What Didn't Exist Before You Made It
You have made radio telescopes and moonshots. You have made schools and sanctuaries, publishing houses and cottage industries. You have made businesses out of missions. You have made nine course meals on your back porch and walls that sing. You have made your sorrows into songs. You have made dream homes and lending libraries. You have made poems and essays and more books than we could possibly publish. And you have made this magazine. This issue is made by you and for you, a magazine composed almost entirely of work you submitted. It is a selection of the hundreds of contributions sent in response to the question: What didn’t exist before you made it? These responses are included in full and edited forms in a completely redesigned and expanded issue of Bennington. Everything from the way we organize the magazine to the way we present and collect your work has been reimagined. We have moved the magazine from being framed by themes to being framed by questions, from a publication that tells you stories to one that shares your stories. And even with an added 16 pages, there was still more to share than we had pages.
In this new approach, I have retired all magazine departments except two—National Reviews, where you’ll find excerpts of reviews that have run in major, national media outlets and a new Notes section. Where you once found two sections of notes—faculty notes and class notes— you will now find a more robust and reorganized series of notes pages. There are Art Notes, Book Notes, Performance Notes, Public Action Notes, Music Notes, Film & TV Notes, Personal Notes, EDU Notes and Local Notes. These sections, like this magazine, were built and shaped by your submissions; they are collections of what you send. If you do not see a section, make one. Send an update, a submission, a national review. While I hope you are excited by this new organization, you may still want to find your friends and former teachers quickly and easily. I have created an alumni and faculty index on pages 72 and 73 for just this reason. This magazine redesign is unlike most alumni magazine redesigns because aside from the National Reviews and Notes sections that will bookend upcoming issues, everything else is improvised, curated, and edited in response to what you submit. For this issue I have organized selected submissions into five features, three feature collections, as well as notes. Responses to the question that were complete, composed, and could be run almost entirely as they were submitted appear in the feature section. Other submissions that were editorially connected are presented in featured collections as captioned work or brief reflections. And other submissions best suited for the redesigned Notes or National Review section have been edited and included in those sections.
In Bennington style, this redesign began with a simple idea: To ask readers a question and to develop a magazine from those responses. That idea will continue and evolve. For the next issue, I invite you to answer the question: What did you once think impossible that you now believe is possible? I encourage you to review the submission guidelines, standards, and deadlines at bennington.edu/submissions before submitting your response.
I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. Please share your opinion with us when we send a link to an online survey in the next few weeks. We want this magazine to be worth your time and attention. Let us know if it is. I look forward to hearing from you.
In this section we feature work that came to fruition as an offshoot of primary work or intended work.
Bennington alum Sari Rubinstein '85 created a community art space where thousands of artist have performed and made their work; enter Rubulad.
Bennington alums display art inspired by pilgrimages, by creative blocks; art made in nature, on receipts, sewn and painted, art fired and broken and resculptured again.
Sallieu Jallou '15 takes a class project of building a small radio antenna some years ago, and with a team of individuals, develops a reproduction with improvements.
Andrew Barton '09 and his childhood friend creates a space to bring friends, guests and collaborators together called "Secret Restaurant Portland."
Alums Anna Cybele Paschke '98, Willa Carroll'97 MFA'11, and John Eagle, take unique physical locations and transforms them into unconventional performing spaces for music, dance and movement.
Jeff Crane '89 takes his vision of an alternative to backcountry ski area with no lifts, and brings it to reality while planning, financing, preserving and rehabilitating historic North London Mill in Colorado.
Kevin Alter '85, award winning architect, shows how well versed and prepared he is when it comes to making space for home.
Ben Underwood '13, Co-founder of Resonant Engergy, is on a mission to make solar energy accessible to underserved communities and pubic institutions.
Alli Poirot '02 MAT '03 is the featured educator in this issue for "three chair" process created to help students develop to develop and understand others perspectives.
Awarding winning writer Kathleen Norris '69 is this issue's featured writer for her work A.ce.di.a.
Garrick Jones '94 discusses how he's building his business with his values front and center.
Artist Maren Hassinger '69 is featured for her artwork Monument 6 (Square).
In this section, we feature members of the Bennington community in theatre and dance, reviewed or highlighted by national publications.