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RI Archives: Parties

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Robin Hood Radio

Alliance for Positive Health

Berkshire Grown

RBC/Sherman Investment

Classical Tents

Parties & Openings

August 22 - W. Stockbridge
Panorama Opens At Six Depot
August 21 - G. Barrington
Makeup, Martinis & Moustaches

August 15 - Monterey
Hats Off To Bidwell House

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Hats Off To The 25th Anniversary Of The Bidwell House

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

Honoree Joyce Scheffey; Kathleen Grasz and Gail Natoli.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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‘Panorama’ Makes For A Real Scene At Six Depot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Berkshire South Shines From The Top Of The Bryant Building

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hudson Library Supporters Raise Money To Raise The New Roof

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Volunteers In Medicine Does Bourbon Street

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Olana: Icebergs in August

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Icberg party boom

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

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

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Two To Tanglewood: The Gala And Business Partners Night

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

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

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

Dyan Goodwin and Dora Lewin, representing Bank of America.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Lindenmaier and Margaret Lindenmaier from Berkshire Country Day School.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Tea Party For Two Hundred Plus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sharon Summer Book Signing: 32 Ways To Meet An Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Clermont Honors Its Friend And Neighbor Joan K. Davidson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guests enjoy the view of the Hudson River.

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

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White Out On Main Street

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BFMC’s Posh Picnic Packs A Punch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Twilight In The Garden At Hollister House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Camille Massey, Lucia Massey and Gillie Holme.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Afternoon Delight At Naumkeag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What A Marvelous Night For A Barn Dance At Pleasant Valley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dish + Dine Brings Ceramics Experts To Ferrin Contemporary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Slideluck Mixes Art And Community At Stonover Farm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Early view of the picnic area from inside the barn.

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

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Hancock Shaker Village Goes Back To Its Roots

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The cast of YOUARENOWHERE, Andrew Schneider and Peter Musante.

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

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

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

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BART Charter School Grows Bigger And Better

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Berkshire Grown Brunchers Talk Food With Ruth Reichl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday in the garden with Berkshire Grown supporters.

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

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A Gilded Age Summer Soiree At Wilderstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Struttin’ With Some Barbecue at The Mount

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rachel Eskin and Emily Wagner; Adam Schwartz and Eloise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Granary

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

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A Toast To Berkshire Museum’s Wine Gala

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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First Columbians Honors Architects

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

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

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

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

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

Louise Kelly, CCHS Trustee Roderic Blackburn and Peter Kelly.

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

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

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Jacob’s Pillow Gala Opening 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kirk Radke, Leslie Nelson and Michael Wainwright.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chamber Music Encounters Another Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Barrington Stage Celebrates Its Possible Dreams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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‘Van Gogh And Nature’ Opens At The Clark

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

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

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

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

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

Julia Conforti, Brian Boucher and Jodi Joseph; Peter Cramer and Jack Waters of Le Petit Versailles.

Noel Gish, Kathy Curren and Susan Conklin; Stephanie Boshart, Amanda Powers and Anne Roecklein of the Clark, with Derek Parker of MASS MoCA.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/14/15 at 01:18 PM • Permalink

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Hillsdale Puts The Community In The Roe Jan Library

Rachel Louchen reports from Hillsdale. The Roeliff Jansen Community Library stands out on Route 22 for its contemporary architecture surrounded by a bucolic landscape. This gorgeous scenery was utilized for its sixth annual gala, Party in the Park on Saturday, June 13, which was held directly across the street in the Harvest Barn. Stacks of books were replaced by hay bales and barn beams, as over 100 guests enjoyed a huge spread of food donated by local restaurants and chefs as they perused the silent auction. Popular items from the diverse auction included lunch with actress Linda Lavin and tickets to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The hotly anticipated gala is an important fundraiser the Library, raising funds for crucial materials and services for the community. It’s evident from looking at the condition of the library and the overwhelming turnout for the gala, that this is a beloved institution to the residents of Hillsdale and surrounding towns. One such dedicated resident, Sally Laing, was honored for her 20-plus years of hard work for the Roe-Jan, having served as everything from volunteer to president of the Board of Trustees. Selecting just one of the hundreds of community supporters for next year’s gala will surely be difficult. Above, chair of the gala committee Roger Mooney with Shirley Bresl.

Honoree Sally Laing, New York State Assemblymember Didi Barrett and Board of Trustees President Pat Placona.

Laurie Shnayerson, Cathy Beneke and Marilyn Herrington, one of the sponsors; Barbara Smith, who helped with the auction. and Cathy Redlich.

Karlis Kirsis of Hillsdale and Mike Laing, son of Sally; Laurel Hoffman, painter Michael Duffy and Matthew McAteer.

Interior designer Timi Bates, who donated her services for the silent auction, Sharon Coleman, who was in charge of raffle tickets, and Marian Henneman—all of whom, coincidentally, live on the same street in Hillsdale.

Supporters and frequent library visitors Anna Winand and Sharyn Landry; Copake residents Tom Goldsworthy and Steve Futrell.

Board of trustees member John Cady with Alanne Baerson, whose husband is also on the board; Sara Kahn-Gearity attended to support her wife who is the board treasurer, here with library supporters Jill and Bill Jellert.

Tim Stookesberry, trustee Cheryl Jones, Lex Lalli and Bill Sullivan.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 06/13/15 at 08:25 PM • Permalink

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Something Pleasant: NRM Welcomes Cartoonist Roz Chast

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. Partygoers flocked to the sold-out spring gala at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Saturday, June 6, which also gave attendees a chance to preview the Museum’s newest exhibit, Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs. The charming illustrator was on hand to give a personal tour of the exhibit, along with its curator, Stephanie Plunkett. The four rooms of work by Chast include her cartoons and covers for The New Yorker (dating from 1978) and the entirety of her award-winning graphic memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, which intimately and humorously details her parents’ last years. Also featured is original artwork from her children’s books, brightly colored handmade rugs depicting her drawings, and a video interview with the illustrator. Chast, who resides in Ridgefield, CT, discussed the ins and outs of working for a major magazine, taking care of her aging parents, and creating books starring her pet bird, Marco. After cocktails on the terrace, guests moved to the tent for dinner, music from The Sister City Jazz Ambassadors and a live auction with Sotheby’s Priyanka Mathew. Show above, Karen and Werner Gundersheimer with the artist, Roz Chast.

Susan Geller with Betsey and Mark Selkowitz; Thomas and Eileen Pulling. Mark Selkowitz and Thomas Pulling are longtime Museum trustees who were honored at the event.

Nancy Kalodner with NRM director and CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt; Anne Morgan, an NRM trustee who was honored at the event, with Catherine Deely and Pamela Deely, in front.

Danile Kelly and Jared Kelly; Margaret Boles Fitzgerald, board chair of the Henry Luce Foundation, a major NRM supporter, and Tom Fitzgerald.

Guests make their way toward the tent for dinner on the Museum’s grounds, whose trees were in full bloom.

Tom Potter, Cindy and Ollie Curme, and Dan Mathieu; Paul Raphael LeBlanc and Lauren LeBlanc.

Steven and Christine DeSimone; Al and Kathleen Jaffe with Barrington Stage Company board president Marita Glodt.

Aine Ungar of the Ungar Foundation with John and Mildred Smith and photographer Hildy Pincus Kronen; Sonya and Deryck Tonge.

NRM’s manager of media services, Jeremy Clowe, and wife Sarah Clowe; Robin Seeley, David Slick and Nancy Kalodner.

The Museum’s Ann Sterlin, Holly Coleman and Lisa Lewis; a hand-made storytelling rug from the exhibit.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/07/15 at 09:53 PM • Permalink

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The Beat Goes On At Berkshire Pulse 10th Anniversary Gala

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. Berkshire Pulse’s tenth anniversary gala celebration on Saturday, June 6 was a triumph in so many ways. The energy, artistry and emotion that beat through the heart of Berkshire Pulse dancers and drummers on the stage at Bard College at Simon’s Rock were evidence that nothing — not a forced move or a flood in its new quarters — can stop this center for the creative arts. Needing no tutus or glittered tap shoes, students of all ages (youngest: 9, oldest: 89) showed the serious work that goes on in the modern, ballet and world dance classes at the company’s new 6,000-square-foot studio space in Housatonic, which officially opened last September. The performance was preceded by a cocktail reception and followed by a buffet, music and, of course, dancing. Above, Founder/Artistic Director Bettina Montano, Associate Director Ruby Aver and Ellen Gorman, a dancer, choreographer, faculty member and marketing staffer.

Ruslan Horblyuk, John Louw and Eric Bjorseth; Andy Reynolds, Pulse’s grant writer, and Amy Humes, a dance parent and member of the gala committee.

Mark Lefenfeld with Richard Malik and actress Tyler Malik, whose daughter studies at Pulse.

Jeff Diamond with Jennifer Connell and Stephan Green of Clark + Green, architects who worked on the new space pro bono; Michele DiSimone, whose children have been going to Pulse since it opened, and Rosalind Mae Reis.

Ellen Gorman, Tom Gorman, a faculty member, and Carrie Petrik-Huff, a student and class assistant; graphic designer and Pulse’s website administrator Dianne Steele and June Doyle, a dance mom.

Dianne Pearlman, president of Pulse’s board of directors, with major donors Weston and Ann Hicks.

Kristin Murphy and Susan Ingersoll of the administrative staff; Brittany Brouker of CATA and Sophia Romeu of the Berkshire International Film Festival.

The girls of Ballet III: Dorree Ndooki, Sonora Malik, Mae Denner-Kenny, Lily McDonald and Juniper Shalles.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/07/15 at 08:48 PM • Permalink

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From Page To Stage With Berkshire Playwright Lab’s Eighth Season

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. The opening night gala for the eighth season of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab (BPL) on Friday, June 5th at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center was a night filled with uproarious live performances and short films by local playwrights featuring local actors. The 90-minute show began with the premiere of a hilarious short, Love, Dad starring Treat Williams as an oblivious father of the bride giving a deeply inappropriate and unwanted toast, which set the tone for the remainder of the night. After the Williams short, filmed on location at Windflower Inn with local extras, the rest of the entertainment for the evening were staged one-acts and equally comic. Highlights included Welcome, Parents with Great Barrington resident Lauren Ambrose as an overly enthusiastic teacher helming her first parent’s night, The Therapist and Happy Hour starring Jay Thomas as a unassuming coworker unwilling put in the middle of office “he said, she said.” Founded by artistic co-directors Jim FrangioneMatthew Penn, and Joe Cacaci (who directed the majority of the one-acts and Love, Dad), BPL is the region’s only theater dedicated to playwrights to develop new plays through productions, workshops and readings. Two staged readings from previous BPL seasons will be full productions this summer; Richard Dresser’s Closure, starring Wendie Malick and Gary Cole at New Jersey Repertory Company and Jane Anderson’s Mother of the Maid at Shakespeare & Company. Following the show, guests and performers gathered next door at Castle Street Cafe for drinks, hors d’oeuvres and jazz music. Audiences can get a peak a new productions to come when the staged reading series begins on June 24th and continues in August. Above, Michael Wolkowitz , co-artistic director Michael Penn, and his wife, Candace Penn.

Love, Dad producer John Whalan of Black Ice Entertainment with star Treat Williams as a perverse father of the bride and his son, Gill Williams who appeared in the short as the dumbfounded groom.

BPL board members Jonathan Hankin and Chris Blair; Darcy Fowler and Dylan Dawson performed as the tititlar characters in Adam and Eve, about the first man and woman discovering life and each other.

Mahaiwe board chair Maggie Buchwald with BPL board chair Stacey Gillis Weber; Robert Bruyr and actor Peter Bergman who had a hilariously memorable scene in Love, Dad as a guest unfairly ridiculed in the toast.

English Hideaway Bed & Breakfast owners Denise Forbes and Trevor Forbes flank co-artistic director Joe Cacaci.

Actress Jess Jacobs, who has performed with BPL in the past, here with Dane Hasse; longtime supporters and contributors Roberta Haas and Steven Haas.

Supporting gala cast members Tracy Foster and Andy Foster ; Berkshire Grown’s Barbara Zheutlin, filmmaker Erica Spizz and John Whalan.

Vince Nappoi and actress Kelley Curran, soon to be appearing in Shakespeare & Company’s production of The Comedy of Errors.

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

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High Fashion At The Factory: The BerkChique! Preview Party

Amy Krzanik reports from Dalton. In the immortal words of David Bowie, “Fashion! Turn to the left. Fashion! Turn to the right. Oooh, fashion!” To the left we had BerkChique! event chair Vicki Bonnington’s hand-curated couture in a wide range of styles, sizes and price points. To the right, was another roomful of reasonably priced men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, bags and belts to pour over. Those who attended the BerkChique! preview party on Friday, June 5 at The Stationery Factory got first dibs on all of the above, plus hors d’oeuvres courtesy of The Red Lion Inn (a founding sponsor), beer and wine from Kelly’s Package Store and goodie bags stuffed with freebies from Blue Q, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Mighty Brittle and Radiance Yoga. The Berkshires’ most popular used clothing sale continued through the weekend, with a portion of sales donated to Community Access to the Arts, IS183 Art School, Shakespeare & Company and WAM Theatre, and unsold items going to local non-profits, including Goodwill Industries and its Berkshire County Suit YourSelf program. Above, fashion guru Vicki Bonnington beautifully reigns over her fashion kingdom.

Veronica Martin and Emily Thomson; Event coordinator Rebecca Weiman with Stationery Factory owners Maria Cruz and Steve Sears.

Alexandra Groff and Ariana Brawley, both of Jacob’s Pillow Dance, with Berkshire Magazine’s Abby Wood; Andrea Stasiowski, Toni Massery and Annie Cole.

Darcie Sosa, Berkshire Creative’s Julia Dixon, one of the fabulous models, Vicki Bonnington, and Berkshire Creative intern Maxwell Dakin.

Carrie Wright of IS183 and Stephanie Gravalese-Wood; Shoes, shoes, shoes—handpicked by Ms. Bonnington, herself.

Just one small section of fabulous fashions at the former Crane stationery factory in Dalton.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/06/15 at 02:24 PM • Permalink

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Happy 200th: The Lenox Library Celebrates Its Building

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. Around 250 people gathered together at the Lenox Library on Saturday, May 30 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the building in which it’s housed. Built in 1815 as the second Berkshire County Courthouse, the building has been home to the Library since 1874. Townspeople have supported the building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, through lengthy restorations and additions to reestablish its original beauty. Saturday’s well-attended celebration doubled as a fundraiser in which 25 local artists created and donated paintings, drawings and photographs of the Library for a silent auction. A commemorative book has collected all of the artists’ renderings, along with a history of the Library building and quotes from patrons, and is available for purchase as a keepsake. Above, Kim Bradway and Jennifer Knopf, the Library’s fundraising events coordinator.

Ken Grinspoon, Selena Morris and Ilse Browner, who runs the Library’s summer book sale which is celebrating its 20th year this August 21 - August 23; Lori Robbins, Anita Heller and Mary Spina, who donated flowers from her garden for the event.

Hillery Maxymillian, Library board member Lisa Nelson, Laura Kittross and Margaret Keller; Maggie Sadoway and Rick Gregg.

Sarah Dotchin, Peter Arment, Tyler Arment, David Dotchin (holding Henry) and Peter Arment, Sr.

Christa and Jeremiah Ames with Marybeth Mitts; Chris Ciolfi and artist Joan Palano Ciolfi, who donated a painting to the auction.

Liz Goodman and Susan Love; Mark and Molly Elliot with Jody and Steve Prunier and Lindsey Schmid of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau.

Guests mingled and snacked from the buffet amid festive decorations.

Another view of the scene in the Library; Cakewalk Bakery and Cafe created a larger-than-life book cake for the event.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/31/15 at 08:33 PM • Permalink

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A Sneak Peek At The Leaf Peepers Concert Series

Lisa Green reports from Hillsdale. It wasn’t just standing room only at the Leaf Peepers fundraising concert on Saturday, May 30. It was a stair sitting, loft leaning and barstool perching audience that packed Richard Collens’ home in Hillsdale for a benefit concert to help fund one of Columbia County’s most beloved concert series (and the county’s oldest classical music organization). Pianist Christopher O’Riley, host of NPR’s “From The Top,” was as articulate and engaging as he is on his radio show, introducing the pieces and the musicians, who included Leaf Peepers Music Director and flutist Eugenia Zukerman, clarinetist Paul Green, cellist Edward Arron and violinist Tessa Lack (a three-time “From the Top” performer).  Above, Eugenia Zukerman, Carl Schuster, who is on WMHT’s board of trustees, and Jeff Daly.

Gabriel Kosakoff, who inspired thousands of students as the long-time music teacher at the LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, Carol Kosakoff and Renee Rota, Tanglewood Business Partners marketing coordinator; Actress and food writer Madhur Jaffrey, regarded by many as the world authority on Indian food, and Deepak Crawford.

Conductor and violinist Joseph Silverstein, Tessa Lark and Richard Collens.

Pianist Christopher O’Riley and clarinetist Paul Green; Gary Delemeester, Matthew Bernstein and Elissa Bernstein.

Sam the dog was on his best behavior at the reception; Ron Tanner and Maureen Gara.

Bathed in brilliant sunlight, the artists capped off the concert with an encore piece by Astor Piazzolla.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/31/15 at 12:13 PM • Permalink

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It Was Almost Nonstop Partying At the 10th Annual BIFF

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. If it seemed like there were more parties than ever at this year’s Berkshire International Film Festival, it may be because there was a decade to celebrate, since the tiny festival that could, did make it to its tenth year. As always, the number of documentaries rivaled those of feature films; panel discussions, short films, filmmaker awards and movies made in or about our region kept attendees busy throughout the weekend. On Thursday, May 28, the first opening under the BIFF tent in Great Barrington began with cocktails and light hors d’eourves catered by Max Ultimate Food, followed by the film MERU and dinner and dancing back under the tent. Above, Mark Dove, Pine Cone Hill creator Annie Selke and BIFF founder Kelley Vickery get the party started.

Besties Cynthia LaPiere and Barbra Gradus; Greg Rhen of HBO Documentary Fillms, Alexandria Bombach, a producer of the documentary “Frame by Frame,” a juried competition film, and Reinaldo Marcus Green, writer and director of the short film “Stop.”

Holly Steinberg, Gun Stanley, Larry Steinberg and Richard Stanley, owner of The Triplex and Beacon cinemas and BIFF board member.

Actor Kale Browne and Triplex/Beacon General Manager John Valente, who is retiring at the end of the month (and who was executive producer of “Another World” when Kale Browne was on the show); Weston Hicks, Ann Hicks and Hunter Runnette.

Marion Gilliam, Roberto Flores of Good Dog Farm, Pat Fili-Krushel, a board member, and Ken Krushel.

David Howard and Patricia Howard; Body & Soul Day Spa proprietor Doone Marshall and Susan Copich, a photographer.

Purely Patricia Fox, an assemblage stylist, Maureen Masters of Magnolia Pictures, builder Howard Chezar and Sarah Adina Smith, writer and director of “The Midnight Swim,” a juried competition film.

and from Pittsfield. Party number two, on Friday, May 29, began with a reception at The Beacon Cinema, followed by Berkshire Bank’s presentation of the 6th annual “Next Great Filmmaker Award,” given to Chris King (for his short film, “Birthday”), and a screening of “The End of the Tour.” But the main feature came after, as attendees twirled through the revolving doors into the first-ever event at the brand new Hotel on North. Guests admired the transformation of the former department store-turned-boutique hotel and restaurant while enjoying the sumptuous spread and drinks by Eat on North and Drink on North. BIFF still had two more days of back-to-back films and activities. Closing night featured the film “LIVE FROM NEW YORK!,” which explores the cultural and historical impact of 40 years of “Saturday Night Live” on American culture, followed by the now-traditional party at Castle Street Café. Above, some of the movers and shakers of BIFF and the hotel: Diane Pearlman, executive director of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative, Barbara Newman,  Brian Butterworth, VP of sales for the Main Street Hospitality Group, David Tierney, owner of Hotel on North, and Nancy Fitzpatrick, Red Lion Inn. 

Alfonso Soares with Sonya Heimann and Ashley Paradise from Seven Salon Spa in Stockbridge; Lisa Newmann, creator of Cookiehead Cookies and Will Schillinger, recording engineer and owner of Pilot Recording Studios in Housatonic.

NYC creative director Andy Clayman and Casey Mott, who came in from Los Angeles to attend BIFF; Susan Burns of Lee and Alyssa Nelson of Pittsfield.

Laurie Tierney and David Tierney, masterminds and owners of Hotel on North, pose in the building’s infamous elevator cage.

Shakespeare and Company’s Elizabeth Aspenlieder and Hope Sullivan, executive director of IS183 Art School of the Berkshires; Chef Brian Alberg, whose culinary responsibilities now include the hotel’s Eat & Drink restaurant along with the Red Lion Inn’s.

Publicist Ellen Lahr and real estate agent Scott Wheeler, a BIFF volunteer; Mike Aronson, new to the Berkshires and experiencing his first BIFF, with his sister, Lisa Newmann.

Lauren Ferin, BIFF’s executive assistant, and Nathan Hanford, an artist who works for Soldier On.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/29/15 at 02:57 PM • Permalink

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CLC Country Barbecue Brings Together Food, People And Land

Lisa Green reports from Schodack Landing, NY. “One farmer feeds you and 154 of your friends each day,” proclaimed a sign at the Columbia Land Conservancy’s 25th annual Country Barbecue. Reason enough to celebrate the CLC’s extensive and innovative work in support of agriculture in Columbia County and surrounding areas. On Sunday, May 24, on the expansive grounds of Dutch Hollow Farm, the event fulfilled part of the organization’s mission to strengthen the connections between people and the land. There were local farms exhibiting (and sampling) their products; sheep-shearing demonstrations, cattle mooing in the barn, and farm tours of the third-generation, 3,000-acre dairy farm on conserved land. And there was food, of course: pulled pork sandwiches, local hot dogs and beef burgers and sides, ingredients courtesy of area farms. Being a fundraising event, there had to be raffle items, but here they included a John Deere pedal tractor and a farm stay glamping weekend at Letterbox Farm. The Columbia Land Conservancy strives to be dynamic force in sustaining a strong and vibrant rural community where agriculture plays a central role in the economy, and judging by the enthusiastic mien of those at the event, the CLC is doing a very good job, indeed. Above, Barbara Reisman, trustee, and Mark Levy, chair of the CLC’s board of trustees.

Peter Paden, executive director of the Columbia Land Conservancy, and Lowell Johnston; Austerlitz residents Sarah Allen and Analisa Allen.

The sunglasses squad: Copywriter Michele Karas, Jennifer Baum, Ber Murphy, a photographer, and Charles Baum.

Carson Glover and Dale Saylor of North Chatham and owners of Hollymount Ltd.; Rick McCarthy, Betsy Jacks, executive director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Jean Hamilton of Flower Blossom Farm in Ghent.

Graphic designer Ellen Lynch with Michele Steckler of Fly Loft Group; Host Committee members Keith Kanaga, Aryn Kanaga and Katherine Kanaga.

Jill Castellano, who owns Kinderhook Wine & Spirits in Valatie and Michael Castellano, principal broker at Gilcrest Properties.

Melissa Skoda and her son Alexander Skoda from Triple Creek Dairy Farms, representing Hudson Valley Fresh, a dairy farmer cooperative; Susan Cathers and David Cathers of Old Chatham.

Dairy princess ambassador and her sidekick; Ralph Hartzell assures the crowd that the yoke is not too heavy for his two-ton oxen.

Alex Volkheimer and Brett Sykes, who is an intern at the Columbia Land Conservancy

Amy Barr, Julie Fenster and Jami Rubin; sheep peeking out of the pen before their turn at the sheep-shearing demonstration.

Host committee members Colton Brown and Natasha Brown; the man of the hour: host Paul Chittenden, owner of Dutch Hollow Farm (and a herd of 1,400 cattle), who was chopping alfalfa until just before the event started.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/25/15 at 11:33 AM • Permalink

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Chesterwood’s Season Opening Celebration

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. Chesterwood held its season opening party and fundraiser on May 23, giving guests the chance to tour sculptor Daniel Chester French’s former studio as well as this year’s Boston Sculptors Gallery site-specific exhibit installed throughout the grounds. Before enjoying dinner catered by Peter Platt of The Old Inn on the Green, supporters were treated to a performance by Berkshire Pulse dancers who, under the tutelage of Tom Masters, performed in the guises of former Chesterwood guests Isadora Duncan, Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis. While last year’s gala celebrated the reopening of French’s diligently rehabbed studio, this year’s festivities will contribute to repairs crucial to the preservation of the main residence. Above, Chesterwood’s director, Donna Hassler, with Tony Knerr and Carole Hyatt.

Susan and Michael Michaud with Suzanne Crerar and David Haust; sculptor-in-residence Roberley Bell with Kimberly Rawson.

Marco Greenberg and Stacey Nelkin; artist Helga S. Orthofer, Nancy Fitzpatrick and Patty Ellis.

Jim Culliton of Allegrone, a gala sponsor, and singer Mary Verdi with Diana and Sorin Fiscu.

Morgan Russell, Margot Stamas and Jeremy Siegel; Dave Cornellier and Katie Soules Cornellier of gala sponsor Stone House Properties.

Berkshire Pulse dancers Katelyn Shannon, Jake Smerechniak and Celeste Harshbarger; Dinner was served in the tent behind the main residence on Chesterwood’s lush grounds.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/25/15 at 09:36 AM • Permalink

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The School Celebrates Its First Anniversary With An El Anatsui Retrospective

Amy Krzanik reports from Kinderhook. Local food trucks, cotton candy, curated cocktails, music, art world scholars and celebs, a photobooth — it sounds like a summertime music festival, and it practically was. As Jack Shainman Gallery: The School marked its first anniversary, guests from near and far flocked to Kinderhook to help the gallerist celebrate and to view the space’s newest exhibition, El Anatsui: Five Decades. A retrospective of the Ghanaian artist’s oeuvre — from small wooden sculptures to large-scale wall and floor pieces comprised of bottle caps, fabric, metal and wood — the exhibit spanned all three floors of the 30,000-square-foot gallery and the individual pieces served as the perfect backdrops for the creative crowd’s group photos and selfies. Outside, large tents provided shade for revelers as they enjoyed cool drinks and snacks from The Flammerie, Cue BBQ, How We Roll, Lekker and others. Happy anniversary, Mr. Shainman, and here’s to many more. Above, Jack Shainman with Jane and Peter Jacobs.

Shainman Gallery intern Amina Smith with Jordan Martin; Julia Elsas and Ellen Elsas.

Art scholar Susan Vogel, who has published a book and directed a film about El Anatsui, and Ken Prewitt; Farmer Mike Kokas, jeweler Gabriella Kiss, designer Peter Superti and Mary Vaughn Williams.

Jia Jia Fei, Antwaun Sargent and Diya Vij; Emma Ramos and Craig Newman.

Chad Farmer, Kayla Wilson (holding Hunter), Kelli Farmer and Jody Samascott pose in front of Adinkra Sasa.

Visitors take in Peak Project, created from tin and copper wire; the sunny scene outside included local food trucks.

Tiled Flower Garden (floor front) was exhibited in the main gallery space, along with Stressed World (wall left) and Blema (wall, right).

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/18/15 at 02:39 PM • Permalink

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Ready, Willing And Able: CATA Parties And Performs

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. Community Access to the Arts (CATA), much like the world in general, doesn’t need you to be perfect, it just needs you to participate. Newcomers learn quickly that audiences who attend CATA’s annual performances aren’t shy about their participation, either. The crowd of supporters at Saturday evening’s gala at Shakespeare & Company openly shared the joy beaming off of the performers, and they were more than ready to clap along to the music, cheer for the “contestants” and shout out answers when asked to finish quotes from Shakespeare. Ready, Willing & Able, this year’s performance theme, was exhibited through song, dance, juggling, drama and stand-up comedy. An after-party included cocktails from Berkshire Mountain Distillers, dinner by Firefly, dancing to music from JTD Productions and tent projections by Joe Wheaton. Above, CATA executive director Margaret Keller is flanked by Howard and Shirley Shapiro.

Billy Himmelrich, CATA board president John Whalan, and gala co-chair Dave Hosokawa; Roger Manring, gala committee member Elaine Silberstein and artist Sue Connell.

Jeff Diamond, Diane Pearlman and filmmaker Ben Hillman; Trisha Killeen, gala committee member Robin Ban and board member Maria Cleary.

Gala committee member Reggie Cooper, Madeline Phelps and David Phelps; Gwendolyn VanSant with MA State Representative Smitty Pignatelli.

Pittsfield Community Connection’s Adam Hinds and Jessika Trancik; gala committee member Mitch Nash with Vicki Bonnington and David Schecker.

Steffen Hyder, Marie-Louise McHugh, board member Ron Gallagher and Katharine Millonzi.

Gala committee member Janet Elsbach with Howard Lieberman and Carolyn Lieberman; CATA board member Liz Williams with Michael Wainwright and gala co-chair Bev Hosokawa.

CATA volunteers Sandy Van and Linda Russell flank CATA studio manager Anamyn Turowski; board member Ben Silberstein, Jonathan Swartz and board member Matt Mandel.

Kate Whalan, board president John Whalan, Johnathan McFarland and Joe Cacaci; Josie Lane, Linda Febles and Jerry Burke.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/18/15 at 12:58 PM • Permalink

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The Horticultural Event Of The Season Celebrates Its 15th Year

Rachel Louchen reports from Sharon. From the moment you pull onto Hosier Road in Sharon and join the hundreds of cars packing the field across from Lion Rock Farm, you know you’re in the right place at the right time. The reason for this large gathering? Trade Secrets. Now in its 15th year, the famous rare plants and antique show brings interior and exterior decorators, landscape designers, gardeners and those with a “good eye” from all over the east coast. Nearly 50 vendors spread out at generous host Elaine LaRoche’s farm for the two-day garden event that raises money for  Women’s Support Services (WSS) of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut, which provide free aid to women who have been on the receiving end of violence from someone they know. It’s a can’t miss weekend for many of the attendees, most notable of whom was the affable Martha Stewart. Many have been attending since the very first Trade Secrets in 2000. Above, Anne Fredericks and Patty Fili-Krushel.

Lee Buttala, Lindsey Taylor and gardener Tony Bielaczyc.

The one and only Martha Stewart; Molly and Christopher DeOrsay of Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Pergola Home’s Sarah Handelman, owner David Whitman, and Cliff Kye.

Volunteers Annika Elwell of Cornwall and Sophia Marcus from Amenia helped guests transfer their very large plant purchases; Mary Ann Tucker and Dana Gould from Greenwich.

Robyn Bartomioli, Jackie Osnato and Noreen Driscoll of Sweethaven Farm in Salisbury.

Hammertown proprietor Joan Osofsky stands in front of her tent wth Carol Kalikow; Passports’ Jennifer McCarthy and Chris Baetz.

Anne Milliken and Seth Milliken of Salisbury always attend Trade Secrets, with Eliza Milliken and Zack Sadow.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 05/16/15 at 08:55 PM • Permalink

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Construct’s MayFest Honors Ernest Schnesel

Amy Krzanik reports from Great Barrington. Guests spilled out of the packed Wyantenuck Country Club and onto the front veranda on Monday, May 11 as Construct’s annual MayFest fundraising gala honored the memory of longtime supporter Ernest Schnesel. The evening’s theme, “The House That Ernie Built,” represents Construct’s strategy for housing all members of the community. Ernest and his wife, Anne, were the lead underwriters for “Warm Up the Winter,” a benefit concert to help community members with winter heating costs, as well as many other of the non-profit’s initiatives over the 32 years the couple has lived in the area. The balmy evening’s gala attendees had their choice of food, drink and dessert from 25 area purveyors, including Prairie Whale, Castle Street Café, Aroma, Catherine’s Chocolates, Glass Bottom Brewery and many others. Funds from the gala go to support Construct’s work in the community. Above, Gala co-chair Nick Arienti with Fran Arienti.

Author Stefanie Samek, musician Richard Waldburger and author Gayle Moskowitz; April Burch, Buzzie McGraw and Dan Alden.

Steve Mack and freelance stylist Elaine Mack with Howard Chezar and Purely Patricia; Catherine Shearn Chester and Matthew Chester.

The Schnesel Family, with honorary chairperson Anne Schnesel in blue jacket third from right, gathered together for a family photo.

Doone Marshall, Lori Rose and Sheila Thunfors; Patricia Elsbach with Luiza Trabka and Ananda Timpane of the Railroad Street Youth Project.

Pleasant & Main served up crepes for the guests; Wyantenuck’s main building was packed with supporters.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/11/15 at 11:49 PM • Permalink

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Sandisfield Gala Celebrates ‘An Extraordinary Community’

Lisa Green reports from Sandisfield. The auction action at the second annual Sandisfield Arts Center spring dinner and benefit on Saturday, May 9 proved that, if nothing else, the Sandisfield community is a tight-knit and supportive one. When State Representative. Smitty Pignatelli was unable to make his auctioneering commitment, Mary Anne Grammer and Ben Luxon stepped up to do the honors. When they occasionally missed a guest’s bid during the raucous activity, others called it out so the arts center would gain as much financial support as possible. When a bidding war ensued over a service or sponsorship, the bidders agreed among themselves that they both would contribute and share the winnings.  “This is an extraordinary little community,” said the stentorian-voiced Luxon. In a twist on the old silent auction, the gala committee decided to offer a pop-up shop prior to the dinner (catered by Chef Adam Manacher) selling items such as books by local authors, ceramics and jewelry by local artists and even an apple cake, all proceeds going to benefit programs and events at this small-but mighty hidden community gem.  Above, Alice Boyd, past president now running for Sandisfield Board of Selectmen, and current president Marcella Smith.

Liana Toscanini manages the pop-up shop during the cocktail reception; June Wink, an internationally known potter, in front of her work for sale.

Susie Crofut, former co-president of the arts center, and Mary Anne Grammer, who coordinated the auction.

Patrick Barrett, a town selectman and Ellen Croibier; Paul Van Sickle and Jim Barrett.

Sandy Parisky with Sheila Liberman of Boston and Tolland; Chapin Fish of Wm. Brockman Real Estate and Kevin Fish, co-owners of Farm & Home in Great Barrington.

Jewelry designer Margo Morrison and caterer Patricia Hubbard, who made the flourless chocolate cake for dessert.

Mary Anne Grammer and famed baritone and actor Benjamin Luxon entreat the guests to bid in an entertaining auction; The circa 1892 Sandisfield Arts Center building tucked away in the woods.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/10/15 at 11:49 AM • Permalink

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Night Of 1,000 Tulips And Guests for GBRSS

Rachel Louchen reports from Lenox. After years of requests from parents to have a big fundraising event like many other schools in the region, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School held its first annual spring gala on Saturday, May 9. Dubbed Tulipalooza, those flowers (donated by Ariella Chezar) and more greeted guests as they walked to the hay barn at Stonover Farm, which was outfitted with chandeliers spotlighting an impressive spread catered by Marianna Morrison. Local band Quiet In The Head performed as guests arrived and enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while they perused the auction goods which included a big hot ticket item — a week stay in Barcelona. Dancing closed the evening with music by DJ Tayo Kaufman. Support for the new event, which raised money to benefit school programs, was predominately parents, with faculty and some alumni, but they all added up to a sizable crowd, making a second spring gala a guarantee. Above, Tom Sternal, vice president of the school’s board and Jenna Lamond, development and event coordinator.

Nursery teacher Jo Valens and kindergarden teacher Laura Lin; First grade teacher Pamela Giles and music teacher Sigrid Mitchell.

Steiner parents Mike Bissaillon and Gary Casarsa; Great Barrington resident Amy Humes and Christina Casarsa.

Kari Harendorf, Kirstin Morgan, Jessica Oakley, Anne Novick and David Logan, all of whom have children at the Steiner School.

Shiva and Bob Lucido; therapist Seth Morrison and third-grade teacher Rebecca Morrison.

Iovan and Chrissy DeRis; Honey Sharp with her husband, David Lippman, whose mother, Betty Krainis, founded the school in 1971.

Austin Banach with first grade teacher Veronica Horowitz; Faculty administrator Michael Junkins and farm and garden teacher Hadley Milliken.

Fifth grade teacher Victoria Cartier, parent Hanna Bail and parent/alumni Christopher Lee.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 05/09/15 at 10:34 PM • Permalink

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Wilderstein Fundraiser Spotlights Roosevelt PBS Documentary

Rhinebeck, NY The Ken Burns documentaries on PBS are universally admired, and an event related to his recent production, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, drew a sold-out crowd at a fundraiser for Wilderstein Historic Site. On Saturday, May 2, Geoffrey C. Ward, bestselling author and writer of the Roosevelt documentary, discussed the film in Rhinebeck at a special screening event at Upstate Films. The screening highlighted clips from the seven-part, 14-hour documentary that features Wilderstein, the family home of Margaret (Daisy) Suckley. She was a sixth cousin, close friend and confidante of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a frequent guest at the White House. Her collection of letters exchanged between FDR and extensive diaries are one of the best surviving records for understanding the private side of Roosevelt’s life during this period. The Emmy Award-winning Ward is the author of three books about FDR – Before the Trumpet, Closest Companion, and A First-Class Temperament.  He is also the co-writer with Ken Burns of The War, The Civil War, Jazz, and Baseball. A luncheon at the Beekman Arms was a lovely finale to the event.  Above: Florentine Films Associate Producer and Editor Daniel White and Producer Pam Baucom, Wilderstein Executive Director Greg Sokaris and Geoffrey Ward (seated).

Valerie Dampeer, events committee member, Brian Lange, president of Wilderstein Historic Site, and Greg Sokaris, executive director; Donna Warner has her book signed by Ward.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/04/15 at 01:03 PM • Permalink

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Both Sides Now: ‘River Crossings’ Spans The Hudson

Amy Krzanik reports from Hudson and Catskill. The weather gave its vote of support to the marriage of contemporary art and historic properties on Saturday, May 2 as Frederic Church’s Olana and Thomas Cole’s Cedar Grove opened their River Crossings exhibit at a special preview party for members of the two sites. The 28 artists featured in the exhibition, including Romare Bearden, Chuck Close, Gregory Crewdson, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith and others, run the gamut from painters and sculptors to photographers and multimedia installation artists. A short trip across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge from each other, these two homes of famous Hudson River School painters each have inspiring views, but are crowned by very different styles of home. Cole’s house, a Federal-style built in 1815, features warm, mostly pale yellow rooms that are the perfect foil to the exuberant art currently hung there. Church’s home mixes Victorian architecture and Middle-Eastern accents to create a dramatic backdrop for its art pieces. The show, River Crossings: Contemporary Art Comes Home is up until November 1. Above, Olana board chair David Redden and exhibition co-curators Jason Rosenfeld and Stephen Hannock pose in front of Maya Lin’s work.

Jonathan Lerner, Peter Frank, NY State Assemblymember Didi Barrett and David Barrett; David Voorhees, director of the Jacob Leisler Papers Project and Timothy O’Connor, director of the Ashbery Resource Center at Bard College.

Kianga and Peter Daverington; Sculptor Don Gummer, who has work in the show, with Olana curators Evelyn Trebilcock and Mark Prezorski, and Donna Hassler.

Hudson enjoyed bright sunshine and blue skies on opening day.

Daniel Rothbart, Francine Hunter McGivern, artist Parker Shipp and John Rosenthal; Olana tour guide Chris Dillon with Ed Sanderson.

Serena Rattazzi with Clermont board member Patricia Falk; Gary Delemeester, Donna Hassler and Jeff Daly.