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Help us produce our first season of events, and bring art and audiences back to one of the most storied sites in American art history.

We're Twenty Summers, a 501(c)(3) organization devoted to bringing artists and audiences to one of the most historic sites in American art history—a barn in Provincetown on Cape Cod. Without your help, this inspiring landmark will no longer be open to the public, an especially significant loss to the community that has kept it standing and reveled in its spirit for over a century.

We are currently planning our first season of public programming, which will run annually from May 15 to June 15. Among the luminaries who are working with us on our programming are the novelists Michael Cunningham and Julia Glass, the designer Isaac Mizrahi, the storyteller James Lecesne, the music producer Peter Casperson, and the instructors of the Cape School of Art.

In addition to forming a team to manage the programming, we've already secured the rights to use the barn and we had it renovated. But to make this season happen, to open the barn—at its best and most inspirational—to the public, we need your help!

About our Programming

Among the events we will be hosting in the barn are:

• Plein air painting sessions, open to all, in and around the barn

• A concert of classical and contemporary music inspired by the sea

• Performances by local musicians

• Staged conversations, readings, and interviews with artists, authors, and inventive thinkers

• Storytelling workshops 

•  Readings of new plays

• Fashion events with designers and photographers

About the Barn

Charles Webster Hawthorne built the barn in 1907 atop a sandy bluff in Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. He opened it as an art school. Outfitted with wooden cupboards, a gambrel roof, and a glorious 15-by-15-foot window on its north end, the Cape Cod School of Art quickly lured hundreds of students from around the country. Hawthorne taught them to paint outdoors, “en plein air.”

Hawthorne died in 1930. Four years later the barn was reborn when Hans Hofmann, a master of Abstract Expressionism, assumed its lease from the Hawthorne family. Hofmann reopened the school, training the artists who continued to flock to Provincetown in his “push-pull” theory about the tension of space, line, color, and form. In time, however, the school closed. And as the decades passed, the barn became less an incubator of art than an object of art itself—its wood bearing the vestiges of the classes it held, the handprint of painter Henry Hensche coloring a slat in the loft.

Hensche was just one of the dozens of prominent artists and writers who studied or otherwise spent time in the barn. The list includes Norman Rockwell and Jackson Pollock, Tennessee Williams and Norman Mailer. Little surprise then that in 1979, the barn joined the National Register of Historical Places.

In recent years, however, the barn has most often sat dormant and unoccupied. It has slowly deteriorated too, a landmark in dire need of a physical upgrade and a new champion. Last year, our 501(c)(3) organization, Twenty Summers, found a buyer who has beautifully renovated the barn. And it took out a lease on the barn that will enable us to annually, from May 15 to June 15, to host events and classes in the barn. These we will share with the rest of the world—both in person and online. 

© 20 Summers Inc., a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) corporation

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Twenty Summers was founded by three individuals with deep roots in art, literature, and event production. Joshua Prager is a journalist and author. Julia Glass is an award-winning novelist. Ricky Opaterny is the general manager of Hattery and the former producer of Google's global events series, @Google.

Our personal networks are strong. However, attracting luminaries who have no intrinsic connection to Cape Cod, to travel to the Barn may be difficult. Although we have access to limited lodging at discounted rates, we’ll need to find more to accommodate all of our guests.

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    6 backers Limited (994 left of 1000)

    Receive a limited edition Twenty Summers bookmark commemorating our first season.

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    6 backers Limited (244 left of 250)

    Receive admission to one event of your choosing, pending availability, during our first season in May-June 2014.

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    Receive a limited edition paintbrush commemorating Twenty Summers' first season.

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    Receive CDs of concerts produced in the Barn during our first season.

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    Receive recognition in the program for our first season.

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    We’ll place your name on one of the chairs in the Barn.

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    Receive a limited edition Twenty Summers wooden stool.

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    Spend an hour with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham to discuss writing, literature, and anything you'd like.

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    Attend an intensive one-week art class taught by the Cape School of Art in the Barn.

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    Spend an hour with music producer Peter Casperson for career counseling, discussion, and advice.

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    Spend an hour with Jim True-Frost, star of HBO's "The Wire" to discuss acting, television, and anything else you'd like.

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    Receive tickets to our entire first season of events.

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    The Barn will be yours to use for a day for artistic or creative purposes at some time during our first three seasons.

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    Receive an original painting or photograph produced in the Barn.

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    You'll get to name a character in a future book written by National Book Award winner and Twenty Summers director Julia Glass.

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    We’ll creatively name you as a sponsor in the videos produced during our first season.

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    Lifetime subscription to events in the barn. Whatever we do in the Barn, you’ll be invited—forever.

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    You and a companion will spend a week attending all Twenty Summers events and receive lodging in a waterfront cottage at Lis Sur Mer in North Truro, Massachusetts.

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