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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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RI Archives: Parties

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Fairview Hospital

Dr Jay Wise

Hudson Valley River Ramble


Classical Tents

Robin Hood Radio

Benchmark Real Estate

Hudson Opera House

Berkshire Grown

Berkshire Money Mangement

Hudson LIbrary

Parties & Openings

September 7 - Hillsdale
Berkshire Bach Benefit Concert

September 6 - Sharon
Audubon Sharon Fundraiser

August 31 - Claverack
AIDS Council Garden Party

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A Benefit Concert For Berkshire Bach Is Intimate And Inspiring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Special Evening With John Luther Adams For Audubon Sharon

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

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

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

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

BZ Coords, Judith Chatfield and Mia Coats.

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

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A Garden Party Benefits AIDS Council of Northeastern New York

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Berkshire International Film Festival’s 10th Season Takes Flight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benchmark Real Estate’s Nancy Kalodner and Deval Patrick.

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

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Catwalk Fashion Show Struts For The Berkshire Humane Society

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

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

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

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

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Spencertown’s Festival of Books Preview Party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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VIM Celebrates Its Big 10 Under The Big Top

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Jacob’s Pillow Bids A Fun Farewell To The Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Whale Of A Reception At Basilica Hudson

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

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

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

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

Up close and personal with the whale bones.

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

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B.I.T.S. Gala

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saturday In The Garden For The Susan B. Anthony Project

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

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

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

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

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

MOMIX marigolds danced on the lawn.

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

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Hancock Shaker Village Supper Is A Farm-Fresh Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Millerton Brunches On For The North East Community Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Clermont’s Evening in Agra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Partygoers enjoy the weather and the views.

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

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Norfolk Artists & Friends Show Exhibits The Town’s Talent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bidwell House Museum Celebrates Art In The Open

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

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

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

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

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

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

    A view of the view.

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

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Berkshire Fringe RetroSpectacle Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beavers, A Bonfire And Becky At Berkshire Sanctuaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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An Evening In The Afternoon Garden At Naumkeag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Berkshire Pulse dancers helped dedicate the garden with their performance.

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

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A Summer Wind Breezes Through Fête des Fleurs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The FarmOn! Foundation Celebrates Its Fourth Amongst Friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/27/14 at 12:50 AM • Permalink

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Alchemy Initiative Leaves No Stein Empty At Arrowhead

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. Alchemy Initiative sure knows how to pick a party spot, as evidenced by the choice of venues for its annual Empty Stein fundraiser. Last year, the Inn at Richmond hosted, and this year Herman Melville’s Arrowhead had the honors on Monday, July 21. Alchemy board members greeted guests and led them to tables laden with colorful steins, each with a beer ticket inside. The difficult part wasn’t drinking libations provided by Big Elm, Wandering Star and three homebrewers, or eating a fine spread of appetizers and On A Roll eggrolls, but in having to decide on only one mug out of the 100 on display. Local potters Daniel Bellow, Stephanie Boyd, Ray Bub, Lorimer Burns, Ben C. Evans and Michael McCarthy, as well as the artists mentioned below, created unique steins to commemorate the occasion. The evening also included a performance by Satellite Shine (with Wes Buckley on guitar and Jason Schultheis on drums). Proceeds from the fundraiser support Alchemy’s year-round workshops, Handmade Holiday Festival and management of the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market. Pictured above, standing: Stacy Strain and Patricia Boissevain; seated: Jennet Cook and her mother Janet Cook.

Sara Katzoff and Peter Wise, co-founders of The Berkshire Fringe; Rachel Parzick, Eamonn Barry and Chris Vecchia.

Stan and Jan Spencer with Jenny Benson and George Whaling; Megan Whilden and Berkshire Museum’s Lesley Beck.

Alchemy Initiative board members: North Adams city planner Mackenzie Greer, director Jess Conzo, potter Sandra Thomas and Alison Basdekis.

Musician Wes Buckley with Jim Toner; Nina Garlington, Alison Turk, Jennifer Starr and Peter Garlington, Design Director at Interprint.

Danielle Hammell and Jeff Mason with Lyn Mason and Ron Mason; Aurora Cooper and Jen Jaehnig of Big Elm Brewing.

Brett Larmon and Wandering Star owner Chris Post; Chris and farm manager Kristen Laney with daughter Nora in front of the new chicken coop at Arrowhead’s CSA farm.

Just a few of the steins guests were able to choose from. Pictured are steins by Amrita Lash (far left), Jackie Sedlock, Michael Boroniec, whose work will be on display at Lauren Clark Fine Art starting July 26, and Sandra Thomas.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/22/14 at 09:31 AM • Permalink

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Berkshire Film & Media Collaborative Holds A Posh Picnic

Rachel Louchen reports from Lenox. It is a truth universally acknowledged; Berkshire residents love brunch and Tanglewood, and Sunday the Berkshire Film & Media Collaborative (BFMC) combined both, to raise money for its educational initiatives. The BFMC recognizes the abundance of creative residents living in our region and creates work, education and production opportunities in the film industry, in the hopes that a younger generation will establish long-term roots in Western Massachusetts. The brunch was hosted by actors and Great Barrington residents Jayne Atkinson and Michael Gill. Guests enjoyed their meals as the Lawn at Tanglewood became flooded with attendees for that afternoon’s performance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra featuring Joshua Bell. And as if a delicious meal at a beautiful location wasn’t enough, brunch attendees got Shed seating for the BSO performance —  a most perfect dessert. Above, Advisory Board member and Williamstown Theatre Festival Trustee Joe Finnegan, Executive Director Diane Pearlman and Advisory Board member and Images Cinema Executive Director Sandra Thomas.

Board member Karen Zink with her husband, Rich Zink and daughter, Lauren Zink, and BIFF board advisor Barbara Newman.

Val Whalening and John Toole; Graphic designers Curtis Bohner and Kari Giordano.

BFMC supporters Lani and Tom Tyrell; Kate Baldwin provided the picnic-perfect spread, with help from sister Amy Butterworth.

Brunch hosts Michael Gill and Jayne Atkinson pose on the picturesque Tanglewood lawn.

CATA Program and Artistic Director Dawn Lane with Nancy Kalodner, realtor extraordinaire; Peggy Daniel and Dr. Matt Mandel, co-medical director for VIM Berkshires.

Volunteer Nanci McConnell and chair of event committee Holly Hunter; Volunteers Nicole Cote and Benjamin Hunter made brunch staples like Bloody Marys and mimosas.

BMFC board president William Beautyman with film buffs Jack and Lorraine Rubin.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/21/14 at 09:43 AM • Permalink

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A Farm-To-Table Dinner Seeds The Sylvia Center

Lisa Green reports from Kinderhook. It’s pure brilliance for The Sylvia Center to hold its annual farm-to-table benefit dinner right at Katchkie Farm. On Saturday, July 19, approximately 330 supporters got a taste of the center’s mission: to inspire children to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm. The party was hosted by Liz Neumark’s Great Performances catering company, which owns Katchkie Farm and The Sylvia Center. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres prepared at the Tartinery Station and strolled about the fields planted with fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers. At long tables under a tent, they feasted on items made from Hudson Valley products. A live auction offered jam and pickle sessions for six with master chefs, and the silent auction featured Dutch-inspired wheelbarrow benches, each festooned with its own decorative details. Funds will help bring students to Katchkie Farm to participate in The Sylvia Center’s programs both in Columbia County and New York City. Many of the kids have never seen food growing, and at their day at the farm, they can hold a chicken, take a tasting tour, harvest produce and work with the chefs — activities many of the adults at the tables agreed they’d love to do, too. Shown above, Anna Hammond, executive director of The Sylvia Center, Actor Bill Irwin, Linda Abbey of Great Performances, and Bob Mihalik and Les Newman of Botanica Floral and Event Design.

Tanu Kumar, Lindsay Clinton, Wall Street Journal columnist Ralph Gardner, Jacob Israelow, founder of Dirt Capital Partners, and Michael Glynn, a real estate developer from Brooklyn; Nell Wachsberger and Mike Coleman.

Liz Neumark, the founding force of the farm and center, which began with Great Performances, the evening’s catering company, and her husband, Chaim Wachsberger.

Alaina Sparks of Westchester County, who volunteers with Katchkie Farm, and Lisa Laudico and Anthony Laudico of Westport; WABC-TV News Reporter Dave Evans and Wade Laing.

Tom Whitridge of Ink, Inc., Timothy Van Dam, Tim Husband, Ron Wagner and Nathan Kernan.

“Farmer Bob” Walker, who has transformed the Katchkie land into a year-round organic farm, and Kristy King; Susan Ball and John Brigham.

Alan Fishman, chair of BAM‘s Board of Trustees, Gary Stefanick, a chiropractor, Rob Arango, director of client development at The Plaza, and Judith R. Fishman, who is on the board of the Mark Morris Dance Group.

Martha Roth, a midwife from Nyack, and her son, Santos Irwin; Perfect Ten students and Hudson residents Damaris Shakespeare, Markiah Gordon and Destiny Collins, with Laura Miller, director of The Perfect Ten After School, Inc.

Cookbook author and culinary educator Alexandra Leaf, who runs choclate tours in NYC, and Debbie Gardner, a board member of The Sylvia Center and dinner co-chair.

Claude Levy-Carrick watches his sister Hannah Levy-Carrick power up the blender by pedaling the bicycle as Nina Simmons, chef instructor at The Sylvia Center, encourages her to go for speed; Claude and Hannah enjoy the smoothie fruits of their labor.

Erminia Rivera and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez of New York’s 7th Congressional District sit on one of the wheelbarrow benches up for auction; Ami, Howard and Lindsay Kaplan.

The sylvan setting under the tent.

Related story: Eat, Plant and Learn to Love Good Food at Katchie Farm

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/20/14 at 03:21 PM • Permalink

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Northwest CT Arts Council Cultivates Art In The Garden

Rachel Louchen reports from Harwinton. The Northwest Connecticut Arts Council is a non-profit dedicated to promoting arts and culture in the 25-town region, so it was fitting that its annual party featured artists painting on site and numerous musical performances on grounds that are themselves a work of art. On Saturday, July 12, the Council hosted the third annual Garden Party at Victoria Elliot and Dr. Marvin McMillen’s home garden with its carefully cultivated flora and fauna as well as fountains, sculptures and intricate shrubbery. Surrounded by all this creative inspiration, local plein air painters used the beauty of the gardens to create their own interpretation of the environment, much to the enjoyment of guests watching the artists at work. There were also multiple musical performances located throughout the garden, hors d’oeuvres served and a tented area where guests were encouraged to purchase artwork. The popular event proved successful again this year, with the strong turnout of supporters and artistic members of the community proving how important the arts in our region are. Above, Executive Director Amy Wynn with Event Coordinator Jessica Morozowich.

The fountain was just one of the eye-catching displays on the lush property.

State Representative Roberta Willis and Bill Willis; Torrington High School art teacher Victor Leger interprets the scenery.

Renowned dulcimer player Thomasina Levy performed; Sabrina Beck and John Beck of Harwinton.

Nancy Winter, volunteer Rob Fuoco and Ann Mazeau were thrilled to support the Council; The Council’s Manager of Membership and Outreach, Debbie Freund, with volunteer Mary Ann Pangilinan.

Barbara Rodenback and hostess Victoria Elliot showed off their classic garden party style.

Torrington Savings Bank co-workers came out to support the cause: Wendy Healey, Vicki Mercier and Doreen Hoffman; Collette Hurst was the lone artist working with pastels while sketching the garden.

Gary Goodwin with realtor Gael Hammer of Klemm Real Estate; Litchfield Jazz Festival Founder/Executive Director Vita Muir and Joyful Noise member Anne Voglewede.

Artist Jim Laurino; Arts Council Board Chair Vanessa Giannasi and Tom Giannasi.

Guests were treated to an a capella performance by Joyful Noise choir.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/14/14 at 01:06 PM • Permalink

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Stonover Farm IS183 Benefit Art Show

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. No one needs an excuse to visit the picturesque grounds of Stonover Farm, to sit by the pond and watch the ducks, or to visit with Tom and Suky Werman. But on Thursday, July 10, there was a fantastic excuse to stop by the Lenox B&B for a glass of wine, as IS183 Art School of the Berkshires opened its summer benefit show—Landscapes, Farmscapes, Cityscapes, Mindscapes—in Stonover’s Barn Gallery. Curated by Suky Werman herself, the exhibit features new work by Maggie Mailer, Katherine Bowling, Mike Glier and Cynthia Wick, as well as works on paper by Lisa Breslow, photography by Fran Forman, Karen Halverson, Rob MacInnis and Paul Mutimear, and collages by Mike Metzger and Nancy Rubens. The exhibition will run through September 1, and can be viewed by appointment. A portion of the proceeds from sales will benefit IS183. Above: Hope Sullivan, executive director of IS183, and daughter Elke enjoy the summer evening.

Stonover’s Suky Werman, gallerist Leslie Ferrin and Amy Butterworth of IS183; Danielle Steinmann and artist Maggie Mailer, whose paintings appear in the show.

Jesse Metzger and her father, Mike Metzger, an artist in the show; Blue Q’s Seth Nash, Cynthia Wick, one of the artists in the exhibition, and “Sandy” Sanderson, the opening’s token Canadian.

Marcia Stamell, Arthur Yanoff, Elfi Six and Carol Mailer; Karen Halverson, whose work hangs in the current show, and Ellen Metzger.

Beth Rose and Will Schillinger; Painter Lucy MacGillis and Piero Lanzanó.

Realtor Tim Lovett, photographer Scott Barrow and Scott Edward Cole, owner of the Monterey General Store; Vicki Bonnington and Lauren Joy, an IS183 board member.

Cookiehead creator Lisa Newman with Cathy Deely; Leslie Ferrin and Martina Caruso of new North Adams gallery space Independent Art Projects.

Danielle Steinmann and photographer Gregory Cherin; Architect Kristine Sprague with Nancy Kalodner.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/13/14 at 09:03 PM • Permalink

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Tanglewood Gala Celebrates Andris Nelsons’ Arrival

Lisa Green reports from Lenox. The silvered roses that graced the tables at the Tanglewood Gala on Saturday, July 12 represented the commitment between new BSO music director Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. (The rose is a token of betrothal in the opera Der Rosenkavalier, a portion of which was performed that evening.) Although he was scheduled to start his directorship last year, an injury in Europe forced Nelsons to delay his arrival until this season, which only added to the anticipation of his long-awaited presence. On a sublime summer evening, orchestra supporters gathered under tents decorated in a rose-inspired theme, and enjoyed a dinner featuring Julia Child’s “most exciting meal of her life,” Sole Meuniere, in recognition of what would have been the famous chef’s 100th birthday. After the concert (standing ovation, of course, followed by fireworks), guests returned to the dessert tent beside the newly reopened Highwood Manor House, where the conductor was formally introduced and spoke of his appreciation for Tanglewood and its supporters. Above, Gala Chairs Jane Mayer and Dr. Robert B. Mayer, in an annual tradition, gathered their family for the gala: Rachel Judlowe, Mike Judlowe, Doug Drachman and Erica Mayer.

Joe Hearne, BSO double bassist and Jane Brett, a Life Trustee Elect; Dieuwke Fiedler and Peter Fiedler, who is on BSO’s Board of Overseers, and Deborah Stiles.

Nancy Edman Feldman and Jacqueline Togut, both of whom were on the Gala Committee, with author and activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin.

Filmmaker Mary Murphy, Ray Murphy and Pam Murphy; Diane Brown and Richard Brown.

David Glodt, Shirley Marks, Marita Glodt, who is president of the board of directors for Barrington Stage Company, Sydell Blatt and Lee Blatt of the eponymous performing arts center in Pittsfield.

Stephen Hayes, Rick Dildine, Shakespeare & Co.‘s incoming executive editor, and Sarah Hancock, Shakespeare & Co.‘s board chair; David McCadden and Gero Schliess.

Jill Hornor, a member of the BSO’s Board of Overseers, with Yo-Yo Ma.

Folk and blues musician John Sagner (a.k.a. Cooker John), Judy Beardsall, Bea Bloch and Alan Sagner; Donald Peck, Laurie Peck, Peter Andersen and Sue Andersen.

Gala Chair Dr. Robert J. Mayer presents Maestro Andris Nelsons with a silver rose, symbol borrowed from the evening’s selection of Der Rosenkavalier signifying the conductor’s “betrothal” to the BSO family; Board of Overseers member Alexandra Fuchs and Gideon Argov.

Maestro Andris Nelsons. Photo by Marco Borggreve.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/13/14 at 11:51 AM • Permalink

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Barrington Stage Company Celebrates 20 Remarkable Seasons

Lisa Green reports from Pittsfield. It was like old home week at Barrington Stage’s 20 Seasons Celebration on Monday, July 7, as actors, musical theater writers and others from the theater’s past returned to take part in the performed retrospective. Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Board Chair Mary Ann Quinson recounted the theater’s history from its start at Mt. Everett High School in Sheffield. Actors from past shows delivered a musical review from many of Barrington Stage’s outstandingly successful productions, including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which went on to garner two Tony Awards on Broadway, and last season’s stellar On the Town, which is headed for the Great White Way. While the performers were competing with the noisy cloudburst that seemed to hover over the building, BSC staff accomplished the Herculean feat of moving the party setup from tents across the street into the adjacent Elks Club. (If the company — felled by an epic storm during its first season — could run a box office from a pay phone, what’s a little rain during a party?) At the reception, guests mingled with actors, actors caught up with each other and all danced to tunes provided by The Wanda Houston Band. [Photo, above: Actor Mark H. Dold, Tony Award-winning director John Rando, Kiss Me, Kate’s Elizabeth Stanley and Julianne Boyd.]

Former Pittsfield mayor Jimmy Ruberto and Christine Condaris chat with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick; A family parties together: Dawn Kerrigan, Samantha Kerrigan and their aunt, Barbara Alibozek.

Board Chair Mary Ann Quinson, Actors Debra Jo Rupp and Mark H. Dold, and Lighting Designer Scott Pinkney.

Sharon Siegel and Bobbi Cohn toast BSC; Artist Joe Goodwin and Mary Spina.

John Blaylock, June Guertin, Bill Finn, composer/lyricist and artistic producer of BSC’s Musical Theatre Lab, Rachel Sheinkin, who won a Tony Award (best book) for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Arthur Salvadore.

Lauren Marcus and Joe Iconis, musical theater writer and performer who appeared over the weekend at Mr. Finn’s Cabaret; The ladies of the 2005 Follies production: Donna McKechnie and Kim Crosby.

BSC’s Music Director Darren R. Cohen and David Topchik, who co-wrote the book and lyrics for the 2003 production The Game.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/08/14 at 10:03 AM • Permalink

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PS21 Presents A Stylish Fashion InTENTsive

Rachel Louchen reports from Chatham. High up on a mountain underneath a giant tent, PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century presented the first-ever Fashion InTENTsive, a fundraising event on Saturday, July 5 to support its summer programs. The evening showcased clothing from PS 21’s own Rewraps, located on Main Street, which resells used clothing to benefit the organization. With the help of longtime volunteers and friends of the not-for-profit, numerous locals appeared as models and performers. Now in its ninth year, PS21 has a full season of diverse events planned for the summer, including the popular Movie Tuesdays underneath the stars, and live music and dance classes, which have been drawing a diverse turnout. Alan Chartock, Director of WAMC radio, who is a longtime friend of founder Judy Grunberg (seen above with Johnna Murray, Rewraps Manager and event advisor) served as auctioneer. Valatie resident Amy Freinberg-Trufas was the fashion segments director and taught the local novice volunteers how to do their little turn on the catwalk.

Volunteers Wendy Power and massage therapist Brin Quell manned the entrance; site manager Sam Reilly with concessions manager Anna Acciani.

Judy Grunberg with music segments director Uel Wade; auctioneer Alan Chartock and singer Sally-Jane Heit.

Chatham residents and PS21 charter members Arthur Fredericks and Jane Fredericks; volunteers Kate Gulliver of Austerlitz with Kathy Marin of Chatham.

Strutting on the catwalk. Photo credit: Barbara Reina

Bill Camp provided set and light design while singer Zachary Pearson performed; Sally-Jane Heit who performed, with Johanna Murray.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/07/14 at 03:26 PM • Permalink

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Kris Galli Shares Her Dreams And Digressions At Spencertown Academy

Regina Burgio reports from Spencertown. Against the backdrop of a perfect summer evening, Kris Galli opened her solo show of new works, Dreams & Digressions, on Saturday, June 28 at the Spencertown Academy. A self-taught artist, Galli has been painting for more than 25 years and has built a following of ardent admirers throughout the region, many of whom came out to see the exhibit of recent figurative and abstract work. The show’s signature piece, “Everyone You Have Ever Known,” was highlighted on the cover of the July issue of Berkshire Homestyle Magazine, and features a young woman covering her eyes, hair blowing across her face, while various hats float behind her. The artist lives with her husband, photographer Edward Acker, in Lenox. Her work is shown regularly at various locations throughout the Northeast as well as restaurants in Lenox, including Alta Restaurant & Wine Bar and Church Street Cafe. Dreams & Digressions will be on display until August 10. Above, Galli discusses her signature painting with one of the guests.

Guests included New Marlborough residents Patti Banner, a social worker, and Sam Barkin, an importer; Susan Burns, a hairstylist from Lee, and Steve Malin, a tile setter from Sheffield, stand in front of a painting of their niece.

Karl Gabosh, a private art dealer, with Ria Olsen, a technical translator; Photographer Susan Geller and Galli.

Mary Newton and Frank Newton, owners of the Summer White House Inn in downtown Lenox; Denise Ulick and Michael Ulick, former owners of Church Street Art Gallery, also in Lenox.

Ann Vartanian, volunteer coordinator at the Spencertown Academy, with the artist; Tom Werman and Suky Werman, owners of Stonover Farm Bed and Breakfast, with jewelry designer Margo Morrison and Ella, an Italian Greyhound.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/30/14 at 03:43 PM • Permalink

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Shakespeare & Company Hosts A Midsummer Night’s Gala For The Bard’s Birthday

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. Though he couldn’t make the show, the Bard was there in spirit on June 28th as Shakespeare & Company celebrated his 450th birthday with a gala and opening night performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Guests mingled inside and under tents outside the Tina Packer Playhouse as they enjoyed cocktails and a buffet dinner catered by Firefly. Before the show, the play’s director, Tony Simotes, and Board Chair Sarah Hancock presented Governor Deval Patrick with a framed photo collage of his past visit to the Company and thanked him for his support. Following the performance – a humorous and high-energy production set in Jazz Age New Orleans – guests enjoyed birthday cake for the Bard and dancing under the tent. The evening’s proceeds help fund the Company’s education and training programs. Shown above: Christopher Sink, Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer and Jon MacClaren.

Gala co-chairs Phoebe Giddon and Deborah Ryan; Lucy Simotes, Artistic Director Tony Simotes and the Company’s new Executive Director, Rick Dildine.

Phil Heller, a pro bono lawyer for Shakespeare & Co., Anita Heller and attorney Lori Robbins; Actors Ariel Bock and Tori Hines, cast members of this summer’s Henry IV, Parts I & II.

Caroline Calkins and Kaileela Hobby, stars of Romeo & Juliet playing at the Mount this month; Gordon Hyatt, Sarah Hancock, Rick Dildine, Director of Marketing and Playbill Advertising Elizabeth Aspenlieder and board member Helga S. Orthofer.

Tony Simotes, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Sarah Hancock and Rick Dildine.

George Klemp, Lynne Sebastian and Tom Hoadley; Board member Susan Grausman, Richard Grausman and their daughter, actor Deborah Grausman.

Esther and Robert Rosenthal with Shelley and Steve Rubin; Reed Ryan and Mea Lewis of Black Thumb Farms.

Elizabeth Aspenlieder and Molly Clancy, the Company’s playbill and publicity director; Reba Evanchik, trustee Sol Schwartz and Harriet Vine.

Actor Stephanie Hedges, Barby Cardillo, Josephine Wilson and Alexandra Lincoln; Ann Rothenberg, board member Carole Hyatt and the Company’s Director of Training Dennis Krausnick.

Sophie gets a helping hand from Jennie Jadow; Audrey Pugh, a stitcher in the Company’s costume shop, Lori Evans, the Company’s school program manager, and costume designer for Midsummer, Deborah Brothers.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/30/14 at 09:59 AM • Permalink

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Red Hook Education Foundation Throws A “First Choice” Party

Amy Krzanik reports from Annandale-on-Hudson. In only its fourth year, the Red Hook Education Foundation has amassed the support of local parents, teachers, government officials, community members and other volunteers to become a powerhouse fundraising body, augmenting area school budgets by over $170,000. This year’s well-attended benefit dinner and dance party, on June 22 at Bard College’s Spiegeltent, shows the group is poised for even more success in the future. Guests enjoyed sangria in the sun outside the stunning Spiegeltent, and a cheese tasting inside, followed by dinner and dancing to the sounds of JTD Productions. A few Red Hook teachers were honored for their dedicated service as they retire this year, and a surprise award was bestowed on Frank Knobloch for his important role in the founding and continued success of the Foundation. One-hundred percent of the evening’s ticket price goes toward funding programs for district students, which helps make Red Hook schools a “district of choice” in the area. Above: Kate Laing, Ruth Oxenberg and RHEF’s Board President, Bonnie Goad enjoy the sunshine outside the Spiegeltent.

The surprise honoree, Frank Knobloch; Red Hook parents Melissa and Brian McNeese with school superintendent Paul Finch and Trisha Finch.

Proud Red Hook parents Patricia Cadley, Mike Bloxham and Colleen Bloxham; Michelle Donner and Senator Terry Gipson.

Vincent Rossetti, legislative assistant and Red Hook schools alum, and Senator Kevin Cahill; Chris Gorczynski and Carol Gorczynski with Brian and Nicole Boyd.

Ana San Juan, Tivoli Mercantile‘s Jill TerMolen-Cornillon, Arno Cornillon, and Matt Kurlander; Ben Hoen and Shawn Fischer.

Caitlin Millard, owner of Zephyr in Rhinebeck, with Break Point Tennis owner Shawn Holzmann; Ivan Carlson and Debra Blalock.

Raina Kattelson and Bard’s Gillian Brundrett; Zia Morter and Erica Topple of The Fisher Center at Bard, with Marla Walker, board member Erin Cannan, and Christine Kurlander.

Kathy Rafferty, Lorna Brundrett, and Greg Rafferty, one of the night’s honored Red Hook school retirees; Elizabeth Avello, Erina O’Neill, and Templeton Kay serve up delectable cheeses from Farmer’s Door and fresh-picked Greig Farm strawberries.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/23/14 at 10:16 AM • Permalink

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A Utopian Evening At Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon

Lisa Green reports from New Lebanon. “It’s a flowering season for all things Shaker,” declared David Stocks, president of the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon at the opening of Francis Cape’s Utopian Benches exhibition on Saturday, June 21. Due to a death in his family, the artist was unable to be present, but Jeff Bailey, trustee and gallerist, spoke about the exhibition as guests sat on the 20 poplar benches, meticulous copies of Shaker benches and symbols of sharing and community in both an historic and contemporary context. Guests learned that the museum has recently closed on the purchase of 61 adjacent acres of historic Shaker property, and that an “Adopt A Lintel” fundraising campaign is in place to reconstruct and repair the Great Stone Barn — the largest stone barn in America — which was ravaged in a fire in 1972. After aperitifs outdoors on what may have been the most glorious summer solstice ever, guests dispersed to dinners in the homes of museum trustees. Shown left: Jeff Daly, board chairman and museum design consultant, David Stocks, museum president, and Mark Schaming, director of the New York State Museum.

Guests get the communal experience as Jeff Bailey talks about Utopian Benches; Toby Bilanow, a science editor at The New York Times, and Tim McHenry, programming director at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Board member Lauree Hickok and Corinna Ripps Schaming, curator at the University at Albany Art Museum.

Stephanie Aeder and Paul Cassidy, a trustee, walk back from a closer look at the Great Stone Barn; Robert Kent and Greg Hickok enjoy the perfect solstice evening.

Nick Van Alstine, Vernon Evenson and Steve McCarthy stroll the pristine grounds; Rae Gilson, Pamela Paul and Doug Paul, a trustee.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/22/14 at 10:38 AM • Permalink

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Butterflies Take Flight At Berkshire Museum’s Summer Gala

Rachel Louchen reports from Pittsfield. On the first day of summer, the Berkshire Museum unveiled its latest (quite seasonally appropriate) exhibit, Butterflies and had a massive party to celebrate the bright-winged beauties, as well as the solstice. On Saturday, June 21, the museum was filled with jazz music and delicious hors d’oeuvres as guests viewed the new exhibit, which features the unique creatures in every shape, size and color. The highlight is the live Butterfly Pavilion, which allows visitors to view first-hand the butterflies in their habitats. Later in the evening, after the lively auction, DJ BFG was on hand to spin dance music late into the night. Above, Sasha Klimchuk and Brittany Benahm, who assisted with development and Kendra Knisley, curatorial assistant, greeted guests to the party.

Trustees as well as gala committee members Stacey and Jeffery Weber with Maria Mingalone, curator of the exhibition.

Lynn Mazzeo and Mike Mazzeo; Bob Maxwell, Julianne Maxwell and Museum trustee Jeff Noble.

Butterfly pavilion hostess Adrianna Fox and Austin Johnson; Former Museum board president Betsy Selkowitz and consultant Rena Zurofsky.

The Museum’s Executive Director Van Shields with Leo Quiles and gallerist Sienna Patti.

Barrington Stage’s Board Chairperson Mary Ann Quinson with its Board President Marita O’Dea Glodt; Gala committee members Stephen Bayne and Bernadette Patyski.

Trustee Wendy Gordon and Tony Chojnowski, proprietor of Casablanca in Lenox; Dr. Lydia Resner, Alan Needleman and Martin Shimmel.

Dan Summers with Gina Puc, Director of Admission at MCLA; Committee members Renee Erenburg and Marcia Feuer

Lawyer Mark Gold, President of Berkshire Community College Ellen Kennedy, lawyer Virginia Stanton Smith and Berkshire Theatre Group Managing Director Craig Smith.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 06/21/14 at 09:03 PM • Permalink

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Party In The Hamlet For Wassaic Project

Rachel Louchen reports from Wassaic. A trip to the bucolic hamlet of Wassaic is always worth it when the Wassaic Project is having a party. On Saturday, June 14, the Project celebrated the start of its upcoming summer-long programming, which features exhibits by resident artists, along with programs and events held the last Saturday of each month. Guests were treated to food from local businesses, uniquely crafted cocktails and a lively DJ set. The event also served as the unveiling of Seeing the Sky, the Wassaic Project’s seventh annual summer exhibition. Housed in the old Maxon Mills Grain Elevator, the exhibit covers seven floors with paintings, sculpture, videos, photographs and pretty much every other form of art possible. The very top of the exhibit housed Based on a True Story (a story of storm-chasing), which was projected onto the walls, where glimpses of the mountains and valleys could also be seen through the windows. The effect perfectly summed up what makes the Wassaic Project so special: incredible, one-of-a-kind art from respected artists set amongst the beautiful backdrop of Dutchess County. Seeing The Sky is on display until September 1. Above, educational intern Leann Bescript with Bowie Zunino, founder and co-executive director of the Wassaic Project.

Robert Wiegmann with festival and exhibit director Shannon Finnegan; Residency director Charlotte Caldwell with artists Tyler Caruso and Laura Stinger.

Exhibition artists Mark Andres and Amy Masters; Raul Hott with Robin Juam.

Visual artist and board member Carl D’Alvia with Co-Executive Director Eve Biddle; Chairman of Wassaic Project’s board, Janet Offensend, with MASS MoCA’s director Joe Thompson, who spoke at the event.

Tara Kelly came out to support artist Mandy Lamb, (who had her photographs on display) along with their good friends Erin Perkins and Sarah Rose Lamport.

Natalie Fasano with artist Zebadiah Keneally; The Amazing Real Live Food Company’s Justin Friendman and founder Rory Chase.

Back In The Kitchen’s Cassie Carello supplied awesome cupcakes for the event, here with artist Tara Pelletier; exhibition artist Marcie Revens with her boyfriend, Dennis Delgado.

Xavier Jaglin, former Wassaic Project resident artist Guillaume Legare, and artists Joshua Frankel and Jonathan Campo.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 06/16/14 at 11:29 AM • Permalink

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Close Encounters With Father’s Day Dvořák

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. It was a memorable afternoon for many reasons on Sunday, June 15, as Close Encounters with Music (CEWM) held a very special all-Dvořák concert at Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall. The Father’s Day event was dedicated to the memory of Jack Fontaine, a great supporter of the arts, including Close Encounters of which he was a dear friend. Mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor made her Berkshire debut singing Dvořák’s Biblical Songs, Gypsy Songs and “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka. Dvořák wrote Biblical Songs following the deaths of two of his close friends and the added news of his father’s terminal illness. The composer sought comfort in his faith and out of that came some of his most spiritual music. Gateways Inn held a post-concert dinner for CEWM supporters and the afternoon’s musicians, including O’Connor, pianist Roman Rabinovich, violinist David McCarroll, violist Xiao-Dong Wang and CEWM founder and artistic director, cellist Yehuda Hanani, shown above with Marcie Setlow, Close Encounters’ board president.

Helene Berger with the afternoon’s featured performer, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, and Christian Campos; Jack Fontaine’s daughters, Amy Fontaine and Lizanne Fontaine, with Mete Kok and Robert Buckholz.

Betsy and Jonas Dovydenas with Leslie Gold; Monica Sinclair and Brian Hailes, music lovers from Lenox.

Mark Cannon and Marcia Levy; Pianist Roman Rabinovich, Blaise Dejardin and violinist David McCarroll.

Johanna Janssen, Yehuda Hanani and Betty Fontaine, wife of the late Jack Fontaine.

CEWM’s Director of Marketing and PR Pamela Dreyfus Smith with marketing assistant Lauren Sottile; Benjamin Hanani and Aaron Charney.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/15/14 at 08:01 PM • Permalink

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Jacob’s Pillow Opening Night Delights

Amy Krzanik reports from Becket. The big night had finally arrived, and the sold-out Jacob’s Pillow crowd couldn’t have been more pleased. Well, it could have been a few degrees warmer, but the Festival’s leafy grounds are beautiful in any weather. The June 14 gala welcomed dance fans to the 2014 season with a performance by Pillow School dancers, choreographed by Jessica Lang in only four days. The Hong Kong Ballet followed, with a performance of The Frog Prince - A Ballet Chinois (complete with human frog). This year’s Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award went to John Heginbotham, who performed a one-minute piece he choreographed especially for the occasion. A short live auction led by Board chairman Mark Leavitt raised funds for dance school scholarships and the many free performances and talks the Pillow puts on throughout the season. The soon-to-be-retiring Trey McIntyre Project gave an athletic performance of Bad Winter that included a heart-wrenching duet which left the silent crowd in awe. Dance legend Carmen de Lavallade closed the show with an excerpt from The Creation, set against lush foliage seen through the open doors of the Ted Shawn Theatre. Guests made their way toward the tent, which was the scene of much mingling of old friends and new, as well as a gourmet meal from The Old Inn on The Green, and celebratory dancing to DJ BFG to end the night. Shown above: Board President Chris Jones, board member Hunter Runnette and Mimi Bradley, director of development.

Charles Mirotznik, Esq. and dancer Carmen De Lavallade; Ray Despres, the Pillow’s General Manager Connie Chin, Steve Glick and Diana Felber.

Marge Champion, who’s celebrating her 95th birthday this year, with Jim Bouton and Nancy Kalodner; Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Eric Kerns and Molly Kerns.

Tony Chojnowski and Joe Goodwin with Margaret Lively Frazzini and Al Frazzini; Jeanie Heginbotham, proud mom, and her son, 2014 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner John Heginbotham.

Gala co-chairs Jim and Joan Hunter with Tracy and Joe Finnegan.

Clifton Brown, choreographer Jessica Lang and board member Carole Burack; Dennis Lee and Peggy Tong, CEO of the San Diego Chinese Tribune.

The always impeccably dressed Liz Richards and RI’s green thumb, Brian Cruey; Gallerist Sienna Patti, Vicki Bonnington and David Schecker.

Alan Chartock and Roselle Chartock with Claudio Pincus and Penny Pincus; Mark Vanden Bosch and Alison Hart, the Pillow’s senior manager of individual gifts.

Matt Mandel, Catherine Mandel, Weston Hicks, Ann Hicks and Arnold Cohen.

Allison Salke, Michael Salke and Joan Salke; Paul Cheung, Andrea Winter, Daniel Mintz and Clement C.M. Leung.

Carole and Gordon Hyatt with Charles Mirotznik, Esq. and board member Ranny Cooper; Hilary Somers Deely and Philip Deely.

Mike Kaplan, whose poster collection is on display in Blake’s Barn, and Norton Owen, the Pillow’s director of preservation; Charmaine Jefferson, executive V.P. of the California African American Museum, Bobbi Paley and Garrett Johnson.

Matt and Missy Scarafoni, Sienna Patti, Joe Kotelnicki, and animator Leo Quiles; Donald Barron and fibre artist Barbara Barron.

The scene inside the tent.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/15/14 at 11:02 AM • Permalink

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Artists Abound At OMI Cocktail Party And Preview

Lisa Green reports from Ghent. “Is this not a gorgeous room?” Omi International Arts Center Director Ruth Adams asked the sizable crowd standing amid the larger-than-life geometric wall paintings by artist Stephen Westfall. Applauding in agreement, the locals and weekenders who came to the Center for the Fields Sculpture Park & Architecture OMI season opening cocktail party and preview on Friday, June 13 admired the artist’s work and raved about the “local bites” prepared by Chefs Rita Soares-Kern and Robin McKay. It was an evening when creatives of all kinds came out of their studios, galleries and workshops to reconnect (“the person standing next to you is probably an artist,” Westfall said in a brief talk), and for the center to introduce this year’s group of resident artists. [Above, Stephen Westfall and Ruth Adams.]

Alan Pruzniak and Erika Hickle, who live in Brooklyn, worked with Westfall on painting the walls; Wolfgang Stockmeier, Sheridan Booker, the center’s development director, and Kathy Cooke, an OMI member.

Lisa Sanditz and Kim Beck, creator of NOTICE: A Field of Signs sculptures in the Clover Meadow; Dan Franck and Mary Anne Davis, a ceramic artist.

Elena Sisto, a painter from Milan, and Bill Maynes, director of the Fields Sculpture Park.

New Jersey-ites Steve and Diane Eizman, who have a home in North Chatham; Mike and Kathy Zdeb, members from Albany.

Painter Isabel Bigelow and Robert Ayers, arts writer who recently moved to the region; Dyte and Bruce Garrison, collectors of Stephen Westfall’s work, flank Mary Benyo from Lennon, Weinber, Inc. in Chelsea, the gallery that represents Westfall.

Dalia Eilat, Merrill Greene and Veronica Fuentes gather under the tent.

Amy Barr, Michael Schrom, a filmmaker, and Hugh Biber, a product designer; Anna d’Onofrio, an interior designer turned painter, and Ken Kraus, an architect and artist.

Nancy Kohler, a multimedia artist and Dominique DeVito, co-owner of the Hudson-Chatham Winery; Linda Cross and John Cross, a trustee, with the exhibiting artist, Stephen Westfall.

Weekenders Greg Deligdisch and Tom Cohn celebrate OMI’s season opener.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/14/14 at 06:19 PM • Permalink

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Norman Rockwell Museum Toasts To Two Masters

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. From the vintage “Model A” Ford parked on the grass outside its main entrance, to the live jazz on the back terrace, the Norman Rockwell Museum transformed itself into early 1900s New York City for its 45th anniversary bash. The June 7th party doubled as opening night for the museum’s latest exhibit, The Unknown Hopper, a comprehensive study of the little-known 20-year illustration career of renowned painter Edward Hopper. Guests, in their finest Turn-of-the-Century attire, previewed the new exhibit with its curator, Stephanie Plunkett, and leading Hopper historian Gail Levin. A gourmet dinner buffet from Red Apple Butchers was served on the terrace as the sun went down, and the evening wrapped up with an auction of Rockwell memorabilia, including a Rockwell-themed tour of Stockbridge in the aforementioned immaculate 1930 “Woodie” station wagon. Pictured above: Sarah Clowe and Jeremy Clowe, the museum’s manager of media services.

Nancy Kalodner, NRM’s Director Laurie Norton Moffatt, Susan Laidlaw and NRM National Council member Lucy Holland; Jackie and Haley Palmore flank the show’s curator, NRM’s Deputy Director and Chief Curator Stephanie Plunkett.

NRM trustee Stephen Boyd and wife Ellen Boyd; Suzanne Klausmeyer and former NRM trustee David Klausmeyer with Rick Donovan and MCLA professor Lisa Donovan.

The Stockbridge Library showed its support in force with guests Barbara Allen, Lynn Edelstein, Michael Pulitzer, Jr., Stewart Edelstein and the library’s director, Katie O’Neil; Christine Condaris and former Pittsfield mayor Jimmy Ruberto.

Jill Gellert, the museum’s new C.O.O., and Bill Gellert with Marlene Eichholz and her mother, Helene Eichholz.

Professors of design at Washington University in St. Louis, Jeff Pike and Douglas Dowd, representing the school’s Modern Graphic History Library; Martin Mahoney, the museum’s director of collections and exhibitions, with NRM’s Ellen Mazzer and Amy Butterworth of IS183.

George Recine, Sarah Atwood, Melyssa Taylor and Rob Taylor dressed to impress; Monica Celli-de Movellan and Pedro de Movellan.

Debbie Hanson Greene and Alison Atlas strike a pose.

Jed and Lee Schwartz; Harrison Ungar and Aine Ungar of the Ungar Foundation show their support for illustration and education.

Burt Stern and Ron Walter, a member of the museum’s National Council; Ralph and Linda Zagaria from NYC and Ghent, NY.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/07/14 at 10:16 PM • Permalink

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Volunteers In Medicine Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary In Style

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. This year’s Volunteers In Medicine chef’s dinner on Monday, June 2 served not only as a fund-raising event, but a celebration of the group’s impressive 10th anniversary. The stunning Wheatleigh Hotel provided a beautiful backdrop as guests were treated to canapes and wines selected especially for the occasion by Domaney’s Liquors. After cocktails, attendees enjoyed a four-course meal in the Wheatleigh dining room, prepared under the direction of Chef Jeffrey Thompson. Proceeds from the evening go toward supporting VIM’s mission of providing healthcare for uninsured and underinsured Berkshire County residents. Pictured above: Board member Marion Simon and VIM’s Vice Chair and Co-Medical Director Matt Mandel.

The event’s co-chairs, Catherine Mandel and Lauren Spitz; VIM Board Chairman Art Peisner and Susan Peisner.

Realtor Nancy Kalodner, VIM board member Robin McGraw, and Helice Picheny; Event chair Vicki Bonnington and David Schecker.

Rob Trask and Veronica Martin; Cipora Brown, board chair of the Chester Theatre Company, with Roberta Haas and architect Steven Haas.

Nancy Kalodner, photographer Jonas Dovydenas and painter Betsy Dovydenas, Doug Trumbull and Julia Trumbull.

Denyse Adler, editor of VIM’s newsletter, and Harold Adler; Volunteer Rita Kasky and board member Jane Salamon.

Artist Joe Goodwin, Diana Richter, and Tony Chojnowski; Christine Ludwiszewski and board member Michael Richman.

Nancy and Hoby van Deusen with Salley Haver and Walter Scott; Carol Smokler and Efrem Sigel, VIM volunteer and author.

Dr. Justin Werick and Helen Frank; Guests enjoying the late-afternoon sun and spectacular view from Wheatleigh’s back terrace.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/03/14 at 12:24 PM • Permalink

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Roe-Jan Community Parties For The Public Library

Lisa Green reports from West Copake. The Roeliff Jansen Community Library is clearly a cherished institution, and on Saturday, May 31, about 250 library enthusiasts found their way to Camp Pontiac for the Fifth Annual Celebration. There was a lot to celebrate, according to Board of Trustees President Pat Placona (in photo left, flanked by board members Ann Marie Farrell and Jen Jamieson). Since 2009, when the library moved to its new building, library programs have increased by 998 percent, library visits are up 279 percent, and website visits up 314 percent. To keep the library thriving and accessible to all who need it, guests bid on an extraordinarily large collection of silent and live auction items and enjoyed food generously supplied by more than 30 area food and beverage vendors, all while being serenaded by the Mike Schiffer Trio.

Jim Lapenn and Dick Barton man the soft drinks and wine table; Cathy Redlich and Marjorie Corbett were members of the auction committee.

Cecele Karaus with Dona Kahn, a board member and attorney who specializes in family mediation; Ron Bixby, a member of the Board of Trustees, with Alanne Baerson and Sandy Reisman.

Dennis Adamson and Ben Boyd, Copake weekenders from the Upper West Side.

Chef Michael Chesloff serves shao mai; Vicki Sander, a singer, and Cheryl Jones, a trustee, discuss music programs at the library.

Linda Levitt worked on decorations for the event, with Barbara Smith; Roger Mooney, who was chair of the celebration committee, with Katherine Martucci of Ancram.

Julie Cohen, a member of the celebration committee, and Scot Cohen of Scot Cohen Realty.

Peter Krane and Christine Parker; Phyllis Fink and Barbara Lewis, both of whom were on the food committee.

Donald Steele and Rob Horwitz of Ancramdale; Shirley Bresler, who worked on the auctions, and Barbara Greenberg, who sold raffle tickets.

John Cady, who is vice president of the Board of Trustees, and Claudia Catania, producer and host of public radio’s Playing on Air.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/01/14 at 10:03 AM • Permalink

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BIFF Returns With 75 Films (And A Really Fun Party)

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. On Thursday, May 29, a huge crowd turned out to screen the appropriately-titled film May In The Summer by Cherien Dabis (about a New York-based woman who returns to her homeland of Jordan for her wedding) and to celebrate the opening of the the ninth annual Berkshire International Film Festival. The mood was excited and upbeat as the park across from The Mahaiwe was transformed into a party plaza by a large white tent, huge food spread and the band, City Rhythm, who got all guests dancing. The four-day festival showcases 75 diverse works of independent feature, documentary, family films and shorts over multiple venues in Great Barrington and Pittsfield, with filmmakers and cast members on hand for discussion panels for many of the screenings. In less than a decade, the festival has become widely recognized, no doubt from its mission to showcase filmmakers from all over the world, and this year brings films from 18 different countries. Cherien Dabis joined the guests underneath the tent following her screening, where numerous filmmakers were also in attendance, mingling with all the Berkshire film buffs. (Above, BIFF Founder and Director Kelley Vickery with Hunter Runette of Jacob’s Pillow).

BIFF Board Chair Al Togut, who was underwriter of the party along with his wife, Jacqueline Togut.

Berkshire Mountain Distiller’s Tyler Weld with her mother, Shawn De Gunzburg; Roger Goldman and Tom Potter.

IS183’s Amy Butterworth, Kate Baldwin and Anne McLaughlin; Carolyn Lancaster with BIFF Executive Assistant Lauren Ferrin.

Ethan James with Academy Award-winning visual effects master Doug Trumbull; Andy Clayman, board member Mary Mott and Casey Mott.

Emilie Spiegel, photographer and director Thierry Van Biesen, May In The Summer director Cherien Dabis, Kelley Vickery, producer Daniel Battsek and Luce Battsek.

Studio designer Amanda Bettis and Matt Hill; Dogs on the Inside directors Brean Cunningham and Doug Seirub.

Realtor Frosty Montgomery and actor Matt Penn; Morgan Whitehead with her mother, BIFF programmer Lillian Lenox.

Reflection producer Hazuki Aikawa with Ken Murphy, director of Reaching Home; Beth Eckert and Mike Boland, one of the stars of If I Tell You.

Shelly Friedman with board members Elissa Myer, Mary Mott and Nancy Clayman.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 05/31/14 at 08:45 PM • Permalink

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Curtains Up For Sharon TriArts’ 25th Season

Rachel Louchen reports from Sharon. The TriArts Sharon Playhouse opened its season on Saturday, May 24 with its annual gala and largest fundraising event of the year. The hotly anticipated event always serves as an opening of the summer season but this year, in honor of the 25th season, added dinner, dancing and very special performances to celebrate the milestone year. Despite the overcast and slightly ominous sky, the 170 attendees happily enjoyed cocktails and bid on the silent auction, no doubt influenced by Broadway hits like “Put On A Happy Face” that played in the background. The performances, which featured Broadway vets Lindsay MendezJay Armstrong Johnson and Kyle Barisich was an exciting taste of what’s to come for the jam-packed season. Above, board member Johanna Hahn with husband Bruce Hahn.

Julia DiMarzo, one of the actors in the playhouse’s upcoming production of Spring Awakening with her parents, Jackie DiMarzo and Dean DiMarzo; Volunteers Chris Abeel and Libby Hall greeted guests to the gala.

Board member Alexandra Lange with Spring Awakening directors Fiona Santos and Jason Brantman; Sharon’s Pam Wilson and David Offensend of Wassaic.

Artistic Director John Simpkins and Justin Ball, Managing Director.

Melinda Fanning and performer David Fanning; Board Vice President Carol Kalikow and Alexandra Lange.

Resident costume designer Michelle Eden Humphrey with resident sound designer Brad Berridge; Board of directors’ secretary Emily Soell with longtime TriArts supporter Annette Clooney.

Board members Mimi Estes and John Champion with President Bobbie Olsen.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 05/26/14 at 07:10 PM • Permalink

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MASS MoCA’s Big Day (And Night)

Lisa Green reports from North Adams. It’s not unusual for MASS MoCA to be the Grand Central of the Berkshires’ north county, but on Saturday, May 24, the reason for the extreme hustle bustle was twofold. In the late afternoon, there was the opening and reception for a new exhibit, “Teresita Fernandez: As Above So Below,” a scale-shifting work in which Fernandez combines graphite and gold to create a series of interconnected installations. The artist (shown left, with Denise Markonish, curator of exhibitions), greeted guests while they looked up, down and over to the various works. As afternoon shifted to evening, people of all ages joined the existing crowd to help celebrate MASS MoCA’s 15 years of extraordinary programming. The party got started with popup performers followed by a dance party to the music of Red Baraat and DJ Rekha.

Drew Moody, Keith Helman and Elisabeth Bernstein of Lehmann Maupin, the artist’s gallery, came from New York to view the exhibit; Jennifer Trainer Thompson, MASS MoCA’s director of special events and membership and Joe Thompson, director of MASS MoCA, stand in front of just a small portion of the artist’s work, “Sfumato.”

“Black Sun,” an installation of polycarbonate tubes, “as seen from above.”

Rose Escobar and Tony Dube, a photographer; Jo Laird, Michael Danoff, Tony Meier, an art dealer from San Francisco, and Kathy Meadowcroft of Marin County.

Teresita Fernandez and Alexandre Arrechea, a contemporary artist whose large-scale exhibition was placed along Park Avenue last year.

Carol Kiendl and Alice Cande; Benoit Gabriel of New York and Stephanie Smith from Lehmann Maupin.

“Lunar” shimmers with a virtual sea of more than 1,500 pounds of small glass beads.

Derek Parker, fabrication shop manager and Kathryn Tufano, manager of foundation and corporate giving at MASS MoCA, with Laura Steward; Red Baraat performs later in the evening in the Hunter Center.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/26/14 at 10:53 AM • Permalink

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A New Face For An Inspiring Space At Chesterwood

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. It doesn’t take much convincing when you’re invited to enjoy a cocktail on the piazza of Daniel Chester French’s studio, overlooking the lush gardens of his former summer estate. As Chesterwood celebrated the reopening of French’s refurbished studio at a gala on Friday, May 23, guests jovially enjoyed the views while bidding on silent auction items that included three framed photographs shot at Chesterwood by Annie Leibovitz for her book Pilgrimage. The studio, closed since 2012, has undergone a painstakingly, historically accurate renovation, with special detail paid to its facade. Berkshire Pulse dancers, dressed in all white, performed a piece inspired by their research on Daniel Chester French’s only child, Margaret French Cresson, also a sculptor, who ceded Chesterwood and its collections to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Dinner was held in French’s studio and Michael Ballon of Castle Street Café prepared the evening’s menu using dinner notes from Mrs. Mary French as a guide. The menu included Taft Farms asparagus aspic, tournedos of beef with Madeira sauce, and mixed berry trifle with crème anglaise and raspberry sauce. Read the related RI article about the restoration project: The Rock Star of Stockbridge: Daniel Chester French. Above, sculptors Laura and Rick Brown with the Executive Director at Massachusetts Cultural Council, Anita Walker, and Chesterwood Director Donna Hassler.

Richard and Carol Seltzer with Sheila Thunfors, Chair of the Advisory Committee; Kate and Andrew Wilsey.

Kim and Rich Bradway; Terry and Jane Shea with David McCarthy, George Manley and Chesterwood board member Maureen Raab.

Philip Heller, Judith and Jeffrey Cook, and Barbara and Peter Seideman.

Lou Allegrone, Susan Allegrone, Sarah Voisin and Anthony Allegrone; Nancy Fitzpatrick and Anastasia Stanmeyer.

Katie Soules Cornellier and Dave Cornellier; Architect Ashley Wilson, Gerry Blache, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at Chesterwood, and the lovely Colleen Blache.

The refurbished studio, meticulously set for dinner.

Louis Allegrone, Stacy Allegrone and Mike Sadlow; Event planner Amy Rudnick and Bettina Montano, founder of Berkshire Pulse.

Cindi Malinick, Rena Zurofsky, Estevan Rael-Galvez, Cinda Jones and Maureen Raab.

Dr. Jay Wise and Terry Wise; Hans and Kate Morris with Terry and Jane Shea.

Berkshire Pulse dancers perform on the Chesterwood lawn before dancing around the fountain.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/25/14 at 06:59 PM • Permalink

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CATAtude Brings Attitude To Gratitude

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. CATAtude – this year’s Community Access To The Arts’ performance and gala – took over Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse on Saturday evening, May 17. The organization’s supporters enjoyed cocktail hour in the lobby, but as soon as the lights flickered, they eagerly found their seats inside the crowded theater. Many of these guests had been to CATA performances before and knew what they were in for – a creative, heartfelt and humorous show from the organization’s students and faculty. This year’s performance included a peek into some of what CATA does best: Singing, juggling, tap dancing, an inventive play set in a newsroom, the consistently beautiful and emotionally charged work of Dawn Lane and her modern dance troupe, and a set from comedian Scott Thomas that left the audience in stitches. A standing ovation brought the crowd to its feet, then out the door in time to see that a rainbow had painted itself across the gray clouds as if in support. In the tent below the theater, a buffet-style meal catered by Firefly gave attendees a chance to munch and relax, as vibrant paintings from CATA artists and scenes from the night’s festivities were projected onto the ceiling of the tent. Massachusetts State Senator Ben Downing presented CATA founder Sandy Newman with a proclamation from Governor Deval Patrick, citing her for the amazing work she’s done with the organization, and the Senator backed it up with a resolution from the statehouse he signed along with State Representative Smitty Pignatelli. After much cheering, folks young and old made their way to the dance floor, possibly inspired by the night’s performances, to move to the tunes of DJ BFG. Shown above: Barry Karson, CATA founder Sandy Newman, and her childhood friend Kathy Karson.

Gala committee member Vicki Bonnington and David Schecker; Board members Maria Cleary and Elaine Radiss flank Trisha Killeen.

MA Senator Ben Downing, gala committee co-chair Reggie Cooper, Madeline Phelps, David Phelps, CATA’s Executive Director Margaret Keller, and VIM Berkshires founder Matt Mandel.

CATA’s board president John Whalan with Kate Whalan, board vice president Emily Rechnitz and her daughter Flora Paladino; CATA faculty artist Pat Hogan with Dennis Hogan and Clara Londoner.

Betsy Andrus, SBCC executive director, with Ed Arnold, Bob Seward and Pat Seward, SBCC board vice president; CATA yoga instructor Paula Boyajian and Bobbie Fachini, CATA’s program coordinator.

Ken Gogel, CATA actor and dancer Sam Gogel, and Travis Daly pose in front of a rainbow outside of the Tina Packer Playhouse.

Jonathan Swartz and Megan Whilden; Matt Mandel, Nancy Kalodner and Paul Lindenmaier.

Stephen Buck, Deborah Bush, Christopher Lane, who supplied some of the costumes for the show, and Dawn Kramer; Neel Webber, Mira Webber, Judith Pomerantz and Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant.

Hillery Maxymillian, Neal Maxymillian, gala committee co-chair Linda Cooper, Tony and Carolann Patterson and gala committee member and Country Curtains CFO Matt Heim.

CATA actor Jessica Hampton, Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant, Kristen van Ginhoven, Dave Barrett and Joan Hunter; An artsy CATA welcome.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/18/14 at 11:34 AM • Permalink

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Trade Secrets: It’s A Good Thing For Gardeners And WSS

Lisa Green reports from Sharon. “Has anyone seen Martha?” called out a portly matron in canvas sunhat to no one in particular early on at Trade Secrets. No one answered her, but everyone knew who she meant, because everyone knows Trade Secrets, the rare plants and antiques extravaganza in the Litchfield Hills, is Martha Stewart’s preferred plant sale of the year. And, indeed, she was there, but so were legions of gardeners who come to Elaine La Roche’s Lion Rock Farm each year to gild their gardens with items proffered by vendors that come from near and far. (At left, Kent Hunter of Hunter Bee, who was on the planning committee, and Vicki Kirkpatrick, the event coordinator.) Most important, they shop and engage in plant talk for a vital organization, Women’s Support Services (WSS), which focuses on domestic violence intervention and prevention in northwest Connecticut and surrounding towns in New York and Massachusetts.  Now in its 14th year, Trade Secrets is a well-oiled machine and the foremost fundraiser for WSS, but there’s always something new to see. Antique pig troughs, anyone?

MC Roberts and Alexis Small; Brooklyn Plant Studio owner Tara Douglass from Brooklyn, and Sascha Greenberg from Katonah.

Martha Stewart inspects the merchandise.

From Women’s Support Services, the beneficiary of Trade Secrets: Liz Davis, a counselor advocate, and Jamel Bonello, a volunteer with WSS; Italian Terrace‘s Liz Goodrich partnered with Roy Mattson of Tectona Garden Furniture for the event.

Rhonda Cayea, general manager of Hammertown, makes a new friend in Amy Dragoo, a blogger from Sharon and New York.

John Thomas and Richard Yurko from Sharon didn’t have far to travel; Christine Owen, who chaired the sign committee, with artist Beck Oakley, who creates bronze figures.

Barbara Beringer traveled from New York City and Robin Robbins from Scarsdale; Mark VandenBosch and Hunter Runnette from the Berkshires.

Libby Horn comes from Chicago each year to go to Trade Secrets with her daughter, Brittany Horn Bromley, who lives in Westchester.

Makristo Farm’s Christa Stosiek enjoys the sunshine; Pom Schillingford takes a break with Heidi Hendricks, who co-chaired the antiques committee.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/18/14 at 09:27 AM • Permalink

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Wining And Dining For The Berkshire Music School

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. Several anniversaries were noted at the Berkshire Music School’s wine-pairing dinner at Café Adam on Thursday, May 15: the school’s 75th and Tracy Wilson’s 10th as executive director (Tracy, at left, flanked by realtor Nancy Kalodner and Malinka Johnson). But the school’s trustees, faculty, former students and others really were there to support the scholarship program offered by the community’s cherished institution. It’s unlikely there’s ever been such a low-key live auction; once the call was opened for bids funding scholarships for music lessons, hands raised and guests freely gave with very little prompting. The school, which gives out about $16,000 in scholarships each year, is clearly beloved. Many attendees remarked how all of their children — or they themselves — had been through its programs, and more than a few scholarship students have gone on to professional careers in music.

Paul Finnety, Board President Kate Barton, who was co-chair of the event committee, Anne Mercure, a former board president, and Sam Craig; BMS staffers Kathy Manship and Sandy Moderski were the first to greet guests.

Hannah Cohen, who was a violin student at the school, with her grandmother, Sue Cohen; The Talbott-Suters Trio provided music for the cocktail hour.

Lisa Loring and Curtis Brasseur of Richmond; Ellen Weiden and Laura Rosenthal, devoted students of the adult cabaret class.

Jazz and cabaret singer Sherri James Buxton, who directs the popular cabaret workshops, with bassist Roger Souters; Maureen and Bob Monteleone, whose children have been students at BMS.

Lenore Sundberg, and Linda Russell; Clarinetist Paul Green with Sue and Arnold Cohen.

Sylwia Orczykowska and Chef Adam Zieminski of Cafe Adam; Ken Green, a member of the board of trustees and owner of Museum Facsimiles, and Tracy Wilson run the live auction.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/16/14 at 02:33 PM • Permalink

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It’s Never Too Soon to Celebrate ASAP

Sarah Ellen Rindsberg reports from Washington, CT. Not even the torrential downpour on the evening of Saturday, May 10 could dampen the spirits at the After School Arts Program’s (ASAP) 9th annual Celebration of Young Writers. Partygoers gathered under a tent in front of the First Congregational Church in Washington to enjoy hors d’oeuvres from Anne Gallagher Catering and sip libations from County Wine and Spirits. Items in the silent auction included a teen party with Chef Gallagher, a Marcel Breuer and John Johansen house tour and a vintage 1954 Fender Stratocaster guitar. As a rainbow appeared in the sky, attendees proceeded to enter the church for the evening’s program hosted by internationally known author and broadcaster Frank Delaney. The works of 13 young writers were read by local luminaries including Ellen McCourt, an ASAP devotee who attended many previous events with her late husband, the Pulitzer Prize winning author (for Angela’s Ashes) Frank McCourt. But it wasn’t only young writers who were being celebrated at the event; teachers Anthony Weymouth of Washington Primary School and Mark Truini of Westover School in Middlebury received the Frank McCourt Prize for Excellence in Teaching. ASAP, founded in 1999, brings in arts professionals to conduct workshops in schools in Washington, Bridgewater, Roxbury, Woodbury, Litchfield, New Milford, Torrington and Waterbury. Above, Ellen McCourt, ASAP Executive Director JoAnne Torti and Angie Silverstein gather under the tent.

Rati Madan, who is in the jewelry business, and Suzanne Day, a board member of the Washington Scholarship Fund; Brian Lancaster, William L. Fuchs, Steven Fuchs and Anna L. Fuchs. (William and Anna are ASAP camp alumni.)

Author Frank Delaney presenting the evening’s program in honor of Hugh Rawson, longtime friend and ASAP board member; Chris Smith, ASAP board member, with Emelie Samuelson.

Randy Lehrer, Wendy Louers, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Kathleen Bakewell and Jane Whitney.

ASAP Board President Jill Faherty Lloyd and Carol Lenz, grandmother of ASAP camp participants; Visko Hatfield, an ASAP board member and freelance photographer, with Sophie Guillemette and ASAP volunteer Sarah Guillemette, and the rainbow in the background.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/12/14 at 09:57 AM • Permalink

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Hudson Opera House Sets Up The Season With Spring Fling

4Jamie Larson reports from Hudson. It’s such a wonder that the eclectic beauty of the Hudson Opera House is still a bit of a secret to the region. The HOH’s comeliness, however, and its packed calendar of performances, talks, classes and good works is no secret to the throngs of generous supporters at the Spring Fling gala fundraiser on Saturday, May 3. The sprawling upstairs theater was elegantly set for dinner and music and downstairs, the gallery rooms of the Opera House were warmed with pleasant company, a high quality auction and excellent libations. The Hudson Opera House is worth giving to generously and Saturday the opera house gave back a fabulous night in return (Pictured at left; party goers, interior designer Timothy VanDam and landscape designers Joël Losier and Philippe Soule.

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Danusia Jarecka, owner of Skalar Antiques with Peggy Anderson and Andrew Goetz; Doug Wingo and Tim Leg from Wingo Inc. with Mark Prezorski, landscape architect at Olana.

Allison Whiting, Patricia Falk and Fred Schroeder; John Jones IV, Ramzi Abufaraj and Keith Nuss.

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The Hudson Opera House set beautifully for dinner.

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Al Scott, Jean Hamilton, Christine Benson, Martha McMaster and Shermon Evans; James Brookens and Steve Symonds.

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Hosts of the Thursday Afternoon Show on WGXC Tom DePietro and Hudson Supervisor Ellen Thurston with designer Mitchell Motsinger.

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Photographers Allison Clements and James Autery with Conor Backman.

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Despina Leandrou, Micheal Laudati and Alexandra Anderson; Geri and Glen Livi, Marissa Celli and Laura Corsun.

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Posted by Jamie Larson on 05/04/14 at 05:47 PM • Permalink

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The Community Shows Its Smarts At The BART Trivia Fundraiser

Amy Krzanik reports from Adams. A combination of light drinking and heavy thinking occurred at the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School (BART) on Saturday night, May 3 as the school held its 7th annual “Get BART Smart” team trivia fundraiser. The school’s atrium held a crowd of supporters as they snacked on food from Mezze Catering and refreshments provided by Spirited, and browsed silent auction items, which included signed Red Sox memorabilia, a private tour of the High Line in New York City, passes to Disney World and other items. Kate Drew Miller Photography took “class photos” in between the 20-minute rounds, which saw teams traveling between classrooms answering questions in the categories of citizenship, technology, SAT and pop culture. BART, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall, has a current enrollment of 320 students in grades 6-12 and boasts an amazing 100 percent college acceptance rate. Proceeds from the event go to fund the award-winning, tuition-free school’s academic programming. Shown above left: North Adams City Councilor Ben Lamb and BART’s Executive Director Julia Bowen.

Courtney Shapiro, Carrie Richards, Katie Bodnar and Amy Van Dusen; BART Development Coordinator Leah Thompson with BART’s newest trustee, Marnie Sommer.

Joe Bergeron and trustee Geraldine Shen; Marisa Daley, Eric Nottke, BART staff member Monique Nottke, Hugh Daley, Beth Ellingwood and Kevin Ellingwood.

Trustee Fred Puddester with Susan Puddester, Sarah Bolton, Audrey Thier, Ari Solomon, Peter Murphy and BART’s Co-founder and Board Chair Pam Johnson.

Cindy Brown, Vice President of Academic Affairs at MCLA and a BART trustee, Maura Delaney, Liberal Arts Program Advisor at BCC, and Joan Mayes and Maureen Sullivan of Syracuse, NY; North Adams City Councilor Kate Merrigan with Christian Tenczar.

Teams show their stuff in one of the BART classrooms.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/04/14 at 03:57 PM • Permalink

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BerkChique! Fun And Funding With Fashion

Lisa Green reports from Stockbridge. Did the shoes at left get your attention? Never fails; they also called out to plenty of guests at the third annual BerkChique! Preview Night Party on Friday, May 2 at the Stockbridge Town Offices. After waiting in line to enter the gym-turned-fashion emporium, many of the shoppers made a beeline for the rows of shoes, boots, slippers and bags, while others started at Vicki Bonnington’s personal boutique items priced from $10 to “priceless” (over $200). The pop-up shop and gently used clothing sale (with donated items coming from some of the best closets in the area) is for the benefit of Berkshire Creative, a nonprofit that sparks collaborations between artists, cultural institutions and businesses. The sale is supported by The Red Lion Inn, Berkshire Money Management and a hardworking BerkChicque! Committee. Guests shopped to the music provided by DJ RothFitz, and tore themselves away from the hunt for the fashion show featuring models courtesy of Berkshire Beauty, a model agency. They sported a variety of looks from the boutique, curated by Lisa Betkoski, a personal shopper and stylist in the Berkshires. The sale continued through the weekend, and many of the leftover items were donated to local nonprofit organizations and agencies.

Vicki Bonnington, the clothing collector and fashionista extraordinaire in front of her personal boutique (racks of designer wear from her own collection); Lucy Holland and Kelly Dolan snag some good deals.

Jenny Benson, Val Whaling and Berkshire Creative Board Member Cathy Deely inspect the merchandise; Lisa Nappo of Housatonic and Carol Reife of Otis.

Brittany Carlo, a model in the fashion show.

Brittany Bochette and Elizabeth Bocchino pause from some intense shopping for a quick photo; Fred Eustis, Sarah Eustis, BerkChique! committee chair, Rural Intelligence owner Mark Williams and Alison Larkin, comedienne, audiobook narrator and author.

The BerkChique! models line up for the grand finale; Danielle Steinmann of the Trustees of Reservations with Elena Fernandez.

Lisa Betkoski of Rock Star Shopping, who curated the fashion show, with Tereza Hubkova, a physician at Canyon Ranch who modeled at the event.

Yuki Cohen, a Berkshire Bank vice president, was a model for the event, with Janet Crawford, an equine portrait artist; Veronica Martin of Great Barrington.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/03/14 at 06:56 PM • Permalink

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Berkshire Grown Kicks Off The Season With Brunch

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. What better way to to start off our local growing season (and bid good riddance to a painfully long winter) than a brunch sourced from many of our area’s farms? Fresh eggs and bacon, crisp greens and even local coffee (courtesy of Barrington Coffee Roasting Co.) were served on Sunday, April 27 at Prairie Whale as Berkshire Grown celebrated the beginning of the growing season. The brunch was an opportunity for the Berkshire Grown team and area farmers to discuss ways the community can help support the growth and sustainability of our farms, all while enjoying a feast expertly prepared by Prairie Whale staff. The meal, featuring greens from The Berry Patch and other area farms, gave a foretaste of a fresh and colorful season. Above left, Executive Director Barbara Zheultin with Jessica Camp of MX Morningstar Farm in Copake, and Berkshire Grown Board President Allison Rachele Bayles.

Cathy Aldrich with husband Rich Aldrich of Salisbury Bank; Berkshire Co-Op’s Merchandising Manager Ted Moy and Emily Bronson, program coordinator at Berkshire Taconic Foundation.

Dale-Ila Riggs and Don Miles of The Berry Patch Farm with Brandon and Sandy Pantorno; Prairie Whale’s proprietors Mark Firth and Bettina Schwartz with staffer Joe Scully, who also works at their farm, Chestnut Hill in Monterey. 

Peter Zheutlin came out to support his cousin, Barbara, here with Bettina Schwartz and author Judy Gelman.

Farmers Scottie Mills and Scott Mckenzie; Heidi Frye and Max Frye, who live in Miami and have a home in Lenox.

Mark Firth with R. Allen Cockerline and Robin Cockerline of Whippoorwill Farm in Lakeville; Norman Rockwell Museum’s Patricia Hubbard with Cailin Rocco.

Jacob Robbins, Berkshire Grown’s Board Vice President Laurily Epstein, Allison Rachele Bayles and board member Ariel Bock.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 04/27/14 at 02:58 PM • Permalink

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Wilderstein Celebrates Its White House Connections

Lisa Green reports from Rhinebeck. “Labor of love” was the refrain most often heard at the preview party for “Wilderstein and the White House” on Saturday, April 26. The historic site, originally built in 1852 as an Italianate villa and then transformed in 1888 into a Victorian mansion, was home to three generations of the Suckley family. (If you saw Hyde Park on Hudson, you’re familiar with Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, the last family member whose extraordinary friendship with Franklin Delano Roosevelt has been well chronicled.) The preservation labor has been lovingly supplied by volunteers and a small staff who have raised funds, preserved, archived and in general cared for the mansion as if it were their own homes. The current exhibit uses objects from Wilderstein’s collections to explore the connection between the estate and the Suckley family to U.S. presidents and historical events in Washington. And there are a lot of objects in the site’s trove to choose from. “We’ve been pulling things out of the attic and archives and our exhibits can go on and on,” said Board President Brian Lange (show above, left, with Tess Casey and Matthew Carnicelli). The enthusiasm generated by Wilderstein’s caretakers and the event guests assures that they will.

Gina Palmer, who does the illustrations for the Wilderstein’s promotional materials, with Gregory Sokaris, executive director of the historic site; Board member Paul Hallenbeck and Sally Hallenbeck flank Linda Stanley, a Wilderstein volunteer.

The dining room exhibit illustrates the Suckley family’s ties to the Revolutionary War and George Washington.

Valerie Dampeer, self-described “slave” to Wilderstein (her husband is treasurer of the board) made all of the food for the reception; Lorraine Murphy of Milan, a docent, and Christine Foreacre, a Wilderstein house supervisor from Red Hook.

Chelsea Relyea, Wilderstein’s administrative assistant; the exquisite Queen Anne mansion, regarded as the Hudson Valley’s most important example of Victorian architecture.

View of the Hudson River from Wilderstein’s wraparound porch.


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