Five Williams Graduates Awarded Hubbard Hutchinson Fellowships

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williams College Office of Fellowships has awarded Hubbard Hutchinson Memorial Fellowships to five class of 2020 graduates pursuing careers in the arts.

The recipients are Caroline Fairweather (theater), Panalee Maskati (dance), Theodore McNally (writing), Alexandra Medeiros (music) and Sydney Rainer (art).

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.

Caroline Fairweather, a theater major from Pittsfield, Mass., will study postwar Japanese theater and how it intersects with her family's history of military service. With an appreciation for Japanese theater and literature, she will study at the Suzuki Company of Toga, where she plans to focus on the physical embodiment and the dramaturgical backbone of Suzuki's pieces, many of which were inspired by his experience growing up during American occupation. She also plans to visit cultural sites and view Shinto dance performances in Hiroshima, and then travel to Kyoto to study Butoh, a theatrical and distinctly queer dance form that emerged in the postwar years. An aspiring playwright and performer, at Williams she wrote five one-act plays, acted in six full productions and directed two. The summer after her sophomore year she studied at the Suzuki Company of Toga’s Summer International Intensive. As a Roche Fellowship recipient, she also spent a summer studying at the Attis Theatre in Athens, Greece, and also performed in a new musical with Ghostlit Repertory Theatre Company, a nonprofit theater collective based in South Egremont, Mass.

Panalee Maskati, a comparative literature major from Bangkok, Thailand, will continue her training in dance, with the goal of joining a professional modern dance company. At Williams she took a variety of classes in dance and theater and was a member of CoDa, the college's contemporary dance ensemble. She has performed solo at arts institutions in the Berkshires and New York City, conducted interdisciplinary dance research, founded and co-directed a student-led dance ensemble, and devised an independent project in movement research. With a dance background that includes 12 years of training in ballet, contemporary and flamenco, she participated with a group that reconstructed and performed two of Ruth St. Denis' solos for the opening of the "Dance We Must" exhibition at the Williams College Museum of Art. In addition, she performed Jane Dudley's "The Bird as Prophet" at The Joyce Theatre under the auspices of the Martha Graham company. As an aspiring professional dancer, she is particularly interested in work that melds traditional and contemporary forms and investigates the interrelation between materialities and movement.

Theodore "Ted" McNally, an English major from Williamstown, Mass., plans to continue writing fictional stories that are grounded in historical and political situations. The fellowship will support his travel to places he hopes to write about and to libraries, museums and other institutions where he can conduct research. At Williams, working under the advisement of Jim Shepard, the J. Leland Miller professor of American History, Literature, and Eloquence, he wrote a collection of stories titled "Pizzazz," which served as his honors thesis in creative writing. As an undergraduate, he founded and facilitated a book club at the Berkshire House of Corrections, where he also edited a magazine that highlights writing by inmates. With the Hutchinson fellowship, he aims to start a similar club at another correctional facility next year.

Alexandra Medeiros, a music major from Barrington, R.I., will spend the next two years teaching low-income, marginalized students of color through Teach for America. In addition to teaching, she intends to study music, including piano and composition, and continue composing, performing and collaborating with other musicians, especially with young students and musicians in her community. At Williams, she directed the Gospel Choir and played bass clarinet in the Wind Ensemble as well as performing on different instruments in various other ensembles. As an aspiring composer who has won several awards for her compositions, including Family Conversations and Redemption, she learned to write for a variety of instruments, how to notate ideas that do not align with traditional composition technique, and especially how to communicate with other musicians and to acknowledge criticism. She has also explored music as an outlet to express her identities, thoughts, and perspectives, which culminated in a piece that depicted her internal struggle of being biracial.

Sydney Rainer, a mathematics major from Jamaica Plain, Mass., aims to pursue a career as a multidisciplinary artist. Thinking about art during the current global pandemic, she intends to use the funds from the Hutchinson fellowship to collaborate with artists and mutual aid networks to document the sensations of crisis and reimagine how people relate to and care for one another. Working in collaboration with a number of artists and organizers, she plans to travel throughout the U.S. and its territories — New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Juan — to archive community responses to the pandemic and document its impact on the disenfranchised. At Williams, she was a digital project archivist with Williams College Special Collections, participated in two Williams College art shows, and was a digital archivist for the Williams College Museum of Art 2018 exhibition "The Field is The World: Williams, Hawai’i, and Material Histories in the Making."


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Mount Greylock Interim Superintendent Proposing Fully Remote Start to School Year

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Mount Greylock Regional School District's interim superintendent Tuesday told the community he will propose the district start the year with fully remote learning for general education students.
 
In a virtual town hall, Robert Putnam previewed the proposal for the start of school that he will present to the School Committee for a vote on Thursday evening. Districts throughout the commonwealth must present their reopening plans, approved by school committees, to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education by Friday.
 
Putnam emphasized throughout his presentation that all of his plans for the preK-12, three school district are still subject to negotiation with the district's teachers union. He mentioned "bargaining" at least four times in his half-hour presentation before addressing attendees' questions.
 
As he has throughout his six-week tenure as interim superintendent, Putnam said remote learning will be the cornerstone of the district's planning for the 2020-21 school year. And when classes resume in mid-September, Putnam expects remote learning to be the only mode of instruction.
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