THAW Fest 2021 Returns Across Hamptons Cultural Institutions

The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Arts Academy
The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center Arts Academy
Courtesy WHBPAC

Forced to end prematurely due to the March 2020 shutdown, the Hamptons Arts Network’s annual THAW Fest has returned full-force with a month of exciting, enriching activities on offer from cultural institutions spanning Westhampton Beach to East Hampton. As we wait for the East End to fully thaw ahead of summer, there’s still plenty of fun to be had this spring.

For the opening week of THAW Fest, Hamptons Doc Fest is giving documentary lovers the chance to stream Sundance Film Festival’s Cinematography Award winner Acasa, My Home from March 11–15. Set in Bucharest, Romania, Radu Ciorniciuc’s film tells the story of a family of two adults and nine children that is moved from a life of harmony with nature, living an unconventional life in a humble dwelling in the wilds of the Vasaresti Delta, to a city apartment so that the land and its rare flora and fauna can be made into Vacaresti Nature Park.

Spend a Sunday afternoon listening to The Hampton Youth Quartet online with Southampton Cultural Center. The energized and heartfelt sounds of these talented young teen string musicians are sure to brighten and warm your winter day. Tune in at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 14 to hear pieces by Mozart, Dvorak and a few other favorites.

In March of 2011, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center put on its first full-length, theatrical production, featuring a cast of fifteen young teenagers. Ten years later, WHBPAC is celebrating the alumni as they come together to discuss the themes of Our Town, where they are now and the impact of the Arts Academy on their lives. Hop on Zoom on Sunday, March 14, at 7 p.m. to see excerpts from the show and a lively celebration of 10 years of WHBPAC student productions.

THAW Fest week two begins on Thursday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. with Southampton Arts Center‘s virtual illustrated talk featuring select East End Collected6 artists and hosted by curator Paton Miller. Each participant—Linda Alpern, Jim Croak, Deborah Buck, Bastienne Schmidt, Agathe Snow and Maria Vasconcelos—will have 10 minutes to share slides of their work and discuss their process.

See what Watermill Center artists-in-residence Yusha-Marie Sorzano and Zoe Hitzig have created during their residency at this month’s virtual In Process session on Saturday, March 20 at 3 p.m. The Watermill Center invites audiences of all ages and backgrounds to gain unique insight into the creative process of these artists to cultivate a better understanding of how they develop new work.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a paranormal investigator, now is your chance to find out. On Saturday, March 20, Southampton History Museum invites you to join the Long Island Paranormal Investigators on an investigation of the Rogers Mansion while they continue their search for evidence of what happens to us after we die. Groups will be given just over an hour inside the 1843 Whaling Captain’s mansion and taken to the various hot spots of paranormal activity within the museum. Small groups will begin their investigations at 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Bay Street Theater and the Southampton African American Museum have partnered up to present the first of week four’s enticing offerings, a virtual screening of Martin Luther King Jr: A Personal Portrait, on Thursday, March 25, at 8 p.m. Following the screening, the film’s Emmy Award-winning cinematographer George Silano will join Brenda Simmons of SAAM for a Zoom Q&A session.

Join Parrish Art Museum Chief Curator Dr. Alicia Longwell and Parrish docents on Friday, March 26 at 3 p.m. for a socially distanced walking tour through the Field of Dreams on the grounds of the Water Mill institution and meet the 2020 Parrish Road Show artist Scott Bluedorn, who will be onsite to give tours of his work, “Bonac Blind.”

Take a virtual deep dive into the first and perhaps best quintet scored for piano and string quartet on Saturday, March 27 at 7 p.m. Join Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival Artistic Director Marya Martin as she discusses the work with fellow musicians Amy Schwartz Moretti and Michael Brown, and then see a full performance of one of the repertoire’s most beloved works.

On Sunday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m., Guild Hall hosts a virtual reading of Squeaky by Drama Desk Award winner Jeff Cohen. Presented in association with the Creative Alliance, this audacious autobiographical comedy is about wrestling with end-of-life issues while maintaining your sense of humor. It’s directed by Bob Balaban and stars Jessica Hecht, Marc Kudisch, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Ben Shenkman and Harris Yulin.

Also, on view now at Dia Bridgehampton is Jill Magid’s 2019 Homage CMYK series 2019, consisting of 11 four-channel screen prints on linen hung to fit the gallery in an immersive installation. In dialogue with Dan Flavin’s permanent installation of fluorescent light works on the second floor of the building, the layered, luminous surfaces of Homage CMYK call into question authorship, influence and how an object changes in relation to its context over time.

Follow the Hamptons Arts Network on Facebook at for more event offerings from Sag Harbor Cinema, LongHouse Reserve, The Church, Madoo Conservancy, Eastville Community Historical Society and other Hamptons cultural centers.

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