Parties & Openings
February 22 - Pittsfield
BIFF Academy Awards
February 19 - Pittsfield
10x10 Real Art Party
February 14 - Pittsfield
Fantastic February Frolic
The Chattering Class Communes at Berkshire WordFest
It’s hard to remember that The Mount was facing the possibility of a bank foreclosure a little more than two years ago (“The Age of Innocence Is Over,” RI, February 27, 2008.) Under the leadership of executive director Susan Wissler and board chairman Gordon Travers, Edith Wharton’s Estate & Gardens have been transformed into a hotbed of contemporary arts and letters. Last weekend, The Mount staged the first Berkshire WordFest with panels, readings and discussions featuring esteemed authors such as Garrison Keillor (left with Susan Wissler), Francine Prose, Tad Friend, Amanda Hesser, Dani Shapiro, Ruth Reichl, Frank Delaney and Susan Orlean among others. It was an auspicious debut for a festival that aspires to be for writing (and reading) what Tanglewood is to music and Jacob’s Pillow is to dance.
Jacob’s Pillow trustee Hunter Runnette with Tad Friend, author of Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor; Husband-and-wife writers Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, and John Gillespie, author of Money for Nothing.
Husband-and-wife writers Frank Delaney, author of Ireland, A Novel, and Diane Meier, author of The Season of Second Chances.
Hans Morris, the vice chairman of MASS MoCA, with his wife, Kate Morris; Mount board member John Gamberoni and Seth Hoffman.
Dear Money author Martha McPhee with poet Mark Svengold and Devotion author Dani Shapiro.
Bostonian Jim Bride and Sarah Hunter Hudson, chief development officer at The Mount; Audrey Manring, who organized the festival, with Rodger & Barbara Manring.
New Yorker staff writer Judith Thurman with Rhonda Sherman, who organizes The New Yorker Festival; Sally Begley with David Lamb, president of Vantage Press.
Lenox Bookstore proprietor Matt Tannenbaum with Rebecca Morgan Frank, editor in chief of Memorious: A Journal of New Verse and Fiction, and poet Leslie Harrison.