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Hudson Opera House

Berkshire Grown

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Dr Jay Wise

Hudson Valley River Ramble

RBC

Classical Tents

Robin Hood Radio

Benchmark Real Estate

Parties & Openings


September 7 - Hillsdale
Berkshire Bach Benefit Concert

September 6 - Sharon
Audubon Sharon Fundraiser

August 31 - Claverack
AIDS Council Garden Party

A Benefit Concert For Berkshire Bach Is Intimate And Inspiring

Lisa Green reports from Hillsdale. Sunshine streamed into the hilltop home of Richard Collens, and the music was equally sparkling at the benefit concert for Berkshire Bach on Sunday, September 7. Pianist Jeewon Park, cellist Edward Arron and the stentorian Bejamin Luxon as narrator performed a program of Bach, Poulenc and Piaazzolla — not all necessarily the programming one might find at a Berkshire Bach concert, but perfectly matched for an afternoon of chamber music “the way it is mean tot be heard,” as the host likes to call his frequent home concerts. At left, Richard Collens, a board member of Berkshire Bach, greets guest Chris Nye during the reception after the concert. Berkshire Bach’s season opens on September 27 with the Grammy Award-winning St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble performing at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington.


Took Bussard and David Bussard are new to the area and now reside in Lee; Frieda Pilson of Richmond, Lewis Steinberg of Lenox and Hartford, and Ben Schawinsky of Sheffield.


Paula Hatch
, executive director of Berkshire Bach, gets the reception started.


Rick Karpinkski and Kristina Karpinkski of New Concord, near Chatham; Cathy Shin, an orthopaedic surgeon at Columbia Memorial Hospital, catches up with Jim Lapennn.


Mim Warden and Annette van Ommeren; Lewis Steinberg and Margy Steinberg, a consultant and adjunct professor in the MBA program at MCLA.


The performers plus (a future?) one: Benjamin Luxon, Jeewon Park, Edward Arron, and Lily, Jeewon and Edward’s daughter.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/08/14 at 10:26 AM • Permalink

A Special Evening With John Luther Adams For Audubon Sharon

Rachel Louchen reports from Sharon. “Birdsong is beyond the reach of our ears; I translate,” said composer John Luther Adams as he addressed the crowd at a very special benefit for Audubon Sharon on Saturday, September 6. A longtime supporter of the Audubon, Adams, the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music, performed “songbirdsongs,” which demonstrated nature’s influence on his work, specifically the sounds of birds. The one-hour performance was a captivating experience, no doubt helped out by the pastoral atmosphere outside the home of hosts Alexandra and Frederick Peters. While the foreboding sky above the tent looked as if it were going to storm at any minute, the rain held out right until Adams stopped, as if it were enjoying the music, too. Above, event co-chair Dinny Greene and Secretary and Chair of Habitat committee member Sandy Slemmer.


Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Connecticut Stewart Hudson, John Luther Adams, President and CEO of the National Audubon Society David Yarnold, Audubon Sharon Center Director Sean Grace.


Board member Charlie Wright with wife, Mavis Wright; John Baroody, writer Divya Symmers and Cindy Vannoy.


Cornwall residents Edward Greene, Majorie Hewett and Simon Hewett; Audubon Sharon member Deborah S. Mark with Cynthia Walsh.


BZ Coords, Judith Chatfield and Mia Coats.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/07/14 at 09:09 PM • Permalink

A Garden Party Benefits AIDS Council of Northeastern New York

ac 1Jamie Larson reports from Claverack. On Sunday, August 31, the immaculately restored historic Ludlow Homestead, home of Peter Spears and Brian Swardstrom, served as a most elegant setting for a gorgeous garden party to benefit the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York. Hundreds came to enjoy the immaculate grounds, company, local food, libations, entertainment and silent auction, and though the evening was as perfect a late summer party as could be, supporting the AIDS Council was what drew the crowd. The party also offered a unique opportunity to tour the homestead which was built in 1786 and is a grand example of the Landscape style, popular in the 18th century. (Pictured above; event host Peter Spears, Andrea Hartman, CBS News’ Steve Hartman with Jennifer and Ryan Carl.)

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David Cabrarra, Katrina Stair and Stair Gallery owner Collin Stair; Ted Gramkow, Columbia-Greene Hospital Foundation Executive Director Betsy Gramkow and Timm Whitney.

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Wes Wolfe, Tim Zdyb and Gary Osifchin; Jamie Zwirn, Bo Goliber and Tiffany Ryan.

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Ken Silver, AIDS Council of Northeastern New York Executive Director Michele McClave and Ed LaMance.

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Christopher N. Rowley and Razvan Dinu; Columbia County Democratic Party Chair Cyndy Hall, John Schobel and Council Board Member Victor Mendolia.

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Board Member Steve Ammerman, Marketing Coordinator for the AIDS Council Brianne Ptak-Mimura,Todd Hilgendorff and Stephen King.

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Chuck Rosenthal, Ferol Barton Blake and David Ludwig; Diane Crawford, Vin Victorio, Daniel Bueno and Guido A. Loyola.

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Posted by Jamie Larson on 09/01/14 at 07:28 PM • Permalink

Berkshire International Film Festival’s 10th Season Takes Flight

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. The Berkshire International Film Festival can really throw a party, so to celebrate its tenth season they threw the first-ever gala, which, like all BIFF events, was held in dramatic fashion. On Friday, August 29, the usual buzz of small airplanes at the Great Barrington Airport was replaced by jazz music when attendees entered the transformed hanger via red carpet. Airplanes, helicopters and a clear blue sky were the backdrop as guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner by MAX Ultimate Food, guest speaker Roy Blount Jr. and a live auction. The sold-out gala also served to honor Governor Deval Patrick and first lady Diane Patrick for their support for the arts and culture in the Berkshires. The screening for the evening was a special BIFF video produced by Doug Trumbull. Pictured above, Terry Holland piloted his drones over the crowd, here with BIFF founder and director Kelley Vickery, and the event’s photographer Kevin Sprague.


Actresses Tori Hines and Kelly Kilgore served as the evening’s flight attendants; BIFF volunteers Lynn Stonebridge, Peggy Reeves and Pam Beiderman.


Gala committee members Fern Portnoy and Roger Goldman; Mass Live Art’s executive director Ilan Bachrach and Hillel Bachrach.


Pete and Pat Webber, who have a home in Stockbridge; designer Chase Booth, Molly Boxer and Gray Davis.


The evening’s co-pilots: Kelley Vickery, gala chair Jacqueline Togut, gala co-chairs Annie Selke, Dan Mathieu, Kate Morris and executive assistant Lauren Ferin.


The sold-out crowd at the hanger; gala co-chairs Annie Selke and Mark Dove.


Heather Adams, Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Chris Weld and gala committe member Tyler Weld; Dawn and Chris Masiero of Guido’s Fresh Marketplace.


Jeweler Carolina Palermo Schulze with Norman Rockwell Museum director Laurie Moffatt; planes and a helicopter, oh my.


Benchmark Real Estate’s Nancy Kalodner and Deval Patrick.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 08/31/14 at 07:14 PM • Permalink

Catwalk Fashion Show Struts For The Berkshire Humane Society

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington.
It may be called Catwalk, but dogs and their owners ruled the roost at the fashion show benefiting the Berkshire Humane Society on Thurday, August 28. Catwalk actually refers to the Society’s très high-end resale boutique, which, though only a few months old, has become the go-to place for style- (and deal-) conscious women. Like all good fundraisers, it was a community affair: the event was conceived and coordinated by Erika Stubbs, marketing consultant for WSBS; Michele’s Salon and Day Spa supplied the models, hair and music; Lisa Betkoski of Rock Star Shopping styled the shop’s fashions; Naji’s Mediterranean Cuisine offered canapés (the restaurant also donated its parking lot for the tented venue), and LIVE 95.5 DJ Mike Heck provided runway music. Above, Mimi Rosenblatt and Leslie Weil, Catwalk’s volunteer managing partners, have combined their love of animals and fashion.


Aileen Bliss and Michele Wilkinson, owner of Michele’s Salon and Day Spa, cuddle Tahki, who belongs to Bliss.


Grand finale on the runway; two of the Berkshires renowned fashionistas, Vicki Bonnington and Lisa Betkoski.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/31/14 at 11:24 AM • Permalink

Spencertown’s Festival of Books Preview Party

Amy Krzanik reports from Spencertown. Fine wine, aged cheese, and rooms stuffed to the gills with books, book, books? Well, tell them to pack my bags, because I’m moving in. Unfortunately, the Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s Festival of Books doesn’t actually allow you to stay the night, but they did offer a preview party on Friday, August 29, which allowed for chatting with friends, noshing and a jump on the weekend crowds. Guests were allowed first dibs on the entire used book selection, including the children’s book room, the Specialty Book Room which offers new tomes, limited editions and out-of-print books, and the loft, which features CDs and audio books along with a large selection of fiction and non-fiction. The Festival continued through Labor Day weekend with special events, author readings and a visit from Curious George. Shown above: Bookseller Polly Dufresne, who traveled from New York City to set up the Specialty Book Room, and Madaline Sparks, board vice president.


Jane Hassler, Nellie Rustick and arts educator Susan Grybas; Betsy Howard and daughter Sarah Howard.


Volunteers Cindy and Carl Atkins pose in front of the building’s new front steps; Eileen Fusco, volunteer Stephen Poppel and Cono Fusco in the children’s book room.


Board member David Highfill, Kimberly Rawson and board president Nick van Alstine pose with the Festival’s colorful signage.


Rupert Fennell and Anita Fiorillo do some catching up; Mary and Mario D’onghia.


John Fiorillo, with Peggy and Jeff Dennis and board member Barbara Deisroth; Some of the colorful vintage paperbacks available for purchase in the Specialty Book Room.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/30/14 at 12:33 PM • Permalink

VIM Celebrates Its Big 10 Under The Big Top

Patricia Boissevain reports from Great Barrington. A big tent, colorful banners, a roaming juggler and flashing rings on everyone’s finger could only mean one thing in our area: the 10th Anniversary Carnival Gala fundraiser for Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Berkshires hosted by Ski Butternut on Thursday, August 21. Guests had their Tarot cards read, were delighted by the antics of a mime, and charmed by a friendly man on stilts, but the main event of the evening was a dazzling live auction (as well as the fabulous food).  The organization’s mission is to provide access to quality healthcare for income-qualified, uninsured and underinsured residents of the Berkshire region in a respectful and caring manner through its free clinic. VIM Berkshires is a volunteer-based community organization of more than 140 local healthcare professionals and laypersons who are supported by a small paid office staff.  Pictured above, co-chairs Hildi Black and Nancy Bernstein flank Elaine Roberts.


Board/Trustee Member, Director of Communications, and VIM Nutritionist, Nancy Fernandez Mills and Jane Bernstein; Sally Haver, Dr. Walter Scott, VIM physician, and Rhonna Foodman.


Sunny Schwartz and Molly Sheriff, Gala Committee member for the entire eight years; Dental Care Coordinator Margot Rockefeller, helps Henry the Juggler prepare for his entrance.


Executive Vice President of Salisbury Bank, Richard Aldrich, Phyllis Webb, who is owner of the Magic Flute in Sheffield, Massachusetts State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli, and Meredith Tiedemann, vice president and trust officer of Salisbury Bank.


Laura Lawson, Judith Choate, and Catherine Mandel, co-chair of 10th Anniversary Carnival Gala; Gala Committee and Underwriter, Clara Londoner, in her carnival finery, with Nancy Bernstein.


Chris Eyers Yerling of Mimelot kept everyone on their toes; The lovely Tarot Card reader, Tina Sotis, is also a fabulous local painter and graphic artist.


Trustee Jane Salamon chats with Elaine Roberts and Judith Bainberg; The lively bartender for the evening, Justin Smith, cordially serving in his carnival head gear.


Co-Founder, Board Member, and Committee Member, Marion Simon, and Jill Cancellieri, director of philanthropic services with Berkshere Taconic Community Foundation, show off their flashy rings.

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Posted by Patricia Boissevain on 08/24/14 at 10:49 PM • Permalink

Jacob’s Pillow Bids A Fun Farewell To The Season

Amy Krzanik reports from Becket. Even if you’re not a professional dancer, the Jacob’s Pillow finale party is the place to get loose and let your hair down. Following a performance by either LeeSaar The Company in the Doris Duke Theatre or the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in the Ted Shawn Theatre, guests to the wrap-up event on August 23 were treated to hot chocolate, coffee and an ample array of desserts provided by Chocolate Springs, Six Depot, Haven, The Dream Away, and Becket Bakehouse. Dancers joined guests under the tent post-performance to mingle and sip cocktails such as the special themed Finale Fizz. Down in the Bakalar Studio, DJ BFG found the crowd needed no convincing to turn the entire studio space into one wild dance floor, and folks of all ages and abilities joined together in a fun farewell to another stellar season. Shown left, the party scene inside the Bakalar Studio.


Aspen Santa Fe dancers Peter Franc and Emily Proctor with Delphina Parenti of LeeSaar; George Manley, Janine Strong and Chocolate Springs owner Josh Needleman.


David Smith, board chair Mark Leavitt, board member Ranny Cooper, Ann Hicks and Weston Hicks; Liz Richards and Alison Hart, the Pillow’s senior manager of individual gifts.


LeeSaar dancer Candice Schnurr and Offer Ben-Arie; Cathy Deely, board member Mark Williams and Connie Chin, the Pillow’s general manager.


Aspen Santa Fe dancers Craig Black, Corwin Barnette and Paul Busch; Mark Sayre, Sara Ross, Jason Zellmer and Gareth Ross.


Board president Christopher Jones, Gillian Goreman, Laura Paige Kyber, program coordinator, and Kristin Gregory, development coordinator; Pillow interns Gaige Koontz, Grace Wilson and Trinity Bobo.


Judy Myers, Tobey Mintz and Beth Brody; Betty Scott and Sandy Hart.


Barbara Frum, Alex Josephson, Rachel Cooper and Mike Mendelson; Maura Keefe and Mark Witteveen flank Pillow intern Francesca Hocker.


Phil and Hilary Deely with their son, Pip Deely; Mark Fisher, Florence Wolff Nicholas, Luciano Valles and Eleanor Blake.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/24/14 at 09:57 PM • Permalink