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Castle Hill Builds an Outdoor Performance Space in honor of Sam Miller

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Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill is very excited to announce the new outdoor stage in honor of Sam Miller, a visionary and leader in the arts: especially in dance. Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill has spent the last two in a half years working on the new outdoor performance space at Edgewood Farm, pre-pandemic! The stage lies at the end of the property and creates an amazing amphitheater at the end of the meadow. Castle Hill kicked off its 16th year of the Provincetown Dance Festival on its own new stage in August.

“The past 14 years have taken place at the Provincetown Theater and hopefully will continue to do so, but knowing we have our own home for dance is very exciting, right on our own campus!” says Cherie Mittenthal the Executive Artistic Director.

Adam Miller, who has been the Artistic Director of the Provincetown Dance Festival for the past 15 years, is the brother of Sam Miller. A choreographer, teacher, and former dancer, Adam is excited and proud to have this stage named to honor his brother, as is his mother, who lives in Wellfleet. “Three years ago, Sam toured the Edgewood Farm campus with myself, my mother, and Cherie and immediately saw its potential to be a hub of the arts on the Outer Cape. Almost simultaneously, both Sam and I said, ‘this is a perfect place for a theater.’ He would be so thrilled to see such a beautiful performance space in the area he loved so dearly.”

Samuel A. Miller was known to legions of choreographers, dancers, and other artists as just “Sam”—a remarkably influential and innovative force in the performing arts field for more than 35 years, including a critically important decade at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. He was born into the theater, as his parents were both in the arts, particularly his mother, Dian Reynolds, who was a charter member of Trinity Repertory Company, in Providence, R.I.  Sam was cast as Trinity Rep’s very first Tiny Tim in a production of A Christmas Carol. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Theater, he worked for Pennsylvania Ballet and eventually found his way to Pilobolus where he was Managing Director in the early 1980s.

He first worked under the same title at Jacob’s Pillow beginning in 1986, and was its Executive Director from 1990-1994. During his tenure, his many achievements included the launching of a master plan for the campus, the construction of the Doris Duke Theatre, a major reconfiguration of the Ted Shawn Theatre, the establishment of Blake’s Barn, and major property expansion. He spearheaded Ted Shawn’s centennial in 1991, including a week at New York’s Joyce Theater and both domestic and international tours. Sam guided MASS MoCA’s vision to encompass the performing arts in a collaboration with the Pillow and MASS MoCA that continues to this day.

He was then named Executive Director at the New England Foundation for the Arts. During his tenure, he founded the National Dance Project, a vital force in the field that continues to support dance across the U.S. After NEFA, he served as President of Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), a ten-year initiative to improve conditions for individual artists, and subsequently directed the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council where he produced the River to River Festival. In 2014, he returned to Wesleyan as Co-Founder/Director of the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP). Sam was a trustee of Dancespace Project (New York City) and AMRITA (Phnom Penh), and on the Advisory Boards of the Creative Capital Initiative, Reggie Wilson’s Fist &Heel, and ODC/SF. He was Senior Advisor to the Philadelphia Contemporary project, and co-director of the CODA/21, a collaborative research project between choreographers and neuroscientists at CAP UCLA.

He produced the Dance, the Spirit of Cambodia tour and the Eiko and Koma Retrospective and worked as a consultant for the Ford Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Pew Center for Culture and Heritage. Although he sustained a remarkable seven-year remission after treatment for multiple myeloma, he died in May 2018 at the age of 65. Sam spent time nearly every summer since the mid-1960s at his family’s cottage in his beloved Wellfleet. Castle Hill is naming this beautiful stage for his lifetime of visionary leadership.

Volunteers Needed for Provincetown Book Festival September 17 – 19

Volunteers are needed to help out at the Provincetown Book Festival, Friday evening, September 17 – Sunday, September 19. Volunteers can sign up for as little as three hours, and be in the middle of an exciting literary event. All volunteers will receive a free Book Festival T-shirt. For more information, or to sign up, contact Nan Cinnater at the Provincetown Public Library, 508-487-7094 or [email protected]. Details of the program are available on the website at https://provincetownbookfestival.org. The exciting literary lineup includes performance artist Karen Finley, Robert Jones, Jr., Paul Lisicky, Francine Prose, and Brandon Taylor. Volunteers can hobnob with these and other authors in the green room (while also replenishing the coffee), take tickets, sell T-shirts and totes, or work at the giant outdoor used book sale. There is a special need for a couple of moderately techie individuals who can hook up a microphone or run a video camera.

“The Provincetown Book Festival is sponsored by the Provincetown Library, but it is also very much a community effort,” says Cinnater, Provincetown Book Festival director. The Festival is not only supported by major sponsors such as the Provincetown Tourism Fund, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Bay State Cruise Company, and Cape Air, but also by bookstores, local B & B’s, and other small businesses. “Not least of all, the Festival runs on book-loving and library-loving volunteers,” Cinnater says. “Come help out and have some fun.”

Christie Andresen receives the David Asher Volunteer Award at the 34th Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla on September 11, 2021

Photo: Andrea Pluhar

Artist and Provincetown native Christie Andresen has been selected to receive the David Asher Volunteer Award at the 34th Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla on September 11, 2021 – Make Waves. Over many years, Anderson has donated special edition stained glass medallions created in her workshop for the top 2020 swimmer fundraisers.

Andresen’s shop, Tawqua Glassworks, has been creating residential and commercial stained glass art for thirty-five years with clients around the world. She was raised in Provincetown where she was mentored by Sal Del Deo, Nancy Wharf, and others, becoming a craftsperson at age sixteen.

In 2020, a difficult year for all, Andresen created lovely, delicate heart shaped pendants for every Swim for Life fundraiser. “I wanted to particularly thank the swimmers who did this at home, in this most difficult year during the pandemic, without the camaraderie and people cheering them on,” Andresen enthusiastically stated.

The Swim for Life, sponsored by the Provincetown Community Compact, has raised over $5M for AIDS, women’s health and the community since 1988.

“Christie’s specially-made handcrafted medallions sent out to the 200 Swim for Life participants in last year’s virtual event was a sheer act of kindness and joy,” states Swim director and artist Jay Critchley. She was assisted by fellow artist Ricardo Cuencas of RC Jewelry, both located at Whaler’s Wharf, Provincetown.

“From Provincetown’s remarkable response to HIV/AIDS to Covid-19, with the AIDS Support Group to the Swim for Life, the town “Makes Waves”, continued Critchley.

Andressen will receive the award at the annual Swim for Life Mermaid Tea and awards ceremony at the new town-owned East End Waterfront Park, 387 Commercial Street. The park is the finish line for the 1.2-mile east end shoreline swim starting from the beach across from the Harbor and Breakwater Hotels at Snail Road. The public is invited beginning at 2 p.m. to attend and cheer the swimmers as they arrive at the park.

Beneficiaries of the September 11 Swim include: the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod (ASGCC), Helping Our Women (HOW), Outer Cape Health Services, Provincetown Rescue Squad Association, Lower Cape Ambulance Association, Soup Kitchen in Provincetown (SKIP), Provincetown Schools, The Compact Community Fund, Accessible Provincetown, West End Racing Club and Cape Cod Children’s Place. Information and registration for swimmers, kayakers and volunteers is online at Swim4Life.org