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Bard College at Simon’s Rock March Line-Up: Affordable, Year-Round Culture in the Berkshires

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA—Bard College at Simon’s Rock announces its event line-up for the month of March. All events listed are free and open to the public, unless otherwise indicated. From visual and performing arts to lectures and readings, the Simon’s Rock campus moves into high gear, offering residents numerous opportunities to delve into cultural events—free of charge. For more event information, or parking instructions, visit the College’s frequently updated online calendar. Images are available for accessing and downloading.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009, 5:30 p.m.
The Atrium Gallery at the Alumni Library
Artist’s Reception: Melanie Mowinski

An artist’s reception and gallery talk will begin at 5:30 p.m. The exhibition, "Melanie Mowinski: Walking with Trees," showcases the artist’s books and works on paper. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau, the artist’s goal is to "find a balance between nature and civilization, by bringing the wilderness and wildness to inside spaces."

The exhibition runs from Monday, March 02, 2009 through Friday, April 03, 2009 in the Atrium Gallery at the Alumni Library. 

Friday, March 06, 2009 - Saturday, March 07, 2009
McConnell Theater, Daniel Arts Center
International Women’s Day Conference: The Power of Women in the Arts

The eighth annual International Women’s Day Conference, at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, will focus on how women worldwide have struggled throughout history to have their creative expression recognized and nurtured and how their art makes a difference in their societies and in the world. Participants will hear speakers’ personal stories of the challenges they have confronted in their experience as women artists, as well as stories of their personal triumphs in their chosen fields. 

Friday, March 06, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
McConnell Theater, Daniel Arts Center
Staged Reading: Carol Gilligan’s The Scarlet Letter

Directed by faculty member Karen Beaumont, this special staged reading of psychologist, novelist and playwright Carol Gilligan’s adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter opens the International Women’s Day Conference. After the performance, there will be a talk back with the author, director, and actors. A reception will follow.

Gilligan’s adaptation was first performed to critical acclaim at New York’s Women Center Stage, featuring Marisa Tomei as Hester Prynne.

Friday, March 06, 2009, 8:30 p.m.
Kellogg Music Center
Recital: Erica Kiesewetter and Blair McMillen

The International Festival of Women in the Arts and the Music Program present a recital by Bard Conservatory and College Music faculty members Erica Kiesewetter, violin, and Blair McMillen, piano. The program will feature works by Mozart, Brahms, Bacewicz, Ysaye and Mellits.

Educated at Juilliard School, Erica Kiesewetter is the concertmaster of the American Symphony Orchestra and also holds that position with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Opera Orchestra of New York, NY Pops, Stamford Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, and Amici NY. An avid chamber musician, she was the first violinist of the award-winning Colorado Quartet, and toured the U. S. and Europe with the Leonardo Trio for fourteen years.

A graduate of Juilliard School, Oberlin College, and the Manhattan School of Music, Blair McMillen is a versatile pianist, whose repertoire spans from late-medieval keyboard manuscripts to 21st century music. Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times has noted, "when played by the formidable Mr. McMillen, any piece sounds terrific." 

Saturday, March 07, 2009, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Daniel Arts Center
International Women’s Day Conference

Keynote and Panel (9:00 a.m.-noon)
Dr. Susan Fisher Sterling, Director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. will open the day’s events with an illustrated overview of the history of women in the arts worldwide.

A morning panel, "Cultivating Women’s Creative Expression: Challenges and Triumphs," will be moderated by Simon’s Rock professor of theater Aimée Michel. Panelists will include celebrated and multi-talented artists: Simon’s Rock faculty member Karen Allen, Simon’s Rock alumna Veronica Chambers, and Carol Gilligan.

Karen Allen, actor and fiber artist who will discuss the evolution of her work in both of these forms of creative expression
Veronica Chambers, noted African American journalist and author, whose most recent book, Kickboxing Geishas, examines the changing roles of women in Japan.
Carol Gilligan, groundbreaking psychologist, author of In a Different Voice and many other books on the psychology of women and girls, who will discuss the differences in the ways male and female artists are nurtured.

Lunch (noon-1:30 p.m.)

The conference will showcase the work of women in a variety of crafts through an invitational Arts & Crafts Market curated by Barbara Cohen-Hobbs featuring art and crafts produced by women, including Karen Allen, Maureen Banner, Nancy Bronstein, Sue Browdy, Mary Anne Davis, Pauline Dongala, Valerie Fanarjian, Ellen Grenadier, Wendy Jensen, Mary Kate Jordan, Anna Kronick, Anne Martin, Cheryl Mirer, Theresa May O’Brien, Wendy Rabinowitz, Natasha Wosniak and more.

Afternoon Panel (1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.)

The afternoon panel, "Women’s Art: Why It Matters and What It Achieves In the World," will be introduced by accordionist Heather Fisch, and moderated by Simon’s Rock Professor of Art History Joan DelPlato. Featured speakers include: 

Dr. Marjorie Agosin, poet, human rights activist and professor of Spanish at Wellesley College, will give an illustrated talk about her extensive collection of Chilean arpilleras, handmade tapestries that were used to send political messages during the Chilean dirty war of the 1980s. 
Amber Chand, a social entrepreneur whose business, the Amber Chand Collection, nurtures women craftspeople from post-conflict areas and works consciously to use art in the service of reconciliation and peace-building. 
Kristin Jones, internationally recognized visual artist, will speak of her grand-scale installations on the Tiber River in Rome and her vision for an international “water theater” involving the Tiber River and the Hudson River in New York City. 
Martha Richards, founder of the Fund for Women Artists as well as the internationally celebrated SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now) will discuss her work as a longtime arts activist.

Closing Event (3:30-4 p.m.)

The day will close with an original performance directed by Irina Brook, director in residence at Shakespeare & Company, who was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2002 by the French Ministry of Culture for her work in French theater and opera.

This year’s International Women’s Day Conference at Bard College at Simon’s Rock is a signature event of the first annual Berkshire Festival of Women in the Arts, sponsored by The Women’s Times. The month-long Festival will continue to highlight—with events, speakers, and exhibitions throughout the county—the power of women in the arts throughout the month of March. For more information, and a listing of all Festival programs, visit .

Sunday, March 08, 2009, 3:00 p.m.
Kellogg Music Center
Concert: Women Making Music at Simon's Rock

The Simon's Rock Music Program and the International Festival of Women in the Arts present "Women Making Music at Simon's Rock" a concert featuring the Simon's Rock Madrigal Group, Jack Brown, director, and Karen and Jessica Lee, violin and cello, joined by Larry Wallach, piano. This program of vocal and instrumental chamber music will include works by composers Gwyneth Walker and Louise Farrenc.

Saturday, March 14, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
The Daniel Arts Center, McConnell Theater
Theater performance: Tomas Kubinek

The 2009 Bridges Visiting Artists program presents Tomas Kubinek. Mime, clown, acrobat, performance artist, and improvisational theater performer, Kubinek is celebrated by both audiences and critics. The New York Times has lauded his work as "absolutely expert and consistently charming," while The Seattle Times says he is "Equal parts old-time clowning and Monty Pythonesque silliness." In Japan, appreciative audiences gave him the tribute traditionally reserved for outstanding Kabuki performers. This modern renaissance performer has sold out Broadway and has delighted, dazzled and charmed crowds throughout the world. 

Friday, March 27, 2009, 5:00–7:00 p.m.
The Gallery at Liebowitz
Artist's Reception: Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison

An opening reception for internationally celebrated artists, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Presented by the 2009 Visiting Artists Program, their exhibition showcases art that combines photography, theater, sculpture, and painting.

The Gallery at Liebowitz is located across the street from the main entrance to the College in the red barn buildings. Please note limited gallery hours: Thursday-Sunday 12:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 28, 2009, 8:00 p.m.
McConnell Theater, Daniel Arts Center
South Berkshire Concert Series: Frederic Chiu

Frederic Chiu's intriguing piano-playing and teaching spring from a diverse set of experiences and interests - his Asian/American/ European background, his musical training, and an early and ongoing exploration of artificial intelligence and human psychology, especially the body-mind-heart connection. Mr. Chiu previously appeared at Simon’s Rock to great acclaim in November 2006. He is returning as part of the new Bridges Visiting Artists Program.

With more than 20 CDs on the market, Frederic Chiu’s repertoire includes the complete work of Prokofiev as well as popular classics of Chopin, Liszt and others, and less well-known masterpieces of Mendelssohn and Rossini, with a special place for the piano transcription. Many have been singled out, such as "Record of the Year" by Stereo Review, "Top 10 recordings" by the New Yorker, with raves from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Frederic Chiu has toured in Europe and the U.S. with the Orchestre de Bretagne and Stefan Sanderling. He has played with the Hartford Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Estonia National Symphony, China National Symphony, among others. In recital he performs in the world's most prestigious halls including the Berlin Philharmonic, Kioi and Suntory Halls in Tokyo, Lincoln Center in New York and Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Mr. Chiu's musical partners include Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal, Gary Hoffman, David Krakauer, Matt Haimovitz and the St. Lawrence and Shanghai string quartets.

Frederic Chiu premiered Edgar Meyer’s Concert Piece with Joshua Bell. He has worked with many composers, including George Crumb, Frederick Rzewsky, Bright Sheng, Gao Ping, David Benoit.

He was the recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Petscheck Award of the Juilliard School, and was a fellow of the American Pianist Association. He was also the "non-winner" of the 1993 Van Cliburn Competition, where his elimination from the finals caused an uproar in the press.

Frederic Chiu is also committed to expanding the place of classical music. He has created unusual collaborations with personalities outside the world of classical music, such as the Shakespearean actor Brian Bedford and psychologist/writer/clown Howard Buten. He worked with the hip-hop artist Socalled in the Messiaen Remix project. He does extensive work with children through concert/lectures for schools, and has brought classical music to places where it is rarely heard.

Ongoing Exhibitions:

Monday, March 02, 2009 — Friday, April 03, 2009
The Atrium Gallery at the Alumni Library
Exhibition: Melanie Mowinski: Walking with Trees

The exhibition, "Melanie Mowinski: Walking with Trees" showcases the artist’s books and works on paper. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau, the artist’s goal is to find a balance between nature and civilization, by bringing the wilderness and wildness to inside spaces.

There will be an artist’s reception and gallery talk on March 04, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. in the Atrium Gallery at the Alumni Library.

The Atrium Gallery is located within Bard College at Simon’s Rock Alumni Library. The gallery is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to midnight, and Saturday –Sunday, 11:00 a.m. - midnight while the College is in session. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009 - Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Gallery at Liebowitz
Exhibition: Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Selected Works

The 2009 Bridges Visiting Artists Program presents Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, internationally celebrated artists whose work blends photography, sculptural constructions, theater, and painting. Their surreal, sensory, and intriguing art explores the modern relationship between technology, nature, and human beings. A common theme is "landscapes scarred by technology and over-use."

Robert ParkeHarrison’s book, The Architect's Brother, was named one of the "Ten Best Photography Books of the Year" in 2000 by the New York Times.

The Gallery at Liebowitz is located within Bard College at Simon’s Rock Liebowitz building, across from the College’s central campus at the intersection of Hurlburt and Alford Roads. Please note limited gallery hours: Thursday - Sunday 12:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.

For more event information, or for parking and directions, please visit the Newsroom. Event date, times, and locations are subject to change; visit the Events page for the most up-to-date information.