Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Sunday, February 07, 2016
Search Archives:
Newsletters Signup
Close it
Get The New App!

Newsletters Signup
Close it

RI Archives: Parties

View all past Party articles.

RI on Facebook    RI on Instagram       

Classical Tents

Robin Hood Radio

Parties & Openings

January 15 - Lee
CATA Art On Tour Opening

January 9 - Chatham
Blue Plate Benefit

December 31 - North Adams
Greylock Works NYE

Community Access To The Arts Kicks Off 2016

Amy Krzanik reports from Lee. Over the past two years, the Community Access to the Arts (CATA) “Art on Tour” program has made stops at The Clark, No. Six Depot and Berkshire Museum, among other county venues. To kick off 2016, its newest exhibit, Selected Works by CATA Artists 40 x 30 x 8, has made a temporary home for itself at College Internship Program’s Good Purpose Gallery. “40 x 30” refers to the size of the paintings and “8” refers to the number of artists in the show, many of whom were on hand at the opening reception on Friday, Jan. 15. All of the artwork in the show was created in Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.) classes, offered as one of CATA’s many programs. A.R.T, an adaptive painting system developed by Tim Lefens, provides people with severe physical disabilities the opportunity to paint with the assistance of laser pointers and trained trackers acting as the hands of the artist. Fans of the CATA art program will be able to recognize the distinctive work of their favorite students in this show, which will up until February 16. All of the art is for sale, with proceeds going to the artists and CATA’s A.R.T. programs. Above, CATA founder Sandra Newman, with exhibit co-sponsors Rita Kasky and Bill Cohn.

CATA executive director Margaret Keller with her daughter and Stan and Jan Spencer; Terri and Steve Tosk pose with their son, Myles, in front of his artwork.

Artist David Gardner, CATA’s program and artistic director Dawn Lane and Cindy Keiderling; Rebecca Kelly, Molly Hudlin and Liz Bartini of Berkshire County Arc.

Artists Cathy Crofut and Brian Bernacki (seated) with Jean Bede and Jim Bernardo.

CIP’s creative arts coordinator Kara Demler, Stephen Tournas-Hardt and Good Purpose gallery manager Patricia Boissevain; artist Carol Neahaus and board member Debbie Caiola.

Liana Toscanini, CATA’s development and marketing director, and Dawn Lane; CATA volunteers Leslie Shatz and Elaine Radiss, who is also a board member.

The Blue Light Trio performs live in the gallery.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 01/17/16 at 12:09 PM • Permalink

Blue Plate Party for Chatham Animal Haven

Jamie Larson reports from Chatham. Early every January for the past decade, the staff at The Blue Plate throws a great party that proves the area didn’t expend all its festive energy or charitable spirit over the holidays. On Saturday, Jan. 9, staffers threw another door-busting fundraiser for the development of the new Chatham Animal Haven. Created by Blue Plate employees Marsha Cary and Colleen Carpenter-Rice, the nonprofit’s mission is to “rescue and care for abused, neglected and surrendered farm animals…provide safe shelter and food, and arrange for any veterinary care (so) animals can live out their lives in our peaceful and loving environment.” Saturday’s fundraiser and silent auction not only supported the realization of CAH but also provided guests with good food, drink, live music and excellent company. Above, CAH vice president Marsha Cary and presiden Colleen Carpenter-Rice flank board member Sam Reilly.

Steve Reilly, Michelle Reilly and Ryan Jackson; Adam Fields, Barbara Henry, Mary Dooley and Katie Lavigne.

John Fishman, Jeanne Lunin and Blue Plate owner Judy Grunberg.

Gail Chamberlain, Mitchell and Elaine Khosrova with Mary Curran; Sue Tanner, Fran Heaney and Francine.

Carbonated rocks the downstairs bar; Beth Rinzler with Nancy Hulahan and Robert Houlihan.

Marilyn Cohen, Gail Chamberlain, Judith Warren and Bob Clark; The party and fundraiser upstairs at the Blue Plate.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Jamie Larson on 01/11/16 at 09:16 AM • Permalink

Greylock Works’ Mill Renovation Makes An Entrance On NYE

Lisa Green reports from North Adams. For some of the 600 partiers at the Greylock Works UNLOCK New Year’s Eve Party, it was the chance to be among the first to see the inception of an ambitious revitalization of the former Cariddi Mill. For others, it was the lure of a communal table dinner presented by Mezze Catering + Events. And for the rest (a younger crowd, to be sure), the draw was the promise of a dance party featuring two DJs and a “massive and immersive environment of music and video projection” produced by Springboard Design. UNLOCK was the inaugural event of a space that is on track to become a nexus of thriving food-based entrepreneurs crafting regional and local products under one very, very long roof. With Berkshire Farm & Table working in tandem with Latent Productions, headed by architects and building owners Karla Rothstein and Salvatore Perry, the New Year’s Eve bash offered everything a partier could ask for besides the music and light show: cash bars with local spirits (Berkshire Mountain Distillers) and beers (Bright Ideas Brewing), a raw oyster bar (BerkShore Oyster Company) and high-level munchies (Cricket Creek Farm and Mezze Catering). If the project’s expansion rolls out like its debut effort, Greylock Works promises to be a most remarkable venture indeed. Above, Latent Productions’ Salvatore Perry and Karla Rothstein, and their daughter, Skye.

Kyle George and Andrew Trinchitella with David Dunn and Kelly Dunn of; Photographer Lincoln Russell, Main Street Hospitality Group owner Nancy Fitzpatrick, Joe Finnegan and Main Street Hospitality Group CEO Sarah Eustis.

Superstar bread baker Kamel Saci, who hopes to install a bakery at Greylock Mills, and his fiancee, Merrie Edelmann.

Massachusetts State Representative Gail Cariddi, whose father owned the mill prior to the recent purchase, and Marya LaRoche, whose company, Amenitek, did the electrical work on the building; general contractor Steve Burnham with Jim Hunter and Joan Hunter.

Wind-Up Film Fest’s managing director and manager of Destination Williamstown Sandra Thomas and Don Juedes; Filmmaker Holly Hardman and Irving Slavid, art restorer and conservator.

Suzy Konecky and Matthew Ball of Cricket Creek Farm offered grilled cheese sandwiches to hungry dancers.

Around 100 people came early to enjoy dinner presented by Mezze Catering + Events and prepared by Chef Daire Rooney; Six Depot’s Steven Amash and Theresa Speziale served up Chemex coffee for diners.

Hairstylist Karen Brown and Jennifer Trainer-Thompson, author and director of special events and membership at MASS MoCA; Steve Millard of Murray’s Cheese and Liz Stretch, food programming director for Latent Productions.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 01/02/16 at 12:07 PM • Permalink

Food Chain Links Supporters Of The Hudson Area Library

Lisa Green reports from Hudson. “The end — which is the beginning, really — is actually in sight,” proclaimed Mark Orton, president of the Board of The Hudson Area Library, which (in case you haven’t taken your nose out of a book in while) is almost ready to move into its new home. As the final touches on the historic building — the former Hudson Armory — are being prepped for library patrons, the fundraising efforts continue apace, and on Sunday, Dec. 11, a group of supporters kicked off a new funding effort, the Hudson Area Library Food Chain. Bob and Marie Rasner, owners and innkeepers of The Inn at 240, along with Jack Simpson and David Murphy hosted the first dinner party in which the guests pay for the meal, with proceeds going to the Library fund. The Rasners cooked up an Indian feast at their bed and breakfast, but it could just as well have been burgers and fries or even a pancake breakfast. Hosts are encouraged to charge $20 to $100 per person and consider some library-related entertainment (book groups take note). Whether you’re a host or a guest, it’s a “novel” way to chase away the winter blahs and help put the finishing touches on the vastly new-and-improved library. Above, Ed Grossman and Mark Orton.

Joan Castle, First Ward alderman Rick Rector and Anna Rachminov, a library board member and owner of Stone Bridge Cider; Gallerist Tom Swope, Lucy Swope, Theresa Parson and Carolyn Lawrence, innkeeper of Hudson Bed and Breakfast.

Party hosts Jack Simpson, Marie Rasner, Bob Rasner and David Murphy.

The crowd gathers around the Indian buffet; David Voorhees, director of the Jacob Leisler Institute, and Gwen Gould, who until recently served as treasurer for the Library’s board.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 12/28/15 at 03:09 PM • Permalink

The BCD Fundraiser Gets Help From A Famous Friend

Photo: Jake Borden

Rachel Louchen reports from Stockbridge. As Berkshire Country Day School approaches its 70th anniversary, the independent school for students in preschool through ninth grade celebrated its first formal capital campaign in almost two decades on Friday, Dec. 11. Guests—250 of them—crowded the Fitzpatrick Hall to snack on hors d’oeuvres and dessert by Mezze Catering and enjoy the musical chops of BCD faculty members. The event raised $2,838,548 towards a $3,000,000 goal for the capital campaign that is raising funds for new facilities and the School’s endowment (including professional development for teachers). One of the facilities is the Kim and James Taylor Music & Performance Room, a state-of-the-art instructional music classroom and performance space for students and community members to hold events. On hand to celebrate the success of the campaign were The Taylors (above), who have been BCD parents for 11 years and are the campaign’s honorary co-chairs. James spoke to the crowd of parents, faculty and alums, noting that both he and his wife are the product of independent school educations and BCD was the single most important factor in deciding to move to the Berkshires with his family.

Lucie is the Director of Admission, Joanne DelCarpine is the Development Office Coordinator.

Director of Admission Lucie Stites with Joanne DelCarpine BCD’s Development Office Coordinator and school nurse Emily Daigneault.

Committee member David Hosokawa and campaign committee co-chair Chris Ferrone; Jim Kenefick and Marianna Morrison.

Theresa Sonsini and BCD alum Joe Sonsini own and operate 528 Cafe and Main Street Cafe; Buzz McGraw, faculty member Gail Heady and Robin McGraw.

Andrea Maret, alum Mackenzie Hirt, Pamela Calvert-Hirt, Lynn Campana and Mary Hirt

BCD parents Sarah and Dan Bourla; Second Home proprietor and alum Suzannah Van Schaick , Colin Mathews and jewelry designer Stephanie Iverson.

Robert and Wendy Akroyd flank BCD teacher Ned Douglas; Event co-chairs Hilary Somers Deely and Nancy Kalodner.

Pittsfield Director of Cultural Development Jen Glockner with her husband, BCD alum Ted Glockner; BCD trustee Stephen Boyd and State Representative Smitty Pignatelli.

Jennifer Teich, Patricia Whitehead, David Slick and BCD parent Robin Seeley.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 12/14/15 at 01:53 PM • Permalink

RSYP Dinner Gives Teenagers A Taste Of The Culinary Life

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. Crissey Farm was decked out in full holiday decor at the 2015 Culinary Arts Celebration for the Railroad Street Youth Project on Monday, Dec. 8. The event celebrated the completion of a food-based work apprenticeship for the students at RSYP. While guests dined on four courses masterfully prepared by the enthusiastic students overseen by local chefs Brian Alberg, Dan Smith, Daire Rooney, Adam Brassard and Zee Vassos, Executive Director Ananda Timpane spoke to the crowd, addressing the importance of the project. Recent statistics show only one in three young people in America has a caring, involved adult in his or her life to act as a guide toward adulthood. This is where the culinary internship project — as well as other RSYP programs including counseling, advocacy, sexual health education, and jobs and career help — comes in. The young chefs were introduced after the meal and received roaring applause from more than 140 diners. A few spoke about what the culinary program meant to them, and touched upon how they enjoyed interning at The Red Lion Inn, not to mention mastering the proper chopping of an onion. One student has even applied to a culinary college for next year. Above, one of the chefs of the evening, Devon Vandeusen, with Ananda Timpane.

RSYP board member Erik Bruun, singer Georgia Karbelnikoff and her mother, Claudia Laslie, one of the event’s supporters.

Kim Obanheim, vice president of ambulatory services for Berkshire Health Systems, with her husband, Jim Obanheim; Sara Wybur and Shannon Miller of CIP Berkshire came out to support some of their students in the RSYP program.

Amillie Coster, who works on communications for RSYP, and Jonathan McFarland, a jobs and careers coordinator; Berkshire Health Systems’ Anne McDonald served on the event committee, here with Larry and Kris Hazzard.

Chris Masiero and Dawn Masiero of Guido’s donated gifts for the youth chefs.

Supporter, committee and board of directors member Barbara Schulman with new Great Barrington resident Laura Jordahl and Luiza Trabka, YOB and special projects coordinator for RSYP; Author Gina Hyams and her husband, RSYP board member David Barrett.

Bill Cohn, Rita Kasky and Robin McGraw; Sally and Fred Harris, owners of Saint James Place.

RSYP board president Barbara Manring with board member Caren Mercer, artist Kerry Millikin and Barbara Schulman.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 12/08/15 at 10:56 AM • Permalink

Memorable Parties of 2015

There’s nothing we at RI love more than covering the region’s galas; it’s the perfect opportunity to visit with wonderful old friends, meet interesting new ones, and taste the delicious food and drink produced right here at home. That’s why picking only a handful of parties for our year-end wrap-up is always so difficult. We’d like to thank the residents of this region for being so generous with their time, talent and funding of organizations that improve the quality of life in our area and make residing here a joy. Below is a sampling of the galas, gallery openings, fetes and festivals that make our jobs so fun. (Click here to relive all of 2015’s parties.)

The School Celebrates Its First Anniversary With An El Anatsui Retrospective
Food trucks, cotton candy, curated cocktails, music, a photobooth, and art world scholars and celebs — it sounds like a summertime music festival, and it practically was when Jack Shainman Gallery’s The School marked its first anniversary.

Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market Farm-To-Glass Throwdown
It was an evening of stiff drinks and even stiffer competition at the first-ever Farm-to-Glass Throwdown, held to support the new Downtown Pittsfield Winter Farmers Market.

“Freakshow” Scares Up Funds For Berkshire Theatre Group
A dressed-up Bella’s Bartok and a dressed-down Gypsy Layne entertained strongmen, bearded ladies, sword swallowers, ghosts and other ghouls at the “Freakshow” Halloween event.

From Dusk To Dark: OMI Lights Up The Night
OMI’s “Light Into Night” gala offered a full evening’s entertainment in the form of live performances, a signature autumn cocktail, a sit-down dinner and dance party, customized on-the-spot poetry, and dessert that doubled as architecture.

Twilight In The Garden At Hollister House
An annual cocktail party revealed one of Washington, Connecticut’s hidden gems — a multi-tiered take on Sissinghurst, complete with intimate “rooms,” a reflecting pool, beautiful borders and frog friends.

Slideluck Mixes Art And Community At Stonover Farm
The first-ever Berkshire County Slideluck event, held at Stonover Farm in Lenox, brought friends and food together with art, both live and on film.

Struttin’ With Some Barbecue at The Mount
A large crowd gathered on the terrace and lawns of The Mount as the Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival’s “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue” event kicked off the mansion’s summertime “Music After Hours” series.

IS183’s Gala: Versace, Tchotchkes, Mariachi And A Hibachi
Anyone who’s been to one of IS183’s big blowouts won’t find it surprising that its annual fundraiser made our “most memorable” list. Just like last year. And the year before that.

“Think Like A Farmer, Taste Like A Chef” At Katchkie Farm
On a glorious summer evening, guests roamed the fragrant fields of Katchkie Farm, took photos of the llamas, chickens, sunflowers and sunset and, of course, enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a farm-fresh dinner.

Chapter 1: Hudson Children’s Book Festival Fundraiser
The largest children’s book festival in New York State held a pre-festival cocktail party to ensure every child got to take home a book at this year’s annual event.

Barrington Stage Celebrates Its Possible Dreams
A performance of Man of La Mancha was followed by a celebratory dinner and reception as Barrington Stage Company threw a Fiesta Grande.

A Tea Party For Two Hundred Plus
“Tea for Two-Hundred” turned into tea for 350, and we’re not surprised, with guests of honor like Larry Kramer and Candace Bushnell, and a performance by “The Beehive Queen.”

A Gilded Age Summer Soiree At Wilderstein
Guests enjoyed live jazz, lawn games, outdoor sculpture, gardens and a spectacular Hudson River view as they relaxed with parasols, picnic blankets and pillows on the mansion’s lawn.

Berkshire Grown Brunchers Talk Food With Ruth Reichl
Supporters of Berkshire Grown gathered in a shaded garden in Sheffield to hear the award-winning food writer talk shop with Great Barrington cheesemonger Matt Rubiner.

Half Moon at CIA: A Gala Spiced With Songs By Sutton Foster
The very best in food and featured performers marked Half Moon Theatre’s benefit on its campus at the Culinary Institute of America.

Kaatsbaan Celebrates 25 Years As A Dancer’s Dream Retreat
The international performing arts center at the former Tivoli Farm celebrated its anniversary with performances by stars from American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet and The Martha Graham Dance Company

The Horticultural Event Of The Season Celebrates Its 15th Year
From famous garden gurus to everyday green thumbs, those who know make sure to get to Sharon, Connecticut each year for the Trade Secrets two-day fundraiser.

Berkshire South Shines From The Top Of The Bryant Building
Makeup demos and hot shaves were provided for guests at Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetic’s new Great Barrington headquarters during Berkshire South’s “Makeup, Martinis & Moustaches” benefit.

White Out On Main Street
Great Barrington’s “Dig and Dine” was so nice, they held it twice, and we were there as white-clad attendees enjoyed a feast on the town’s main thoroughfare.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 12/06/15 at 02:38 PM • Permalink

No Filter Needed: Lena Dunham Talks And Signs In Cornwall

Jacque Schiller reports from Cornwall. On Sunday, Nov. 27, an all-ages crowd gathered at the Cornwall UCC for a sold-out Cornwall Library benefit reading of Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham, followed by an unscripted Q&A between the writer and her mother, artist Laurie Simmons. The dynamic between mother and daughter was interesting to hear and watch. After sharing how “horrific” she found reading negative comments, Ms. Simmons asked how her offspring felt becoming an overnight “posterchild for anti-Hollywood and fashion?” Lena assured us that she “even ate some food that day, guys” then self confidently expanded on the issue of body image. “It’s not exactly the job I thought I was setting out to do, but if you’re given that mantle and think can you can be helpful, you must take it and run with it. I’m lucky that I’m no longer alone in that. I’m good friends with Mindy Kaling and Amy Schumer — there’s a whole army of us who are coming in and saying this is also what a female body looks like. Admittedly, they’ve not been as naked as I have on television.” This refreshing, inspiring banter continued all the way until the last question of the night, from an audience member. “How do you like Cornwall?” Ms. Simmons answered for Lena, “You love Cornwall,” to which her daughter playfully agreed. “Did you not think I was going to say that? Cornwall is beautiful and has history and haunted things and not haunted things and the Moose and post office. I come here to think and relax and recover emotionally. I wrote some of the book here.” For two hours after the reading, the creator of the critically acclaimed HBO series Girls, and co-founder of e-newsletter, Lenny, graciously signed copies of her book, occasionally standing up to hug an appreciative reader.

Andrea Geisser, who is the board of The Cornwall Association and artist Jane Bevens; Tom Levine, who runs Longmeadow Farm, with Elizabeth Bruehl and Martha Bruehl.

Leslie Elias, artistic director of the Grumbling Gryphons, buys multiple copies of Dunham’s book; Willa Neubauer is happy with just one.

Jamie, son of Tom Levine, serves as the author’s helper at the book signing; Bianca Griggs, who owns The Wish House, stocks books for the crowd.

Lena Dunham fans Fawn Galli and Bente Dahl-Busby, a physical therapist in Sharon.

Guy Story, board member of the New York International Children’s Film Festival; Artist Laurie Simmons keeps her eye on the featured guest, who happens to be her daughter.


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 12/01/15 at 11:17 AM • Permalink