Music for Barns

Following up on last season’s “Good-bye, Sailor” and 2014’s “Rich and Strange,” we invite you to a third program of music and words produced for Twenty Summers by M.T. Anderson, National Book Award–winning author of Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad. Our theme this year is the role of the rustic and the rural in the American imagination. The Aurea Ensemble, praised by theHuffington Post for its “intensity, superb sound, precision, and musicality that makes everything soar,” will play fiddle-tunes, hymn-tunes, and modern pieces based on traditional Americana. Movements for string quartet—culminating in Ben Johnston’s deeply moving Quartet No. 4 (“Amazing Grace”)—will alternate with excerpts from works by Robert Frost, John James Audubon, S. J. Perelman, and others, to be read by M. T. Anderson and Twenty Summers cofounder Julia Glass.

Season Four Trailer

Watch the teaser for Twenty Summers' full length videos from the 2017 season of concerts and conversations. Season Four features concerts with David Wax Museum, Aurea Ensemble, Emily Wells, Lucy Kaplansky, and Duncan Sheik; and the following conversations: authors Alysia Abbott and Joan Wickersham, architects Peter Bohlin and William Rawn, authors Junot Diaz and Jacqueline Woodson, poets Sharon Olds and Mark Doty, authors Hannah Tinti and Richard Russo, art critics and scholars Karen Wilkin and Marcelle Polednik, and filmmaker David France with political commentator Andrew Sullivan.

Our month-long festival takes place in the Hawthorne Barn in Provincetown, Mass, each year in May and June. Learn more at 20summers.org.

Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow, Lise King, Matt Suter, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

Peter Bohlin and William Rawn in Conversation

World-renowned architects Peter Bohlin and William Rawn discussed the current and future role of architecture and their experiences designing buildings private and public for art and commerce and living and visiting.

Production Credits: Filming by Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

Sharon Olds and Mark Doty in Conversation

June 10, 2017

Iconic poets Sharon Olds and Mark Doty read from their influential collections, and discuss the secrets behind their fearless craft. This event took place on June 10, 2017, and was moderated by Provincetown poet Kelle Groom.

Production Credits: Filming by Sean Gannett Productions / Audio by Chris Blood / Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

Lucy Kaplansky in Concert

Blending country, folk, and rock styles, vocalist Lucy Kaplansky performed in the Hawthorne Barn, sharing original songs as well as covers of June Carter Cash, Gram Parsons, Lennon-McCartney, and Nick Lowe.

Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow and Lise King, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

David France & Andrew Sullivan in Conversation

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 experienced a bracing discourse on politics, culture, history, and more.

Boston Pride co-presented this event.

Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow and Lise King, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

Emily Wells in Concert

Performer, producer, singer, composer, and classically trained violinist, Emily Wells joined us in the Barn with 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.”

Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow and Lise King, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

Junot Díaz & Jacqueline Woodson in Conversation

Authors Junot Díaz and Jacqueline Woodson join us for a conversation in the Barn that delves 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 was a media sponsor for this event.

Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow and Lise King, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

Melville and the Great White Whale: Aurea Ensemble in Concert

Classical string quartet Aurea Ensemble play their own tribute to Moby-Dick, “Melville and the Great White Whale,” which features 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.

Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow and Lise King, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

Richard Russo & Hannah Tinti in Conversation

On May 20, 2017, Twenty Summers was proud 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, discuss life, literature, and anything else they please.

Twenty Summers cofounder Julia Glass moderated.

Media sponsorship by WCAI.

Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow and Lise King, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

David Wax Museum (Duo) in Concert

Husband-and-wife duo David Wax and Suz Slezak, known as David Wax Museum, returned to the Barn for the second time to share their rousing Latin-folk-inspired indie rock. They performed a stripped down set of 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.

Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow and Lise King, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

Alysia Abbott and Joan Wickersham in Conversation

Twenty Summers welcomed authors Alysia Abbott (Fairyland) and Joan Wickersham (The Suicide Index) to the Barn, who have both written critically acclaimed memoirs about the fathers they loved and lost too soon. The two authors discussed their memoirs, their writing lives, and their other work in this deeply personal and fascinating conversation. WCAI was a media sponsor for this event.

Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow and Lise King, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

How Drawing Provincetown Shaped Hans Hofmann

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, Marcelle Polednik, a museum director and curator, and Karen Wilkin, experienced art critic and curator, discussed and presented images from Hans Hofmann: Works on Paper, an exhibit they curated for MOCA Jacksonville in Florida, demonstrating the ever-evolving work of Hofmann and the inspiration he drew from Provincetown itself.

This event and video were made possible by generous support from the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust.

Production Credits: Filming by Stone Dow and Lise King, Sean Gannett Productions Audio by Chris Blood Edited by Filipp Kotsishevskiy

Garance Doré Interview

Writer, illustrator, and photographer Garance Doré visited the barn on June 11, 2016, to discuss the current state of fashion, style, and her career with Twenty Summers co-founder Ricky Opaterny. Doré's eponymous blog reaches millions of readers, and the New York Times Magazine has called her the "guardian of all style." She has won the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Eugenia Sheppard Media Award and is the author of the 2015 bestseller Love Style Life.

John Boutté in Concert and Conversation

From New Orleans, jazz vocalist and songwriter John Boutté joins us for a conversation and performance. Boutté is a celebrated interpreter of the American songbook who rose to national attention when one of his own melodies became the theme to the HBO series “Treme.” His repertoire includes contemporary classics in popular music as well as traditional jazz and gospel. Rock ’n Roll Hall of Fame producer Allen Toussaint called Boutté “one of the very best singers in New Orleans.” Over a twenty-year career, Boutté has performed across the U.S. and Europe and released a number of solo albums, including Jambalaya, Good Neighbor, and All About Everything. He has also recorded with Cubanismo! and the funk band Galactic.

Joining him will be Gwen Thompkins, NPR contributor and host of “Music Inside Out,” which airs on WWNO.

Geraldine Brooks and Amy Bloom in Conversation

Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks will share the Barn’s stage with fellow New York Times bestseller Amy Bloom, in a conversation moderated by poet Gail Mazur. Geraldine Brooks is the author of five historical novels (including March and People of the Book), a memoir, and Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women. Last year, Booklist praised The Secret Chord, Brooks’s fictional portrait of King David, as “a gorgeously written novel of ambition, courage, retribution, and triumph.” Amy Bloom’s catalogue of fiction and nonfiction ranges from Away and Where the God of Love Hangs Out to Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops, and Hermaphrodites With Attitude. According to the Washington Post, her latest, Lucky Us, is proof that “if America has a Victor Hugo, it is Amy Bloom, whose picaresque novels roam the world, plumb the human heart and send characters into wild roulettes of kismet and calamity.” Both women have lived rich and variegated lives beyond the page: Brooks as an environmentalist and foreign correspondent, Bloom as a psychotherapist and teacher. Gail Mazur, a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College and author of seven poetry collections, serves on the Writing Committee at Provincetown’s Fine Arts Work Center.