A Letter from the Director

Executive Director, Dana Prescott, with Chloé at the Civitella Ranieri Center.

Photo by Chris Warde-Jones

 

July, 2017

 

We are midseason at Civitella and the Umbrian landscape, deprived of water and rain, is yellow, dusty, and parched. The middle of the day is hot, July is nearly behind us, and an August that's predicted to be even hotter lies ahead.

 

Nonetheless, the cool of the Castle and nightly fresh breezes continue to nourish us. After hosting two spectacular groups of Fellows, we are set, with a few repairs here and there, to welcome the final two groups of the season. Ten nations will be represented in the next group including Fellows from Lebanon, Syria, Kenya, India, and Italy. We never read a newspaper in the same light after sharing eye-opening evening meals with such international compatriots.

 

One uniting issue for all the Fellows is the need for mobility, the need to travel to share work, earn a living, exhibit, publish, perform, and make and maintain international contacts. We hear horror stories from our artists about long waits in airports, delays at the hands of authorities, suspicions of terrorism and racist slurs. Visas seem always more difficult to obtain and boundaries and borderlines are more pronounced than ever before.

 

This makes the dinner table at Civitella all the more welcoming and inclusive. It is a safe place for us to discuss our work, our ideas, our histories, families, fears and dreams. As the dark falls over the gazebo and the 'chicken pitchers' are emptied of their last drops of wine, we experience some of the most honest and profound conversations of our lifetimes.

 

This is the essence of Civitella.

 

Dana

Executive Director, Dana Prescott, with Chloé at the Civitella Ranieri Center.

Photo by Chris Warde-Jones