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Monday, September 26, 2016
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Parties & Openings

Sept. 17 - Stockbridge
Blue Rider Stables Gala

Sept. 16 - North Adams
MASS MoCA Building Tour

Sept. 15 - Lenox
Celebrate The Berkshires

A Colorful Place: Blue Rider Stables At 25

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. There was plenty of laughter at Chesterwood on Saturday evening, Sept. 17, but also tears as those whose lives were changed for the better by Blue Rider Stables told their stories. Children and adults of all ages and abilities have been positively impacted by the non-profit organization, which is based in South Egremont, Mass. and strives to offer a therapeutic experience for both horses and riders. For its 25th anniversary, the Stables threw its first-ever gala, “A Horse of a Different Color,” to mark the occasion and to raise funds for its holistic horse care and for student scholarships. The Picky B’s performed for the crowd of supporters while they shopped the silent auction, enjoyed a buffet dinner, and were treated to dessert from Chocolate Springs. Read RI’s Fitness from the Field article about the bodywork class at Blue Rider. [Shown above: Blue Rider volunteer Ali Winston with co-founder and executive director Christine Sierau and Harry Conklin.

Charles Massimo and Peter Anastasian of gala underwriter CJM Wealth Managment flank Tracy Fernbacher; barn manager Anna Seagull, Blue Rider board chair Michael Fernbacher, board member Laurie Lindner and riding instructor Rachel Tarnauskas.

Kirstin Morgan and Lisa Reynolds, who is involved with the Stables and works at Chesterwood; Sara Jarvie, Cate Crowley, who spoke at the gala about attending veterinary school because of her experiences as a Blue Rider student and volunteer, and Molly Drennan.

Margaret Lundin, Deb Koffman and Jeanne Bassis.

Robert Hoechster, Marjori Bergman and Erica Mielke; Eliot Stier and Avia Stanton.

Blue Rider’s operations manager Stephanie Bergman with its outreach coordinator Robin Parow; Deirdre Ypma, Jon Caplan and Arwinder Bindra are the stable’s supporters as well as its neighbors.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/19/16 at 02:02 PM • Permalink

1Berkshire Celebrates What Makes The County Special

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. Many of Berkshire County’s most community-minded residents gathered at Tanglewood on Thursday, Sept. 15 as 1Berkshire honored the illustrious music venue and its summertime residents, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for “Putting the Berkshires on the Map.” As acknowledged by the evening’s speakers – 1Berkshire’s Jonathan Butler and Laurie Klefos, Mass. State Senator Ben Downing, and award presenter Laurie Tierney of Hotel on North – the 76-year-old Tanglewood had an enormously successful 2016 season, welcoming more than 353,000 visitors from around the world. Area leaders presented awards to the winners of the seven Trendsetter Awards, as well. In addition to the winners pictured below, the City of North Adams won for best “Comprehensive Marketing Campaign,” Unistress received the prize for “Growing/Advancing the Berkshire Economy” and “Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year” went to Zogics founder Paul R. LeBlanc. [Shown above: Mark Volpe, managing director of the BSO and Tanglewood, with Kim Notelmy, Larry Oberwager and Jason Lyon, all of the BSO.]

Matt Burno and Barb Green of General Dynamics with 1Berkshire board member Brenda Burdick; Jesse Cook-Dubin, “Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year” finalist Christian Hanson, Mass. State Senator Ben Downing, Donna Hanson and Giovanna Fessenden Hennessey.

Shela Hidalgo, Ethan Klepetar, 1Berkshire president and CEO Jonathan Butler and Van Shields, executive director of Berkshire Museum; Johnny Burns happily accepted Methuselah’s “Newcomer of the Year” award for his boss, Yuki Cohen, here with Darcie Sosa.

Tyler Fairbank, Betsy Strickland, “Under 40 Change Maker” award winner Christina Barrett, Christine Hoyt and Michael Bullock.

1Berkshire board member Warren Dews, Jr. of The Berkshire Eagle which was a finalist for the “Comprehensive Marketing Campaign” award, with his mother Barbara Dews and Adam Hinds; Ken McInerney and Steve Nelson of WiredWest, a finalist for the “Growing/Advancing the Berkshire Economy” award.

Chris Lipa, Lenny Light, Sean Roberston and Earl Persip III of Berkshire Family YMCA, which won the “Nonprofit Impact” award; Seth Nash and Mitch Nash of Blue Q, the winner of the “Creative Economy Standout” award.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/19/16 at 11:23 AM • Permalink

For Stakeholders, A Preview Of Building 6 At MASS MoCA

Lisa Green reports from North Adams. As if MASS MoCA wasn’t animated enough on Friday, Sept. 16, just a few hours before the FreshGrass music festival began, a group of North Adams city employees and tenants of the complex gathered for a special tour of Building 6. The museum’s director, Joe Thompson, lead the group through the next phase of the complex’s buildout, which is about two months away from completion of the shell. Plans are to open the finished building in May of 2017. The new wing will include works from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (his own and others’), a production and performance studio for artists Laurie Anderson and Jenny Holzer, and a music/rehearsal room, among other facilities. “We’re taking the building back to the late 19th century,” Thompson explained, pointing out that the renovation will preserve and highlight the original post-and-beam architecture. Thompson thanked the guests for their support; as tenants and city employees, they have a special interest in the $65 million undertaking. Not only did they get a sneak preview of the new wing, however; in making their way to the reception area prior to the tour, guests walked through the upcoming “Nick Cave: Until” installation and glimpsed the artist setting it up. That exhibit opens October 15. [Above, Suzy Helme, of the North Adams Office of Tourism, and Lynette Bond, a grant writer for MCLA.]

Lisa Hiluy, Ray Hiluy, Regina Veazquez and Jason Velazquez of The Greylock Glass (both the women are editors at Storey Publishing, which has its offices in the complex); Chris Jones and photographer Amanda Jones, who also has her studio on the MASS MoCA campus.

Director Joe Thompson shows off the westernmost portion of the building, which features dramatic light and a breathtaking view.

Robyn Moore and Sara Russell-Scholl with Matt Scholl of Christodora, a non-profit organization that has an education center in the Berkshires; Marie McCarron, a fourth-grade teacher at Brayton Elementary School in North Adams, and her student teacher Mary Evelyn Lueler, who attends MCLA.

The atrium is a work in progress.

Graphic designer Ash Austin with the owners of Oh Crêpe!, Emily Schiavoni and Ben Lamb; Steps away, FreshGrass is just getting started.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/17/16 at 10:18 PM • Permalink

GB Land Conservancy Preserves, Conserves, And Has A Party

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. A hullabaloo can be defined as a frenzy or a ruckus. Both of those definitions work well for the Great Barrington Land Conservancy (GBLC), which has been passionately protecting, advocating and promoting Great Barrington’s natural resources for 24 years. On Sunday, Sept. 11, GBLC held a hullaballoo of its own as the music of the Easy Ridin Papas played and guests enjoy falafel and kebabs provided by Naji’s Mediterranean Cuisine. Proceeds from the event raised money to support future projects as well as notable current ones like the Lake Mansfield Alliance, Great Barrington Trails & Greenways and Pfeiffer Arboretum & Trail. On the lawn behind the Riverbend Cafe, guests enjoyed the view of the Housatonic River and the lush greenery beyond, land well worth preserving. [Above, new member Sandy Van and board president Carol Noble.]

Member Rik Kabel, Jan Kabel and 14-year board member Dale Abrams of Mass Audubon; New consevancy members David Stater and Trena Heinrich.

Board member Tim Geller who is the executive director of the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire and Greg Ward of Ward’s Nursery & Garden Center; Board member Rachel Fletcher, Michael Symons and Karen Skelton.

Hannah Fries, Mike Leavitt, trails and outreach coordinator at Berkshire Natural Resource Council, Hannah Chamberlain, who works for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and Sari Hoy, co-owner of Native Habitat Restoration.

Adam Morris, forest and park regional coordinator with Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and Erin Morris; Judd Shoval, Susan Shovel, Rabbi Liz Hirsch and Rabbi Neil Hirsch.

Allison Abrams has been involved with GBLC for as many years as her husband, Dale Abrams has been on the board, and Ann Barrett, board member of Sheffield Land Trust; GBLC administrative assistant Kristin Sanzone with her husband, Rob Sanzone.

Yoga teacher Senta Reis donated her classes to the auction, Housatonic River Walk volunteer Peter Barrett and former board president Christine Ward, who now stewards the Lake Mansfield Alliance and GB Trails programs.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 09/11/16 at 07:27 PM • Permalink

Roxbury Farm, First CSA To Deliver To NYC, Celebrates 25 Years

Lisa Green reports from Kinderhook. Many of us have grown attached to our individual CSAs. But when a CSA membership group in New York City charters a bus to drive them two-plus hours up to the farm itself, you know the connection is something special. On Saturday, Sept. 10, Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook welcomed 300 of its CSA members from New York, Westchester County, the Capital District and Columbia County to its 25th season celebration, potlucking encouraged. Roxbury Farm is exceptional in many ways: it was the first CSA to deliver to Manhattan, starting with 30 members in 1991. The 23-week membership has since grown to 1,100. Recognized not only as one of the earliest CSAs, Roxbury Farm has influenced thousands of farmers throughout the world with its biodynamic practices, which it has freely shared on its website. By putting its farming methods manuals online, Roxbury has served as an “open source farm” for farmers just starting out.

Founded by Jean-Paul Courtens in 1990 and now inhabiting land that was President Martin Van Buren’s farm, the 400-acre Roxbury Farm is still managed by the Courtens family. But clearly, the farm is held close to the hearts of the members who came to celebrate the CSA and express appreciation for the farmers. (Overhead: Discussions among members about their prep plans for the peppers, corn and other items in their CSA shares.) After a proper recounting of the farm’s history by Courtens and others, the guests were invited to take a self-guided farm tour, pick flowers, split garlic for fall planting, and experience a bit of ag activity in the fields. Of its success, Courtens said, “We didn’t do it alone. It’s because of all of you that we are here today.” [Above, the original family: Johannes Courtens, Nick Courtens, xx Courtens, Jean-Paul Courtens and his wife, Jody Bolluyt.]

Roxbury Farm is part of the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, on land the former president farmed.

Guests sprinkled the fields with Biodynamic Preparation 500, then sowed a cover crop mixture of oats and pea seeds.

Roxbury Farm owners Jody Bolluyt and Jean-Paul Courtens lead the way in the application of the Biodynamic Preparation 500, a mix of water with cow manure that’s been placed in a cow’s horn and buried in the earth for the winter; it is used to treat the soil prior to planting.

Members peel and split garlic bulbs for planting in October; It takes a CSA village to raise a child.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/11/16 at 03:29 PM • Permalink

The 2016 Columbia-Greene Garden Party

Amy Krzanik reports from Germantown. When a well-respected architect/interior decorator couple invite you to their home on the Hudson River, you don’t say “no.” And when the invite doubles as the annual fundraising garden party for Alliance for Positive Health (formerly the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York), you RSVP ASAP, as did around 300 people this past Sunday, Sept. 4. The 2016 Columbia~Greene Garden Party took place at the home of Hermes Mallea and RI’s Wandering Eye columnist Carey Maloney. Fairview Wines & Spirits provided the sipping and Simons Catering covered the snacking as guests basked in the sunlit views of the Hudson River and enjoyed music by longtime Garden Party supporters Kelly Mittleman & Friends. Guests toured the rooms and grounds of the mid-century home, and put their bids in on an expertly curated silent auction, which included a five-night Safari package in South Africa, theater tickets, art, jewelry, furniture, clothing and other items. [Above: Michele McClave, former executive director of the Alliance for Positive Health and current acting commissioner of the Albany County Department of Social Services, who was honored at this year’s event, with board president Mary Jane Bendon Couch and board member Peter Bevacqua.

Former board member William Allen with the garden party fundraiser’s founder, Frances Ingraham Heins, Steven Girvin and Jeffrey Kaufman; Les Rosenzweig, new board member Thomas Walling and host Hermes Mallea.

James M. Gaughan, the mayor of Altamont, N.Y., with Donna Vancavage, the Alliance’s director of development and marketing, and Keith Lee; Albany attorney Barbara Brenner with board member Carolyn Anderson and the Hon. Margaret Walsh.

Kurt Parde and Claire Parde, who is the executive director of the Healthcare Consortium, with Richard Byrne, Brad Lohrenz and Jane Duffstein of Bard College.

Honey Wilde with Anita Nasuto; Doug Weeden and Brett Carlson.

Board members Kelley Winslow, Victor Mendolia and Jeffrey Kaufman flank NY State Assemblymember Didi Barrett [third from left]; Andy Goldsborough and Alex Contreras of The Gilded Owl in Hudson.

Yosuke Chikamoto, Joe Naylor, John Garofalo, Peter O’Hara and Joseph Sniado.

Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, and Mark Prezorski of the Olana State Historic Site; host Carey Maloney with Nancy Ursprung, Charles Rosen and Duke Dang.

George Jordan, Mark Strieter and Agustin Rodriguez; event committee member Patrick Terenchin and Mike Clifford of AFPH.

Rebecca Reiss and Ellen Walker behind the bar.

The cutest thing on four legs, Frankie, at home; hot heels signed by Whoopi Goldberg were up for grabs at the silent auction.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/06/16 at 03:03 PM • Permalink

Making Hay At The BIFF Haute Hoedown

Lisa Green reports from Canaan. The only person missing from Berkshire International Film Festival’s Haute Hoedown on Saturday, Sept. 3 may have been Agnes DeMille. But other than the famous Rodeo choreographer, pretty much everyone you might expect and all the essential ingredients were accounted for at the film fest’s first-ever house party at the magnificent spread belonging to Dan Mathieu and Tom Potter. Hayrides, check. Mechanical bull ride, check. A country-western influenced band, farm-to-table dinner (catered by Max Ultimate Food), live auction and even a spinning wheel with fine prizes from many of the sponsors — check, check and do it again. Even better, guests were outfitted as cowboys and cowgirls with plenty of denim and diamonds to contemporize the theme. Proceeds from the event will help BIFF continue its mission to bring the best of independent film to the Berkshires as it goes into its twelfth year. [Above: Mark Johnson, Liz Williams, Pops Peterson, Kate Morris and Kelly Vickery, BIFF’s executive director.]

BIFF Board of Advisors member Lisa Newmann of Cookiehead Cookies and Sandy Sanderson; the hoedown begins with cocktails on the lawn.

Host Dan Mathieu, owner of Max Ultimate Food, with Mary Mott, interior designer Karen Beckwith, photographer Scott Barrow and Gordon Simmering of Stockbridge and Idaho, sporting his Idahoan “formal wear.”

Liz Krupp and Nancy Belsky, both of Lenox and Boston; Ann Herbst of Tyringham, with Marica Feuer, a member of the BIFF Board of Advisors, and Wendy Gordon, both of Richmond.

What’s a hoedown without a hayride, haute or not?

Jonathan Coffino, Carla Singer, actor and director Karen Allen, a BIFF board trustee, and film director/producer Kristi Zea; Tracy Foster and Andy Foster, who are board members of IS183.

Donna Hall, Dan LaBonte, Denise D’Amboise and Vince Ambrosini, who picked up these plaid shirts just for the occasion; Lisa Frankel, who recently made Great Barrington her full-time home, bravely rides the mechanical bull.

George Habard and Cynthia Valles hang with the ranch hand, aka host Tom Potter.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/04/16 at 10:54 AM • Permalink

Take A Bow: Jacob’s Pillow Closes Out Festival 2016

Amy Krzanik reports from Becket. You never know what moves you’ll see on the dance floor at a Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival after-party. There might be a few couples waltzing around the perimeter or salsa-ing in the center of a crowd of onlookers, there very well could be break-dancing, and there will definitely be a conga line. The 2016 Festival Finale, on Saturday, Aug. 27, was no exception. Following a performance by either Pacific Northwest Ballet in the Ted Shawn Theatre or Souleymane Badolo in the Doris Duke, guests were treated to complimentary gourmet desserts, Six Depot coffee, Wandering Star beer and wine in the Bakalar Studio and outside in the Tea Garden. The Pillow’s favorite music maestro, DJ BFG, again turned the Haven tent into the hottest pop-up nightclub in town, as the scent of s’mores wafted over from the firepits on the Great Lawn. We can’t wait to do it all again next year. [Above, Sara Connonlly with Pacific Northwest Ballet artistic director Peter Boal, Melissa Elstein and Hussein Kassim.]

Weston Hicks and Pillow board member Ann L. Hicks; the scene in the dance tent post performance.

Liza Gennari, Claire Gennari, and Pillow alums Anna Rogovoy and Ashley David; Roger Chabot and Michael Parisi.

Chocolatier extraordinaire Joshua Needleman who provided treats for the guests, with Patti Feinberg, Maurice Peterson, Pillow alum Angessa Lynn and hair stylist extraordinaire Mark Johnson.

Sculptors Babette Bloch and Marc Mellon with Pillow board president Chris Jones; Peg and Pete Biasucci, whose daughter Leta was a soloist in the show, with Dave and Sue Fenton.

Kerry Colnan and Austin McKissock; Pamela Tatge, director of Jacob’s Pillow, with board member and RI publisher Mark Williams.

After dessert, a crowd began to trickle into the disco-balled dance tent; DJ BFG knows what the crowd wants to hear.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/30/16 at 12:40 PM • Permalink