Stories Behind the Photographs

August 13, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Take a guided tour of Performative Acts with photographer Dona Ann McAdams and curator John Killacky, who will recount their experiences on the front lines of art and activism.

In the mid-1970s, McAdams was inspired by her friendship with civil rights icon Harvey Milk to use her camera to encourage social change. She has photographed anti-nuclear protests, AIDS activists, people living with schizophrenia, nuns from St. Mary’s Convent, backstretch workers at a Saratoga Springs race track, and working farm animals.

Killacky first encountered McAdams in the 1980s, when McAdams was the house photographer at P.S. 122, an avant-garde performance venue in New York City. The two got to know each other better in the early 1990s during the controversy over the “NEA Four,” performance artists Karen Finley, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Tim Miller. McAdams had photographed the NEA Four, and Killacky had presented their work in his role as a curator at the Walker Center for the Arts in Minneapolis.

Both McAdams and Killacky later ended up in Vermont—McAdams on a goat farm in Sandgate where she and her husband, writer Brad Kessler, have lived since 1998; and Killacky at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, where he was executive director from 2010 to 2018.


Doors open at 6:30 p.m.