Sept. 24, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — In addition to the final DownStreet Art event of the season on Thursday, Sept. 27, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) announces that its fall programming line-up will include a concert featuring the popular and classical music traditions of Egypt, a public talk by writer Aruna D’Souza, and a number of readings by regional authors.

As part of this month’s DownStreet Thursday events, MCLA Gallery 51 will celebrate a new exhibition, “SPECTRUM: Exploring Gender Identification,” on Thursday, Sept. 27, with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

“SPECTRUM” is a reflection and conversation on the gender continuum, exploring cultural and social issues of gender roles, norms and identification. The art works examine masculinity, femininity and gender identifications between and outside of this binary, as 31 national and international artists use their artistic voice to examine, question, confront and critique the relationships between gender and society.

On Friday, Sept. 28, Mohamed Abozekry and Karkadé will perform at 7:30 p.m. at  the MCLA Church St. Center, as oud master Abozekry brings Egypt’s popular and classical music traditions, Sufi calls, and secular poetry with a new instrumental project. Tickets are $5 for students and $15 for General admission, and may be purchased at

Writer Aruna D’Souza will present a public talk in MCLA’s Design Lab, 49 Main St., on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. This event, which is free and open to the public, is partially being funded through the generosity of the Hardman Family Endowment.

D’Souza writes about modern and contemporary art; intersectional feminisms and other forms of politics; and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. Her book, “Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts,” was published in May by Badlands Unlimited. She is editor of the forthcoming volume “Making It Modern: A Linda Nochlin Reader,” which will be published by Thames and Hudson.

In a pair of events put on by MCLA’s Department of English/Communications, authors Steve Dunn and Dr. Caren Beilin will present readings on Monday, Oct. 22, and Tuesday, Nov. 13, respectively. Both readings, which are free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. in MCLA Gallery 51.

Born and raised in West Virginia, Dunn is the author of the novels “Potted Meat” (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2016) and “Water and Power,” (Tarpaulin Sky, 2018). New faculty member Dr. Caren Beilin also is the author of a novel, titled “The University of Pennsylvania” (Noemi Press, 2014), and a collection of short fictions, “Americans, Guests, or Us” (New Michigan Press, 2012). Her work appears in Fence, The Offing, and Territory.

On Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m., BCRC Director Michelle Daly will participate in a moderated conversation, titled “Queering Culture: Theory, Visibility and Practice” in the MCLA Design Lab. At this event, which is free and open to the public, the discussion will focus on the ways artists and scholars are increasingly looking at queering as a strategy to challenge heteronomative narratives.

“SPECTRUM: embodied,” performance-based responses to the SPECTRUM exhibition co-curated by Daly and MCLA alumna Bryanna Bradley ‘17 will take place at a variety of locations on and off campus, Nov. 16 and 17. Participating artists will include MCLA students and faculty, as well as Katy Pyle, founder and director of Ballez, who will teach a community ballez class.

MCLA Gallery 51’s annual affordable “99 Cent” art show will return on Thursday, Nov. 29, with an opening reception in the gallery, from 5 to 7 p.m. This exhibition, which will remain on view through Sunday, Dec. 30, features locally made wares and works of art, all priced between 99 cents and $99.99.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, the MCLA Design Lab will host a joint reading by fiction writers Jorday Rosenburg and Andrea Lawlor. Both Pioneer Valley residents, they will read from trans-speculative fictions.

Rosenberg is the author of “Confessions of the Fox.” His first novel, it was a New York Times Editor’s Choice selection and long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. He is a professor of 18th century literature, gender and sexuality studies and critical theory at UMASS-Amherst.

Lawlor teaches writing and edits fiction for Fence. They have been awarded fellowships by Lambda Literary and Radar Labs. According to The New Yorker, “Lawlor successfully mixes pop culture, gender theory, and smut, but the great achievement here is that Paul is no mere symbol but a vibrantly yearning being, ‘like everybody else, only more so.’”

The presentation of Mohamed Abozekry and Karkadé is part of Center Stage, a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, with support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. General management is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc.

MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) provides professional development training, resources and support to the artists, art managers and creative workers of Berkshire County. Through its multiple programs and presentations, BCRC brings the best of performance and visual art to the Berkshires and showcases the best of the Berkshires to the world.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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