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Tuesday, October 13, 2015
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RI Archives: Parties

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Robin Hood Radio

Berkshire Grown

Habitat for Humanity

Classical Tents

Parties & Openings

October 4 - Lenox
Berkshire Country Day School

October 2 - Lenox
Literacy Network Gala

Sept. 26 - Hyde Park
Half Moon Theatre Gala

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People, Program And Place: Berkshire Country Day School Reception At The Mount

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. Berkshire Country Day School in Lenox, Mass., which boasts an enrollment of 140 students in preschool through grade 9, honored its most generous supporters with a reception on Sunday, Oct. 4 at The Mount, where they enjoyed hors d’oeuvres by Kate Baldwin Food and tours of Edith Wharton’s former summer home. Over recent years, the sponsors, who include parents of current and former students as well as BCD alums, have helped the school implement new arts initiatives, balance its budget and replace its roof. Future gifts will go toward hiring and retaining teaching talent and building a new library and learning commons. Above, Paul Lindenmaier, Head of School, with Claire Naylor-Pollart, former board president.

Paige Smith Orloff, current BCD board president, with board member Stephen Boyd and realtor Nancy Kalodner; Board member and BCD alum Ted Glockner and Jen Glockner.

BCD parents Courtney Hunt and Joanne DelCarpine, who is the school’s development office coordinator; Jessica Provenz, the school’s development and campaign associate, with BCD parents Bridget and Dean Wotkiewich.

Writer Paige Smith Orloff with husband John Orloff and Paul Lindenmaier; BCD parents Natalie Johnsonius Neubert and David Neubert.

BCD parents Eric Korenman and Marianna Poutasse; board treasurer Christopher Ferrone with new board member and alum Scott Schiff and Stephen Boyd.

Pia Norton, the school’s director of admissions, with Arthur Cape; Paul Lindenmaier speaks to supporters about the school’s plans for the future.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/05/15 at 02:18 PM • Permalink

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LitNet Bridges The Learning Gap

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. Perri Petricca is used to building bridges: figuratively in his community and at home, and literally at work where his company, Petricca Industries, is helping to build New York’s new Tappan Zee Bridge. The CEO has expanded the company his grandfather Basilio, an immigrant from Italy, began in 1936. Petricca Industries, located in Pittsfield, Mass., now employs over 500 local workers. At the Literacy Network of South Berkshires’ 2015 Gala on Saturday, Oct. 3, Petricca was honored with the organization’s “Founder of America Award.” The evening began on the grounds of the renovated Eastover Resort with cocktails, hors d’ oeuvres and a silent auction of local goods and services and exotic vacations. Guests moved indoors for a dinner catered by chef Peter Platt of New Marlborough’s Old Inn on the Green and the presentation of the award. A short film honoring Petricca and explaining the importance of the literacy and education tutoring done by LitNet volunteers featured some of the non-profit’s current students and left hardly a dry eye in the room. Basilio’s struggles and successes echoed the tales of current immigrants to the Berkshires and Petricca’s heartfelt words brought the organization’s mission full circle. The well-attended evening concluded with dessert, dancing and a roaring outdoor firepit. Above, Massachusetts State Senator Ben Downing with guests of honor Perri and Michelle Petricca.

John Bissell and Melissa Bissell with Ann Deely; LitNet’s tutor coordinator Mary Spina with board member Eric Federer and Wendy Federer of Lenox.

Kathy Szpak and LitNet’s executive director Laura Qualliotine; Author Ty Allan Jackson, LitNet board president Lucy Prashker and board member Bill Dunlaevy.

The evening’s short film was created by Leo Mahoney, editor Evan Estern of Undermountain Films, producer John Whalan, Kate Gleason and Undermountain FIlms director Dawn Hathaway.

Arianna Walden, Adam Petricca, Nick Vlahopoulos and Josh Burgos; Norman Rockwell Museum director Laurie Norton Moffatt and Susan Wissler, executive director of The Mount.

Chefs Lydia Victorin and George Richardson, who is also a LitNet student; Steve Peters and Patricia Peters with Richard Taylor, a board member emeritus.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/05/15 at 11:26 AM • Permalink

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Half Moon at CIA: A Gala Spiced With Songs By Sutton Foster

Lisa Green reports from Hyde Park. The gala benefit for the Half Moon Theatre at The Culinary Institute of America radiated nothing but star quality on Saturday, Sept. 26. You had the Hudson Valley-based professional theater company supported by spirited businesses and individuals, the stellar spread of hors d’oeuvres prepared by CIA chefs, and of course the shining performance by the effervescent Sutton Foster, toast of Broadway and now TV. Before Foster came on stage, members of the theater company sang their thanks to primary sponsors in parody lyrics that were as clever — and performed as deftly — as anything you’d see on 42nd Street. After they and Foster wowed the crowd, guests retreated to the dining area of the Marriott Pavilion to dig into the dessert tables, meet the evening’s entertainers and find out who won the silent auction items, one of which was lunch for two with Sarah Jessica Parker (opening bid: $5,000). Above, board members Ann Gifford and Amy Olson, who is also a member of the company. Read RI’s related story on the Half Moon Theatre and CIA subscription series.

Dan Katz, whose wife is executive director of Half Moon Theatre, and Diane Schnoor, public relations assistant; Dad and daughter: Elton Renfroe with Executive Director Molly Renfroe Katz.

Heidi Desiena and Kristin Slifstein enjoy cocktails prior to the show.

Star bright: Sutton Foster at the post-concert reception; Lydia Higginson, deputy director of Dutchess County Tourism and Ron Hicks.

Architect Michael Sloan and Benjamin Krevolin of alumni affairs at Vassar, both of whom are Half Moon board members; Niki Quinn and Robert Levine.

Andrew Stein, Arpine Stein and Dr. Dan Katz.

The delegation from the Poughkeepsie Journal, a major sponsor: Michael Gallo Farrell, Barbara Gallo Farrell, Jeff Reis and Chrstine Hamill; Cyndie Alcius and Andrew Meade, who founded the Vassar Haiti Project.

Claudia DeCapua and Lee Dellamonica of LCS Companies; Ted Wolf, Carole Wolf, executive director of MSL Arts, and Nancy Belok, a board member.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/27/15 at 05:51 PM • Permalink

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Amongst ‘Friends’ And Neighbors: Spencertown Kitchen Tour Preview Party

Amy Krzanik reports from Spencertown. If you want something done, do it yourself. If you want something done right, have the Friends of Historic St. Peter’s Church do it. From the setting — the finely decorated home and serene back lawn belonging to Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Shear, to the hors d’oeuvres — a long table filled with delicious and creative offerings made by the Friends themselves, the kickoff party for the Spencertown Kitchen Tour on Friday, Sept. 25 went off without a hitch. The evening’s event, as well as the tour on the following day, benefit the non-sectarian, non-profit organization which uses the funds to rehabilitate and maintain the beloved downtown church. Originally constructed in 1771, the building is now listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Host Jack Shear, above left, was kind enough to lead guests on a tour of his home, where they marveled at art by Ellsworth and others and, naturally, marveled at the modern kitchen. 

Michael Rebic, Jane Magee and Paul Bernstein; Barbara Willner and Nansi Friedman.

Barbara Smith and Edward Wachsberger; kitchen tour committee member Mitzi Lobdell with Denise Dunne and Lynne O’Connell, whose homes were featured on the tour.

Artist Percy Fortini-Wright with Janet McKean and ceramicist Mary Anne Davis; Recent Columbia County transplants Kenny and Linda Kaplan.

Michele Steckler, Betsy Howard and Joanne Murphy; a small sample of the many creative appetizers supplied by the Friends.

The party tent viewed from the home’s back patio.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/26/15 at 03:41 PM • Permalink

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It’s The Cream Of The Crop For Berkshire Grown’s Harvest Supper

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. If a farmer is supposed to go to bed early and rise with the sun, no one told the ones that came out in droves on Monday night, September 21 for the annual Berkshire Grown Harvest Supper at Ski Butternut. Of course, if they were to stay up for any event, it would be one by Berkshire Grown, which has supported the local food movement for nearly 20 years, making the organization synonymous with locavore in our region. In addition to networking and advocating for farmers and promoting locally grown food, Berkshire Grown is also famous for its annual Harvest Supper, which brought in 31 diverse food vendors for its 17th year. It was truly the who’s who of Berkshire County cuisine, featuring known and loved establishments like Allium and Martin’s Restaurant, daily standbys Guido’s and Berkshire Co-Op and new kid on the block Eat On North. Locally produced beverages were represented by Big Elm Brewery and Berkshire Mountain Distillers. Above, Berkshire Grown’s executive director Barbara Zheutlin, board president Allison Rachele Bayles, Barbara’s husband, realtor Jonathan Hankin and Hester Velmans, a board member.

Farmer Jan Johnson of Mill River Farm with enthusiastic tasters Wendy Linscott and Enid Michaelman.

Great Barrington residents Miles Weber and Mika Mintz; Six Depot Roastery and Cafe proprietors Flavio Lichtenthal and Lisa Landry kept the java coming.

Robin Ban, owner of Seeds in Great Barrington with Eva Bartschi, visiting from Switzerland; Glenn Geiger, who designed Berkshire Grown’s website, with his wife Nicole Geiger.

Farm Girl Farm(ers) Natanah Rothberg and Hannah Karcheski flank Equinox Farm’s Ted Dobson.

Cafe Adam’s Adam Zieminski (a Berkshire Grown board member) and Colleen Fernback got the jump on autumn by serving chocolate-dipped apples; Lucy and Brian Rollins of Peace Valley Farm in Williamstown.

Maddie Elling of Hosta Hill with Kelly Perkins, the daughter of a farmer; Malcolm and Martha Flick came out to support their neighbor, Barbara Zheutlin, here with violin maker Francis Morris.

Farmer Jessica Camp and Steph Moran of MX Morningstar Farm in Copake.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/21/15 at 08:22 PM • Permalink

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From Dusk To Dark: OMI Lights Up The Night

Amy Krzanik reports from Ghent. On Saturday evening, September 19, while it was still light out, partygoers milled about outside the barn at Omi International Arts Center, enjoying appetizers that included local cheeses, wood-fired pork belly and sweet and sour kraut. They sipped a fitting autumn cocktail made with Harvest Spirits’ Cornelius Applejack and The Hudson Standard’s shrubs and bitters, and posed with feather boas, plastic dinosaurs and inflatable ice cream cones as Chatham photographer Deirdre Malfatto snapped away. The tapping of fingers on old-fashioned typewriters filled the air as four Writers Omi alumni offered on-the-spot custom poetry to guests. As evening descended, the crowd moved inside to enjoy a locally sourced dinner from The Flammerie, punctuated by a live auction of exciting offerings such as one of William Wegman’s famous Weimaraner photographs, and trips to France and Montreal. Upstairs, dessert and art merged into one in Perilous Plain, where mini sweets hung from an on-site installation. This year’s Light Into Night fundraiser honored Frances Schools [in photo, at right, with Omi Director Ruth Adams] and the memory of her late husband, Henry Schools, for their role in starting the very first Art Omi residency.

Ceramicists Lauren Mundy, Mary Anne Davis and Sara Henry, who is currently an artist-in-residence at Darrow School in New Lebanon, NY; Omi trustee Matthew Doering and Craig Poplar.

Jen Geddes and Bill Geddes; Mark Schmidt, Rachel Oliver and Miriam Phalen.

Sarah Heming, Susan Michie, and Omi board members Isabelle Bosquet-Morra and Terri Gumula; Donald Jones and Emma Murphy.

Carte Blanche dancers with paper crowns (which light up for nighttime performances) meander through the crowd.

Kaya Weidman of Kite’s Nest with the evening’s auctioneer, Deb Baldwin; Writers Omi alum Chris Hosea creates custom poetry for a guest.

Music Omi alumni Helen Yee, Stephanie Griffin, James Brandon Lewis and Michael Evans perform in the silo; Host committee member Peter Coan, Amanda Carmody and Chris Carmody.

Peter Orrantia and Jeanne Hardy, longtime supporters whose children were participating in the Light Into Night kids’ party; Perilous Plain, an interactive dessert installation made by chef Turi Scalora and Art Omi artists residency director Claudia Cannizzaro.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/21/15 at 01:16 PM • Permalink

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Brotherly Love: The Stanton Home Pig Roast Returns

Amy Krzanik reports from Great Barrington. “The Brothers Are Back” announced advertising for the Stanton Brothers Pig Roast, held this past Sunday, September 13 at Stanton Home. The sold out fundraising dinner proved that the community was more than ready for their return, as guests flocked to the farm for grilled pork, chicken and vegetables, provided by Sean Stanton and North Plain Farm, and prepared on site by Jeremy Stanton and Fire Roasted Catering. The crowd enjoyed music by The Lucky 5, a consistent crowd pleaser, as they bid on silent auction items from local shops, restaurants and cultural attractions. Proceeds benefit the aforementioned Stanton Home, a working farm established in 1986 by Andrea and Nick Stanton [shown above], as a residential program for people with disabilities. Now run by their son, Peter, the site offers daily therapeutic and skill-building activities through participation in its weavery (where residents create scarves, baby bibs, blankets and other items) and its garden and greenhouse (where they grow flowers, vegetables and herbs for use and sale). Residents also participate in day programs at organizations throughout the Berkshires such as Blue Rider Stables, The Guthrie Center, Berkshire South Regional Community Center and The Kilpatrick Athletic Center at Simon’s Rock.

Sean Stanton of North Plain Farm and daughter Lola; Stanton Home’s executive director Peter Stanton and its director of development Molly Boxer.

Victoria Dinardo and Kelly Vickery model Dinardo’s hats, one of which was in the silent auction, with Anne Fredericks; Stanton Home board members Maggie Strohmier and Rob Hayden.

Jeremy Stanton, of Fire Roasted Catering, carves the pig.

Nancy and Rick Richardson with Eileen Rominger and Elizabeth Hamilton; Natalia Bystrianyk, Stanton Home’s office coordinator, with Pam Macy-Williamson, the site’s case manager.

The site’s interns and residents pose for a photo outside the tent.

Matt Ragan, Pip Deely and Marc Fasteau; board members Spring Burke and Maggie Strohmier with Molly Boxer.

Volunteers Chieko Maruyma and Lea Kaemper; guests mingle, dine and bid on silent auction items.

Not just a pig roast—chickens were also cooked with a roaring fire.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/14/15 at 01:28 PM • Permalink

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Aloha, Herman Melville

Rachel Louchen reports from Pittsfield. A little rain (okay, a lot) couldn’t keep a good luau down on Saturday, September 12 at the Berkshire Historical Society at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. A major fundraiser for Arrowhead, the party’s theme was inspired by Melville’s time in the South Pacific, and included a pig roast, live music and Hawaiian leis. As the rain came down, the activities were transferred indoors to the big barn behind the main house, and a close-knit group of longtime supporters, historians and even a Melville relative enjoyed a delicious authentic spread accompanied by the music from locals Chris and Woody. At left, event coordinator and director of communications and community relations Peter Bergman with Sudy Belle.

Louise Cianflone with her husband, Arrowhead board member Ralph Cianflone and their friends Dixie Passardi and Floyd Passardi.

Berkshire Historical Society board president Charles Flint, Arrowhead tour guide Richard Matturro and artist Mary Trevor Thomas; Arrowhead bookkeeper Diane Cote and farm manager Kristen Laney.

Arrowhead member Robert Bruyr with Marilyn Manning, who has been a volunteer for 30 years; Herman Melville’s great-great-great-granddaughter Elizabeth Doss visited from Austin with friend Bridget Mounton.

Arrowhead executive director Will Garrison, Tom Whalen and Cheryl Whalen, director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), which organizes volunteers for Arrowhead.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/12/15 at 10:39 PM • Permalink

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Celebrate the Berkshires: A Testament To Innovation

Lisa Green reports from Dalton. Curious to explore the in-progress Stationery Factory and eager to be representative boosters for the Berkshires economy, more than 250 people gathered for the 5th annual Berkshire Trendsetter Awards Ceremony on Thursday, September 10. Presented by 1Berkshire, the event honored seven individuals and businesses with Berkshire Trendsetter Awards to showcase their achievements and ongoing commitment to strengthen the Berkshire economy. Prior to the presentation, guests enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres provided by Dalton purveyors. Closing out the evening, Hotel on North was honored with the Putting the Berkshires On the Map designation for the substantial contribution it is making to the overall image of the Berkshires. Above, hotel owners David and Laurie Tierney accept the award from Ruth Blodgett of Berkshire Health Systems — the 2014 honoree — and Don Dubendorf, 1Berkshire Chair. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

David Irwin of Adelson & Co. and Hilary Greene of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, a finalist for the Non-Profit Impact award; Diana McCarthy-Bercury from Eversource Energy and Kristina Turner from Side by Side Assistance.

From the Progressive Palette, a finalist for Newcomer of the Year, Sarah Holland, Kayley Giorgini and Kira Guidon.

This trio at one time worked together: Paul Gavrity from Berkshire County Arc, Rich Weisenflue from Berkshire Family & Individual Resources (BFAIR), and Laura Baran from Berkshire County Kids Place; Mig Girard and Nathan Girard, a finalist for the Entrpreneur/Visionary of the Year for restoring a former church hall to create the Adams Ale House.

Anne Stout from Toole Insurance with 1Berkshire board members Linda Gaspardi-Febles from Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins Insurance and MountainOne’s Eva Sheridan; A force from BFAIR.

Ajayi Jackson, Ty Allan Jackson, a finalist for Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year for his literacy-promoting Big Head Books, with Alice Trumball and Danielle Trumball, finalists for the Non-Profit Impact award for Moments House.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/11/15 at 11:09 AM • Permalink

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The Businessman Wore A Bow Tie

Rachel Louchen reports from Stockbridge. The who’s who of Berkshire County business people came out in droves to support one of their own on Wednesday, September 9 at Chesterwood. George T. Smith, founder and partner of Smith, Watson & Company, was named 2015 Business Person of the Year by the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce at its annual cocktail party and award ceremony. Besides founding the accounting and advisory firm in 1973, Smith is well known in the community for his support of numerous local non-profits and organizations such as The Literacy Network of South Berkshire, Fairview Hospital, the MCLA Foundation and the Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad. He is possibly even better known for his affinity for bow ties, which guests wore in his honor. Above, Chamber board president Scott Rote, Chamber board vice president Pat Seward and man of the hour, George T. Smith.

Southern Berkshire Chamber executive director Betsy Andrus with Sophia Romèu, the business development manager at Berkshire International Film Festival; Rosina Rand of Evergreen Philanthropy with George Smith’s daughter-in-law Jennifer Smith.

Pravin Mahida, who runs the Great Barrington Days Inn, with David Carpenter of Mahida Hospitality, LLC and Mike Stoddard, senior vice president and CFO of Greylock Federal Credit Union; Jiminy Peak’s Brian Fairbank, Christie Moran and CEO Tyler Fairbank.

Pat Seward, Chamber board member, with Community Access To The Arts development and marketing director Liana Toscanini and Jessie Schoonmaker, senior vice president of retail banking at Lee Bank.

Chamber board president Scott Rote of Wheeler & Taylor Insurance, his wife Angel Rote and Rick Cantele, president and CEO of Salisbury Bank and Trust Company; Barnbrook Realty owner Mary White and Fran Premerlani, mortgage origination officer at Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.

Smith, Watson & Company accountant Ariana Hyland, business development manager at United Personnel Meghann Crandall and Bethany R. Perry of Berkshire Bank; Fred Harder and Gary Peck, both representing Catamount Ski Area.

George Smith with his photogenic family, including children and grandchildren, in their bow ties.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/10/15 at 03:10 PM • Permalink

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At Spencertown Academy Festival, It’s All About The Books

Lisa Green reports from Spencertown. There were hors d’oeuvres and wine under the tent to commence the preview party for Spencertown Academy of Arts Center’s Festival of Books. But let’s be honest: everyone was there for first crack at the book sale. The Labor Day weekend festival is more than sale alone, however. The display of books just behind the wine bottles foretold of authors scheduled to speak in the following days, including Rural Intelligence familiars Simon Winchester and Ruth Reichl as well as historian and Williamstown resident Alex Kershaw, author of Avenue of Spies and Talia Carner, author of Hotel Moscow. Now completely volunteer driven, the Academy draws on the tireless efforts of volunteers to produce the festival, and proceeds from the event will go to fund the many art activities that the Academy hosts every year. [Above, Jill Kalotay and David Highfill, festival co-chairs, flank Nick Van Alstine, president of the board of directors.]

Polly Dufresne and Wayne Greene, who curate, manage and set up the specialty books room; Members Susan Grybas, Jane Hassler and Judith Choate, who is also a board member of the Spencertown Academy.

Chet Stark and Roberta Reynes of Spencertown; Handling cashier duties were Jo-Anne Billotti, treasurer of the Academy, Barbara Deisroth and Joy Weiner.

Gary Igleburger and Beverly Igleburger enjoy a glass of wine before the doors open for the book sale.

Film historian Peter Biskind, Tobby Cassuto and Elizabeth Hess; Lynda Cury and Jill Berman of Ghent.

Bostonians Alden Ward and Sergei Chirkov; What it’s all about.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/05/15 at 09:42 AM • Permalink

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Jacob’s Pillow Festival Finale Celebrates Ella

Amy Krzanik reports from Becket. Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival closed out its 83rd season on Saturday, August 29, but Ella Baff took her very final bow as the Festival’s executive and artistic director during the evening’s finale. After 17 incredibly successful and visionary years at the helm of the Pillow, Baff soon will be joining the Mellon Foundation in New York City. The evening began in the Ted Shawn Theatre with a performance by Martha Graham Dance Company, which is celebrating its 90th year, or the young company MADBOOTS DANCE in the Doris Duke Theatre. Prior to the performances, Baff was presented with a citation from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and her very own Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award – an honor she has bestowed upon choreographers at Pillow season openers throughout her tenure. Afterwards, The Pillow Café was again transformed into “The Chocolate & Coffee Barre,” with lush dessert spreads from Chocolate Springs, Becket Bakehouse, Haven and The Dream Away Lodge (okay, there were some vegetables there, too), along with a coffee selection from No. Six Depot. Down in the Bakalar Studio, DJ BFG took his place as the perennial mix master as dancers, both professional and amateur, took to the dance floor in honor of Ella.

Ira Lapidus, chairman of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and his wife, Fran Lapidus; Ilter Ibrahimof, Barbara Paley, RI’s Mark Williams, who is the Pillow’s board treasurer, and Liz Williams.

Terri Gutierrez and Edward Wright; Sue and Paul Epstein of New York City and Monterey, Mass.

Alex Reczkowski, Enrico Spada of Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park, and Jeff Roudabush; Shela Hidalgo and Gary Levante.

Martha Graham dancers: Dani Stinger, Anne O’Donnell, Konstantina Xintara, Xin Ying and Leslie Williams.

Theresa Speziale and Steven Amash; Nel Shelby, a video producer at the Pillow, with Ellen Dennis, festival producer at the Onassis Foundation.

Tori Shea, Conor Jones, Cary Jones and James Griffiths; Photographer Ogden Gigli and Katherine DiPierro.

Sandra Burton and Jonathan Secor; Hilary Somers Deely and Phil Deely.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/31/15 at 03:51 PM • Permalink

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Berkshire Medical Center’s Healing Gardens

Rachel Louchen reports from Pittsfield. There are many characteristics that make The Berkshire Medical Center’s Cancer Center at Hillcrest Campus stand out from other cancer care facilities, from its peaceful setting and private views of Lake Onota to its architecturally unique building to the high caliber of staff who provide care to their patients. On Saturday, August 29, the third annual Garden Party Beer and Wine Tasting was held on the huge lawn of the facility amongst extensive gardens, mountain views and walking trails which provide patients with a serene experience while they receive treatment. The event was a fundraiser for services such as yoga, Reiki, massage therapy, acupuncture and many more that have been shown to improve symptoms in cancer patients but are not covered by insurance. Money raised will also go towards lymphedema sleeves, wigs and cosmetology services. Featuring food from local restaurants, a huge selection of wine and craft beer, a silent auction and tours of the Cancer Center, the event also honored “Berkshire Heroes,” people who have made a positive impact on patients being treated for cancer, of which there were many in attendance. Above, Dr. Harvey Zimbler and Dave Phelps, President and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems.

Laurie Lamarre, vice president of the revenue cycle with Chief Operating Officer Diane Kelly, event sponsor John Kelly and critical care nurse Mary Richardson.

Richmond residents Mary and Richard Proskin; Vickie Hott, Hillery Maxymillian and Neal Maxymillian.

Dr. Trevor Bayliss with his wife, Amanda Bayliss; BHS Director of Operations Aaron Crow and Administrative Director Susan Duncan.

Michael Wynn, Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment at Berkshire Community College Christina Barrett and Arthur Milano, vice president of human resources at BHS.

Chief of the BMC Division of Radiation Oncology Dr. Wade Gebara with wife, Pilar Gebara; BMC Medical Assistant Katrina Croteau and Kailynn Lanphear.

Ann Marie DeStephanpo and Kevin St.Marie, both Hematology Oncology consultants at Celgene; Reiki healers Isabell Livingston and Shannon Iverson.

Cancer survivor Linda Roberto, Dr. Parvis Sadighi, Kay Sadighi and Medical Technician Cheryl Campoli.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 08/29/15 at 08:21 PM • Permalink

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Hats Off To The 25th Anniversary Of The Bidwell House

Barbara Palmer reports from Monterey. Spectacular hats were part of the fun at the celebration and fundraising party for the 1700s Bidwell House Museum in Monterey on Saturday, August 15. More than 250 guests enjoyed the beautiful view of the Southern Berkshires from the party tent in the “Stone House” field, listening to the Easy Ridin’ Papas and tasting the fabulous creations of chef Kate Baldwin. The party honored the legacy of Joyce and Lew Scheffey and raised nearly $40,000 for the museum’s operating funds. Actor and part-time Monterey resident Marshall Messer, above left with Playwright Marsha Norman and Designer Michael Keith, served as auctioneer.

Honoree Joyce Scheffey; Kathleen Grasz and Gail Natoli.

Host Mark Sena with Cathy Deely; Rob Hoogs, president of the Bidwell Board of Directors with Jill Cancellieri, director of philanthropic services at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Diane Austin, vice president of student affairs at Lasell College, sporting a fabulous hat; Jane and Martin Schwartz.

Susan Popper, Pastor Liz Goodman of the Monterey Church, Dr. Jesse Goodman, Marc Roberts and Malinka Jackson.

Lynda and Shannon Mulvey with Mary Paul Yates; Lisa Bell and Ellen Fletcher.

Benefit Committee Members Delight Dodyk, Maggie Barkin and Christine Goldfinger; Elise Abrams and Linda Saul-Sena.

Dr. Justin Wernick, Landscape Designer Karen Shreefter, Nancy Kalodner and Jennifer Hersch; Elise Hartman and Honey Sharp.

Kathryn Roberts, Susan Popper and Peter Murklett of New England Modern; Architect Chris Blair and Doug McTavish.

The hosts; Linda, Aliza, Gabrielle and Mark Sena.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 08/24/15 at 08:32 PM • Permalink

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‘Panorama’ Makes For A Real Scene At Six Depot

Amy Krzanik reports from West Stockbridge. Every event at No. Six Depot Café draws an enthusiastic crowd, and the opening reception for the art exhibit Panorama on Saturday, August 22 was no different. Guest curators Sue and Phil Knoll and many of the 20 artists featured in the show chatted with gallerists, art lovers and friends over wine and coffee in the café’s gallery space. The Knolls, themselves artists, hand-picked an impressive array of work that includes paintings, works on paper, fiber art and sculpture. The show will be up until October 1 and can be seen during business hours. In photo above, co-curators Sue and Phil Knoll with exhibiting artist Audrey Stone.

Musician Robby Baier, Cynthia Atwood, an artist featured in the show, and artist Carol Gingles; Exhibiting artists Matt Tiernan and Sean Greene.

Artists Danny Goodwin and Deborah Zlotsky; Sarah Horne, whose work can be seen on the wall above-right, Vicky Cooper and Vlada.

Mark Olshansky poses with his abstract needlepoint work; Filmmaker David Grubin and artist Joan Grubin, whose work can be seen currently in the exquisite exhibition at LABspace in Hillsdale, NY.

Artists Ashley Garrett and Brian Wood; Geoffrey Young and Mileta Roe pose in front of his work.

The opening reception drew a crowd. Even a dog stopped by to congratulate the artists.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/23/15 at 12:41 PM • Permalink

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Berkshire South Shines From The Top Of The Bryant Building

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. It’s rare to report from a building high above downtown Great Barrington, but the newly renovated Jane Iredale Headquarters makes it possible. On Friday, August 21, Jane Iredale hosted a fundraising party called Makeup, Martinis & Moustaches to a benefit Berkshire South Regional Community Center at her company’s new headquarters in the Bryant Building on Church Street. The cosmetics company moved into the former school in the spring, after a major renovation and modern revamp by Allegrone Construction. Guests enjoyed tours of the building, specialty cocktails, food from Mezze Catering and makeup demonstrations; male guests were treated to hot shaves by Sims Barber Shop. The first-time event was a departure for Berkshire South, which usually holds fundraisers on site at the Center, but the response for the change of location was positive, as close to 120 guests attended. Many of them were longtime loyal supporters of Berkshire South, some were fans of the makeup company and many others were excited at the opportunity to explore the new building and check out the balcony, which has a front-row seat to the Housatonic River and mountains beyond. Above, consultant Eddie Sporn, therapist Dee Dee Acquisto, Jane Iredale and Berkshire South executive director Jenise Lucey.

Board member Sharon Harrison, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics chief operating officer Bob Montgomery and Caren Mercer.

Ellen House, an executive assistant at Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, with Ann Miller, who is vice president of human resources and administration; As a former teacher and student, respectively, Ruth McCormick and Anne Andrews were excited to see the renovated school-turned-offices.

Berkshire South board member Rita Kasky, Bill Cohn and Paul and Linda Merschdorf, former Berkshire residents visiting from San Francisco; Jane Iredale product training coordinator Christine Savolis and Karen Sayers, community health worker at Berkshire South.

Architect Grigori Fateyev and Jim Culliton of Allegrone Construction worked on the Bryant Building, here with Jim’s wife, musician Mary Verdi.

Omnipresent philanthropist and board member Barbara Manring with husband Roger Manring and Jerry Soechting of the Berkshire Sings program at Berkshire South; financial advisor Matt Chester with and Kassi Lai of Allegrone Construction.

Dr. Gordon Josephson and Rita Kasky admire the view from the balcony; Founding member of Berkshire South Joan Kopperl with Cris Raymond, a longtime supporter.

Lucy Prashker, Jennnifer Bianco, Audrey Basbas and Caren Mercer.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 08/21/15 at 10:21 PM • Permalink

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Hudson Library Supporters Raise Money To Raise The New Roof

Lisa Green reports from Hudson. “Who knew library people could have this much fun?” quipped Bob Rasner, surveying the guests kicking up their heels at a good old-fashioned barn dance. This was shortly after they had proved their commitment to the still-under-construction Hudson Area Library at the Raise the Roof celebration on Saturday, August 15. Eager to get to the food (catered by Cristobal Morales of Memorable Cuisine) and dancing, the guests quickly lifted their paddles at the live auction, raising more than $16,000, proceeds of which will go to computers, chairs and comfy pillow seating for the children’s area of the library. Silent auction items added to the coffer. Then, it was time to gather in the “dancing barn” at the home of Ken Kraus and Anna d’Onofrio for a quick refresher course on square dance basics, and do-si-do to a professional caller and the Kitchen Kaylie Band. [Above, Event co-chair Tessy Keller, who owns TK Home and Garden in Hudson, and Theresa Parsons, co-chair of the Campaign for the Hudson Area Library.]

Bob Rasner and Marie Rasner, owners of Elijah Slocum and The INN at 240 (and who worked on the event); Caroline Jenks, Christine Boeke, silent auction chair and owner of Westcott House B&B, with antiques dealer Tom Swope.

Lubbie Harper III from NYC and Steve Swanson, who lives in Stockport; Jack Callaghan and Lydia Smith.

Gwen Gould, Melanie Mintz and Norman Mintz, and Anna d’Onofrio, an artist.

The directors of the Hudson Children’s Book Festival, Lisa Dolan and Jennifer Clark; James Chaplin, a senior at Hudson High School, represented the younger generation that uses the library, with PR pro Betsy Miller.

Grilling the veggies in plain view; Book conservator Jeff Rigby, Allan Chapin, owner of Cafe Le Perche, and Charles Simon.

Anna Rachminov of Stone Bridge Farm, which supplied the hard cider for the evening, Carol Peckham and Michael Grisham.

Whooping it up to the hollerin’ of the caller, Anne Banks.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/16/15 at 12:10 PM • Permalink

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Kent Presents: An Ideas Conference About ‘What Comes Next’

Lisa Green reports from Kent. Being present at a heady assemblage of the most high-powered laureates (Nobel and otherwise) in one setting over the course of one weekend is an extraordinary experience, and for that some 300 attendees had Ben and Donna Rosen to thank. Their vision, to create an ideas festival called Kent Presents, came to fruition August 13-15 on the grounds of Kent School. The nearly 40 sessions covered a spectrum of ideas — on national affairs, science, technology, the arts, health and medicine, humanities and other topics — and involved 72 speakers, panelists and moderators. Who was there? Among them, Henry Kissinger, Mia Farrow, Paul Krugman, Christopher Buckley, Richard Maltby and Soledad O’Brien. The conference kicked off with two plenary sessions, the first featuring former Ambassador William Burns, who was interviewed by David Sanger of The New York Times, followed by another session in which a dozen speakers offered teasers and invitations to their own sessions the next two days. Not only did Kent Presents offer a rare opportunity to explore ideas and meet with an unprecedented group of presenters, the charitable organization will support organizations that will assist low and moderate-income individuals and families in Kent and nearby communities. [Above, Donna Rosen, New Orleans gallerist and trustee of The Whitney Museum, welcomes the attendees, with Ben Rosen, venture capitalist and former chairman of Compaq Computer Corporation. Standing behind him is Frank Delaney, author and broadcaster, who, with great wit and flair, introduced the afternoon’s speakers.]

Painter Nicole Charbonnet from New Orleans, and Jean Vanderbilt; Harold Rosen from California, Deborah Castleman and Arthur Einstein, Jr. from Stuart, Fla.

Francis Naumann, a Marcel Duchamp scholar and art dealer, who was to present “Duchamp and Picasso: Two Men and A Bicyle” during the conference, with Amy Cappellazzo, founder and principal of Art Agency Partners and formerly of Christie’s, who was to participate in “Big Blur: Museums, Galleries, Auction Houses,” and Marie Keller; Ben Rosen and Robert Corman of Manhattan.

Tim Williamson, co-founder and CEO of The Idea Village, Jenny Williamson, Donna Rosen and Elizabeth Goodyear, all hailing from New Orleans.

Bernadette Murray and Brian Raskovic from Amenia, and MC Roberts and Eric Roberts, who live in Millerton; Jane Klein and Dick Schell, headmaster of Kent School.

From Western Connecticut State University, Jane Gates, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Rob Schlesinger, vice president for institutional advancement; Chuck Klein and Frank Delaney, a Kent resident.

Donald Miller and Muffy Miller from Palm Beach flank James Barron and Jeannette Barron of South Kent.

Litchfield resident Tim Walch, AnnDickinson, Ryan Phelan, Richard Purington and Stewart Brand, publisher of the original Whole Earth Catalog, who was to speak on “Demystifying Energy;” The post-plenary session reception with a view.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/14/15 at 05:02 PM • Permalink

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Volunteers In Medicine Does Bourbon Street

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. Ski Butternut was transformed into a Mardi Gras party for more than 200 doctors, nurses, professional healthcare providers and supporters who attended the annual gala for Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Berkshires on Thursday, August 13. The ski lodge was outfitted a la the festivities of Bourbon Street for the gala, which is a critical fundraiser for the truly deserving organization that provides free medical, dental, mental health and optometry services. The party always brings out a crowd and grows yearly says gala committee member Jane Salamon (at left, with board trustee emeritus Steven Picheny). “This year is bursting at the seams — we sold 226 tickets compared to last year’s 182.” Pleased with the fundraising efforts, partiers celebrated with New Orleans-style live music, a sit-down dinner, dancing, masks and, of course, lots of beads.

Former board member Dr. Paul Smilow, board treasurer Jessie Schoonmaker and board chair Arthur Peisner.

Mental health volunteer Carolina Rosenstein and Linda Olson, who volunteers her time at the front desk; board member Marion Simon with friend, Claflin Hall.

Event volunteer Jane Bernstein and Meredith O’Connor; Dr. Ellen Rowntree is board vice president, here with event co-chair Nancy Bernstein.

Egremont residents Harvey Ganot and Bonita Ganot, who is a gala committee member; Franni Rothman volunteered her decorating skills to transform Butternut into a Mardi Gras party, here with Jane Salamon.

Catherine Sands with her husband, Jeff Bliss, who is the development director at VIM, and Darren O’Brien, who provided lighting and audio services for the event.

Board member Turbi Smilow, whose husband was a founding member of VIM, with Doug Miskin and Wendy Jenkins; Realtor Nancy Kalodner, supporter Betsey McKearnan and Norman Rockwell Museum Director and CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt.

Camp Eisner nurse Lisa Moldowsky came out to support her fellow nurses, here with Danny O’Dell (whose wife is a nurse); architect Martha Montgomery, who will be working on the expansion of VIM headquarters, David Haust, and Realtor Suzanne Crerar.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 08/14/15 at 02:23 PM • Permalink

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Olana: Icebergs in August

Jamie Larson reports from Hudson. This year’s annual summer fundraising party for the Olana Historic Site, titled “Icebergs in August,” was yet another example of the uniquely modern style — yet historically reverent ethos — of programming crafted by the hardworking Olana Partnership and staff. To accompany the unequaled views from the home of Hudson River School painting master Frederic Church, the event, which featured a silent auction and huge iceberg ice sculpture, was themed after a single painting. “The Icebergs” by Church was painted after a trip by boat to Newfoundland, 52 years before the Titanic sunk in the same waters. The painting itself was lost in England for 116 years, only to reappear in 1979 when it was sold at Sotheby’s for $2.5 million, the largest amount every paid for a painting by an American artist at the time. The event, sponsored by a group of donors including presenting sponsor Stair Auctioneers and Appraisers, offered guests bites and beverages from several prominent chefs including Brian Alberg of The Red Lion Inn and the recently opened Eat on North; Dan Smith, chef and owner of John Andrews Farmhouse Restaurant; Devon Gilroy, chef at The Corner at Hotel Tivoli and others. There were also, given the evening’s nautical theme, unlimited oysters from Other Brother Darryl’s. It was a beautiful evening held in support of one of our region’s most beautiful places, but it was the extra effort put into the details that set this party apart. (Pictured above: Joseph Caldwell III, former Olana Partnership president Sara Griffin, NYS Assemblymember Didi Barrett and J. Caldwell.)

Iceberg Stair and Jones
Daryl Lee, Chris Warnassch, Alex Wright, Erik Piecuch; presenting sponsor Colin Stair with Partnership trustee and event co-chair Chris Jones.

Kevin Chun, Church descendents Sandy and Sky Blackiston, Olana curator Evelyn Trebilcock and Church’s great-great-granddaughter, Isabel Livingston.

Olana Landscape Curator Mark Prezorski, Sheldon Evans, Martha McMasters and Owen Davidson; the talented craftspeople responsible for replicating some of Olana’s period-appropriate curtains: Mitchell Motsinger and Christin Ripley, and Lynn Davis Studio manager Rebecca Johnson.

Iceberg vip tent
Lloyd Marks, Michael Tavano, Carolyn Zweben and Paul Zweben; a view of the VIP tent from the main house.

Iceberg Iceberg Ice sculpture
Party guests couldn’t help but take many pictures of the iceberg created by Sean Taylor of Capitol City Carvers.

Self proclaimed “Olana fanatic” Dorothy Heyl with husband and independent candidate for Hudson Common Council President Tom DePietro; Anne Miller, Stuart Breslow, Rick Sharp, Mark Prezorski and event designer Albert Simmons IV.

Icberg party boom

Inside the tent, a massive shipwrecked mast, mimicking the one featured in Church’s iconic painting, hung above the guests; Hannah Lawrence and Seth Anderson.

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Posted by Jamie Larson on 08/10/15 at 08:35 AM • Permalink

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Two To Tanglewood: The Gala And Business Partners Night

Lisa Green reports from Lenox, Part I. Every Tanglewood gala is a special event, but this year’s fundraising fête on Saturday, August 8 bestowed honors to one of the music festival’s jewels, the Tanglewood Music Center (TMC), which this season celebrates its 75th year nurturing young musicians. Guests came from Boston and beyond for the many-splendored evening, which began with a cocktail reception, followed by a gala dinner catered by Boston Gourmet, a concert of enormous proportions (Mahler Symphony No. 8 with orchestra, soloists and three choruses) and a dessert reception for Gold and Silver Benefactors. TMC’s history seemed to come alive in the Hawthorne Tent; life-sized archival photos from its rich past encircled the guests and reminded them of the activities as well as the musicians and conductors — they themselves larger-than-life — who made the world-famous institute what it is today. [Above, former Governor Deval Patrick, Mary Jeka, gala committee members David Smith and Ranny Cooper, and Diane Patrick.]

From Otis and Concord, Dan Schrager and Ellen Gaies; Alice Stephens of Stockbridge and Manhattan with Adrian Applebaum of Saratoga Springs.

David Glodt and Marita Glodt, who is president of Barrington Stage Company’s board of directors, with Sydelle Blatt and Lee Blatt, the theater’s benefactors; Richard Dix and Greg Bulger, gala committee members, with Megan DiBattista and Matthew DiBattista, a former fellow of the TMC vocal program.

Dyan Goodwin and Dora Lewin, representing Bank of America.

Ana Julia Jatar of El Planeta, Boston’s Latino daily news, with Lilliana Bachrach, a gala committee member; David McSweeney, a new media consultant, and Betsy Burleigh.

Janet Eason, who recently joined Main Street Hospitality Group as its vice president of marketing, and Bob Eason; Bobbi Litt, Rick Litt and Martha Volpe.

The lovely ladies who greeted the guests: Emily Fritz-Endres, Kathleen Pendleton and Katie Cushing.

Leslie Antoniel of the BSO’s development office, with Jonathan Halpern and Ronnie Halpern; Carol Burack and Dan Burack, the former owners of Cranwell Resort and Spa, with Robert Baum and Elena Baum, gala committee members.

Lisbeth Tarlow, Carol Grossman and Stephen Kay; Brett Johnson flanked by C.C. Cave and Peter Rothstein, choristers performing in the evening’s Mahler Symphony No. 8.

Honoring Tanglewood Music Center’s 75th anniversary, the tent was lined with life-size reproductions of photos from TMC’s past.

Lisa Green reports from Lenox, Part 2. Seranak estate, the historic summer home of Tanglewood founder and legendary BSO Music Director Serge Koussevitzky, is now a supper club with privileges going to high-level donors. But on Monday, August 10, the property, sitting high atop a hill a quarter mile from Tanglewood, welcomed a special contingent for the Tanglewood Business Partners Night. These were deserving guests; Tanglewood business partners raised more than a half million dollars this year, 111 percent over their financial goal, due in part to the addition of many new businesses. After the cocktail reception, guests retreated to a tent where they became an audience to the New Fromm Players, an ensemble drawn from recent Tanglewood Music Center alumni, who played selections by von Weber and Mendelssohn, accompanied by the sounds of wind and thunder. The rain held out, though, so the hors d’oeuvres segment of the evening proceeded without interruption, and the view of the Stockbridge Bowl continued to enthrall even during dusk. [Above, Mary Jane White and Nancy Fitzpatrick, co-chairs of the Tanglewood Business Committee, with Kim Noltemy, the BSO’s chief marketing and communications officer.]

Emery Sheer of Sheer & Company and Jill Sheer, a violinist in Miami; Tom Hoadley and Stephanie Hoadley, owner of Hoadley Gallery in Lenox, with Fran Fowler of Shear Design.

Attorney Zick Rubin and Carol Rubin with Lynn Turiel and Bernie Turiel, a lawyer; Debbie Rockoff and Michele Gazit from The Gateways Inn.

Paul Lindenmaier and Margaret Lindenmaier from Berkshire Country Day School.

Phil McAvoy, representing Country Curtains and Laurence Oberwager, director of Tanglewood Business Partners; Ken Fowler, Margery Steinberg, a Tanglewood overseer, Marcia Mandel and Charles Mandel of Optical Care Associates.

Frieda Pilson and Neal Pilson of Pilson Communications; Attorney Jeff Cook from Cohen, Kinne, Valicenti and Cook with Mark Volpe, managing director of the BSO.

Chris Ciolfi of Evolution Towers & Site Services and Joanie Ciolfi, an artist, enhance the view.

The Purple Plume’s Judie Culver, June Roy Martin of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Barbara Osborne of Ashmere Realty, and Victoria Ross of Stone House Properties; Kathrynne Gogel, Ken Gogel of Gogel & Gogel, a law firm, and Mary Mullen.

Seranak’s terrace was open for cocktails al fresco with a stunning view over Stockbridge Bowl.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/09/15 at 10:25 AM • Permalink

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A Tea Party For Two Hundred Plus

Rachel Louchen reports from Washington, CT. The invitation said Two For Two Hundred, but from host Gael Hammer’s estimate, a more accurate title would be Tea For 350. On Saturday, August 8, the 18th annual Tea For Two Hundred, to benefit the Interfaith AIDS Ministry of Greater Danbury and New Milford Visiting Nurse Association, was held in the gardens of Gary Goodwin and Gael Hammer. The nonprofits offer critical support to the community — and the community came out to return the favor. The large grounds comfortably accommodated the 350 guests, all clad in white attire. The various entertainment areas featured live music from Christine Ohlman, a silent auction, dancing, sit-down dining and book signings from Honorary Chair Candace Bushnell and special guest Larry Kramer. In addition to the mandatory white garb, the hat contest was taken very seriously, with large and flamboyant headgear standing out in the sea of white. Above, host Gael Hammer, Claudia Kozma Kaplan, senior vice president at Christian Dior, host Gary Goodwin and Vladimir Kaplan.

Laura Daly was quite appropriately the judge of the hat contest, here with Julie Loughran, the director of development and communications at Connecticut Community Foundation, which was a sponsor, and Jim Daly.

Cindy Tyler and her daughter, Sara Tabasko; Jackie Bunker and Marcy Calovich, administrative assistant at Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse.

Meredith and Kevin Gibson, visiting from New Jersey; eating and drinking by the pool.

Author Lane Smith with his wife, Molly Leach, a book designer, and Gael Hammer.

Washington resident Louise van Tartwijk, who has supported this event for many years, with Raj Dhillon, who was visiting from London; Sarah Jenkins and Matthew Archer.

Author Candace Bushnell signed copies of her books and chatted with guests; Fabian Bryant, Janet Bryant and Niles Bryant.

Lucy Pierpont of Klemm Real Estate, Lisa Leonard, Curt Leonard and Realtor Sallie Smith; Washington residents Sara Osborne and Anne Martin.

Just a fraction of the 350 guests mingling on the lawn in Washington.

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

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Sharon Summer Book Signing: 32 Ways To Meet An Author

Sarah Ellen Rindsberg reports from Sharon. The white tent adjacent to the Hotchkiss Library in Sharon, CT can only mean one thing: the Sharon Summer Book Signing, now in its 19th year. On Friday, July 31, more than 30 authors arrived from near and far, filling the tent with stories of the writer’s life. Jam Catering supplied the hors d’oeuvres, passed by eighth graders eager to help their library. Families arrived first, enjoying an unfettered hour with their favorite authors. For the younger set, it was a special opportunity to meet revered authors and discover new ones. For adults, the event provided the opportunity to meet writers including Food and Wine Editor Dana Cowin, author of Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen and Mary Norris, the grammarian behind Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen. Many gathered at a corner table to meet and greet former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his wife, Nancy. Six dinners with authors were held at private homes later that evening. The traditional gently used book sale followed on Saturday and Sunday. Above, garden and design authors Tovah Martin and Bunny Williams.

Gretchen Hachmeister, a library trustee, and Barclay Collins, event chair and board president; former U.S. Senator and D.C. Circuit Judge James L. Buckley and Kate Gray with their books.

Mary Kirby and Ed Kirby, a trustee of the Sharon Historical Society; Mary Oppenheimer and Arete Warren, a library trustee.

Hail to the Comma Queen, The New Yorker’s Mary Norris.

Emily Bartram, head librarian and assistant director, and Robin Yuran, co-director; Henry Kissinger signs his latest tome, World Order.

Pamela Wilson and George Mason; Andrea Allan and David Allan and their son, Lucas Allan.

Cache of Katz, not necessarily related: Author and Cooperstown, NY Mayor Jeff Katz, his son Joey Katz, and Blood, Sweat and Tears guitarist (and now author) Steve Katz.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/03/15 at 08:14 AM • Permalink

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Clermont Honors Its Friend And Neighbor Joan K. Davidson

Amy Krzanik reports from Germantown. Clermont State Historic Site has a bevy of generous supporters and admirers (and with good reason), and this year they decided to honor one of their greatest champions. On August 1, the Friends of Clermont held their mid-summer benefit and cocktail party in honor of Germantown resident Joan K. Davidson, at left. The former commissioner of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and chair of the NYS Council of the Arts, is president emeritus of the J. M. Kaplan Fund and current president of its Furthermore program. A grants program started by Joan in 1995, Furthermore supports the publishing of non-fiction books and has provided funding to many book projects relating to the Hudson Valley, including three recent releases by the Friends of Clermont. Joan’s friends came from all over the region to honor her and her important work, and applaud enthusiastically as NYS Assemblymember Didi Barrett presented her with a large and lovely proclamation. Sometimes good work doesn’t go unrewarded. 

Mark Prezorski, The Olana Partnership’s landscape curator, with Olana trustees Phoebe Gubelmann and Rick Sharp; Martha Holmes Currie, Tambra Dillon, co-director of the Hudson Opera House, and Glenda Law, a member of the Clermont board.

Filmmakers Hart and Dana Perry; Tim McKelvey, Liz and Michael Pierce and Toby Usnik.

Bill Dean, a longtime friend of Joan’s, with Kim Robbins, property manager at Midwood Estate, Furthermore’s Elizabeth Howard and Eleanor McPeck, Midwood’s landscape architect; Susan Hendrickson and Chuck Olbricht.

Clermont trustee Chelsea Streifeneder, Brendan Kelly, Alexandra Anderson, Clermont’s Executive Director Conrad Hanson and Gary Dicus.

Adelia Geiger, Janett Pabon of Hotel Tivoli and Clermont’s board vice president Jim Joseph; Jim Hamilton, Dr. Lucy Waletzky, who is Chair of the NYS Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, with Glenda Law and Josh Aronson.

Brock Ganeles, Olana associate curator Valerie Balint, Olana curator Evelyn Trebilcock and Rena Zurofsky; Honoree Joan K. Davidson with Clermont board president Charles Geiger.

One of the evening’s young guests, with RIE Associate Kristin Eliasberg and Joan’s daughter, Betsy Davidson; Clermont trustee Pieter Estersohn, Joe Versace and RI columnist Carey Maloney.

Mark Patricof, Earl Adams and Burns Magruder; Robert Goldsmith with Sam and Elizabeth White and board member Patricia Falk.

Guests enjoy the view of the Hudson River.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/02/15 at 10:10 PM • Permalink

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White Out On Main Street

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. Berkshire County residents, especially those who live in Great Barrington, have grown accustomed to the extensive construction of Main Street. That’s why it was a welcome sight to have the excavators and bulldozer replaced by a dining setup lining Main Street, complete with guests decked out in head-to-toe white (the only hard hats around repurposed as centerpieces). The Dig and Dine event returned on Wednesday, July 29 for its second go-around this summer due to popular demand following the first very successful event in June. As traffic continued to roll by, 152 diners feasted on a meal catered jointly by Naji’s, Castle Street Café and Old Inn on the Green. The brainchild of Barbara Watkins, proprietor of Evergreen, the dinner’s main goal was to show that, despite the torn-up sidewalks and traffic created by construction, downtown Great Barrington is a united and thriving community. Above, Barbara Watkins with Anita Schilling and Stefani Samek.

Amy McNally, Betsy Strickland, director of admissions at the Darrow School, former Berkshire resident Sophia Xethlis, visiting from Illinois, and Brenda Petell.

Alford resident Ann Marie Genco, with June Wink, said she was happy to be on the good side of traffic, finally; Great Barrington Selectman Stephen Bannon and Chip Elitzer.

Steve Hannum, Jim Kelly, Jill Graham and Julie Hannum, all of Sheffield; Jan and Jerry Tuckman were happy to support the town.

Jeff Caminiti, Richard Waldburger, Stefani Samek, Cindy Caminiti and Melinka Jackson get ready to feast.

Roberta Haas and husband Steven Haas saw photos from the first dinner and wanted to participate; Sandi Wojtkowski, Daralyn Hospot and Michele Wojtkowski.

Housatonic’s Stephanie Higgins and her mother, Melissa Beeson Higgins; the musical stylings of Sandy & Sandy helped drown out the sound of the (very close by) traffic.

Just a few of the hundred-plus diners enjoying the food and weather, against the backdrop of Main Street’s stately architecture.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/30/15 at 12:42 AM • Permalink

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BFMC’s Posh Picnic Packs A Punch

Laura Gratz reports from Lenox. The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative (BFMC) held its second annual “Posh Picnic” on the lawn at Tanglewood this past Sunday, July 26th. Tanglewood sponsored and catered the lively event, where guests were treated to a sumptuous gourmet picnic in individual picnic baskets and dined at tables decorated by Joyce’s Event Design. The Picnic featured make-your-own Bloody Marys with Ice Glen Vodka from Berkshire Mountain Distillers. Afterwards, guests enjoyed an all-Mozart concert in the Shed. Honorary co-chairs Gordon and Carole Hyatt and BFMC’s executive director Diane Pearlman welcomed a group of 90+ festively attired picnic-goers this year. BFMC is a non-profit organization serving as an economic engine for the film and media industry in western Massachusetts by creating educational, workforce and production opportunities in the area. This year’s Posh Picnic raised money for a feasibility study to assess the viability of creating a film institute in the Berkshires. Above, Diane Pearlman with television producer/writer Gordon Hyatt and author/career counselor Carole Hyatt. Photos by Joseph Cisneros.

Event planner Amy Rudnick, State Representative Smitty Pignatelli, director/animator Ben Hillman and Linda Schoenthaler, a financial planner; MCLA Interim President Cindy Brown, Berkshire Community College department chair Maura Delaney and BCC Dean of Humanities Thomas J. Curley.

Posh pals: Academy Award-winning filmmaker Cynthia Wade, BFMC Education Committee member Hope Fitzgerald, Diane Pearlman and creative strategist and BFMC board member Barbara Newman; Vicki Bonnington and David Schecker looked dandy at the picnic.

Visual effects pioneer and BFMC board member Douglas Trumbull, realtor Nancy Kalodner and producer Julia Hobart Trumbull; posh planners extraordinaire: Holly Hunter of Joyce’s Event Design, Canyon Ranch’s Nanci McConnell and BFMC administrative director Laura Gratz.

Museum consultant Rena Zurofsky, Flying Cloud’s Jane Burke, Shakespeare & Company’s Jennie Jadow and David Jadow; Gordon, Carole and Diane with members of Carole’s “Mission Getting to Next” seminar (including several military generals) who were guests at the picnic.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/27/15 at 02:35 PM • Permalink

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Twilight In The Garden At Hollister House

Amy Krzanik reports from Washington, CT. The annual Twilight in the Garden cocktail party at Hollister House, which occurred this year on Saturday evening, July 25, allows guests the opportunity to wander the property during one of its most magical moments. The garden, an interpretation of a classic English garden, was inspired by Sissinghurst in the UK, but incorporates a more informal, euphoric planting style. Begun in 1979 by George Schoellkopf and Ron Johnson, the garden is comprised of different “rooms,” created by using multiple levels, stone walls, hedges and other borders. Guests enjoyed cocktails on the Main Lawn and snacks on the Upper Lawn, where frogs came out to greet the visitors. Hollister House Garden is open on Saturdays through September. Visit the website for information about the upcoming Garden Study Weekend, which includes a symposium, plant sale, cocktail party and more. Above, guests enjoy the Gray Garden on the upper level.

Hollister House’s executive director Pamela Moffett and founder George Schoellkopf; Humphry and Paula Rolleston with Amel Derragui and Michael Friedl of the Austrian Trade Commission in NYC.

Betsy Manning, a founding board member, with Garden volunteers Dwight Keeney and Ambler Cantey; Jonathan Tait and Caroline Johnson.

Monica Neumann, general manager of the Mayflower Grace, with Rod Pleasants, Gülengül Öncel, Patrick Gallagher of Rome, Italy, Jessica Pleasants Öncel and architect Okan Öncel.

Gael Hammer with Leslie Middlebrook Moore; Jack Barker, Marvin and Norma Prince and Paul Egee enjoy the calm of the reflecting pool in the Walled Garden.

Bruce and Johanna Haan of Sharon, CT pose near the Crabapple Walk; Iris Lord of Woodbury and Pamela Hicks of Goshen by the water.

Jim Shehan, Amy Nadeau, Mara Ford and John and Stephanie McDonald of Woodbury.

The reflecting pool in the Walled Garden; guests enjoy cocktails on the Main Lawn.

Through a stone doorway lush with vines, a peek into the Walled Garden and beyond.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/26/15 at 06:55 PM • Permalink

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‘Think Like A Farmer, Taste Like A Chef’ At Katchkie Farm

Lisa Green reports from Kinderhook. “You don’t have to like it, but you do have to try it” is the rule when school kids are introduced to new foods at The Sylvia Center. That wasn’t a problem for the 350 supporters who gathered at the farm for its eighth annual Farm-to-Table Dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm. On a glorious summer evening, guests roamed the fragrant garden, took photos of the llamas, chickens, sunflowers and sunset and, of course, enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Dinner under the tent right across from the fields highlighted the connection between farm and table. Guests silently bid on individually designed wheelbarrow benches and in a live auction for — yes — a pig, or jam and pickling sessions. The Sylvia Center engages youth in every step of the story of food, from seed to plate, working with students in New York and bringing local school kids to the farm, where they work in the garden and learn culinary skills. Proceeds from the evening’s event will help with the goal of bringing 2,000 young people to the farm this year. Above, Marvin Israelow and Dorian Goldman, event sponsors; Liz Neumark, the founding force of the farm and center, and CEO of Great Performances; and Renee Iacone and Steve Clearman, sponsors.

Koethi Zan and Stephen Metcalf, both on the dinner committee, with Allison Whiting; Amy Faxon and Roger Faxon of NYC.

Camille Massey, Lucia Massey and Gillie Holme.

Kara Stevens, Edouard Brimbeuf, Cleo Berliner, Ella Viscardi, David Berliner, a dinner committee member, and Nina Freedman, who is on The Sylvia Center’s board of directors; Shelley Levine and Larry Schwartz of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.

Chris Sansbury and Hallie Ziesmer of Old Chatham; Wall Street Journal columnist Ralph Gardner with Lucien Rees-Roberts, an interior designer, and Debbie Gardner, both dinner co-chairs, and Anna Hammond, executive director of The Sylvia Center.

Sebastian Beckwith, whose company, In Pursuit of Tea, donated the iced tea, and Joyce Huang, the center’s finance director and business manager.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon and Jean Hanff Korelitz, whose novel Admission was the basis for the Tiny Fey film, and who donated the opportunity to name a character in her upcoming novel; Leanne Bell and Gwen Beal of Connecticut.

Heather Kowalski and Curt Gobrecht of Lover’s Leap Farm, who donated one of their heritage pigs for the auction; Patricia Coughlin and Lise Suino of Kinderhook and NYC.

Anna So and Shaun So, supporters of The Sylvia Center, and their daughter.

Manifestation of farm to table; Cody Anderson and Jessica Anderson, who live in Chatham Center.

Timothy Husband and Nicholas Haylett, who are both on the dinner committee, with Despina Leandrou, Nathan Kernan and Thomas Whitridge of Ink, Inc.; Students learn a lot in Farmer Bob Walker’s fields.

Farm Education Director and Garden Manager Julie Cerny tells guests about the sensory tour that introduces young people to the garden.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/26/15 at 11:33 AM • Permalink

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Afternoon Delight At Naumkeag

Rachel Louchen reports from Stockbridge. Floral frocks, sun hats and linen suits — Berkshires residents really know how to do a garden party justice. On Saturday, July 25, Naumkeag hosted its annual afternoon garden party, which raised proceeds for ongoing garden restoration work at the National Historic Landmark. Guests were greeted by a cloudless blue sky and incredible mountain views as they enjoyed bellinis by Spirited, SoMa Catering’s hors d’oeuvres and sweets from Chocolate Springs. The beautiful location was enhanced by live jazz next to the Chinese gardens and Berkshire Pulse dancers performed on the expansive lawns. Guests took advantage of the favorable weather to wander around the one-of-a-kind gardens, white birches, sculptures and the famous blue steps (four flights of stairs with a series of fountain pools). Was the big turnout for the annual event really because people wanted to support the historic site or did everyone just want to see one of the best views in the Berkshires? Above, Joe McNay and host committee member Paula Moats.

Alberto Goldberger visiting from New York, Matthew King and husband Brian Cruey, who is the site’s new General Manager, and Jennifer Kinsman.

Jay Rhind and Chantal Rhind of Stockbridge; Karen O’Donnell and Peter Sheffer of Richmond flank Jim Chapman, visiting the Berkshires from Colorado.

Helga Kaiser, Sheila Thunfors of Stonehouse Properties and Ernest Von Simson; Kathrine Abraham and Lee Abraham.

Director of Leadership and Giving Denise Trapani with the Trustees of Reservations President and CEO Barbara Erickson and Tyler Weld.

Jocelyn Forbush, Chief of Operations and Programs with the Trustees, is flanked by Rebecca and John Schreiber; Trustee member Alexandra Glover and Peter Puciloski.

Peter Gasparrini with Nina Jung of Tanglewood; Naumkeag supporters Ben and Christine Strong of Great Barrington.

Danielle Steinmann, Vanya Tulenko and Michael Rodriguez, all of the Trustees of Reservations; Michael Coppinger and Sarah Voisin are currently restoring the Chinese gardens at Naumkeag through their work at Allegrone.

Trustee members Beth and Bruce Gamble and the best backdrop on a perfect summer afternoon.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/25/15 at 10:28 PM • Permalink

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What A Marvelous Night For A Barn Dance At Pleasant Valley

Mary Garnish Bauman reports from Lenox. A barn dance in the Berkshires — that’s what Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary decided to do for its 7th annual fundraiser on July 18, welcoming 100 guests to celebrate “An Evening in the Woods.” The center of the action this year was Pleasant Valley’s historic barn, where the band Spare Parts, featuring noted fiddler George Wilson, inspired dancers to take to the floor. Caller Paul Rosenberg instructed in contra-dancing and other barn-appropriate styles. Before all the high-stepping and whirling about, guests enjoyed delicious tacos and flautas from local eatery Baja Charlie’s, libations from Kelly’s Package Store and ice cream from SoCo Creamery while bidding on silent auction items. Giant butterfly kites, colorful flags and wooden sculptures from Asia Barong adorned the tents. Robert Harrison, event sponsor and former board member, welcomed guests, and Berkshire Sanctuaries director Becky Cushing (above right, with Candice Ferrell) expressed gratitude for the generosity of the community in supporting Mass Audubon’s regional education programs for people of all ages. Gary Clayton, acting president for Mass Audubon statewide, elucidated the importance of the Berkshire Sanctuaries in a statewide context – and then kicked off the celebration. Photos by Susan Geller.

Butch Ptak and Janice Cullen, formerly of Mass Audubon; Guests take a seat at the picnic tables.

Jesse and Patty Spector; Jim and Kathi Hatch with intern Jessie Griffin.

Pleasant Valley Advisory Committee member Michael Kaplan, David Lotto and Kevin Ploss; Victoria Nast, Bill Talbot and architect Robert Harrison, one of the event sponsors.

Alyce, Emma and Luke Caplan; Robert Harrison and his wife, Sharon Harrison, lead the dance pack.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/20/15 at 04:06 PM • Permalink

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Dish + Dine Brings Ceramics Experts To Ferrin Contemporary

Amy Krzanik reports from North Adams. If you’ve ever watched an episode of Antiques Roadshow, you may have recognized a couple of familiar faces at Independent Art Projects (IAP) on Sunday, July 19. Specialists, collectors and Roadshow appraisers Suzanne Perrault and David Rago were joined by the show’s consulting producer, Daniel Farrell, for the panel discussion “Clay Is Hot! Good Better Best.” The trio answered questions regarding collecting ceramics, pottery and porcelain from 1900 to the present, including the importance of provenance, connoisseurship and values. The event was part of gallerist Leslie Ferrin’s programming for Ferrin Contemporary’s current IAP ceramics exhibit, Glazed & Diffused. Kelly’s Package Store supplied seven different rosés for guests to sample and compare post-lecture. The dinner that followed, catered by Gramercy Bistro, stayed on-theme by featuring chicken, vegetables and sticky rice brushed with a variety of glazes. Dessert, inspired by Jae Yong Kim’s Donut Madness, consisted of ricotta fritters with an aperol diffusion. Glazed & Diffused will be on view at IAP, located on the MASS MoCA campus, until August 16.

Leslie Ferrin with Alex Gilbert and Patrick Parrish; Ceramic artist Alexandra Jelleberg with Meg Wendy and Guy Geslin.

Elenor Wilson, editor of The Studio Potter, with Donald Clark of The Marks Project, ceramic artist and teacher Michael Boroniec and photographer John Polak; Panelists Suzanne Perrault and David Rago.

Guy McLain, director of the Wood Museum of Springfield History, Ruth Kjaer, an artist from Easthampton, Mass., and panelist Dan Farrell; Collectors Melinda Sanders and Mark Shifman flank Glazed & Diffused artist Linda Sormin.

Ceramic artist Michael McCarthy supplied all of the dinnerware for the event, from mugs and dishes to water pitchers and vases. The flowers are from the gardens surrounding Ferrin Contemporary’s Cummington location.

Guests discuss art in front of Robert Silverman’s Tirana (inspired by Rana); Ferrin Contemporary artist-in-residence Roberto Lugo with Ashley Lugo and Theodore. Lugo’s solo show, Ghetto Garniture: Wu Tang Worcester will be on view at IAP beginning August 22.

Saul Ingram, Laurie Norton Moffatt and Sonya Bekkerman; Glazed & Diffused artist Jae Yong Kim in front of his work, Donut Madness.

Photo and video artist Jen Morris, ceramic artist and teacher Michael McCarthy and B-HIP intern Danielle Eddy.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/20/15 at 10:21 AM • Permalink

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Slideluck Mixes Art And Community At Stonover Farm

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. Suky Werman, co-owner of Stonover Farm Bed and Breakfast and a board member of IS183 Art School of the Berkshires, curates an amazing benefit art show for the School in her Barn Gallery each summer. She boasts an impeccable eye for art, but isn’t one to rest on her laurels, and so kicked it up a notch for this year’s exhibit by adding a Slideluck event to the opening reception. Guests to the July 16th shindig enjoyed a community potluck upstairs in the barn, an art show downstairs and a slide show presentation viewed from blankets on the lawn once the sun set. Brooklyn Brewery and Souverain wine supplied the beverages. The exhibit, featuring the work of more than 20 artists, includes photography, paintings, ceramics and textiles. Read RI’s article about Slideluck and its creator, Casey Kelbaugh. Above, IS183 board chairman Andy Foster with former IS183 artist-in-residence Malik Sajad and executive director Hope Sullivan.

Stonover Farm’s Tom Werman is flanked by Renee and Steve Erenburg; exhibiting artist Rob MacInnis and the show’s curator, Stonover Farm’s Suky Werman.

Artist Terry Wise and herbalist Margot Wise; Photographer Bill Wright, IS183 marketing associate Carrie Wright and Nathan Hanford.

Attendees begin to gather on the lawn and set out picnic blankets before the slide show.

Exhibiting painter Kris Galli, IS183 associate program director Lucie Castaldo, photographer Edward Acker, Malik Sajad, Hope Sullivan and exhibiting painter Maggie Mailer.

Exhibiting ceramic artist Alexandra Jelleberg and Melissa Post of Ferrin Contemporary; Adam Hinds and Danielle Steinmann.

Slideluck creator Casey Kelbaugh with its global coordinator, Jen Plaskowitz; guests enjoy the generous potluck supper inside the barn.

Early view of the picnic area from inside the barn.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/19/15 at 02:45 PM • Permalink

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Hancock Shaker Village Goes Back To Its Roots

Lisa Green reports from Pittsfield. Hancock Shaker Village celebrated its 55th anniversary with a gala themed “Back to Our Roots.” And, indeed, the theme was carried out through the dinner, which was prepared over open fire by Fire Roasted Catering of Great Barrington, with nearly all of the food coming directly from Hancock Shaker Village’s own farm. The hors d’oeuvres and cocktail hour gave guests a chance to bid on silent auction items and then dinner began with a Shaker grace sung by Cindy Dickinson, director of education, and Lesley Herzberg, curator. But the real action happened during the live auction and the “cause within a cause,” which was to raise money for much-needed improvements to the educational Discovery Barn. Although the auction activity was lighthearted, it was serious business that paid off: Darin Johnson, a trustee, announced after a quick tally that the evening’s goal of $50,000 was surpassed by $3,000. Above: Darin Johnson, Dan Cain, chairman of the Trustees, and Linda Steigleder, president and CEO.

John Fawcett with Marilyn Walters and Ron Walters, Board of Trustees vice chair; Robin Lazarow and Jeanne Kangas, who have a house in West Stockbridge.

Board of Trustees member Dan Feld and Ann Feld; Michael Christopher and Elaine Christopher, who is a volunteer with the quilting friends at HSV.

Posing for a beautiful family portrait: Robin Fernsell, Jack Quattrochi, Joanne Quattrochi and their mother/grandmother, Kathryn Quattrochi.

Jay Galarneau from Fire Roasted Catering stirs the foraged mushroom and farro risotto in the 200-year-old caudron; Lee Blatt, Sydelle Blatt, Randy Nelson and Cynthia Nelson.

Greg Keffer, an architect with Rockwell Group, Meagan Ball, who is a summer intern at Old Sturbridge Village; Darin Johnson, Cheryl Zaccaro and Michael Zaccaro, a member of the board of trustees.

Richard Seltzer and Carol Seltzer, gala benefactors; Eric Prouty, a collector of Shaker goods, and Shawn Hartley Hancock, HSV director of marketing and communications.

Noah Hanft and Dora Hanft, gala benefactors; Elissa Haskins-Vaughan, director of development, and Dan Cain.

The most picturesque vista for roasting chickens you’ll ever see.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/19/15 at 09:46 AM • Permalink

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Mass Live Arts Kicks Off Its Third Season With A Bang And A BBQ

Amy Krzanik reports from Great Barrington. “I thought I was done being surprised by theater,” marveled an audience member after Friday, July 10th’s performance of Andrew Schneider’s YOUARENOWHERE at Mass Live Arts (MLA). Schneider, a 2015 OBIE winner, uses technology (some self-created), cleverly timed sounds and visuals, and audience participation to charm and disorient viewers. The result is rapt attention while his character attempts to understand how time works, and a vested interest in his struggle for intimacy against the lure of detachment. Now in its third year, MLA brings experimental theater like this to the Berkshires for one month, using Simon’s Rock’s Daniel Arts Center to stage intimate performances and provide practice space for local works in progress. An after-party/benefit/barbecue featured live music from Doll Parts, a Brooklyn-based Dolly Parton cover band, followed by late-night karaoke. Cast and crew chatted with supporters, enjoying wine and beer from Domaney’s and way-above-average burgers from The Meat Market, served sizzling from the grill by MLA’s executive director himself, Ilan Bachrach. MLA’s season continues until July 26. Above, Doll Parts plays the hits.

Hillel Bachrach with Marilyn Lebowitz and Nancy Seebert, who is visiting from Oregon to perform with Berkshire Choral; Sandy Cleary, director of the Daniel Arts Center, with Ilan Bachrach, MLA’s artistic director.

Great Barrington Selectman Ed Abrahams and Caroline Tufts; Margaret Cherin, curator of Simon’s Rock’s Hillman-Jackson Gallery, and photographer Gregory Cherin with Sarah Blexrud.

The cast of YOUARENOWHERE, Andrew Schneider and Peter Musante.

Ian Volner, Scout MacEachron and Henry Lyon; Martha Joseph and Virginia Wagner.

Jaime Cooper and architect Grigori Fateyev; Doll Parts plays as partygoers line up for grub.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/13/15 at 01:41 PM • Permalink

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BART Charter School Grows Bigger And Better

Amy Krzanik reports from Adams. With the students away for the summer, Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter Public School (BART for short) finally had a chance to show off its newly built wing to the adults in the community on Friday, July 10. Teachers, administrators and trustees past and present joined parents, town officials and supporters from local colleges to toast to the school’s addition and those who helped make it possible. In particular, the wing’s namesake – Pam Johnson, a founding trustee – was honored for her dedication to BART and its students. The tuition-free, college prep school serves Berkshire County students in grades 6-12. Since its inception in 2004, the school has used an atrium on its lower level as gym, cafeteria and function space, a set-up which needed modifications each time it was used. The new addition makes room for a separate cafeteria, as well as a gymnasium with a stage for performances and graduation ceremonies. The evening’s event was catered by Mezze and guests enjoyed live music from the Limbshakers Jazz Band. Above, BJ and Pam Johnson pose in front of the new Pam Johnson wing.

Dan and Rebecca Riff pose with Brad Svrluga; Carol Stegeman with Jane Allen, who is the school’s former acting executive director, and Joan Hunter.

Jonathan Stone, Tom Flanigan and Bill Mulholland, who is vice chair of the school’s board of trustees; Brad Wells, former BART principal Ben Klompus, Janine Hetherington and Betsy Burris.

Board member Fred Puddester, Susan Puddester, board member Bill Polk and Adams town administrator Tony Mazzucco; Former board members Jodi Joseph of MASS MoCA and Chris O’Connor with BART development coordinator Leah Thompson.

Sue Lubell, the school’s director of special education, and assistant principal Miles Wheat welcomed party guests into the beautiful new wing.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/13/15 at 11:12 AM • Permalink

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Berkshire Grown Brunchers Talk Food With Ruth Reichl

Lisa Green reports from Sheffield. It’s not as if there’s ever a bad time to enjoy the bounty of the Rural Intelligence region, but the exquisite summer weather of the past weekend seemed particularly felicitous for Berkshire Grown to hold a fundraising brunch. On Sunday, July 12, supporters of the organization, which champions local agriculture, farmers and locally grown food, gathered in the shaded garden of Hester Velmans and Peter Cherneff, where tables were set with a banquet’s worth of food (catered by private chef Jamie Paxton), all sourced from area farms, as well as other items contributed by local restaurants. As the grazing part of the event wound down, guests moved to the barn for the second part of the fundraiser, a talk by guest of honor Ruth Reichl, award-winning food writer, former New York Times food critic and best-selling author. Cheesemonger Matt Rubiner served as moderator and the two food experts talked about food trends (past, present and future) and other delicious subjects. Above, Ruth Reichl and Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown.

Andrew Ruggles and Marymar Ruggles of NYC and Great Barrington, with Hester Velmans, who hosted the event; Host Peter Cherneff, husband of Hester Velmans, with Stephanie Rothschild.

Meghan Harrison, a massage therapist, and James Burden, co-owner of Red Apple Butchers.

Meeting, greeting and eating at the brunch; Tom Vris and Patty Vris with Jack Isler and Beth Isler from Salisbury, Ct.

One of the tables offering locally sourced items; a list of the farms and restaurants that contributed to the brunch.

Architecture and design writer Linda Saul-Sena, Mark Sena and landscape designer Honey Sharp; Austin Banach of the Berkshore Oyster Co. shucks a few for Robin Ban.

Colin Harrington, who is the events manager at The Bookstore in Lenox, with Deborah Balmuth, publisher at Storey Publishing.

Jewelry designer Dai Ban and Robin Ban, owner of Seeds in Great Barrington; Jan Johnson and Tom Curtin, both Berkshire Grown board members, and Bill Ryan, one of the event’s sponsors.

Sunday in the garden with Berkshire Grown supporters.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/13/15 at 09:37 AM • Permalink

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A Gilded Age Summer Soiree At Wilderstein

Rachel Louchen reports from Rhinebeck. Built in 1852, Wilderstein Historic Site is a Cape Anne-style mansion that, thanks to generous contributors and dedicated staff and volunteers, doesn’t look a day over 50. Those people and more gathered on the extensive lawns on Saturday, July 11th for the Summer Celebration benefit fundraiser. The former home of three generations of the Suckley family, most notably Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, a cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt who opened the house to the public and created the Wilderstein Preservation in 1984. Daisy would be happy to see the care her beloved home has received over the years, including various restorations that are funded by events like these. A jazz band played while guests enjoyed cocktails and food, perused the silent auction and tried to narrow down which pie to bid on in the dessert auction. There were croquet matches, outdoor sculpture, gardens, trail and outdoor games, but many guests chose to simply enjoy the sights. Parasols, picnic blankets and pillows were scattered about the lawn so attendees could lie back, relax and enjoy the spectacular Hudson River views on this perfect cloudless day, much like Daisy would have. Above, Stan Sagner and Executive Director Greg Sokaris.

Supporter Marlon Taylor-Miles with committee member Miles Dallas; Yvonne Paulin and Greg Durkin donated to the silent auction.

Wilderstein supporters Lara Gillet and Michele Tugade; David and Linda Souers of Rhinebeck.

Debra and Arthur Eisenberg are neighbors in Rhinebeck; the perfect example of a Queen Anne-style country house.

Board member Tess Casey was instrumental in organizing the event, here with board president Brian Lang and Robin Waxenberg, who helped promote the fundraiser.

Classic car for a classic home; Rhinebeck residents Amy and Rachael Scorca.

Members Dorothy and Terrance Mahon of Rhinebeck; Erica Obey and George Baird came from Woodstock to support the Wilderstein.

Jewelry designer Lisa Salzer and Marjorie Wolfson from New York City; one-of-a-kind Hudson River views.

Patricia Heller, proprietor of a Mountain View Retreat in Germantown, board member Christine Foreace and Barbara Markell take advantage of the parasols.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/11/15 at 09:43 PM • Permalink

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Grand Indeed: Dory & Ginger Opens Its Doors On North Street

Lisa Green reports from Pittsfield. There was no Dory or Ginger per se to greet guests at the grand opening of the Dory & Ginger boutique, but owners Laurie Tierney (“Dory”) and Cara Carroll (“Ginger”) were delighted with the turnout on Friday, July 3. The store, with the motto Live and Give on North, offers home décor and gifts, some of which are from local businesses and some not, but all items you probably haven’t seen anywhere else. Refreshments included a soda made with shrub syrup from The Hudson Standard and Chef Brian Alberg’s special deviled eggs from Eat on North. The store, adjacent to Hotel on North, makes a welcome addition to the ongoing evolution of North Street. Above, owners Laurie Tierney and Cara Carroll.

Christine Martin, a real estate agent at The Kinderhook Group and Kathleen Keeler from Spencertown; Rob Weisberger, the sales manager at Hotel on North and Darcie Sosa, marketing manager for Berkshire South.

Sue Cannold, visiting from New Jersey, models the merchandise.

Dudley Kinnas and Pat Kinnas of Pittsfield; Dory & Ginger staffers Pam Downing and Claudia Martin.

Nick Martinelli and Sarah Martinelli, newcomers to the Berkshires, now Richmond residents; Cookbooks, goats milk salted caramels, candles and kitchenware on display.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/04/15 at 04:54 PM • Permalink

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Struttin’ With Some Barbecue at The Mount

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. It was the first day without rain in what felt like weeks, and people wasted no time breaking out the lawn chairs and picnic blankets for an evening of live music at The Mount. The Mansion’s first Music After Hours event of the summer drew a huge crowd to its terrace and expansive lawns on Friday, July 3 thanks to the dual occasion of the Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival’s (LEV) “Struttin’ With Some Barbecue” biennial event. Happy visitors enjoyed the inimitable pipes of Wanda Houston and her talented band, munched on kebabs, fried rice, plantains and empanadas from Lucia’s Latin Kitchen, and took the opportunity to tour the site’s 2015 SculptureNow exhibit. Representative Smitty Pignatelli and Senator Ben Downing were on hand to present musician and educator Craig S. Harris with citations for his work with the community, and LEV co-chair Don Quinn Kelley bestowed on him the group’s Golden Trombone Award. After Hours events will be held Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer from 5-8 p.m. Lift Ev’ry Voice (LEV)— a celebration of African-American culture and heritage in the Berkshires—has a full roster of events for the entire family through the end of August. Pictured above, LEV co-chair Don Quinn Kelley and MA State Senator Ben Downing.

Artist Robert Henriquez and Lisa Avery with executive director of The Mount, Susan Wissler; LEV committee members, professor Sandra Burton and Project eLEVate manager Marla Robertson.

Alison Whyte and Jason Barcus enjoy some barbecue; Vytas and Doris Barsauskas, of MacKimmie Co. in Lenox, with Carter Wentworth and David Charlton.

Proud members of The Mount, Tim and Niti Martin, revel in the lovely weather; Walter and Kelly Davis pose in front of the fountain.

Dejona Mallory, Kiana Morales, Tangie Mendez and Sara Peck from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA).

The Abel family visits regularly from New York City; Madhavi and Thihan Padukkavidana, from Boston, enjoy the live music.

Rachel Eskin and Emily Wagner; Adam Schwartz and Eloise.

Janet and John Egelhofer; Norma Seigal and Elaine S. Gunn.

The crowd of picnickers spilled over from the terrace onto the grounds, where guests could enjoy the music and the sunshine at the same time.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/04/15 at 12:11 PM • Permalink

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‘Side By Side’ Opens At Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon

Amy Krzanik reports from New Lebanon. An intimate gathering of Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon trustees, supporters and staff members attended an exclusive reception as the site’s newest exhibition was unveiled in the Wash House ironing room. Side By Side: Shaker and Modern Design, curated by Jeff Daly, displays 19th-century Shaker furniture alongside modern equivalents to show how the simple and direct forms of Shaker craftsmanship has inspired modern makers, most notably furniture designers of the “Danish modern” era. Guests chatted inside the Wash House and gift shop and outside underneath a tent to keep out of the drizzle and snacked on savory appetizers from local gem, Blueberry Hill Market Café. Dinner in local homes followed the reception. Side By Side will be on display until October 12, and another new exhibit, The Small World of Shaker: Miniature Furniture, Books & Dolls is set to open on July 19. Shown above, photographer Michael Floman, Michael Carter, trustee Paul Cassidy and Museum President David Stocks.

Museum trustee Rae Gilson with Betsy Gitter, board president of the New Lebanon Library; Gregory Hickok, Barbara De Buono and David Farren.

Thea Bennett, David Pearce and John Broome; Ramon Lee, tour guide at the Museum and PhD student in Anthropology at SUNY Albany, with Museum Coordinator Wyatt Erchak.

Bruce Reid and Laura Williams Reid, granddaughter of the Museum’s founder, John S. Williams, Sr.; Harvey Susnick and Frank Sanchis of the World Monuments Fund.

Two chairs sit side by side, the one on the left a Shaker example and the one on the right a modern design taking inspiration from the former.

The Granary

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/29/15 at 10:10 AM • Permalink

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A Toast To Berkshire Museum’s Wine Gala

Rachel Louchen reports from Pittsfield. Everyone could feel like a sommelier at the Berkshire Museum’s biennial wine gala and auction on Saturday, June 27, with its huge selection of fine and vintage wines available for purchase via some vigorous bidding action (yes, there were paddles). The auction has turned into a popular event, bringing together wine collectors for a great cause; this year’s proceeds benefited the museum’s educational programs, which provide 16,000 experiences a year to students from nearly 60 schools. The festivities began on the previous Thursday with food and, of course, wine at Hotel on North and a dinner at Wheatleigh on Friday. Saturday night was the main event, with a special reception and silent auction prior to the live auction and celebratory wine dinner catered by Chef Peter Platt of Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough. If a glass of red wine a day really is heart healthy, after three evenings devoted to vino, guests and attendees are definitely in good shape. Above, gala committee members George Elvin and arborist Jim Koneazny of Peerless Tree Expert Co.

Wine & Spirits magazine editor and publisher Josh Greene with Jim Nejaime, one of the gala’s chairs.

Longtime museum supporter Reba Evenchik with Michael and Cheryl Zaccaro; gala committee member Renee Erenburg with her friend, Tricia Roger.

Southfield residents Colleen and Sharon Koneazny support the museum; gala committee members Jeffrey Weber and Carol Rabin.

Contributor Claudia Perles, Laura Perreault and John Perreault, Executive Director of Berkshire Humane Society.

Stockbridge residents and event sponsors Lynn and Ken Stark; committee members Sandy and Isanne Fisher.

Diane Eshleman of Stockbridge (and London) with Cindy McCollum, also from Stockbridge; Hill Engineer’s John Kelly, with his wife, Ellen Kelly.

Committee members Marianna Poutasse and Eric Korenman, who is also a trustee.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 06/27/15 at 09:54 PM • Permalink

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First Columbians Honors Architects

First Columbians House of HistoryJamie Larson reports from Kinderhook. Our region’s notable architects and their work to protect, restore and add to our rich architectural history was honored Saturday, June 13 by the Columbia County Historical Society. The posh gala, called First Columbians, was held on the grounds of the Vanderpoel House of History, a great example of the heritage architects work so hard to restore while also designing the future. The event showcased the work of BarlisWedlick Architects, James Dixon Architect PC, Kate Johns and James Joseph of Hottenroth + Joseph. Set during a perfect, bright late spring afternoon, the First Columbians soiree seemed to celebrate the beauty of the season as much as that of the manmade structure on display.

Kinderhook Building Inspector Glen Smith, Bill Stratton and Sheila Cramer; Tom and Susan Nickerson, Gerry and Neal Smith and CCHS Treasurer Susan Sharp.

Columbia County Historical Society President Jim Guidera, former president Russell Pomeranz and Scott Franzel.

Nathan Kernan and Thomas Whitridge; Kailey Castellano, Kinderderhook Wine and Liquors owner Jill Castellano and German Delgado.

Jim Dixon with Lesley and Mathew Herzberg; CCHS Trustee Nicholas Haylett, Former CCHS President Susan Tripp and David Tripp.

Louise Kelly, CCHS Trustee Roderic Blackburn and Peter Kelly.

Robert Culver, Trustee Anne Schomaker and Andrew Goetz; guests catch some shade under the tent.

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Posted by Jamie Larson on 06/22/15 at 11:20 AM • Permalink

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Jacob’s Pillow Gala Opening 2015

Amy Krzanik reports from Becket. The spirits of Pillow founder Ted Shawn and dancer Ruth St. Denis seem always to be present at Jacob’s Pillow’s season opening galas, as dancers from all over the world perform for a rapt crowd in the theater named after the festival’s creator. This year, on Saturday, June 20, gala guests were treated to cocktails in the newly renovated Blake’s Barn, where a debut photography exhibit was on display. A performance followed, featuring pupils from The School in a world premiere by BalletX founder Matthew Neenan, and performances by New York City Ballet’s Sara Mearns and Russell Janzen, Martha Graham Dance Company and American Ballet Theatre’s Daniil Simkin, as well as the presentation of the 2015 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award to choreographer Liz Gerring. After a meal by The Old Inn on The Green, dancers, board members, Pillow staff and guests “got down” on the dance floor thanks to music by DJ BFG. Pictured above: The Pillow’s director of preservation, Norton Owen, who was honored for his 40 years of service to the festival’s dance archives, with Michael Flamini.

Choreographer Liz Gerring with her daughter, Nicole Radke, and gala co-chair and Pillow board member, RI’s Mark Williams; Amber Ju, Taryn Leavitt, Charles Oliver and Renata Celichowska.

Don Quinn Kelley and Sandra Burton of the Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival, which runs through August 22 and includes events at the Pillow; Mark Haldeman and James Aguiar.

Dr. Roselle Chartock and Dr. Alan Chartock with Murray Ralph; soloist Russell Janzen and principal dancer Sarah Mearns of the New York City Ballet.

Cathy Deely, Amanda Sackey, Tom Patti, who is the creator of each year’s beautiful glass-blown Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, and Marilyn Patti.

Dr. Justin Wernick and Pillow board member Nancy Kalodner; Kathleen Chrisman and Laird White.

Adriana Robertson and Susan Bernhardt of Kripalu in Lenox; Norm Appel, Susie Friedman, Naomi Gordon and Roger Gordon.

Kirk Radke, Leslie Nelson and Michael Wainwright.

Cute couple Tricia and Brian Killeen; Ho’o Hee and Manuela Jimenez pose in front of Blake’s Barn.

Before the performance, guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres as tasty as they were creative; the purple-hued scene inside the tent where dinner was served.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/22/15 at 09:13 AM • Permalink

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‘The Tanglewood Picnic’ Launches As Tanglewood’s Season Starts

Lisa Green reports from Lenox. The night before, Tanglewood opened its gates so the first audiences of the season could take in the Sheryl Crow concert. But on Saturday, June 20, Gina Hyams debuted her self-published book, “The Tanglewood Picnic: Music and Outdoor Feasts in the Berkshires,” a pictorial love letter to the eight-decade tradition of picnicking on the lawn at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home. Friends and book contributors partied (with help from the Country Curtains Tanglewood Picnic Whiskey Sour punch, a recipe in the book, mixed up by Hyams’ husband Dave Barrett) at host MacKimmie Co. Many people bought the book in multiples — it makes a great gift — which the author, above, happily signed. Now that the book’s out, let the picnicking begin!

Sheffield residents George Reeves, who crafts leather goods, and Lisa Paris with Jasper, who’s visiting from NYC; Jonathan Swartz, Shakespeare & Company’s Ariel Bock and The Mahaiwe’s Karin Watkins.

Jeff Blaugrund, daughter Irit, whose picture is in the book, Sarah Aroeste Blaugrund and Gina Hyams.

Artist Joanie Ciolfi, whose work is currently on exhibit at the Berkshire Museum, and Lesley Ann Beck, the museum’s director of communications (and a copy editor of the book); MacKimmie Co.‘s owners Doris and Vytas Barsauskas with Dave Barrett, bartender for the day.

Fran Heller of Spencertown, who contributed the Summer Sweet Corn Pudding recipe, page 35, with her sister Marlene Eichholz of Great Barrington, and Michelle Clarkin, chief advancement office at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

David Schnarz and Vicki Bonnington bought 10 books with the approval of Miss Belle; Some lucky person won the gift basket filled with goodies from Lenox merchants.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/21/15 at 09:51 AM • Permalink

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Chamber Music Encounters Another Season

Patricia Boissevain reports from Great Barrington. Close Encounters With Music (CEWM), a Berkshires-born chamber music series now in its 23rd season, gave its annual gala concert on Saturday evening, June 13 at The Mahaiwe, Once again, internationally renowned cellist and Close Encounters Artistic Director and Founder Yehuda Hanani (at right, with CEWM Board President Marcie Setlow) presented an illuminating concert themed “Invitation to the Dance,” which married the magic of dance and music in a performance that included the David Parsons Dancers. Afterwards, Close Encounters’ many supporters celebrated another year of exceptional music making at the annual end-of-season gala reception, held for the first time at the Wyantenuck County Club in Great Barrington.

George Anne Rousseau, Jean Rosseau, Jeannine Schoeffer and Peter Schoeffer; John Cross and Penny Hudnut.

Susan Hillel, Pavel Hillel, Carrie Chen and Stanley Cohen; Neil Chrisman, Kathleen Chrisman and Parsons Dance Artisitic Director/Founder David Parsons.

Pianist David Aladashvili, David Parsons dancer Sarah Braverman, PS21 President/Founder (and CEWM board member)  Judith Grunberg, David Parsons and dancer Miguel Quinones.

Front row: Elayne Cohen, Kim Thomas and Beatrice Cohen; back row:  CEWM Director of Marketing and Public Relations Pamela Dreyfus Smith, Timothy Sergay, Jennifer Nixon and Bella Meyer; Adrienne Cavender and Lisa Miesner.

Laird and Reid White; Yehuda Hanani with Bella Hristova, violinist and recipient of the Young Concert Artists award.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 06/17/15 at 04:58 PM • Permalink

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Barrington Stage Celebrates Its Possible Dreams

Lisa Green reports from Pittsfield. Last year, Barrington Stage Company celebrated its 20th season, and this year it marks ten years since its move from Sheffield to Pittsfield, turning what some may have deemed impossible into an astonishingly successful venture. With Don Quixote-like spirit, the company’s season opened with “Man of La Mancha,” which served as part one of the June 13th Fiesta Grande gala (preceded with a proclamation read by Pittsfield’s mayor Dan Bianchi deeming it Barrington Stage Day). Guests then followed the red footsteps painted on the sidewalk to the Boys and Girls Club of Pittsfield for a Spanish-themed reception, silent auction and dinner, catered by MAX Ultimate. Above: Artistic Director Julianne Boyd is flanked by Sydelle Blatt and Lee Blatt, patrons who made the purchase of the second stage possible.

“Man of La Mancha” cast members Lyonel Reneau and Chris Ramirez with Matthew Krob, a musical theatre apprentice; Tom Buckley of The Greylock Marketing Group, Joe Scoco, Michelle Denyes and Raya Buckley.

Mary Ann Quinson, Barrington Stage Company’s board chair, with Joshua Taylor, Madeline Hooper and Ian Hooper.

Arlene Schiff of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and Gary Schiff of T.D. Wealth Management; Kathleen Jaffe and Al Jaffe, a former vice president of ESPN.

Brian Prather, set designer and an associate artist for Barrington Stage, Erin Keller and playwright Mark St. Germain; Philip Oppenheimer and Mary Oppenheimer.

State Senator Ben Downing and his wife, Micaelah Morrill, Fiesta Grande’s honorary chairs.

Herman Rotenberg and Gayle Rotenberg, owners of Unusual Wedding Rings and More; David Glodt and Marita Glodt, president of the board of directors.

Susie Hirschfield and Joan Toder; real estate agents Nancy Kalodner of Benchmark Real Estate and Kim Wilder of Barnbrook Realty.

Merry band of Pittsfield residents: Lauren Mangiardi, Michael Cummings, Lisa Cummings, Lucy Krzysztof, Mark Krzysztof, Victoria Cummings, Ray Parrott and Jennifer Parrott.

Gala Chair Debra Miersma and painter Michael Rousseau; novelist and translator Hester Velmans with Joel Millonzi and Kate Millonzi.

Artistic Director Julianne Boyd introduces the principal cast members: Jeff McCarthy (Cervantes/Don Quixote), Felicia Boswell (Aldonza/Dulcenea), Tom Alan Robbins (Sancho Panza) and Todd Horman (Padre); Flamenco artists set the scene at the reception.

Greeting the guests at the gala: a straw Don Quixote created by Michael Melle.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/15/15 at 10:52 AM • Permalink

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‘Van Gogh And Nature’ Opens At The Clark

Amy Krzanik reports from Williamstown. On the main floor, the sublimity of the Clark Art Institute’s reflecting pools and, beyond them, the Berkshires’ rolling hills enticed guests onto the Fernández Terrace to sip cocktails, chat with friends and enjoy the views. Downstairs, scenes of Holland, Provence, Arles, Paris, Auvers and Saint-Rémy, as seen through the eyes of one of the most famous painters to have ever lived, took center stage as the Museum opened Van Gogh and Nature on June 13. The exhibit features nearly 50 paintings and drawings from 30 museums and private collections around the world. The New York Times calls the show a “low-key big deal,” and guests seemed smitten with the array of works chosen. The Clark’s own Café Seven catered, with French fare like croque-monsieur and frozen raspberry mille-feuille or Napoleons getting top billing and making clear why the Wall Street Journal namechecked the café in a recent restaurant roundup. Van Gogh and Nature will be on display at the Clark until September 13. Above, Eric and Stacy Cochran pose with the Clark’s director, Michael Conforti.

David Rynes and Adrienne Rynes with Victoria Elliot and Dr. Marvin McMillen; Jessica Ludwig and Min Jung Kim.

Bennington College professor Paul Voice and Heather Kennon; Lew and Margy Steinberg with Carol and Bob Braun.

Sara Deveaux, Christy Abel, Edward Faison and George Faison; two of the exhibit’s co-curators, Chris Stolwijk and Sjraar van Heugten, flank Met Museum curator Susan Alyson Stein.

Paul and Cindy Poulin with Barb McLucas, Jacqueline Galusha and Jim Galusha.

Julia Conforti, Brian Boucher and Jodi Joseph</