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Mahaiwe Tent

Robin Hood Radio



Parties & Openings

Aug. 15 – Lenox
The Mount's Summer Soiree

Aug. 12 – Washington
Tea For Two Hundred

Aug. 6 – Stockbridge
IS183 Send-off Celebration

The National Committee Keeps The Mount Close To Its Heart

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. After a visit to The Mount, you’d be forgiven for thinking that summer evenings were created specifically for sipping cocktails on the mansion’s terrace, which overlooks former owner Edith Wharton’s breathtaking gardens. On Tuesday, Aug. 15, on just such an evening, members of The National Committee gathered on the terrace of the mansion for a Summer Soirée. The Committee, The Mount’s annual giving society, is comprised of individuals who make a gift of $1,000 or more. Established in 2012, the group includes board members as well as fans of The Mount who live too far away to serve on the board but want to show their appreciation for the site and the work the non-profit does to preserve it. Most of the guests pictured below are members of the Committee and The Mount holds a special place in their hearts.

Editor Pat Peters, retired U.S. district judge Jose Gonzalez and trustee Mary Copeland; Susan Wissler, executive director of The Mount, with photographer Jonas Dovydenas.

Judith Joyce and Linda Zukowski; Roger and Naomi Gordon, a trustee, with Jane Roy.

Carron Haight, Tom Thaler and Sarah Tyler.

Don Temples, The Mount’s director of development, with writers Natalie Pope Boyce and Mary Pope Osborne; Alan Price and Irene Goldman-Price, who is the board’s vice chair.

Hermine Drezner with Carol and Richard Seltzer, a board member; Enid Michelman, Jonas Dovydenas, trustee Cris Raymond and George Raymond.

Trustees Virginia Giddens and Lila Berle with James Giddens and Mary Copeland, also a trustee.

Judith Katz, Betsy Dovydenas and Alice Wislocki; Leslie and Tim Curtis, National Committee members from Connecticut.

Stephen Peters, trustee Kate Wharton and Alan Price; Sherry Kasper, Dan Kasper, chair of The Mount’s board, and Linda Fawley, a National Committee member from Boston.

Susan Wissler and board members past and present thank the National Committee members for all that they do to support and promote The Mount.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/15/17 at 08:40 PM • Permalink

IS183 Sends Director Hope Sullivan Off On Her Next Adventure

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. If you’ve ever taken a class at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires, visited its home base at Citizens’ Hall in Stockbridge, Mass. or attended one of the non-profit’s over-the-top (in the very best way) galas, you’ve met Hope Sullivan. The organization’s longtime director was most likely there to greet you with a smile and make you feel welcome. But Sullivan is now moving on, ready to begin a new job as the executive director at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center Foundation in Stowe, VT. Friends, colleagues, IS183 instructors and board members, and others in the community gathered at Citizens’ Hall on Sunday, Aug. 6 to send her off and wish her well on her next artistic adventure. Nancy Kalodner, an IS183 founding board member, read a statement expressing the gratitude many feel toward Sullivan, who has been at the helm of the 25-year-old organization for the last 12 years, and has expanded its programming and led the non-profit out of debt. Sullivan herself thanked the school’s board members and other supporters for their dedication and generosity throughout the years. Good luck, Hope, and we’ll miss you.

Program director Lucie Castaldo, who will serve as interim executive director, with Hope Sullivan; board chairman Andy Foster with ceramics student Nadine Atalla of Cafe Lucia and board member Aine Ungar.

Noel Henebury of Hotel on North with Vicki Bonnington, Andrea Sholler and Berkshire Athenaeum director Alex Reczkowski.

Gallerist Leslie Ferrin, artist Rebecca Weinman and Danielle Steinmann; Mary Nash with David Schecker.

Shirley Shapiro and former board member Jana Purdy; Diane Firtell and Marilyn Orner Cromwell, who both teach at IS183, with Cecilia Hirsch, the school’s student programs coordinator.

Partygoers raise their glasses in a “cheers” to Hope.

IS183’s marketing coordinator Carrie Wright and photographer Bill Wright flank Pilot; Peter Long, IS183’s registrar and office manager, with Leigh Rosenfeld.

Ceramics studio manager Jared Gelormino with Leslie Ferrin; artist Keith Emerling with potter and teacher Margie Skaggs and ceramicist Marcie Kammel.

This cheesecake, which was as delicious as it was beautiful, was created by Chocolate Springs in Lenox, Mass.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/14/17 at 11:33 AM • Permalink

Tea For 200 Celebrates Its China Anniversary

Rachel Louchen reports from Washington Depot. On Saturday, August 12, Tea for 200 reached a huge milestone, commemorating its 20th annual year, which might mean it’s been tea for 4,000 at this point. Held for the last two decades in the gardens of Gary Goodwin and Gael Hammer’s home, the party is a favorite among locals of Litchfield County and sees a huge turnout summer after summer. Tea for 200 has raised nearly a million dollars for local organizations since its inception, with proceeds from this year benefiting the Interfaith AIDS Ministry of Greater Danbury and Gunn Historical Museum. The honored nonprofits may change, but a constant remains the all-white dress code, extravagant hat contest, silent auction, live music by “The Beehive Queen” Christine Ohlman, and the surrounding beauty of Washington Depot. [Above, Gary Goodwin, Evie Hammer, Gael Hammer and Jason Moskowitz].

Andrew Clementi, Lucy Clementi, executive director of Interfaith AIDS Ministry of Greater Danbury, Janet Olsen Ryan, pantry coordinator and board member Dolores Grygog.

Travis Lipinski and Tom Gilbert; Marise Jung, Chad Dutcher and Susan Benedetti from Stickley Audi & Co, one of the event’s sponsors.

Milliner Laura Daly, writer/activist and Connecticut resident Larry Kramer and Tim Daly; part-time Washington residents Pablo Vallecilla and Doug Doucette.

Darcie Congrove and Patti Orzano flank event sponsor Rick Distel and Kevin Comer.

Faithful Tea for 200 attendees Eileen Smyth, Gary Smith and Marilyn Matern-Bratz; Lynne Dedo and realtor Victoria Elliot show off their submissions for the hat contest.

Neighbors Roberta Connolly and Steven Fuchs, a trustee at Gunn Memorial as well as an event sponsor; Cathy Denult and Sandy Brink attend every year.

Niles Bryant, Janet Bryant and Sarah Bryant.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 08/13/17 at 06:11 PM • Permalink

The Friends Of Clermont Honor Mary Kay Vrba

Amy Krzanik reports from Germantown. Straddling the line that separates Columbia and Dutchess counties, Clermont State Historic Site is considered a gem in the crown of each area. Some of its popularity can be traced back directly to the efforts of Mary Kay Vrba, the executive director of Dutchess County Tourism. The Hudson Valley advocate was honored for her tireless support of the region by the Friends of Clermont on the mansion’s grounds this past Saturday, Aug. 5. The event doubled as the nonprofit’s summer fundraiser, and guests soaked in the Hudson River views while enjoying cocktails, hors d’oeuvres from Simply Gourmet catering, and the sounds of Moonshine Holler. After being honored by Clermont board president Richard McKeon and John Midwood from the office of NYS assembly member Didi Barrett, Vrba spoke about how the beauty of the region makes her job easy. She cited local attractions that can only be found here, such as Clermont and the other Livingston mansions, Val-Kill (the only National Historic Site dedicated to a first lady), and Millbrook School (the only high school in the country with a zoo). But it’s the friendly faces of the people who live here, said Vrba, that really make a visit to the region an unforgettable experience.

Clermont’s executive director Jennifer Hemmerlein with board president Richard McKeon; Vern Bergelin, Adelia Geiger and Ron Wagner.

Clermont board member and Hudson Hall co-director Tambra Dillon, former honoree Joan Davidson and Mary Kay Vrba.

Adrienne Westmore, board member Patricia Falk, and Robin Berrington of Washington, D.C.; board members Mary Ellen Ross and Judith Keefer.

John Midwood, a representative for Didi Barrett, and Emily Midwood with Brenda Bassett and Gary Bassett, the mayor of the Village of Rhinebeck.

Leigh Bahnatka and Ed Bergstraesser; Glenda Law, Jim and Noell Sottile, and Alison Lankenau.

Richard McKeon, board member Hermes Mallea, Norah Burden and Joe Macgillis; Mike and Michele Zagorski.

Moonshine Holler performs for the crowd; board president Richard McKeon presents Mary Kay Vrba with a plaque and accolades

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/07/17 at 12:32 PM • Permalink

The Farmer’s Table: An Opportunity To Thank The Farmer

Lisa Green reports from Warren. At the annual Farmer’s Table event, the tables are turned, because it’s the farmers who are the guests of the attendees. Now in its seventh year (located at a different Litchfield County farm each time), the event was held on Saturday, Aug. 5 at Hopkins Vineyard, on land that has been farmed by the same family for 230 years. With ingredients from many of the 200-plus farms in the county and prepared by local chefs who donated their time for the cause, the dinner allows residents and farmers to get to know one another and celebrate the bounty of the farms. The Farmer’s Table also raises funds to actively partner with Litchfield County farmers to continue sustainable farming practices. Now affiliated with the nonprofit Partners for Sustainable Health Communities, Inc., The Farmer’s Table hosts business workshops for farmers, funds grants for students to work at a local farm and stipends for farmers to attend agricultural conferences, and purchases CSA shares for area social service agencies. During dessert, guests watched a film produced by Palomo Criollo, one of the youngest generation of the Hopkins family, about the farm’s history and family business. “It’s a story about commitments to farmers and community,” she narrates. Well said. [Above, two generations of the vineyard’s owners: Judy Hopkins and Bill Hopkins, and Hilary Hopkins Criollo and George Criollo.]

Farmer’s Table committee member Cynthia Oneglia with Chris Giftos, who for many years was the master florist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Committee members Helen Bartlett, a movie producer, and Ronnie Maddalena; Committee member Pucci McGill and Michael McGill.

Donna Bascom and Paul Biddelman flank Richard Blumenthal, United States Senator for Connecticut, who makes a visit to The Farmer’s Table event every year.

Martha Bernstein, board chair of the Connecticut Community Foundation, an event sponsor, and Robert Bernstein; Abe Sylvia and Steve Roche of Warren.

Alexis Barbalinardo and Enya Cunningham, farm managers at Back 40 Farm in Washington, which supplied the florals for the event.

Elizabeth Dickey and Rosemary Ripley, who are both deeply involved with the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy, with Peter Grubstein and Angus Grubstein; Lynn Printy and Karin Pitt.

Aaward-winning artist Wendell Minor and writer Florence Minor with Dede Keteyian and Armen Keteyian.

Litchfield Distillery‘s Pam Baker and Jack Baker were on hand to serve their products; The farmer’s tables ready for guests.

Bill Finnegan and Amy Finnegan of Finnegan’s Farm West, a family-run, permaculture farm in New Milford, Conn.

Our sentiments exactly: Support your local farmers, and the hand-painted tablecloths celebrating all that farmers do for the rest of us.

Tammy Tecklenburg, Tricia McTague, a decorative painter, and Susie Urubua of Bantam Bread, which supplied the bread for the table.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/07/17 at 11:10 AM • Permalink

At Sharon’s Summer Book Signing, Real Books Still Rule

Lisa Green reports from Sharon. Kindles and iPads be damned: People are still buying hard-cover books, and when they receive the books right from the hands of the authors themselves (and autographed to boot), so much the better. Now in its 21st year, the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon’s Summer Book Signing still reels in the authors and readers under the tent on the edge of the town green. On Friday, Aug. 4, more than 30 mostly local but nationally renowned authors manned their tables and met with readers at the library’s primary annual fundraiser. The event is staffed by a large crew of dedicated volunteers and the proceeds will help the library promote literacy throughout the community. The book-themed activities continued with the annual used book sale on Saturday and Sunday. [Above: J. Barclay Collins, II, president of the board of directors, with board member and event chairperson Gretchen Hachmeister.]

Martha Zimilez and author Laurie Lisle, who ran the this event for six years; Meg Szalewicz, a volunteer, and Susan Hassler, vice-president of the library’s board of directors.

Socializing among the book buyers: Tara Cafiero of Pink Cloud (those dog and cat clocks with the wagging tails, made in Sharon), Dick Gottlieb and Jessica Fowler, a selectman in Sharon.

At the authors’ tables: Courtney Maum and David Leite; Hammertown‘s Joan Osofsky and co-author Abby Adams.

Caught with their purchases: Melissa Walker, Sarah Curtis and Anita Tiburzi-Johnson, an event volunteer.

From Salisbury, Jim Gillespie and Athena Fliakos of The Good Hood Company; Sheila Nevins, Emmy winner and president of HBO Documentary Films, signs her book, You Don’t Look Your Age…and Other Fairy Tales.

Authors Min Jin Lee and Dani Shapiro; Trustee Vicky Ross and Lorraine Kerr Faison, co-director of the library.

Bookseller Kira Wizner and family: Cecily Wizner and Jake Wizner.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/06/17 at 10:59 AM • Permalink

Mahaiwe Gala Brings Jazz At Lincoln Center To GB

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. In past years, the Mahaiwe Performing Art Center’s annual gala has put the focus on some special honoree, but this year, it was the community that received the accolades. This year marks 15 years since the dream was born to make the vintage theater a year-round, world-class performing arts venue, and the gala on Sunday, July 30, was a celebration of the past and a look toward the future. After cocktails and dinner, guests filed into the Mahaiwe for a sold-out concert by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. In remarks preceding the concert, Maggie Buchwald, the chair of the board of directors, expressed her appreciation to the donors, staff and ticket buyers of the Mahaiwe, who have made it possible to bring live performances, films, HD broadcasts and many special events to the Berkshires. “We honor all of you,” Buchwald said. [Above: Don Buchwald, Maggie Buchwald, board member Stephen Berenson and Margaret Deutsch, board treasurer.]

Ron Walter and Marilyn Walter; Scott Pezza and Melanie Najarian.

Holly Feirstein and Barry Feirstein; BJ Johnson and Pam Johnson.

Karin Watkins, Mahaiwe’s director of finance and administration, Jeff Weber, Stacey Weber of Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Realtor Barbara Schulman, and Aine Ungar.

Sandy Fisher, Beryl Jolly, Mahaiwe’s executive director, Alan Jaffee, vice-chair of the board of directors, and Liz Jaffe; Brigittte McDonald, John Miller, a board member, and Lyssa Miller.

Richard Barzily, Diana Barzilay and Louise Barzilay; Sari Scheer and Sam Kopel.

Board member Stephen Berenson with Sue Lipson, Hilary Ferrone, Chris Ferrone, and Dan Lipson, also a board member.

Patricia Ellis, Vicki Tashjian and Marilyn Hayward; Beth Sackler, Jeff Cohen, and Jennifer Tabakin, Great Barrington town manager.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/31/17 at 12:59 PM • Permalink

Here We Grow: The 2017 Hancock Shaker Village Gala

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. The theme of Hancock Shaker Village’s 2017 gala, “Here We Grow,” turned out to be wonderfully appropriate, as it was the most well-attended in the non-profit’s history. Held on Saturday, July 29, the event commenced with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the gardens, followed by a three-course dinner prepared on-site by Chef Brian Alberg and his crew using ingredients from HSV and neighboring farms. A short live auction conducted by the ever-charming Robin McGraw featured trips, tours and one-of-a-kind items. Last year’s gala co-host, Darin Johnson, led the evening’s Cause within the Cause auction, which this year will support restoration of the iconic 1826 Round Stone Barn. To say guests were generous would be an understatement, as paddles were enthusiastically raised for each dollar amount announced. Following dessert, supporters filtered down into the Round Stone Barn for an after-party already in progress. Berkshire Shenanigans had transformed the barn and surrounding lawn into a tropical paradise, complete with tiki torches, colorful cocktails, and food from Lucia’s Latin Kitchen, with 2-person sandboxes, ping-pong tables and other games sprinkled throughout. Entertainment came in the form of samba rhythms from Berkshire Bateria drummers, tunes from DJ J-Wolf and belly dancing by the ladies of Heart-Shaped Box. [Shown left, Hancock Shaker Village Executive Director Jennifer Trainer Thompson with Peggy Rivers and Cheryl Zaccaro.]

Lauren Piotrowski, manager of HSV’s gardens and CSA, with Mass. State Rep. Tricia Farley Bouvier, HSV farm employee Chloe Geffken and Billy Mangiardi, director of the Village’s farm and facilities; former Mass. governor Deval Patrick, Diane B. Patrick and Annie Selke.

Harriet Orol of Manhattan, with Jeanne Kangas, trustee Robin Lazarow and Richard Seltzer, HSV board president; Tim Eustis and Joe Finnegan.

Artists David Teeple and Don Gummer [far right], who both have pieces in the Village’s current exhibit, Making: Then and Now, pose with trustee Maureen Jerome and her husband, John Jerome.

Gallerist Sienna Patti and Leo Quiles; Matt Larkin, Lainie Grant, Kelley Vickery and Sarah Patrick.

Donald Fawcett of Tyringham with Renny Gleeson and Pam Lloyd of West Stockbridge and Portland, Oregon; Bruce Evanchick, Mass. State Senator Adam Hinds and Cheryl and Michael Zaccaro, a trustee.

Sarah Eustis, Michelle Petricca, Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson of The Mastheads project, and Perri Petricca.

Joy and Chet Douglass with Wayne Prouty, whose father is an HSV trustee; Vicki and Ron Weiner.

Guests converse over cocktails before the sit-down dinner; Tucker and Cindy Welch with Chris Magee of Richmond, Mass.

Chris Weld, a gala committee member, with the evening’s auctioneer, Robin McGraw; The 1910 Barn hosted dinner.

Laure Meslay, Janette Kessler, Nancy Meier, Lisa and Orion Howard of Bright Ideas Brewing (an event sponsor), and Olivier Meslay, director of The Clark.

John and Danielle Mullen and Dennis and Susie Gibbons of Berkshire Roots; Berkshire Shenanigans outdid themselves again, this time with a tiki-themed after-party complete with light-up bar.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/31/17 at 12:32 PM • Permalink