This issue has stories as well as two local sponsors: Bennington Museum and Bennington Potters. Both are well connected to Bennington College and its mission. Each understands the power of networks, a power that is especially felt in our small, interconnected town.
At Bennington Museum, the intersections are most evident where visitors will find faculty, staff, and student fingerprints and footprints. They surround collections that go deep into the area’s history of innovation and art. These connections between the Museum and the College are probably most apparent in the Bennington Modernism Gallery—featuring the work of the artists who taught, studied, or visited in Bennington during its avant-garde art heyday, when the campus, and the work happening here, were as known to the country as they were to the town.
Then there is Bennington Potters. Just as Bennington College put Bennington on the map of nationally recognized liberal arts colleges, Bennington Potters made Bennington famous (again) for pottery. Founded on the idea that “designer pottery” should be within reach of everyday buyers, the Potters continues today, celebrating its 70th year and serving its many customers far and near. Bennington Potters’ successor CEO, Sheela Harden ’69 sees her business as part goods well designed and part experience mindfully explored. She describes her job as a way of “setting the table” for community, for reflection, for gathering robust ideas, and for generating conversation.
When I reached out to invite organizations and businesses in our local network to sponsor an issue of the magazine, Sheela was the first to respond. And, having said yes, she turned the Potters’ page over to the Bennington Museum. She believes Bennington readers will most appreciate a full menu of what Bennington Museum is planning this year. As Sheela has said, “What is best for Bennington College and for Bennington Museum is best for Bennington Potters.”
In this issue, you’ll read about Bennington’s networks, their reach and impact. And I hope you’ll also take a moment to notice and appreciate our local network of sponsors. Including advertising in the issue was a decision we came to with curiosity and care, and with the full recognition that magazines take time and money to create. As the College continues to prioritize scholarships and campus renewal, everyone is coming more mindfully to the task of asking: is there a way I can help that endeavor? When we are able to attract the support of well-fit sponsors to the magazine, that sponsorship supports the broader mission and consciousness around making a Bennington education as affordable and accessible to those students who would most benefit from it. These sponsors have helped to offset the cost of printing, mailing, and making this issue. I hope other well-fit and well-aligned alumni organizations and businesses consider sponsoring future issues. If interested, email email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
Briee Della Rocca
Editor and Art Director
Alumni awards and honors, featuring the Elizabeth Coleman Visionary Leadership Award recipient, Gay Johnson McDougall ’69
Funded by a Lumina Foundation grant, Bennington turns inward to study its work curriculum as seriously as its on-campus curriculum. What the College finds is helping to reveal the way forward for Field Work Term by Jeva Lange ’15.
A new fellowship is bringing Bennington students to New York City theatre companies to study what it takes to work off-Broadway with reporting by Emma Grillo.
A solo exhibition by Torkwase Dyson features new paintings and drawings shown in Usdan Gallery.
Bennington, Bard, Sarah Lawrence, and Vassar form a new consortium to deliver the first liberal arts undergraduate study of forced migration and displacement. Reporting by Elisa Shoenberger.
Bennington announces a new graduate program that bridges public action and art.
Since opening in 2013, ushering in a fully interdisciplinary approach to preparing students for effective public action, the Elizabeth Coleman Center for the Advancement of Public Action has not only expanded the scope of study for Bennington students, but it has significantly extended the College’s institutional reach and partner networks.
The College launches a dynamic new program to enrich and expand art on campus—and access to a Bennington education.
Devin Gaffney ’10 is an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard and has degrees in Network Science and the Social Science of the Internet. He is a data engineer in Boston. His expertise has been featured on WBUR, in The Atlantic, and at conferences throughout the country.
The wild, wonderful career paths of Bennington alumni, as told on LinkedIn by Briee Della Rocca