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Mount Tremper Arts Welcomes New Executive Director, Sets 10th Anniversary Season

Mount Tremper Arts Welcomes New Executive Director, Sets 10th Anniversary Season

The Cofounders and Board of Directors of Mount Tremper Arts (MTA) have announced that Crystal Wei has been named Executive Director. Wei will lead the Catskills-based creative laboratory and performance space as it enters its second decade.

Wei will build on the strong foundation established by MTA's cofounders Mathew Pokoik and Aynsley Vandenbroucke, assuming responsibility for strategic planning and the overall management of MTA as it moves from a founder-led organization into the next phase of its institutional life. Pokoik and Vandenbroucke will remain on the Board of Directors and have a central role in shaping the artistic direction of MTA through the recently launched Watershed Laboratory.

"As a founder, it has been a joy to see this experiment in art and community-building evolve into a sustainable and growing institution," said Pokoik. "Crystal is an experienced and dynamic arts manager. With her background and expertise in fundraising and her deep understanding of the needs of artists, she's the ideal person to lead MTA into its next decade."

Wei comes to MTA with more than ten years of experience fundraising for the performing and visual arts. Most recently, she served as the Director of Development of Orchestra of St. Luke's, where she was responsible for the organization's comprehensive fundraising, including helping to strategize and launch a capital campaign. Wei has also held development positions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She has been a guest speaker on best practices in development and marketing at numerous conferences.

"Mount Tremper Arts is one of New York's most beloved and essential creative spaces," said Wei. "I am honored to serve as the advocate and steward of its unique, vibrant culture and I look forward to collaborating with MTA's artists, community partners, Board of Directors, and staff to strengthen MTA's role as a creative incubator across the Catskills region and New York City."

Wei is a native of Chappaqua, NY, and received a bachelor's degree in studio art and psychology from Williams College. She is a painter, pianist, and violist.

Nestled in the Catskill Mountains, Mount Tremper Arts is an innovative arts center that supports contemporary artists in the creation and presentation of new works of art. Since its founding in 2008, the creation of a space by and for artists, where dialogue, risk-taking, and inquiry could thrive outside the dictates of market-driven forces has been central to its mission. Now in its tenth year, MTA continues to cultivate generative artistic communities while making experimental contemporary art accessible to its diverse local community. The strength of MTA's programming, since its inception and now with Watershed, is a testament to the fierce dedication the organization has to its mission to nurture communities, in all senses of the word. The full program for MTA's tenth season follows.

MTA's tenth season, which runs through October 14, includes residencies for nine artists/companies as part of its recently created Watershed Laboratory. Like the natural ecosystem from which it takes its name, the Laboratory embodies the complex symbiotic relationship between the Catskills and New York City. This mutual dependence is the foundation for the Watershed Lab, which consists of year-round residencies for artists and partnerships with New York City presenting organizations.

This season adventurous and brilliant female artists working in dance, theater, music, and opera will share new works developed through intensive residencies at MTA. A tenth anniversary gArden Party will feature Kristin Worrall's wild live baking show, The Recipe; MTA cofounder Aynsley Vandenbroucke returns to perform And, a series of live, three-dimensional essays; and Katherine Brook + Shonni Enelow will present The Power of Emotion: The Apartment. The season also includes the latest investigations from the always inventive Sibyl Kempson and Mallory Catlett, the Resonant Bodies Festival, and a new work-in-progress opera by Ione with music by the late, great Pauline Oliveros. MTA's tenth anniversary gala honoring Claire Chase, founder of International Contemporary Ensemble, and the dance-based instigators AUNTS, will be held on October 23 at Roulette in Brooklyn.

Performance Schedule:

Saturday, June 17, 8:00pm

MTA's Tenth Season Party

Kristin Worrall

The Recipe

Tickets: $20

Reception with dessert and a champagne toast after the show

When should we follow a recipe, and when should we break the rules? In this episodic live cooking show, artist Kristin Worrall demonstrates, prepares, and serves her audience dessert in real time. Each show features a different recipe. For this performance, Worrall whips up a celebratory dessert for Mount Tremper Arts' tenth anniversary using fresh ingredients from MTA's garden and the help of special guest chef and MTA cofounder Mathew Pokoik. As kitchen and theater collide, Worrall shares time-tested recipes, secrets, and tips on how to throw a party-all while considering what it means to be happy in an ever-changing world.

Kristin Worrall is a pastry artist, performer, and sound designer. As a founding member of Nature Theater of Oklahoma, she has performed in more than 20 festivals around the world. Worrall is a Henry Hewes Design Nominee, a recipient of the A.R.T./New York Theater Grant for Sound Design, and an alumna of Lincoln Center's Directors Lab and the Watermill Center.

Saturday, July 8, 8:00pm

Mallory Catlett / Restless NYC

Decoder 2017: The Ticket That Exploded (Preview)

In partnership with The Chocolate Factory Theater

Tickets: $15

Decoder 2017 is a three-part concert series exploring the language and prophecies of William S. Burroughs on the merging of body, media, and machine. This interactive performance is generated live by cassette tape DJ and sound artist G. Lucas Crane and performer Jim Findlay, who serve as both fictional characters and real-time systems operators. Together they create a cut-up of Internet trash, cinematic dreamscapes, and obscene routines that expose our complicity in the systems that control us.

Creator/director Mallory Catlett began Restless NYC to reconstruct canonical literary and theatrical works into performances that engage the past in a dialogue about life in the present. In 2014 This Was the End, her remix of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, won Obie, Bessie, and Henry Hewes Awards. In 2015 Catlett received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant. Decoder 2017 is based on Burroughs' Nova Trilogy and part of M/F Future, a project about how we imagine what we'll become.

Decoder 2017: The Ticket That Exploded is generously sponsored by Chronogram magazine.

Saturday, July 22, 8:00pm / Sunday, July, 23, 3:00pm

Aynsley Vandenbroucke


Tickets: $20

In And, Aynsley Vandenbroucke uses experimental literary devices to create a series of live, three-dimensional essays. She plays with lines between fact and fiction, narrative and abstraction, legibility and complexity. She works with-and against-the role of formal structures in writing, moving, and making a life. Some words that tussle for prominence in the piece are: art, life, teaching, body, marriage, knowing, divorce, friendship, contradiction, form, home, house, community, uncertainty, gentleness, question, power, sex, dance.

Called "gifted" by the New Yorker and "an elegant, sensitive thinker" by the New York Times, Aynsley Vandenbroucke has been making performance in NYC since 2000. She cofounded Mount Tremper Arts and served as its co-curator until 2014. Vandenbroucke teaches at Princeton University and is obsessed with the relationships between reading, writing, learning to live, and making dance.

Saturday, August 12, 8:00pm

Katherine Brook + Shonni Enelow / Tele-Violet

The Power of Emotion: The Apartment (Preview)

In partnership with Abrons Arts Center

Tickets: $15

How are emotions articulated in the body and voice? How are they categorized within everyday language? What is the nature of emotions, and why are they so disturbing and powerful to witness onstage? Led by director Katherine Brook and writer Shonni Enelow and developed into a musical collaboration with composer Taylor Brook and TAK ensemble, The Power of Emotion is a long-term project exploring how we watch, hear, and perform emotion. In its third and final iteration, The Apartment, a fight between two women leads to an apartment fire.

Tele-Violet is a theater company led by director Katherine Brook that uses dramatic texts and real-world content to experiment with acting and dramatic form in a collaborative context. Tele-Violet has been featured at Prelude, Little Theater, Catch, The Working Theater, and Under the Radar.

Saturday, September 2, 8:00pm

Resonant Bodies Festival at Mount Tremper Arts (Preview)

Featuring vocalists Kayleigh Butcher, Kamala Sankaram, and Davóne Tines

Tickets: $20

This annual festival of contemporary vocal music invites artists to curate and perform their own sets, with no restrictions on repertoire, format, or style. Join superlative singers Kamala Sankaram, Kayleigh Butcher, and Davóne Tines for an evening of daring and impassioned premieres.

Inspired by Anne Carson's essay "The Gender of Sound," Sankaram's Ololyga combines voice with electronics and accordion, while Tines' first premiere as a composer incorporates sculptural audio elements, and Butcher brings movement and dance to amplify her vocal expression. The performance also includes other featured RBF 2017 vocalists.

Resonant Bodies Festival supports the growth and evolution of contemporary vocal music and vocal artists. The festival produces an annual series of new vocal music performances in New York City and beyond. Davóne Tines has recently performed with the Dutch National Opera, Ojai Music Festival, London Symphony Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Kayleigh Butcher is a founding member and the director of Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, an all-female, a cappella vocal quartet exploring experimental techniques and improvisation. Singer and composer Kamala Sankaram is the recipient of a Jonathan Larson Award from the American Theater Wing and is the frontwoman for the band Bombay Rickey.

Resonant Bodies Festival at Mount Tremper Arts is generously sponsored by Upstarter.

Saturday, September 23, 8:00pm

Pauline Oliveros + IONE

The Nubian Word for Flowers (Workshop Performance)

In partnership with Experiments in Opera

Tickets: $15

In this deep dream exploration of colonial mind and Nubian soul, Lord Herbert Horatio Kitchener, Britain's Secretary of State for War, is transported from a sinking WWI warship to a surreal Nubian island of flowers that he himself once cultivated under Queen Victoria. Here he must face an enigmatic Nubian Boatman and phantoms of a displaced people, as well as figures from his own life.

With a story and libretto by IONE, score by Pauline Oliveros, performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), The Nubian Word for Flowers lays bare Kitchener's relationship to beauty and violence along with our own.

Composer, performer, and humanitarian Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016) profoundly influenced American music through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth, and ritual. IONE is a writer/director and an improvising text/sound artist. A specialist in dreams and the creative process, she has taught and performed throughout the world. With 35 leading instrumentalists performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles, the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced.

Saturday, October 14, 8:00pm

Sibyl Kempson / 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co.

Sasquatch Rituals (Preview)

In partnership with Abrons Arts Center

Tickets: $15

Written and directed by Sibyl Kempson, Sasquatch Rituals is the shamanic companion piece to her experimental play The Securely Conferred, Vouchsafed Keepsakes of Maery S., a retelling of the life of Mary Shelley smashed up with the grammar of a Bigfoot sighting report. Performed by six women with choreography by Linda Mancini and songs composed by Julie LaMendola, Sasquatch Rituals enacts anecdotal evidence of our relationship to nature, science, and technology while mapping the unknown within ourselves, our consciousness, and our collective mythological memory.

Sibyl Kempson's plays have been presented in the U.S., Germany, and Norway. Other works include Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag (2015) and 12 Shouts to the Ten Forgotten Heavens (ongoing) at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She is a 2014 United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow, a 2010 MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a 2013-14 McKnight National Resident and Commissionee. Kempson founded 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co. in 2015.

Monday October 23

Mount Tremper Arts Tenth Season Gala

At Roulette in Brooklyn, NY

Honoring Claire Chase, founder of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), soloist, collaborative artist, curator, and advocate for new and experimental music, and dance instigators AUNTS. AUNTS is about having dance happen. The dance you've already seen, that pops into your head, that is known and expected and unknown and unexpected.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 845-688-9893, or at the box office one hour before events. Mount Tremper Arts is located at 647 South Park Road, Mount Tremper, NY, minutes away from the villages of Phonecia and Woodstock and a little over two hours from New York City.

Lead support for Mount Tremper Arts is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts Presenting Division with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The 2017 Watershed Lab was made possible in part through support from the County of Ulster's Ulster County Cultural Services & Promotion Fund administered by Arts-MidHudson.

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