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Thursday, July 27, 2017
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RI Archives: Parties

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Parties & Openings

July 23 – Lenox
BFMC's Posh Picnic

July 22 – Hudson
Olana Summer Gala

July 22 – Red Hook
Bard's SummerScape Gala

BFMC’s Posh Picnic Honors Carl Sprague

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative (BFMC)‘s 4th annual Posh Picnic, held on Sunday, July 23 on the lawn at Tanglewood, honored a local resident whose work has been seen worldwide in feature films such as The Royal Tenenbaums, Twelve Years a Slave and La La Land. Production designer and art director Carl Sprague [shown left with his wife, artist Susan Merrill] is used to working behind the scenes, but was the center of attention as BFMC’s Diane Pearlman and Laura Gratz read statements from Wes Anderson, Gregory Crewdson and a few of Sprague’s other famous local friends, as well as a citation from the Mass. House of Representatives. New this year, a screenwriting contest judged by experts from the area — including Jayne Atkinson, Maria Nation and contest organizer Stephen Glantz — saw three finalists awarded cash prizes. Guests were treated to sandwiches, salads, fruits, veggies and cheeses from Tanglewood catering, along with a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar, before the festivities wrapped up with a Boston Symphony Orchestra concert in the Shed. BFMC is a non-profit that serves as an economic engine for the film and media industry in western Massachusetts by creating educational, workforce and production opportunities in the area.

Dawn Creighton, Olivia Saxer and first-prize winner Victoria Lucia; Laura Gratz and Diane Pearlman.

Actor Wendy Farley and radio show host Patricia Baker; finalist Andrew Rinkavage and Jude Rojas.

Fred and Sally Harris of Saint James Place flank Tjasa Sprague, Carl Sprague’s mother; Freda Grim and Dan Courchaine, friends of Carl.

Liana Toscanini, filmmaker Holly Hardman and director Cynthia Wade.

BFMC board member Lorraine McNulty-Strassler, Michael Thomas, Elizabeth Levy and Alan Strassler; finalist Seth Newton and Megan Newton.

Event organizer Nanci McConnell with event designer Holly Hunter of Joyce Event Design; Ruslan Sprague, Eva Sheridan and Kat Whitney.

John Whalan of BFMC’s advisory committee, with chair of the board Bill Beautyman, and Kate Gleason; Raf Anzovin, Deirdre Corcoran Foote and Ray Foote.

Honoree Carl Sprague addresses the crowd.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/24/17 at 10:54 PM • Permalink

Billy Porter Shakes Up Bard’s SummerScape Gala

Amy Krzanik reports from Annandale-on-Hudson. Twinkling lights, lush foliage, green lawns that seemingly go on forever, magical Hudson River views, a mansion in the background: it’s easy to see why Bard College held its SummerScape Gala on the fairy tale-esque grounds of Montgomery Place for the second year in a row. On Saturday evening, July 22, the 19th century estate, which is now part of the Bard campus, played host to around 300 supporters of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Cocktails were created by James Beard Award-winning mixologist Leo Robitschek; dinner was prepared, using locally sourced ingredients, by Chef Ira Lee and Brenda Black of Twisted Soul in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. And what would a fundraiser for a performing arts center be without a performance? This year’s gala featured a one-night-only set by Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor and singer Billy Porter, a.k.a. “Lola” from Broadway’s Kinky Boots. This year’s gala concluded with an after-party at the Spiegeltent hosted by nightclub impresario Susanne Bartsch. Pop-up performers included Joey Arias, Amanda Lepore, and many other fabulous faces. [At left, gala co-chairs Carolyn Marks Blackwood and Gregory Quinn.]

Filmmaker Lacey Schwartz Delgado with actors Jeremy Davidson and Mary Stuart Masterson of Storyhorse Documentary Theater; The Fisher Center’s senior producer Caleb Hammons and Justin Vivian Bond, an artist and performer who also hosts each year’s Spiegeltent Cabaret.

Fisher Center board member Felicitas Thorne with Bard supporters Christopher Scholz, Merida Welles and Ines Elskop; Elizabeth Spinzia, supervisor of the town of Rhinebeck and an ‘84 Bard alum, with Amy Husten, managing director of Montgomery Place.

Chris and Carol Gorczynski and Effie and Joshua Strauss take in the Hudson River views from the back portico.

Jamie Albright and Steven Hart flank Bob Bursey, executive director of The Fisher Center; Mette and Ira Coleman pose with singer Lisa Fischer.

Nancy Donovan, Amy Sneider and Steve Mandel of Aspire Design & Home magazine; Joe Vaccarino and Alison Vaccarino with Bard professors Tanya Marcuse (photography) and James Romm (classics).

Manny Urquiza, Adam Porter-Smith, Helen and Paul Taylor, and Frank McConville.

Tim McKelvey with attorney Mitchell Klein; Nejla Liias, Tricia Reed, Dwayne Resnick and Brian Walker.

Gabriel and Gina Stulman with Bruno Vergeynst and Ruben Perez; Meg Hartigan, Eunice Irby, Mark McIntyre and Howard Irby.

Billy Porter reenergized the post-cocktail-hour crowd.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/24/17 at 04:31 PM • Permalink

Olana Celebrates A Half Century As A Public Work Of Art

Lisa Green reports from Hudson. Fifty years ago, Olana State Historic Site opened as a public work of art, so this year’s summer party at the historic site on Saturday, July 22 honored 1967 in food, music and, among some of the guests, wardrobe. During the host committee reception, attendees also paid tribute to Maria B. Livingston, Frederic Church’s great-granddaughter and Dick Slavin, Olana’s first historic site manager, who were instrumental in transitioning Olana from private to public ownership. The main cocktail event followed, and in the tent outside of the main house, the spirit of 1967 reigned, as area restaurants and spirits makers provided hors d’oeuvres, wine and cocktails, and DJ Javier Peral spun tunes from the decade. Outside, a photo booth set within a vintage VW bus memorialized the event for many. And even though the evening was a bit drizzly and cloudy, the focus was on the view, which, in any weather condition, is breathtaking and timeless. [Above, Mark Prezorski, Olana’s, senior vice -president and creative director, Kristin Gamble, chair of Scenic Hudson‘s board of directors, Kimberly Flook, historic site manager, and Owen Davidson.]

Victoria Anstead with Pamela Salisbury, executive assistant to the president of Olana; Realtor Peggy Lampman and Paul Cassidy of the Shaker Museum|Mount Lebanon.

Olana president Sean Sawyer introduces Isabel Livingston, who tells the story of how her mother, Maria B. Livingston, met her husband on the grounds of Olana when she was 16.

Renee Ortega and Brian Dykeman, co-owners of Governor’s Tavern in Hudson, provided guests with their special Flower Power Punch; Danielle Oliva and Shelby Johnson, who are teachers in Poughkeepsie.

Hailing from Kingston are Jess Edelman, a licensed massage therapist at Birch Body Care, Peter Martin of Luminary Media, an event sponsor, and Lindita Dushaj, an esthetician and massage therapist; Hosts Christine Jones, a trustee, and Christabel Gough.

The host committee reception preceded the main cocktail event and offered a prime spot to view Olana’s viewshed.

Susan Livingston with her daughters Cornelia Livingston and Julia Livingston (Frederic Church’s great, great, great graddaughters) and friend Margot Becker, a fiber artist; Barry Harwood, who is on the national advisory committee, and psychotherapist Joseph Garry.

Danielle Michielini, Michael Michielini, Pat Scalera and Charles Millar of Janney Montgomery Scott, an event sponsor; Chris Centracchi of Photobooth Planet with his 60s-inspired Photobus.

Hannah Anderson and Seth Anderson with psychoanalysts and oil painters Mary Sussillo and Elliot Zeisel from Hillsdale.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/23/17 at 12:15 PM • Permalink

The Sylvia Center Celebrates 10 Farm-To-Table Years

Lisa Green reports from Kinderhook. Attendees of the annual farm-to-table dinner in the fields of Katchkie Farm always know there will be a tsunami of new, wonderfully unique foods served at the event that benefits The Sylvia Center’s programs for children in Columbia County. On Saturday, July 15, around 300 guests celebrated The Sylvia Center’s 10th anniversary with hors d’oeuvres that included smoked trout zucchini cups and forest mushroom mousse cornets; table “snacks” such as yellow beet hummus and fermented grape leaves with goat cheese; and a dinner buffet including leg of lamb, wild hives and spelt berry salad, and spinach and roast garlic pomme puree. And while the food (prepared and served by Great Performances, owned by The Sylvia Center’s and farm’s Liz Neumark) may have been the most interactive part of the evening, the mission of The Sylvia Center — to engage Columbia County’s youth in every step of the story of food from seed to plate — was front and center. Girls in the program charmed guests into smelling and tasting herbs from the teaching garden; within minutes, donations offered met the auction goal of $30,000; and the field that supplies produce for the program spread out before the tented tables in all its glory. [Above, New York State Representative Didi Barrett presents founder Liz Neumark with a citation in appreciation of The Sylvia Center’s decade of service.]

Madeleine Fischer, program coordinator, and Kristen Jovanelly, garden educator and manager, with Joey Ramos, a pulmonary and critical care physician; Elvira Tapler, Michael Tapler and Judy Fishman, a dinner co-chair.

Krystle Watler, who finds The Sylvia Center to be a “meaingful program,” and Ronald Davis, attend their second farm-to-table event.

Despina Leandrou, Michael Laudati and Geoffrey Firth; Mitchell Khosrova and Elaine Khosrova with dinner co-chairs Tanu Kumar and Jacob Israelow.

Joey Ramos, Howard Pulchin of APCO Worldwide and a new board member, and board member and dinner co-chair Debbie Gardner.

Students of The Sylvia Center show their berry-picking skills to a guest; Brandon Grossof FOODMatch, a supporter of The Sylvia Center, and Laura Gross.

Interior designer Amie Weitzman, a sponsor, and Betsy Jacobs, a dinner co-chair.

Nico Miller, board members Dodi Meyer and Chaim Wachsberger, and Fred Buell; board member Courtney Archer and Minkie English.

Gail Cannold, Charles Biblowit, Julie Biblowit, Michael Biblowit, Robert Siegel and Corinne Epstein.

Kyle Schanzer and Lucy Schanzer, an artist, who live in Brooklyn; mother-daughter attendees Leigh Ollman and Joanne Ollman, who have a home in Ghent.

Epitome of pastoral: a field at Katchkie Farm.

Dinner committee members and Chatham homeowners Bill Schreiber and Dara Schreiber; a dinner scene at sundown.

David Adler, Liz Neumark, Max Gomez and Wendy Dessy.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/17/17 at 02:19 PM • Permalink

The Berkshire HorseWorks Derby Wins The Blue Ribbon

Amy Krzanik reports from Richmond. Hats off to the folks who planned a fun summer gala where, as you can see below, most guests had their hats on. Berkshire HorseWorks, located at the Berkshire Equestrian Center, threw a fundraising derby-themed shindig on Saturday, July 15, complete with mint juleps, cucumber dill tea sandwiches, chocolate pecan pie and other Kentucky-fried favorites. Only In My Dreams Events, Soma Catering and music duo Hotshot Hillbillies helped to pull it off. Funds raised in a fast-paced live auction will go to fund the nonprofit’s equine-assisted psychotherapy and life skill development programs for those facing mental health and behavioral challenges. Some of the more than 400 Berkshire County neighbors HorseWorks has helped in its 3-plus years of existence include veterans, those on the autism spectrum, soon-to-be-released inmates, young girls recovering from trauma, and many others. [Above, a peek into the barn where dinner was served.]

Liana Toscanini of Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires and Barbara Schulman of Berkshire Property Agents; Berkshire HorseWorks founder Hayley Sumner with Alex Hodge, Isabelle Hodge and Carole Schulze.

Board member Barbara Newman, Kathleen Triem, Cindy and Jeff Caminiti and Peter Franck; Richard Wise and Rebekah Wise.

Jason Cuyler, Chelsey Ciolkowski, Cynthia Segui and Mark Massaro.

Jan Healey, Emily Mure and floral designer Evelyn Garstang; Mike Zippel and Oskar Hallig of Only In My Dreams Events flank the auction’s “Vanna White,” Aaron Johnson.

Barbara Schulman, Carrie Herrington and Keira Ritter; Mark Farrell and Terri See, creator of Mighty No Bitey.

Guests were invited to create, or add plumage to, their sun hats; table settings included fresh flower bouquets, blue ribbons and toy horses.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/17/17 at 09:48 AM • Permalink

WAM Benefits Soldier On Women’s Program Under The Stars

Rachel Louchen reports from Richmond. Despite a stormy sky, WAM Theatre’s benefit cocktail party, Stars In The Orchard, was a successful (and sold out) event that not only served as a major fundraiser for the organization but provided a sneak peek of WAM’s upcoming fall production. Held again at Hilltop Orchards on Wednesday, July 12, the event featured wine made on-site by Furnace Brook Winery, live music, and silent and paddle auctions to help fund WAM events and education, especially Girls Ensemble, who performed an excerpt from their original piece, What’s That Sound? Since its inception, WAM Theatre has donated more than $30,000 to 11 nonprofit organizations. This year’s beneficiary, the Solider On Women’s Program, which provides services to female veterans, will receive 25 percent of the box office proceeds from The Last Wife, premiering this October at Shakespeare & Company. [Above, WAM executive director Kristen van Ginhoven, Wendy Healey, senior vice president at Lee Bank, and Kelly Galvin, director of The Last Wife.]

Rick Bowers, Kim Stauffer, who starred in WAM’s production of Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight this past spring, and Lia Russell-Self, associate producer.

Mary Jo Carpenter, Adriana Brown and Martin and Truus van Ginhoven, parents of Kristen; Volunteer coordinator Dawn Martin and Linda Gillespie.

Maggie Mitts, an intern at Chesterwood and Marybeth Mitts of Williams College; Sarah McNair and Randal Fippinger, producing director at ‘62 Center for Theatre & Dance.

Philanthropy and outreach coordinator Gwendolyn Tunnicliffe, Arwen Lowbridge, and Dorothy Mack.

Event coordinator Oskar Hallig and Meghan McGrath; Arthur and Millicent Blum.

Board member Victoria May and Nick Webb, founding board president; Tina Bartini of Lee Bank and Cathy Terwedow.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/12/17 at 07:40 PM • Permalink

Supporters Are The First To Meet “The Founders Of Kent”

Lisa Green reports from Kent. “In the early 1700s, the northwest corner of the colony of Connecticut was often described as a ‘howling wilderness,’” one learns on a tour of the Seven Hearths Museum in Kent, Conn. The building was built in 1751 by one of the early founders of Kent, and on Saturday, July 8, the Kent Historical Society’s most generous members and supporters attended a preview party for the new exhibit, “The Founders of Kent: Starting from Scratch on the Connecticut Frontier.” The history is fascinating and complex and almost bursts out of the walls of the colonial house that served as fur trading post, general store, inn, and, finally, the private residence of artist George Laurence Nelson (whose stunning paintings hang in the museum). “There’s a lot of reading to be done in this exhibit” among the artifacts, sloping stairways and period furniture, said KHS’s curator Marge Smith. But anyone who’s interested in the how and why of the earliest settlers of northwest Connecticut will find it a thought-provoking and worthwhile visit. The exhibit runs on weekends through the end of October. [Above: Mike Everett, KHS board president with board member Deb Chabrian and Ed Martinez greet guests at the cocktail reception.]

Bruce Whipple, treasurer of the board of the historical society and board member Roger Gonzales; Melissa Cherniske, secretary of the board, and Carol Franken.

Brian Thomas, executive director of the Kent Historical Society, in front of the Seven Hearths Museum.

Mark Peterson, a carpenter who worked on the restoration of the Seven Hearths building, and Heather Blue Forstmann, who is secretary of the board of the Warren Historical Society; KHS members Ruth O’Meara and Karina O’Meara.

Jeffrey Morgan, Tom Sebring and John Favreau.

Curator Marge Smith explains a bit of Kent history to Guy Peterson; A family tree shows that many of the founding families’ descendants still live in town.

Curator Marge Smith stands in the room that was recently discovered to have been a fur trading post.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/09/17 at 09:25 AM • Permalink

The Way They Were In World War I, On View At Wilderstein

Rachel Louchen reports from Rhinebeck. The theme of Wilderstein Historic Site’s summer celebration this year was World War I, a global event that the historic Gilded Age mansion was not only around for, but survived, as did the family who lived there. On Saturday, July 8, the former home of the Suckley family — and famous daughter Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, a cousin of Franklin D. Roosevelt — held its annual benefit fundraiser on the grounds of the stunning mansion with sweeping, long-range views of the Hudson River. The theme tied in with a special exhibition that showcases the war through the eyes of the Suckley family, who were directly affected by it: they lost their eldest son Henry when he was volunteering as an ambulance driver in Albania, another brother served in France with the Red Cross, and Daisy herself served as a nurse’s aide. Photographs, diaries, medals and uniforms give a glimpse of what life was like in 1917. More than 225 people attended the benefit for the beloved institution, which is maintained thanks to generous contributors and a dedicated staff and volunteers. Music, cocktails, picnic fare and a large silent auction are staples of the party, but this year also included some contemporary art. Large outdoor sculptures created by Hudson Valley artists were scattered throughout the lawn, set against the backdrop of Wilderstein’s 1852 facade. The exhibit is on display until Oct. 29. [Above, Liz Hambley Wilson, the closest living relative of Daisy Suckley, John Wilson, and Executive Director Greg Sokaris.]

John and Kathy Iaccino pose in front of their classic 1911 Ford Model T with Steven and Ellen Hubbert.

Gary Moyle and Wilderstein board president Lyell Dampeer; Tory McKenzie, Brooke Stevens, and board member Caroline Carey.

Chelsea Streifeneder owner of Body Be Well Pilates and Steven Rikert, owner of Rikert’s Autobody in Rhinebeck; Huck Hill, owner/broker of H.H. Hill Realty Services, Mickey Haggerty and Suzanne Kelly.

Roger Tully, Cathy Johnson-Tully, Sharon Coughlan, Jim Coughlan and Alyson Kogon.

Loretta Higgins and Diane Eynon; artist Rowan Willigan and Kurt Schmidlein.

Linda and Joseph Greene scored the best seat on the lawn; Annie Marvin, John Marvin, and Mary Casey.

Dana Page with husband, Darin, dressed to the Gilded Age nines; Richard Kortright and Jerry Bereika.

Claudia Rosti, volunteer Donna Warren and host committee member Sally Hallenbeck.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/08/17 at 08:54 PM • Permalink