What I’m Up To:
I think a lot about what life in a rural community offers us that life in the city can’t. When I left New York, I hoped I would be trading quantity for quality. That has turned out to be true for me.
While I had access to so much in New York, I found, after a while, that I wasn’t really absorbing any of it. For me, the gift of living in a small town is time and attention. Both are more abundant here, and I can afford to be more generous with each than I ever could in the city. My life is richer as a result.
The same principle applies to Shore Lit. As a one-person organization, I will never be able to produce the number of events a great city bookstore does. But that was never the point. My hope in starting Shore Lit was to offer this community a way to connect through literature—to read excellent books we may not have otherwise discovered, and to discuss the ideas presented in those books with our neighbors in a setting that encourages curiosity. It’s about the conversations, as much as it’s about the content.
With that in mind, I’m experimenting with a new community conversation series this summer. Academy Art Museum Director Sarah Jesse and I will be leading a Summer Book Club in the AAM galleries—one book each month that coincides with the themes of an AAM exhibition.
These conversations will be intimate, 15 to 20 people tops (depending on the size of the gallery), giving participants the chance to connect with one another and to share their responses, interpretations, and questions about the work—both the art work on the walls, and the text we’re reading. Sarah and I will give some background on each, and we’ll offer some guided questions, but we won’t be lecturing. We imagine these as facilitated conversations, rather than formal talks. All are free (though registration is required for planning purposes), and books are available for purchase at AAM. I hope you’ll join us!