Special Programs in the Arts

Anita Williams Peck Taylor Mali Robert Tonner Sapphire



(from left: Mary Louise Wilson, Taylor Mali, Robert Tonner and SapphireClick on each image to read their profile)


Spring 2017

Mary Louise Wilson, visiting artist Spring 2017

Mary Louise Wilson, Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning American stage, film, and television actress, singer, and comedian. In a stellar theatrical career that has combined plays and musicals, Mary Louise Wilson has been awarded a Tony for Grey Gardens and a Tony nomination for Cabaret . She received critical acclaim for Full Gallop , her solo show about Diana Vreeland, and starred in the off-Broadway premiere of 4000 Miles. Other Broadway credits include Gypsy, The Odd Couple, and The Women.

Mary Louise Wilson's Artist in Residency

Gathering and Q&A session
Tuesday, March 7, 2:00 p.m.

Gathering and Q&A session
Quimby Theater, Vanderlyn Hall

  • Meet Mary Louise and gain insight into her incredible career as a performer and teacher. Open to the public. Class Visits Mary Louise Wilson will also work privately with the SUNY Ulster theatre students on scene work, monologues, solo written performances and speaking Shakespeare over the course of the semester (open to SUNY Ulster theatre students only).

  Past Artists-in-Residence:

Spring 2016: Robert Tonner
Spring 2015: Don Byron
Spring 2014: Joe Langworth
Fall-Spring 2012-13: Brendan Burke
Spring 2012: Wendy Hollender
Fall 2011: Malcolm Cecil

The Visiting Artist Program, begun in 1999, introduces an artist of significant renown to the college and community, through an exhibition of their work at the Muroff Kotler Visual Arts Gallery, a special lecture and presentation by the artist, or a concert performance. All events are open to the public.

Spring 2016

Robert Tonner

Robert Tonner’s early interest in creating immaculately detailed drawings led to a career in fashion. After graduating from Parsons School of Design, Tonner was hired by Bill Blass, designing the Blassport label for many years. Throughout his 7th Avenue career, Tonner’s spin on modern American dressing continually caught the eye of the fashion world’ s trend-spotters—his designs were frequently featured in Women’s Wear Daily, Town & Country, New York Magazine, The New York Times and Vogue.

Tonner’s long-time fascination with doll art inspired him to try his hand at sculpting original figures. In 1985, Tonner received a glowing review from the National Institute of American Doll Artists (NIADA) for a model-like fashion doll he created for critique. During the years that followed, Tonner turned more of his attention to developing and perfecting his doll designs. Established in 1991, The Tonner Doll Company designs and manufactures high quality collectible dolls of all types—from classic character dolls, to well-known movie and television characters, to high-fashion dolls with stylish runway-ready clothing.

Past Visiting Artists:

Fall 2015;Janaki Patrik
Spring 2014: Tim Rowan
Fall 2014 Visiting Artist: Keiko Sono
Spring 2013 Visiting Artist: Kelly Kinsella
Fall 2011 Visiting Artist: Linda Montano
Spring 2012 Visiting Artist: Scott Freiman
Fall 2012 Visiting Artist: Julianne Swartz


The Words and Music Series, begun in 2008, is sponsored by the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc., and is dedicated to the late Larry Berk, Dean of Library and Information Services, who initiated cultural events that have brought renowned writers, artists, and musicians to the college and the community.. All events are open to the public.

2011: Julia Haines – an Evening of Harp and Sung Poetry


The SUNY Ulster Herbert H. & Sofia P. Reuner Library Writers Series is a special program sponsored by The Ulster Community College Foundation, begun in 1998, that brings renowned writers to campus every fall. This is a truly unique opportunity for SUNY Ulster students and community members to hear award winning authors read from their work.

Each guest writer presents a reading of their work, open to the public, in the evening. If possible, a question and answer session in the college lounge during the day, open to students and the public, will also be scheduled.


Author, Poet, Educator
Herbert H. & Sofia P. Reuner Library Writer Series
Ulster community College Foundation, Inc.

Author reading, interview, Q & A, book signing

Thursday, November 17, 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall

SapphireSapphire is the author of two bestselling novels, Push and The Kid. Push was made into the Academy Award-winning major motion film, Precious. The film adaptation received the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.

Sapphire is also the author of two collections of poetry. Sapphire’s poetry, fiction, and essays, have appeared in The Black Scholar, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Teacher’s Voice, The New Yorker, Spin, and Bomb. She has taught literature, fiction, and poetry, workshops at SUNY Purchase, Trinity College, and the Writer’s Voice in New York City and graduate writing workshops at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Brooklyn College, and at the New School University. Sapphire’s presentation, poetry, novels, and the film Precious, all speak to issues of overcoming adversity and empowerment.

Past Library Writers:

2015: Abigail Thomas and Kim Wozencraft
2014: Saïd Sayrafiezadeh
2013: Diane Ackerman
2012: Cancelled due to weather
2011: Jaimy Gordon
2010: Da Chen
2009: Michael Cunningham
2008: David Rakoff
2007: Francine Prose
2006: Carolyn Forché
2005: Billy Collins
2004: Joyce Carol Oates
2003: Gail Godwin
2001: Tess Gallagher
2000: Philip Levine
1999: Gerald Stern
1998: Gioia Timpanelli

Sponsored by The Ulster Community College Foundation, The Poetry Forum is an annual event which brings well known and award winning poets to SUNY Ulster for intimate question and answer sessions, as well as a special evening reading of their poetry. In 2007, the program was renamed the Ellen Robbins Poetry Forum to honor the memory of Ellen Robbins (1952-2006) who was on the faculty at SUNY Ulster from 1994 until 2006, and Chair of the English department, 2002-2006.

Spring 2017TAYLOR MALI

Poet, Performer, Author
Ellen Robbins Poetry Forum
Ulster community College Foundation, Inc.

Moderated by Lisa Bullard, SUNY Ulster Professor of English

Thursday, April 6, 10:15 - 11:30 am, College Lounge, Vanderlyn Hall

Taylor MaliNew York City performance poet Taylor Mali is one of the most well-known poets to have emerged from the poetry slam movement and one of the original poets to appear on the HBO series “Def Poetry Jam.” He is a four-time National Poetry Slam champion and the author of four books, including “What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World.”

Since 1998, over one thousand people have become teachers after reading or listening to Taylor Mali’s passionate poems about his experiences teaching middle school, high school, and college. To mark the achievement, he donated 12 inches of his hair to the American Cancer Society.

Past Poets:

Spring 2016 - Aja Monet
Spring 2015 - Tina Chang
Spring 2014 - Richard Blanco
Spring 2013 - Jorie Graham
Spring 2011 - Michael Dickman
Spring 2010- Ted Kooser
Spring 2009- Charles Simic







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