The Massachusetts art community suffered two losses in August. Filmmaker Robert Todd died in mid-August, at age 54. Inaugural Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish died August 20, 2018, at age 82.
Robert Todd was a leader in the filmmaking community, as a teacher at Emerson College and a trailblazing maker of 16mm films. He was an integral member of AgX Film Collective, an organization committed to working with photochemical film. Over the years, Todd received numerous awards, including from Mass Cultural Council and Boston Foundation’s Brother Thomas Fund.
A celebration of Robert Todd’s life will take place Sunday, September 22, 2018, 2-6 PM, in Ashby, MA (more info). You can also support Lost Satellite, a team organized in Todd’s honor for the “Out of the Darkness” walk.
Sam Cornish was the first Poet Laureate for the City of Boston, a position he held from 2008 to 2014. Cornish was a frequent teacher, including at Emerson College and the Boston Public Library. He published seven books, most recently Dead Beats, and was known for his direct and evocative language. Writing for The Somerville Times, Doug Holder called him “truly a poet of the people.”
Read a remembrance of Sam Cornish by Doug Holder, hosted by Mass Poetry.
We at Mass Cultural Council wish to convey our appreciation to Sam Cornish and Robert Todd for their contributions as artists and leaders. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, colleagues, collaborators, and students of these remarkable artists.
Images and media: still image from WITHIN (2012), a film by Robert Todd; THRESHOLD (2013) by Robert Todd; Sam Cornish, photo by Eric Levin.