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The Twenty Summers ATMOS-phere

The Twenty Summers x ATMOS Gathering features numerous performances, conversations, and presentations this weekend, including: (left to right) Pınar Ateş Sinopoulos-Lloyd, co-founder of Queer Nature is part of a panel on queer ecology on Friday; Keynote speaker Bonnie Wright will participate in a conversation on the narrative of sustainability and what it means to live in harmony with the Earth on Sunday; and Tamara Lindeman performs with The Weather Station on Saturday night.

by G.W. Mercure

A decade ago, the founders of Twenty Summers took on the task of restoring the Hawthorne Barn, which continues to be privately owned. They saw the building’s potential to be more than a relic. They envisioned it as a hub of artistic activity, honoring its past while embracing the present.

“Twenty Summers was founded over a decade ago to restore the historic Hawthorne Barn. The building itself was built in 1906 or 1907 by Charles Hawthorne as the Cape Cod School of Art,” says Alice Gong, program director at Twenty Summers. Gong joined the organization in 2019 and has been building to the space*s ideals in residencies, design, programming, and audience engagement.

Hans Hofmann also taught in the Hawthorne Barn, and the shadows of Jackson Pollock and Tennessee Williams, among others, have stretched in the Barn*s famous light. The building*s large north-facing window floods the space with consistent natural light, ideal for painting. 

Today, the barn hosts the Twenty Summers program for five weeks each year, in May and June. This period is a whirlwind of creativity and community, a testament to the enduring relevance of the arts in Provincetown. During these five weeks, the Barn comes alive with artists-in-residence, concerts, conversations, and workshops. Last year, the program began featuring installation art, filling a gap in Provincetown’s artistic landscape. The constraints of the space—no nails in the walls, natural light only, quick installation and removal—challenge artists to innovate. The result is a series of unique, ephemeral works that draw the community together. 

One of the season’s highlights is a collaboration with Atmos, a culture and climate publication called The Twenty Summers x ATMOS Gathering. This weekend, Twenty Summers will host nine events in three days, including discussions, performances, and gatherings. The theme, “In Gathering We Grow,” underscores the importance of community and connection in addressing climate issues.

“All of the speakers and panelists have the opportunity to gather and meet with each other,” says Gong. “There will be a variety of events and some really big names that I’m really excited to welcome to the barn space.”

The three-day Atmos event promises a series of enlightening discussions on topics such as deep ecology, embodied activism, and the interconnection between queering nature and returning to the land. Other sessions will explore ocean conservation and the future of fashion, among others. The weekend concludes with a musical performance incorporating an immersive sound bath. It’s set to be a weekend rich in idea exchange and the creation of new connections. Highlights of the Atmos series include performances by The Weather Station and Tamara Lindeman, and a keynote by actress Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, but also a director and author in her own right.

Gong reflects on the program’s impact: “I’ve been really excited, and proud of finding new and unique opportunities to invite people into the space…My goal is always to reach as many different people of different interests as possible to invite them into that space.” This commitment to inclusivity is at the heart of Twenty Summers’ mission and is evident in the diverse range of events planned for the season. 

Another notable event will be a screening of the documentary Signs from the Mainland. Produced by Twenty Summers, this film explores the history of sign language on Martha’s Vineyard. In the 18th and 19th centuries, a rather large community of deaf people lived on the island.

“It was around the same time the American School for the Deaf in Hartford was being established, and some folks from Martha’s Vineyard…ended up in Hartford and helped establish American Sign Language as we know it today,” says Gong. 

Twenty Summers takes its name from the closing lines of a poem by the late Provincetown resident Stanley Kunitz: “The last stretch toward home!/Twenty summers roll by.” Poetry and transience are a fitting theme for Twenty Summers. 

“It is privately owned,” says Gong of the Hawthorne Barn. “Twenty Summers gets to use this base for five weeks every year in May and June. That’s an FAQ we get all the time: &Why can’t we be here always?” And I just remind everyone that we are very fortunate to have the time that we do.”

They make the most of those five weeks, however. The Barn’s role as a gathering place for diverse voices is central to Twenty Summers’ mission. The program seeks to support artists and explore the intersectionality between art, social justice, and activism. It aims to use art as a communication and social change tool, reflecting the founders’ vision of a space that honors its past while engaging with contemporary issues. Toward that end, Twenty Summers is set to host a range of events, from parties to poetry, through creative workshops, concerts, artist talks, and other events whose nature defies quick, readable copy. 

Twenty Summers’ 2024 season is a celebration of Provincetown’s artistic heritage and a bold step into the future. The program brings together artists, activists, and the community, fostering connections and inspiring change. With its storied past and vibrant present, the Hawthorne Barn stands as a beacon of creativity, illuminating the path forward for artists and audiences alike at a time when a light on the path is as urgently needed as a keen awareness of the past. But maybe the appeal is simpler than that.

“The building itself is magical,” says Gong. “It’s a good embodiment of what makes Provincetown special. It’s a giant dune shack on a dune on a hill.”

Twenty Summers has a full season of programming through June 13. The Twenty Summers x ATMOS Gathering will be held at the Hawthorne Barn, 29 Miller Hill Rd., Provincetown, May 24 – 26 (see sidebar). For more information on all programming, visit

Twenty Summers is collaborating with climate and culture publication Atmos for three days of events at the historic Hawthorne Barn, Friday, May 24 to Sunday, May 26.

Friday, May 24, 2024
6 – 7:30 p.m. | Queer Ecology 

Saturday, May 25, 2024
10 – 11:30 a.m. | Going Back to the Land 
2 – 3:30 p.m. | Embodied Activism
4 – 5:30 p.m. | Keynote: Bayo Akomolafe
8:30 – 10 p.m. | Tamara Lindeman in Concert

Sunday, May 26, 2024
10 – 11:30 a.m. | Oceans Between Us
2 –  3:30 p.m. | Future of Fashion
4 –  5:30 p.m. | Keynote: Bonnie Wright 
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Sound Bath Performance

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Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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