Friday, February 29, 2008

Quest through the Past: 'Looking for Bijah and Lucy' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, noted biographer and a professor on the faculty of Dartmouth College, will present "Looking for Bijah and Lucy: The Search for an African-American Family That Moved Into Legend," a discussion of her latest research project and its resulting book, at Washington College's Litrenta Lecture Hall on Tuesday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. A booksigning will follow the lecture.

Gerzina will be in residence at Washington College from March 17-21 as this year's Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellow at the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. Her latest book, Mr. and Mrs. Prince, was a labor of love, jointly researched with her husband, Anthony Gerzina, whom she met when they were both students at Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont.

Lucy Terry, the first known African-American poet, and her husband Abijah ("Bijah") Prince, were landowners and former slaves who lived 200 years earlier in the same village in Vermont as the Gerzinas, and have gone down in history as remarkable people who fought for their rights in the courts.

Mr. and Mrs. Prince paints a vivid picture of 18th century New England, a frontier society shaped as much by race and color as by economic struggle and the constant threat of war. Both Gerzina and her husband regarded their work on the book as "a life-changing event."

Established through a generous gift from Maurice Meslans and Margaret Holyfield of St. Louis, the annual Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellowship brings to campus an individual engaged in the study or interpretation of African-American history and related fields. Besides providing the recipient an opportunity for a week of focused writing, the fellowship also offers Washington College students exposure to some of today's leading interpreters of African-American culture. During her week in Chestertown, Gerzina will meet with students and faculty and speak to classes about her own work.

Gerzina has a B.A. from Marlboro College, an M.A. from Simmons College, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University. She has been a tenured professor at Vassar College and at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is now the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor in Biography at Dartmouth College, where she is the first woman ever to chair the English department, and the first African-American woman to chair an Ivy League English department. She is also Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Exeter in Devon, England.

Gerzina's first book, Carrington, is the only biography of the Bloomsbury Group figure Dora Carrington, and was made into a 1995 movie starring Emma Thompson. Her second book,Black London (published in the U.K. as Black England), delved deeply into the lives of black people in 18th-century Britain, and was a New York Times Notable Book.

Gerzina is the host of the nationally syndicated radio program "The Book Show," on which she conducts weekly interviews with some of the finest writers working today, including Anna Quindlen, Toni Morrison, and Jamaica Kincaid. She has appeared frequently on British television and radio documentaries.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to "Looking for Bijah and Lucy: The Search for an African-American Family That Moved Into Legend" is free and open to the public.

February 29, 2008

Interactive Video Artist Explores 'Non Unexpected Encounters' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Internationally acclaimed artist Alexandra Dementieva will present "Non Unexpected Encounters," a discussion of her cutting-edge, interactive video-based art practice, at Washington College's Litrenta Lecture Hall on Wednesday, March 19, at 6:30 p.m.

The presentation will be moderated by intermedia artist and Washington College Professor of Art Monika Weiss and will be preceded by an informal reception at 6 p.m.

The event is being offered as part of the Shelter Arts Festival, a multi-disciplinary celebration running through March and April.

Born in Moscow and based in Brussels since 1991, Alexandra Dementieva combines high-end technology with everyday elements of culture. Utilizing computers, video projections, sound bands, slides, photography and more, she creates multimedia installations that interact with the viewer. Integrating elements of behavioral psychology and a mélange of historical, cultural and political allusions, her video works create a subjective environment in which the spectator becomes the center of the project.

Dementieva has received numerous awards at major multimedia arts festivals in Spain, Russia, Belgium and France. Her work has appeared in galleries throughout Europe, and one of her video pieces is slated to open soon at the Paradise Theater in New York City.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to "Non Unexpected Encounters" is free and open to the public.

February 29, 2008

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Neil Simon's Fools Staged at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Department of Drama will present Neil Simon's Fools at the McLain Atrium in the John S. Toll Science Center on Friday, February 29, at 8 p.m., and on Saturday, March 1, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

For centuries Jewish storytellers helped unite and sustain their people with a vibrant oral tradition, passing on history and heritage through tales. Storytelling was a valued art, and gifted storytellers—be they grandmothers, mothers, rabbis or street vendors—were treasured members of the community.

Fools, which takes place in the isolated Ukrainian village of Kulyenchikov in the late 19th century, is award-winning playwright Neil Simon's comedic tribute to a legendary body of Jewish folklore and tradition.

The upcoming Washington College production of Fools, directed by senior Kevin Reagan, features Jess Blanch, Maggie Farrell, Shaina Garrison, Katie Johnson, Emmy Landskroener, Kelsy Long, James Maguire, Ben Mason, Tony Reisinger and Annabelle Shore.

Admission to Fools is free, but reservations are required; call 410/778-7835 or e-mail

February 22, 2008

Washington College Announces $50,000 Book Prize Finalists

Chestertown, MD — In commemoration of George Washington's birthday, Washington College today announced three finalists for the 2008 George Washington Book Prize.

The $50,000 award—co-sponsored by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington's Mount Vernon—is the largest prize nationwide for a book on early American history, and one of the largest literary prizes of any kind. It recognizes the year's best books on the nation's founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of American history.

The newly announced finalists are Woody Holton'sUnruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (Hill and Wang), Jon Latimer's 1812: War with America (Belknap/Harvard), and Marcus Rediker's The Slave Ship: A Human History(Viking).

The books are a provocative group: a history of the making of the Constitution in which the Framers seem to be working, not for, but against, ordinary Americans; the War of 1812 as seen from the other side of the Atlantic; and a harrowing re-creation of the slave ships—the floating dungeons that carried millions of men, women, and children to these shores from Africa.

"For more than 200 years, Americans have been engaged in an ongoing—and sometimes contentious—conversation about the meaning and significance of our founding era," said historian Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold director of Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, which administers the prize. "The Washington Prize recognizes books that contribute fresh ideas to that national conversation, and approach American history in new ways."

The winner will be announced at a gala celebration May 29 at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens in Virginia.

Previous winners were Charles Rappleye in 2007 for Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution; Stacy Schiff in 2006 for A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America; and Ron Chernow in 2005 for Alexander Hamilton.

The finalists were selected by a jury of three distinguished historians: Robert L. Middlekauff of the University of California at Berkeley, chair; Elizabeth A. Fenn of Duke University; and Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy, director of Monticello's International Center for Jefferson Studies and professor of history at the University of Virginia.

They reviewed 78 books published last year on the founding period in American history, from about 1760 to 1820—time of the creation and consolidation of the young republic.

The jurors described Woody Holton's book as "a new, important and challenging interpretation of the Constitution." His "unruly Americans" are the ordinary citizens who challenged the Framers and forced them to accept the changes that produced the document we revere.

"Woody Holton has written a book of revision," they wrote, "one part a brief against much conventional scholarship on the Constitution's origins, and one part a reconstruction of the role the people, in particular small farmers, played in its drafting... It will not convince everyone, but it will be recognized as a book that reopens an old argument and makes its own with attention to the empirical sources and with stimulating insights. It should receive a wide reading."

Dr. Holton is associate professor of history at the University of Richmond and author of the award-winning Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia.

Jon Latimer's sixth book is the first military history of the War of 1812 from the British perspective published since the early 19th century. The jury called it "sparkling" and wrote that he "has not only mastered a large body of scholarship, he has made sensitive use of the diaries, letters, and records of people otherwise unknown to written history. Thus it is fair to say that Latimer has given us not only a book impressive for its grand sweep, but also one that recovers the experience of ordinary people engaged in the testing conflict that sometimes brought death, suffering, and triumph. Indeed Latimer's book is altogether satisfying in its perspective, its insights, and its compelling prose."

An Associate Fellow of the Callaghan Centre for the Study of Conflict at Swansea University in Wales, Latimer has a degree from the University in oceanography and served in the Territorial Army for 16 years.

Marcus Rediker's Slave Ship covers "virtually every aspect of the story of where the slaves were from, how they were captured and imprisoned, transported to slave ships, and their treatment on board," the jurors wrote. "Rediker describes his book as 'painful'; it was surely painful to write. Despite the emotional cost to its author, it is beautifully written. Indeed, the book is, in its use of evidence and determination to expose the bleakness of the slave experience, evocative and moving, and deeply instructive in unsuspected ways."

Rediker is a professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and the prize-winning author ofThe Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic.

The Jurors

Robert L. Middlekauff, chair
University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Middlekauff is the Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. His specialty is the history of the English colonies in America in the 17th and 18th centuries through the American Revolution, and he is probably best known for his prize-winning 1982 book The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (Oxford).

He earned his B.A. at the University of Washington and his Ph.D. in history at Yale. In 1972, he won the Bancroft Prize for The Mathers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596-1728 (Oxford) and he is also the author of Ancients and Axioms: Secondary Education in Eighteenth-Century New England (Yale).

He has spent most of his career at UC Berkeley, where he has been chair of the history department three times, dean of social sciences, and dean and provost of the College of Letters and Science. He has also served as director of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, and was the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University. His most recent book is Benjamin Franklin and His Enemies (California).

Elizabeth A. Fenn
Duke University

Dr. Fenn is an assistant professor of history at Duke University. Her book Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82 (Hill and Wang) won numerous prizes and attracted a great deal of attention, both among historians and the general public, when it was published in 2001.

Dr. Fenn earned her B.A. in history at Duke and her M.A. and Ph.D. at Yale. Pox Americanagrew out of her doctoral thesis, which she wrote after working for a few years as an auto mechanic in Durham, North Carolina. She is also the co-author, with Peter H. Wood, ofNatives and Newcomers: The Way We Lived in North Carolina before 1770 (North Carolina). Her field of study is early North America, with a focus on epidemic disease, Native American history, and social history.

Her current book project, Encounter at the Heart of the World: The Rise and Fall of the Mandan People, 1738-1838, will examine the spectacular rise and equally spectacular collapse of the Mandan Indians in the first century after European contact.

Andrew Jackson O'Shaughnessy
University of Virginia
Monticello's International Center for Jefferson Studies

Dr. O'Shaughnessy is the Saunders Director of Monticello's Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies and a professor of history at the University of Virginia. A British-born scholar of American history, he is the author of An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean (Pennsylvania). His fields of expertise include Colonial America, the American Revolution, and the British Caribbean.

He earned his B.A., his M.A., and his D.Phil. in history from Oxford University and is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He was a longtime member of the history faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, where he was also department chair. At the International Center for Jefferson Studies, Dr. O'Shaughnessy oversees Monticello's research, education, and archaeology departments; the Jefferson Library; and the editorial staff of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series. He is an editor of the Journal of the Early Republic and co-editor of the Jeffersonian America Series at the University of Virginia Press. He is on the advisory board of the University of Pennsylvania's McNeil Center for Early American Studies and has appeared on the History Channel.

Sponsors of the George Washington Book Prize

The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience was founded at Washington College in 2000 to promote new scholarship in American history, culture, and politics. Founded in 1782 in colonial Chestertown, Md., Washington College is the only college George Washington supported personally, donating both his money and his name to the project, and serving on its board.

Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History promotes the study and love of American history. The Institute serves teachers, students, scholars, and the general public. It helps create history-centered schools and academic research centers, organizes seminars and programs for educators, produces print and electronic publications and traveling exhibitions, sponsors lectures by eminent historians, and administers a History Teacher of the Year Award in every state through its partnership with Preserve America. The Institute also conducts awards including the Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and George Washington Book Prizes, and offers fellowships for scholars to work in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and other archives. The Institute maintains two websites, and the quarterly online journal

Since 1860, over 180 million visitors have made George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens the most popular historic home in America. Through thought-provoking tours, entertaining events and stimulating educational programs on the Estate and in classrooms across the nation, Mount Vernon strives to preserve George Washington's place in history as "First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen." Mount Vernon is owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, America's oldest national preservation organization, founded in 1853.

For more information on the George Washington Book Prize, visit

February 22, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

From Southeast Asia to Eastern Shore: Cambodian Classics Ensemble Performs at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The 56th season of the Washington College Concert Series continues with a performance by the Cambodian Classics Ensemble at the Norman James Theatre in William Smith Hall on Sunday, March 2, at 4 p.m.

The Cambodian Classics Ensemble features master musicians and dancers who were trained at Cambodia's Fine Arts University, were leaders of professional ensembles in Cambodia, and have revived their arts in refugee camps and the United States since the late 1970s.

These artists are among the masters who resettled in response to civil war, revolution and economic hardship. Juggling daily survival with preserving their traditions, they are recognized teachers and performers in their community, but they are virtual secrets to their mainstream neighbors.

Khmer music and dance maintain and nurture relationships that keep heaven and earth in equilibrium. Many of the artists tell stories of how they believe that their arts have saved them from seemingly inescapable misfortune and death.

The 2007-2008 Washington College Concert Series will continue with a recital by harpist Elizabeth Hainen at the Norman James Theatre on Saturday, April 26, at 8 p.m.

Tickets ($15 for adults and $5 for youth and students) for each concert can be purchased at the door. For more information, call 410-778-7839.

February 20, 2008

Civil Rights Pioneer, History-Making Senator, and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian Honored at Annual Washington's Birthday Convocation

Chestertown, MD — Three individuals who have contributed significantly to the cause of civil rights in America will be honored at Washington College's annual George Washington's Birthday Convocation at the College's Benjamin A. Johnson Lifetime Fitness Center on Friday, February 22, at 3:30 p.m.

Pioneering civil rights activist Gloria Richardson was at the forefront of the influential Cambridge Movement in the early 1960s. Former Senator Birch Bayh was instrumental in drafting the major civil rights legislation of the '60s. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Taylor Branch has chronicled the epic struggles and achievements of the civil rights era. All three will receive honorary degrees at Friday's convocation.

Also being honored are the 2008 Washington College Service Award recipients.

As leader of the African-American struggle for civil rights and economic justice in Cambridge, Maryland, in the early 1960s, Gloria Richardson helped define the course of the 20th-century Civil Rights movement. She was also the first woman to serve as the leader of a major local movement.

The so-called "Cambridge Movement," which lasted between roughly 1962 and 1964, is remembered today as the beginning of an important new chapter in the history of Civil Rights. As one recent historian wrote, "Richardson became the clarion caller who beckoned the state and nation to do what was right... She held true to her faith in a moral cause, her belief in how to achieve results, and her compassion for the alienated."

Born in 1922, Mrs. Richardson grew up in Cambridge, in a leading family in the African-American community there. She attended segregated public schools, and then went to Howard University, where she received a B.A. in sociology in 1942. After working as a civil servant in Washington during the war, she moved back to the Eastern Shore and eventually became involved in civil rights, working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to desegregate public accommodations.

Cambridge's black population had exercised the right to vote since 1869, but nearly 100 years later still endured grinding poverty, an unemployment rate twice that of local whites, segregated neighborhoods and schools, and denial of access to the vast majority of the community's public spaces.

In 1962, Mrs. Richardson and other local parents formed the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee (CNAC), organizing sit-ins in movie theatres, restaurants, and other segregated public places. Eventually, however, they also began to target deeper social issues, such as housing, health care, and adequate wages. In the summer of 1962, "Project Eastern Shore" registered new black voters in the region and encouraged political participation after decades of suppression by the white establishment.

When civil strife broke out in Cambridge the following summer, and the National Guard was called in to keep the peace, Mrs. Richardson—as chair of CNAC—walked a difficult and dangerous line, negotiating forcefully with local and state leaders and federal officials while holding together her loyal followers amid heavy pressure, mass arrests, and violent attacks.

After 1964, Mrs. Richardson moved to New York City, where she resides today. She has remained active in civil rights and anti-poverty campaigns, and still, at 85, works in the city's Department for the Aging.

Raised on his family's farm in western Indiana, Birch Bayh was elected to the United States Senate in 1962, arriving in Washington at a moment when America was on the brink of crisis and change—but it was also a moment when, thanks to John F. Kennedy's New Frontier, a spirit of youthfulness, energy and innovation was at the forefront of political life.

Senator Bayh was quickly embraced as a rising star by President Kennedy and then by President Johnson. Despite coming from a state where the Ku Klux Klan was still a force in local politics, he stepped into the vanguard of efforts to secure civil rights for African-Americans, cosponsoring the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Later, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he led the successful efforts to defeat President Nixon's nominations of two segregationist judges—Clement Haynesworth and Harrold Carswell—to the Supreme Court. As a result, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights would eventually honor Senator Bayh with their highest award for "his unyielding dedication to human equality and civil freedom."

Meanwhile, Senator Bayh also won renown as an expert on the U.S. Constitution. After the assassination of President Kennedy, he drafted the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which established the rules for presidential and vice-presidential succession. In the midst of the Vietnam War, he authored the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18—and which, at the stroke of a pen, enfranchised 11 million young Americans, who previously had been considered old enough to die for their country but not old enough to vote for their president.

With its passage, Senator Bayh became the only American since the Founding Fathers to draft more than one Amendment to the Constitution.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch is a nationally renowned authority on the American Civil Rights movement. His trilogy of books, America in the King Years, 1954-1968, is one of the most important works of American history of the past generation. It is a monumental work in every sense, drawing on almost 25 years of intensive research and covering more than 3,000 pages. The final volume, At Canaan's Edge, spanning the years 1965 to 1968, appeared to great acclaim in 2006.

America in the King Years "is not a biography of Dr. King," wrote Anthony Lewis in the New York Times. "It is a picture of the country and the times as he intersected with them.... It is a thrilling book, marvelous in both its breadth and its detail. There is drama in every paragraph." The New York Review of Books called the series nothing less than "an American Iliad."

Born in Atlanta in 1947, Mr. Branch grew up following the Civil Rights movement on television and witnessing its reverberations in his own community. After graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1968, he worked on voter-registration drives in the Deep South.

A diary that he kept during this time developed into a magazine article for the Washington Monthly and launched his career as a writer. In the years that followed, he served as a staff writer at the Washington Monthly, Harper's, and Esquire. He also has written for a wide variety of other publications, including The New York Times Magazine, the New York Review of Books, and The New Republic. He earned a Master's of Public Administration degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.

The first volume in the King trilogy, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63, appeared in 1988 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for History and the National Book Critics' Circle Award for General Nonfiction. Mr. Branch received a five-year MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (also known as a "genius grant") in 1991 and the National Humanities Medal in 1999.

The George Washington's Birthday Convocation also will serve as the occasion to honor members of the College family with the 2008 Washington College Service Awards. The President's Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Burton Brown, Annie Coleman and Barbara Heck. The President's Medal this year goes to the Summer Days Math and Science Camp, founded by Tracy Davenport. And the 2008 Alumni Service Award will be received by Karen Johnson '68.

A reception will follow the ceremony in the Lifetime Fitness Center.

February 20, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oral Historian/Radio Host Buckley Joins Washington College's C.V. Starr Center Team

Chestertown, MD — Washington College is pleased to announce that Michael Buckley, an accomplished program/arts administrator, journalist and radio host, is the new Program Manager of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

Buckley will develop, orchestrate and publicize the Starr Center's many public programs, as well as create new opportunities for Washington College students.

Buckley has served as founding member and Managing Director of the American Historical Theatre, Public Relations Coordinator of the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival, founder of the Philadelphia Town Meeting, Program Coordinator of the New York Open Center for the Arts and Humanities and co-producer/host of "Chesapeake Songs and Stories" at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

He has worked as an administrator and stage technician for a variety of other institutions, including the Brooklyn Arts Council, Los Angeles Contemporary Music Festival, Cirque du Soleil and the Royal Shakespeare Festival.

He is a frequent contributor to the Annapolis Capital, and gave the keynote address at the Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR) conference hosted at Washington College last spring.

For the past 14 years, Buckley has been an acclaimed weekend radio host on WRNR (103.1 FM) in Annapolis. His show, which airs from 7 to 10 a.m. on Sundays, features both an eclectic blend of folk, rock, jazz, classical and world music and Buckley's highly regarded interview series, "Voices of the Chesapeake Bay."

For this series, Buckley crisscrosses the region, interviewing some of its most fascinating residents: farmers, Native Americans, watermen, writers, politicians. (He even interviewed "Little Miss Crustacean" from the Crisfield Crab Derby.)

The show, which also airs on WINX (94.3 FM) in Easton, has been recognized with two Governor's Citations for Community Service and several "Best of Baltimore" awards from the Baltimore City Paper.

Buckley's interviews have been collected in both a boxed set of 10 CDs and a book, Voices of the Chesapeake Bay, which will be published in March.

"I'm thrilled to be coming to Chestertown to work with the students of Washington College," said Buckley, who plans to get undergraduates involved in his radio show, and to mentor those who are interested in oral history.

"Michael Buckley's presence at the Starr Center will open up new ways for students to explore the American experience, especially the rich culture of the Chesapeake region," said Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the Starr Center. "The Center's approach has always been broadly interdisciplinary, and Michael's background in music and the arts exemplifies this."

The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, founded in 2000, is an innovative center for the study of history, culture and politics, and fosters excellence in the art of written history through fellowships, prizes and student programs.

Washington College is a private, independent liberal arts and sciences college located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it was the first college chartered in the new nation.

February 14, 2008

Friday, February 8, 2008

'Crimes of the Heart' Staged at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Department of Drama will present Beth Henley's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Crimes of the Heart" at the Norman James Theatre on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, February 20-22, at 8 p.m.

At the core of this enduringly popular comedy-drama are the three Magrath sisters. They're reuniting at the ancestral home in Mississippi when the youngest sister shoots her abusive husband.

The trio was raised in a dysfunctional family with a penchant for ugly predicaments, and each has endured her share of hardship and misery. Past resentments bubble to the surface as they're forced to deal with assorted relatives and past relationships while coping with the latest incident that has disrupted their lives.

Rising from regional-circuit obscurity to off-Broadway to Broadway, "Crimes of the Heart" became a runaway success, garnering a Tony Award nomination for Best Play and a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play of the 1980-81 season, in addition to the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The 1986 film version earned three Academy Award nominations, included a Best Adapted Screenplay nod to playwright Henley.

The upcoming Washington College production, directed by Professor of Drama Timothy Maloney, features Aileen Brenner, Marielle Latrick and Dorothy Johnson as the Magrath sisters. Also in the cast are Katie Skarwecki, Phil Doccolo and Bobby Bangert.

Admission to "Crimes of the Heart" is $5 for the general public and $3 for Washington College students. Reservations are recommended; call 410/778-7835 or

February 8, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Separate and Unequal: 'Dream Not of Other Worlds' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College 2007-2008 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series and the Office of Multicultural Affairs will present a Huston Diehl reading, "Dream Not of Other Worlds: Teaching in a Segregated School, 1970," in the Sophie Kerr Room at Miller Library on Monday, February 25, at 4:30 p.m.

When Diehl began teaching a fourth-grade class in a "Negro" elementary school in rural Virginia, the school system's white superintendent assured her that he didn't expect her to teach "those children" anything. It was the waning days of the Jim Crow South, and Diehl soon discovered how low expectations impeded her students' ability to learn. With its overcrowded classrooms and poor facilities, her segregated school was vastly inferior to the county's white elementary schools, and the message it sent her students was clear: "Dream not of other worlds."

In her memoir Diehl reveals how her students reached out to her, a young white Northerner, and shared their fears, anxieties and personal beliefs. She reflects on what the students taught her about the hurt of bigotry and the humiliation of poverty as well as dignity, courage and resiliency.

Today, Diehl is professor of English at the University of Iowa and a widely published authority in the field of Renaissance literature. Her memoir, Dream Not of Other Worlds: Teaching in a Segregated School, 1970, chronicles an important moment in American history and the struggle to integrate schools in the South.

The February 25 presentation at Washington College will be a reading from her memoir. Professor Diehl will be joined in the reading by Polly Sommerfeld, Lecturer in Drama at Washington College.

Admission to "Dream Not of Other Worlds" is free and open to the public.

February 7, 2008

Washington College, Smithsonian Museums Join Forces for 'American Pictures' Lecture Series

Chestertown, MD — Washington College announces a pioneering partnership with the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. This spring the three institutions will launch the American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series, a highly original approach to history and the visual arts with an all-star lineup of speakers.

On four Saturday afternoons in March, April and May, leading figures of contemporary culture—the critically acclaimed novelist Allan Gurganus, world-renowned musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson, Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian Garry Wills and the celebrated actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith—will each unravel the meaning behind a single powerful image in American art. In the process, they will explore how works of art reflect American identity, provide a window into our shared history, and inspire creative minds in many fields.

The series director is Adam Goodheart, director of Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, who has worked closely with the two museum directors and their staffs, as well as with members of the college's Department of Art and Art History.

"We are thrilled to have this opportunity to work with two of the country's most important museums, to support new work by leading figures of American culture, and to build bridges between Washington College and Washington, D.C," said Washington College President Baird Tipson.

Each of the guests was invited to choose as a subject any work of American art or portraiture that especially 'spoke to' him or her. The images that they came up with range from an oil portrait of Walt Whitman to one of the most searing silkscreen images by Andy Warhol.

"This is a wonderful collaboration—one that serves the mission of both the College and the museums," said Carolyn Carr, Acting Director of the National Portrait Gallery. "For the National Portrait Gallery, a two-dimensional portrait of a renowned individual is an entry point into the multifaceted world of history, art, and biography. The distinguished speakers in this series are cicerones, leading the audience into the rich arena that is the past."

"The Smithsonian American Art Museum is happy to partner with Washington College and the National Portrait Gallery on these exciting interdisciplinary presentations," said Elizabeth Broun, the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Margaret and Terry Stent Director. "The series highlights the transformative power of art that inspires us all."

The lectures will be held in Washington, D.C., in the recently renovated Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture (formerly the Patent Office Building), which is home to the two Smithsonian museums. The 1836 landmark recently reopened after a six-year, $300-million renovation, inspiring the Washington Post's architecture critic to enthuse: "Arguably, it's the best public building in Washington ... [visiting it is] a gratifying, at times exhilarating, experience."

The inaugural lecture on March 8 features Allan Gurganus, who will discuss Thomas Eakins' famous portrait of Walt Whitman. The subject is especially appropriate—during the Civil War, the poet famously nursed wounded soldiers in the museums' historic home, which was being used as a hospital at the time. A painter as well as a writer, Gurganus is the author of, among other books, the bestselling Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and Plays Well with Others.

On March 15, Laurie Anderson will explore Andy Warhol's "Electric Chair." On April 26, Garry Wills will talk about Eakins' mysterious and evocative painting "William Rush Carving His Allegorical Figure of the Schuylkill River." And on May 10, Anna Deavere Smith will examine Ruth Orkin's photograph "Member of the Wedding, 1950: Ethel Waters, Carson McCullers, and Julie Harris."

"At a time when images pervade our lives in ways difficult to imagine even a decade ago, and leading colleges and universities are rethinking their curricula in terms of visual as well as written literacy, a series like this is especially valuable," said Professor Donald McColl of Washington College. "We in the Department of Art and Art History are pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with the Starr Center, and we look forward to the collective conversations to follow."

Support for the series comes from the Hodson Trust, the Starr Foundation and other donors. Thanks to a generous gift from Valliant & Associates, Washington College will provide free bus service from Chestertown for students, faculty and community members who wish to attend the lectures. These trips will include informal tours of the two museums and time for dinner in Washington. For detailed information on the series, which will be free and open to the public, visit the Starr Center's website,

All lectures will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the museums' Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium. No reservations are required. Free tickets are available beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the G Street lobby information desk. Doors open for each lecture at 4 p.m. The museums are located at Eighth and F Streets, N.W. Washington D.C., just above the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station. For additional information about the museums, directions and parking information, visit

About the sponsors

Washington College

Founded in 1782 under the personal patronage of its namesake, Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, upholds a tradition of excellence and innovation in the liberal arts. The American Pictures lecture series is a project of the college's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Department of Art and Art History.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the nation's first collection of American art, is an unparalleled record of the American experience. The collection captures the aspirations, character, and imagination of the American people across three centuries.

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Galley tells the stories of America through the individuals—poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists—who have built our national culture. It is where the arts keep us in the company of remarkable Americans.

February 7, 2008

Global Climate Change, 'Geo-Pragmatism' Discussed at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Washington College's Joseph H. McLain Program in Environmental Studies will present "The Case for Geo-Pragmatism in an Age of Climate Crisis," a lecture/booksigning by Jonathan T. Isham Jr., Ph.D., Luce Professor of International Environmental Economics at Middlebury College, at Litrenta Lecture Hall on Thursday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Isham's current research focuses on building what is known as "the New Climate Movement." He teaches classes in environmental economics, environmental policy, global climate change and other topics at Vermont's Middlebury College.

Dr. Isham is co-editor of Ignition: What You Can Do to Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement and Social Capital and Economic Development: Well-Being in Developing Countries. His work has been published in Economic Development and Cultural Change, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Society and Natural Resources, The World Bank Economic Review and numerous other journals. He also has published book chapters in volumes from Ashgate Press, the New England University Press, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.

The Joseph H. McLain Program in Environmental Studies was established at Washington College in 1990 to focus attention on and augment study in the fields of aquatic and environmental studies. The Program supports lectures and symposia featuring visiting scientists and other professionals on matters of environmental interest, particularly relating to the Chesapeake Bay.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to "The Case for Geo-Pragmatism in an Age of Climate Crisis" is free and open to the public.

February 7, 2008

Idiots'Fest 2008 Celebrates Literature, Music In Chestertown

Chestertown, MD — Idiots'Books, a subscription-based series of volumes on a wide-ranging diversity of subject matter, will celebrate its loyal followers with "Idiots'Fest 2008: Subscribers That Rock," a two-day literature and music festival, at Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House (407 Washington Ave.) on Friday, February 15, and at the Bookplate (112 S. Cross St.) on Saturday, February 16.

The husband-wife team of writer Matthew Swanson and illustrator Robbi Behr, the producers of Idiots'Books, will be joined by special guests Jim Shepard, Brian Slattery, Drew Bunting, Brian Wecht, Rich Flynn, Aidan Shepard and Victor Wishna.

The Friday gathering at the Rose O'Neill Literary House will run from 6 to 8 p.m. While Behr and Swanson read from their work, they will be accompanied by Brian Slattery and Drew Bunting on a variety of traditional folk instruments.

Saturday's doings at the Bookplate will begin at 2:30 p.m. and include a performance by New York standup comedian Victor Wishna, another musically accompanied reading by Behr and Swanson, a musically augmented reading by Slattery (who in addition to being a musician is the author of the novel Spaceman Blues and other works), a lecture titled "String Theory for Idiots" presented by Dr. Brian A. Wecht of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, and a reading by author Jim Shepard, a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award in Fiction.

Shepard then will be available for a booksigning from 5:30 to 6 p.m. At 6 p.m. a $10-a-head dinner will be served. The Rev. Drew Bunting and his band "Textual Healing" will cap off the festivities with a peformance from 7 to 10 p.m.

Aside from the Saturday dinner fee, admission to all Idiots'Fest events is free and open to the public. For more information on Idiots'Fest 2008, visit

February 7, 2008

Spike Lee's Acclaimed Katrina Documentary Screened at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Washington College Film Series will present a special two-part screening of Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" at the Litrenta Lecture Hall on Sunday and Monday, February 17 and 18, at 7:30 p.m. Parts I and II will be screened on Sunday night, Parts III and IV on Monday night.

Lee's harrowing 2006 HBO documentary chronicles the horrors wrought by Hurricane Katrina and the government's failure to respond adequately in the aftermath. The Washington Postraved, "It is the anger that cuts deepest—a righteous, laser-focused anger born of betrayal, laced with sadness, a lumbering anger that pumps like blood through the veins of Spike Lee's masterly Katrina documentary...."

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" is free and open to the public.

February 7, 2008

Student-Curated Exhibition Opens at the Custom House

Chestertown, MD — The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College announces the opening of a new photo exhibition, "Architect of Democracy: Photographs from the Career of Senator Birch Bayh." Curated by Washington College junior Jasper Colt, the exhibition blends historic images from Senator Bayh's storied career with recollections taken from an oral history interview Colt conducted earlier this year.

Senator Bayh, one of the nation's most influential progressive legislators, is soon to be one of Washington College's most illustrious alumni. On February 22, 2008, the college will award him the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of his lifelong commitment to opening the doors of opportunity to all people, particularly minorities and members of marginalized groups. Senator Bayh has been a Senior Fellow at the C.V. Starr Center since 2006; Architect of Democracy constitutes the Center's own gesture to honor a distinguished American and valued member of the Washington College community, and to mark Senator Bayh's 80th birthday, which he celebrated in January.

Throughout his 18 years in the U.S. Senate (1963-81), Senator Bayh championed civil rights and education. He authored Title IX of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which prohibited gender-based discrimination in schools receiving federal funding, and served as a co-sponsor of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As chairman of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, he also drafted the 25th and 26th Amendments, which created a more democratic procedure for Presidential succession and lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, respectively. To this day, Senator Bayh remains the only person since the Founding Fathers to have drafted more than one amendment to the Constitution. The exhibition includes striking images of many powerful historic moments, including the fight to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and the aftermath of the 1970 shootings at Jackson State College. Most of the photographs are from Senator Bayh's papers at Indiana University Bloomington.

At Washington College, Senator Bayh recently led the Senatorial Colloquy on American History and Politics, which featured a series of public conversations between distinguished current and former members of the United States Senate. He and his guests—Senators Gary Hart, Paul Laxalt, Dale Bumpers, and Richard Lugar—shared recollections of their experiences in public life and offered reflections on challenges confronting the nation. The Colloquy also included a series of student seminars in which 16 undergraduates discussed issues such as civil rights and electoral reform in a small-group setting with Senator Bayh.

Exhibition curator Jasper Colt '09, a history major and member of the 2007 Colloquy, drew upon his knowledge of photography to oversee the design and installation of the exhibition. A budding oral historian, Colt also devised a creative way to weave the images together with Senator Bayh's own words. "I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from and interview such an influential politician and genuinely kindhearted person as Senator Bayh," he said. "The experience has inspired me both as a student of history and as a citizen."

Colt, an aspiring educator who hopes to someday teach at both the secondary and collegiate level, is currently a Student Associate at the Starr Center, where he assists with Center events and pursues his own research projects. "I'd predict that this exhibition is only the first of many creative avenues Jasper will find to share history with others," said Jill Ogline, the Center's associate director. "His passion for authentic voices will make him an influential and memorable teacher. We're pleased to be able to support his work."

Established in 2000 with a grant from the New York-based Starr Foundation, the C.V. Starr Center explores our nation's history—and particularly the legacy of its Founding era—in innovative ways. Through educational programs, scholarship, and public outreach, and especially by supporting and fostering the art of written history, the Starr Center seeks to bridge the divide between past and present, and between the academic world and the public at large. From its base in the circa-1746 Custom House along Chestertown's colonial waterfront, the Center also serves as a portal onto a world of opportunities for Washington College students. Its guiding principle is that now more than ever, a wider understanding of our shared past is fundamental to the continuing success of America's democratic experiment.

Architect of Democracy will remain on display at the Custom House through March 7th. The building is open to the public during normal business hours. Please contact the Starr Center's Jenifer Endicott at 410-810-7161 or with any questions about viewing the exhibit.

February 7, 2008

African-American Poet Dudley Randall Remembered at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The life and accomplishments of a pioneering African-American poet and publisher will be explored in "Dudley Randall and Broadside Press: A Legacy of African-American Poetry and Institution Building" at Washington College's Hynson Lounge on Wednesday, February 20, at 7:30 p.m.

The lecture by Gloria House, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Humanities and Director of the African and African-American Studies Program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, is being presented by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs.

The son of a minister and a teacher, Dudley Randall was born in Washington, D.C., in 1914. He developed his lifelong passion for poetry at an early age. After serving in the military during World War II, Randall attended Wayne State University, earning a B.A. in English; he subsequently earned his master's degree from the University of Michigan.

While pursuing his career as a librarian, Randall also produced a prodigious amount of verse. One of his most famous poems, "The Ballad of Birmingham," was written in response to the infamous 1963 bombing of a Baptist church in which four girls were killed.

Randall established the Broadside Press in 1965, and numerous topical poetry collections followed throughout the turbulent '60s and '70s. In 1981 Mayor Coleman Young officially declared Randall the Poet Laureate of the City of Detroit. Randall passed away in 2000.

Gloria House is an ideal individual to present a summation of Randall's life and works; she herself has served for three decades as a Board Member of Broadside Press. In addition to her professorial duties at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dr. House is the author of is the author of several books of poetry, including Blood River and Rainrituals, as well as a book of commentary on environmental issues, Tower and Dungeon: A Study of Place and Power in America.

The Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs was established in 1990 to encourage students to enter public service by introducing them to exemplary leaders, both in and out of government. The Goldstein Program has hosted journalists, political activists, foreign policy analysts, diplomats, military commanders and government officials of both national and international stature.

The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, student participation in models and conferences, and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders experienced in developing public policy.

Hynson Lounge is located in Hodson Hall. Admission to "Dudley Randall and Broadside Press: A Legacy of African-American Poetry and Institution Building" is free and open to the public.

February 7, 2008

Modern Literature Meets Traditional Printing at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — An innovative modern fiction magazine and the traditional art of printing have formed a felicitous union: Washington College's Literary House Press has hand-printed and bound a fine press, limited edition of the 100th issue of One Story magazine.

Based in the College's famed Rose O'Neill Literary House, the Literary House Press draws on traditional printing methods—including lead type and hand presses—with modern technology to emphasize the unique beauty and power of the printed word. Literary House Press broadsides have featured such sterling authors as Toni Morrison, Mary Karr, John Barth, and William Warner.

One Story is a non-profit literary magazine that features one great short story mailed to subscribers every three weeks. The publication's mission is to "save the short story" by publishing in a friendly format that allows readers to experience each story as a stand-alone work of art and a simple form of entertainment. One Story is designed to fit into a purse or pocket.

In the past five years One Story has grown to have more than 4,000 subscribers. A hotspot for emerging writers, its stories have been reprinted in Best American Short Stories, Best New American Voices, and other anthologies. Many One Story writers have gone on to publish their first books.

In January, One Story produced its 100th issue with "Beanball," by Ron Carlson, a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and one of the best regarded story writers in the country. To recognize One Story, the Literary House Press recruited Washington College alumnus and master printer Jim Dissette to design and produce a fine press accompaniment in an edition of 100.

The publication of "Beanball" was supported by the Maureen Jacoby Endowment for Editing and Publishing at Washington College. The books, which feature original illustrations by Mary Rhinelander and are hand-bound in a hard-cover foil-stamped spine, will sell for $75.

Carlson is the author of nine books of fiction, most recently the novel Five Skies, published by Viking Press. He directs the graduate program in fiction at the University of California-Irvine.

The Lit House Press's "Beanball" was unveiled to the reading public at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) 2008 Conference and Bookfair in New York City on February 1.

For more information on "Beanball," or to find out about joining the One Story subscription list, visit For more information on the Literary House Press at Washington College, go to

February 7, 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Covering The Governator: L.A. Times Reporter Discusses Schwarzenegger at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House will host "Reporting on Governor Schwarzenegger," a talk by Los Angeles Times reporter Joe Mathews, author ofThe People's Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy, on Monday, February 18, at 4:30 p.m.

Publisher's Weekly hailed The People's Machine as "an exciting jaunt into the la-la land of big-state direct democracy." The book is an incisive account of Governor Schwarzenegger and his tenure in California politics, by the political reporter whose unique access and insight into "Ah-nuld" led to newsbreaking revelations.

California voters passed Proposition 13 in 1978. At the same time, a champion bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger was becoming a movie star. Over the past quarter-century, the twin arts of direct democracy (through ballot initiatives designed to push the public to the polls on election day) and blockbuster moviemaking (through movies designed to push the public to the theaters on opening weekend) grew up together, at home in California. With the state's recall election in 2003, direct democracy and blockbuster movies officially merged. The result: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In The People's Machine, Joe Mathews, who covered Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign for the Los Angeles Times and who has subsequently broken many front-page stories about him, traces the roots of both movie and political populism, how Schwarzenegger used these twin forces to win election and, especially, how he has used them to govern.

Mathews, a fourth-generation Californian, graduated from Harvard College and worked at theBaltimore Sun and Wall Street Journal before joining the Times. When The People's Machinewas published in 2006 by PublicAffairs, Booklist enthused, "Mathews delivers a completely engrossing look at Schwarzenegger's long and calculated strategy to run for political office...a thoroughly fascinating book."

Admission to "Reporting on Governor Schwarzenegger" is free and open to the public.

February 6, 2008

Freedom Summer '64 Remembered at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — It was a season that made history. In the flashpoint state of Mississippi and throughout the segregated South, the downtrodden put their lives on the line for the cause of racial equality. It was 1964, and they called it Freedom Summer.

A participant in those epochal events will visit Washington College to describe them firsthand and to ponder their meaning to society. Dr. Jo Ann O. Robinson, professor of history at Morgan State University, will present "Freedom Summer, 1964: Personal Memories and Historical Reflections" at Hynson Lounge on Thursday, February 14, at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Robinson's appearance at Washington College is being presented by the Center for the Study of Black Culture.

Dr. Robinson is the author and co-author of a number of books, including Abraham Went Out: A Biography of A.J. Muste and Education as My Agenda: Gertrude Williams, Race, and the Baltimore Public Schools. She also is the editor of Affirmative Action: A Documentary History.

Admission to "Freedom Summer, 1964: Personal Memories and Historical Reflections" is free and open to the public.

February 6, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Allender Gift Brings More State-of-the-Art Scientific Equipment to Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Patrick Allender, former Executive Vice President of Danaher Corporation—a Washington, D.C.-based global company specializing in industrial, scientific and professional instrumentation—has donated nearly $40,000 worth of new scientific equipment to Washington College's John S. Toll Science Center. The equipment will be used for research in physics and environmental studies.

The donation by the Allender family—Patrick, wife Deborah and son John—comes on the heels of a similar act of generosity in 2006, when the Allenders donated $30,000 worth of scientific equipment to the College.

The latest Allender gift is making possible the acquisition of a FLUKE Ti-30 Thermal Imager, a Leica Differential Interference Contrast Microscope with fluorescence microscopy capability, and other scientific equipment.

The state-of-the-art Leica microscope can single out disease-carrying parasites in water and sediment analysis. "It's a significant and much-appreciated addition to our scientific tool chest," said Donald Munson, Joseph H. McLain Professor of Environmental Studies, Professor of Biology, and Director of the College's Environmental Studies Program. "The microscope will be used to identify both free-living (non-disease causing) organisms and pathogenic protozoa in water and sediments from both the Chesapeake Bay region and international areas."

The Ti-30 Thermal Imager is a handheld device that generates images of infrared (IR) light emitted by objects. Pointed at any object—a face, a circuit board, a heating duct—the Ti-30 produces a false color image showing IR emission from the object. The colors of the image are calibrated to show temperature, typically with bluer hues showing cooler temperatures (dim IR emission) and yellow to white colors showing higher temperatures (bright IR emission).

"We are very grateful for the Allender family's generosity and we look forward to using the Ti-30 in a number of interesting applications in physics, astronomy and earth science," said Karl Kehm, Assistant Professor of Physics and Earth and Planetary Science at Washington College. "The concept that the physical world around us is glowing in wavelengths that our eyes cannot detect is sometimes difficult for students to accept. The Ti-30 gives us a way to demonstrate this concept directly."

"The Allenders, FLUKE and Leica are enriching the academic experience for students who learn and faculty who perform cutting-edge research in our state-of-the-art John S. Toll Science Center," said Washington College President Baird Tipson. "We are very appreciative."

Washington College is a private, independent liberal arts and sciences college located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it was the first college chartered in the new nation.

February 4, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Snow Trust Donates $50,000 to Washington College Arts Center Project

Chestertown, MD — Allen Malcolm, Chestertown resident and trustee of the New York-based John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, has presented Washington College with $25,000, the first installment of a $50,000 grant for the renovation of the College's Gibson Performing Arts Center.

The grant will help the College meet its $8 million goal for private fund-raising for the $24 million project; to date $4.8 million has been secured from private sources. The necessary remaining funds will come from a $3 million State of Maryland grant and from College reserves.

Scheduled for completion in spring 2009, the new performing arts center will house three performance venues—the main proscenium theater, a 200-seat recital hall and an experimental "black box" theater. Also included in the new building will be climate-controlled gallery space, the Kohl Art Gallery, three classrooms, a music library, keyboard laboratory, music and drama rehearsal halls, and nine practice rooms.

"We are very grateful to the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust for its support of this important project," said Washington College President Baird Tipson. "With their help, we are replacing the old forbidding exterior of Gibson Hall with a dramatic, welcoming new face that will lighten up Martha Washington Square in the evening and draw students and faculty in during the day."

When work is completed, the center will have improved parking and a covered rear entrance allowing protected access to the theater.

"While the construction site is noisy and unsightly right now," Tipson said, "we look forward to the day when this beautiful new facility will enhance life not only for our students, but for the entire Upper Eastern Shore community."

For information on making a tax-deductible donation to the Gibson Performing Arts Center project, call the Washington College Advancement Office at 410/778-7801.

February 1, 2008