Upcoming Williams events at the Club

All our events require prior registration.  For details on how to do this for these following events, please visit our registration page via this link.

Cooking with the Muse: Food & Cooking in Prose & Poetry — April 27

Join Williams alumnus, & professor of comparative literature at Columbia, Stephen Massimilla ’86, an award-winning poet, artist, and scholar, along with his co-author, professional chef and graduate culinary nutrition instructor Myra Kornfeld for an entertaining presentation and discussion that will feed the body, mind and soul.

Participating Club members will learn all about what poets and writers—from Homer to Rumi to Chaucer to Shakespeare to Milton to Pablo Neruda to Emily Dickinson to Mark Twain to Wendell Berry to Derek Walcott to Elizabeth Alexander to Massimilla and Kornfeld themselves—can teach you about eating well and wisely and getting plenty of satisfaction.  The co-authors presentation will take place during and after a Muse-inspired meal from PC Chef, Michael Bourquin.

Williamstown-North Adams, The Massachusetts Cultural Corridor, & the Extreme Beautification Of North Adams–May 2

  • 1 Governor of Massachusetts: William Weld
  • 1 Mayor of North Adams: Richard Alcombright
  • 1 Economist: Stephen Sheppard, Class of 2012 Professor of Economics at Williams College
  • 1 Health Care Specialist: Dr. Gray Ellrodt, Chief of Medicine, Berkshire Health Systems, and
  • 1 Museum Director: Thomas Krens, Director Emeritus of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and founder of MASS MoCA

Building on the foundation of the major cultural institutions already in place in Northern Berkshire County–  the Clark Art Institute, the Williamstown Theater Festival, MASS MoCA and the Williams College Museum of Art– Mr. Krens will outline current plans for the creation of five new, world-class museums in North Adams; the revitalization of downtown with a luxury hotel, spa and wellness center; the creation of a Central Park or Commons on Main Street; the renovation of the Mohawk Theater; the revitalization of the Hoosic River; and plans and projections for the immediate and radical economic transformation of the city.

A Marvelous Order: Robert Moses/Jane Jacobs-inspired opera — May 3

A MARVELOUS ORDER is a multimedia opera about the battle between Robert Moses. the Master Builder, and Jane Jacobs, the revolutionary critic turned activist, over the fate of New York City. Join members of the creative team for a discussion about the work: why opera? how did the collaboration come together? and why this story now? They will share video and discuss excerpts of the work-in-progress production that took place this past March at the ’62 Center for Theater and Dance at Williams.

Dubbed “highly anticipated” by Alex Ross, lead music critic at The New Yorker, the creative team is composed of Williams & Princeton grads:

Judd Greenstein (Williams ’01), composer & Princeton PhD candidate

Tracy K. Smith (Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor of the Humanities, Director and Professor of Creative Writing at Princeton), librettist

Joshua Frankel (Williams ’02), director and animator

Clandestine Ops: Past, Present & Future — May 23

During this fascinating evening, we’ll learn from two experienced “spies” something of what really constitutes undercover work.  What’s a workday like for an intelligence officer?  How effective are clandestine operations?  What is the future of human intelligence, given the rise of the less risky–electronic-based information gathering–and is it less risky?

After 33 years in the CIA’s Clandestine Service, John Bennett rose to the #3 position at the Agency.  Among many senior assignments, Mr. Bennett became  Director of the National Clandestine Service, and served 17 years overseas, with four tours as Chief of Station.  Hank Crumpton was selected to lead the CIA’s invasion of Afghanistan 2 weeks after 9/11.  He later went to the State Department where he worked on Counterterrorism, and still holds the title of Ambassador, although he is retired from the Agency–as is Mr. Bennett.

This panel discussion will be moderated by Robert Jackall, the Willmott Family Professor of Sociology & Public Affairs at Williams College.  Professor Jackall is working on a book about intelligence.

New York Art Deco Architecture–June 13

Of all the world’s great cities, perhaps none is so defined by its Art Deco architecture as New York–architecture that recast New York as the world’s modern metropolis.

During an illustrated presentation at the Club, followed by a walking tour, the lively and informative Tony Robins ’72 makes this distinctive architectural history of monuments of the 1920s and ’30s come alive.

Conversation with MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson ‘81–June 14

MASS MoCA, the contemporary art museum founded in North Adams, Massachusetts in 1999, opens its newly restored Building 6 space in May. The expansive renovation adds 130,000 square feet of exhibition space, nearly doubling the institution’s current gallery footprint while adding art fabrication workshops, performing artists’ support facilities, and music festival amenities.

The centerpiece of Building 6 is a series of long-term installations with artists Laurie Anderson, Jenny Holzer, James Turrell, Louise Bourgeois, and Robert Rauschenberg.

MASS MoCA Founding Director, Joseph Thompson ’81, will discuss the museum’s evolution into one of the largest centers for visual and performing arts in the country.  Joining him will be renowned watercolor artist, Barbara Prey ’79, whose commissioned, large-scale work will be featured in the space.

Observing the Great American Eclipse–July 11 

The path of “totality” of the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse, will sweep across the United States from coast to coast for the first time in 99 years–since 1918

In an illustrated talk, astronomer Williams Professor Jay Pasachoff will describe to Club members how & why they & their families and friends would be dazzled if they travel into the zone of totality.  This important swath across the continental United States is only 70 miles wide, and reaches from Oregon to South Carolina.  We’ll learn why that is it that only within that band will the excitement of the eclipse be substantial.  He will also tell us how to observe the eclipse safely and how to avoid overstating the hazards, and we’ll learn a little about the many “citizen science” projects taking place around our nation.