Arts Briefs – The Provincetown Independent

All That Jazz

The tenth annual Provincetown Cabaret Festival takes place June 3 to 9 and celebrates “The Golden Era of Night Clubs.” The weekend includes master classes, awards ceremonies, and, of course, cabaret shows.

Ray DeForest performs as Doris Dear, “America’s Perfect Housewife,” at the 2022 Provincetown Cabaret Festival. (Photo courtesy Provincetown CabaretFest)

Three headliner shows are at the Crown & Anchor (247 Commercial St.): on Friday, June 7, comedian and crooner Warren Schein stars in “Viva Las Vegas!”; on Saturday, June 8, Angela Bacari, this year’s recipient of the festival’s lifetime achievement award, will perform at 7 p.m.; newcomers Seth Sikes and Nick King will follow up at 8.

Bacari will also teach a master class on Monday, June 3 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Other teachers include Sidney Mark, David Rhodes, Karen Mack, and Elliott Roth, all teaching at Gabriel’s guest house.

Lydia D’Amour will present Sammy Davis Jr.’s songbook on Thursday, June 6 at 5 p.m. at Gabriel’s. Brian De Lorenzo will splice Davis’s discography with Frank Sinatra’s on Friday, June 7 at 3 p.m. at the Crown & Anchor.

For tickets and a full list of performances and classes, visit —Paul Sullivan

Petah Coyne and the Power of Wax

Sculptor and photographer Petah Coyne is known for work that explores the relationship between the natural world and artistic expression. Her experimentation with materials — from found and organic objects to glass and taxidermied animals — led to three patents for specially formulated wax. “These materials are the soul of my work,” she says.

The 17th International Encaustic Conference will feature a keynote by sculptor and photographer Petah Coyne. (Photo courtesy Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill)

Coyne will deliver the keynote lecture at the 17th International Encaustic Conference in the Mayflower Room of the Provincetown Inn (1 Commercial St.) on Saturday, June 1, 9:30 a.m. The conference, directed by Cherie Mittenthal and produced by the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, brings together creators, curators, critics, and collectors who use wax as an artistic medium.

“Cherie has been inviting me for 10 years now,” she says. “I’m very anxious to hear how other artists are coming to wax, what are they mixing with it, and what issues, problems, and successes they’re experiencing.”

Coyne started working with wax in high school when she made and sold candles to buy a pottery wheel. She focused on other materials for decades before reincorporating wax into her practice in the early 1990s after a visit to an artist in Italy who was struggling and asked Coyne for guidance.

“I told her it was so simple, she just had to go around to the different churches and light a few candles,” says Coyne. They visited five churches together, and Coyne visited about 15 more on her own, lighting candles in a kind of artistic vigil for her friend. After Coyne left Italy, she says, the friend received several offers to exhibit. In thanks, the friend sent Coyne 20 candles blessed by the Pope, which Coyne used to make a large hat constructed with hot glue and wire.

“That’s how I began all those hat-like shapes,” she says. “What started as something for a friend turned into a new artistic direction for me.”

Tickets for Coyne’s lecture are $20. For more information, visit —Aden Choate

Great Conversation

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will speak with poet and essayist Roger Reeves on Friday, May 31 at 6 p.m. at the Fine Arts Work Center (24 Pearl St., Provincetown) in the first of FAWC’s Summer Salons.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will be in conversation with Roger Reeves at the Fine Arts Work Center. (Photo by Andrew Kelly)

“ ‘Salon’ is an old word that goes back a long time in arts, cultural, and intellectual exchange,” says FAWC programs director David Simpson. “It describes a historic way for people to get together and share ideas in an informal setting.”

Smith’s and Reeves’s work is concerned with liberation, Simpson says, and the salon will revolve around that topic. “We’re doing very little to plan the conversation,” he says. “We want it to unfold in a spontaneous and natural way.”

Smith, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her 2012 Life on Mars, teaches poetry and African and African American studies at Harvard University. Her latest book, To Free the Captives, published last November, is a memoir that uses her lineage to explore themes of Black strength and endurance.

Published last August, Dark Days, Roger Reeves’s debut essay collection, charts territory from Toni Morrison’s Beloved to bombs being dropped in Aleppo, Syria to the lives of enslaved people on the McLeod Plantation in South Carolina to Santiago, Chile, where an opera singer breaks the curfew by singing out his window.

Tickets for the event begin at $75, with a discounted rate for teachers and students, at —Paul Sullivan

Pride, Officially

“It feels like Pride in Provincetown all year round,” says Carmen da Silva, associate director of the Provincetown Business Guild. “But the importance of celebrating Pride here is that we want to make extra sure that people, especially first-time visitors, can come at a time that feels most welcoming and when they can know they will be celebrated.”

Last year’s Provincetown Pride Festival. (Photo courtesy Provincetown Business Guild)

Provincetown’s welcoming and celebratory nature will be highlighted during the town’s seventh annual Pride celebration, Friday, May 31 through Sunday, June 2.

This year, the PBG has arranged to provide 20 rooms for a two-night stay during Pride weekend to LGBTQ first-time visitors ages 21 to 29 for $50 a night. “It’s not affordable to come to Provincetown when you’re that age,” says da Silva. “So, we’re trying to make it easier. A lot of the people who applied for the program don’t have a queer community where they’re from.”

On Saturday, June 1 at Provincetown Town Hall (260 Commercial St.), the PBG will host the second annual Pride Festival and Marketplace. The event is free, open to all ages, and will feature vendors, DJs, a cash bar, and LGBTQ artisans. “We’ve doubled the number of vendors this year,” says da Silva. “It’s a chance to celebrate queer-owned businesses.”

Also at Town Hall on Saturday is the third annual Queer Comedy Showcase from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $55 at Hosted by Kristen Becker, the show will feature out-of-town talents Jes Tom, Zach Zimmerman, Kia Barnes, and Akeem Woods.

On Sunday, June 2 at 8:30 a.m. there will be a Pride Run / Walk 5K beginning at the Harbor Hotel (698 Commercial St.) and continuing down Commercial Street to MacMillan Pier, with an after-party at the Provincetown Brewing Co. (141 Bradford St.). Registration is $35 for walkers, $55 for runners, and can be completed at —Paul Sullivan

Reimagining Queer Africa

“Reimagining Queer Africa” is a partnership between the Provincetown Business Guild and Obodo, a youth-led nonprofit based in Lagos, Nigeria founded and directed by Matthew Blaise. Obodo advocates for the rights of queer Nigerians with film screenings, book clubs, meet-ups, professional workshops, and the Queer Artist Fund.

Ovigue by Freddie Jacob. (Photo courtesy Obodo)

An opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 31 at the Provincetown Pride Center, 115 Bradford St., will feature an exhibition by five artists from the 2024 Obodo Queer Artist Fund cohort. The show will be up through June, with art available for sale. The event is free and open to the public. The five artists work in a variety of mediums.

Sigil is a multidisciplinary artist and designer from Lagos. Babatunde “TRIBE” Akande is a nonbinary multidisciplinary artist known for proficiency in visual arts, sculpting, augmented reality, performance, and sound. Jeffery Okosisi specializes in painting and pencil drawings. Rachel Seidu is a visual artist working in photography and film. Her practice involves a technical exploration of and experimentation with shadows, contrast, and natural lighting. Freddie Jacob is a digital artist, designer, and illustrator who is passionate about creating art that revolves around storytelling.

Don’t Kill Me, a 10-minute documentary about transgender people in Uganda, will screen at the Pride Center on Saturday, June 1 at 1 p.m. It will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Blaise and Myra Kooy, a Provincetown gallery owner of Nigerian descent. The panel will be moderated by Caleb Okereke of Minority Africa.

“Global queer solidarity is imperative during these times as the hate against LGBTQ people rises worldwide, especially in the global south,” said Blaise in a statement. “Through information sharing, education, and reflection, we step further toward achieving the goal of queerness without borders.”

“We are reminded through the art and queer storytelling of groups like Obodo,” said the PBG’s Trevor Pittinger, “of our responsibility to stay engaged in creating space and amplifying support for those fighting for safety and for their voices to be heard, locally, nationally, and internationally.” —Pat Kearns

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