Moriah Simonds ’21, participated in two exciting projects this past summer that took her to the Apennine mountains in Tuscany and an art festival in Venice.

Moriah, a History major from San Francisco minoring in Art History and Mathematics, was part of the archeological excavation team at Acque Sacre, an Etruscan excavation directed by Franklin President Greg Warden as part of the Mugello Valley Archeological Project at the crest of the Apennines, halfway between Florence and Bologna. She said about the experience, “The study of the past and the respect for cultural heritage that is inherent within that study is a vital aspect of my interest in History.”

She also spent a weekend performing as a choral vocalist in an opera in the Lithuanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale festival of art and architecture. The Lithuanian Pavilion’s theme was centered on the ignorance with which contemporary society interacts with the climate. “The schema of consumption by which we exist as a global society is incapable of being sustained over an extended period of time. Being a part of a vivid attempt of the artistic community to critique this tendency and doing so through one of the oldest cultural traditions in Europe was illuminating and absolutely empowering,” she said.

Moriah noted that being part of the international community at Franklin gave her awareness and made her comfortable during these summer experiences, “The cast of the opera was an international one, with a mix of Lithuanian operatically-trained performers, visitors from Russia, Italy, Germany and France, and a few others as well. Being part of a cast that was thus striving to communicate with a mixture of languages and hand motions that could be an entirely new communicative system, being familiar with certain turns of phrase, cultural norms and cultural offenses was definitely invaluable in my interactions.”