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Exciting News About Our Recent Grants

THE EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM RECEIVES OVER $350,000 IN GRANTS FOR INTERPRETIVE PLANNING, OPERATING SUPPORT, AND RESTORATION

The grants will be used to improve and increase access to Emily Dickinson’s poetic and personal legacy in the place she called home.

cupola(AMHERST, Mass., August 28, 2019) – Today the Emily Dickinson Museum announced that it will receive over $350,000 in grants for interpretive planning, operational support, and restoration. The grants include a Public Humanities Planning grant of $63,025 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The NEH award will support a year of interpretive planning to unite the Museum’s historic spaces and collections to better serve its growing contemporary audience. Public Humanities Planning grants from the NEH are typically awarded for up to $40,000 per grantee, but larger sums are granted to exceptionally ambitious and complex proposals like the Museum’s.

Program Director Brooke Steinhauser says the grants will allow the Museum to “incorporate current scholarship and more inclusive methodologies of interpretation” into its already vibrant programming. As the site of the largest and most varied collection of non-manuscript objects associated with Emily Dickinson and her family, and as the site where Dickinson penned nearly all of her 1,789 poems, the grants will help the Museum to consider how to provide interpretation of and access to its resources, resulting in the best possible visitor experience.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is one of 16 humanities projects this cycle to receive a grant from the NEH for planning or implementation, all of which will support vital research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The National Endowment for the Humanities preserves America’s rich history and cultural heritage, by encouraging and supporting scholarship and innovation in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, and other humanities disciplines. In addition to the work at the Emily Dickinson Museum, this round of grants will enable continued work on the papers of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln, as well as publication of the complete speeches, correspondence, and writings of Martin Luther King Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt, and a new scholarly edition and translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In addition to the NEH grant, the Museum will receive $245,673 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, $30,000 from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, and $12,200 from the Massachusetts Culture Council’s Cultural Investment Portfolio. The IMLS grant will be used to catalog, manage, and maintain its 8,000+ piece collection. The planning grant from the Facilities Fund will be used to plan the restoration of the hallways, parlors, and bedrooms in the Museum, tripling the amount of restored interpretive space in the Homestead. The grant from the Cultural Investment Portfolio will support operations at the Museum. Executive Director Jane Wald says the grants will help to transform the Museum’s interpretation by “preparing to restore this private poet’s public spaces to their appearance during her most important writing years.”

Since its inception, the Emily Dickinson Museum has welcomed more than 150,000 visitors from 50 countries and serves as the premier center for study, interpretation, and celebration of Emily Dickinson’s place in literature, history, and culture. These awards will support the Museum’s mission to spark the imagination by amplifying Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice from the place she called home. The Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more at www.EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant making, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.

Managed in collaboration with MassDevelopment, the Cultural Facilities Fund provides major improvement grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, in recognition of their profound economic impact on communities across Massachusetts. Since 2006, the Fund has encouraged sound growth, supported important development projects, played a crucial role in the growth of local tourism, created thousands of jobs, and driven millions of dollars in private investment.

The Cultural Investment Portfolio provides both general operation and project-based grants to nonprofit organizations that enrich Massachusetts’ cultural life. The Portfolio works to strengthen a cultural sector that generates $1.2 billion in economic activity, creates thousands of jobs, and delivers programs to more than 20 million people a year. Not just a funder, the Portfolio is a source of invaluable expertise, advocacy, and peer dialogue.

conservatory

Our Inaugural Conservatory Art Installation Artist Has Been Selected

conservatory

(AMHERST, Mass., June 10, 2019) – The Emily Dickinson Museum today announced the selected artists from its inaugural Conservatory Art Installation contest. Tereza Swanda, a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts and the Massachusetts College of Art and an Instructor of Art at Dean College, alongside Ingrid Pichler and Fletcher Boote will transform the Conservatory with their exhibit “In Suspension.” A former lecturer at the Millay Colony and Vermont College of Fine Arts, Swanda’s work has been exhibited at the Temporary Agency in Brooklyn, NY, the SRISA Gallery of Contemporary Art in Florence, IT, and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, UK, among others. Pichler has worked in architectural glass for thirty years, and her keen understanding of the malleable potential of the medium will inform the installation.

Swanda, Pichler, and Boote will convert Emily Dickinson’s conservatory, a small room where the poet maintained her link to the natural world across the seasons, into a mixed-media exhibition. Taking the Emily Dickinson poem “Nature is what we see” as the starting point, the installation will include colored gels and painted paper that samples colors found in the landscape. In addition to this visual component, the landscape will be translated by Boote into a soundscape that wordlessly references Emily Dickinson’s poetry. The installation may be enjoyed from outside the glass conservatory on the south side of the Homestead, and viewed from inside when the Museum is open. During Amherst Arts Night Plus in July and August, a dance piece will be performed in the space by Kelly Silliman.

The site-specific installation, the first of its kind in the newly restored conservatory, marks a major milestone in the Museum’s mission to not only preserve and celebrate the poetry of Emily Dickinson, but to amplify the voices of artists, musicians, and poets working today. Drawing attention to the importance of the conservatory in the life of Emily Dickinson, these artists’ work will seamlessly integrate contemporary art into this historic setting.

The exhibition will open on Friday, June 21 and run through September 9, 2019. A public reception will be held to celebrate the opening at the Museum on June 21, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Tour the Archaeology Field School, June 1 & 15, 2019

Our archaeology students have been hard at work at the Emily Dickinson Museum! Come tour their dig sites and see their discoveries first hand on June 1 at 10:30AM and June 15 at 1PM. In past years, visitors have received a close up look at remains of plants that once grew in the gardens, buried paths, water pipes, bed borders, and other garden infrastructure that existed when Emily Dickinson was alive. This year, see the hard work of our Archaeology Field School students as they continue to delineate the archaeological footprint of the Dickinson home.

a wheelbarrow for garden days

Garden Days at the Homestead, June 7-8, 2019

Celebrate the beauty of spring during Garden Days at the Emily Dickinson Museum! 

Homestead as seen from the Dickinson gardenVolunteer in the Garden

As warmer temperatures arrive in Amherst, it’s time to wake up Emily Dickinson’s garden. We invite you to join a group of volunteers from Amherst and beyond who return each year to aid in the cultivation and growth of the historic Dickinson family landscape. You do not need to be an expert gardener for this “all levels” program. Learn from volunteers who have tended the gardens and be a part of a new generation of caretakers for this historic landmark. In addition to working with master gardener Marta McDowell, volunteers will have the chance to tour the archaeological field school occurring at the Emily Dickinson Museum. Garden volunteer times:

Friday, June 7 from 9AM-1PM

Saturday, June 8 from 9AM-2:30PM 

Volunteers should sign-up in advance for either or both days by e-mailing EDMPrograms@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org.

About Marta McDowell:

Following the relationship between the pen and the trowel led Marta to Emily Dickinson for Emily Dickinson’s Gardens and children’s author/illustrator Beatrix Potter for Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life. In 2017, All the Presidents’ Gardens, a book that relates the history of American gardening as seen through the White House grounds, made The New York Times bestseller list and won an American Horticultural Society book award. Marta’s latest, The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder, tells the tale of the plants and places of the beloved author of the Little House series. Marta also scripted the Emily Dickinson Museum’s landscape audio tour, and was an advisor for the New York Botanical Garden’s 2010 show, “Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: The Poetry of Flowers.”

Poetry in the parlor

Amherst Arts Night Plus, June 6, 2019

June’s Featured Poet

Naila Moreira
6:30pm

Headshot of poet Naila MoreiraNaila Moreira is most often inspired by the natural world.  After earning her doctorate in geology at University of Michigan, she worked as a journalist, Seattle Aquarium docent, and environmental consultant.  She now teaches at Smith College and has served as writer in residence at the Shoals Marine Laboratory in Maine and Forbes Library in Northampton, MA.  Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction are published or forthcoming in Terrain.org, The Boston Globe, Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, Cape Rock, Connecticut River Review, Rosarium Press Trouble the Waters anthology, and other venues, and her second poetry chapbook, Water Street (Finishing Line Press, 2017) won the New England Poetry Club Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize. She writes a monthly environment column for the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

June’s Featured Speaker

“Emily Dickinson’s Wildflowers” with Marta McDowell
7pm

Join Master Gardener and garden historian Marta McDowell for an informal talk on Emily Dickinson’s wildflowers. Following the relationship between the pen and the trowel led MartaMcDowell to Emily Dickinson for Emily Dickinson’s Gardens (2005), which will be reprinted in full color by Timber Press in 2019. Marta also scripted the Emily Dickinson Museum’s landscape audio tour, and was an advisor for the New York Botanical Garden’s 2010 show, “Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: The Poetry of Flowers.” Her other works include The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder (2017), All the Presidents Gardens (2016) and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life (2013). 

June’s Featured Artist

Poetry in Silver: The Language of Flowers in the Works of Emily Dickinson by Kandy Vermeer Phillips
On View from 5pm to 8pm

Poetry in Silver

Dickinson-inspired art by Kandy Vermeer Phillips

This pop-up exhibition features a series of silverpoint drawings that compares specimens found in Dickinson’s herbarium to those housed in the U.S. National Herbarium. Dickinson collected her specimens in the 1840’s from the woods, fields and bogs that surrounded her Amherst, MA home as part of her formal botany education. Poetry in Silver highlights several of these cherished woodland flowers that inspired Dickinson’s poetry along with her use of the popular Language of Flowers. Silverpoint drawing is a Renaissance technique and is ideal for close observational botanical drawing. A silverpoint drawing’s unique tendency to develop a patina over time also provides a metaphor for a plant’s evolving environmental status from the mid-19thcentury to the present day.  Although Dickinson’s herbarium is now over 175 years old, it continues to speak, and remains a significant part of her letter to the world. 

Kandy Vermeer Phillips has been drawing with silverpoint since the 1970’s. This exhibition is a part of her recent Julius I. Brown Award from the American Society of Botanical Artists. Kandy’s silverpoint drawings are included in the collections of The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, PA; The National Gallery of Art, and The National Museum of Natural History, Botany Department, Washington, DC.


Amherst Arts Night PlusThe Emily Dickinson Museum participates in Amherst Arts Night Plus on first Thursdays each month. Free and open to all! Each month enjoy the following:

  • 5PM-8PM View the pop-up exhibition of contemporary art in the Homestead
  • 5 to 6 pm: Open mic signups for poets, writers, performers of any kind. Share your work in a safe, welcoming, and inspiring place!
  • 6 pm: Open mic begins
  • Featured readers follow the open mic

Please note that the works of guest artists may contain sensitive or mature material and do not necessarily represent the views of the Emily Dickinson Museum.

Poetry walk daises

Annual Poetry Walk – May 18, 2019

10:30AM to 12PM

Free and open to all

Emily Dickinson's graveThe Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk marks the anniversary of the poet’s death (on May 15, 1886) with readings of her poetry at historic sites around Amherst. This spring, the Walk will explore the poet’s many sources of inspiration, including the arts, nature, relationships and cherished books. In homage to Dickinson’s role in sparking our imaginations, we will also read a contemporary poem influenced by her life and work at each stop.

The Poetry Walk begins at 10:30 a.m. on the Homestead lawn and proceeds on foot through Amherst, stopping at sites significant in Dickinson’s life, and concluding at the poet’s grave in West Cemetery. At the cemetery, participants are invited to join in the traditional light-hearted lemonade toast to the Poet and to read a favorite Dickinson poem or original work in memory of the poet. 

The stops will be announced on this page in advance of the walk. Latecomers are welcome to join the tour at any stop. This year’s selection of poems will be read by volunteers from the audience. Participants may wish to bring their own copy of Dickinson’s poems to follow along. All who would like to read should arrive at the Homestead at 10:15 a.m. to receive an assignment; poems will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Participants are encouraged to carpool. Wheelchair accessible parking is available at the Homestead; all other vehicles are asked to park on the street or use town parking, a short walk from the Museum. For more information about accessibility on the Walk, call 413-542-2034. The Poetry Walk takes place rain or shine.

poetry

Poetry Discussion Group – May 17, 2019

The Emily Dickinson Museum’s Poetry Discussion group meets monthly September through May (except for December) for lively conversation about Emily Dickinson’s poetry and letters.  Featured facilitators each month offer fresh perspectives on Dickinson’s poetry. While no RSVP is required, participants are invited to e-mail the Program Department to receive a list of poems for discussion.

Topic: How dreary–to be–Somebody!//How public–like a Frog–“: On uses of of nature, subjectivity and observation in E.D.
This discussion will explore Dickinson’s method of observation through a sampling of well-loved and lesser known poems. What natural elements or “characters” attract her atttention? After something captures her notice, what methods does she use to register it?

Polina Barskova, Associate Professor of Russian literature at Hampshire College, received her B.A. from St. Petersburg University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkely. Her scholarly publications include articles on Nabokov, the Bakhtin brothers, early Soviet film, and the aestheticization of historical trauma, primarily, culture of the Siege of Leningrad (1941-1944). She has also authored eight books of poetry and one book of prose in Russian. Three books of her poetry in English translation were published recently: This Lamentable City (Tupelo Press), Zoo in Winter (Melville House Press), Relocations (Zephyr Press).

Time: Noon – 2 p.m.

Location: The Poetry Discussion Group meets at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry, on the second floor of Amherst College’s Frost Library. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch; beverages and a sweet snack are provided. Participants should report directly to the Library, and do not need to stop at the Museum.

Parking: Free parking for this program is available in the Amherst College Alumni Lot. Visitors to campus with any official state-issued Handicapped placards are permitted to park in any marked handicapped spot on campus without obtaining any additional permits from Amherst College.

See a campus map parking map.

Fee: The fee for Museum Friends is $12/session; the general fee is $15/session. Season subscriptions are $80 for Museum members and $105 for non-members. To become a Friend of the Emily Dickinson Museum and enjoy member discounts, click here.

For more information, contact the Program Department: edmprograms@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or call (413) 542-2034.

Poetry in the parlor

Amherst Arts Night Plus – May 2, 2019

Amherst Arts Night PlusMay Featured Readers

Hampshire College students of Professor Thuy Le Diem share their original compositions from the course, ‘Emily Dickinson’s Radical Poetics’.

Winners of the Five College Poetry Fest:

Olivia Caldwell is a Division II student at Hampshire College studying Poetry, Photography, and Sociocultural Anthropology. She is a pun enthusiast and cat mom who spends much of her time watching mid-2000s dramatic television and considering the fate of humanity. Her work can be found in Forest For The Trees Literary Journal and Enigma Literary Magazine.

Mars Early-Hubelbank is a soon-to-be graduate of Mount Holyoke College. Their identity lies at an intersection of Blackness and transness, to name a few things.

Lucy Liu studies studio art and poetry at Smith College. She grew up in Beijing, speaking and writing in English and Chinese.


Poetry in the parlor

First Thursday poetry readings at the Homestead

The Emily Dickinson Museum participates in Amherst Arts Night Plus on first Thursdays each month. Free and open to all! Each month enjoy the following:

  • 5PM-8PM View the pop-up exhibition of contemporary art in the Homestead
  • 5 to 6 pm: Open mic signups for poets, writers, performers of any kind. Share your work in a safe, welcoming, and inspiring place!
  • 6 pm: Open mic begins
  • Featured readers follow the open mic

Please note that the works of guest artists may contain sensitive or mature material and do not necessarily represent the views of the Emily Dickinson Museum.

fascicle of some of Emily's poems bound with string

Writer’s Workshop: “First — Poets — Then the Sun —”

Tuesday, April 30 from 5-7 PM or Sunday, May 5 from 4-6 PM

Emily Dickinson—when she counted at all—counted poets first. In this intimate poetry workshop held during private hours at the Emily Dickinson Museum, be inspired by the space and place that informed Dickinson’s own revolutionary poetic voice. Adult writers of any level and degree of experience are welcome to participate in this workshop facilitated by poet and writing coach Burleigh Muten. A private tour and prompts based on Dickinson’s life and work will guide the workshop. Participants will spend time writing poetry in the historic rooms of the Dickinson Homestead, including the poet’s bedroom. Snacks will be provided.

PLEASE NOTE: SUNDAY, MAY 5 WORKSHOP IS FULL. ROOM REMAINS FOR THE TUESDAY WORKSHOP. (4/17)
  • The participation fee is $40 per person.
  • Workshop is offered twice, participants choose one date
  • Advance reservation is required and space is limited
  • To register please e-mail EDMPrograms@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org and indicate your workshop date preference.

This program is offered as part of ArtWeek, presented by the Highland Street Foundation and produced by the Boch Center.

Burleigh Muten reads

Burleigh Muten reads

About the Facilitator: Burleigh Muten is a tour guide at the Emily Dickinson Museum and the author of Miss Emily a verse novel for young readers that celebrates the poet’s playful relationships with the children in her life. Muten is also a poet, a writing coach, and has led writing workshops and retreats for adults throughout New England. Visit Burleigh’s website: https://www.burleighmuten.com