P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2001
November 9, 2001
MASS MoCA Receives $25K Grant from Rockefeller Foundation
From the Civil War to the Space Race, the MASS MoCA site has been at the economic heart of the North Adams community for more than 150 years. The Dream Life of Bricks will explore how the MASS MoCA mill complex has come to embody the community's identity and relationship to the world and how the opening of MASS MoCA has changed the perceptions of North Adams residents. Bowers explains saying, "The performance treats the site, quite literally, as the repository of the dreams of this community." She continues, "Each brick has a voice, each passageway a story, large rooms contain an ambient atmosphere that lingers from a previous time, windows offer a view of the aspirations of a community in transition."
Bowers will record interviews with members of the North Adams community who have worked on the site in a variety of capacities and do extensive local photo and historical document research. In addition, she plans workshops with various sectors of the community through the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition.
Composer Philip Hamilton will design an original score for the piece for voice and a small ensemble. In addition to a local choir what will provide music, Bowers will enlist approximately 25 community volunteers to perform with a core group from Dance/Theatre/Etcetera.
"We are pleased that the Rockefeller Foundation has recognized North Adams, MASS MoCA and Martha Bowers with this generous grant," said Joseph C. Thompson, director of MASS MoCA. "The MAP program is competitive: being selected is a testament to Martha and to the impressive, if not lengthy, history of MASS MoCA's performing arts program. In a way, this will allow us to create a performing arts analogue to Ron Kuivila's evocative Visitations, which deals with the same subject matter using sound, light, and visual references."
The Rockefeller Foundation has been a supporter of the humanities since the 1920s and of the arts since the 1930s. Through its Creativity & Culture division, the Foundation promotes diverse creative expressions in the arts and humanities and seeks to preserve and support the cultural heritage of people in developing countries. The Foundation created the Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund in 1988, to foster the creation and production of high-quality new work in the contemporary performing arts, while supporting a diversity of artists and arts organizations. Since its establishment, more than 400 institutions have received MAP Fund awards.
Martha Bowers has worked extensively as a choreographer, performer, teacher, and community artist since 1978. She formed Dance/Theatre/Etcetera in 1981 as a vehicle for her to produce choreographic, educational, and community arts projects. She has created, administrated, and taught arts education programs for Dancing in the Streets and Brooklyn Arts Exchange.
The largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the country, MASS MoCA is housed on a sprawling 19th-century factory campus. Opened in May 1999, the center has produced more than 150 events ranging from dance to film to theater to dance parties to lectures and children's events. MASS MoCA is located on Marshall Street in North Adams, Massachusetts. MASS MoCA's galleries are open from 11- 5, closed Tuesdays. For additional information, call 413 662 2111 or visit www.massmoca.org.
For Immediate Release