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Celebrating its 18th season, Modfest 2020 is Vassar College’s annual exploration of the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. This year’s theme, “reflect to project,” looks backward to move forward. All events are free and open to the public.

Jeff Snyder is a composer, improviser and instrument-designer. He is the founder and lead designer of Snyderphonics, for which he designs and builds unusual electronic musical instruments. In 2009, he co-founded an experimental music record label, Carrier Records. In 2011, he received a doctorate with distinction in Music Composition from Columbia University. He is now the Director of Electronic Music at Princeton University, as well as Director of PLOrk , Princeton's Laptop Orchestra.

At Vassar, Snyder will present an open rehearsal of “Opposite Earth” on Wednesday, February 5 (a collaboration between Modfest and THinCs [The Humanities in Cognitive Science]) and on Thursday, February 6 he will give a lecture and performance entitled “Build, Destroy, Build: Spontaneous Creation of Structure.”

Lauren Hauser dancing Serenade, 1977
Steven Caras

The photographic work of acclaimed dancer and photographer Steven Caras will be on display at Vassar in Poughkeepsie, New York as the college hosts an exhibition of his work and an artist reception and lecture. All three events are open to the public.

Steven Caras was raised in New Jersey where he began studying ballet at the age of fifteen. Three years later, he was invited to join the New York City Ballet where an enthusiasm for photography joined his passion for dance.

As part of his lecture, “Survival Instinct: A Dancer’s Story of Self-Reinvention,” Caras will show PowerPoint slides and talk about his personal and professional milestones and setbacks.

Founded in 2001, the Vassar Haiti Project engages students in a life-changing, experiential education in global citizenship, promotes Haitian art, and fosters sustainable development in Haiti. In addition to the purchase and sale of original Haitian art, VHP’s contributions are guided by six initiatives: education, healthcare, reforestation, clean water access, women’s empowerment, and art.

The Vassar Haiti Project’s 7th annual Art and Soul gala fundraiser will be held on Thursday, April 25, at the Vassar College Alumnae House.

This year, the Vassar Haiti Project honors Robert M. Morgenthau and Lucinda Franks for their extraordinary achievements in the fields of international social justice and literature.

We welcome Vassar Haiti Project Co-founders Andrew and Lila Meade along with Lucinda Franks.

New York Stage and Film Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer
Jenny Anderson / broadwayworld.com

Since 1985, Vassar and New York Stage and Film have been partners in the Powerhouse season, a collaboration known for being the springboard for new stories that go on to theaters across the country and around the world. The 2018 season begin this weekend with the first of two Readings Festivals and continues through July 29 bringing some of the most influential theatrical voices working today to Poughkeepsie, NY for fully-staged and workshop productions of new plays and musicals, and readings of other works in progress.

Johanna Pfaelzer is the Artistic Director of New York Stage and Film and she joins us with a preview.

This Week on The Academic Minute (2015.5.4)

May 4, 2015

Visit AcademicMinute.org for great new research featured every day.

Monday, May 4
Marina D'Angelo of The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine discusses canine osteoarthritis.   

Tuesday, May 5
Elizabeth Basha of The University of the Pacific profiles the utility of drones in a non-military context.

Wednesday, May 6
Monmouth University's Lisa Dinella explores the gendered constructs inherent in children's toys.

    John Patrick Shanley is a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright, Oscar winning screenwriter, and theatre and film director. His works include Moonstruck, Joe Versus the Volcano, Welcome to The Moon, Savage in Limbo, Outside Mullingar, Doubt: A Parable - for stage, the title shortened to Doubt when it was adapted to film.

His new play, The Danish Widow, opens tonight in the Hallie Flanagan-Davis Powerhouse Theatre on the Vassar College campus in Poughkeepsie, NY. It’s the third mainstage show of the New York Stage and Film summer season.

  After three acclaimed novels (The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Absurdistan: A Novel, and Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel), Gary Shteyngart turns to memoir with Little Failure, a candid, witty, deeply poignant account of his life so far.

Gary Shteyngart will present the annual Krieger Memorial Lecture on March 27 at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

New York Stage and Film and Vassar College present Powerhouse's production of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's play, Abigail/1702, directed by David Esbjornson and starring Chloë Sevigny, Patrick Heusinger, Laila Robins, Paxton Whitehead, and Millbrook, NY 4th grader Lucas Pfeifer. The show runs through July 8.