Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Saturday, December 20, 2014
 
Search Archives:
Newsletters Signup
Close it

Newsletters Signup
Close it

RI Archives: Parties

View all past Party articles.


Classical Tents

Robin Hood Radio

Benchmark Real Estate

Hudson Opera House

Berkshire Grown

Hudson LIbrary

RBC

Parties & Openings


December 7 - Lenox
Berkshire United Way

December 7 - Red Hook
Bard's Winter Songfest

December 4 - Lenox
Berkshire Creative Sparkle

[See more Parties articles]

Memorable Parties of 2014

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 in our region. 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 the RI 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 2014’s parties.)

Clermont’s Evening in Agra
Saris, bindis and brightly colored tapestries transformed Clermont’s idyllic grounds into an Indian-inspired soiree.

Northwest CT Arts Council Cultivates Art In The Garden
Live music and on-site art making marked the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council’s third-annual garden party.

Berkshire International Film Festival’s 10th Season Takes Flight
It was haute couture in the hangar, as BIFF laid down the red carpet at the Great Barrington Airport to celebrate its 10th season.

Tanglewood Gala Celebrates Andris Nelsons’ Arrival
The Boston Symphony Orchestra welcomed new music director Andris Nelsons with fine food and fireworks.

A Ver-million Turnout For IS183’s Annual Gala
An IS183 bash is the only local party where you can find a Teletubby dancing with someone wearing a giant papier mâché head.

A Farm-To-Table Dinner Seeds The Sylvia Center
A summer day at Katchkie Farm raised funds that allows children to tour the farm, harvest their own food, and possibly even hold a live chicken.

Barrington Stage Company Celebrates 20 Remarkable Seasons
Proving you can go home again, actors, musical theater writers and others from BSC’s past returned to take part in the company’s retrospective and celebration.

A Tango Diary At Six Depot
Photographer Sabine Vollmer von Falken’s opening reception got guests dancing in the Depot.

Jacob’s Pillow Opening Night Delights
A sold-out crowd at the Pillow’s 2014 season opener were treated to memorable performances from Carmen de Lavallade, Trey McIntyre Project, The Hong Kong Ballet and others.

Party In The Hamlet For Wassaic Project
This year’s Seeing The Sky was a seven-story, one-of-a-kind art project set against Wassaic’s beautiful backdrop.

Barnraising Begins At A Brunch For The GB Fairgrounds
Respected names in the cuisine game showed their support for the Farigrounds’ big cowshed renovation.

The FarmOn! Foundation Celebrates Its Fourth Amongst Friends
The Friends of the Farmer Hootenanny!, complete with sundae bar, was a locavore’s dream come true.

The Clark Art Institute Gala: A Truly Grand Re-Opening
The wait was worth it, as The Clark reopened with an inspiring new look and 700 guests to help celebrate.

Cuisine And Camaraderie Mark A Successful Alzheimer’s Benefit
A guest list full of refined and respected palates, including Ruth Reichl, Paula Wolfert and Dana Cowin, dined in support Alzheimer’s research.

MASS MoCA’s NYC Supporters Help The Museum Celebrate 15 Years
Big-name artists, gallery owners and Museum supporters and friends from around the world helped raise funds for MoCA’s exhibitions, performances and educational programs.

An Evening In The Afternoon Garden At Naumkeag
After a painstaking restoration, Fletcher Steele’s famous “Afternoon Garden” was the perfect site for a garden party.

Berkshire Theatre Group & The Mount Throw Masquerade Balls
The night after Halloween saw plenty of ghouls and goblins (and Waldo) making the spooky scene in Pittsfield and Lenox.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 12/15/14 at 01:57 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

A Dazzling Evening For Berkshire United Way

Rachel Louchen reports from Lenox. Blantyre, the prestigious Gilded Age mansion-turned-luxury-hotel resort is opulent year round, but during the holidays the property manages to surpass its own standards, decorated to the nines with lights and wreaths from nearly every mantel. It was an ideal location for Be Dazzled, a special fundraiser on Sunday, December 7 to celebrate the 90th year of Berkshire United Way (BUW), the nonprofit that supports programs for employment, education, and emergency preparation. It also honored laudable community members Dr. Elizabeth Neale, founder of School Leader’s Network; Dr. Mary K. Grant, president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Michael Tweed-Kent, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics, all of whom have helped BUW to create opportunities for students and employees. The event saw a large turnout; many of the guests were coworkers and friends happy to see the honorees recognized, and also excited to visit Blantyre. A huge highlight of the evening, which included live piano players, small plates by executive chef Arnaud Cotar and mystery boxes filled with prizes, was that the property was open, so guests were free to explore, wander upstairs, peek into the guest suites and marvel at each ornately decorated, one-of-a-kind room. Above, Jonah Sykes, Coordinator of Marketing and Communications at BUW and Colin Sykes.


Blantyre owner Ann Fitzpatrick Brown with her son, Alex Brown, Deanna McGrath and Tim Butterworth.


Tim Kiely and Steve Rogers of The Pittsfield Co-op with Meagan Rogers; Minerva Campbell and Minerva Wasserman.


Cindy Brown, Interim President at MCLA and Maura Delaney, Associate Professor of English at Berkshire Community College; Arlene Schiff, Gary Schiff and Jerry Burke, President of Hillcrest Educational Centers.


Monty Mitchell, Beth Mitchell of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems and June Roy-Martin, who sits on the board of directors for Berkshire United Way; Devan Gardner of Greylock Federal Credit Union with Ursula Allen, technical manager at General Dynamics.


Kathy Tisdale, David Tisdale and Larry Hazzard.


Susanne King and Michelle Gillett; Mary Berkshire and Rod Berkshire of Specialty Minerals.


Doug Munson and Dottie Munson of Chicago Albumen Works and Joan Andrews; Carlo Zaffanella and Joan DiMartino of General Dynamics.


Kim Mathews, Chris Mathews, owner of Onyx Specialty Papers, Inc., and Lori Gazzillo of Berkshire Bank; Brooke Bencivenga and Sergio Bencivenga of Blue Q.


Fred Drake, Mary Ann Drake, Andy Mick and Laurie Mick.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 12/07/14 at 08:48 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Berkshire Creative’s Guests Sparkle At Ventfort Hall

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. If pressed to use only one phrase to describe Berkshire Creative’s Sparkle! holiday party on December 4th, I would employ “dressed to the nines.” It’s a description that could be used to compliment both the guests at the event and the festively decked-out Ventfort Hall mansion which served as venue. Some of the region’s most talented residents got gussied up to enjoy hors d’oeuvres from nAtURAlly Catering and The Red Lion Inn, as well as mustachioed mini cupcakes and a glittering gold layer cake from Madeleine’s Patisserie. The crowd sipped Gilded Gimlets, a vintage cocktail made with Fire Cider and Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Greylock Gin, as they perused silent auction items that included handmade jewelry, pottery and art, as well as private museum tours, a bookbinding workshop and a portrait sitting. The Lucky Five Jazz Band, an incredibly tight yet soulfully swinging Berkshires-based group, inspired more than a few fancy moves on the dance floor. Proceeds from the evening support Berkshire Creative’s mission to advance creativity in order to strengthen economic success and quality of life in the Berkshires. Pictured above: Van Shields, executive director of the Berkshire Museum and Berkshire Creative board president, with Berkshire Creative managing director Julia Dixon.


Artist Jarvis Rockwell and artist and art teacher Nova Rockwell with Christine Condaris Chair of the Fine & Performing Arts Department at MCLA; Megan Whilden, Downtown Pittsfield Inc. board member Valerie Whaling and John Toole, a 1Berkshire board member.


Jody Christopherson and Michael Niederman, both of the New York Theatre Review; Kara Thornton, Brian Butterworth of The Red Lion Inn, Norman Rockwell Museum director Laurie Norton Moffatt and daughter Leigh Moffatt.


Maria Mingalone of the Berkshire Museum, photographer Bill Wright, Carrie Wright and artist Peggy Rivers; Realtor Barney Stein and researcher Mindy Miraglia.


Berkshire Visitors Bureau president Lauri Klefos with Katherine Lockridge; Tonio Palmer, performer Heather Fisch and photographer Lisa Vollmer.


RI editor Lisa Green with Marsha Rose McDermott, a private event coordinator at Ventfort Hall, and Michael Vincent Bushy; Nial DeMena of Manna Molecular Science with Ariana Brawley, program coordinator at Jacob’s Pillow Dance.


The Lucky Five, left to right: Jonathan Talbott, Don Mikkelsen, Matt Downing and Kip Beacco.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 12/07/14 at 08:25 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

A Winter Songfest At Bard Celebrates The Future Of Music

Lisa Green reports from Annandale-on-Hudson. Anyone in attendance at the Bard College Conservatory of Music’s “A Winter Songfest” on Sunday, December 7 will tell you that the future of vocal arts is secure. The graduate students, consummate professionals all, presented a program of festive songs and ensembles to benefit the Scholarship Fund of the Conservatory. Following the concert, guests who had made an additional contribution were invited to a post-concert reception on the stage in the Sosnoff Theater. There, they mingled with the performers, faculty members and Dawn Upshaw, the world-renowned soprano who is the artistic director of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard (she has also recently been appointed as head of the Vocal Arts Program at the Tanglewood Music Center, and received the 2014 Best Classical Vocal Solo Grammy award). Above, Dawn Upshaw with tenor Matthew Slipp and bass Andrew Munn.


John Winkler and Mary Jean Winkler of Millbrook flank Kathy De Las Heras of Salt Point; Soprano Adanya Dunn, who performed Joni Mitchell’s “A River,” with Lizabeth Malanga, mezzo soprano.


Gonzalo De Las Heras, chair of the advisory board of the Conservatory, Kelly Newberry, a mezzo soprano, and Robert Martin, director of the Conservatory.


Pianist Kayo Iwama, asssociate director of the Graduate Vocal Arts program, and Stephen Kaye, editor and publisher of The Millbrook Independent; Cellist Stanley Moore, Odile Chilton, professor of French, and Bruce Chilton of the school’s Institute of Advanced Theology.


The Thorne family came out for the kid-friendly concert, which included the chorus of the Mill Road Elementary School. Eliza Thorne and Felicitas Thorne with Matilda Thorne and Estella Thorne; Jill Wertheim and Patricia Stensrub, both of Clinton Corners, meet Raymond Sokolov, food journalist and former food editor of The New York Times.


Barbara Jean Weyant, a supporter of the Vocal Arts Program, and soprano Sarah Tuttle.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 12/07/14 at 08:24 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Pleasure Before Business At Tanglewood Business Partners Holiday Gathering

Lisa Green reports from Lenox. There are many benefits to becoming a Tanglewood Business Partner (TBP), not the least of them attending the holiday gathering on Monday, December 1 at Eastover Resort and Retreat. The muddy drive (leftover from the Thanksgiving snowfall) and chilly temps were a far cry from the usual Tanglewood conditions, but inside the recently transfigured Eastover, it was as warm as a picnic on the lawn. Tanglewood is the single most important catalyst to the region’s tourism industry, and the Tanglewood Business Partners support the music festival and its integral role in the life and economy of the Berkshires. Business owners mingled with representatives of the BSO and enjoyed drinks and appetizers courtesy of Eastover. Shown above: Yingxing Wang, Eastover co-owner and manager; Kim Noltemy, BSO chief marketing and communications manager; and Nancy Fitzpatrick, owner of the Red Lion Inn and co-chair of Tanglewood Business Partners.


Chin Lee and Sabrina Tan, owners of Flavours of Malaysia in Pittsfield; Vincent Razzano, manager of the Stop & Shop on Dan Fox Drive in Pittsfield, and Phil Halpern of Brook Farm Inn.


The banking and real estate professionals network: Joe Lotano of NBT Bank, Barbara Osborne of Ashmere Realty, Lori Gazzillo of Berkshire Bank, and Tim Kiely of The Pittsfield Coop.


Watercolorist Marge Bride and PR man Ed Bride; Attorney Giovanna Fessenden, Real Estate Broker Mary Jane White, owner of Cohen & White Associates and co-chair of Tanglewood Business Partners, and Nadine Atalla of Cafe Lucia.


Katherine Lockridge, owner of Classical Tents & Party Goods and Shelly Williams, owner of Haven Cafe and Bakery; Attorney Catherine Chester and Matt Chester, financial advisor with The Sherman Investment Group.


Jim Lucia of Cafe Lucia, Alyson Bristol, the BSO’s director of corporate partnerships, Elise Abrams of Elise Abrams Antiques, and Nadine Atalla.


Gallerist Stephanie Hoadley with artist Kris Galli; Main Street Hospitality Group’s Sarah Eustis and designer Hilary Rush of Church Street Trading Company.


Louis Allegrone of the Allegrone Companies, Hillery Maxymillian of Maxymillian Technologies, Inc., and Giovanna Fessenden; Brenda Sanderson of Garden Blossoms Florist and Alan Gold, DDS.


Renee Rotta, longtime Tanglewood volunteer and now the Tanglewood Business Partners marketing coordinator, and TBP’s Allegra Murray.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 12/01/14 at 08:31 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Crowds Travel To Stair Galleries For Hermes Mallea’s ‘Escape’

Lisa Green reports from Hudson. It was a perfect antidote to the weekend after the Thanksgiving snowstorm: a booksigning for Hermes Mallea’s second outrageously beautiful book, Escape: The Heyday of Caribbean Glamour. On Saturday, November 29, the Stair Galleries enhanced its already magnificently adorned walls (filled with works from the December 6 Modern and Contemporary Fine and Decorative Arts auction) with Escape and its photos of the warm-weather destinations, lavish, tropical beach parties and costume balls at fairy-tale private estates. A line of well wishers (many of them artists) waited for the author’s inscription on their copy (provided by Hudson City Books) while others enjoyed nibbles and wine. At left, Marilyn Bethany, one of Rural Intelligence’s founding editors, shares a laugh with the author. Mallea is an architect and partner of M(Group), a design firm based in New York, and has a home in Columbia County.


Marianne Thorsen with John Danzer of Munder-Skiles, which designs and produes quality garden furniture; Philip Kesinger and Katrina Stair.


Muffie Cunningham, Stair Galleries’ director, and Carey Maloney, RI‘s The Wandering Eye blogger; the artist Frank Faulkner and Hermes Mallea.


Brendan Kelly and Conrad Hanson, both of Friends of Clermont; Glenda Law, John Sare and Benjamin Krevolin.


Writer and expert craftsman Graham Blackburn and Andrea Bindereif; President and Founder Colin Stair with RI‘s owner/publisher Mark Williams.

 
Rural Intelligence co-founders Dan Shaw and Marilyn Bethany; Stair Galleries’ Jessanna Britton and Erika Clark, who is the event coordinator.


Photographer Shannon Greer and artist Charlotta Janssen, owners of The Hudson Milliner Guesthouse and Inn.


Lisa Thomas, Stair’s fine art specialist and Sara Griffen, president of The Olana Partnership; Nicole Keegan of Pilates Hudson, and James Corbett.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 11/30/14 at 10:55 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

The re:TREE Exhibit Pops Up In Kinderhook

Amy Krzanik reports from Kinderhook. As has plagued many downtown areas across the region, the loss of trees due to age, disease, salt and severe weather had become a problem in Kinderhook’s business district. Replacing them is costly, but has been no deterrent to the generous residents of this small village. As part of the fundraising for the venture, Renee Shur, Director of Economic Development for Kinderhook, has brought together 40 tree-themed works by 26 regional artists selected by Carrie Haddad of Hudson’s Carrie Haddad Gallery in an exhibition called re:TREE. The exhibit, located at 3 Broad Street on the village green, opened with a packed reception on Saturday evening, November 29. A portion of the sales will be donated by the participating artists to the Kinderhook Tree Fund. The exhibit will be up for the next two weekends from Noon-4 p.m., and from 5:30-8:30 p.m. during the town’s popular Candlelight Night on December 12 when the entire village will be lit up and special programs will be on throughout the business district. Above, participating photographer Daniel Region and Sue Chiafullo.


Painter Susan Colgan, photographer Ken Tannenbaum and Renee Shur; Gallery director Linden Scheff and gallerist Carrie Haddad of the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson.


Artist Jack Millard displays one of his beautiful paintings; Josef Asteinza, Kiki Spensieri, Scott Kilgour and Randy Bourscheidt.


Photographer Karen Halverson, actor Stephen Lang, Tina Lang and Cathy Boyd.


Artists Fern Apfel and Andrew Pellettieri; Cecelia Sinclair, photographer Patrick Harbron and Frances Heaney, who is the new president of the Columbia County Council on the Arts.


Guenter Bochem, Eva Bochem-Shur and Mike Tully; Photographer Denise B. Chandler and encaustic artist Maria Kolodziej-Zincio.


Nicholas Haylett, David and Anna Martin, and Vesna Grossjohann.


Kinderhook residents Loyita Woods and Robert S. Woods; Cynthia Mulvaney, CCCA executive director, with artist Tim Ebneth and his husband, Nick Calderazzo.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/29/14 at 11:16 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Monet | Kelly Opens At The Clark

Amy Krzanik reports from Williamstown. A large crowd packed the atrium and gallery of the recently redesigned Clark Art Institute on Saturday night, November 22 for the unveiling of the new exhibit Monet | Kelly. The exhibition focuses on the role Claude Monet’s motifs and the sites that inspired his paintings (most notably Belle-Île and Giverny) have played in the work of artist Ellsworth Kelly. Kelly, who helped choose the pieces featured in the exhibit and still creates out of his studio over the border in Spencertown, NY, was on hand to chat with well-wishers. The exhibit runs through February 15, 2015. Above: The artist himself, Ellsworth Kelly, and yours truly.


Ryan Fitzgerald, the Clark’s David Breslin, Warren Seubel and Emily Blanchard; The Clark’s Mattie Kelley and preparator Tim Johnson.


Tara Fracalossi and Thomas Lail; Joan and Chris Jones with Sara Loughman, exhibitions manager at the Williams College Museum of Art.


Joel Wolk with Ron and Iris Maitland; Architect Dean Maltz and Carol Gregg, owner of Red Egg Furniture.


Gintare Everett, Sarah Lees, who helped curate the exhibit and is now at Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art, Licia Conforti, Clark Art Director Michael Conforti and Laure Lowry.


KK Zutter with Jeannene Booher; Michael and Marty Keating flank the artist.


Bill Bowden, “Jid” Sprague and Frank Oakley; Peter Hansen and Petra Krauledat.


Mark Zotto and Michael Wolfman; Ivan Rosa, a professor of architecture at City College of New York, and Pam Jacobs.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/23/14 at 05:20 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Oenophiles Flock To Support The Warner Theatre

Rachel Louchen reports from Torrington. The Warner Theatre’s Annual Wine Tasting kicked off the holiday season on Friday, November 21. A critical fundraiser for the Warner, proceeds raised go not only towards programming theater, music and dance performances, but for arts education as well. The signature event usually sees a large turnout, but this year surpassed any of the previous years’ attendance, with the community coming out to in droves to support the touchstone theater. As vendors poured foreign and domestic wine, delicious food and beverages were provided by local area businesses throughout three large rooms, with the special VIP section offering more drink choices and live jazz. At left, Lesley Budny and Event Coordinator Carol Quartiero.


Jerry Carbone and Torrington’s Mayor, Elinor Carbone; Torrington residents Debbie Sugerak and Mike Johnson.


Megan Hurlburt, Associate Director of Entertainment at Infinity Music Hall and Tyler Hurlburt; Joe Riccio and Laura Riccio.


Warner Theatre’s Development Manager Donna Marconi with Executive Director Lynn Gelormino and Alma Nunnley.


Joe Connolly and Bridget McCue; Sandy Nichol, Jim Nichol, Janet Culver and Stephen Todd, one of the event’s sponsors.


Nicole Milo-Cook and Jeff Milo-Cook; Longtime season ticket holders and volunteers Jean Cardello and Illene Cardello.


Alan Temkin, Linda Temkin, owner of Le Beaux Vous Salon, and Bruce Temkin.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 11/23/14 at 11:32 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Northwest CT Arts Council Maxes Out Infinity Hall

Rachel Louchen reports from Norfolk. A concert venue that usually features the roaring sounds of rock legends and soulful crooners instead welcomed artists, writers, photographers, lawyers, bankers and others from varied careers. They were there to honor members of the community (as well as business and organizations) that have made huge strides in raising awareness about the arts and culture in Northwest Connecticut. The first-ever Northwest Connecticut Arts Council CultureMAX! Awards on Tuesday, November 18 was a huge success, with a turnout of more than 160 guests packing Infinity Music Hall & Bistro. The awardees were Sharon Dante, Founder of The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts; Catherine Fields, Executive Director of the Litchfield Historical Society; Five Points Gallery; The North End Store in Barkhamsted; and Janet Rathbun of Colebrook who all received a one-of-a-kind sculpture award designed by Torrington artist Dennis Bialeck. The great turnout proves promising for the inaugural event, but it also spoke volumes about the tight-knit community in Northwest Connecticut. “To see how many people showed up just goes to show how people are looking for something like this: they want to honor contributing members of the community,” said the council’s Manager of Membership and Outreach, Debbie Freund (above right, with Alyson Thompson).


Dennis Bialeck, Mary Bialeck, Amy Wynn, executive director of the council and honoree Judith McElhone.


Sue Anne Marolda and Larita Steffee; Arts Council board member Carie Hodel and Margaret Smith.


Ray Furse, Mary Ellen Furse and Jack Sheedy; Arts Council board members Vanessa Giannasi and Michael Quadland.


Arts Council board member Pamela Baker and Carolyn Ferrara; Judith Romaniello and Gail Kruppa.


Lisa Lopez, Dave Webber and Arts Council board member Kerry Noble.


Honoree Sharon Dante with The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts Artistic Director Victoria Mazzarelli; Gay Schempp and Jordan Hutton, gallery assistant at The White Gallery.


John Lavieri and Corky Lavieri flank one of the evening’s honorees, Brenda Pelletier; Gayle Moraski and Laura Lemieux.


Owner of Infinity Music Hall & Bistro and Arts Council board member Dan Hincks with realtor Juliet Moore; Fiona de Merell with Ed Cannata.


Jay Fields, honoree Catherine Fields and Rod Oneglia.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 11/18/14 at 08:34 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Berkshire Museum Goes On Safari With 2014 Festival of Trees

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. This year’s Festival of Trees at the Berkshire Museum opened with, well, not a bang, exactly… more of an extremely loud kookaburra soliciting attention from the guests. That’s because this year’s preview party doubled as an opening reception for the Museum’s Lions & Tigers & Bears exhibit, and many live animals were on hand to help celebrate. The Creature Teachers from Littleton, Mass. brought some furry, scaly and feathered friends, including the attention-loving kookaburra, a banana-scarfing kinkajou, a preening umbrella cockatoo and other well-behaved beasts. Museum supporters wore their animal-print best to coincide with the “On Safari” theme of the 2014 Festival as they wandered through the twinkling upstairs galleries enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres. The Festival of Trees and Lions & Tigers & Bears: Through the Lens with National Geographic exhibits will be on display through January 4, 2015. Above, Pam Knisley, Berkshire Museum Curatorial Assistant Kendra Knisley and Kyle Wilson pose in front of a Kodiak bear.


Tim Kiely of The Pittsfield Co-op Bank and Vicky May of Greylock Federal Credit Union; Michele Hotchkin of Berkshire Shenanigans, with Melisa Krzysztof-Davis and Joe Pickett.


Daryl Corbett of Mad Macs with Joe and Anne Apkin; Berkshire United Way‘s Jonah Sykes and Colin Sykes who works for the City of Pittsfield.


Peter Garlington, John Krenicki, Berkshire Museum’s Board Vice President Donna Krenicki, the Museum’s Executive Director Van Shields and Peggy Rivers.


Sally Evans, Mike Chefetz and Museum board member Nancy Edman Feldman; Gwen Davis and Mark Ouillette, who were enjoying their 18th Festival of Trees.


Michael Vincent Bushy and Berkshire Creative‘s Julia Dixon; Molari co-workers Bernadette Webb, Nicole Lewis, Raya Brower and Liz Goclowski pose in front of their tree.


Tim Burdick and Berkshire United Way Board Chair Brenda Burdick with Berkshire United Way President & CEO Kris Hazzard and Larry Hazzard.


Jesse Tague, a Berkshire Music School student, performed for the crowd; Berkshire Magazines Anastasia Stanmeyer and Peggy Rivers.


County Ambulance paramedic Robert van Bramer and Erin Roark; Tiffany Roberts and her daughter, Ariana, make a pretty picture.


Pittsfield High School‘s trees are going on safari and trying to blend in with the animals.


Andrew Boino of Dana Bixby Architects and Maureen White of Barnbrook Realty; Barbara and Tom Patton flank BCC professor Colleen Quinn.


Lisa Ostellino and daughters Kate and Julia, pose in the Guardian Life sponsored safari jeep; Gail Shaw and Jodi Briggs pose with a baby bear.


The Creature Teachers brought Walter the American alligator and a six-banded armadillo named Doug, among other critters, to meet the crowd.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/17/14 at 12:05 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Mort Künstler’s Adventurous Art Comes to Norman Rockwell Museum

Rachel Louchen reports from Stockbridge. Much like Norman Rockwell, Mort Künstler gained his fame as an artist who has painted America’s story. So the exhibition “Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure” couldn’t be more welcomed than at the Norman Rockwell Museum. An opening reception on Saturday, November 15 honored the artist, who is known for his highly researched historical paintings and extremely detailed images. Advertisements, book jackets and magazine covers, as well as paintings of figures from the Civil War, large-scale animals and posters from iconic movies such as The Poseidon Adventure highlighted just how versatile the artist’s 60-year career has been. The turnout included proud family members, friends and longtime fans who were thrilled to meet the gregarious artist. The exhibition, which includes more than 80-pieces of work, will be on exhibit until March 15, with an artist conversation to be held February 21. Above, Mort Künstler with deputy director/chief curator Stephanie Plunkett.


NRM’s Director Laurie Norton Moffatt; president of the museum’s board of trustees Robert Horvath and his wife, Lynne Horvath with webmaster and interactive media designer Dan Heck.


The honoree’s grandson Tom Künstler with his grandmother, Deborah Künstler; the museum’s external relations coordinator Lisa Lewis, with chief operating officer Jill Gellert and Bill Gellert.


Martin Mahoney, NRM’s director of collections and exhibitions and Jane Künstler , daughter of the artist.


Künstler’s niece Debra Malone came out to support her Uncle Mort, here with longtime friend, Stockbridge resident Gretchen Wehrle- Scott; Pittsfield residents Merrill Roberts and June Waldman with Mary Jo Engels of East Otis.


Zack Murdock and Barbara Murdock drove up from Long Island to attend the exhibit of their favorite artist; Aaron Stein and Kerry Morris.


Laurie Moffatt with her daughter, Leigh, stands in front of her favorite piece in the exhibition, a painting depicting George Washington crossing the Delaware River.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 11/16/14 at 06:30 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Williamstown Film Festival Talks Suspense With Director Tony Gilroy

Amy Krzanik reports from North Adams. As part of its creative 2014 programming, the Williamstown Film Festival held a benefit dinner on Friday, November 7 at Gramercy Bistro, followed by a discussion with writer/director Tony Gilroy on “The Art of Suspense.” The Festival’s Executive Director, Steve Lawson, and board member Stephen Hannock moderated the discussion, which was held in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center. Gilroy is most famous for writing the scripts of the Bourne movies starring Matt Damon, and received an Academy Award nomination for writing and directing Michael Clayton starring George Clooney—the film received seven nominations in all. Clips of Gilroy’s films, including the recently released Nightcrawler which he produced, and other thrillers were interspersed to give the audience examples of how filmmakers keep moviegoers on the edges of their seats. Lickety Split hosted an after-party in the lobby, and guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres and dessert, including pistol-shaped sugar cookies in a “blood-spattered” bowl. Above: Tony Gilroy and his wife, Susan Gilroy, flank Stephen Hannock.


WFF Consultant Sandra Thomas, WFF Board Vice President Roger Clark, projectionist Anna Moriarty Lev and Ned Thorne; WFF board member Diane Pearlman and WFF Board President Joe Finnegan.


Bonnie and John Raines, subjects of the documentary 1971, with Peter Thompson; WFF board member Sue Killam with Cody Ball and Peyton Young.


Linda Conway, Ellen Bernstein, Emily Eakin, WFF board member and Williamstown Selectman Jane Patton and Gintare Everett.


Annie Kennedy of pop-up shop School For Style, with Wit McKay, and Molly Kerns of Tsubo Massage; Tony Gilroy and WFF Executive Director Steve Lawson.


Chris Finnegan and Kate Scully; Janet Stratton and Randy Stratton with Joe Finnegan.


Gilroy, Lawson and Hannock on stage.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/09/14 at 10:43 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

The JLBC’s Signature Fundraiser Gathers A Crowd

Rachel Louchen reports from Pittsfield. Core values of The Junior League of Berkshire County (JLBC) are volunteerism, leadership, collaboration, diversity, mentoring and respect. On Thursday, November 6, the organization focused all those values on its annual fall fundraiser, the 7th annual Taste of the Berkshires. Held at Pittsfield’s Crowne Plaza hotel, over 25 restaurants from across Berkshire County attended and, much like the selection of restaurants in our region, the menu was diverse. There was Malaysian cuisine provided by Flavours Of Malaysia; sushi from 7 Grille, with some comfort food favorites mixed in like pasta from Mazzeo’s Ristorante and barbeque from MadJacks. Sweets were plentiful too: tables were piled high with cakes and pastries, and even Pittsfield (relative) newcomer Ayelada offered up its frozen yogurt. All proceeds from the event will go to community-based programs such as Curl Up With a Good Book, a literacy-focused evening, and Kids in the Kitchen, which helps prevent childhood obesity by teaching children about smart food choices. Above, President Jessica Shandor with fundraising chair Mia Albano.


State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, former JLBC member Amy Novisky and David Novisky.


Hinsdale residents Roberta Francis and Burton Francis; former JLBC member Mary Kay Farley and teacher Mary Beth Eldridge.


Madeleine’s Patisserie & Cafe proprietor Ashely Summers with staffer Nicole Wheeler; Kristine Warfield with her daughter, JLBC member Nora Tassone.


City of Pittsfield Director of Cultural Development (and member) Jen Glockner, Tim Kiely and Lori Gazzillo, director of Berkshire Bank Foundation.


Lisa LoBou and Todd Walton, husband of a JLBC member; Sarah Truden and James Truden.


Former president Karen Rogers with sustainer Heather McDermott; Williamstown’s Hops And Vines was represented by the husband and wife team of Megan Beuth and Robert Beuth.


Monterey residents Carol Edelman and James Edelman.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 11/06/14 at 07:32 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Berkshire Theatre Group & The Mount Throw Masquerade Balls

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield and Lenox. November 1, the day after the spookiest day of the year, was still pretty frightening in the Berkshires, as both the Berkshire Theatre Group and The Mount held masquerade balls to celebrate the Halloween holiday. BTG’s annual fall fundraising gala was held on the stage of the Colonial Theatre and featured a drama-themed silent auction, a staged reading of The Raven by cast members of POE, and dancing. Masked guests enjoyed a generous buffet from Mazzeo’s Meat and Seafood, which featured delicious meats, cheeses, grilled vegetables, hot dishes and more. No ghoul or goblin went home hungry. Above, Tara K. Young, BTG’s Director of Special Events and Donor Relations, with Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.


Pam Malumphy, Joan DiMartino, Lisa Tully and Melissa Mazzeo; Tony Gibson and John Culver of the Purple Plume in Lenox.


Lynne and Mike Mazzeo; The stars of BTG’s POE, Brian Plouffe, David Adkins and Corinna May, with BTG Board President Ruth Blodgett.


BTG board member Linda Cooper with Sue Mooney and Heather Wells Heim; Rhiannon Hagen, Jody Fairweather and Gina Foley.


Mike Fazio and Cori Salvini; Michael and Denise Richardello flank George Haddad.


Casey Meade, Johanna Wise, Katherine Davis and George Manley.

Later in the night, Edith Wharton’s former mansion served up a supernatural scene as the lights were turned low, no… lower… lower… that’s good, for a Victorian Boudoir party hosted by Berkshire Shenanigans. Nineteenth century lords and ladies mingled with superheroes, a come-to-life sculpture, two David Bowies, Waldo from the Where’s Waldo? books (we found him, er… her) and many other beastly and beautiful partygoers. DJ BFG spun tunes for the sold-out crowd inside and How We Roll served up hot eggrolls to hungry guests outside. In the running for party of the year? We think so.


Rachel Parzick as a happy little tree and Michael Boroniec as painter Bob Ross won the Couples Costume award; Antoinette Simms and Seth Levy.


Virgil Kerr, assistant winemaker at Balderdash Cellars, with Jen Frederick and Chris Mollomo; Nancy Fitzpatrick, Nathan Hanford and Rebecca Weinman.


Jon and Carrie Hornbeck; John Ryall and Lori Flynn.


Emily Moraes, Gillian Gorman and Karden Rabin of Radiance Yoga, with Amy Huebner.


Rob Levardi and Lisa Sears; Scott Cole of the Monterey General Store with artist Tom Taylor.


Jennifer Peloquin and Ryan Picard; Darryl Lipinski, Victoria Spelling and Josh Chittenden.


The spooky view of Edith Wharton’s mansion upon arrival.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/03/14 at 12:27 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

WAM’s “Army” Supports Opening Night Of ‘In Darfur’

Rachel Louchen reports from Lenox. A packed crowd of cast members, crew and friends turned out to celebrate the opening night of WAM Theatre’s newest production, In Darfur, on Saturday, November 1 at Haven in Lenox. Founder, Artistic Director and play director Kristin van Ginhoven addressed the guests with a champagne toast and talked about the intense process of producing the play, which tells the story of three lives that intersect in a camp for internally displaced persons. Van Ginhoven acknowledged the “In Darfur Army” of individuals who have been invaluable along the way. A crucial member of the army has been the playwright, Winter Miller (left, with van Ginhovan far left), who has “been quick to respond to many late night emails and made herself always accessible,” which often necessitated trips to the Berkshires. The show, with two additional matinee performances added due to ticket demand, runs through November 16.


Hosts David Schecker and Vicki Bonnington (wearing a dress custom made from African textiles) with David Librizzi.


Cast members marcus d. harvey and Warren Jackson; Director of Communications at Shakespeare & Company Elizabeth Aspenlieder with Thomas W. Barrett.


Ben Merrihew with Assistant Director Molly Clancy; WAM supporters Kristin and James Hatt flank Nick Webb, husband of van Ginhoven and board secretary.


Cast member Christina Gordon, WAM Board President Ashley Berridge and her husband, Brad Berridge, who wears many hats for WAM: sound, projection design and composer.


Stage manager Laura Gomez with her husband, Joe Suerchek; Corky Miller, mother of the playwright with Jessica Provenz, coordinating producer.


Cast member Sipiwe Moyo with the costume designer Govane Lohbaur and Douglas Seldin, who directed the fight scene in the play; Assistant Stage Manager Melissa Rao and Cory Colasessano.


Susie Weekes, here with cast member Tricia Alexandro, serves as the connection to the Housemothers of Mother of Peace Orphanage in Illovo, South Africa, which will receive profits from In Darfur.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 11/02/14 at 07:21 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

The Annual LitNet Gala Helps Support Literacy In The Community

Rachel Louchen reports from Stockbridge. The annual fundraising gala for The Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) always brings out a big crowd, fantastic silent auction prizes and a worthy honoree whose contributions to education go hand-in-hand with the community-based organization. Held at Berkshire Country Day School on Saturday, October 25, this year’s event honored Eleanore Velez, admissions counselor and coordinator of the Multicultural Center at Berkshire Community College. Prior to the sit-down dinner, guests enjoyed the cocktail hour underneath a large white tent set on the lawn of the school and had a chance to bid on the aforementioned silent auction, which offers increasingly wonderful prizes each year. This year’s offerings included week-long getaways to Mexico and Colorado with Berkshire-centric gift certificate to local shops and restaurants. Proceeds from the event help provide funding to LitNet’s one-on-one tutoring program, which is available to any Southern Berkshire resident over the age of 16 not currently enrolled in school. Above, Tutor Coordinator Mary Spina and Executive Assistant Shelley Wojtkowski.


Melissa Bissell, John Bissell, executive vice president of Greylock Federal Credit Union, Betty Prashker and her daughter, LitNet Board President Lucy Prashker.


Carmen Dockery Perkins, associate head of school at Berkshire Country Day with Elise Abrams; Cori Salvini and Mike Fazio .


Project Lit team leader Allison Curtain with Jim Hoffman; Larry Hazzard and Dennis Pollack, who donated his home repair services to the auction.


Carol Diamond and Herb Diamond with LitNet board member Lois Lenett.


Marty Gottron Felton and board member John Felton; Board member Cris Raymond and Jane Iredale.


LitNet board member and auction chair Sue Weintraub with Adrienne Miesmer; Liz Goodman, pastor of the Monterey Church, with Stephanie Iverson.


Bobbie Hallig, Sue Dunlaevy and LitNet treasurer Bill Dunlaevy.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 10/26/14 at 06:46 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

The BCC Foundation’s Orchid Show Brings A Bit Of The Tropics To Pittsfield

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. The wind may have been whipping the autumn leaves into a wet frenzy outside, but inside Berkshire Community College’s Paterson Field House, the mood was warm and welcoming on Friday night, October 24. Supporters mingled at a preview party kicking off the annual Berkshire Orchid and Tropical Show. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres from Ye Olde Forge Restaurant, treats from Chocolate Springs Café, and libations provided by Kelly’s Package Store as relaxing waterfall sounds played over the PA system. A short live auction and a competitive silent auction raised funds for the BCC Foundation as bidders attempted to win gift certificates from Catamount and Jiminy Peak ski resorts, services from Kripalu and The Clip Shop, wine from Balderdash Cellars and other sought-after items. Proceeds from the evening benefit the Foundation, which, among other duties, provides more than 150 scholarships to students in need. Above, Craig Smith, vice president for institutional advancement, with BCC President Ellen Kennedy and auctioneer John Economou.


BCC alums Jeff Bradway and Marcella Bradway, who also is a trustee, with Caroline Kacensky and Rosie Keefe, whose children attended the college; Linda and Ronald Giancola of Lee.


Torey Winn and Michael Hoffman; Michael and Marianne Miceli of Fairfield, CT with Linda and Joe Cancilla.


Julie Hannum, BCC’s director of off-campus centers, with trustees Ellen Whittaker and Susan Lombard; Abby Wood from Berkshire Magazine, which was a sponsor of the event, with Jon Meczywor.


Linda Giancola, Janie Pellish, Mary Spina and Virginia Smith.


Ronald Carver and Chelsi Morrison-Rohlfs; John Gobel and trustee Keye Hollister of Gobel & Hollister, with trustee Dan Dillon and Linda Dillon of Greylock Federal Credit Union.


Mark Clatterbaugh, Andy Hochberg and Larry Pellish; Jill Reynolds of Cheshire Glass Works with Anne Nigrelli of Daffodils & More.


Just a small sample of the amazing orchids and lush tropical plants on view at the show.


Display by the vendor Black Jungle Terrarium Supply.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/26/14 at 11:10 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Berkshire South Celebrates Community Advocate Barbara Manring

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. Barbara Manring (far left, with friend, Susie Weekes is a familiar face in the community for her multiple philanthropic contributions to numerous organizations. Barbara is currently President of the Board of Directors at Railroad Street Youth Project and involved with Construct Inc., but one of her longest philanthropic endeavors has been with Berkshire South, which honored her with a gala party on Saturday, October 18th. A supporter since 2002 (when it opened) she has served on the Board of Trustees, Co-chair of the Task Force, helped organize events, and even served as a fitness trainer before her current position on the Fund Development Committee. The turnout was diverse, filled with friends, fellow board members and people who have experienced firsthand Barbara’s tireless devotion to her community. Despite a packed room plastered with photos of her ranging from childhood to now, Barbara was as modest and gracious as ever, thrilled to see so many familiar faces and friends who came out to celebrate her, and ready to plan her next event at Berkshire South.


Superintendent of Berkshire Hills Regional School District Peter Dillon, Diane Dillon, Maureen Hickey and Paul Hickey.


Sally and Fred Harris, owners of Saint James Place; Salisbury Bank Vice President Rich Aldrich with Mary Spina.


Longtime BSRCC member Lili Goldberg and Board Chairman Ethel Patterson; Salisbury Bank’s Spring Burke, Pittsfield Rotary Club President Dave Hall and Mary Ann Hall.


Member Greg Fritch with Michael Bandzierz; Kwik Print founders Cheryl Raifstanger and John Raifstanger Jr. with Mary Saporito.


BSRCC Executive Director Jenise Lucey with Roger Manring and Barbara Manring.


Autobahn Service owner Dominic Lydon with his wife, Melissa Lydon; Sabrina Ruggiero, Joe Ruggiero and Maria Vitrano came out to support their friend Barbara.


Author Stephen Sagarin, his wife, Janis Martinson and Jack Spencer; BSRCC volunteer Hank Ferlauto and wife, lawyer Susan Ferlauto.


Mary Ann Norris with Jessica Speer-Holmes; member Aimee Raifstanger, gala committee member Becky Raifstanger and Paula Ungewitter.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 10/18/14 at 08:54 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Jane Iredale, And The Night And The Music At The Mahaiwe Gala

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. Most people identify Jane Iredale as the founder of the eponymous cosmetics company headquartered in Great Barrington, but at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center’s Gala on Sunday, October 12, she was Jane Iredale, honoree. First during dinner under a tent at Great Barrington’s former train station, and later (just before singer Bernadette Peters stepped onto the stage), Jane’s generosity to the Mahaiwe was lauded. “She was among the first to recognize [founder] Lola Jaffe’s vision, and has contributed gifts, good advice and advocacy,” said Maggy Buchwald, chair of the Mahaiwe’s Board of Directors. Acknowledging Jane’s love of gardening, the board presented her with a holly bush to be planted in her garden, along with a plaque of gratitude for her involvement not just in the Mahaiwe but the entire community. Following the concert, audience members stepped outside to a fanfare of fireworks, while a select group of benefactors met the singer at a private reception. Above, Eugene Dellea, president of Fairview Hospital, with honoree Jane Iredale.


Mandy Pieczarka, Stephanie Solar and board member Dick Solar, all of whom were gala benefactors, and Maggie Buchwald, chair of the board of directors; Matthew Rubins, Julia Lazarus and Jeff Lazarus.


Rosalie Berger and Betsey McKearnan, a gala benefactor; Karen Rosengren and Mark Rosengren.


Beryl Jolly, the Mahaiwe’s executive director, chats with Rep. Smitty Pignatelli at the reception.


Bernadette Peters and Mahaiwe founder Lola Jaffe meet at the post-concert reception; Merle Kailas and Leo Kailas, gala benefactors.


Monique Blake, Sue Allegrone, singer Mary Verdi and Jim Culliton; Gala benefactors Stephanie Solar, Connie Coolidge and Mary Cohen.


Kwik Print’s Cheryl Raifstanger, who served on the gala committee, with Paula Kurman; both are on the board of directors.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 10/13/14 at 12:27 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Outside In The Autumnal Air For Litchfield Historical Society

Rachel Louchen reports from Litchfield. The Litchfield Historical Society took advantage of the last few days (or weeks) of clement weather for its Annual Fall Fundraiser BBQ, held at White Memorial in Litchfield, a prime place to enjoy peak foliage, crisp air and a sunset. All proceeds raised from the October 11 event make it possible for LHS to provide free educational programs to the students of Litchfield Public Schools. Food was supplied by The Cookhouse, 13-time winner for best barbeque in Connecticut, and local band Switch Factory played bluegrass tunes that filled the activity shed. And as the sun set over the grounds, it did get pretty chilly, but not a guest complained — the many bonfires provided warmth and a great place to huddle around with friends. Above, LHS Trustee John Newton, President Mike Reardon and Executive Director Catherine Fields.


Friend of LHS Rosie Furniss is largely responsible for coordinating the event, here with a patron, former Connecticut Senator Andrew Roraback; Southport resident Carol Baxter with John Endicott of Litchfield.


Karen DePauw attended in support of her wife, Curator of Collections Jessica Jenkins; The activity shed was transformed by music, pumpkins and some pulled pork.


Curator of Education Liz O’Grady, Assistant Curator of Library and Archives Lee Cook and Curator of Archives Linda Hocking.


Professor Steve McGrath with Jay Fields; Elaine Marshall of Litchfield with LHS patrons Jane Hinkel and Paul Hinkel.


Tom Kendall, Virginia Budney and Lee Reese; LHS benefactor Susan Spencer and patron Nancy Newton.


Jim Telly, Tina Reardon, lawyer Kirstin Etela and Mike Reardon.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 10/12/14 at 10:26 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Made in the Berkshires’ Opening Night Introduces Fresh Faces

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. Made in the Berkshires kicked off another exciting year (their fourth) showcasing local talent at the Colonial Theatre on Friday evening, October 10 with an art exhibit curated by Suky Werman. Werman, co-owner of Stonover Farm and curator of its annual IS183art show, chooses different artists every year in order to give exposure to as much area talent as possible. The night’s main stage performances focused on young talent and included two dance pieces, short films including music videos, two scenes from Lee Kalcheim’s new comedy, Speed Dating, a piano performance by Paul Celebi and a jazz guitar performance by Nico Wohl, and Diary of a Fashionista, a fashion show styled by Destiny Saunders. Afterwards, performers mingled with family and friends in The Garage and enjoyed desserts from local purveyors Caroline’s Chocolates, Becket Bakehouse and Chocolate Springs, along with food from Elm Street Market and Tortured Orchard and cocktails from Bug Hill Farm and others. And that was only opening night – MITB continued for two more full days of talent at the Colonial and Unicorn Theatres. Above: MITB curators Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims.


Kate Morris is flanked by Seven Salon.Spa owners Mark Johnson and Pops Peterson, whose artwork is shown middle and bottom right; Filmmaker Dave Simonds, whose short film and music video were featured on opening night, with Hans Morris.


Becky Brighenti, director of marketing and PR at the Colonial Theatre, with POE star Jonathan Young, BTG’s Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire and Wendy A. Rabinowitz.


Dancers Ruslan Sprague and Tess Lane; Kudret and Louise Celebi with Rebecca Schirber, Bob Shepherd, Natalie Celebi and pianist Paul Celebi.


Jenee Edgerton, Gabrielle Kirkland, Destiny Saunders, Serina Saunders and Malyah Jackson.


Megan Whilden and Suky Werman, art show curator; Betsey McKearnan, Pamela Esler and Tjasa Sprague.


Suzanne Ankrum and Ryan Winkles in a scene from Lee Kalcheim’s new comedy, Speed Dating.


Nico Wohl on stage; Nico’s sister, Sarah, and mother, Tessa, came out to support him.


Berkshire Pulse dancer and choreographer Ellen Gorman performs Free Bird Flyin’ with the help of music students from New Lebanon’s Darrow School, including vocalist Zoe Rosemond.


Jeff Diamond and Diane Pearlman, executive director of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative; Lisa Voorhis, Sue Ryan, Betty Palucci and Mary Ann.


The evening’s performers take a bow.


Dancers and fashion show models Mackenzie Buckley and Fay Butler; Photographer Susan Geller and Wendy A. Rabinowitz.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/11/14 at 12:25 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

MASS MoCA’s NYC Supporters Help The Museum Celebrate 15 Years

Amy Krzanik reports from New York City. 583 Park Avenue, with its mirrored and mood-lit underground arcade area and its high-ceilinged ballroom complete with glittering chandelier, is one of the city’s most-sought-after event spaces. So it’s no wonder MASS MoCA booked it again this year for its 15th anniversary fundraising gala. Nattily attired guests – including big-name artists, gallery owners, and Museum supporters and friends from around the world – mingled over champagne, specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the arcade before moving upstairs for dinner. Sara Friedlander of Christie’s conducted a hilarious, high-energy live auction, raising thousands for the Museum as guests bid big on artworks donated by Darren Waterston, Ann Hamilton, Teresita Fernandez, Ran Hwang, Christopher Chiappa, Clifford Ross and others. The much adored (and adorable) Lucius performed a set of perfectly crafted pop songs for the crowd before the successful social event wrapped for the evening. Proceeds from the benefit support the Museum’s exhibitions, performances and educational programs. Above: the Museum’s director, Joe Thompson, flanked by artist Chris Chiappa and gallerist Kate Werble.


Gala co-chair Hans Morris with Deborah Montaperto and Jordan deButts of Morgan Stanley, and Cynthia Remec; Publisher Phong Bui, photographer Clifford Ross and artist Nari Ward.


Artist Izhar Patkin and MoCA’s Director of Communications Jodi Joseph; Hallie Scott of The Wassaic Project with Seton Melvin and Meredith Boggia.


Gala co-chairs Kate Morris and artist Darren Waterston with John Berggruen and photographer Clifford Ross.


Artist Marko Remec and Jack Waters; Former MASS MoCA curator Laura Steward with photographer and board member Gregory Crewdson and guest.


Board member Anne Avis, Jennifer Trainer Thompson, the Museum’s Director of Special Events and Membership, and Michael Govan, director of LACMA; Sheriden Booker, Director of Development at OMI, with curator Natalie Diaz.


Videographer Jane Burns with artist Johnny Carrera and Andreas Engel; Artist and musician Karl Mullen and Merritt Colaizzi, Development Director at the Clark Art.


Amy Ziff of the band BETTY with Steve Blood, Art in America’s Brian Boucher and Kendra Strasburg.


Casey Meade of Race Brook Lodge with Kayla Jo; Tony and Rosena Sammi with Daniel Hunter and Kurt Hemr.


Jessica Dawson, Cai Guo-Qiang, Hong Hong Wu and Jane Sutherland; Oliver Hill with Dan Molad of Lucius.


Eric Cyphers and MASS MoCA’s Jodi Joseph; Larry Rosenthal with Cintia and Kurt Kempkes.


Tracy Lewis, Sandeep Belani and Frank Cipollino of Morgan Stanley; Andy Dietderich, Mike and Nan Cooper, and John Jerome.


Lucius performs under the MASS MoCA banner.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/08/14 at 11:50 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Award-Winning Authors At Music & More

Amy Krzanik reports from New Marlborough. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Music & More’s Award-Winning Authors series, host Mitchel Levitas invited back to the Meeting House the three authors who attended the inaugural Authors event in 1994. Paul Auster, Roy Blount, Jr. [both shown left] and Siri Hustvedt have only become more popular over the last twenty years, Hustvedt so popular, in fact, that she couldn’t attend the event due to a prior commitment abroad. Auster, her husband, spoke on her behalf, reading a prepared statement where she enlightened listeners to how her life has changed in the last twenty years, including her foray into the medical world, which in 1994 she claims she could have never imagined. Auster himself spoke of strange coincidences he’s had over the years due to his writing, echoing situations portrayed in many of his novels. Roy Blount, Jr. read the humorous tale of a fishing excursion taken years ago, and Gloria Levitas recounted being urged by her publisher to use a pseudonym when releasing her psychiatric work early on in her career, so as to pass as a male author. This touched nicely on both Hustvedt’s latest novel, The Blazing World, as well as the most recent film from Authors speaker Ellen Weissbrod, entitled a woman like that. Both the book and the film focus on the sexism women face in the art world, with Weissbrod’s documentary delving deep into 17th century Italy to investigate the life and work of painter Artemisia Gentileschi. This was Mitchel Levitas’ last year at the helm of the Authors series, and he was honored by The New Marlborough Village Association for his years of exceptional work.


Gloria Levitas and filmmaker Ellen Weissbrod; The New Marlborough Village Association President Louise Yohalem with Award-Winning Authors host Mitchel Levitas.


Art Sherman and Enid Michaelman; Artist and Meeting House Gallery committee head Elizabeth Lombardi with author Alon Gratch and Michele Sacks.


Roy Blount, Jr. recounts a story from one of his books.


Joan Elmer and photographer Lee Backer with Honey Sharp; Susan Lewin and Marty Miller.


Melissa Powell, producer of a woman like that, with Tony Levitas, a friend of the director; Paul Auster discusses coincidence in fiction and in real life.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/29/14 at 12:13 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Berkshire Medical Center Toasts To Life And Local Heroes

Rachel Louchen reports from Pittsfield. With its gracious lawns and a statuesque building facing peaceful views of Lake Onota, The Berkshire Medical Center’s Cancer Center at Hillcrest Campus may not look like the usual medical center, but it was a lovely backdrop for the crowd attending the Taste of Life Wine & Beer Tasting on Saturday, September 28. The first annual event, which featured an extensive wine and beer selection provided by Kelly’s Package Store, raised funds for Integrated Health Services, including Reiki, yoga and exercise therapy (amongst many others), which are not covered by insurance but have been shown to improve symptoms in cancer patients. The evening also honored “Berkshire Heroes” — patients, caregivers and medical practitioners who have been selfless in their support of those battling cancer. Above, Vice President of Support Services Sean Jennings, Chief Operating Officer Diane Kelly, Brenda Cadorette, Vice President of Acute Care, and Karen Benzie, Vice President of Quality and Safety.


Ruth Blodgett, Senior Vice President of Planning and Development, with Diane Kelly and her husband, John Kelly, who had a big hand in organizing the event.


Joe Sylvester with his wife, Michelle Sylvester, Community Coordinator Berkshire North WIC at Berkshire Health Systems; Nurse Jennifer Nykorchuck and Peggy Ryan-Rockwell, training coordinator for BHS.


Dalton residents Charlie and Cheryl Stengl; Clinical educator Alexis Montgomery and Cathleen Vidoli, who works in development.


Reiki healers Cheryl Weider, Kelly Parzick, Denise Jester, Marie Cahill, Colleen Coakley-Shaw and Christine Simeone.


Physician Bill DeMarco with wife Jinny DeMarco; Brenda Cadorette and Karen Benzie.


Dr. Harvey Zimbler and Janis Zimbler; BHS staffers Sarah Witruk and Jessica Casey.


Business committee member Henry Holt, department director and event committee member Susan Duncan and her daughter, Shannon Duncan.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/28/14 at 02:05 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Barnraising Begins At A Brunch For The GB Fairgrounds

Lisa Green reports from New Marlborough. It takes a village to build a barn, and the townspeople came out in force for the brunch to raise funds for the cowshed at the Great Barrington Fairgrounds. The long-dormant site is undergoing a renaissance thanks to the efforts of co-owners Janet and Bart Elsbach [in photo, left], along with many volunteers. On Sunday, September 21, supporters gathered in the elegant barn at Gedney Farm, where the focus at the sumptuous brunch was on cuisine and cooking, farmers and food journalists. “This is a community-driven, community-based effort,” said Janet Elsbach, and truly, the pitch-in spirit was alive and well. Everything, from Alana Chernila’s Pallid Mary cocktail to the chocolate goat cheese truffles for dessert were made of ingredients from area farms; Gedney’s servers donated their services, autumnal tablescapes were created gratis by Pamela Read Hardcastle, and the featured speakers also contributed their time. Sam Sifton, former restaurant critic for the New York Times and now editor of its new Cooking website, Jenny Rosenstrach, whose book Dinner: A Love Story and blog of the same name are household resources in many families, and Andy Ward, editorial director at Random House, spoke about trends in home cooking (and what they plan to serve at their Thanksgiving tables). Now, the real task of barnraising begins, and next summer, the organization will host workshops led by professional timber framers to teach all who are interested the skills to participate in the hands-on project.


Featured guest speakers Jenny Rosenstrach, Sam Sifton and Andy Ward; Margaret Cherin and Gregory Cherin, a photographer.


Alana Chernila, author, blogger and RI contributor with Lisa Landry of Six Depot Cafe in West Stockbridge; Flora Paladino and her mom Emily Rechnitz.


Cathie Kavanaugh, prepared food manager at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, who commandeered the brunch kitchen, with Chris Masiero and Dawn Masiero of Guido’s, which was a sponsoring partner, along with Gedney Farm.


Diminutive real estate broker extraordinaire Nancy Kalodner tries to look taller in between Bill Gunn and Virginia Warner; Volunteer coordinator Beth Carlson, who sells vintage jewelry on Etsy, with volunteer Karen Seltzer.


Phyllis Webb, owner of The Magic Fluke Company in Sheffield, and Selina Lamb of Berkshire Property Agents.


Paul Joffe smooches his wife, Ingrid Joffe; Amy Humes and Bruce Humes, who were married at Gedney Farm almost 14 years ago.


Possible future barn builders Corliss Parker, Charles Rosenblum, Faith Sterling, Bob Sterling, Bruce Kafenbaum and Sandi Kafenbaum.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/22/14 at 09:20 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

The Fairview Gala Hits A High Note With The Midtown Men

Amy Krzanik reports from Great Barrington. Fairview Hospital, a part of Berkshire Health Systems, gathered together staff, friends and supporters on the green outside the Mahaiwe Theater on Saturday, September 20 for its annual celebration. Guests mingled, dined and bid on some amazing silent auction items like stays in France and Nantucket, a year of massages, catered dinners and more. Once inside the theater, the hospital showed its lighthearted side in a video directed by Ben Hillman, where staff lip-synched to a Fairview-ized version of “The Beat Goes On.” Massachusetts State Representative Smitty Pignatelli and Fairview President Eugene Dellea thanked attendees for their support and honored community leader Cheryl Raifstanger, who was given a standing ovation by the crowd. The evening’s entertainment was a high-energy performance by The Midtown Men a.k.a. the four original cast members of Broadway’s Jersey Boys. The evening wrapped up with dessert and coffee back outside under the tent. Proceeds from this year’s gala fundraiser will help upgrade Fairview’s anesthesiology department. Pictured above, the evening’s honoree, Cheryl Raifstanger, with her husband John.


Hunter Runnette, gala committee member Helice Picheny and Mark Vanden Bosch, Berkshire Health Systems’ head of anesthesiology; Fairview President Gene Dellea and Barbara Alibozek.


Brian Zanin and Kate McCormick; Berkshire Film & Media Collaborative executive director Diane Pearlman, Seeds owner Robin Ban and Joanne Sheehan Keator of the The Keator Group.


Holly Broga and Joe and Chelsea Brown, all of Michelle’s Salon & Day Spa; MA House Representative Smitty Pignatelli and Alexandra Glover.


MA State Auditor and Great Barrington resident Suzanne Bump with Gene Dellea; Sandra Josel, Hildi Black and Elaine Silberstein.


The Ad Journal Committee: Louann Harvey, Fran Premerlani, Dee Harnish and Paula Gangell-Miller.


Eric Plakun, Deb Buccino and Audrey Raifstanger; Last year’s honorees, committee member Anne Schnesel and Ernest Schnesel.


Gala committee member Lisa Cohen with Paul Tepper; Peg Shea, John Greenberger and Mary White.


Saul and Barbara Eisenberg with Gene Dellea; Ann McDonald of BMC’s new Cancer Care Center, which will hold a benefit wine tasting this Saturday, and Mark Kester, Fairview’s Director of Pharmacy.


Board member Sue Kormanik and Bill Kormanik; Roger Manring and Barbara Manring, who will be honored on October 18 at BSCC’s Community Gala.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/21/14 at 11:28 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

OMI Lights Up The Night With A Fundraising First

Rachel Louchen reports from Ghent. Sight, sound, smell, touch and taste were all accounted for at Omi International Arts Center on Saturday, September 20 for the first Light Into Night, a unique fundraiser that combined an auction, dinner, art exhibit and dance party. Art abounded in every nook and cranny of the grounds as musicians wandered about with various instruments, interpretive dancers performed, guests made funny faces at the photo booth, and the two-story barn displayed visual and video artwork. While “no touching” is usually the first rule at art exhibits, an intriguing aspect of the event was the interaction encouraged of the guests; such as painting a candle and setting it adrift at the pond and participating in a dance performance; quite appropriate for the organization which hosts residency programs for artists, writers, musicians and dancers. These exciting events were all a lead-up to a fantastic family-style farm-to-table dinner by Black Forest Flammkucken and a full-on dance party in the barn, before closing the memorable evening with an auction. Dancer Vincent E. Thomas smiles with executive director Ruth Adams after his dance and movement performance which required the viewers to shout out questions and strike poses.


Writers in residence: Christine Buckley, Anna Ballbona and Nuno Camarneiro.


PS21 site manager Sam Reilly with president Judy Grunberg; Dancers Suzanne Beahrs and Jess Grippo came up from Brooklyn to perform.


Volunteer Max Reisner with residency assistant Cassie Massa; trustee Matthew Doering and Ann Jackowitz.


Julianne Swartz creates bubbles while Julianne Carney accompanies her on violin.


Mellisa Sarris with accordion player Brian Dewan; Megan Caponetto and host committee member (and neighbor) Koethi Zan.


Ghent residents Jen Geddes and Bill Geddes; Board member and NYC office liason Elizabeth Masters and fellow board member Jennie Lamensdorf.


Financial assistant Jennifer Millman, office manager Kit Fraser and cafe/events staffer Amela Mahmutovic.


Phillip Tribble and Cathy Tribble of nearby Tribble Law; Artist Anna d’Onofrio and Ken Kraus, a sculptor and painter.


Painter D. Jack Solomon, board member Dan Devine and artist Jenette Fintz; David Neibart and Crystiina Avram.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/20/14 at 08:32 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Berkshire Grown Harvest Supper Is A Taster’s Annual Rite

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. Supporting local foods and farms is a good thing in general, but it tastes good, too, as a huge crowd at Berkshire Grown’s annual Harvest Supper could tell you between sample bites from more than 30 member restaurants and beverage makers. The 16th annual event, held at Ski Butternut on Monday, September 15, was a celebration of the harvest, and the food and drink vendors happily touted the farms and orchards from where their ingredients came. A silent auction featured dinners, lodging and cooking generously donated by the members. At left, Berkshire Grown’s executive director Barbara Zheutlin, in striped shirt, and young friend Gus Geremia stand with Allium Restaurant’s  Chef Daire Rooney and James Corcoran. Allium’s sources for the evening were Farm Girl Farm, The Berry Patch, Indian Line Farm and Climbing Tree Farm.


Route 7 Grill’s Lester Blumenthal and Chef Christophe Jalbert, whose menu is featured at Preservation Society, offered samples with products from Moon in the Pond Farm; Martha Bryan, program manager for The Carrot Project, with Margie Shapiro and Barry Shapiro.

Julie Michaels, a member of the Berkshire Grown Board of Directors, and Jonathan Hankin.


The Hotchkiss School’s team, headed by Andy Cox and chefs Lee Morton and Lyn Weber, used ingredients from their own Hotchkiss School Farm and Berkshire Mountain Bakery; Howie Arkans, who teaches an Italian cooking class for OLLI, and Sue Arkans.


Heidi Teutsch, a Stockbridge police officer, Heirloom Meals’ Carole Murko and Rural Intelligence publisher Mark Williams; Canyon Ranch’s Rebecca Lennon, food and beverage director, and Jennifer Wald, head baker. Their featured sources were The Country Hen, Hilltop Orchards and Fitting Creek Farm.


Twin sisters Sheena Hatch, who works for the Department of Children and Families, and Courtney Hatch of Jane Iredale.


Nancy Finn and Cassandra Finn of Sheffield; Chef John Griffin of Ginsberg’s Foods serves up roast duckling with maple gastrique, grilled sweet corn with crimini mushrooms and roasted poblano peppers, and a fresh peach and heirloom tomato salsa, ingredients courtesy of Hawthorne Valley Farm, Bulich Farms, Berlin’s Best Farms and Griffin’s Organic Vegetables.


Perusing the silent auction offerings; Dan Nagel and Alan Feldman traveled from Fairfield, CT to attend the event.


The crew from Guido’s with a collection of locally made desserts, including their outrageous caramel apples.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/16/14 at 09:03 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Cuisine And Camaraderie Mark A Successful Alzheimer’s Benefit

Amy Krzanik reports from Sharon. Chef Serge Madikians, the catalyst behind September 14th’s Alzheimer’s Benefit, is no stranger to serving fine Middle Eastern delicacies at his restaurant, Serevan, in Amenia. But Sunday’s fundraising event, held at the art-filled home and verdant grounds of Ken and Marabeth Tyler, boasted an intimidating guest list of refined and respected palates. Honorary guests included author and event co-chair Ruth Reichl; author and Alzheimer’s Ambassador Paula Wolfert; Food & Wine Editor-in-Chief and co-chair Dana Cowin; Dr. Scott A. Small, Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University; and filmmaker John Hoffman of HBO’s The Alzheimer’s Project and founder of The Public Good Projects. The food more than lived up to the level of the distinguished guests, with a wonderful array of delicious dishes for all tastes, including pasture-raised lamb roasted on a spit by Ken Tyler himself, and fruit galettes and baklava drizzled with labne (Armenian yogurt) for dessert. The mood was joyful and, as Dr. Small noted, “optimistic” about the strides being made in Alzheimer’s research. Guests honored Wolfert for her award-winning work in the culinary world and now as an outspoken Alzheimer’s activist. Funds raised benefit the Hudson Valley/Rockland/Westchester, NY chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Shown above, writer and editor Ruth Reichl, Nancy Lang and Paula Wolfert.


Joan Feeney, artist Frank Stella and Dana Cowin. Stella donated one of his prints to a lucky winner of the afternoon’s sold-out raffle; Alexis England Small, Dr. Scott Small and Elizabeth Mavroleon.


Derek Larson and Michael Zients from Sharon; Tom Whitridge and Nathan Kernan flank host Marabeth Tyler.


John Hoffman, Serge Madikians, Paula Wolfert and her daughter, Leila Wolfert.


Dana Bowen, executive editor of Every Day With Rachael Ray, with Eric Steinman of Edible Hudson Valley and his son, Ezra; Harriet Stella catches up with a friend.


John and Gabriella Wagner of Bedford, NY; Ray Mikulich and Karen Karlsrud with Sara Allen and John Hoffman.


Donna Raftery, Liz Laser and friend Marge; Joan Feeney, Serge Madikians and Dana Cowin.


Host Ken Tyler (on right) gives a crash course in successful lamb roasting.


String beans with pistachio and basturma; Baby carrots and pomegranate.


Tomatoes and feta cheese.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/15/14 at 06:40 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

History, Art, Music And Food Mix Well At Mount Lebanon’s ‘Rock My Religion’ Gala

Amy Krzanik reports from New Lebanon. To celebrate the opening of its newest exhibit, the video Rock My Religion by Dan Graham, Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon hosted a full day of events on Saturday, September 13 that included screenings of the work, talks with Graham and tours of the grounds, and culminated in a reception and dinner in the Tannery. Board members, patrons and artists mixed and mingled over cocktails in the historic building, followed by dinner prepared by SoMa Catering using the best from Columbia and Berkshire County farms, including poultry from Letterbox Farm Collective in Hudson and Climbing Tree in New Lebanon, and produce from Colfax Farm in Canaan and Markristo Organic Farm in Hillsdale, among others. Dessert was a Shaker-inspired apple tart paired ingeniously with SoCo Creamery’s ginger ice cream. Another nod to the landmark’s past inhabitants came at the end of musician Rebekah Heller’s performance. The International Contemporary Ensemble bassoonist performed a solo piece she helped create, and finished with the much adored Shaker classic “Simple Gifts.” Proceeds from the benefit dinner help fund the Museum’s preservation efforts and public programs. Above, Herbert Teitelbaum, Museum President David Stocks and Ruth J. Abram.


Artist Michael Flomen, trustee Rae Gilson and Jeff Bailey, trustee and gallery owner; Ellen and Alan Goldner with PS21’s Judy Grunberg.


Peter Lease with Vernon Evenson; Florence Ségalot, gallerist Jack Shainman, Carlos Vega and art dealer Philippe Ségalot.


Kelly Ward, Ian Berry and Lori Riggs, all three from the Tang Museum at Skidmore; Robert Gilson, Stephanie Aeder and Jerry Grant, who is the Museum’s director of collections and research.


Trustee Lauree Hickok, with Laura Williams Reed who is the granddaughter of Museum founder John Williams, Bob Gilson and ceramicist Barry Bartlett; John Broome with Cordelia Lawton.


Gary Delemeester, Board Chair Jeff Daly, Edward Parran and Jim Guidera.


Claude Arpels, ICE board president, Winsome Brown and trustee Jeff Lick; Tour guide Anna O’Meara, gallery guide Chloe Houseman, Museum coordinator Wyatt Erchak and tour guide Rebecca Kurtz.


Samantha Baker, Allan Weiser, Kathy Weiser and Malcolm Baker; Peter Lease and Ed Wood.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/14/14 at 10:02 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

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.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

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

[See more Parties articles]

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.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

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

[See more Parties articles]

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.)

23
David Cabrarra, Katrina Stair and Stair Gallery owner Collin Stair; Ted Gramkow, Columbia-Greene Hospital Foundation Executive Director Betsy Gramkow and Timm Whitney.

46
Wes Wolfe, Tim Zdyb and Gary Osifchin; Jamie Zwirn, Bo Goliber and Tiffany Ryan.

13
Ken Silver, AIDS Council of Northeastern New York Executive Director Michele McClave and Ed LaMance.

10 11
Christopher N. Rowley and Razvan Dinu; Columbia County Democratic Party Chair Cyndy Hall, John Schobel and Council Board Member Victor Mendolia.

9
Board Member Steve Ammerman, Marketing Coordinator for the AIDS Council Brianne Ptak-Mimura,Todd Hilgendorff and Stephen King.

12 7
Chuck Rosenthal, Ferol Barton Blake and David Ludwig; Diane Crawford, Vin Victorio, Daniel Bueno and Guido A. Loyola.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

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

[See more Parties articles]

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.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

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

[See more Parties articles]

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.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

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

[See more Parties articles]

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.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

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

[See more Parties articles]

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.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

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

[See more Parties articles]

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.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

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

[See more Parties articles]

A Whale Of A Reception At Basilica Hudson

Lisa Green reports from Hudson. The BUMP exhibit at Basilica Hudson promised whale bones you can touch, and there they were, suspended at eye level and just daring you to set them in motion. The exhibit opened with a reception on Saturday, August 23, and while guests early on stood on the periphery as if afraid to touch, they were encouraged by the creators, Dan and Frank DenDanto, to enter the galaxy of gently swaying skeleton parts culled from three different whales. Melissa Auf der Maur, Basilica’s owner and creative director, opened a presentation that added dimension to the exhibit’s significance. Speakers included Nick Zachos of the Hudson Sloop Club, who talked about the organization’s goal of bringing the Hudson River back into the daily lives of the community; Ina Guilzon, an educator from the Columbia County Historical Society, who spoke about Hudson’s history as a whaling port; and the DenDanto brothers, who recounted the genesis of BUMP. Shown above, Dan DenDanto, the whale biologist, and Frank DenDanto, the set and lighting designer, flank the scull of a minke whale.


Basilica Hudson’s co-founder and creative director, Melissa Auf der Maur, with daughter, River; Photographer Andi State, Masha Schmidt, an acupuncturist with the Hudson Wellness Collective, and her daughter, Isa Schmidt.


David William Voorhees, an historian of the Dutch in America, and Nancy Barber Stone of New York and Hudson; Donna Barrett, who teaches belly dancing at the Hudson Valley Academy of Performing Arts, and Bill Barrett, a Film Columbia Festival board member.


Seth Zimmerman of New York and Nora Segar of New Haven; Ina Guilzon, a museum teacher, and Diane Shewchuk, executive director and curator of the Columbia County Historical Society.


Up close and personal with the whale bones.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 08/24/14 at 10:30 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

B.I.T.S. Gala

Amy Krzanik reports from Old Chatham. Set under tents in a field on Little Brook Farm, with a breathtaking view of the surrounding hills, the fourth annual B.I.T.S. gala, held on Saturday, August 16, brought out a crowd of equestrian lovers. The farm, owned and operated by Lynn Cross, is one of the oldest and largest equine rescues in the northeast and is home to 68 horses, 70 cats and a handful of other beloved animals. B.I.T.S, or Balanced Innovative Teaching Strategies, was created at the farm to provide educational, vocational, and therapeutic programs to humans through interaction with rescued and rehabilitated horses. Over 2,000 individuals participate in the program annually, including children with disabilities, college interns, local school-age students on field trips, summer camp participants and law enforcement who attend seminars on how to recognize animal abuse. The evening’s festivities included an array of unique and delicious appetizers provided by Spice of Life Catering, silent and live auctions full of horse-themed goodies, and guest speakers who lauded Lynn Cross and the important work she’s doing for both animals and humans. Pictured above, Little Brook Farm owner and B.I.T.S. founder and executive director Lynn Cross with gala chairperson JoAnne Cayot.


New York State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin with Karen Vrabel and the evening’s auctioneer, Andrew Rumpelt; Ellen Pierce, an 11-year volunteer at the Farm, with Summer Brennan, Lynn Cross’ daughter and the Farm’s principal horse trainer and riding instructor.


Clicker trainer Bob Viviano with Jim Bashford; Author J.R. Anderson (second from left), with New York State Humane Association members Sondra Woodvine, Susan C. McDonough and Pat Valusek.


Volunteers Gabby (far left), her sister Anna (second from left) and Tori (far right) pose with the Farm’s summer camp kids.


Bob Bradford and Laura Wright of Good Hope Farms, with Steve Rubenstein and Jeanne Rothman of Little Falls Farm, and James Wright, a volunteer firefighter; Caitlin and Gus Stewart, owners of Rancho Relaxo in New Jersey, which was inspired by the work being done at Little Brook Farm.


Howland Murphy and Julie Bohan; Volunteer Lexie Monson, with Marianne Pelletier, who donates her horse trailer and truck for the Farm’s use, and Diane Kurylo of Breezy Hill Stables.


The guest of honor, Fritz the miniature pony, who has an important job as a “Safe Horse Ambassador.”

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/17/14 at 11:46 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Saturday In The Garden For The Susan B. Anthony Project

Lisa Green reports from Litchfield. Marigolds came to life, giant elephant skeletons lurked in the garden and dancers pivoted through the air while clinging to a gyroscope at the garden party hosted by Anthea Disney and Peter Howe on Saturday, August 16. The occasion was the annual fundraiser for the Susan B. Anthony Project, whose mission is to promote safety, healing and growth for all survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. The marigolds and other shape-shifting creatures were actually dancers from MOMIX, the wildly imaginative dance company that has over the years donated 11 performances to the Project. Each year, the Susan B. Anthony Project, based in Torrington, CT, provides counseling, shelter and support services to 2,500 survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. State and federal funding provides only 40 percent of the annual budget, so events such as this one help to make ends meet, explained Executive Director Barbara Spiegel, at right in photo above with Gina Deveaux, director of development.


Judith McElhone, executive director of Five Points Gallery in Torrington, Emily Dalton, a member of the Susan B. Anthony Project’s advisory council, and Nanette Falkenberg, vice president of its board of directors; Greg Bachmann, a sponsor of the event, with Brian Simerson.

 
Moses Pendleton, founder and artistic director of MOMIX, engages in witty repartee with Virginia Reynolds and Robert Reynolds of Washington, CT (where MOMIX is based); Connecticut’s First Lady, Cathy Malloy, and Governor Dannel P. Malloy.


Matt Giordano and Sara Santora, from Bantam, CT, attended in connection with MOMIX.


Rita Citrin and Kay Sheehan of New York are friends of the host, Anthea Disney; Susan Kendall, Tom Kendall and Deborah Foord.


MOMIX marigolds danced on the lawn.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 08/16/14 at 09:47 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Hancock Shaker Village Supper Is A Farm-Fresh Experience

Lisa Green reports from Pittsfield. It’s one thing for guests at a fundraiser to listen to a trustee talk about finances. But when the cows in the pasture move over to a spot where even they can hear the spiel, you know you have a good pitch.  On Saturday, August 9, approximately 160 guests (and bovines) gathered at Hancock Shaker Village for a farm-to-table supper to benefit the living history museum. Cocktails in the Shaker garden and a silent auction preview allowed guests the opportunity to watch tradecraft demonstrations by artisans and meet some of the farm’s baby animals. A family-style locavore supper, prepared by HSV’s Chef Michael Roller, featured many ingredients right from the farm, including an HSV herb vinaigrette and HSV sautéed beets. Proceeds raised from the live and silent auctions will help fund the ongoing preservation of the historic buildings, specifically to renew the exteriors and increase accessibility. Shown above, Gala Co-chairs Mary Rentz and Michael Zaccaro.


Curator Lesley Herzberg with Tracy Goodnow, gala committee member and newest board trustee; Artist Peggy Rivers, Dan Feld, a trustee, and Ann Berman Feld.


Marilyn Walter and Ron Walter, outgoing chairman of the board; Trustees Sharon Gamsin and Darin Johnson.


Visiting from New York: Greg Keffer, an architect, Nick Sizemore of Lacoste, and Adam MacLean, a freelance lifestyle consultant.


CEO Linda Steigleder with Richard Ackerman; Gary Corr, board treasurer, and Phil Sherman.


Director of Marketing and Communications, Shawn Hartley Hancock, and Dan Bianchi, mayor of Pittsfield; Trustee Michael Zaccaro is greeted by friendly goats handled by volunteer Rebecca van der Meulen.


Trustee Michael Zak and Lesley Herzberg enjoy a cocktail in the garden; Peter Rentz and Kathy Quattrochi, both members of the gala committee, enjoy a moment in the sun.


Bill Mangiardi, director of farm and facilities, introduces a month-old calf to guests.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 08/10/14 at 02:31 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Millerton Brunches On For The North East Community Center

Rachel Louchen reports from Millerton. Perfect weather, live music, great food… it’s no wonder the event saw such a good turnout. But of course, when the North East Community Center is involved, the tight-knit community of Millerton always shows up to give its support. So the excellent turnout for NECC’s fourth annual Chef & Farmer Brunch on Sunday, August 10 came as no surprise. Moved this year to Railroad Plaza in the heart of the town, the event saw many familiar faces who have attended in years past, as well as returning vendors like No. 9 Restaurant, John Andrews Restaurant and Copake Country Club, along with new supporters like Jacuterie and Chef’s Consortium. The Giving Tree returned this year to help sponsor and support NECC’s important food and social service programs for families, such as Share the Bounty Fresh Food Pantry, community cooking classes and a community garden. Above, NECC Executive Director Jenny Hansell with board member Bill McGinn


Herondale Farm’s Memoree Joelle with Little Gates & Co. Wine Merchants manager Melissa Davis; Director of Food Access Programs and coordinator for NECC Betsy McCall with Kristen Panzer, chair of NECC’s board.


Millerton residents Joel Ernst and Victoria Ernst; Hannah Peters and Emma Brinson doled out the required brunch beverage from Irving Farm Coffee Roasters.


Malka Fenyvesi came out with her brother, Director Shamu Sadeh of Adamah in Falls Village, and Brooke Lehman of The Watershed Center.


Sean Kennedy and Greta Murphy of Salisbury; The Moviehouse owners Robert Sadlon and Carol Sadlon.


Susan Bang, partner at Bang + Collins Public Relations, which worked on publicity for the event, with board member Christine Bates; NECC volunteers Haunna Sniffer and Brandon Hobbs.


Realtor John Panzer, Chris Panzer and Paul Harney, vice president of Harney & Sons Fine Teas.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Rachel Louchen on 08/10/14 at 02:30 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Clermont’s Evening in Agra

Amy Krzanik reports from Germantown. As the sweet smell of incense wafted through the evening air, Friends of Clermont supporters mixed and mingled behind the mansion on August 9, taking in the view as the sun set over the Hudson River. The occasion was the historic site’s benefit, “An Evening in Agra,” whose theme was inspired by Livingston descendant Colonel William Linnaeus Gardner, who moved to India at the age of 18 to seek his fortune. There, he married a princess and started a family. Decorations, courtesy of the M(Group), included brightly colored silk hangings, floating orange and yellow flowers, table arrangements and even matching hot pink and orange cups and napkins. Cocktails were provided by Crossroads Pub and Brewery and the evening was catered by Marianne Thorsen and Marianna Morrison, a Hudson-based chef who has appeared on the Food Network’s Throwdown! with Bobby Flay. A successful silent auction allowed guests to wrangle for items such as a night’s stay at The Barlow Hotel, a Modern Farmer gift basket, a tour of the Cooper Hewitt with one of its curators, and many other unique items. Funds raised go toward preservation of the site, as well as the many educational programs — such as the new community garden — offered to Hudson-area students throughout the year. Shown above: Carleen and Richard Baright flank Clermont Executive Director Conrad Hanson.


Delphine Murphy, Joe Versace, Pamela Murphy and Scott Frankel; Pamela Morin and Navin Sharma.


Board member Chelsea Streifeneder and Shannon Streifeneder, sisters and owners of Body Be Well Pilates; Robin Gottlieb, RI contributor Carey Maloney and Julie Seymour.


Michael Moy and Joe Sniado; Kirsten Bates, Anne McGrath and board member Glenda Law.


Graphic artist Soosie Lazenby, metalwork artist Sullivan Walsh, Revlon’s Lucinda Treat and Adelia Geiger.


Photographer Valerie Shaff, with Livingston descendants Jennifer Ryan, Nicholas Kean and Robert Kean; Hilary Huntington and Jane Glucksman.


Clermont Board President Charles Geiger with Board Secretary Jim Joseph; Board member Don Westmore, Susan Karayannides and Adrienne Westmore.


Sullivan Walsh, Francine Hunter McGivern of CR10 Arts, and Daniel Rothbart; Karen and Rich Streifeneder.


Purcell Palmer, Charles Rosen of Harrison Travel, Lisa Fox Martin, board chair of The Thomas Cole National Historic Site, and Duke Dang of Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA).


Board members Julie Seymour and Hermes Mallea; Patricia Rode, a speech language pathologist, with Brendan Kelly and Anne DiGiovanna.


Architect Chip Bohl, with Clermont’s Board Vice President Mary Ellen Ross and Vern Bergelin; Steve Mosto with Monique Segarra, a professor at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy.


David and Christine Kane of Tivoli; Carey Maloney, Joe MacGillis and Robert Belding.


Partygoers enjoy the weather and the views.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/10/14 at 12:52 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Norfolk Artists & Friends Show Exhibits The Town’s Talent

Lisa Green reports from Norfolk. The number of artists per capita in Norfolk, CT appears to be inordinately high as evidenced by the Norfolk Artists & Friends Art Show opening and reception on Friday, August 8. Twenty-four professional artists living and working in and around Norfolk presented their work in the Battell Stoeckel Gallery, a former carriage house and stables that sits among the verdant landscape of the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate. All manner of visual art was represented, including painting, drawing, printing, sculpture, photography and jewelry. Twenty-five percent of the artists’ sales will go to the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s Music Shed Restoration Fund in appreciation to the Festival for providing space for the annual art show. Shown above, Pat Barnett and artist Ruthann Olsson, founder of Norfolk Artists & Friends.


Buzz Peacock and artist Babs Perkins; Janet Marks, a jewelry designer, exhibits her collection.


Sisters Deirdre DiCara and Cara Blazier are some of the “friends” in the organization; Elizabeth Goizueta, an art curator, Roberto Goizueta, a professor of theology at Boston College, and Nina Rosenblum, a producer/director of documentary films at Daedalus Productions, Inc.


Fay O’Meara, one of the exhibit’s artists, with Fran Keeping.


Madeline Falk, known for her animal portraits, branches out with her small landscapes, and talks to Linda Riiska; Tom Curran, who is in the auction and antiques business, admires Laura Lasker’s work.

 
Anita Holmes and Peter Coffeen share wall space; Tom Hlas and Harvey Kimmelman are on hand to discuss their paintings with guests.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 08/09/14 at 09:23 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Bidwell House Museum Celebrates Art In The Open

Lisa Green reports from Monterey. Wherever one turned, hats and paintings came into view at The Bidwell House Museum’s annual fundraiser on Saturday, August 2. For a theme, the organization went back in time to when the former Berkshire Summer School of Art, now private property, was part of the Bidwell House Museum property during the height of the Arts and Crafts and Plein Air movements. Taking a cue from its past, Bidwell’s summer art party was an opportunity for guests to observe artists working en plein air. They enjoyed cocktails while taking in the expansive view from the Carrington Hall porch, and the atmosphere was even more enhanced with the jazz music provided by the “Plein Air Trio.” Guests also bid on and took home artistic works. Funds raised will go to support the historic 1750s homestead, all programs, and the 192 acres of grounds. Above, Executive Director Barbara Palmer and volunteer Kristin von Korff welcome guests to the party.


Alice Berke, Carol Landess and Alfred Landess have fun switching nametags; Tim Lovett, owner of Berkshire Property Agents, with Stephen Moore, editor of the Monterey News.


Christine Goldfinger, a member of the Bidwell House Museum board of directors, shows off some of the paintings she worked on during the week; Lindsay Crampton, Shaun Opperman and Amanda Staples.


Tommie Hutto-Blake, Anna Rogovoy, Mark Pascoli and Al Blake.


David Fedo, Academic Vice President Emeritus of Curry College and Susan Fedo were visiting from Boston; Bill Mathiesen of Berkshire Film and Video and Wendy Jensen, a basketmaker, enjoy the view from the porch.


Tristian Goik sketches during the live auction; Eileen Mahoney and Nicole McManmon served on the gala committee.


    A view of the view.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 08/03/14 at 01:07 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Berkshire Fringe RetroSpectacle Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield.The Berkshire Fringe is celebrating its 10th anniversary… how the hell did that happen???” Fringe co-founder Sara Katzoff asked the crowd of supporters at Shire City Sanctuary on August 2nd. My best guess for an answer to that question is a decade of hard work, some very dedicated people, and a great eye for up-and-coming talent. The group’s opening night party, RetroSpectacle, doubled as an introduction to the organization’s new location at the Sanctuary, a former church with soaring ceiling, stained glass and other awe-inspiring details still in place. The venue provided space enough for an open bar sponsored by Domaney’s Liquors, appetizers from Naturally Catering, Madeleine’s, Dottie’s and others, silent auction tables, and a performance area that later transformed itself into a dance floor. Guests were treated to live music from May V. Oskan (solo and with her new band, The Asteroid Project), and short performances from The Wardrobe Ensemble and Under The Table Theatre. The two theater troupes, plus a few more, are performing now through August 18 at the Fringe. Above: David Schecker and Vicki Bonnington are dressed as spectacle-ularly as always.


Jesse Meadows, Emily Greenslade and Helena Middleton of The Wardrobe Ensemble surround Joy Gess, second from left; Fringe supporters Amy Brentano and Amy Hilliard.


Stockbridge Library director Katie O’Neil and attorney Catherine Chester; Allen Dimacali, Tyler Fereira and Sixten West-Woodhaven showed up to support their friend, Fringe co-founder Timothy Ryan Olson.


Gary Carthon, Alexandra Asklipious, Fringe co-founder Sara Katzoff and Ray Jacoub, an attorney and the evening’s DJ.


Morgan Haneman, Heather Haneman and Cassity Warnecke; Enrico Spada, the man behind Pittsfield’s Shakespeare in the Park, with Adam Sugarman and Emma Dweck of Kickwheel Ensemble.


Karen Beaumont and Hilary Somers Deely in her retro spectacles; Dr. Jay Wise, Danielle and Jerry Sargent, and Nicole Maisonneuve.


Sarah Petersiel, Josh Matthews and Matt Chapman of Brooklyn’s Under The Table Theatre pose with Fringe co-founder Timothy Ryan Olson, third from left.


MCLA’s Laura Standley poses with former Fringe interns Vernisa Allen (who came all the way from Florida for the occasion) and Jacquelyn Gianetti; Fringe favorite May V. Oskan performed with her new band, The Asteroid Project, featuring Nina Violet on violin.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/03/14 at 11:52 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

Beavers, A Bonfire And Becky At Berkshire Sanctuaries

Mary Garnish Bauman reports from Lenox. Photos by Susan Geller. There were many alliterations at the silent auction table, as Berkshire Sanctuaries attempted to introduce its new director, Becky Cushing, to party attendees. Brava with Becky, Boating with Becky, and Beer with Becky were just a few of the 100 auction items offered at the Butterflies, Beavers & Bonfire Gala on July 26. This year marked the sixth fundraiser, and 85th anniversary, of Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Event founders Mary and Alan Bauman coined the phrase “bonfire chic attire,” hinting at the outdoorsy but elegant nature of the event. Food trucks circled the picnic area, and included Kathy and Gabe Lloyd of How We Roll (who coordinated the night’s catering), Lakota Bar-B-Q and Grampie’s Dog House. The Chocolate Springs truck provided a cold chocolate shot, as well as its signature treats. Live jazz courtesy of Jeff Link, Charlie Tokarz and their bandmates filled the air as guests lined up at the bar provided by Kelly’s Package Store of Dalton. Partygoers danced around a roaring bonfire and drummed with Jim Weber and his samba group, Berkshire Bateria, as the evening came to a close. Becky was introduced by Gail Yeo, the Central/West Regional director of Mass Audubon, who touched upon ways their education programs benefit area schools. Camp counselors and trail guides, Hannah Sherman and Betsy Baczek, presented a 16-year-old snapping turtle named Oliver that they use as a teaching aid with campers. The funds raised are used to support Pleasant Valley, Canoe Meadows, and Lime Kiln Farm sanctuaries. Pictured above: Gail Yeo with Amy Steele, advisory board president, and Becky Cushing, newly appointed Berkshire Sanctuaries director.


Heather Pelle Rose and Kevin Sprague of Studio Two; Tammy and Brian Arseneau, Michelle Arseneau and husband Justin Allen.


Artist Peggy Rivers is flanked by her son, Elliot Shields and her husband, Van Shields; Waiting to place an order at the How We Roll food truck are Janice Lee and Bill Talbot, owner of Asia Barong.


Danielle Mullen was the guest of Kim Winger, who won tickets for the gala at the Berkshire Museum auction on June 21; Photographer (and silent auction donor) Ogden Gigli is flanked by Catherine Brumley and Rosemary Larkin.


Ernie Jordan of Grampie’s Dog House hot dog food cart; Education program volunteers Jake Raser, RBC financial advisor Brooks Sherman (former volunteer), Nicole Lipiec (an Albany attorney), Hannah Sherman and Betsy Baczek.


Rene Laubach, newly retired after almost 30 years as Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries director, with long-time advisory board member Dennis Arseneau; Jim Weber (in blue cap) leads the Berkshire Bateria by the bonfire.


Betsy Baczek holds Oliver, a 16-year-old snapping turtle; Alan Bauman, co-founder of CompuWorks, with wife Mary Garnish Bauman of Garnish Design.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/28/14 at 05:25 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

An Evening In The Afternoon Garden At Naumkeag

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. There can never be too many garden parties – it’s the perfect opportunity to stockpile sights, smells and sunshine to help us make it through the long winter. Naumkeag’s garden party on July 26 definitely will be one to remember fondly while snowbound. The national historic landmark celebrated the restoration of landscape designer Fletcher Steele and former inhabitant Mabel Choate’s Afternoon Garden with bites from SoMa Catering that were as tasty as they were artful. Cocktails included a “Mabel’s Martini” by Berkshire Mountain Distillers, and the Allen Livermore Trio provided jazz as guests strolled the stunning gardens. A performance by Berkshire Pulse dancers, under the direction of Bettina Montano, helped dedicate the refurbished Afternoon Garden, one of Steele’s most famous designs. Shown above: Host committee member Elizabeth Hamilton with Lauren LeBlanc, board member Paul LeBlanc and Joanna Ballantine, regional director of the Trustees of Reservations.


Gail and Gilbert Ahye; Brian Renaud, Daniel Dempsey and Somchai Piraban.


Naomi and Ernest von Simson with Jane Ryan; Leah Letourneau and Michael Gove of Northampton, MA grab seats to take in the view.


Bob Barker, host committee member Marilyn Dee, Pat and Philip Kennedy-Grant and Madelyn English on the top lawn.


Raymond and Kelly Casella of Casella Design; Joe Lewis, Donna Hassler, director at Chesterwood, and Mark Wilson, the statewide curator & cultural resources manager for the Trustees.


Host committee member Margaret Pontasse with Gigi Wilmers and Jane Hart; Dennis Palmer and Sasha Piatczyc.


Mary Boone Wellington, Carolina Schulze (seated) and Elizabeth Goldfeder.


Sarah and Bronly Boyd; Engagement Manager Dyan Wiley with Stacey Carver and Allen Harris of Berkshire Money Management.


Margot Towl, host committee member, with Tony and Suzanne Balestro; Carrie Wilkens and Will Regan.


Berkshire Pulse dancers helped dedicate the garden with their performance.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/27/14 at 07:31 PM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

A Summer Wind Breezes Through Fête des Fleurs

Lisa Green reports from Stockbridge. As if on cue, the breezes blew gently at the Berkshire Botanical Garden‘s Fete des Fleurs on Saturday, July 26, where kites on mobiles (some provided by students at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires) twirled beneath the tent. This year’s theme, Summer Wind, complemented the Garden’s current exhibit, “Windswept: The garden that celebrates the beauty of the wind.” The cocktail party was the perfect opportunity for Matt Larkin, chairman of the board, to introduce the new executive director, Michael Beck, and to thank honored guests Herb and Jeannene Coyne, who are among the longest supporters of the Garden. One item was auctioned: dinner for eight prepared by Chef Peter Platt of The Old Inn on the Green, which was awarded to the highest bidder at $2,700. Hats off to the organization, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary year. Above, Michael Beck and Matt Larkin.


Gloria McMahon and Ed McMahon, who is retired from the board; Wendy Linscott, a current board member, with Jean Rousseau, the winning bidder of the evening’s auction.


Props for their props: Pauline Archer Willis and Anthony Archer Willis came accessorized for the windswept occasion.


Brian Monteleone of Albany and Lorayne Seibert; Herbert Coyne, the honored guest, with Michael Conforti, director of The Clark Art Institute.


Lee Abraham and Katherine Abraham, art and antiques dealers Joy Flint and Charles Flint, and board member Jo Dare Mitchell; Lori Rose of Stone House Properties, newlyweds Jim Hatch and Kathi Hatch, and Connie Eagan.


The BBG’s Marketing and Communications Manager Brian Cruey, who is also RI’s garden contributor, with Matt King, Lainie Grant and Beau Buffier.


KK Zutter, the newest member of the BBG board, shows off the garden hat she created; Best friends Malinka Jackson and Nancy Kalodner, owner of Benchmark Real Estate.


John Spellman, Bob Mitchell and Genya Hopkins; Leo Nesbit and artist Cookie Coyne, with Danielle Pablo, a motion designer and animator, and Bill Mayott, a currency dealer, both from New York.


Mike Dolan and Maura Bergen of New York, with Daniel Vincent and Stephen Borboroglu of Sheffield.


Board member Jeannene Booher and Genya Hopkins; Musicians Joe Rose and Paul Green.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 07/27/14 at 09:42 AM • Permalink

[See more Parties articles]

The FarmOn! Foundation Celebrates Its Fourth Amongst Friends

Rachel Louchen reports from Copake. The annual Friends of the Farmer Hootenanny! Fundraiser Dinner returned for the fourth year bigger and better than ever on Saturday, July 26. At the Copake Country Club (with views of Copake Lake below), the dinner was nirvana for a locavore, featuring a menu filled with fare from farms throughout Columbia County prepared by host Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten of abc kitchen. The event benefited the non-profit FarmOn! Foundation, which answers the important question, “who makes the food I eat?” by raising awareness of food sources and providing agricultural education to young people. After the dinner of roast pig and chicken, the lively auction had guests John Varvatos and Dr. Oz onstage engaging and encouraging the crowd to bid on some exciting items. And as if the multiple-course dinner, plus a cheese tasting course and cocktails weren’t enough, the evening concluded with a sundae bar, for which nearly everyone managed to save some room. Above, Chase Thomas and FarmOn! board member Stephen Mack.


Karp, Ackerman, Skabowski & Hogan coworkers Jodi Cole, Debbie Bryant, Carla Altomer and Alejandra Garcia; Suzanne and Michael Graves.


Shirley Ball and Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets (and farmer) Richard Ball; Alex Taylor and Kipp Edick.


Amazing Real Live Food Company’s Rory Chase and Patrick Porter provided the cheese, which Hillrock Estate Distillery’s Tim Welly perfectly complemented with bourbon; Berkshire Property Agent’s Tim Lovett with Monterey General Store proprietor Scott Edward Cole.


Nanci Weaver, Friends of the Farmer founder Tessa Edick and Ryan Armstrong of abc Kitchen.


Courtney Dearnley, Dairy Princess of Columbia County, with Dairy Ambassador Emily Oms; Scott Morris with event sponsors Elyse Harney Morris, Brigitte Harney and Mike Harney.


Rebecca Ross, Jessica Knez and Jason Ross came from NYC to support the cause; Realtor Jen Harvey of Berkshire Property Agents with Ethan Culleton.


Linola Dempah, Paulette Daniel, Julie Leblanc and Naomi Mulgrage enjoyed the food and the views.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.