness,” privilege, ability, race, gender and nationality, and show how her experience and her account of it provide a unique example of “worlds colliding” in a kaleidoscope of freedom, rebellion, emancipation, and oppression that oscillates the traditional hierarchies of the Deaf and the Hearing; Western Imperialists and Far Eastern Rebels; privileged and dispossessed; and modernizing men and modernizing women. With funding from the RI Council on the Humanities, they are in the process of creating a script for a performance of the essay’s variant concepts of ‘voice’. Join us to learn more about Aldrich’s adventure, and Masciarotte’s, Chartier’s, and Gilbert’s project to make her voice heard anew.
Sponsor: Jodi L. Glass, Doctor of Audiology, Community Activist, with a strong focus on music as a medium
Fri 5/24, 5-7pm, SALON: Cable Car Cinema and Café owners and operators, husband and wife Daniel Julius Kamil and Emily Steffian, on running a community movie theater in the digital age.
Films and film-going have long played a crucial part in modern cultural life. What role does a movie theater play in an age when entertainment options have proliferated and are available in an instant? In 2008 Kamil and Steffian bought the Cable Car Cinema and Café from the Bilodeau family, who had owned and operated it for 35 years. The Cable Car screens a wide variety of films, collaborates with local organizations, hosts Q & A’s with filmmakers, and even presents live music. A major renovation in 2010, featuring contributions by local artists and designers, upgraded the cinema and café to attract new customers, and proceeds from a successful Kickstarter Campaign this spring will fund the transition to digital projection, now required of all independent cinemas. Kamil and Steffian will explore the history of movie theaters and the current media landscape, including the way that emerging technologies have impacted the classical theatrical exhibition window.Join us to consider why, in an era when nearly everyone can watch images in isolation on a hand-held device, people still gather in the dark to share a big screen. More on the Cable Car: cablecarcinema.com.
Wed 5/29, 6pm, co-presented with Common Cause RI: Brown University Professor of Political Science, Corey Brettschneider on his recent book When the State Speaks, What Should It Say? How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality and the Supreme Court’s free speech doctrine.
Brettschneider examines the Court’s doctrine of “viewpoint neutrality” and its relation to laws that ban speech but criticize the Court’s use of the doctrine in cases involving government spending/subsidy and campaign finance reform. How should a liberal democracy respond to hate groups and others that oppose the ideal of free and equal citizenship? Must the democratic state choose between protecting the rights of hate groups and allowing their views to spread, or banning their views and violating citizens’ rights to freedoms of expression, association, and religion? Brettschneider offers a third choice, “value democracy,” arguing that the state should protect the right to express illiberal beliefs, but should also engage in democratic persuasion when it speaks through its various expressive capacities: publicly criticizing, and giving reasons to reject, hate-based or other discriminatory viewpoints.
Fri 5/31, 5-7pm, SALON: Peter Andreas, professor in the Department of Political Science and the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, on his book Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America.
Andreas gives a history of American economics re-told through the narrative of smuggling, mapping the evolution of this country’s power by pin-pointing the battles over illicit trade, from molasses and gunpowder in colonial times, to drug trafficking and migrant smuggling today. He declares that deceptive commerce, and campaigns to suppress it, has played a vital but too often overlooked role in America’s birth, economic and political development, and emergence as a global power. Books for sale and signing thanks to the Brown University Bookstore.
Sponsor: The Gertrude N. Goldowsky and Seebert J. Goldowsky Foundation