The Watermill Center: Summer Lecture Series / August 2 – 16



Featured Lecturers include Eric Maskin, William Middleton, Aja Monet, Nico Muhly, and Robert O’Hara


The Watermill Center , an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities located in Water Mill, is pleased to announce its lineup of cultural luminaries participating in its annual Summer Lecture Series.

The highly-anticipated season kicks off with editor and journalist William Middleton in “Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil.” (August 2), NAACP Image award nominee and poet Aja Monet (August 7), and Harvard Professor of Economics and Mathematics Eric Maskin in conversation with President of the Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation, Claude Grunitzky for “How To Improve Presidential Elections” (August 9). Following, playwright and director Robert O’Hara offers a glimpse into his creative process with “GET ON THE BUS: Writing the Opening Scene” (August 14) followed by “Roots and Pulses” with American composer, Nico Muhly (August 16).

The Summer Lecture Series is a pivotal experience for participants in The Watermill Center’s International Summer Program , led by Watermill’s Founder and Artistic Director, Robert Wilson . For more than 25 years, approximately 80 artists from over 30 nations have gathered at Watermill for up to five weeks of intense creative exploration and artistic development. Through their participation in programs like the Summer Lecture Series, The Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction, and Discover Watermill Day, the International Summer Program participants are provided with a unique opportunity to learn from established professionals from varying disciplines in a laboratory environment.

The lecture series is curated by Wilson and administered & co-curated by Kelly Dennis, Public Programs and Residency Coordinator at The Watermill Center, and Brian O’Mahoney, performance artist and former Watermill Center International Summer Program participant. Past lecturers have included Marina Abramović, Hilton Als, Philip Glass, Marianne Faithful, Elizabeth Goldring, Daniel Libeskind, Victoria Newhouse, Otto Piene, Ishmael Reed, George Soros, DJ Spooky, Nadya Tolokonnikova, Carrie Mae Weems and Cornel West among others.

The Summer Lecture Series is open to the public. Advance reservations are required as capacity is limited. Admission is $15. See complete listings below or visit


The Summer Lecture Series 2018 Lineup:


Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 7:30pm

William Middleton: Double Vision:
The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil.

William Middleton is a journalist and editor who has worked in New York and Paris. He has been the Fashion Features Director for Harper’s Bazaar and the Paris Bureau Chief for Fairchild Publications, overseeing W Magazine and Women’s Wear Daily. He has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, House & Garden, Esquire, Texas Monthly, Travel & Leisure, Departures, and the International Herald Tribune.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 7:30pm

Aja Monet

Aja Monet is an internationally established poet, educator, and human rights activist of Cuban-Jamaican descent. She is a NAACP Image Award nominee for Outstanding Literary Work-Poetry 2018 and the youngest individual to win the Nuyorican Poet Café’s Grand Slam title. In her poetry, Monet poses questions about the power of the imagination and how we engage with local and global issues like racism, colonialism and sexism.


Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 7:30pm

Eric Maskin in conversation with Claude Grunitzky:
How to Improve Presidential Elections.

Eric Maskin is the Adams University Professor and Professor of Economics and Mathematics at Harvard. He has made contributions to game theory, contract theory, social choice theory, political economy, and other areas of economics.

Claude Grunitzky is the President and a member of the Board of Trustees at the Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation, which oversees the management of The Watermill Center. Claude is also the founder of TRACE and TRUE Africa, a media tech platform championing young African voices all over the world.


Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at 7:30pm

Robert O’Hara: GET ON THE BUS: Writing the Opening Scene

Robert O’Hara is a playwright and director who has received the 2018 Herb Alpert Award, NAACP Best Director Award, NAACP Best Play Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, two Obies and the Oppenheimer Award. He directed the world premieres of Nikkole Salter and Dania Guiria’s In the Continuum, Tarell McCraney’s The Brother/ Sister Plays (Part 2), Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy, Kirsten Childs’ Bella: An American Tall Tale, as well as his own plays, Mankind, Bootycandy and Insurrection: Holding History.


Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 7:30pm

Nico Muhly: Roots & Pulses

Nico Muhly is an American composer whose influences range from American minimalism to the Anglican choral tradition. The recipient of commissions from The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and others, he has written more than 80 works for the concert stage, including the opera Marnie (2017), which premiered at the English National Opera and will be staged by the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2018.


Founded by avant-garde visionary Robert Wilson in 1992, The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts supporting young and emerging artists through its year-round Artist-in-Residence Program and International Summer Program, as well as Education Programs, exhibitions and events open to the public. The Watermill Center offers tours throughout the year of its 20,000+ square-foot building, which houses a library and a significant collection of global art and artifacts, both contemporary and ancient, and 10+ acres of grounds and sculpture gardens.



AAQ Resource: Lear + Mahoney Landscape Architecture 


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