Category Archives: Art

TODAY: Cameron Visiting Artist Lecture: Ezra Wube

A compilation of Ezra's work

A compilation of Ezra’s work

For the art-inclined out there, we’ve got a perfect event to break up your mid-week, back-from-break grind, and that’s today’s Cameron Visiting Artist Lecture, being given by the extremely impressive mixed media artist originally from Ethipoia, Ezra WubeSome background to fill you in on the artist: Ezra Wube (b. 1980, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) is a cross disciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. He received his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA and an MFA from Hunter College, New York, NY. Through autobiography Ezra’s work references mobility, time and place. His group and solo exhibitions include the Dak’Art 2014 Biennale, Dakar, Senegal (2014); “Annecy International Animation Festival”, Annecy, France (2012); The 18th International Festival of Contemporary Art SESC_Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil (2014); Museum of the Moving Image, Queens, NY (2014-5); and At the same moment, Time Square Midnight Moment program, New York, NY (2013) . Ezra has an extremely unique style, a modern vibe, and fresh energy, so we strongly encourage you to show up to his talk if you’ve got some spare time!

Date: Today, April 1
Time: 4:30-6pm
Place: Johnson room 304

TODAY: Dance Master Classes

You may have noticed that middbeat has recently been highlighting opportunities brought to us by the dance department to watch and learn dance from professionals from all over the world. We’re trying to send you a message. Just kidding (sort of)– but we can try to look cool for T-Pain. On a serious note, though, the dance department offers so many awesome opportunities that often go unnoticed by those not on the email list. Check out these awesome master classes coming up and go to the CFA to get your groove on.

Master Class in Contact Improvisation

image004The first master class of the week will be taught by Matt Reves and Colette Krogol, two University of Maryland graduate students. Today, they’ll be running a lecture demonstration along with Chris Law and Sara Beth Oppenheim before the class. More info on the dancers here:

“Reeves is an American-born dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker currently pursuing his MFA in Dance at the University of Maryland. Krogol is a Cuban-American artist originally from Miami, Florida. She is a dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, teacher, and yoga practitioner who has been living and working in New York City since 2007. Together they are Artistic Directors of Orange Grove Dance; their work has been produced and exhibited both nationally and internationally, with their most recent dance films being presented in Rauma, Finland and Skriduklastur in East Iceland.”

2:50-4:05 PM, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Dance Theatre

 Hip Hop Master Class

image005Okay, this should be pretty cool. Trying to make Riddim next year? Check out this hip hop master class with Christopher Law.

“Law is a former Culture Shock D.C. company member, and an undergraduate alumnus and current Graduate Student of UMD College Park. Though the bulk of his movement extends from training in hip-hop dance, he has also obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree for studies in modern dance. He has also been involved with organizations such as Gymkana and Dynamic Hip-Hop Dance Team.”

4:30-6:00 PM, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Room 110


Live Music! Eight 02 at 51 Main

eighto210112012lores61933Come down to 51 Main to hear the eclectic sounds of Eight 02, a contemporary jazz group with a distinct Vermont flavor.  The Burlington-based band has toured all over the world, including a recent appearance in Russia!  Their mellow tunes should provide the perfect accompaniment to 51 Main burger and beer.

Date: Tonight 3/19
Time: 8-10 pm
Location: 51 Main @ The BridgeCost: Free (food and drink strongly encouraged though!)



Today, visiting spanish lecturer Sandra Lorenzano will be giving a talk entitled “FRAGMENTS OF MEMORY: THE VARIOUS WAYS OF WRITING,” and any of us interested in Latin American studies, politics, art, writing, or psychology should absolutely be there (basically, everyone). Argentine poet and novelist Sandra was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1960 and has lived in Mexico since 1976. Her written work explores themes including the exile during Argentinian dictatorship, migration, otherness, and memory, and is known to be extremely poetic and beautiful. Come hear Sandra’s talk, accompanied by a poetry reading in Spanish, simultaneously interpreted to English. All are welcome!

Date: Today, 1/19
Time: 4:30-6pm
Place: Dana Auditorium

FEATURE INTERVIEW: The Scoop on Storytold

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“STORYTOLD: Your Stories. Our Words”

Perhaps you’ve heard this tagline, perhaps you haven’t. Either way, it catches your eye on first glance, and combined with an awesome logo (see above) makes you pretty damn curious about the new-ish student org “Storytold.

At Middlebury, we’re always telling stories — how we got here, what we want to do with our lives, how to deal with living in an arctic tundra, why we’re in love with a Proctor Crush we’ve never met, how to cure cancer, you get the picture. Think about it: whenever we chat with friends, family, or ourselves we’re constantly creating narratives to describe our lives and the world around us. In this sense, stories consume our conscious and unconscious minds all day every day — and to my fellow lit majors/lovers, well, good luck to you and the Red Sox.

Point is, we tell and listen to stories to survive: it’s a human instinct, and we undoubtedly enjoy the process. However, among the crazy hustle that is Middlebury College we rarely have the time or motivation to get those stories on paper (or a Word Doc, sigh). Thankfully, that’s where Storytold comes in.

Storytold is “a serial, personalized fiction service for anyone who has struggled to find a certain kind of book or story, for anyone who has ever thought, “I wish someone would write about…” Basically, it’s a group of super creative, writing-inclined students here to make us happy, tell our stories, and let us read them: to “make our dreams a reality,” nonetheless. It’s like Seamless for stories except free and better. What more could we ask?

Storytold started up this year, and has hit the ground running. Because this kind of thing has a tendency to get a bit “niche-y,” we story-lovers at middbeat decided it’s crucial to spread the word on Storytold a bit wider. We’ve interviewed Storytold co-founder Ben Mansky ’15, and we’re excited to give you the scoop. Read up below, request a story here, and if you’re interested, join the Storytold team! They’re always looking for writers, designers, illustrators, and other interested persons, and feel free to show up to their weekly meeting, held each Wednesday at 9:15 PM in Chateau 107! Also check out Storytold on Twitter (@storytold1), Facebook, and at their website (go/storytold), it’s really cool, .

MB: So, simply said, what is Storytold?

BM: At its simplest, Storytold is a personalized, serial fiction service. What does that actually mean? It means that people ask us for stories, and we deliver. Like, we literally deliver the specific stories they ask for to their mailboxes in a series of hard-copy installments.

MB: Where did the idea and inspiration for Storytold come from?

BM: It was the natural conclusion of years and years of geeking out over the ridiculous variety of ways people have managed to construct a piece of fiction. Inspiration came from so many different sources, expected and unexpected.  On the expected end, there’s an endless number of books, the indie video game industry, choose-your-own-adventures, and new interactive and alternative fiction platforms including Twine, Inform, and StoryNexus. On the less expected side of things, it came from food. I was working on a design for a fast food restaurant, and the idea of prepackaged vs. made-to-order had been stewing in my mind for a little while. Somehow, I made the leap to fiction. I figured books are currently served pre-packaged, but there’s no reason they couldn’t be made-to-order.

MB: Who’s in charge of Storytold, and how is it run? Who’s writing these stories?

BM: I suppose I’m in charge (along with help from our treasurer), though our writers do most of the work. Now that we’re officially a student org, we’ll be electing a third co-president for next semester. The group meets each week to check up on story progress, bounce around ideas on individual installments, do some peer editing and package pieces for delivery. Stories are delivered every other week so as to give the writers plenty of time to produce quality content while allowing our clients plenty of time to read. The stories are written by a group of approximately six or seven students who are passionate about storytelling, with a wide range in terms of year, major, and prior experience–we even have a couple of alumni on board!

MB: How long has Storytold been in the works?

BM: Fall 2013, Storytold was officially founded as a project at the Old Stone Mill. Still in its earliest stages, it was little more than an okay-looking WordPress site that received a tiny bit of attention from a small handful of friends and a couple interested students. At that point, it was mostly about figuring out how the system would actually work, and after we took our first few requests in spring of last year, it became clear that we would need more than two, three people to make this actually happen. Over the summer I switched to a different web platform, which allowed me to totally revamp the website to make our system clearer and more accessible.

MB: Will you take any story idea? What are the boundaries?

BM: We will take anything within reason! Our basic boundaries are built into the request form: only two out of a handful of genres can be applied, and it can’t run any longer than ten installments. We’re committed to giving our clients the stories they want, so unless a request seems terribly offensive, we will accept it. If it does seem offensive, we put it up to a vote among our writers. If it passes, it’s published, and if it doesn’t, it isn’t. If one of our writers is still willing to take it, that’s up to them. And if a request is just too ridiculous for us to accommodate, we’ll get in touch with the client and work with them to figure something out–but I don’t anticipate that being a problem!

MB: What’s the craziest story request you’ve received?

BM: It really depends on what you mean by “crazy.” We’ve had a couple of extremely specific requests, including one that required at least two “that’s what she said” jokes and a Spice Girls reference. In terms of something you won’t find on the shelves of bookstores, we’ve had a request for a story featuring a trans-identifying (female to male) princess (or prince, rather) who lives in a land where people occasionally turn out to be shapeshifters. We’ve also had some unusual requests on the other side of the spectrum, like the one that was just a couple lines of song lyrics.

MB: How do you go about matching a story to a writer?

BM: It’s largely personal choice combined with coincidence. Our writers see all the new requests at each weekly meeting, and stories are assigned based on who would prefer to write what. If a writer is already working on a story, she won’t be assigned a second one, but if she really, really wants to write a particular request, she can hand off a story to another available writer. In cases of story-swapping, we do our best to keep voice and style as consistent as possible.

MB: What’s been the most fulfilling part of Storytold so far? And what’s been the biggest challenge?

BM: The most fulfilling part has definitely been people’s reactions once they understand how the service works. There’s obviously some initial confusion with a service as uncommon as this, but when people realize the potential it has for the way people read and the way people view fiction, there’s this air of excitement that’s particularly contagious. Reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, and really, it’s extremely validating to see that I’m not the only one who thinks that personalized fiction is an avenue worth investigating.

We’re still a burgeoning student organization, and our biggest challenge has been staying on top of our bi-weekly installment schedule. We’re trying to amp up our recruitment efforts so that we’ll have writers to fill in if any one of us gets too busy to finish a particular installment, but as it is, we mostly just rely on our clients to be understanding with us and our crazy schedules. After all, we’re students too.

MB: What are your hopes for the future development of Storytold?

BM: I have high hopes for Storytold, and I think the potential for growth is nearly endless. In the short term, I’d love to see more writers getting involved, more stories being requested, more content being produced, more media being explored. As we’re now a student org (and able to host events), I’d like to hold monthly or bi-monthly write-ins for anyone who wants to just come hang out, snack, brainstorm, and write creatively. Eventually, we’ll produce a hard-copy publication containing the completed stories that appear on our website and perhaps a few that don’t appear anywhere else. If we are successful in our on-campus endeavors, there’s no reason this service can’t expand to encompass a significantly wider area. After all, if you can receive mail, you can receive a story. And if you can receive a story, you can have whatever experience you’d like with just a little imagination.

Middbeat wants to send a sincere thank you to Ben Mansky ’15 for taking the time to explain the in’s and out’s of Storytold to us! It sounds like a fantastic organization, and we encourage everyone to participate! Tell on.

The Survival of the Author: Ghosts and Nonhuman Actors in Natsume Soseki and Henry James


In a recent study, it was found that while Greeks have the most sex, Japanese have the least. While this fact could be completely irrelevant to today’s lecture, “The Survival of the Author: Ghosts and Nonhuman Actors in Natsume Soseki and Henry James,” point is sexuality is not frequently talked about with regards to Japanese culture, so we’ve got a unique opportunity to learn about it today. At 4:30, J. Keith Vincent, Assoc. Professor of Japanese Comparative Literature at Boston University will be give a talk on “Queer Reading and Japanese Literature: Natsume Soseki and Henry James,” and we think it’ll be really cool.

Date: Today, 3/18
Time: 4:30-7pm
Place: Robert A. Jones House Conference Room

Empire of Ecstasy: Nudity, Movement in German Body Culture, 1910 – 1935


Who doesn’t like talking about nudity, sex, and body freedom? If you answered no, well, meh. Otherwise, be sure to come to “The Ecstatic Horizon of Modernist German Body Culture, “ a talk today by Karl Toepfer, Professor Emeritus of Theater Arts at San Jose State University. Here’s some background: The early 20th century German-speaking countries saw an intensified interest in the body and its place in modern life. A new investigation of the sexual experience impacted the way in which people thought about the body; new approaches to dance, the visual arts, nudity and nakedness, and body politics helped shape a culture and horizon whose consequences are still relevant today. Prof. Toepfer’s talk will explore the implications of modernist German body culture on our own time and trace this modern body culture from its beginnings around 1900 to our early 21st century. This talk is free and open to the public. What better way to celebrate St. Patty’s day!

Date: Today, March 16
Time: 4:30-6pm
Place: Robert A. Jones House (RAJ), Conference Room upstairs

Call for Submissions: Sweatervest Literary Magazine

submissions-s15-copyCalling all writers, poets, photographers, artists, or anyone feeling like trying something new! The Sweatervest Literary Magazine is looking for submissions for its spring edition. Make sure you check out that deadline and submit submit submit! This is an awesome opportunity to get some of your work published! Emily Luan ’15 writes in to middbeat:

Sweatervest Literary Magazine has opened submissions for their spring issue! Submit poetry, prose, art, and photography (or anything printable really) to [email protected] by March 31st! We will read anything and everything you submit–all submissions are considered anonymously.


Special Sunday Horn Treat: LAUGHTER

Time to take a break from pleasuring yourself with unadulterated horn and frustrating work–sorry, liberal education leisure. I see you Campus article–to get some much deserved smile time. Check out Triple Chin Comedy’s newest sketch. Meta-as-fuck. Is the whole world a stage?



Keep your eyes peeled and your vaseline ready for some more horn next week, you Horn Addickts, you.

Peace, love, and self-loving,