Artist Beyond the Desk


     Funding provided by:


     Council for the Arts at MIT

     MIT Human Resources

     Other Links:

     MIT Homepage

     MIT Copy Tech

     MIT Audio Visual Services

     Arts at MIT

     MIT Community Players


2016 Fall ABD performance dates

** Note: all performances this Fall will be held in the MIT Chapel, unless otherwise indicated.


The chapel's altar with metal sculpture by Harry Bertoia

from -

Bios and program notes

Wednesday, Sept. 28 at noon MIT Chapel (W15)

Amanda Casale & Ryan O’Reilly In The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years is a contemporary song-cycle musical that chronicles the five-year life of a marriage from two perspectives;
Jamie tells his story in chronological order (meeting to end), while Cathy tells her story in reverse (end to meeting).
Beautifully written by Jason Robert Brown, The Last Five Years is an intensely personal look at the relationship between a writer
and an actress told from both points of view.

Thursday, Oct. 13 at noon MIT Chapel (W15)

Stephen Pepper - poetry - reading "some of my own poetry and that of favorites, including MIT Faculty member John Hildebidle"

Wednesday, Oct. 26 at noon MIT Chapel (W15)

Bohachewsky Kieber Group recital

Wednesday, Nov. 9 at noon MIT Chapel (W15)

Kurt Winikka, Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist
Accompanied by Andy Bohachewsky

A returning veteran disappears into a Midwest landscape of night trains, truck stops, and prairie fires; a former baseball star fades into the tattered memories of his dreams; a holy roller faces judgment for a life of hypocrisy. These are the folks who inhabit the songs of Kurt Winikka. Growing up in the Southwest, raising a family in the Midwest, and finding his bearings as a singer/songwriter in New England, Kurt meticulously crafts engaging narratives informed by the breadth of his American experience and conveys them with precise guitar work and a dulcet voice. He shares it all on his album, Says The Rain, released in March of 2013. The collection of eleven original songs and one traditional song were co-produced with Lloyd Maines in Boston and in Austin.
Winikka’s current project is the development of a collection of space-themed works, incorporating elements of trip hop, jazz and psychedelia, a sonic divergence from his typical Americana approach. The new material spans subjects as diverse as interstellar space travel, the historic flight of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, and love songs imbued with imagery of the cosmos. Although the influence of writers such as Don McLean, Bill Morrissey, Richard Shindell and Guy Clark can be heard in his songwriting, in contrast to those voices, a wide variety of musical expression from post-modern classical music, to jazz and fusion, to electronic music, to psychedelic and experimental and avant-garde rock music, all play a part in influencing the current direction of Winikka’s work.
Kurt graduated from the University of Arizona with degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science. He works as a software engineer for Draper Laboratory on a variety of biomedical and space programs.


Wednesday, Nov. 30 at noon MIT Chapel (W15).

Isadora Deese reads excerpts from Right of Capture, a Sci-Fi YA novel

Isadora Deese is a graduate of Indiana University and Boston University Master’s Playwriting Program. Her writing explores the evolving connections between technology, art, and nature thatare shaping our near future. Isadora helped coordinate some of the first iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine)competitions at MIT. She co-wrote Adventures in Synthetic Biology with Drew Endy and the Synthetic Biology Working Group, illustrated by Chuck Wadey, which in 2005, was the first comic to be on the cover of Nature. She is married to writer and historian R.S. Deese, and they live in the Boston area with their three sons and two cats.

Wednesday, Dec. 14 at noon MIT Chapel (W15)

Amanda Casale, Piano and voice

Group song cycle

Thursday, Dec 22 at noon MIT Chapel (W15)

Ruth Levitsky, Music for alto & c flute duet

ABD is a subcommittee of the Working Group on Support Staff Issues (WGSSI), and is funded in part by WGSSI, the Council for the Arts at MIT and MIT Human Resources.

We'd like to thank MIT Audio Visual Services and CopyTech for their generous support.