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Hamptons Art Network's 2021 THAW Fest To Feature Virtual Screenings, Workshops, Concerts, And Much More

Nicole Barylski

Hamptons Doc Fest is screening Acasa,My Home. (Photo: Ana Ciocolatescu)

While the majority of the 4th Annual THAW Fest will take place digitally, the month-long Hamptons Art Network festival is still offering a wide array of engaging, entertaining events.

Week one kicked off with a Bay Street Family Skating Party on Sunday, March 7 and DIA Art presents A Conversation with Jill Magid and Nick Fox Weber on Tuesday, March 9.

Next, Hamptons Doc Fest will host a weeklong virtual screening and Q&A of Radu Ciorniciuc's Acasa, My Home from Thursday, March 11 through Thursday, March 18.

"You wouldn't think that this would be a golden year for non-fiction films given life's other pressing realities. But it has. It is testimony to the power of great storytelling in which a filmmaker disappears inside the place and characters he finds," Jacqui Lofaro, Hamptons Doc Fest Founder and Executive Director, said. "Acasa, My Home takes us to the wilderness of the Bucharest Delta in Romania where nine children and their parents live in harmony with nature until they are driven out and forced to adapt to life in the big city. It is a drama we can't turn away from."

Sunday, March 14 will kick off with a virtual performance from The Hamptons Youth Quartet at 4:00 p.m., presented by Southampton Cultural Center. At 5:00 p.m., the Sag Harbor Cinema will have a virtual conversation with Stray director Elizabeth Lo. The evening will conclude with Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center's (WHBPAC) 10th Anniversary Reunion of Our Town via Zoom.

"When we first staged Our Town, I wasn't sure how much the cast would take away from the play," Julienne Penza-Boone, WHBPAC Executive Director, noted. "Now as the actors are in their early twenties, they've told me how much it meant to them, and how it shaped their perspective. That's the best feeling in the world."

"Reconnecting the cast ten years later, it will be exciting to see how the cast reimagines the play with the experience and knowledge they have now," Heather Draskin, WHBPAC Marketing Director, added.

The second week of THAW Fest launches with a Zoom East End Collected6 March Illustrated Talk on Thursday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Southampton Arts Center, the evening will welcome exhibition artists Linda K. Alpern, Jim Croak, Deborah Buck, Bastienne Schmidt, Agathe Snow, and Maria Vasconcelos. Curator Paton Miller will moderate.

On Saturday, March 20, Watermill Center will present a virtual In Process with resident artists: Yusha-Marie, Sorzano and Zoe Hitzig at 3:00 p.m. Later on in the evening, those looking for a thrill should join Southampton History Museum for Ghost Hunting at the Rogers Mansion at 7:00 p.m.

THAW Fest week three begins with a virtual screening of Martin Luther King Personal Portrait by George Silano, hosted by Southampton African American Museum in partnership with Bay Street Theater, on Thursday, March 25 at 8:00 p.m.

"Too much of our history has been lost, but this is a piece of priceless footage known to be the 'first and only' time any media was allowed in the home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. An intimate conversation for us to remember, and to never forget how he literally sacrificed his life for the 'Beloved Community,'" Brenda Simmons, Southampton African American Museum Founder and Executive Director, stated. "Thanks to cinematographer George Silano, the 'Keeper of the Flame' as we like to say, who had an epiphany to locate this valuable documentary. This is a must-see film. George in his own right had an amazing career that spanned the globe; covering highly regarded stories in Vietnam to dining with Lyndon B Johnson, to being invited for an intimate dinner with Betty Davis."

Thursday, March 25 will also bring the debut of a virtual Hamptons International Film Festival Q&A with Board Member Alec Baldwin and HamptonsFilm Artistic Director David Nugent about The Producers. Viewers are encouraged to watch the film beforehand.

"We have proudly participated in all of the THAW Fest March events - including last year - as the world closed down a couple of days after. We have hosted a Winter Classic Screening with Alec Baldwin for years, and incorporated it into THAW Fest in 2020 with an extremely popular screening of Silkwood," said Anne Chaisson, Executive Director, and David Nugent, Artistic Director, of HamptonsFilm. "This year's presentation, The Producers, was selected as we could all use a laugh now. And to see The Producers, which had so many great scenes filmed in New York City with its robust arts scene, hopefully gives a taste of what many of us will be able to enjoy soon when conditions allow."

Parrish Art Museum will hold A Field of Dreams Walking Tour with Alicia Longwell and Parrish Docents on Friday, March 26 at 3:00 p.m.

"Scheduled exactly one year after the world shut down due to the pandemic, this year's THAW Fest is particularly meaningful for the arts institutions on the East End," Corinne Erni, Parrish Senior Curator of ArtsReach and Special Projects, expressed. "While the Parrish was able to reopen in a limited capacity over the last 12 months, we are pleased to join our sister institutions on the East End at this moment in celebrating the thriving cultural landscape of the Hamptons and welcoming back visitors yet again. We celebrate THAW Fest with our special walking tours of Field of Dreams, the Parrish's inaugural outdoor sculpture exhibition featuring large-scale works by ten internationally acclaimed artists."

On Saturday, March 27, Bridgehampton Chamber Music will present the virtual premiere of Schumann's Piano Quintet - At the Heart of Genius at 5:00 p.m.

"It's great to once again be a part of THAW Fest. While we've created a number of online programs this past fall and summer, this spring we are taking a close look at single pieces of music," Marya Martin, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Artistic Director, said. "Our THAW Fest contribution, which premieres March 27 and be up online for a full week, will showcase Robert Schumann's absolutely brilliant Piano Quintet, the first work of its kind, and perhaps the best - though we will feature Brahms' stunning piano quintet which was inspired by the Schumann, in a sister program in May. While I desperately miss our live concerts, having this opportunity to share an intimate look into these works and the musicians who performed them through our online programs has been wonderful."

Guild Hall will present a virtual screening of Jeff Cohen's Squeaky on Sunday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. Directed by Bob Balaban, the star-studded cast includes Jessica Hecht, Marc Kudisch, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Ben Shenkman, and Harris Yulin.

"When I was writing the play I was flooded with memories," said Cohen. "Capturing my father on the page felt like he was there with me, over my shoulder, speaking to me, making me laugh. I felt a combination of sadness that he was gone and happiness that, just by thinking of him, I could conjure him and keep him alive. Writing the play gave me something very precious - the gift of spending more time with him."

The final THAW Fest week commences with East Hampton Historical Society's Make it Mondays - Quilting on Monday, March 29. The virtual class led by Director of Experience Marianne Della Croce will be available all day via the Society's YouTube or Facebook.

Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center Education Coordinator Joyce Raimondo will encourage Zoomers to express themselves during Creative THAW on Tuesday, March 30. From 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., there will be a class geared towards adults. A teens and kids workshop will follow from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

"Now more than ever, people need creative outlets for expression," Raimondo shared. "100 percent interactive on Zoom, our program Creative THAW inspires creativity thinking in all ages through fun activities inspired by the world's great artists as well as a live Zoom tour through Pollock and Krasner's studio."

The 2021 THAW Fest will conclude with Eastville Community Historical Society's Wonder-Women Wednesday: The Emergence of Eastville's Women Virtual Presentation on Wednesday, March 31 at 5:30 p.m.

Many of the events require pre-registration, so make sure to check.

For more information, visit hamptonsartsnetwork.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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