2017 Season

Thank you for a wonderful 2017 season, we will see you next year! In the meantime, enjoy the videos and podcasts from Season Four, now available on our videos page for free.

Save the Date for Twenty Summers Season Five: May 18—June 16, 2018

Opening Party: Welcome to The Barn!
Friday, May 12
5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Free

To kick off Season Four of Twenty Summers, we’re opening up the Barn doors for a celebration before our first event. Delicious light fare will be provided by The Lobster Pot and Chequessett Chocolate, with refreshments by The Captain’s Daughters. We look forward to greeting old friends, welcoming newcomers, and letting everyone know about the exciting events we’re hosting this spring on Miller Hill. We hope to see you there!

How Drawing Provincetown Shaped Hans Hofmann:
Marcelle Polednik and Karen Wilkin in Conversation

Friday, May 12
7:00 p.m. Free

As the latest installment of our ongoing tribute to the painters who worked and taught in the Hawthorne Barn when it was an art school, Polednik and Wilkin, both contributors to the recent catalogue raisonné of Hans Hofmann’s paintings, will discuss and present images from Hans Hofmann: Works on Paper, an exhibit they curated for MOCA Jacksonville in Florida. In collaborating on this show, which will travel to the Portland Museum of Art in Maine this summer, Polednik, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum and former director of MOCA Jacksonville, and Wilkin, a New York–based independent curator, critic, and scholar of 20th-century modernism, have succeeded in illuminating the robust beauty of the abstract expressionist’s drawings and watercolors.
More About the Participants

Dr. Marcelle Polednik is director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. Prior to her present appointment, she served as the chief curator of the Monterey Museum of Art and as assistant curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Dr. Polednik is a published scholar and has curated numerous modern and contemporary art exhibitions. Most recently, she authored “In Search of Equipoise: Hofmann’s Artistic Negotiations, 1940–58” for the three-volume Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings (Lund Humphries, 2014).

Karen Wilkin is a New York–based independent curator and critic specializing in 20th-century modernism. She is the author of monographs on Stuart Davis, David Smith, Anthony Caro, Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler, Giorgio Morandi, Hans Hofmann, and Georges Braque, and has organized exhibitions of the work of these artists, among others, internationally. She is the contributing editor for art for the Hudson Review and a regular contributor to the New Criterion and the Wall Street Journal. Wilkin also teaches in the MFA program of the New York Studio School. Her recent projects include the traveling exhibition American Vanguards: John Graham, Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning and Their Circle, 1927–1942 (in collaboration with William C. Agee and Irving Sandler), which was chosen as “best show of 2012” by the Boston Globe, and Hans Hofmann: Magnum Opus (with William C. Agee), a retrospective for the Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern in Germany.

Twenty Summers + PAAM present Art in the Barn – SOLD OUT!
Saturday, May 13
9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. $30

We’re holding a day of art-making at the Hawthorne Barn with our friends from PAAM. We’ll start with a brief lecture on the legacy of Charles Hawthorne in Provincetown and a brief painting demonstration, followed by two hours of still-life painting. After a lunch break, painters may continue their morning work or paint from a clothed model. Breakfast pastries and coffee will be available in the morning, and lunch will be provided in the afternoon. Only twenty spots are available, so reserve your space today! Open to all levels of experience, but you need to bring your own supplies (we have easels available for borrowing, but advance notice is required).
More About PAAM

PAAM has an extraordinary lineup of events in the summer, such as their Annual Secret Garden Tour on July 16, or the 12 x 12 Exhibition and Silent Auction, opening on July 21. Check their online calendar for the full list of events.

Daughters and Fathers: Alysia Abbott and Joan Wickersham in Conversation
Saturday, May 13
7:00 p.m. $20

Authors Abbott and Wickersham have both written critically acclaimed memoirs about the fathers they loved and lost too soon. In Fairyland, which won an ALA Stonewall Award, Abbott chronicles her Haight-Ashbury upbringing with an openly bisexual father who succumbed to AIDS. Wickersham’s The Suicide Index, a National Book Award finalist, is a wise, moving, and often surprisingly humorous account of how she and her family endured in the aftermath of her gentle, affectionate father’s shocking suicide. The two authors will discuss their memoirs, their writing lives, and their other work. WCAI is a media sponsor for this event.
More About the Participants

Alysia Abbott is the author of Fairyland, A Memoir of My Father, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and an ALA Stonewall Award winner and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards. She grew up in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury, the only child of gay poet and writer, Steve Abbott. She holds an MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from New School University and was a contributing producer at WNYC Radio. Alysia is also co-founder of The Recollectors Project, dedicated to remembering parents lost to AIDS and supporting the children they left behind. Alysia currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and their two children.

Joan Wickersham was born in New York City and grew up there and in Connecticut. Her new book of fiction, The News from Spain: Seven Variations on a Love Story, will be published by Knopf in October 2012. Her memoir The Suicide Index: Putting My Father’s Death in Order (Harcourt 2008) was a National Book Award Finalist. She is also the author of a novel, The Paper Anniversary. She has received the Ploughshares Cohen Award for Best Short Story and has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. She graduated from Yale with a degree in art history, and she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.

Artist Residency Open Studio with Xylor Jane
Thursday, May 18, 6–8pm, Free
More Info

Wolf_No CreditA Twenty Summers Encore: David Wax Museum (Duo) in Concert – SOLD OUT!
Friday, May 19
7:00 p.m. $30

If you missed the delightful concert that husband-and-wife duo David Wax and Suz Slezak gave in the Barn three years ago—or if you’ve been hoping for more—here’s your chance to immerse yourself in the rousing Latin-folk-inspired indie rock of David Wax Museum. We expect they’ll perform songs from their latest EP A La Rumba Rumba, a celebration of the Latin folk music that inspires them most, as well as tunes from their fourth full length album, Guesthouse. Watch David Wax Museum here.

Two Literary Lights: Richard Russo and Hannah Tinti in Conversation – SOLD OUT!
Saturday, May 20
7:00 p.m. $25

It is a delight to bring together the accomplished and widely admired Richard Russo and Hannah Tinti, each on tour for a new book: Russo for Trajectory, a quartet of novellas; Tinti for her second novel, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, praised in the Washington Post as “a master class in literary suspense.” In addition to writing ten other books, including the Pulitzer prize–winning novel Empire Falls and the best-selling memoir Elsewhere, Russo is a veteran screenwriter. His novel Nobody’s Fool was made into a movie starring Paul Newman and Jessica Tandy. Tinti is also the author of an internationally acclaimed story collection, Animal Crackers, and The Good Thief, winner of the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. She is a cofounder and executive editor of the journal One Story and of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Italy. She was recently named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture. Russo and Tinti, friends as well as kindred authors, will talk about life, literature, and anything else they please. Twenty Summers cofounder Julia Glass will moderate. WCAI is a media sponsor for this event.
(Note: Anita Shreve, who was originally scheduled to partake in this event, will not be able to join us, due to health reasons. She apologizes to her fans.)

Artist Residency Open Studio with Susan Mikula
Thursday, May 25, 6–8pm, Free
More Info

Thar She Blows: Aurea Ensemble in Concert
Friday, May 26
7:00 p.m. $30

Last year we featured Aurea Ensemble‘s string quartet in the third of our yearly “literary classical concerts.” They played so exquisitely that we’ve invited them back to present their own tribute to Moby-Dick, “Melville and the Great White Whale,” which will feature Beethoven, Webern, sea shanties, and other nautically evocative music along with readings from the novel and from Melville’s correspondence with Nathaniel Hawthorne, to whom he dedicated his masterpiece.
More About Aurea Ensemble

The mission of Aurea is to investigate and invigorate the relationship between music and the spoken word. Aurea aspires to unify the humanities and fine arts in dynamic, accessible & engaging ways through performance and educational outreach. Aurea’s concerts combine poetry with classical, folk and contemporary music, to create performances that sweep from intimate chamber settings to major theatrical venues.

True FrostTelling Tales in a World of Alternative Facts:
Junot Díaz and Jacqueline Woodson in Conversation – SOLD OUT!

Saturday, May 27
7:00 p.m. $35

In a conversation sure to delve into the divisive politics of our age and what it means to be an American fiction writer of color today, Junot Díaz, whose work has been honored with a Pulitzer and a MacArthur, joins Jacqueline Woodson, whose books for readers of all ages have won prizes including a National Book Award and a Coretta Scott King Award. From his Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to her Brown Girl Dreaming, from his activist work in the Dominican-American community to her stories for teenage readers about what it means to grow up black and gay, Diaz and Woodson are writers who know how to raise their voices when it counts. WCAI is a media sponsor for this event.
More About the Participants

Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the cofounder of Voices of Our Nation Workshop.

Jacqueline Woodson is the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award and the Sibert Honor Award. Woodson was recently named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books for young adults, middle graders and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Brooks & BloomContemporary Classic: Emily Wells in Concert – SOLD OUT!
Sunday, May 28
7:00 p.m. $30

As a performer, producer, singer, composer, and classically trained violinist, Emily Wells is known for her varied use of classical and modern instrumentation as well as her deft approach to live sampling. She has evolved into a uniquely modern singer and composer who uses a variety of instruments, from strings and drums to synths and beat machines, to create what NPR has praised as “gospel-folk music that’s immersed in secular desires and experiences” and the New York Times as “quietly transfixing.” Wells released her most recent studio album, Promise, to critical acclaim on her label Thesis & Instinct in January 2016; she will release a follow-up EP soon. Watch Emily Wells here.

Boston Pride co-presents
Dispatches From the Plague Years:
David France and Andrew Sullivan in Conversation

Friday, June 2
7:00 p.m. $25

In 2012, author and journalist David France released the documentary How to Survive a Plague, the culmination of his decades-long coverage of the U.S. AIDS crisis. It won a New York Film Critics Circle Award and was an Oscar nominee. Last fall he published his book of the same title. In reviewing it for the New York Times, provocative political commentator Andrew Sullivan called it “the first and best history” of the courage behind the fight to end AIDS “and a reminder that if gay life and culture flourish for a thousand years, people will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’ ” In bringing them together, we anticipate a bracing discourse on politics, culture, history, and more. Learn more about Boston Pride 2017 here.

Boutte_Credit James DemariaOne Enchanted Evening: Lucy Kaplansky in Concert – SOLD OUT!
Saturday, June 3
7:00 p.m. $30

Blending country, folk, and rock styles, vocalist Lucy Kaplansky covers a broad repertoire, from original songs to covers of June Carter Cash, Gram Parsons, Lennon-McCartney, and Nick Lowe. With half a dozen albums and counting, she is also one of the most in-demand harmony singers, performing alongside such celebrated peers and soulmates as Suzanne Vega, Bryan Ferry, Nanci Griffith, and Shawn Colvin. The New York Times has praised her as “truly gifted” and “enchanting.” Watch Lucy Kaplansky here.

Tunesmith Extraordinaire: Duncan Sheik in Concert – SOLD OUT!
Friday, June 9
7:00 p.m. $35

Popular singer-songwriter, composer of hit Broadway musicals and movie soundtracks, winner of multiple Tonys and a Grammy Award, Duncan Sheik is an astonishingly versatile musician. From Spring Awakening to American Psycho, from his Gold debut album Duncan Sheik with Top 20 hit “Barely Breathing” to the score of A Home at the End of the World, Sheik has relentlessly defied labels and boundaries. We are proud to welcome him as a resident artist during the week leading up to his performance, in which he has promised to premiere fresh compositions dreamed up in the Hawthorne Barn. Watch Duncan Sheik here.

Building Magic for People, Pixar, and Apple:
Peter Bohlin and William Rawn in Conversation

Saturday, June 10
9:30 a.m. $20

Bring your breakfast up the hill to hear world-renowned architects Peter Bohlin and William Rawn discuss the current and future role of architecture and their experiences designing buildings private and public for art and commerce and living and visiting. Bohlin is a founding principle of Bohlin Cyinski Jackson and an early advocate of sustainable design. His buildings include the Liberty Bell Center, the Uniqlo flagship in Shanghai, and, in partnership with Steve Jobs, Pixar’s headquarters and the iconic “glass cube” Apple Store in New York City. William Rawn’s firm, William Rawn Associates, has been named top U.S.. architectural firm by Architect magazine. Rawn’s Seiji Ozawa Hall for the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood is regarded as one of the top concert halls in the world.

Poetry to Raise the Rafters:
Sharon Olds and Mark Doty in Conversation – SOLD OUT!

Saturday, June 10
12:00 p.m. (Noon) $20

Iconic poets Doty and Olds are among the truth-tellers we count on for words of wisdom and beauty in dark times. Their many collections have won them dozens of prizes, and they are regarded by peers as modern masters of their craft. “Sharon Olds’s poems are pure fire in the hands, risky, on the verge of falling, and in the end leaping up,” wrote Michael Ondaatje. “I love the roughness and humor and brag and tenderness and completion in her work as she carries the reader through rooms of passion and loss.” Former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine praised Doty as “a maker of big, risky, fearless poems in which ordinary human experience becomes music.” Provincetown poet Kelle Groom will moderate.

Past Events
2016 Events
2015 Events
2014 Events