Sweet Briar College’s first VCCA Salon of the academic year will happen at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, in the Reahard Learning Gallery of Mary Helen Cochran Library. The event features two fellows from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts: director, producer and writer Laurie Kahn and novelist Sarah Goodyear.
Kahn will show excerpts from her films “Love Between the Covers,” “TUPPERWARE!” and “A Midwife’s Tale.” She’ll also discuss her new project, a feature film about the 13 intrepid female pilots who aced the “right stuff” tests at the dawn of the space age but were told that space is only for men. Her films are informed by a deep interest in telling history from the bottom up, especially the stories of women.
Goodyear will read from her novel in progress, which is called “Stand Clear.” It’s the story of Alice, a teenage girl growing up and running wild in the New York City of the late 1970s. When her mother almost dies in childbirth, has a nervous breakdown and loses their apartment, Alice has to figure out how to make it on her own in a city that is having its own kind of collapse. The book is funny, sad and ruthless — like Alice herself.
Kahn is devoted to bringing the lives and work of compelling (yet overlooked) women to the screen. Her films have won major awards, been shown on PBS primetime, broadcast around the world, screened at prominent museums and used widely in university classrooms and community groups. Her first film, “A Midwife’s Tale,” is based on Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book. It won film festival awards and a primetime EMMY for Outstanding Non-Fiction. Her film “TUPPERWARE!” won the George Foster Peabody Award and was nominated for the primetime EMMY for Nonfiction Directing. Her most recent film, “Love Between the Covers,” has received glowing reviews worldwide and five stars on Netflix, Amazon and iTunes.
In 2000, Kahn produced an award-winning interactive website, DoHistory.org. Before founding her own production company, she worked on “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965,” “The American Experience,” Frontline’s four-hour series “Crisis in Central America,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “Time Out.” She is a Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.
Goodyear is the author of the novel “View from a Burning Bridge” (Red Hen Press). As a journalist, she has published articles and essays in dozens of venues, among them Psychology Today, The Village Voice, Ms. Magazine and the CityLab website, which is part of The Atlantic. As a performance storyteller, she has made appearances at Lit Brooklyn and the Shed in New York City. She is also a songwriter who has performed at venues in New York including the Mercury Lounge and Rockwood Music Hall. She lives in Brooklyn with her wife, her teenage son and their two dogs.
The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts is a unique Virginia-based organization of national stature and international impact. VCCA’s mission is “providing creative space for the world’s best artists to create their finest literature, visual art, and music.” Each year, VCCA hosts more than 400 artist-fellows at its Mt. San Angelo facility in Amherst and 50 artist-fellows at the Moulin à Nef Studio Center in Auvillar, France. The artists who come to VCCA, whether emerging or established, are selected through competitive peer review on the basis of the important or innovative work they are doing in their respective fields. Since its founding in 1971, VCCA has hosted more than 5,900 writers, visual artists and composers.
Sweet Briar’s monthly VCCA Salon series continues on Oct. 4 and Nov. 1. For more information, visit sbc.edu/featured-events or email Carrie Brown, director for the Center of Creativity, Design and the Arts, at email@example.com.