Launched in the fall of 2016, the Grum Project is Williston’s five-year visiting artist program. Funded by a generous alumna from the Northampton School for Girls, the Grum Project brings artists of all kinds—musicians, actors, visual artists, dancers, and more—to campus for mini-residencies so that the entire Williston community can participate.
Dancer, filmmaker, and five-time-regional-Emmy-award winner Ben Needham-Wood in January 2019 worked with dancers on a special number for the forthcoming spring dance performance. He screened his film BaseBallet, which celebrates the athleticism of dance and the artistry of sports.
Following numerous trips to Cuba, Mark Guglielmo created large collages using 4″x6″ photo prints he took on the island. Landscapes to intimate portraits of family life hung in Grubbs Gallery in October 2018. Guglielmo also spoke in a variety of classes, from Latin American history to Spanish class, and brought to campus a four-piece local Cuban band.
Tectonic Theater Group
In the run up to the Williston production of The Laramie Project, Tectonic Theater Group, which created the play—conducting 200 interviews in the aftermath of the hate-crime murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998—arrived on campus in October 2018 to work with students and reflect on how theater can be a vehicle for social change.
Two-time National Poetry Slam champion Anis Mojgani brought his wit and insight to campus during a three-day visit in April 2018. The author of five books of poetry worked with students and performed alongside them during a Friday-night spoken word festival.
Dan Phakos '06
Film director Dan Phakos and a crew came from NYC in April 2018 to help execute the vision of student Aidan Bourbonnais ’20. Her PSA, meant to draw attention to the dangers of texting and driving, was inspired by the death of her cousin. Williston students and the crew plotted out the ad and shot over a three-day period.
In a wide-brimmed hat and tap shoes, musician and music historian and three-time Grammy winner David Holt performed songs on an array instruments with his musical partner, Josh Goforth, in December 2017.
Rutty, an American painter living and working in Boise, Idaho, in April 2017 lead classes, worked with individual students, and created a large oil painting that will remain at the school.
Pitch Slapped, a co-ed a cappella group based at Berklee College of Music in Boston, performed at assembly and lead workshops with singers in February 2017.
In November 2016, photographer and artist Tanja Hollander spent three days on campus with students exploring the intersection between art and social media.
2018-19 Grum Presenters
Mark Guglielmo and the Cuba Project
Mark Guglielmo, a visual artist who creates photomosaics paired with audio recordings, begins the series. His most recent work depicts the lives of Cuban people before and after the death of Fidel Castro. Guglielmo’s large images—between 5 feet and 15 feet wide—are created by piecing together thousands of 4”x6” photographs. The images are hanging in the Grubbs Gallery through October 24. During his two-month residency, he’ll be working with Williston’s Latin American history class, Spanish classes, photography classes, English classes (discussing Cuban poets), and dance program with lessons in salsa dancing. He will moderate a guest panel of people from Cuba in the Grubbs Gallery to complement his show, and the project will culminate in an assembly with a presentation of his work and a Cuban band performance.
Ben Needham-Wood, Dancer
Ben Needham-Wood is a professional dancer who will work with dancers in the afternoons for one week and will give an evening lecture and video presentation. He is featured in the project Baseballet, which illustrates the athleticism involved in dancing.
Tectonic Theater Project
In conjunction with the fall theater production of The Laramie Project, we will host a Leigh Fondakowski, our visiting artist, a member of the member of The Tectonic Theater Company. She will address our student body at an all-school assembly on September 21. Members of Tectonic’s educational division will visit with English classes, whose students will read the play, and work with the cast of The Laramie Project. The visit will take place over two days.
Filmmaker Dan Phakos '06
Dan Phakos will be returning for another film collaboration this year. Dan and his professional crew gained a great deal of momentum with Williston students making a PSA about the dangers of texting and driving last year.