Reunion Invite image

All-Class Reunion

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus for the All-Class Reunion, September 27-29, 2019. We invite you to help shape the programming for your time back at Bennington!

Registration is now open. Please register HERE

Reunion Weekend Schedule

Transportation Services: Shuttle to and from area lodging, call 802-447-4250
One hour advance notice required


Throughout the Weekend

5x10 Alumni Exhibition
Deane Carriage Barn, Pit

Film & Creativity Festival Screenings
Tishman Lecture Hall, VAPA Kinoteca, VAPA Lawn

Quiet Space for Recovery Group

Commons Bookstore Hours

  • Friday, September 27 | 9:00 am-6:00 pm
  • Saturday, September 28 | 10:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Sunday, September 29 | 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Local Event Options

Apple Picking: Terry’s Orchard
Terry’s Orchard has been in continuous cultivation since 1776. Today, the fourth owners of the trees on “Apple Hill” continue the legacy of the family run orchard.

  • Friday, September 27 | 11:00 am-5:00 pm
  • Sunday, September 29 | 9:00 am-5:00 pm

55 Houghton Lane, Bennington

Bennington Farmers’ Market
Saturday, September 28 | 10:00 am-1:00 pm
150 Depot Street, Bennington

Self-guided tours of Salem Art Works: Anthony Cafritz ’85
Sunday, September 29 | 12:00-4:00 pm
19 Cary Lane, Salem, NY

Friday, September 27

12:00-4:30 pm
Registration and Packet Pickup 
Welcome Tent

2:00-6:00 pm
Projection Loop
CAPA (TV in lobby)

  • HELO (Home, Education, Love, and Opportunity) (24 minutes) This portrait documentary focuses on the children of HELO orphanage in Haiti. Directed by Naomi Middleton ’19.
2:10-4:00 pm | Open Classes

Each class is first come first served and can accommodate up to five guests only.

  • Anthropology of Art
    with Anthropology faculty member Miroslava Prazak
    Commons 319
    This course is an exploration of art as defined and practiced in different cultures. We look at how peoples of diverse world cultures create, use, manipulate, conceptualize, exchange, and evaluate objects of material culture.
  • Language as a System and Social Behavior
    with Sociolinguistics faculty member Thomas Leddy-Cecere
    Commons 318
    In this course, students examine the building blocks which make up the interlocking systems of language and observe how those systems are enacted and granted layers of meaning through social practice.
  • Nature in the Americas
    with Environment/CAPA faculty member David Bond
    Commons 203
    The overarching premise of this course is quite simple: the unfolding history of life itself across the Americas has indelibly shaped much of what counts as Nature today and much of what makes the Americas a distinct and enduring region.
  • Incarceration in America
    with CAPA faculty member Annabel Davis-Goff
    Dickinson 148
    In this course, students explore and discuss such questions as higher education in prison, race and incarceration, drugs and incarceration, incarceration and the mentally ill, children of incarcerated parents, probation, and alternatives to incarceration.
  • Social Kitchen: Ceramics, Food and Community
    with Ceramics/CAPA faculty member Yoko Inoue
    Commons 326
    This course provides students an opportunity to learn about creative community engaged practices in contemporary art, and explore the issues of local food insecurity in the Bennington region, with a focus on how artistic process can join forces with activism to expand awareness and seek imaginative solutions. Join us after the class ends for Garden to Bowl, a health conscious soup tasting opportunity.

2:30-5:00 pm
Academic Services, Field Work Term, and Student Life Open Office Hours
The Barn

3:00-4:45 pm
Film & Creativity Festival Screenings
Tishman Lecture Hall

  • The Napolitanos (16 minutes)
    A documentary by Shelby Moore ’19 about King’s Shoe Repair shop in Bennington, run by a couple from Naples, Italy for over 50 years.
  • The Motherload (1 hr 26 minutes)
    Denise Bostrom ’73 directed this crowdsourced documentary about a new mother’s quest to counteract the increasing isolation and disconnection in a digital age, its larger impact on communities, and how cargo bikes can be an antidote.

3:30-4:00 pm
Film & Creativity Festival Screenings
Deane Carriage Barn, Fireplace Room

  • Jules Olitski: Modern Master (22 minutes)
    Documentary by Andy Reichsman ’76 and film faculty member Kate Purdie about the world renown American Abstract painter who was a faculty member at Bennington in the ’60’s.

4:00-5:00 pm
Bringing Bennington into the World: Teaching and Learning in Museums
Deane Carriage Barn, Fireplace Room
Meagan Mattingly ’00, Director of Education, Dia Art Foundation and Dia Beacon in conversation with River Valadez ’20 and Lili Española ’20, participants in the 2019 Museum Fellows Term, introduced by Liz White, director of Museum Fellows Term and Visual Arts faculty member.

4:15-5:50 pm
Garden to Bowl
Tent at Entrance to Commons and Commons 201
Students from the Social Kitchen class, friends and community members gather to share the soups of their labor! This is a health conscious soup tasting opportunity promoting upcoming 2019 Bennington Empty Bowls, a collaboration with Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services (GBICS).

5:00-7:00 pm
Alumni Registration continues
Deane Carriage Barn

5:00-6:30 pm
5x10 Art Exhibition and Film and Creativity Festival Reception
Deane Carriage Barn, Pit
A welcome gathering to kickoff Reunion Weekend and to celebrate two artistic initiatives for the community: Inspired by the 50th Reunion, Virginia Creighton ’69 and Annice Jacoby ’69 invited all alumni create 2D artwork to be sold for $50 for student scholarships; Cameo Wood ’08 and Alethea Root ’02, organized and curated an alumni and student short film festival. Music by Tavo Carbone ’07.

At the event: 
See Me (5 minutes; Virtual Realty) A VR exploration of women reclaiming their sexuality from the patriarchy. Experience the persistent barrage of verbal attack—cat calls to self-shaming—that women are exposed to daily. Watch as these women strip off those confines and emerge ready to truly be seen. Directed by Alethea Root ’02.

6:30 pm
Alumni have dinner on their own
As dinner is not provided, take this opportunity to explore restaurants in North Bennington, Bennington, and the surrounding Southern Vermont area. Suggestions for local businesses are provided in the downtown guide.

7:00-9:30 pm
The Goldfinch based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Donna Tartt ’86
Cinema 7, 125 Phyllis Lane, Bennington
Theodore “Theo” Decker (Ansel Elgort) was 13 years old when his mother was killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The tragedy changes the course of his life, sending him on a stirring odyssey of grief and guilt, reinvention and redemption, and even love. Through it all, he holds on to one tangible piece of hope from that terrible day...a painting of a tiny bird chained to its perch.

Please note: Shuttle buses will leave from the Flagpole to the theater at 6:15, 6:30, and 6:45. Free admission. Students must sign up and have their student ID to gain entry; families and alumni must sign up to attend. Tickets can be picked up at 6:00 pm at the flagpole on September 27.  

8:00-10:00 pm
Stargazing with Astronomy faculty member Hugh Crowl
Stickney Observatory
Come see Saturn, Jupiter, stars, star clusters, and nebulae through one of the College’s telescopes and hear about the night sky from Astronomy faculty member Hugh Crowl. Be sure to check the observatory’s web page after 5:00 pm to see if the weather conditions will allow us to observe.

Please note: Observing is weather dependent and we can only observe if it is clear. 

8:30-11:00 pm
Open Mic Night
Tavo Carbone ’07 opens the night with his experimental folk, blues, and pop, performed in a bald eagle mask.

10:00 pm
Alumni Gathering hosted by Milestone Reunion Classes
Various locations

10:00 pm-12:00 am
Film & Creativity Festival Screenings
Tishman Lecture Hall

  • Celia (12 minutes)
    A young girl deals with her grief with the help of a new friend. Directed by Clare Maceda ’20 and produced by Cameo Wood ’08.
  • Waste (2 minutes)
    Waste explores themes of the human relationship to nature and waste, and playing with visual representations of “mother earth” and the female form. Directed by Julia Sub ’15.
  • The Cruel Tale of the Medicine Man (1 hour 40 minutes)
    A genre-defying dark, storybook fairytale set within the orbit of The Slipper Room, the New York City variety theatre and birthplace of neo-burlesque. Directed by James Habacker MFA ’94.

Saturday, September 28

9:00 am-4:00 pm
Student-led Golf Cart Tours of Campus
Meet at Cricket Hill
Tours depart every hour on the hour. Please note: there is no tour at noon.

8:00-11:00 am
Breakfast Snacks
Welcome Tent
Full breakfast available for purchase in Commons.

8:00 am-12:00 pm
Registration Packet Pickup
Welcome Tent

8:30-9:30 am
50th Reunion Reflection Breakfast (Classes of 1968, 1969, 1970)
CAPA Faculty Lounge
The 50th Reunion classes are invited to reconnect with one another and reflect on their time at and since Bennington.

9:30-10:30 am
Navigating the College Admissions Process and Financial Aid for Alumni Parents of College-age Students
Commons 303
Fran Edwards ’18, Admissions Counselor provides tips and guidance on the college process.

Faculty Sessions

9:00-10:30 am
Reading the Local Landscape: Kerry Woods
Meet in front of Jennings
Be prepared to walk. We will visit a variety of on-campus habitats and reconstruct geology/ glacial background, history of land-use, agricultural abandonment, and reforestation.

9:30-10:30 am
Conversation on Diversity and Inclusion at Bennington College and Beyond: Delia Saenz
Commons 253
Bennington was founded on the principles of access and inclusion. How do we reflect these principles today? Come participate in a discussion on the College today and its commitment to inclusion.

9:30-10:30 am
Beyond Plastics: Judith Enck
CAPA Symposium
Plastic pollution is a hot issue that has captured the attention of people who care about clean oceans, climate change, health, and innovative alternatives to plastics. Bennington College is the home of a new dynamic national project, Beyond Plastics, which is led by former EPA Regional Administrator and Visiting Professor Judith Enck. Enck teaches classes on plastic pollution at the college. Come hear the latest news on this issue from Judith and her students Louis Celt and Kaylyn Riddell, including what you can do in your community to tackle this growing environmental problem.

9:30-10:30 am
Female Architect / Fictive Archive: Anne Thompson and Farhad Mirza ’12
Usdan Gallery
Discuss feminism, modernism, and architecture in the Usdan Gallery exhibit of works by artist Katarina Burin. Burin spent a decade creating a fictional Czech architect of the interwar years known as P.A. Architecture, Authorship, Anonymity displays the full P.A. project of drawings, models, furniture, photographs and more—a complex enterprise that critiques the erasure of women designers from the modernist canon. The installation—also the subject of a Bennington seminar—forms a timely addition to this year’s wave of activities on the Bauhaus centennial. Come tour the show.

10:30-11:30 am
The Great Transformation, on the work of Karl Polyani: John Hultgren and David Bond
Commons 250
Fleeing the rise of fascism in Europe, Karl Polanyi arrived at Bennington in 1940. During his time here he wrote one of the great works of 20th century political economy, The Great Transformation. This panel will provide an introduction to Polanyi’s work, and discuss our class and the upcoming conference to be held at Bennington in honor of the 75th anniversary of The Great Transformation.

10:30-11:30 am
Feminism: An Alumni and Student Conversation: Barbara Alfano
CAPA Symposium
Fifty years ago, in the politically turbulent year of 1969, Bennington graduated its last all-female class. Feminism/s of various kinds had already arguably been in existence for centuries and in many cultural communities, but the ‘second wave’ got its start in the ’60s and ’70s and is known for its focus on “all” realms of women’s experience (though not necessarily the experience of “all” women—or men, and certainly not non-binary and trans people). In this workshop, we’ll explore what it has meant to be (or not to be) a feminist at Bennington and how changes in feminism/s have changed being and learning at our increasingly diverse liberal arts college in Vermont. Liz Lerman ’69, Taliesin Thomas ’98, and students kick off the conversation.

10:30-11:30 am
The Doubtful Professor: How Bennington Prepared Us for Academic Life
Commons 326
An exploration of academic life in economics, literature, architecture, and psychology and how the Bennington experience continues to shape the work of Annie Coggan Crawford ’85, Nejem Raheem ’94, Rone Shavers ’93, Friedrike Windel ’15. Moderated by Noah Coburn, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Pedagogy.

10:00-11:15 am
Film & Creativity Festival Screenings
VAPA Kinoteca

  • Dentro La Tasca (In the Pocket) (4 minutes)
    An animated appreciation of the late songwriter, Gianmaria Testa, directed by Sally Eckhoff MFA ’09.
  • Afloat (14 minutes)
    A small look into the life of houseboats in London, told by boat owners in differing economic and social lifestyles, directed by Shannon Mahoney ’15.
  • Grounded by Reality (8 minutes)
    A short documentary, directed by Phoebe Brown ’92, of Jessica Blinkhorn, an artist with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. The documentary shows Jessica’s everyday struggles and her fierce determination to be seen as a whole and vital person through her art making.
  • Falling Adream (3 minutes)
    A meditation on sleep and death, in the form of an experimental stop-motion animation. Directed by Melis Bilgin ’01.
  • The Maker’s Mark (30 minutes)
    An intimate look at eastern Oregon saddlemaker Monte Beckman, The Maker’s Mark encompasses Beckman’s journey as a saddlemaker, and his five sons who come back into his life to help him after a stroke. Directed by Gia Jensen ’92.
  • Bitterman House (4 minutes)
    A video essay about gentrification, on one plot of land in South Seattle. Directed by Wendy Call MFA ’07.

10:30-11:30 am
Admissions Tour for Legacy Prospective Students
Meet at Cricket Hill
For high school students of alumni and their families

10:30 am-3:00 pm
Admissions Office Hours
Cricket Hill
Tonya Strong, Director of Admissions and Fran Edwards ’18, Admissions Counselor.

11:00-11:30 am
Olive Oil Tasting Workshop
Commons 203
Olive oils have distinct flavors that vary by variety, region, and ripeness. They also offer a range of health benefits, some of which can be discerned by those flavors. Discover how to select, conserve, and use different extra virgin olive oils, keep them fresh, glean information from a label, and make informed choices from two-time James Beard Award winner Deborah Krasner ’69.

11:45 am-12:15 pm
Commons Re-Opening Celebration
The Wolery Terrace, Commons
Join Chair of the Board of Trustees Nick Stephens ’77, Interim President Isabel Roche, and Vice President for Facilities Management & Planning Andy Schlatter in a celebration and presentation of the transformational renovations of Commons.

12:00-1:30 pm
BBQ Lunch and Soccer Game
Commons Lawn (Rain location: Commons Dining Hall)

12:30-1:45 pm
Alumni Volunteer Lunch
Commons 319
Whether you’ve been volunteering for Bennington for years or are interested in helping for the first time, all are welcome to connect with other alumni and hear from College staff about various volunteer opportunities.

1:00-2:00 pm
Alumni Forum: Careers in Showbiz
Join a group of alumni actors, film producers, directors, show runners, writers, casting agents, and costume designers in a discussion about collaboration and their career fails and successes in show business, including insights from Tracy Katsky Boomer ’91, Kate Brandt ’90, Christina Campanella ’89, Margot Connolly ’12, Amy Christopher ’89, David Dubov-Flinn ’84, Eric Marlin ’13, Valerie Ramshur ’89, Loren Segan ’84, Max Wolkowitz ’09, moderated by Chris Boscia ’87.

2:30-3:30 pm
Open Rehearsal for Everybody
VAPA Lester Martin Theater
Everybody is a play written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by faculty member Kirk Jackson.

2:00-3:00 pm
Film & Creativity Festival Screenings
VAPA Kinoteca

  • Serpentine (3 minutes)
    In the midst of reflective fantasy, a young woman’s inner thoughts arouse a surreal exploration of sensuality, self-esteem, and deeply rooted fears. Directed by Bronwyn Maloney ’13.
  • Tuned to Perfection: Craftsman Profile on Healy Guitars (4 minutes)
    A sweet, intimate look into the work of Trevor Healy, a renowned guitar craftsman in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Directed by Rebecca Rideout ’04.
  • Running Deep (10 minutes)
    Based on the myth of the Lady of Stow Lake, Running Deep is a conceptual look into how trauma can affect one’s reality. Directed by Elisha Aflalo ’22.
  • The ABC Conjecture (9 minutes) The dissolution of the relationship between two middle aged women: a poet and a theoretical mathematician. Directed by Brian Katz ’92.
  • Rage of the Moment (5 minutes)
    A short documentary about the gun debate, and people who have had an experience that convinced them to give up their gun. Directed by Nathan Thompson ’86.

2:00-3:00 pm
Life After Bennington: Recent Alumni Perspectives
Tishman Lecture Hall
Recent alumni Rohail Altaf ’17, Joanna Dillon ’07, Wyatt Kirby ’10, Michelle Nguyen ’15, Ayesha Raees ’18, and Julia Sub ’15 share their Bennington experiences and career trajectories in the fields of visual arts, entrepreneurship, technology, and writing. Moderated by Fran Edwards ’18.

2:00-3:15 pm
Elizabeth Coleman Visionary Leadership Award Recipient Workshop
Commons Atrium
Educator, composer, and instrument-builder John Bertles ’81, recipient of the 2019 Elizabeth Coleman Visionary Leadership Award, is co-founder of Bash the Trash. Bash the Trash builds, performs, and educates with musical instruments made from reused and repurposed materials. This session will be a reflection on his time at Bennington and a presentation of John’s work and music.

2:00-8:00 pm
Projection Dance Loop Newman Court

  • Explicit Female (7 minutes)
    Explicit Female, an experimental film, is a visual poem abstracting pregnancy and the act of birthing, directed by Zornitsa Stoyanova ’06.
  • The Bloom Sisterhood Society: Love Personified (2 minutes)
    The first project by The Bloom Sisterhood Society, a collective of black womxn artists who offer mentorship and collaborations for girls of color. Love Personified, composed by Ezra Bloom ’13, is an exploration of the black woman as a manifestation of love in human form.
  • Made on Earth (4 minutes)
    This short film serves as a meditation on how humans are made in our current landscape of maternal clocks, technology and the irrevocable desire to make another human. Directed by Shandoah Goldman ’01.
  • Past Selves (11 minutes)
    Each time we conjure a memory, our minds are writing over the past. This performance visualizes this fluid process. Dancer Hannah Simmons ’13 dips herself in a bathtub of white flour, then slides her body across black walls, creating a new “memory”. Directed by Sarah Fetterman ’14.

3:30-4:30 pm
Bennington Today and Presidential Search Updates
Student Center
Interim President Isabel Roche and Chair of the Board of Trustees Nick Stephens ’77 will speak about the state of the College and Bennington’s role in the world. Chair of the Presidential Search Committee Alan Kornberg ’74 will provide updates on the Presidential Search.

4:30-5:30 pm
Film & Creativity Festival Screenings
Tishman Lecture Hall

  • Dream (1 minute)
    It began a dream but time brought it all into fruition. This project deals with interconnection and the English language. Directed by Louay Youssef ’18.
  • Orphan is the New Orange (15 minutes)
    When Sarah Manning gets sent to Dyad Institute Prison she has to “face” more than just herself. A mash up parody of Orphan Black and Orange is the New Black. Directed by Alethea Root ’02.
  • Hug it Out (50 minutes)
    Post-divorce and seriously broke, Gwen moves to LA and takes a reluctant deep-dive into the odd and hilarious subculture of professional snuggling. Directed by Jason Eksuzian ’00.

4:45-5:45 pm
Donor and Volunteer Recognition Reception
Commons Lounge and Roz's Cafe

Please note that due to the weather, this event will now be taking place in Commons Lounge and Roz's Cafe. 
*By invitation only

5:00-6:00 pm
Faculty, Family, Student, and Alumni Reception
Wolery Terrace
Join Acting Dean of the College and Dean of the Library Oceana Wilson, Bennington faculty, alumni, students, and families for a reception featuring an a cappella musical performance by Michael Chinworth ’08, Dane Whitman ’16, and Liam Dailey ’14.

Please note that due to the weather, this event will now be taking place on Wolery Terrace.  

5:00-6:00 pm
Open Discussion 12-Step Meeting
A chance to connect for anyone in any sort of recovery. 

6:00-8:00 pm
Reunion Dinner and Presentation of the Hudas Liff '45 Volunteer Award
VAPA Greenwall
Enjoy reconnecting with old friends at a farm-to-table dinner to celebrate the weekend.

6:00 pm-12:00 am
Game Night at Crossett!
Crossett Library
Learn new games, meet new friends, grab a slice of pizza, and explore the table top and board games. Six full hours of analog action because LIFE™ is too damn short!

7:30-8:00 pm
Film & Creativity Festival Screenings
VAPA Newman Court

  • The Bloom Sisterhood Society: Love Personified (2 minutes) + Q&A
    The first project by The Bloom Sisterhood Society, a collective of black womxn artists who offer mentorship and collaborations for girls of color. Love Personified, composed by Ezra Bloom ’13, is an exploration of the black woman as a manifestation of love in human form. Ezra and Crysta Bloom introduce their film and discuss the work.
  • See Me (5 minutes; Virtual Realty)
    A VR exploration of women reclaiming their sexuality from the patriarchy. Experience the persistent barrage of verbal attack—cat calls to self-shaming—that women are exposed to daily. Watch as these women strip off those confines and emerge ready to truly be seen. Directed by Alethea Root ’02.

8:00-9:00 pm
Two Dances, One Improvisation, and Three Arguments
VAPA Martha Hill
Excerpt of Otherself by Mina Nishimura MFA ’21 and Kota Yamazaki; a choreographed dance with Emily Climer ’12 and Jon Kinzel ’90; and improvisational dances with Hilary Clark MFA ’20, faculty member Elena Demanyenko, Risa Jaroslow ’69, Liz Lerman ’69, Molly Lieber MFA ’21, Wendy Perron ’69, former faculty member Barbara Roan, and faculty member Susan Sgorbati ’72, MFA ’86.

9:00-11:00 pm
Film & Creativity Festival Screenings
Tishman Lecture Hall

  • Real Artists (12 minutes)
    Sophia Baker scores a dream interview, but realizes every instinct she ever had about art in filmmaking is about to be challenged. Based on Ken Liu’s short story of the same name and directed by Cameo Wood ’08.
  • Imaginary Order (1 hour 41 minutes)
    The sexual, psychological and moral unraveling of an obsessive-compulsive suburban mom. Directed by Debra Eisenstadt ’91. A talkback will take place after the screening. 

9:00-11:00 pm
Alumni Bands: Carol Cleveland Sings and Catastrophie
Student Center
Thomas Hughes ’06 and Alice Tolan-Mee ’12 present their latest work.

9:30—11:00 pm
’60s Dance Party
Dance to Motown classics and other ’60s dance music with Party Favors, featuring Crossett Library reference librarian Joe Tucker.

Sunday, September 29

8:00-10:00 am
Commons Dining Hall

10:00-11:00 am
Next Projects: Designs for Student Center Renovation and Barn Southeast Wing
Commons Atrium
See what’s in the works for campus architecture with two planned adaptations of existing campus buildings. Vice President for Facilities Management & Planning Andy Schlatter will share in-process plans and concepts for the renovation of the Student Center and reconstruction of the Southeast wing of the Barn.

10:00-11:00 am
International Alumni and Student Breakfast Gathering
Commons 302
Join international alumni and students to share their College experiences, and discuss navigating life after Bennington.

11:00 am-12:00 pm
Memorial Lantern Send-off
Commons Lawn, End of the World
Take a moment to remember friends, faculty, and others in the Bennington community. Music by Carl Linich '04; Doug Paisley '91; and Kerry Ryer-Parke '90.

12:00-3:00 pm
Tours of Gunnar Schonbeck Collection at Mass MoCA with faculty member Nick Brooke
North Adams, Massachusetts
Shuttle will depart at 12:00 pm from the Flagpole. Sign up for the tour at the registration tent or email

1:00-2:30 pm
Film & Creativity Festival Screenings
Tishman Lecture Hall

  • Lazarus (26 minutes)
    Lazarus is a short documentary following Lazarus Chigwandali, a street musician with albinism from Malawi as he teams up with a London-based music producer to record his debut album. Directed by Bryn Mooser ’01.
  • Aterúe: the singers from elsewhere (1 hour 6 minutes)
    Four New England vocalists reverse-engineer the ancient tradition of Sardinian throat-singing but get in over their heads when a Youtube video of their first performance goes viral—in Sardinia. Doug Paisley ’91 is a writer and cast member, Carl Linich ’04 also stars; there will be a Q&A following the film.

1:00 pm
Robert Frost House Museum Open House and Surplus Daughters Performance
121 Historic Route 7A, Shaftsbury, Vermont
The Robert Frost Stone House Museum and Grounds are open and free to students and parents. Come enjoy some apple cider and doughnuts while you listen to alumni and student band Surplus Daughters, featuring Carling Berkout ’19, Amy Anders ’21, and Magdalen Wulf ’20, perform. Come walk the grounds and visit the house in which Frost wrote some of America's best known poetry.

Make your hotel reservations

The College suggests these hotels:

For more information and to get involved, email

Reunion Committee Members

Penelope Perkins Wilson ’45
Barbara E. Deane ’51 
Charlene Schwartz ’54 
Priscilla Alexander ’58 
Helen Colcord ’59 
Susan Borden ’69 
Katharine Holabird Haggiag ’69 
Annice Jacopy ’69 
Risa Jaroslow ’69
Wendy Perron ’69 
Deborah Shapiro Krasner ’69 
Robyn Newhouse ’69 
Virginia Creighton ’69 
Deborah Borda ’71 
Chris Bishop ’72 
Alan Kornberg ’74 
Nick Stephens ’77 
Wynn Miller ’78 
Amy Hikida ’85 
Kent Hikida ’85 
Chris Boscia ’87
Kate Aichele-Miner ’88
Valerie Ramshur ’89 
Jonathan Marc Sherman ’90 

Adam Cohen ’90 
Mary Scanlan ’91 
Shay Totten’ 91
Tracy Katsky Boomer ’91
Amanda Frank ’92
Nicole Barnette ’93 
Nejem Raheem ’94 
Brendan Frank ’94 
Bill Scully ’94
Zoe Roche ’95
Mary Early ’97 
Adnan Iftekhar ’97 
James Simon ’97 
Taliesin Thomas ’98   
Jessica Phillips ’99
Liza Stillhard ’00 
Matty Wilder ’00 
Alethea Root Dufraine ’02 
Lawson Wulsin ’05 
Joanna Dillon ’07
Suzanne Brundage ’08 
Cameo Wood ’08 
Liz Sculley ’09
Samantha Kenyon ’09

Wyatt Kirby ’10 
Devin Gaffney ’10 
Brian Morrice ’10 
Emily Hogue ’10 
Cauley Powell ’11 
Jay Schunter ’11
Corinne Frankenfield ’12
Dmitri Glickman ’12 
Evan Braun ’13
Bobby DeLanghe ’13
Rainer Hunt ’13 
Anna Rogovoy ’13 
Scott Milliman ’14
Kate Davis ’14 
Vivian Robbins ’14 
Christopher Sanacore ’15 
Nare Filiposyan ’17
Rohail Altaf ’17
Jamie Catania ’17
Nejla Katica ’18
Muhammad Haroon ’18
Ayesha Raees ’18

Presenter Biographies:

Friday, September 27

Bringing Bennington into the World: Teaching and Learning in Museums

Lili Española ’20

Lili Española is from Boston, Massachusetts. They are a current senior with a plan in Visual Art and Computer Science, focusing on art and technology with an emphasis on design. Their visual arts practice involves digital art, web, 3D modeling, animation, and drawing, and relies heavily on fabrication techniques such as laser cutting and 3D printing. As a member of the Spring 2019 Museum Fellows Term program, they interned at The Bronx Museum of the Arts in the Executive Office. 

Meagan Mattingly ’00

Meagan Mattingly is the Director of Education at Dia Art Foundation where she is responsible for providing creative leadership and oversight for educational initiatives across the institution. Prior to joining Dia, Meagan gained a broad range of experience working to conceptualize, develop, fund, implement, and sustain innovative educational programming within arts and community-driven non-profit organizations, museums, government agencies, and in- and out-of-school programs for children and youth. 

River Valdez ’20

River Valadez is a graduating senior with a Plan in Sound Art and Production Ceramics. This last spring he completed the Museum Fellows Term and worked at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture as well as Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. He is currently on a leave of absence from Bennington to build on his connections from Museum Fellows Term by working at a Lower East Side gallery and as an artist assistant for an architectural ceramicist in Brooklyn. His artistic work is centered around glass/ceramic material knowledge being research for sonic experiences.

5X10 Exhibition and Film and Creativity Festival Reception

Virginia Creighton ’69

Virginia Creighton studied drawing at the Albany Institute of History and Art, and painting at Fontainebleau School, the Whitney Independent Program, and Bennington College. After college she moved to New York where she co-founded NOHO Gallery. She has exhibited widely. Peter Tatistcheff represented the artist for several years. In speaking of one exhibit, Molly Hutton said: “[Creighton} transforms her seemingly inanimate subject matter into … disfigured beings, partial and mysterious, yet also somehow rich and full of character.”

The artist has curated shows relating landscape and literature. She lives in Vermont, surrounded by nature.

Annice Jacoby ’69

Annice Jacoby has directed innovative public art projects incorporating visual arts, literature, theater, and media. Her work includes City of Poets, for the San Francisco Library, and the Fort Point Project, for the Hague Appeal for Peace. Carlos Santana is a Grammy Award-winning musician. Raised in San Francisco's Mission District, she is a longtime mural aficionado.


Saturday, September 28

Reading the Local Landscape 

Kerry Woods, faculty member

Kerry Woods is an ecologist whose current research focuses on dynamics and biogeography of temperate old-growth forests and on ecological pattern and function in the postagricultural forest landscapes of the Taconic Mountains. Long-term studies in old-growth forests of the U.S. have lead recently to collaborations with colleagues pursuing parallel studies in central Europe. He is currently the Director of the Huron Mt. Wildlife Foundation's field station in Michigan. Woods's work has been supported NSF, NASA, the Mellon Foundation, and the US Forest Service, and has been published in over a dozen professional journals. Woods has his PhD from Cornell University and has taught ecology and evolution at Bennington since 1986

Female Architect / Fictive Archive

Judith Enck, faculty member

Enck is a senior advisor at the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development. Recently she was a visiting scholar at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in the Hudson Valley.  Appointed by President Obama, Enck served as the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overseeing environmental protection in NY, NJ, eight Indian Nations, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands. Working with a staff of 800 and managing a $700 million budget, she secured a number of environmental accomplishments during her tenure at the EPA.

Enck has worked on environmental and energy issues related to hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, serving on the Governor’s Hurricane Recovery and Resiliency Advisory Committee in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Enck previously served as Deputy Secretary for the Environment in the New York Governor’s Office and served as a policy advisor to the New York State Attorney General. Prior to that, she was Senior Environmental Associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group. She also served as the executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York. She is a past president of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, former executive director of the Non-Profit Resource Center and a designer of her town’s rural recycling program. Enck was a visiting faculty member at Bennington for Fall 2018. She became a senior fellow in the Center for the Advancement of Public Action in January 2019.

Farhad Mirza ’12

Before coming to Bennington, Mirza '12, worked as a fabricator for various artists. He has also worked as an architectural designer, most recently at Peter Rose + Partners in Boston, MA. Mirza studied literature at Bennington College and received his Master’s of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where his thesis studied the role of public swimming pools as sites of leisure and regulation at the dawn of the 20th century. He joined Bennington as a Technical Instructor in 3D Technology in Fall 2018.

Anne Thompson, faculty member

Thompson is an artist whose practice includes writing and curating. She is the founder of the I-70 Sign Show, a public art billboard and event project that positions the Midwestern interstate as a site for cultural and political commentary. Sign Show activities have included community happenings, artist ephemera publications, and institutional collaboration. In her studio, Thompson works in a range of mediums to examine how systems of language, color, and décor communicate identity and social class. Her artist books are in numerous public collections including the Yale Art Gallery, the New York Public Library, the Harvard Fine Arts Library, and the Library of Congress. She has been awarded fellowships at Epicenter; the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute; the Women’s Studio Workshop; and the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). Before receiving her MFA from Yale, Thompson was a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press. Thompson joined the Bennington faculty in Fall 2017.

The Great Transformation, on the work of Karl Polyani 

John Hultgren, faculty member

A scholar of environmental politics and political theory, Hultgren is the author of Border Walls Gone Green: Nature and Anti-immigrant Politics in America (University of Minnesota Press, 2015). The book explains and critiques the strange intersections that exist between the environmental movement and the immigration restriction movement. In addition to book chapters, he has published articles in the Journal of Political Ideologies, New Political Science, and Alternatives: Global, Local, Political. His current projects include an analysis of environmentalist alliance-building efforts with other social actors (such as labor unions and immigrants’ rights organizations) and a theoretical and ethnographic exploration of environmental values on “Main Street” (that is, small-town, working-class America). He received his PhD in Political Science from Colorado State University (2012) and has previously taught at Colorado State and Northern Arizona University. Hultgren joined the Bennington faculty in Fall 2016.


Barbara Alfano, faculty member

A native of Italy, Alfano specializes in 20th- and 21st-century Italian fiction, with a focus on representations of America, issues of identity, women’s writing, love studies, and ethics and literature. She is the writer of The Mirage of America in Contemporary Italian Literature and Film (University of Toronto Press, 2013). Her essays have appeared in Italica, Forum Italicum, Variaciones Borges, and Humanities. In 2009, she published her first collection of short stories in Italian, Mi chiedevo. Her short stories have appeared also on L'Anello che non tiene and Storie, all write. Before moving to the United States in 1999, Alfano worked in Naples as a journalist and translator. She taught Italian language, literature, and culture at Pennsylvania State University and directed its Italian language program in 2005–06. Laurea summa cum laude, Istituto Universitario Orinetale, Naples; PhD in Comparative Literature, Pennsylvania State University. Alfano joined the Bennington faculty of the Isabelle Kaplan Center for Languages and Cultures in the fall of 2008.

Liz Lerman ’69

Liz is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator, and speaker, a MacArthur "Genius" grant recipient, and the winner of the 2017 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award, among other honors. Through her art, Liz engages the urgent questions with which we are all grappling: social justice, working across differences, poverty, the impacts of war, scientific advancement, and what it means to be in a community. Her work ranges from abstract to personal to political, and her process emphasizes research and collaboration across disciplines and media.

Eve Mefferd ’20

Eve is chair of the Student Education Policies Committee and gave the student speech at Convocation earlier this month.

Taliesin Thomas ’98

Taliesin Thomas is an artist-philosopher, lecturer, writer and aesthetician based in Brooklyn, NY. Thomas has worked in the field of contemporary Chinese art since living in rural China (1999-2001). Since 2007 she is the founding director of AW Asia & Art Issue Editions collection. Thomas holds a B.A. in Fine Arts & Spanish Language from Bennington College and an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Columbia University. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Art Theory & Philosophy with The Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts concurrent with her professional role in the art world. 

The Doubtful Professor: How Bennington Prepared Us for Academic Life

Annie Coggan Crawford ’85

Annie Coggan is a designer, educator and principal at Chairs + Buildings Studio www.chairsandbuildingsstudio (formerly Coggan + Crawford Architecture), a multiscale design studio based in Brooklyn.  She is an Associate Professor at Pratt Institute. Her textile and furniture practice focus on speculative textiles and “Didactic Decorative Objects”.  She has been recently awarded a 2018-2019 Winterthur Museum Creator/Maker Fellowship for 2018-2019.  She received her Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc in Los Angeles.

Nejem Raheem ’94

Nejem Raheem '94 used to run Dog & Truck Theater in NYC with his wife Carol Oldham '93. He has been associate professor of economics at Emerson College in Boston for ten years. To pull that off, he got a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of New Mexico in 2008. His area of expertise is the management of natural resources, particularly water, in traditional, indigenous, and subsistence economies. His current research is on the ecological impacts of drought and how to better plan for them. He rows, plays guitar and writes songs about remote places and animals. 

Rone Shavers ’93

Rone Shavers is an editor, scholar, and writer who publishes in multiple genres. He is a fiction and hybrid genre editor at Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora,and his own creative work has appeared in such diverse publications as Another Chicago Magazine, Big Other, BOMBmagazine, EBR: Electronic Book Review,The Operating System, PANK, and Thought Catalog, to name just a few places. Shavers is Associate Professor of English at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York.

Friedrike Windel ’15

Friederike Windel (she/her) is a doctoral student in the Critical Social Personality Psychology Program at The Graduate Center CUNY and an adjunct instructor at CUNY. Her interdisciplinary research interests include critical whiteness and race, affect, immigration, positionality and difficult conversations. Friederike graduated from Bennington College (‘15) with a B.A. in Psychology and Social Sciences and worked as a Kilpatrick Fellow in the Office of Academic Services (‘16). In her commitment to community building and creating relationships, she has worked and organized with international students at Bennington College and with people with disabilities in an integrated housing project in Germany.

Olive Oil Tasting Workshop

Deborah Krasner ’69

Deborah Krasner is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and kitchen designer who has recently returned to making pots, her undergraduate major at Bennington. She earned an MFA from Columbia University's School of the Arts in 1979. She has authored seven books, innumerable magazine articles, represented food writers as a literary agent, hosted culinary vacations in Vermont and Italy, and created kitchens across the country for serious cooks. She is married to Political Science professor Michael Krasner, and they are the parents of two adult daughters. She and her husband divide their time between their home in southern Vermont and New York City. 

Alumni Forum: Careers in Showbiz

Tracy Katsky Boomer ’91

After senior executive positions at FBC, HBO, and Viacom Entertainment Networks, Tracy Katsky Boomer '91 launched the production company, KatCo, and has sold multiple comedies to broadcast and cable networks. Her last series Santa Clarita Diet ran for three seasons on Netflix. Previously, she was an Executive Producer with Deedle Dee Productions. Additionally, she is a Board Member of Girls, Inc. and has served on the Board of the Hollywood Radio & Television Society. She studied Drama at Bennington.

Chris Boscia ’87

Chris Is a director, actor, teacher and chef on Vashon Island, WA. Originally from NYC, he holds a degree in Acting and Directing. Local island credits include performances in Drama Dock's “The Normal Heart” and directorial stints with 14/48. He has worked as an actor or director across the country and with Seattle theatres such as Seattle Rep,  ACT Theatre, Intiman, The Group Theatre, The Empty Space, Alice B, and Aha!. Upcoming shows he will direct  include Qui Nguyen' “She Kills Monsters” in November, Peter Serko's play "OUT" for Vashon World AIDS Day in December  and "Crimes of the Heart" for Take a Stand Productions in Spring of 2020.  Chris teaches acting at Vashon Center for the Arts and is a proud Cuban Italian American who teaches Spanish when he is not cooking at local island restaurants.

Kate Brandt ’90

Kate Brandt is a writer, editor, filmmaker and former professional violinist. She is an advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion in entertainment, government and the workplace. At Warner Bros., she was a board member of Women of Warner and OUT@WB, working within and outside the studio on issues of unconscious bias, gender parity and diverse representation onscreen and behind the camera.

Kate is a member of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, whose research helps content creators empower women, girls, POC and LGBT communities in entertainment. She has also worked with Girls Who Code, GLAAD, Outfest and the LA LGBT Center. Kate has written several one-hour TV drama pilots and short film scripts, and her comedy short “Tools 4 Fools” screened at 40+ film festivals around the world and won several awards.

Christina Campanella ’89

Christina Campanella works as both a performer and a composer/sound artist. She has appeared in independent films, music-theater works and experimental operas throughout the U.S. and Europe. Her sound installations have been shown at Harvestworks, HERE Arts Center, NY Electronic Arts Festival, Museum at MIT and Fylkingen (Stockholm). Her music-theater works have been presented by EMPAC, EXIT Festival (Paris), Red Eye Theater (Minneapolis), Whitman College and Noorderzon (Groningen). She is currently creating a new work commissioned by the Great Learning Orchestra (Royal Academy of Fine Art, Stockholm) and has received three NYSCA Individual Artist Commissions in Film, Media, and New Technologies. 

Amy Christopher ’89

Amy Christopher was born into a show business family and grew up surrounded by actors and artists. After receiving a BA in Theatre from Bennington College, she decided on a career in casting which has now spanned over 20 years. She began her career at The Roundabout Theatre Company (1997-2003), casting both Broadway and off-Broadway productions some of which include: The Man Who Had All The Luck, Design For Living, Juno And The Paycock, The Mineola Twins, A Skull In Connemara, Arms And The Man, The Dazzle, Give Me Your Answer Do! and Major Barbara. 

Margot Connolly ’12

Margot Connolly is playwright originally from Pleasantville, NY. Her plays include Belfast Kind (Winner, JPP's Jewish Playwriting Contest), Quiz Out (Princess Grace Finalist, 2019 Kilroys’ Honorable Mention), The Twitch (Princess Grace Finalist), and Tough. Her work has been produced and developed through The Juilliard School, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Playwrights Center, the Drama League, the Jewish Plays Project, Repertory St. Louis, the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts, and Primary Stages ESPA Drills, among others. She was a 2010-2011 Core Apprentice at the Playwrights Center and has been a finalist for the Jerome Fellowship, the Emerald Prize, and the Princess Grace Award. She received her BA from Bennington College and her MFA from the University of Iowa’s Playwrights Workshop. She is currently a Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights’ Program fellow at Juilliard.

David Dubov-Flinn ’84

DAVID DUBOV-FLINN is a seasoned performer with more than 40 years of stage and voice experience. His first role was a solo in The Merry Widow at his all-boys school in Bedford, England. After that nerve-racking appearance, he swore that he would never set foot on stage again. But, then he arrived on campus, got cast in Midsummer and never looked back. He now appears regularly on stages across the Washington, DC area, and has recently dipped his toe into directing after many years of resistance.

Eric Marlin ’13

Eric Marlin has been produced and developed by the Ars Nova ANT Fest, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Dixon Place, Samuel French, HOT! Festival, Play Date @ Pete's, Exquisite Corpse Company, PTP/NYC, Tennessee Williams Festival, Wildclaw Theatre, Metro Arts Initiative, Buffalo United Artists, and Left Coast Theatre. Winner of the Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival and shortlisted for the Berliner Festspiele Stuckemarkt. Finalist for the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and SPACE at Ryder Farm. 2019-2020 Resident Artist at Montclair's New Works Initiative. Co-founder of the Healthy Oyster Collective, with whom he has created three original works. He has worked as a stage manager and producer for the Bushwick Starr, New Georges, the Women’s Project, Red Bull Theatre, CTown, PTP/NYC, the Public Theater, the New Ohio Ice Factory Festival, & PRELUDE. MFA: Iowa Playwrights Workshop. BA: Bennington College.

 Valerie Ramshur '89 

Valerie Marcus Ramshur, a Lucille Lortel nominee & critically acclaimed costume designer, whose work has been seen across the country and around the world. Her credits span Broadway, off Broadway, dance, film, TV and live performance. Credits include: Madonna Rebel Heart World Tour, Ruined, Hedwig & the Angry Inch. A Behanding in Spokane, The MotherF**ker with the Hat, Lombardi Caroline Or Change, Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam, Nice Work If You Can Get It. TV: All My Children, One Life to Live, The View, A Gifted Man, Hostages, commercials & industrials. Currently the Head of Costume Design at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, as well as guest lecturer at New York University, Bennington College.

Loren Segan ’84

Since graduating from Bennington College as a Drama major (in Directing) with a minor in creative writing, Loren has enjoyed working in film and television as a screenwriter and a producer, with a life-long passion for theater. Loren began her writing career in soaps, with Daytime Emmy nominations for her work on Another World and Guiding Light, followed by a stint on MTV’s Spyder Games. Primetime writing credits include three seasons on USA network’s The Dead Zone, ABC Family’s Wildfire, as well as several pilots and TV movies for ABC, FX, and HBO. More recently, Loren’s been developing a period television series and is Co-Producer of the pilot, It’s Not About Jimmy Keene, which premiered at the Sundance Festival’s 2019 Indie Episodic Program. Loren loved being part of the Bennington 24-hour Plays fundraiser last January in NYC, and is delighted to be sharing meaningful time with dear friends and artistic collaborators during the All-Class Reunion, re-communing with the soul-nurturing, wildly creative utopia in Vermont where she found herself and her calling.

Max Wolkowitz ’09 

Max Wolkowitz ('09) is a Brooklyn based actor and animator. After Bennington, he received an MFA in Acting from Brown University/Trinity Rep. He has worked extensively in regional theaters across the country including Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Capital Rep in Albany, Trinity Rep, and Kansas City Rep. He will be appearing in an upcoming episode of FBI on CBS, alongside fellow Bennington alum John Boyd ('03). When not acting, he freelances as a motion graphics animator working on a range of projects from independent films to advertising and everything in between.

Recent Alumni Panel

Rohail Altaf ’17

Rohail Altaf ’17 pursued a plan in Computer Science and Music Production at Bennington. After graduating, he co-founded NYC Train Sign, an IoT smart display company. He now works at Glamsquad, a beauty-on-demand service, as a Lead Engineer. He grew up in Pakistan, and harbors an avid appreciation for conspiracy theories. 

Joanna Dillon ’07

Joanna Dillon manages the Responsible Minerals Program at Cisco Systems in Silicon Valley where she ensures that the raw minerals going into the company’s electronics are sourced ethically and in support of developing global economies. She also explores how technology can increase supply chain transparency and lead to greater accountability for corporate sustainability goals. She found this role in the usual Bennington way. After nearly ten years in nonprofits fighting for more sustainable food systems, she completed an MBA at an art school, California College of the Arts in San Francisco, then discovered corporate innovation: transforming companies from the inside-out by designing for humans and for more sustainable futures.

Fran Edwards '18

Fran Edwards studied politics, international affairs, and philosophy at Bennington. She's particularly interested in working-class political engagement among the baby-boomer generation in Rotherham, England, following the deindustrialisation of the coal mining industry. After graduation, Fran began working as an Admissions Counselor for Bennington, and her territory is Vermont, New Hampshire, and Western Europe. Her work as a House Chair, Admissions Intern, and with FLoW drove her to an interest in understanding access to higher education, which is now the center of her work in Admissions.

Wyatt Kirby ’10

Wyatt Kirby is a software developer and entrepreneur. Co-founder of Apsis Labs and SCREAMING_SNAKE Games, he works with a small team based in Seattle, Washington, building innovative healthcare solutions and, occasionally, virtual-reality football games. Outside of his businesses, Wyatt is well integrated into the Seattle startup scene, where he serves as an advisor and mentor to new creative ventures.

Michelle Nguyen ’15

Experimental artist Michelle Nguyen explores themes of nostalgia, reality & fantasy in her videos and installations. She often repurposes existing materials and narratives to manipulate a dark, humorous perspective to what we see and hear. When she's not working on her personal or collaborative art, she’s co-curating annual pop up art events with great friend and Bennington alumni, Julia Sub ’15. Known as Slow Burn NYC, they hope to bring together a network and art community for up & coming young artists and fellow alumni in NYC. Michelle currently lives in New York.

Ayesha Raees ’18

Ayesha Raees identifies herself as a hybrid creating hybrid poetry through hybrid forms. She was a 2018-2019 Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers' Workshop where she also heads a monthly Poetry Salon for Asian American Poets. Her work has appeared in The Margins, Cherry Tree, Hobart Pulp, and elsewhere. Shortlisted for the Judith Akbar Poetry Prize, she was also a recent resident at the Millay Colony For the Arts. Born in Lahore, Pakistan, she currently lives in New York City. Her website is:

Julia Sub ’15

Julia Sub is a curator and multimedia artist living in NYC. She had a concentration in media theory, film and dance at Bennington. Her work often engages with themes of the physical relationship between technology and memory. Since graduating, Julia has spent much of her time working towards cultivating a community of young artists in New York City under the name Slow Burn NYC, with her collaborator Michelle Le Nguyen ’15, through pop up group art exhibitions featuring many Bennington alumni artists. She currently works at VICE Media LLC as a post production manager in their News division.

ECVLA recipient workshop

John Bertles ’81

Educator, composer, and instrument-builder John Bertles ’81 is the 2019 recipient. Bertles, co-founder of Bash the Trash, has combined music, science and environmental awareness since 1988. Bash the Trash builds, performs, and educates with musical instruments made from reused and repurposed materials.

Faculty, Family, Students and Alumni Reception - Performers

Michael Chinworth ’08

Michael Chinworth is a composer, actor, vocalist and recording artist based in Vermont and New York. He makes work through a solo practice that can be found in concert venues, theaters or in record form and creates and appears on stage in works of vocally-driven experimental opera and theater. His recorded material ranges the spectrum between pop and deconstructive experimentation and his live performances attempt an engaging synthesis of the two.

Liam Dailey ’14

Liam has worked in the Bennington Admissions Office since his graduation in 2014. Initially hired as a Kilpatrick Fellow, he is now a Regional Associate Director based in Boston and focused on New England recruitment. In addition to his work for the College, he is a performing musician, often collaborating with fellow alumni, and an AASI certified snowboard instructor at Stratton Mountain.

Dane Whitman ’16

Dane Whitman '16 is a vocalist, songwriter, and landscape designer. A student of faculty member Tom Bogdan, he has performed with the vocal quartet "Bennington" in New York and San Francisco. He has written over 100 songs and is currently adapting them for solo piano accompaniment. In addition to music, Dane has a passion for global environmental issues. In April of 2019, he founded Grey Oak Landscaping and Garden Design and has employed himself through local clientele. Born and raised in Ojai, California, Dane now lives in North Bennington.

Two Dances, One Improvisation, and Three Arguments

Hilary Clark MFA ’20

Hilary Clark, dancer, teacher and choreographer, makes and performs in pivotal experimental dance and theater based work. She received a New York Dance and Performance Award (2008) for her work with Tere O’Connor, luciana achugar, and Fiona Marcotty. She has also worked with Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People, Young Jean Lee Theater Company, Keyon Gaskin and Gerard and Kelly, among others.  

Her solo, Accessories of Protection, premiered at Danspace Project (2012), her work as a performer and choreographer is documented in Jenn Joy’s book The Choreographic (MIT, 2014). More information is available at

Emily Climer ’12

Emily Climer is a dancer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She has recently shown her choreography as part of Sundays on Broadway, Split Bill at Triskelion Arts, and The Third Barn. As a performer, she has worked on projects by Emma Rose Brown, Mina Nishimura, Susan Sgorbati and Elliot Caplan, Tori Lawrence & Co., Jennifer Kayle, Tiny Trip, and Tyler Rai. Emily is an administrator for Cathy Weis Projects and a teacher at MAPS KIDS. She writes and edits books for emerging readers as part of the Humanities Team at Great Minds, an education non-profit.

Elena Demanyenko, faculty member

Elena Demyanenko was a member of Trisha Brown and Stephen Petronio Dance Companies, which premiered original choreography at Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York Live Arts, and other venues. She is the recipient of New York Live Arts and EMPAC Dance Movies commissions and a Jerome Robbins Fellowship.

Risa Jaroslow ’69

Risa Jaroslow's lush choreography and stunning visual landscapes are alive with compassion and humor. Jaroslow examines the questions at the core of human experience, threading the answers through choreography that is at once earthy and soaring, transcendent and rooted in the everyday. Communities emerge and dissolve and a simple gesture blooms into a magnificent metaphor. What sets the company apart is its ability to weave together the experiences and movement of people from firefighters and midwives to survivors of domestic violence to Jaroslow's company of accomplished dancers.

Jon Kinzel ’90

Jon Kinzel has received critical accolades for his work at venues here and abroad, contributed to publications such as SCHIZM Magazine, MR Performance Journal, and PAJ: a journal of performance and art, received generous support from foundations and residency programs - most recently at Telematic Gallery in San Francisco - collaborated and or performed with many choreographers - most recently with Vicky Shick, Yvonne Rainer, Emily Coates, Cathy Weis, Jennifer Miller, Jodi Melnick, and Elena Demyanenko - and taught at several schools.

Mina Nishimura MFA ’21 

Mina Nishimura, from Tokyo, was introduced to butoh through Kota Yamazaki. While working with groundbreaking artists in dance, theater and film as a performer, her own choreographic works have been commissioned by NYU Skirball Center, Danspace Project, Gibney Dance, Mount Tremper Arts Center, among other dance organizations. She was the danceweb scholar at Impulse Tanz (Vienna) in 2009, and has been the Artist-in-Residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Chez Bushwick, Movement Research, and Camargo Foundation (France). She has been teaching at Sarah Lawrence College, UC Davis, Ferris University (Japan) and Movement Research, and is currently on the MFA program in Dance as a teaching fellow at Bennington College. Nishimura is also the 2019 recipient of Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award.

Wendy Perron ’69

WENDY PERRON ’69, author of Through the Eyes of a Dancer, had a 30-year career as a dancer/choreographer. She danced with the Trisha Brown Company in the 1970s and has also danced for or with Bennington alumnae. As a choreographer, her work has appeared at the Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center Festival, the Danspace Project, Jacob’s Pillow and elsewhere. While teaching at Bennington from 1978 to 1984, she initiated the Bennington College Judson Project, which recently served as a foundation for the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit on Judson Dance Theater. In the early 1990s she was associate director of Jacob’s Pillow, which tasked her to come up with an idea for a “Jacob’s Pillow at Bennington” program. Thus was born the International Improvisation Workshop, which she co-directed with Penny Larrison Campbell ’70 for three summers. The former longtime editor in chief of Dance Magazine, Wendy has also written for The New York Times, The Village Voice, Contact Quarterly, and publications in Europe and China. She has lectured on contemporary dance across the country and continues to lead a graduate seminar at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Earlier this month she started teaching dance history at Juilliard. Her book on the 70s improvisation group the Grand Union will be published by Wesleyan University Press next year.

Susan Sgorbati ’72, MFA ’86

Sgorbati is the director of the Elizabeth Coleman Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College, where she was the former Dean of Faculty and holds the Barbara and Lewis Jones Chair for Social Activism. She created and directs the Conflict Resolution program and curriculum at Bennington that includes courses in negotiation, mediation, environmental dispute resolution, conflict resolution theory, complex systems design, and court processes. In 1999, Sgorbati founded Quantum Leap, an organization that has reconnected more than 2,000 elementary, middle, and high school students to their education in the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union who are truant, at risk, or have dropped out of school. Currently, she and Daniel Michaelson are co-directors of the organization. Sgorbati co-created and was the first director of the Governor’s Institute on the Arts, (now the Governor’s Institutes of Vermont), a summer residential program for adolescents in the state of Vermont.

Sgorbati is a professional mediator in private practice and mediates cases for the Vermont Human Rights Commission. In the past fifteen years, she has mediated cases for environmental and community disputes as well as for businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions. She is particularly interested in resolving conflicts over water on a local, national, and international scale. She currently teaches three courses in this area: Solving The Impossible: Intractable Conflicts, Moment of Criticality: Complex Systems Design, and Water Dialogues.

Sgorbati has been involved in the field of dance for more than 30 years as an improviser, artistic director, dancer, and teacher. She has been on the dance faculty at Bennington College since 1983, and she has co-taught numerous interdisciplinary courses with biologists, musicians, visual artists, and anthropologists. Her focus on dance improvisation for performance coalesced into an ongoing research on the relationship between dance improvisation and the science of complex systems, which she named emergent improvisation (EI). In 2011, she was granted the first creative research residency at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to explore her new research on “emergent structuring.” Her new film in collaboration with filmmaker Elliot Caplan is on emergent improvisation; titled Emergent Forms, this film will premiere in Fall 2016.

Kota Yamazaki

Born in Niigata, Japan, Kota Yamazaki was first introduced to butoh under the teaching of Akira Kasai at the age of 18. With the invitation from Germain Acogny to create a work FAGAALA in collaboration with her Senegal-based company, Yamazaki disbanded his Tokyo-based company rosy co., which he led from 1995-2001. Since 2003, Yamazaki with New York-based Fluid hug-hug has been presenting work nationally and internationally. Yamazaki is a recipient of the Bessie Award of 2007, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists award of 2013, NYFA Fellowship of 2016, and Guggenheim Fellowship of 2018.Yamazaki has been teaching around the world. (

Screening of Imaginary Order talkback

Debra Eisenstadt ’91

Debra Eisenstadt began her career as an actress, most notably starring in the theater & film versions of David Mamet's OLEANNA. Eisenstadt continued acting on & off B’way, for film & TV until she was awarded an MFA scholarship for her short THE GUEST. She wrote, produced, directed, shot & edited the feature DAYDREAM BELIEVER; winner- Independent Spirit Award & The Grand Jury Prize - Slamdance Film Festival. She wrote, produced, directed & edited the award-winning features THE LIMBO ROOM, BEFORE THE SUN EXPLODES and IMAGINARY ORDER. Additionally, Eisenstadt Executive Produced the documentaries KURT COBAIN; MONTAGE OF HECK and JANE.

Alumni Bands: Carol Cleveland Sings & Catastrophie 

Thomas Hughes ’06

Thomas Hughes is a Philadelphia-based artist who has been working in music and media since graduating from Bennington in 2006. He, along with his wife Gretchen founded Lavender Cat Creative - a production company specializing in independent film and social media. Most notably they scored the feature length film, Sylvio and the WNYC radio program, The Orbiting Human Circus (of the Air).

Alice Tolan- Mee ’12

Catastrophie is a mythical feminine who fears and invites chaos. "An immersive, vulnerable excursion through the kind of thoughts we’d love to exercise every day but don’t, through fear of the consequences." -Sammy Maine for Gold Flake Paint. Catastrophie is songs and dancing. She has played shows in NYC, Los Angeles, and at SXSW. visit us:

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The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1969 VIEW THE BOOK
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The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1965 VIEW THE BOOK
The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1964 VIEW THE BOOK
The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1963 VIEW THE BOOK
The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1962 VIEW THE BOOK
The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1961 VIEW THE BOOK
The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1960 VIEW THE BOOK
The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1959 VIEW THE BOOK
The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1958 VIEW THE BOOK
The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1957 VIEW THE BOOK
The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1956 VIEW THE BOOK
The 50th Reunion Book of the Class of 1955 VIEW THE BOOK