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February 8, 2013

Reading on the road

Tannery series pairs authors and artwork at PEM

Newburyport’s status as a budding literary enclave is about to receive a rather significant boost, thanks to the efforts of two local women and their Tannery Reading Series, which is collaborating with the Peabody Essex Museum for a trio of cultural events.

Working at the behest of officials at the Salem museum, Newburyporters Kirun Kapur and Dawne Shand have arranged for authors to read from their works during a series of forthcoming special exhibits on India, America and Japan. The Newburyport arts program will travel to the museum to host three literary evenings: “Hot Fusion: Explosive Global India” on Feb. 21, “Indivisible: We the People in Black, White and Gray” on June 20; and “Manga Nation: Japanese Design and American Pop Culture” on Nov. 21.

If the energetic Reading Series co-founders have their way, these multimedia events will tastefully combine art, language, music, food, drink and discussion, creating an interesting and lively atmosphere of cultural enjoyment.

According to Kapur, the Peabody Essex Museum had been searching for thoughtful, casual, fun events to enhance its forthcoming exhibits, and the museum’s assistant director, Michelle Moon, reached out to the Newburyport program.

“What we saw in The Tannery Series is cutting-edge programming that will offer our guests new and exciting ways of engaging with the world, as well as with their own sense of creativity,” Moon said.

Since the Tannery Reading Series — an organization independent of the marketplace — specializes in arranging literary events, the museum is relying on their expertise and advice on what brings people out to listen to authors during the midweek.

“They thought that we, and our local authors, might be a good fit,” Kapur said. “They are always interested in trying new ways to encourage people to come to the museum and explore it in a casual environment that is fun.”

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