Free evening of readings and recollections with folk legend Janis Ian

For Immediate Release

April 09, 2012

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—Nine-time Grammy Award-nominee Janis Ian comes to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute for a free evening of recollections and readings from her book Society’s Child: My Autobiography on April 19 at 5:30 pm. Ian’s breakthrough hits "Society's Child (Baby, I've Been Thinking)" and "At Seventeen" introduced this formidable talent to the world in the mid-sixties, and she has received critical acclaim for her boundary-breaking music ever since. Her autobiography has been called “a juicily entertaining look at an unusual life in show business” (Kirkus Reviews).

Janis Ian delves into the most personal aspects of her roller coaster ride of a life in Society’s Child: My Autobiography, which “transports you from start to finish as it elevates, enlightens, enlarges, and entertains,” (biographer Kitty Kelly).  With her family under surveillance by the FBI during the Cold War era, Ian grew up looking over her shoulder. By the age of sixteen, she was a regular performer at the Gaslight (the center of the Greenwich Village folk scene), had played to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall, and was nominated for a Grammy—all while living with her parents and younger brother in their Upper West Side apartment. A versatile and talented performer, known for her “substance, depth, and musicality” (New York Times), Ian refused to be pigeonholed as a “protest singer.” Her 1975 hit “At Seventeen,” an anthem of teenaged angst, would garner her five Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards. She performed the song on the first-ever episode of Saturday Night Live that October.

Society’s Child is about much more than Ian’s musical career. She speaks candidly about her life and the many challenges she has faced: the shock of her parents’ divorce, abusive relationships with both men and women, health crises, financial problems, her nine-year hiatus from the music business to study theater with Stella Adler, and her Grammy-nominated 1992 musical comeback, “Breaking Silence.” She does it all with candor, wit, wisdom, and heart. “[Ian] writes casually and conversationally about her ups and downs and the life lessons she learned. Even recounting decisions that were stupid (quite often) and bad things that happened to her (many), she keeps us on her side, hoping things eventually turn out well. Fans will love the book, of course, but many nonfans, too, should find this painfully candid memoir hard to put down” (ALA Booklist).

In a remarkable double-header, Ian will perform a concert on April 20 at 8:00 pm. Tickets to the concert are $40 ($38 for members and $35 for students) and may be purchased online at clarkart.edu or by calling 413 458 0524.

The Clark

Set amidst 140 acres in the Berkshires, the Clark is one of the few major art museums that also serves as a leading international center for research and scholarship. The Clark presents public and education programs and organizes groundbreaking exhibitions that advance new scholarship. The Clark’s research and academic programs include an international fellowship program and conferences. Together with Williams College, the Clark sponsors one of the nation’s leading master’s programs in art history.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free through June 15. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

Calendar Listing

April 19 and 20: Nine-time Grammy Award-nominee Janis Ian comes to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute for a free evening of recollections and readings from her book Society’s Child: My Autobiography on April 19 at 5:30 pm. Ian’s breakthrough hits "Society's Child (Baby, I've Been Thinking)" and "At Seventeen" introduced this formidable talent to the world in the mid-sixties, and she has received critical acclaim for her boundary-breaking music ever since. Her autobiography has been called “a juicily entertaining look at an unusual life in show business” (Kirkus Reviews). In a remarkable double-header, Ian will perform a concert on April 20 at 8:00 pm. Tickets to the concert are $40 ($38 for members and $35 for students) and may be purchased online at clarkart.edu or by calling 413 458 0524. The Clark, 225 South Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 413 458 2303, clarkart.edu.

Contact: 
pr@clarkart.edu

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