Wednesday Lemonade

August 26, 2020
Welcome back to Wednesday Lemonade, a community newsletter focused on keeping VCCA Fellows, staff, and supporters connected.

Since we started this weekly project in the early days of quarantine, we've served up twenty-two (!) Wednesday Lemonade newsletters. Along the way, we've been moved by many kind words from readers and many thoughtful contributions from Fellows. We've been struck by how much content there is to share among this community. Yet, we think it's time to ease off the lemonade a little. Starting now, we'll be coming to your inbox every other Wednesday. See you again soon on September 9!

Until then, we hope you enjoy today's issue with a note from Moulin à Nef Resident Director Cheryl Fortier, updates on our ongoing virtual Fireplace Series (with an event scheduled for next week), continued messages from Fellows, and more.

bonjour de france
Socially Distanced Storytelling
"Last Wednesday evening we participated for a second time in the reading series L'été à pas raconter in Auvillar. Our reading took place in the center of the village in the beautiful Halle au grain, a covered round open-air market where grain was bought and sold.

I wanted to present a story on the theme of brotherhood that could be enjoyed by young and old. Fellow Ysaye Barnwell's story 'We Are One' was the perfect fit. We translated the story into French and I asked two young friends to read.

Ophélia, daughter of Fellow Lucy Anderton, read in English, and Chaïmae, daughter of staff member Fatiha Boukhris, read in French. The book with its beautiful illustrations by Brian Pinkney was projected. Afterwards we all sang 'We Are One' along with Ysaye and her group Sweet Honey in the Rock's recording.
Thanks so much to our wonderful readers Ophélia and Chaïmae, to l'Asceau who invited us to participate, to our technician John Alexander, and to all of the VCCA France Association members who helped out and supported us with their attendance. A special thanks to Ysaye for this beautiful story and song. It was very much appreciated by all who stopped by to listen.

Socially distanced bisous from Auvillar,

vcca fireplace series
Next Up: Katherine Hill and James Primosch
Next week we'll be joined by author Katherine Hill and composer James Primosch. We're excited to have composer and VCCA Fellows Council member Judith Shatin as our host this time around. Mark your calendar for Thursday, September 3, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Katherine Hill is the author of two novels, The Violet Hour and A Short Move, both of which she finished at VCCA. A Short Move was released in June and was a New York Times Editors' Choice. Earlier this year, she and her co-authors, Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, and Jill Richards, published The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism about the work of Italian novelist Elena Ferrante. Katherine is assistant professor of English at Adelphi University, where she teaches in the both the undergraduate and MFA programs.

James Primosch's instrumental, vocal, and electronic works have been performed throughout the United States and in Europe by such ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Collage, and the 21st Century Consort. Commissioned works by Primosch have been premiered by the Chicago Symphony and the Albany Symphony. The Gloria we will hear is an excerpt from a work commissioned by the Grammy Award winning choir, The Crossing, recorded for an all-Primosch album released this spring on Navona Records. Since 1988 he has served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania.
VCCA Fireplace Series 09
09/03/20 7:30pm - 09/03/20 8:00pm

Interested? Sign up for an event reminder email:
Remind me!
Recap: "One Big Writer Round Robin"
Writers Michael Montlack, Sejal Shah, and Rone Shavers met around the virtual fireplace last Thursday for readings, conversation, and mutual admiration and support. They celebrated recent news of a starred review in Publisher's Weekly for Michael's forthcoming book Daddy, from which he read several poems. With the U.S. Postal Service on the brain, Sejal shared an essay on postcards from her memoir This Is One Way to Dance. All three hung around the fireplace to talk about publishing during a pandemic and swap stories from time spent at VCCA. The recording is available on Facebook and on YouTube.
fellow messages
Fellows, please fill out this form to submit a message. This is a way to tell the VCCA community about how you're navigating these times as an artist and human and to spread the word about work affected by or created during the pandemic.
Joelle Dietrick
"A hello from North Carolina! I was at VCCA in 2008 and 2013, and I hope to return next summer 2021. Inspired by Joan Michelson’s shoutout to Heidi Kumao, I’m completing this form to let you know how I’m doing.

As a working mother, I am struggling. I’m productive, but I’m also strung out as I manage my daughter when schools are closed. Motherhood opened up my mind in ways that enrich my work, but for anyone who knows young working artists-mothers, be especially kind to them right now.

As a concrete example of how motherhood brightened my color palette and made my work more playful, this month Owen Mundy and I released our online art project Tally Saves the Internet. Funded by many organizations, including Davidson College, the Mellon Foundation and UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, the project will be exhibited at Locust Projects in Miami September 12 - October 17, 2020, and North Carolina State University as part of their Immersive Scholar Project October–November 2020. On October 2, we’ll participate on a NCSU panel with UC Berkeley’s Nick Merrill and Emory’s Lauren Klein, author of the 2020 book Data Feminism from MIT Press. I’ll also present the project on a panel titled "RE(:)Thinking Space" at the SECAC conference hosted by VCU in Richmond early December.

Loving Wednesday Lemonade! Be well."
Pamela Redmond
"My novel Younger, written at VCCA in 2004, was turned into a TV show by Sex & the City's Darren Star. The seventh season of the show was supposed to air this summer, to coincide with my sequel, Older. Because of COVID, the show wasn't shot, but the book is still coming out September 8 from Simon & Schuster."
Imani Harrington
"I have a background in clinical social psychology and various fields, and specifically in mental health, and have worked the front-lines, as during the early days of the HIV/AIDS pandemic as we knew it. I was also part of the activism and advocacy. My career first began after leaving one high-profile career (behind the scenes) in the oil, business, civic law, and then criminal legal field to join the mental health community. Then, after ten years of working as an ‘essential’ working the front-lines, it was also a time when many were dying daily by the seconds, piling numbers up from a plethora of HIV AIDS health issues: Cryptococcal meningitis and pneumonia were only two of a long list of health culprits of the daily deaths with the plethora of health issues, many colleagues, clients, and friends, neighbors, had also contracted. The idea of quarantine was both a self-regulating fact of life, also political in the sense that there was a call to lock up people with HIV. Isolation and social distancing are not new to those affected with HIV; it was a reality and sometimes still a remnant of the 1980s and 1990s. We lived this reality for decades.

I look forward to seeing how the changes with art on the horizon help artists continue to impact social and political change, and survive and flourish."
Amy Hoffman
"Dear Friends — I was lucky enough to have a fellowship at VCCA in February, just before everything shut down because of the pandemic. The fellowship was very productive for melike all my fellowships at VCCA. I finished a first draft of a novel I've been working on, and I also worked on a long essay about Stonewall 50, AIDS, and the pandemic. Almost immediately when I returned home, the quarantine startedand things have been up and down since then. I continued to work on my novel, Dot & Ralfie. It's about a lesbian couple facing the physical, financial, and emotional challenges of agingbut it's funny. Really. It will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press, probably in fall 2021.

My essay was published in the Boston Review as "We Must Love One Another or Die," and I am honored to have it included in the Boston Review's anthology The Politics of Care, coming out in September.

That's all my good news. Here's the difficult stuff. My 97-year-old father died of Covid in early May. Because of the pandemic, my family could not be together, which was very hard. My mother is very frail, physically and mentally, and I've been visiting often. I feel very sad about all of this, as you can imagine.
I've been teaching at Emerson College, but I decided not to teach this fall because the college's hybrid plan just didn't feel safe to me, and teaching online didn't feel adequate. I don't have another writing project planned once I finish novel revisions, so I'm feeling somewhat at loose ends. Doing a lot of cooking, exercise, grieving, worrying. VOTE.

Love, Amy"
highlights from virtual vcca
These updates come from members posting in Virtual VCCA, our online community platform powered by Mighty Networks.
jeanne seagle
Zoe Edgecomb
Art is Alive
"Art is Alive is a solidarity effort aimed at providing resources, spreading awareness and building connectedness within the artistic and creative freelance communities impacted by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic." Look for resources under the categories of "General Resources," "Health," "Tools for Creatives," and "Unemployment Resources."
standing invitations
Look to this comprehensive list of ways to stay virtually engaged with our creative community during VCCA's temporary closure.
VCCA Fellows Bookshop
Browse our Bookshop page featuring work by VCCA Fellows whose launches have been affected by the pandemic. Submit this form to request your book be added.

Recently added:
Composer Playlist
Listen to this month's featured Fellow composers before our August 2020 playlist transforms into a September 2020 playlist:

  1. Judah Adashi | Love into Concrete
  2. Ivan Ferrer-Orozco | Strepito
  3. Ted Coffey | Petals 8
  4. Douglas Boyce | Quintet l'homme armé
  5. John Hill | Quartet #1
  6. Mara Gibson | White Ash
Call for Fellows Council Nominations
If you share a commitment to VCCA, please consider serving on the Fellows Council. It's an opportunity to meet other Fellows and team up with Board and staff members to move VCCA forward. Read our letter to prospective Fellows Council members for detailed information.
🧡 Stay safe, and be well.
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