March 16, 2010

AMHERST, Mass.—On Thursday, March 25, at 8 p.m., the MeadArt Museum at AmherstCollege will host a reading by slam poets Jared Paul and Sage Francis in the North Fairchild Gallery. Organized by juniors Maxwell Suechting and Michael Harrington on behalf of student group Amherst DIY, the gathering has been made possible with generous support from the college’s Social Council, Program Board, Amherst Arts Series and English department. It is free and open to the public.

A social worker, journalist and activist from Providence, R.I., Paul is widely recognized for his emotional and politically charged spoken-word performances. His accomplishments include two national tours with fellow poet and underground hip-hop artist Francis; during the tours they covered the 2004 Democratic and Republican National Conventions for 90.3FM WRIU News and coached the Providence National Youth Slam Team. Since abandoning his car some years back, Paul has become an avid bicyclist and diehard environmentalist.

Also hailing from Providence, R.I., Francis has been rapping since 1996, releasing three full-length records and countless demos and mixtapes. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, his career took a noticeable political turn. Since then, he has criss-crossed North America and Europe for tours and festivals with compatriots Buck 65, Alias and Sole; put together the consumer-awareness resource with B. Dolan and formed the independent hip-hop record label “Strange Famous.”

Paul and Francis will perform against the backdrop of An Expanding Lens: New Photographic Acquisitions at the Mead Art Museum, an installation featuring highlights of new, never-before-displayed acquisitions from the Mead’s rich and expanding collection of photographs. Works included represent strikingly diverse artistic concerns, techniques and locales.

The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, totaling more than 16,000 works. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. During the academic term, the museum is open Tuesdays through Thursdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to midnight, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, please visit the museum’s Web site,, or call 413/542-2335.