Launched in the fall of 2016, the Grum Project is Williston’s 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.
2020-21 Grum Presenters
Geoffrey Hudson, Composer
Composer Geoffrey Hudson’s music has been performed across the United States and in Europe. His latest work, A Passion for the Planet, is an hour-long oratorio on the subject of climate change. During his visit to campus in spring, he will be composing a choral piece written by Williston students in collaboration with Williston English Department Chair Sarah Sawyer and Director of Choirs Colin Mann.
Shannon Lewis, Choreographer, Director, Performer
In January we Shannon Lewis is scheduled to visit to work with Williston’s dance ensembles. Lewis has been a Broadway dancer for 25 years, and recently choreographed the new musical The Secret Silk. She has created original dance works for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and serves as guest faculty at The School at Jacob’s Pillow and adjunct professor at Pace University Commercial Dance. She performed the dance “I Gotcha” in the original 1999 Broadway version of Fosse (here she is performing the dance on “Today”).
Miguel Bregante, Theater Artistic Director
Miguel Bregante is scheduled to visit this spring to work with our theater, Spanish and visual art students. Bregante is Artistic Director of La Mona Ilustre, an award-winning theatre company based in Santiago, Chile founded in 2008. Trained in the methodology of Jacques Lecoq, Bregante approaches theater-making through a unique combination of collaboration, movement, physical storytelling, puppetry, and mask. With La Mona Ilustre he creates a unique storytelling language for each production. Bregante has been a professor of commedia dell’arte and neutral mask at Chilean university DuocUC Viña del Mar since 2016. He has also taught students of all ages the world over in La Mona Ilustre’s pre- and post-show workshops.
Shamsia Hassani, Visual Artist
Shamsia Hassani is the first woman graffiti artist in Afghanistan. She teaches art at Kabul University. In spring of 2021, Hassani is slated to work with Williston Northampton School students to create a mural for the recreation room in the basement of the 194 Main Street dorm. She had been scheduled to visit in April 2020, but her trip was canceled because of the coronavirus. We hope to be able to welcome her this spring, but her visit is dependent on her ability to travel to the U.S.
Boston’s Lorelei Ensemble is recognized nationally for its bold and inventive vocal interpretations of overlooked compositions. In October 2019, the group performed a private concert in the Phillips Stevens Chapel and hosted a Q-and-A session with members of Williston’s choral groups.
Rosemary Fiet Covey
The paintings of artist Rosemary Feit Covey ’72—often connected to her deep interest in science, including evolutionary biology, entomology, and, presciently, emergent diseases—are housed in more than 40 major museum and library collections worldwide. During winter 2020, she shared her art and perspective with students.
During a six-day residency in January 2020, Los Angeles-based artist Kiel Johnson worked with students to create a collection of unique cardboard trophies that celebrated victories both personal and humorous. He also addressed the student body during an assembly, telling students, “If you pursue your dream 150 percent, life will open up to you.”
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.