Five Williams Seniors Awarded Hubbard Hutchinson Fellowships

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williams College Office of Fellowships has awarded Hubbard Hutchinson Memorial Fellowships to five graduating seniors pursuing careers in the arts: Leonard Bopp (music), eva henderson (art), Story Ponvert (creative writing), Thomas Robertshaw (theater) and Nicholas Wallach (dance).

The Hubbard Hutchinson Memorial Fellowship is a cash award established in 1940 that is granted to a member or members of the graduating class to support their continued work in the creative and performing arts. Prizes of $25,000 are awarded in the categories of writing, art, dance, theater and music.
Bopp, a music and English major from Schenectady, N.Y., will study orchestral conducting at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance this fall. He began studying conducting with Adam Glaser as a student at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division. A conductor, composer, and trumpet player, Bopp has served as assistant conductor of the Berkshire Symphony, the student director of the I/O Contemporary Music Festival, and music director of the Chamber Orchestra of Williams. In addition, he is the founder and artistic director of the Blackbox Contemporary Music Performance Ensemble, a New York-based new music ensemble dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration and critical engagement in cultural and political discourse through creative work. He has studied at masterclasses with Ulrich Windfuhr in Hamburg, Germany, and with Johannes Wildner in Vienna, Austria. Bopp has also worked as an assistant to Nico Muhly and performed with the composer/vocalist Kate Soper.

Henderson, a studio art and comparative literature major from Cold Spring, N.Y., will continue to develop her work in the visual and literary arts with the goal of becoming a full-time artist. Having interests in writing, painting, clothing embroidery, and tattooing, she hopes to eventually pursue an M.F.A. In the meantime, with support from the Hutchinson fellowship, she looks forward to pursuing her interests outside of an academic setting. She has exhibited her work at Williams College and in the Berkshire Art Association Fellowship Show at the Lichtenstein Gallery in Pittsfield, Mass. In addition, she performed at the Bushwick Troutman Art Festival in Brooklyn, N.Y. At Williams, she won the Frederick M. Peyser Prize in Painting, was named a Class of 1960s Scholar, and was an artist-in-residence at the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives. She also won a Berkshire Art Association Fellowship.  

Ponvert, an English and Russian major from New Haven, Conn., will pursue his interest in creative writing, primarily in fiction writing. At Williams, he founded Parlor Tricks, a literature and arts magazine showcasing work by members of the college community, and served as the publication’s editor-in-chief for three years. Ponvert's story titled "Lessons" won the 2016 Henry Rutgers Conger Memorial Literary Prize. As an undergraduate, he studied in Russia, where he conducted research on underground Russian poets of the 1960s. This experience inspired the subject of his senior thesis, a novella about a young man trying to find his way as a poet amid political danger and personal jealousy. At Williams, Ponvert studied with Jim Shepard, J. Leland Miller Professor of American History, Literature, and Eloquence, and took courses and workshops in fiction writing and poetry as well as numerous English courses.

Robertshaw, a theater and English major from Clinton Corners, N.Y., plans to support alternative economic development efforts on the Bahamas' Lighthouse Beach. For the past three summers, Robertshaw, who has family ties to The Bahamas, taught the history of colonialism, tourism, and development in The Bahamas to high school students at The Island School located on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera. Working with the Save Lighthouse Point organization, he aims to take part in a movement to protest a plan by Disney Cruise Lines to create a port along the southern-most tip of the island, an area regarded for its historical and cultural significance. Working with Save Lighthouse Point, as well as the Bahamian National Trust, The Island School, and other community leaders on the islands, he intends to facilitate site-specific devised performance on Lighthouse Beach and in surrounding communities as a mode of raising awareness of Lighthouse Point and protesting Disney's plan. At Williams, Robertshaw studied various aspects of theater work and performed in eight campus productions. In addition, he served on the board and as publicity manager for Cap&Bells, Williams' primary student theatre organization. In 2018, he received the Lawrence S. Graver prize in Theatre.

Wallach, an environmental studies major from New York City, will explore his study of Argentinian folkloric dance, deepening his understanding of their regionally specific interpretations, their history, and their contemporary forms and applications. Having spent seven months dancing in the Argentinian dance company Folklore Estudio and two years studying in various dance schools, his primary interest is on folklore as a social dance and on popular dance styles, as opposed to forms stylized for performance. He has also studied traditional styles that emphasize codified figures and technique, as well as contemporary styles centered on expressive movement. Continuing his interest in dance technique and theory, as well in building connections between dance and environmental studies, he aims to travel to different provinces in Argentina in order to study traditional and contemporary forms of regional dances, local environmental issues, and the extensive use of dance and folklore in social movements. In addition, he also hopes to visit Bolivia and Peru to study Andean and other dances.


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Letter: Residents Repudiate Neighborhood's Racially Restrictive Origins

To the Editor:

Residents repudiate neighborhood's racially restrictive origins in a commitment to inclusion.

In July of 2020, residents of the Williamstown neighborhood comprising Berkshire Drive, Colonial Avenue and Orchard Lane came together to address, in a united way, the racially restrictive covenant which was filed on the land records by the subdivision founder in 1939, and subsequently referenced in many of their property deeds. Though the racially restrictive clause had been deemed legally unenforceable (1948 Supreme Court Shelley vs. Kraemer), unlawful (Civil Rights Act of 1968 ), and void (1969 Massachusetts General Laws), a range of voices expressed the ongoing pain caused by the presence of the covenant.

To acknowledge and directly confront this racist history, its associated harm, and continued impact, and to clearly express this neighborhood's commitment to inclusion, both now and in the future, the neighborhood has taken the following actions:

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