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Sunday, June 16, 2019


Fifty Years Later, the Museum at Bethel Woods reflects on the impact of the greatest festival of all time

By: Contributed Photo
Bass guitar played at Woodstock by Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane. Lent by Jack Casady; Image courtesy of The Museum at Bethel Woods.
BETHEL - On March 30th, The Museum at Bethel Woods, located at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival, will open for the 2019 season and mark the 50th Anniversary with the Special Exhibit We Are Golden: Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of The Woodstock Festival & Aspirations for a Peaceful Future, part of A Season of Song and Celebration. This exhibit examines the desires of the youth of 1969, places the legendary festival within the context of the positive societal changes it inspired and asks today's youth what THEY are asking of the world now.
We Are Golden will feature a large collection of authentic Woodstock artifacts such as instruments, clothing, equipment, art and photography. Highlights include Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane's bass guitar and tunic, handwritten lyrics for "Goin' Up the Country" by Alan Wilson of Canned Heat, a speaker cabinet and mixing equipment used by Bill Hanley at Woodstock which helped to set the standard for outdoor sound engineering and world-class photographs from the 15 best photographers of the festival.
This exhibition uses the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a metaphor for the communal human response of the sixties in the hope that young people today may draw inspiration to articulate what they want from the world in their own time. Concert for Bangladesh, Live Aid, Farm Aid, We Are the World, Earth Day, the Peace Movement, Women's Movement, LGBTQ Movement, #metoo, the Women's March and student gun control movement all have their roots in the 1960s.

Doors open for the museum at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 30. A private brunch and special exhibition preview is scheduled for Bethel Woods Members that morning; the Special Exhibit will be open to the general public at 11:30 a.m.. While the exhibits are usually self-guided, free Docent tours of the Main Exhibit will be available. Additionally, music historian Andy Zax, filmmaker Amalie R. Rothschild and Museum Director and Senior Curator Wade Lawrence will come together for a conversation 50 years in the making about the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the inspiration for the special exhibition. This will be held in limited capacity in the Event Gallery at noon.
“We are thrilled to kick off the A Season of Song & Celebration with The Museum opening and premiere of the 2019 special exhibit,” said Darlene Fedun, Chief Executive Officer, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. “We are looking forward to providing our patrons year-long programming that celebrates and honors the legacy of the greatest festival of all time.”
The Museum at Bethel Woods explores the social, political, cultural and musical transformations of the sixties while drawing connections to the issues that continue to affect our world today. It features an award-winning permanent collection, evolving exhibits and engaging programs.
In the Crossroads Exhibit Gallery, We Are Stardust will present objects and interpretation related to the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing, an event which took place in July of 1969 just weeks before the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The exhibit will interpret the objects and history surrounding the moon landing through the lens of American culture, examining the effect of the Cold War/Space Race, American space program, “moon mania” and the eventual national success of putting the first man on the moon on the lives of everyday Americans at the end of the tumultuous 1960s. The moon landing was the most-watched event in history at that point in time. Fifty years later, Bethel Woods will celebrate Lunar Fest. This weekend of family-friendly fun includes a Lunar Sleepover on Friday, May 17th, where guests can enjoy astronaut ice cream, space games, star gazing and “Your Family Star” Talent show. The fun continues Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 as people tour the Universe in an inflatable Planetarium and explore creative spaces where art and science meet.
Occurring every Saturday beginning on opening day, the Museum will host creative workshops for all ages, inspired by the Special Exhibit. Art, music and togetherness are paired with introductory art-making skills with no pre-registration required. These drop-in sessions are included in Museum admission or available for a suggested $10 donation.
On display through December 31, We Are Golden is included in regular museum admission. Special exhibition-only admission is just $5.
Bethel Woods' Season of Song & Celebration promises a uniquely memorable experience for those who journey to the historic site throughout the year. Highlights include the re-opening of the Bindy Bazaar Trails, the network of wooded trails where vendors sold crafts & clothing as well as the bridge between two major areas of festival grounds, on May 4, and Vibrations - an event series that celebrates the power and possibility of the sixties by emphasizing the value of the arts and civic engagement. The series brings together change-makers, artists and influencers to open conversations, inspire thinking and awaken purpose. One such event, Deep Field, will occur on Saturday, May 18 following Lunar Fest. Renowned speaker and Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre presents “Deep Field,” a powerful new piece of music inspired by the world's most famous space observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope and its greatest discovery, the iconic Deep Field image. Whitacre will be joined by NASA astronomers, scientists and astrophysicists to delve into space exploration as not only a scientific venture, but an artistic and cultural one as well.
In August, Anniversary Week will include extended museum hours, docent tours of the exhibits and historic site, and a variety of events and programs, beginning with a screening of the Warner Bros. Academy-Award winning documentary Woodstock: the Director's Cut on Thursday, August 15. The screening will be held on the historic festival field with a huge screen under the stars on the location of the original stage - a truly unique experience for the audience assembled on the hallowed ground where it was filmed 50 years ago. On Friday night, the Pavilion Stage will present Ringo Starr and his All Star Band, with Woodstock alumni Arlo Guthrie and The Edgar Winter Band. Bethel Woods will welcome back Carlos Santana as he returns to the historic site Saturday, August 17 - exactly 50 years after he made history during the legendary festival. Joined by Santana will be The Doobie Brothers.
For more information about Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and to plan your museum visit, please go online www.BethelWoods

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