Wednesday Lectures Recent & Upcoming (In Order Early-to-Late)

Gentrain Lectures are held (normally on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month) in LF 103 (see MPC Campus Map in left menu) from 1:30 to 2:30 pm, on dates when the MPC campus is open. Visitors are welcome; no charge or registration is required. A $3.00 parking permit is again required for non-society members. Parking permit machines (quarters only) are in each parking lot.

Some Lectures are recorded as on-line virtual lectures. If video recordings are made, and as soon as they are available, links to them will appear on these pages.

View Past Lectures in: 

Wednesday September 7, 2022 -- Three Trees by Alvin Eng - A Dramatic Staged Play Reading

Three Trees by Alvin Eng is a portrait play about Alberto Giacometti (portrayed by Keith Decker), his model/muse, Isaku Yanaihara (Dr. Chris Hasegawa), wife Annette (Teresa Del Piero), and brother, Diego (Fred Bologna). The play explores the haunting relationships between Giacometti, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and his primary 1950s muse/model, Japanese philosopher and professor Isaku Yanaihara. Visuals created for this production are by Mark Baer. Harriet Lynn, founder of Monterey Coastal Lifestyles, is Producer/Director. Act 1 of the play will be presented.

Alvin Eng

Alvin Eng is a native NYC playwright, performer and educator. His plays and performances have appeared Off-Broadway, throughout the U.S., Paris, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China. Harriet Lynn, producer/director/performing artist has an extensive professional national and international career.

Wednesday September 7, 2022

Wednesday September 21, 2022 - 1:30 pm - Creating And Presenting Dance That Makes A Difference

View This Lecture

Fran Spector Atkins is the artistic director and founder of SpectorDance and its School, Company, Community Outreach, Creative Projects, Choreographers Showcase and the Sadie Rose Residency Program. She has directed studios in NYC, Cleveland, and Monterey and has choreographed throughout the United States and abroad. Some of her outstanding experiences include being a guest artist at Oberlin College, Brown University, Stanford University and in Denmark, Egypt, England, Israel, Italy, Guam and Taiwan. Her academic and professional credits include a BS in Occupational Therapy from Boston University, an MFA from Mills College in Dance and Choreography, and Certification in Laban Movement Analysis from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in NYC. She also is certified in the American Ballet Theater National Teachers Training Curriculum.

Fran's creative works are inspired by her vision to create socially relevant art that merges factual and aesthetic elements. She begins with extensive research and filmed interviews with experts and community members related to each topic. Examples include Figures in the Dust, a collaboration with the National Steinbeck Center about Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath; Common Ground, a collaboration with the United Farm Workers, about California agriculture; East West, a collaboration with Rancho Cielo about gang violence; Ocean Trilogy, a first collaboration with Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) about hopeful possibilities for ocean health from cutting-edge ocean science research; When You Were Gone, a collaboration with the Porter Youth Center for military families, about deployment from the perspective of youth; and In Real Time, a virtual piece about the Coronavirus experience based on interviews with SpectorDance company performers. Her current project, Wildfires, is about Indigenous fire ecology and will premiere in fall 2023.    

For the Gentrain Society Fran Spector Atkins will describe her artistic vision and practice, vividly illustrated with multidisciplinary video samples. Her process begins with research on a chosen topic, which is a journey of surprise and discovery. As she delves into new ideas, she is delighted by the process of translating information into physical expression. Ideas are the starting point, and these ideas fuel movement exploration. Her creative foundation is dance, but her artistic practice has grown to embrace collaboration with both arts and non-arts disciplines. Along with each project, she creates associated engagement opportunities targeting diverse audiences. For example, with Ocean Trilogy, she also offered the Ocean Arts Festival, featuring ocean-themed art in any genre created by artists under the age of 24. With East West, she invited at-risk young adults to perform with the SpectorDance Company dancers. These associated, innovative engagement opportunities employ dance to expand awareness, promote dialogue, and inspire action.


Wildfires is the next step in her progression. The topic of wildfires evokes visceral power and is full of metaphor. It is an artistic topic full of images about destruction and renewal. Wildfires will contribute to a better understanding of the increasing prevalence of wildfires in our state, our nation and our globe. Based on partnerships between dance, science, and Indigenous knowledge, Wildfires will build bridges between diverse parts of our community and generate new audiences.

Wednesday September 21, 2022

Wednesday October 5, 2022 - 1:30 pm -- Elkhorn Slough Restoration: A Collaborative Effort

Over the past 150 years, human actions have altered the tidal, freshwater and sediment processes that are essential to support and sustain Elkhorn Slough. A 122-acre marsh restoration project is currently underway, the first large-scale restoration of its type in this estuary. Restoring this degraded habitat took many hands, from planning to planting, and highlights the importance of a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to restoring sustainable habitat for the future.

Monique Fountain is director of the Tidal Wetland Program at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. In this role she runs a collaborative estuary-wide decision-making process with regional stakeholders and implements large-scale tidal marsh restoration projects.

Wednesday October 5, 2022

Wednesday October 19, 2022 - 1:30 pm - W.R. Holman’s Life in Pacific Grove

We’ve all passed by the Holman’s building at 542 Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove, but do you know about the man who started the business? Enjoy a lecture by W.R. Holman’s great-granddaughter-in-law, Heather Lazare, who spent the pandemic culling through boxes of Holman ephemera, historic photos, news clippings, and family letters. Based on Holman’s newly republished memoir, My Life in Pacific Grove, Lazare's lecture (with a PowerPoint presentation of photos), will expand your understanding of Pacific Grove in the early 1900s, explain why we have a W.R. Holman Memorial Highway, reveal Holman’s first-hand account of the burning of the Chinese fishing village in 1906, share personal letters from John Steinbeck to Mrs. Holman, and much more.

Heather Lazare is an independent editorial and publishing consultant who specializes in editing adult fiction. She worked at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and both Random House and Simon & Schuster before starting her own business in 2013. She is the director and founder of the Northern California Writers’ Retreat, a yearly fiction retreat in Carmel Valley. Heather lives in Pacific Grove with her husband and two children. 

The Holman Family

Wednesday October 19, 2022