Storytellers Steven Petrow

Steven Petrow, also known as Mr. Manners, is a respected journalist and the go-to source for questions about modern manners. He is often cited in the New York Times, People, and Time, as well as on NPR. His usually gentle, often humorous, but always insightful advice has made him a nationally recognized expert. The author of five etiquette books, Petrow writes the “Civilities” column for the Washington Post; “Manners Hero” for Parade; and “Medical Manners” for Everyday Health. Previously, he penned the New York Times’s “Civil Behavior” column. He is also the former president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

Storytellers Melanie Braverman

Melanie Braverman is a writer and visual artist. She is the author of the novel East Justice and the poetry collection Red, for which she received the Publishers Triangle Poetry Award. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Poetry, American Poetry Review, and Alaska Quarterly Review. Her artwork is in the permanent collection of New York’s Leslie-Lohman Museum, and she is working on a forthcoming exhibition at AMP Gallery in Provincetown.

Storytellers: Christine Horovitz

Christine Horovitz is the owner of Kiss and Makeup, a skin care, hair care, and cosmetics store and spa for men and women in Provincetown. She is is writing her first book about her journey to becoming transgender. In the early 1990s, she moved to Provincetown, where she met her husband. Together for fourteen years, they built a life in Rhode Island until Horovitz was widowed by his accidental death. She relocated to Provincetown five years ago.

Storytellers: Corey Johnson

Corey Johnson was elected a New York City Councilmember in November 2013; he represents the communities of Manhattan’s West Side. Raised in a union household where his mother, a homeless services provider, and his father, a Teamster, instilled in him the values of community service and political engagement, Corey first came to national attention in 2000, on the front page of the New York Times, as a trailblazer for LGBT youth. As the captain of his high school football team, when he took the courageous step of coming out publicly, he kept not only his position of leadership but also the support of his school and teammates. In 2005 Corey joined Community Board 4, eventually rising to chair the board. He negotiated for thousands of new units of permanent affordable family housing, educational scholarships for underserved children, and pressured New York State to protect our watershed from hydrofracking. He has advocated for protection of parkland and public recreational facilities, reducing class sizes in public school, and restoring the mayor’s proposed cuts to senior centers and meal programs. He was also influential in the approval of two new public schools to be built on New York City’s West Side.

Storytellers: Jane Isay

Jane Isay is the author of Walking on Eggshells: Navigating the Delicate Relationship Between Grown Children and Parents, Mom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between Siblings, and Secrets and Lies: Surviving the Truths That Change Our Lives. She has lectured on these subjects across the country and appeared on network TV and NPR. She is also the author/editor of You Are My Witness: The Living Words of Rabbi Marshall T. Meyers.Before becoming a writer, Isay was an editor for more than 40 years, publishing a broad range of nonfiction, with a special focus on psychology, at Yale University Press, Basic Books, Addison-Wesley, Grosset Books, and ultimately as editor in chief of Harcourt. Over the years, she worked on books by such esteemed authors as Robert J. Lifton, Howard Gardner, Alice Miller, and Mary Pipher. For over a decade, Isay chaired the Association of American Publishers’ Freedom to Read Committee. She has served on boards of directors of a number of nonprofit publishers and chaired the board of The New Press while sharing her expertise at publishing courses and panels in New York and around the country. She lives in Manhattan.

Storytellers: Michael Jewell

Michael Jewell is the president of TX-CURE (Texas Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants), a support group for inmates and their families founded in 1972. Jewell, who made parole from the TDCJ-ID on June 11, 2010, after serving 40 consecutive years on a life sentence, is eminently qualified to speak on the pros and cons (no pun intended) of the Texas prison system. A fourth-grade dropout from Anderson, Indiana, Jewell went to juvenile reform school five times and later, as an adult, was incarcerated three times, the final time for armed robbery and murder. He was on death row for three years before his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment per the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Furman v. Georgia (1973). In prison, Jewell became an avid reader and developed a love of literature. Reading the great thinkers, from Plato to the cartoon sage Pogo, he became a “writ-writer,”an activist for prison reform. He now lobbies actively for prisoners’ rights.

Kaki King in Concert

Kaki King, named by Rolling Stone in 2006 as one of The New Guitar Gods and hailed as “a genre unto herself,” is a true iconoclast, a visionary musician/artist whose singular work rightly stands out among the easily formatted. Over her decade-long career thus far, the Brooklyn-based guitarist/composer has recorded five extraordinarily diverse and distinctive LPs, performed with such icons as Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats; contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks (from Golden Globe–nominated work on Sean Penn’s Into The Wild to the score of the acclaimed 2007 drama August Rush); and played to ever-growing audiences on innumerable world tours. Beginning with 2002′s Everybody Loves You — to date, her only fully acoustic guitar recording — King has expanded and reconceived the role of the solo instrumental artist, constantly kicking at the boundaries of what’s expected.

The Hawthorne Barn A Century of Art

In the first video addressing the legacy of the Hawthorne Barn, Josephine Del Deo, an art historian who has lived in Provincetown since 1950, spoke about artist Charles Hawthorne and his founding of the Cape School of Art. David Dunlap, New York Times reporter and creator of a remarkable online testament to Ptown’s art history spoke about other illustrious artists who worked in the barn.

In the second video, moderated by art critic Karen Wilkin, the focus was on the great artist Hans Hofmann, who worked and taught in the barn after Hawthorne died. Hofmann experts in attendance included Marcelle Polednik (director of MOCA Jacksonville), Lucinda Barnes (chief curator of the Berkeley Museum), and Tina Dickey (author of Color Creates Light). This event was sponsored by the Hans Hofmann Trust.

About the Participants:

James R. Bakker is the president of PAAM, president of the Cape and Islands Historical Association, chair of the Town of Provincetown Visitor Services Board and of the Provincetown Art Commission, and previous executive director of the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.He is also an auctioneer, art dealer, appraiser, consultant and independent curator specializing in American paintings and prints and a member of the Antiques Dealers’ Association of America. He opened the doors to his first antiques shop at the age of fifteen; over the next forty-five years, he had galleries in Littleton, Cambridge, and Boston. Currently he maintains a gallery in Provincetown, where he also resides. Over the past two decades, Bakker has curated numerous museum exhibitions, many with a focus on Provincetown artists. He wrote the chapter “Charles Webster Hawthorne Founds the Cape Cod School of Art” in the The Tides of Provincetown: Pivotal Years in America’s Oldest Continuous Art Colony (1899-2011), published by the New Britain Museum of American Art to accompany their landmark traveling exhibition of the same title.

Lucinda Barnes is chief curator and director of programs and collections at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Before coming to Berkeley in 2001, Barnes served as curator of collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, and she has held senior curatorial posts at the Newport Harbor Art Museum (now the Orange County Museum of Art) and the University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach. Barnes has organized numerous exhibitions at numerous museums and has lectured widely, most recently about the internationally renowned Hans Hofmann collection at BAM/PFA. In 2002–2004, Barnes’s exhibition “Hans Hofmann: The UC Berkeley Art Museum Collection” toured to the Akron Art Museum, McNay Art Museum, Des Moines Art Center, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Barnes is currently working on “Hofmann by Hofmann,” opening at BAM/PFA in July 2014, and a major Hofmann exhibition scheduled to tour in Europe in late 2016 and 2017.

Josephine C. Del Deo (often writing as Josephine Breen Del Deo) is a longtime resident of Provincetown who has enjoyed a prolific writing career spanning poetry, fiction, biography, art history, essays, and plays. She has also been active in a number of significant achievements in local conservation, such as the preservation of 3,000 acres of the Province Lands for the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961; the preservation and establishment of the Provincetown Heritage Museum (now the Provincetown Public Library) in 1976; and the initial effort, as committee chair, to designate a portion of Provincetown as a Historic District. This initiative, launched in the 1970s, was finally completed by others on behalf of the town in 2003. Her work in art history produced a definitive biography of the Provincetown artist Ross Moffett,  one of Charles W. Hawthorne’s  favorite students, and she has published numerous essays about other area artists, including George Yater, Victor and Charles De Carlo, Mary Hackett, the “Indiana Boys,” Philip Malicoat, Bruce McKain, Oliver Chaffee, William and Lucy L’Engle. Her essay “Ross Moffett and the Modernist Tradition” was included in The Tides of Provincetown, the exhibition catalogue produced for the New Britain Museum of American Art exhibit in 2011. Her personal memoir of dune life on the back shore of Provincetown and Truro  between l953 and 2003, entitled The Watch at Peaked Hill, will be published in 2015.

Salvatore Del Deo is an artist and a longtime community leader in Provincetown. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1928, and began his artistic education at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1945, at theVesper George School of Art, he met Henry Hensche, a protégé of Charles W. Hawthorne. Hensche’s remarkable approach to portraiture convinced Del Deo to enroll in the Cape School of Art, where he studied for three years. In 1953, after subsequent study in New York at the Art Students’ League and a stint in the U.S. Army, he returned to Provincetown, where he met and married his wife, Josephine. A resident since then, he has had a long association with PAAM as a contributing member, vice president, and trustee, initiating classes for children there in 1965. He was also a founding member of the Provincetown Group Gallery and, along with his wife, of the Fine Arts Work Center in 1964. As an artist, Salvatore Del Deo has exhibited in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and widely on Cape Cod. His work is in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, the art museums at Williams College and Smith College, Harvard’s Houghton Library, PAAM, and the Cape Cod Museum of Art. Since 1992, he has been represented in Provincetown by the Berta Walker Gallery.

Tina Dickey, artist, author, and filmmaker, studied painting with former students of Hans Hofmann prior to conducting an oral history, now in the Archives of American Art, and exhibited with them at Copenhagen City Gallery in 1993 (USA on Paper). During her nine years as editor of the Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné (1997–2006), she was chief research consultant for the PBS documentary Hans Hofmann: Artist/Teacher, Teacher/Artist (2002), while editing the journals of painter Myron Stout. She has contributed to numerous books and exhibition catalogs related to Hofmann and his former students in the United States, Canada, Spain, and Germany. Her manuscript on Hofmann’s teaching, Color Creates Light: Studies with Hans Hofmann, was published in 2011.  She is producing and directing an international series of four feature-length independent art documentaries on interrelated master artists; the first, Paint Until Dawn, will be released to festivals in 2015.

David Dunlap is the author and photographer of a building-by-building guide to Provincetown’s history, Building Provincetown, which is available online and in print. He wrote the text of the “Historic Provincetown Walking Tour” map. He lives in Manhattan and has covered architecture and landmarks as a New York Times reporter since 1981.

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.

In concert: Sarah McKenzie

Sarah McKenzie is an Australian jazz vocalist and pianist whose album Close Your Eyes won Best Jazz Album at the 2012 ARIA Awards (the Australian Grammys). She has performed throughout Australia and Europe and with the Boston Pops. At Twenty Summers, she showcased material from her new album, produced by Brian Bacchus (who also produces Norah Jones).

An Evening of Writerly Conversations

Fantasy, Reality, and Bookcraft: The Art of World Building.” Gregory Maguire, author of the Oz-inspired series The Wicked Years, and National Book Award–winning young-adult author M. T. Anderson (Feed; The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing) discuss their lives, their craft, and their upcoming books in a staged conversation moderated by Katherine Howe, New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane.

Rich and Strange: A Celebration of the Sea in Music and Words


“Rich and Strange: A Celebration of the Sea in Music and Words” featured The Broken Consort and The Arneis Quartet performing musical compositions that span two thousand years. Writers M.T. Anderson, Joshua Prager, and Julia Glass read excerpts from immortal works about the sea, from Ovid to Henry Beston. Sponsored by Gregory Maguire; produced by M.T. Anderson; broadcast by NPR.

Jennifer Knapp in Concert

Jennifer Knapp was at the height of her career when she did what most would consider unthinkable: she took a seven-year hiatus, looking to reclaim a part of herself that felt lost in her success. But that period of soul-searching made her songwriting more honest than ever. After her highly anticipated return Letting Go, she has solidified a loyal fan base through remarkably accessible songwriting that bridges genres. Her transition from Contemporary Christian Music to mainstream folk rock has made her a lightning rod for controversy, but her unique ability to speak gracefully to music lovers from all walks of life fills a void in the unlikely intersection between the faith and LGBT communities. Today we find Jennifer experiencing a personal renaissance with a much broader platform than ever before: recording a new album and becoming one of the foremost advocates for LGBT people of faith. She showcases her new material at Twenty Summers.

Rebecca Goldstein and Steven Pinker in Conversation

Steven Pinker and Rebecca Goldstein joined Twenty Summers cofounder Julia Glass for a day of conversations with writers on May 24, 2014.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is a philosopher and a novelist and the author of ten books. Her novels include The Mind-Body Problem, Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal and Quantum Physics, and 36 Arguments for The Existence of God: A Work of Fiction.  She is also the author of Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel, named one of the best science books of 2005 by Discover magazine, and the award-winning Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. Her latest book is Plato at The Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away. Goldstein has been received numerous honors, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. In 1996 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the “genius” prize.  She has also been named the Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association and Free-thought Heroine by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is visiting Professor of Philosophy at New College of the Humanities in London.

Steven Pinker is an experimental psychologist and one of the world’s foremost writers on language, mind, and human nature. Currently Harvard College Professor and Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. His research on visual cognition and the psychology of language has won prizes from the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the American Psychological Association. He has also received seven honorary doctorates, several teaching awards at MIT and Harvard, and numerous prizes for his books The Language InstinctHow the Mind Works, and The Blank Slate. He is chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary and often writes for the New York TimesTime, and the New Republic. He has been named Humanist of the Year and has appeared on such prominent lists as Prospect magazine’s “The World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals,” Foreign Policy‘s “100 Global Thinkers,” and Time‘s “The 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.”

Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin is the author of ten novels, including Trespass, Mary ReillyItalian Fever, and Property, three collections of short fiction, and a biography of St. Francis of Assisi, titled Salvation. She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, as well as the Kafka Prize (for Mary Reilly) and Britain’s Orange Prize (for Property). Among others, Martin’s last novel, The Confessions of Edward Daywas a New York Times notable book for 2009. Her latest books are a novel, The Ghost of the Mary Celeste, and a middle-grade reader, Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea, cowritten with her niece Lisa Martin. Valerie Martin has taught in many writing programs. She resides in Dutchess County, New York, and teaches currently at Mount Holyoke College.

Take Three: A Trio of Novelists Read and Talk

Bestselling novelists Andre Dubus III, Julia Glass, and Edward Kelsey Moore read from and talk about their new novels.

Andre Dubus III is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestsellers House of Sand and FogThe Garden of Last Days, and a memoir, Townie. His most recent book, Dirty Love, published in the fall of 2013, was a New York Times “Notable Book” selection, a New York Times “Editors’ Choice,” a 2013 “Notable Fiction” choice from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus Reviews “Starred Best Book of 2013.” Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children.

Julia Glass is the author of the novels And the Dark Sacred NightThe Widower’s TaleThe Whole World Over, and the National Book Award–winning Three Junes, as well as the Kindle Single “Chairs in the Rafters.” Her third book, I See You Everywhere, a collection of linked stories, won the 2009 SUNY John Gardner Fiction Award. She has also won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Other awards for her fiction include the Sense of Place Award, the Tobias Wolff Award, and the Pirate’s Alley Medal for Best Novella. Her essays have been widely anthologized, most recently in Bound to Last: 30 Writers on Their Most Cherished Book, edited by Sean Manning, and in Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers, edited by Eleanor Henderson and Anna Solomon. Also a teacher of creative writing workshops at programs ranging from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown to the M.F.A. program at Brooklyn College, Julia lives with her two sons and their father on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

Edward Kelsey Moore is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat, which was awarded the 2014 First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was chosen as a 2013 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. It was also named a 2014 Illinois Reads book by the Illinois Reading Council. Moore’s essays and short fiction have appeared in The New York Times and a number of literary magazines, including Ninth LetterIndiana ReviewAfrican American Review, and Inkwell. His short fiction has been featured on Chicago Public Radio’s Stories on Stage series. In addition to his writing, Edward maintains a career as a professional cellist, performing with a number of ensembles, including the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra. A native of Indianapolis, Indiana, Edward lives in Chicago with his partner of many years. He is currently at work on his second novel.

A Night of Theater: The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey by James Lecesne

May 17, 2014

Academy Award–winning writer-performer-filmmaker James Lecesne performed his one-man show, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, the story of about what happens when a community fails to protect one who dares to express his difference, and how that failure can allow the bully to win. In reviewing the novel, Publishers Weeklywrote: “Lecesne turns out a stunner of a first novel, using a deliberately leisurely pace to develop a view of a small town NJ community – and then shattering it.”

James Lecesne (Producer/Playwright/Author/Activist) has been telling stories for over twenty-five years and using story as the basis for social change. He is co-founder of The Trevor Project, the only national crisis intervention and suicide prevention Lifeline for LGBT and Questioning youth, and he wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award winning short film, Trevor, which inspired founding of the organization. James created several one-person shows including One Man Band, Word of Mouth, (NY Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award) and The Road Home: Stories of Children of War, which was presented at the Asia Society in NYC and at also the International Peace Initiative at the Hague. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he founded The After The Storm Foundation, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to offering assistance to the youth of New Orleans, and he is the executive producer of the documentary film, After the Storm. For Television he adapted Armistead Maupin’s Further Tales of the City (Emmy nomination) and was a writer on the TV show Will & Grace. He is the author of three novels for young adults including The Letter Q, an anthology of letters that Queer writers wrote to their younger selves. He currently teaches Story & Structure to documentary filmmakers at the New York Film Academy.