Parties & Openings
February 22 - Pittsfield
BIFF Academy Awards
February 19 - Pittsfield
10x10 Real Art Party
February 14 - Pittsfield
Fantastic February Frolic
CATA’s “Sticks & Stones” Is A Big Hit
Cultural Correspondent Bess J.M. Hochstein reports from Lenox: Community Access to the Arts (CATA) provides creative opportunities for people with disabilities to express themselves and engage in crafts, fine art, and performance. This year’s May Day fundraiser, at Shakespeare & Company’s nearly sold-out Founder’s Theatre, put scores of the organization’s participants on stage in a finely tuned program of dance, theatrical, and comic vignettes called Sticks & Stones, referring to both the natural materials explored in set design and used as props, as well as the singsong response to schoolyard taunts. The performances awed the audience and encouraged them to open their pocketbooks during the ensuing live auction – led by actor Eddie Allen, with able assistance from Roger Reed (aka Roger the Jester), both of whom later slipped into dresses to serve as “Pocket Laddies” – which raised more than $40,000. After the show, guests enjoyed a preview of summer weather while sipping the event’s signature cocktail – the CATAtonic – concocted by Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ Chris Weld, husband of event co-chair Tyler Weld; supping on creative tasties by Kate Baldwin Food; and stepping out to old-timey music by The Leisure Class, with a surprise appearance by actress Lauren Ambrose. An early evening event became a late night out as the sun dipped behind the hills and happy guests found it difficult to leave such a pleasant affair. Elements of the set have been reinstalled at Pittsfield’s Ferrin Gallery for an exhibition called Branching Out, which opens Thursday, May 6.
Berkshire Property Agents co-founders Jen Harvey-Montano & Tim Lovett with Suky Werman of Stonover Farm; CATA executive director Sandy Newman with lawyer Vicki Bonnington.
Rosie & Sadie Chernila, ages five and seven; Ella Shatz with her grandmother Leslie Shatz
Actress Lauren Ambrose, who sang a couple of songs with The Leisure Class, and her husband, photographer Sam Handel, whose work is currently on exhibit at the Lenox restaurant Nudel.
Actress Dana Bledsoe with Patricia Nooy and Eliza Alsop; Sarah Nicholson and Patrice Collé.
Great Barrington antiques dealer Elise Abrams with Meghan & Jeffrey St. John; Geoffrey
Tyler Weld, who was co-chairman of the event, with her husband, Chris Weld of Berkshire Mountain Distillers.
CATA marketing director Liana Toscanini & and CATA dance teacher Dawn Lane; CATA teaching artists Yael Shacham & Lara Gonzalez, who perform as Marafanyi.
Event co-chair Janet Reich Elsbach with Mark & Liz Williams; Pilates & gyrotonic Instructor Donna Rainone with artist Gail Shaw, Nola Humes and daughter Amy Humes.
Pocket Laddie Roger the Jester; Pocket Laddie Eddie Allen.
Kathy & Neil Chrisman, who was chairman of the Jacob’s Pillow board of trustees for fourteen years.