RI_Olana_Lampman,_Cassidy.JPG" } The annual farm-to-table dinner for The Sylvia Center was held on July 15 in the fields of Katchkie Farm. | Rural Intelligence The Berkshire HorseWorks Derby Wins The Blue Ribbon | Rural Intelligence WAM Theatre raised funds on July 12 with its Stars in the Orchard gala at Hilltop Orchards in Richmond. | Rural Intelligence Supporters Are The First To Meet “The Founders Of Kent” | Rural Intelligence Wilderstein Historic Site celebrated summer with contemporary sculpture and an exhibit of its historic ties to World War I. | Rural Intelligence Shakespeare & Company’s Ruby Gala | Rural Intelligence Food, Farm, School…Hawthorne Valley Association Does It All | Rural Intelligence Summer School: Jack Shainman’s Kinderhook Gallery Opens New Exhibit | Rural Intelligence Jacob's Pillow kicked off its 85th season with a gala on Saturday, June 17 in Becket, Mass. | Rural Intelligence A Twilight in the Garden cocktail party kicked off Spencertown Academy Arts Center's Hidden Gardens events. | Rural Intelligence Close Encounters With Music celebrated women composers at a gala concert and reception on June 10, 2017. | Rural Intelligence The Wassaic Project's 2017 summer exhibit, Vagabond Time Killers, opened with a fundraising party on June 10. | Rural Intelligence Guests wore their finest '60s and '70s duds to the Norman Rockwell Museum's 'Legends' gala on June 10, 2017. | Rural Intelligence MASS MoCA's Building 6 opened to a huge crowd of visitors on Sunday, May 28, 2017. | Rural Intelligence At The Factory, After Hours, With IS183 | Rural Intelligence Pine Plains Memorial Hall restoration kicked off with help from townspeople and their shovels. | Rural Intelligence Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World opened at Berkshire Museum on Friday, May 19. | Rural Intelligence Turn Park Art Space opened to a large crowd of visitors in West Stockbridge, Mass. on Sunday, May 14. | Rural Intelligence Community Access to the Arts (CATA) held its annual gala and performances on May 13 and 14 in Lenox, Mass. | Rural Intelligence Berkshire Music School's wine dinner benefit at Castle Street Cafe raised funds for its student scholarships. | Rural Intelligence The Proprietors Ball signaled the official opening of the refurbished Henry Hudson Hall at the Hudson Opera House. | Rural Intelligence Berkshire Country Day School in Stockbridge capped a successful capital campaign with a reception and tour of the new facility. | Rural Intelligence The Hudson Children’s Book Festival Literacy Fund cocktail party at Stair Galleries on April 1 drew an enthusiastic crowd. | Rural Intelligence Berkshire Bateria helped supporters of Flying Deer Nature Center shake it on the dance floor on Sat., March 25. | Rural Intelligence The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) celebrated three new exhibits, including Meleko Mokgosi and Robert Rauschenberg. | Rural Intelligence Lenox Shows The Love For Sculptor Andrew DeVries | Rural Intelligence As part of Pittsfield’s 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival, the Real Art Party was again held by the Berkshire Art Association. | Rural Intelligence A Night of Socks charity sock auction at Verdigris in Hudson, NY raised $3000 to buy warm socks for those in need. | Rural Intelligence TAG’s Annual Erotica Show Titillates In Tivoli | Rural Intelligence A Race In The Makers’ Space At ‘100 Hours In The Woodshed’ | Rural Intelligence Spencertown Academy Arts Center celebrate its 28th annual Revels while looking to the future. | Rural Intelligence The 1Berkshire Creative Resources Conference ended with a networking social at Bright Ideas Brewing in North Adams, Mass. | Rural Intelligence Close to 2,000 people participated in Pittsfield's first 4 Freedoms March & Rally on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017. | Rural Intelligence Did we see you at any of the parties we covered in 2016? | Rural Intelligence The NEPR Holiday Jazz Party in Hadley, MA featured vintage wear and a big band. | Rural Intelligence The Hudson Winter Walk celebrated 20 years on Saturday, Dec. 3. | Rural Intelligence The Holiday Wreath Art Auction at the Lichtenstein raised over $3000 for Pittsfield food pantries. | Rural Intelligence Berkshire Museum's Festival of Trees 2016 celebrated film and movie stars turned out for the preview party on Nov. 18. | Rural Intelligence Multicultural BRIDGE Honors Members Of The Community | Rural Intelligence Northwest Connecticut Arts Council honored members of their community on Tuesday, Nov. 15. | Rural Intelligence PS21 celebrated the completion of its new year-round theater in Chatham, NY with a gala at TSL in Hudson. | Rural Intelligence Images Cinema in Williamstown, Mass. celebrated its 100th anniversary on Nov. 11, 2016. | Rural Intelligence Guido's Fresh Marketplace celebrated its Pittsfield store's expansion with a housewarming party on Sat., Nov. 12. | Rural Intelligence Made in the Berkshires 2016 kicked off with a dinner honoring the area's own Karen Allen. | Rural Intelligence Housatonic Valley Association held an auction for the environment fundraiser party on Sunday, November 6. | Rural Intelligence The Art School Behind The Curtain: IS183 Goes To Oz | Rural Intelligence Cocktails With James Ivory At FilmColumbia | Rural Intelligence Little Ghent Farm hosted a fundraiser for Hudson, N.Y.'s Perfect Ten After School program for girls. | Rural Intelligence Ferrin Contemporary Dishes + Dines With The Presidents | Rural Intelligence 'Until,' the new large-scale exhibit by artist Nick Cave, opened on Saturday at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass. | Rural Intelligence The Columbia Land Conservancy celebrated 30 years at Churchtown Dairy in Hudson, NY on Oct. 8. | Rural Intelligence LitNet celebrated 25 years of literacy in the community at its annual gala on Saturday, Oct. 1. | Rural Intelligence Dutchess County Open Days digs deeper in Millbrook with Katie Ridder & Peter Pennoyer. | Rural Intelligence The 2016 Fairview Gala honored the hospital's president, Eugene Dellea, and celebrated its cardiac unit. | Rural Intelligence BerkShares celebrated 10 years with a party at Prairie Whale in Great Barrington on Friday, Sept. 23. | Rural Intelligence Berkshire Grown held the 18th annual Harvest Supper on Sept. 19 at Ski Butternut in Great Barrington. | Rural Intelligence A Colorful Place: Blue Rider Stables At 25 | Rural Intelligence 1Berkshire Celebrates What Makes The County Special | Rural Intelligence For Stakeholders, A Preview Of Building 6 At MASS MoCA | Rural Intelligence Great Barrington Land Conservancy held a hullabaloo party in Great Barrington on September 11, 2016. | Rural Intelligence Roxbury Farm, First CSA To Deliver To NYC, Celebrates 25 Years | Rural Intelligence Alliance for Positive Health held its 2016 Columbia-Greene Garden Party at the home of Carey Maloney and Hermes Mallea. | Rural Intelligence Making Hay At The BIFF Haute Hoedown | Rural Intelligence Jacob's Pillow Dance closed out its 2016 Festival with a party on Saturday, August 27. | Rural Intelligence The Thrill of the Grill: Eating And Competing At Grillsdale | Rural Intelligence Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon annual benefit dinner was held on Saturday, August 27, 2016 in New Lebanon. | Rural Intelligence Berkshire Baby Box raised funds to help new moms with a bowling benefit at Cove Lanes in Great Barrington. | Rural Intelligence The fine jewelry box exhibit, Modern Treasure Chests, opened at McTeigue & McClelland in Great Barrington on Sat., Aug. 20. | Rural Intelligence Berkshire South helds its annual Hero Gala Benefit on August 18th, 2016. | Rural Intelligence Hancock Shaker Village Undergoes A Revival | Rural Intelligence The annual Two For Two Hundred was held on Saturday, August 13, 2016 in Washington, Connecticut. | Rural Intelligence
Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Saturday, November 18, 2017
 
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STAIR GALLERIES

ELYSE HARNEY

Mahaiwe Tent

BERKSHIRE GROWN

Parties & Openings


Nov. 11 - Chatham
PS21 Gala

Nov. 4 - Pittsfield
NAACP Awards Dinner

Oct. 29 - G. Barrington
Halloween At L'Atelier

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PS21 Invites A Crowd To Help Celebrate Its New Home

Amy Krzanik reports from Chatham. At long last, Performance Spaces for the 21st Century (PS21) was able to hold a fundraising gala inside its very own building. On Saturday, Nov. 11, supporters flocked to tour the brand-new black box theater and to help PS21 and its director Judy Grunberg celebrate its completion. Two years in the making, the theater stands near the site where a saddle-span tent welcomed visitors every summer for the past 12 years. Unlike the tent, which was erected and torn down each season, the theater offers both a permanent indoor and an outdoor performance space. A packed house was treated to Kind of Blue by members of PS21 favorite Parsons Dance that was tweaked especially for the occasion. Jeff Loshinsky Catering impressed with passed appetizers, a ramen noodle bar, a grilling station, a dessert bar and more. Lincoln Mayorga bookended the evening with piano improvisations, and singer-guitarist Rory Block performed as a surprise treat.


Jack Shear, Rebecca Josue and Fabrizio Caputo; Annie Brody, executive director the Chatham Film Club, with Tamarack Garlow, Gary Bernstein and Dale Bernstein.


Author Emily McCully, writer Elizabeth Hess, Peter Biskind of FilmColumbia and Evan Stoller, the architect behind PS21’s new theater; Shawn Lesniak, Zoey Anderson and Geena Pacareu of Parsons Dance.


Judy Grunberg [far right] poses with those responsible for bringing the new theater to life.


Linda Sugin, Anthony Calnek, Jess Fardella and gala co-chair Marcia Fardella; NY Assemblymember Didi Barrett is flanked by Derek Grout and Ashley Hartka of Harvest Spirits Distillery, who offered tastes to the crowd.


Abby Laufer, Ed Grossman and Gwen Gould were there to show their love for Judy Grunberg; Live music was performed by pianist Lincoln Mayorga, here with his son Juan Carlos.


Singer-guitarist Rory Block stopped for a surprise performance.

 
Larry Salzman, Bob Blechman and Trudi Roth; Judy Grunberg and David Parsons raise their glasses.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/13/17 at 06:17 PM • Permalink

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Celebration, Renewed Commitment At Berkshires NAACP Dinner

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. Some people would have you believe that we are living through the worst time in America’s history. The present, however, is best viewed through the lens of the past. Anti-racism activist and writer Tim Wise discussed this topic and others during his keynote speech at the NAACP Berkshire County Branch’s annual Freedom Fund Awards Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Itam Lodge. The United States has always had a racism problem, and through worse times than these, people have banded together to fight against it. There’s no reason to stop now. To that end, the NAACP honored three local leaders who show us how that can be done. Wray Gunn, Sr. received the Paul Robeson Freedom Award for his lifetime commitment to the Berkshires and his work with the African-American Heritage Trail, Clinton Church Restoration, Friends of DuBois committee and the Sheffield Historical Society. Shirley Edgerton received the Mary McLeod Bethune Freedom Award for co-founding the Rites of Passage and Empowerment (R.O.P.E.) program for girls, being an active member of the local Women of Color Giving Circle and the Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival, and for her work as a cultural competency coach for the Pittsfield Public Schools. The Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner Freedom Award was given to John Bissell, president and CEO of Greylock Federal Credit Union, to honor his work as a true community partner instrumental in making sure opportunities are available to all. Proceeds from the dinner benefit area students through college scholarships and an upcoming trip to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. [Shown left, Tim Wise and Berkshires NAACP president Dennis Powell.]


Wray Gunn with Carol Stroll and Lenny Kates; Shirley Edgerton and her daughter, Jernee Edgerton.


Erin Sullivan, Churchill Cotton and Pittsfield city councilor Melissa Mazzeo; John Bissell with his parents, Nancy and George Bissell.


AJ Enchill, a district aide for Mass. State Senator Adam Hinds, with Catherine Van Bramer, an executive assistant to Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, and city councilor Pete White; Brett Westbrook and Roberta McCullough-Dews.


Gisselle and Tariq Pinkston; Roberta Russell, Carolyn Oppenheim, Bonnie MacCracken and Mass. State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier.


Laurie Norton Moffatt, Wayne Gunn and Amy Diamond; Bill Wright, Darcie Sosa and Kathie Penna.


Mass. State Representative Smitty Pignatelli with Allyce Najimy, and Pittsfield city councilors Melissa Mazzeo and Tony Simonelli; Luci Leonard, an advisor for Multicultural BRIDGE and attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/06/17 at 01:54 PM • Permalink

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Costumes, Cocktails, Caviar…And Art…At L’Atelier Gallery

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. You can’t expect Halloween in the Berkshires to be anything less than artful, and that was fully expressed at L’Atelier Berkshires Art Gallery on Sunday, Oct. 29. Gallerist Natalie Tyler took advantage of the Halloween spirit by combining a come-as-you-please party with an art salon and made it work. Amidst hors d’oeuvres (including caviar and pâté “stations” arranged by Torrey Oates of Amuse Culinary Events) and cocktails, glass artists Iva Kalikow and Debora Coombs spoke about their work, describing their inspiration and techniques, as did painter Michael Allen Lowe. Every couple of minutes, the door creaked open and, from the pouring rain outside, an alter ego of some sort or another stepped into the gallery to be admired by the guests. And if you don’t think it’s a little disconcerting having a conversation with a big toad head, you ought to try it some time. [Above, gallery owner Natalie Tyler and Adam Zamberletti, a.k.a. The Big Lebowski.]


Krysia Kurzyca, an artist and farmer who founded Medicine Buddha Gardens, and Alex Brink, a culinary artist; Misha Gomberg, who is on the staff of Turn Park, and Eric Smith of Eric’s Great Gardens.


The featured artists: glass artists Iva Kalikow and Debora Coombs, with painter Michael Allen Lowe.


Lenny Kalikow as Mr. Toad, in a head he had made 30 years ago (which he used to try to get on the David Letterman show); creepy eyeballs swimming in a blood-red punch.


Live Brazilian jazz provided by Vita Kay and Michael Junkins.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 10/30/17 at 02:39 PM • Permalink

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Berkshire Humane Society’s 25th Birthday Bash

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. The biggest change the Berkshire Humane Society (BHS) has seen in its 25 years might be the huge decrease in its clientele. But that’s great news! The clients in this case are dogs, cats, birds, goats and other animals in need, and the work BHS has done since 1992 has more than halved the amount of homeless pets in our region. To celebrate this milestone and its 25th birthday, the organization threw a party on Sunday, October 22 at The Colonial Theatre. News10 meteorologist and Pet Connection host Steve Caporizzo helped BHS honor its veterinary partners and raise funds for its programming with a live segment of Pet Connection and an onstage auction. The money raised will support the BHS satellite shelter, Purradise, in Great Barrington; humane education for children and adults; the Ken Freeburg Fund, which pays for treatment for animals who enter the shelter with health problems; and the SafePet Program, which provides temporary care for the pets of people in crisis.


Mark Heyer and Mary Shogry-Heyer with Steve Caporizzo; Stacey Carver, director of Berkshire Animal D.R.E.A.M.S., with Allen Harris of major sponsor Berkshire Money Management and BHS adoption counselor Lindsay Hermanski.


BHS executive director John Perreault with board president Cindy Bartlett and Marsha Weiner, co-founder of Catwalk; volunteer Sandy Haywood poses with Dakota, a dog she fostered and then adopted.


Barry Clairmont, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, Allison Johnson Krol and Pittsfield city councilor John Krol.


Lisa Ressler, Camille Nugai and BHS board member Sheila Labarbera all represented major sponsor Greylock Federal Credit Union; Cindy and Jeff Caminiti and Catwalk volunteer Melissa Bye take a moment to pet Gabby.


Julie Macdonald, Valerie Ross and Monique and James Blake of sponsor Allegrone; board member Tracy DiSilva with board vice president Fred Pomerantz.


Guests were treated to a live Pet Connection with BHS adoption counselor Lindsay Hermanski and host Steve Caporizzo.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/23/17 at 11:05 AM • Permalink

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Keeping The American Dream Alive With LitNet

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. Is “the American dream” still achievable in 2017? The Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet), its staff, board members and dedicated tutors would answer that question with a resounding “yes.” In fact, the non-profit’s annual gala — held on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Berkshire Country Day School — was the culmination of its American Dream Campaign. Since 2016, the number of new LitNet students has increased by 30 percent, and the fundraising effort began as a way to guarantee that tutoring will remain free for any local adult who needs it. As an added incentive, The Gilson Family Foundation agreed to match any money raised by up to $30,000. Going into the evening, the campaign had amassed $20,000. During a speedy live auction, author-performer Alison Larkin easily was able to raise more than double the $10,000 still needed to receive the full amount of funding offered. A balloon drop marked the happy occasion. The gala, which honored the organization’s tutors, was again catered by The Old Inn on the Green.


LitNet President Lucy Prashker with Michael Ury and board member Sue Weintraub; LitNet’s Mary Spina with her son-in-law, Brian Schmidt, and her daughter, Michelle Schmidt of the Gilson Family Foundation.


Catherine Shearn Chester and board member Matthew Chester with Shela Hidalgo and Gary Levante of gala sponsor Berkshire Bank; Francis Spina, Loretta Scheel and Robert Bujalski.


Tutor Lee Glazerman with Maria de Melendez, Marcelo Melendez, who is a student of Glazerman’s, and Young Kim and her tutor Fran Wolk.


Tutor Justin Burke, Ellen Boyd and Kevin Allan; Roy Kozupsky and LitNet tutor Leslie Kozupsky with Wendy Federer, a gala benefactor.


Tutor Sue Arkans, Howard Arkans, Erick Schafler and tutor Sharon Schafler; Cathy Deely with board member Marianne Deignan Ellrodt.


LitNet Executive Director Jennifer Vrabel and husband Matthew Vrabel [center] are flanked by guests from Greylock Federal Credit Union, a major gala sponsor, including Christhian Cabrera and Katherine Phillips [left] and Meghan McGrath and Dan Dillon [right].


Major gala sponsor Jane Iredale with board members Merle Kailas and Bob Montgomery; Stephen Boyd poses with Eleanore Velez.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/16/17 at 01:15 PM • Permalink

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Artist Liz Glynn Uncovers The Future At MASS MoCA

Amy Krzanik reports from North Adams. “Build something out of nothing” reads the wall text on the second floor of Liz Glynn’s exhibit, The Archaeology of Another Possible Future, now on view in MASS MoCA’s Building 5 gallery space. Piles of single-page newspapers make other succinct statements, also in black handwriting on a white background: “all that is solid melts into air;” “repair, refashion, reimagine;” “in ten thousand years ____________.” Glynn, in her largest-ever exhibit, which opened with an artist’s reception on Saturday, Oct. 7, ponders the past, present and future of human experience through its daily materials. Record players, wooden pallets, scrap metal, cement and soft felt mix with 3D printers and their output, delicate metal tumbleweeds, a series of catwalks, and hospital gurneys placed under tanning lamps. The goal? “Liz Glynn asks us to consider perhaps the biggest question,” says MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson, “What’s next for us humans?”


Liz Glynn with outgoing museum board president Hans Morris; Bridget Rigas, MASS MoCA’s director of development, with the exhibit’s curator, Susan Cross, and Richard de Maat.


Curator Denise Markonish with David R. Harper and Karen Patterson; Clay Hensley and Joyce Shu.


Photographers Brianna Rettig and Chris Janaro; MASS MoCA exhibition manager Caitlin Tucker-Melvin, Pint Locke and artist Joanna Klain.


Guests venture into the third cave, SMELL.


Elie Miodownik, Alli Dillenbeck and Makayla McGeeney; Lisa Reile and Jodi Joseph, the museum’s director of communications.


Denise Ottina and Paul Glynn, the artist’s father; Xavier, Lisa Dorin, Williams College Museum of Art interim director, and MASS MoCA’s deputy director Larry Smallwood.


The outside of the “analog” caves; children play inside the TOUCH cave.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/09/17 at 01:37 PM • Permalink

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Peering Through Glass At The Schantz Gallery Reception

Lisa Green reports from Stockbridge. It would not be an overstatement to say that I was gobsmacked by the virtuosity of the glass artists represented at the Schantz Galleries, but even the collectors among the crowd expressed wonderment for the pieces on display. Jim Schantz and his team invited a select audience to a reception to view “Cast, Cut and Cold” on Saturday, Oct. 7, at which several of the exhibiting artists were present. “Come help us celebrate the art, the artists, and the beautiful autumn colors of New England,” read the invitation, but clearly, the works by these internationally recognized glass artists, some of the best known in the world, were the real stars of the weekend. Following the reception, guests strolled around the block to the Red Lion Inn, where Jim Schantz and Kim Saul hosted a dinner for the art glass community — of which I now proudly call myself one. Above, a piece by Dale Chihuly hovers over the main floor exhibition area.


Hana Rosol, whose husband’s work is in the gallery, with glass artist Robin Grebe, whose work is also on display; Stanley Wooley of Schantz Gallery, with Susan Baker of Art New England, and her sister, Gail Baker.


Nick Minglis and Erica Minglis traveled from their home near Woodstock to enjoy the gallery reception.


Eric Federer and Wendy Federer with gallery owner Jim Schantz; Robert Shaloff and Michelle Shaloff of West Stockbridge and New Jersey.


Glass artist Eric Hilton and Ed Yasuna; Sidney Hutterer stands by one of his magnificent pieces.


Kim Saul and Jim Schantz, gallery owners and gracious hosts of the reception and dinner.


Janet Kawada and glass artist Dan Clayman; Gallery artists William Carlson and Martin Rosol with Pedro Alexander.


Steven Baum and Dorothy Baum of Newton, Penn. are avid glass collectors.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 10/09/17 at 01:03 PM • Permalink

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A Movable Feast: Berkshire Grown’s Annual Harvest Supper

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. At Berkshire Grown’s Harvest Supper, it’s definitely helpful if you can eat and walk at the same time: you’ve got to keep moving to get a taste of all of the dishes provided by member chefs. The 19th annual food feast on Monday, Sept. 25, held again at the Ski Butternut lodge, offered a showcase for restaurants, markets and beverage purveyors who outdo themselves every year with ingredients from producers in our area. It’s an evening where chefs, farmers and enthusiastic eaters can help Berkshire Grown further its mission: to celebrate and support local food and farms. [Above: Tom Curtin, Berkshire Grown board treasurer, with Executive Director Barbara Zheutlin, Molly Comstock of Colfax Farm, Schuyler Gail of Climbing Tree Farm and Allison Bayles, board president.]


From Kripalu, Steve Sherman and Shelby Drosehn; Doria Polinger of H.R. Zeppelin Chocolates prepares her display.


The mother-daughter team of eaters, Ava and Margaret Lindenmaier, get set to do a round of feasting.


Sue Arkans and Sharon Schafler; Fabien Riviere, director of food and beverage at The Red Lion Inn, with Anne-Juliette Maurice, vice president of operations for Main Street Hospitality.


Good news for those who miss the former Cafe Reva in Pittsfield: Its owner, Aura Whitman, is bringing her company, nAtURAlly, to Berkshire Mountain Bakery.


Castle Street Cafe’s new chef, Luis Zambrano; Williams College Dining chefs Mike Militello and Jerry Byers.


David Rothstein, owner of Race Brook Lodge, with Laura Werntz.


Shakespeare & Company’s Ariel Bock, Ruth Dinerman, Barbara Zheutlin, Allison Bayles, and Lianna Toscanini, executive director of the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires; Ryan Chandler and Ashley Chandler of Brattle Farm.


Richard Tovell and Abby Tovell, who run T Square Design Studio, with Sam Ernst and Jovanina Pagano.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/25/17 at 10:15 PM • Permalink

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New Milford Barn Quilt Trail Kicks Off At The Silo

Lisa Green reports from New Milford. One of the things we most love about covering events is bearing witness to (and yes, being embraced by) the warmth and enthusiasm of the communities in the RI region. On Sunday, Sept. 24, that “we’re all in this together” spirit filled The Silo’s handsome, restored barn at Hunt Hill Farm. The brunch, catered by Bonni Manning, honored the farmers, artists, volunteers, boards and commissions who banded together to make Connecticut’s first barn quilt trail a reality. Now, eight giant painted quilt panels adorn eight barns, with each design reflecting the history of the farm and the town’s agricultural past. New Milford Mayor Dave Gronbach presented certificates of appreciation to the many participants, praising the project as the perfect intersection of art, landscape and community. In a fitting cap to the event, Rachel Carley, an expert on barns in Connecticut, spoke about the styles of the eight host barns on the New Milford Barn Quilt Trail. [Above, the Quilt Trail committee: Suzanne Von Holt, chair, with Julie Bailey and Susan Bailey (no relation), whose barn bears the first of the quilts to be hung.]


Elizabeth Schrang of the Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust, which sponsored a quilt at Smirsky Farm, with her mother, Maridith Schrang; Rob Burkhart, president of the New Milford Trust for Historic Preservation, and Lorraine Ryan, an artist who is creating a series of paintings of the barns.


Sharon Kaufman, executive director, and Jayson Roberts, studio director of the Village Center for the Arts, which played a leading role in painting the eight-foot-square quilt panels.


Sarah Carberry and her mother Janet Harris of Harris Hill Farm (the first to hang one of the quilts); Mayor Dave Gronbach hands out certificates to farmers who lent their barns to the project.


The Silo at Hunt Hill Farm created a quilt pattern that reflects its agricultural and cultural history: Skitch Henderson, founder of the New York Pops orchestra, long-time musical director of the NBC Orchestra and radio and television personality, and his wife Ruth, a writer, chef and entrepreneur, fell in love with the property and purchased it in 1968. Building by building, they converted the two farms into a much-beloved cooking school, art gallery, museum and kitchen store.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/25/17 at 10:10 AM • Permalink

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Litchfield Historical Society’s Pig Roast Furthers Initiatives

Elyse Sadtler reports from Morris. The Litchfield Historical Society held its annual fall fundraiser on Sunday, Sept. 17 at South Farms in Morris, Conn. This year’s event took the form of a pig roast, featuring barbeque from When Pigs Fly South of Sharon, Conn. as the main fare. As guests began to arrive, they were greeted by music from the band Switch Factory, which provided live music for the evening. Jack Baker from the Litchfield Distillery served up cocktails and mixed drinks featuring their bourbon and vodka, including their new cinnamon bourbon. Proceeds from the event go toward funding the historical society’s educational initiatives, which include offering programs to students at Litchfield Schools — at no cost to the school system. On display at a side table were the plans for the Tapping Reeve House and Litchfield Law School grand landscaping project. [Above, Dave Hunt and Curator of Education Kate Zullo.]


Tom Curran and Laura Lasker; Switch Factory, the band for the evening.


LHS President Jane Hinkel, Executive Director Catherine Fields and Vice President John LaGattuta in front a rustic gate locally crafted by Christopher Hawver. (The historical society is also raising money for the purchase of two gates by Hawver for the landscaping project.)

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/18/17 at 02:43 PM • Permalink

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Equus Effect Event Tackles Trauma On Stage With “Cry Havoc”

Lisa Green reports from Lakeville. By the end of actor, playwright and veteran Stephan Wolfert’s one-man tour de force, “Cry Havoc,” the “why” of The Equus Effect became clear to anyone who may have doubted the need to help veterans successfully reenter civilian life. On Sunday, Sept. 16, The Equus Effect’s fundraising event at Quarry Hill Farm allowed supporters to bear witness to Wolfert as he performed his experience of trying to come home and re-connect with society. The Equus Effect, which began in 2013 working with 21 veterans, has grown to service 200 veterans in 2017 alone. The nonprofit organization in Sharon, Conn. empowers veterans to rebuild healthy relationships through purposeful engagement with horses. The horses help veterans focus on rebuilding trust, restoring healthy boundaries and both leading without force and relaxing without losing awareness. [Above, David Sonatore, co-founder of The Equus Effect, with Robert Caffrey, president of its board of directors.]


Wassaic residents Robyn Cutler Rosenberg, a board member, and David Rosenberg; Riley David-Gagnon, Aimee Davis, Bridget Ford Hughes, owner of of Body Lab GB and sculptor Jon Prince.


Co-founder Jane Strong with actor, playwright and veteran Stephan Wolfert.


Cecelia Morris, Carr Ferguson and Mary Oppenheimer; Ann Marie Belli and Jeffrey Earls.


Juliet Hubbard, Tony Robinson, writer Roxana Robinson, and physical therapist Bente Busby; Rene Milo, with Cynthia Walsh and Kathleen Fuhr, both on the Audubon Sharon board of directors.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/18/17 at 11:04 AM • Permalink

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1Berkshire Celebrates North Adams And More

Amy Krzanik reports from Williamstown. More than 300 community members — from bankers, builders and politicians, to artists, educators and medical professionals — found their way to the new Bloom Meadows event space on Thursday evening, Sept. 14. 1Berkshire, the region’s economic development organization, had invited them there to once again “Celebrate the Berkshires.” The annual event recognizes individuals and organizations who strengthen the local economy and help the Berkshires grow. The 2017 Berkshire Trendsetter winners were announced and are as follows: Comprehensive Marketing Campaign – Shakespeare & Company; Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year – Tad Ames of Berkshire Natural Resources Council; Growing/Advancing the Berkshire Economy – Allegrone; Under 40 Change Maker – Jessica Vecchia [shown left with her mother, Patti Bilodeau]; Nonprofit Impact – McCann Technical High School; Creative Economy Standout – Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; and Newcomer of the Year – Adam Hinds. The award for Putting the Berkshires on the Map, whose winners were the only ones previously announced, was presented to the Community of North Adams. And what a community it is. MASS MoCA’s Executive Director Joe Thompson perhaps said it best when he introduced the recipients. “Not to diminish the natural beauty and history of North Adams,” he said, “but the people are our greatest assests.”


1Berkshire board member and award presenter Peter Stasiowski of Interprint with “Newcomer of the Year” Mass. State Senator Adam Hinds; Noel Henebury, Devin Shea and Andrea Sholler, managing director of “Creative Economy Standout” winner Jacob’s Pillow Dance.


Brad Felix of event underwriter Greylock Federal Credit Union, Pittsfield City Councilor Pete White, Lo Sottile, and Craig Kahn of All Seasons Realty; Glenn Diehl of nominee Berkshire Scenic Railroad with 1Berkshire president and C.E.O. Jonathan Butler and Michelle Butler.


Sam Russo of event underwriter General Dynamics, Tim Burke, Carrie Holland also of GD, and Maggie Barry and Cody Gavin of the LakeHouse Inn in Lee.


Adam Klepetar and Charles Stephens, both of Berkshire Community College; Tim Kiely, 1Berkshire board member Lori Gazzillo of underwriter Berkshire Bank, James Culliton, a principal of Allegrone who received the award for “Growing/Advancing the Berkshire Economy,” and Mary Verdi.


Siddhi Mehta, Katielynn Hoffman, Brandon Wong, Jessica Clayborn and Dr. Mahek Mehta of nominee Hillcrest Dental Care; Tony Dunne, Julia Dixon and North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright.


Stephanie Bosley, Meghan Stetson, Brent Bette, Ally Holmes, and JD Chesloff of nominee MCLA.


Chris Smith, Cheryl Richards, Michele Morin and Mark Placido of Hillcrest Educational Centers; Change Maker nominee and North Adams City Council president Ben Lamb with Otto, and Alexandra Mitchell with Kya.


Denise Marshall, Molly Fannon Williams, and Michelle Daly of nominee MCLA; Emily Bronson and Shela Hidalgo of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Gary Levante of underwriter Berkshire Bank and Sarah Tucker.


Berkshire Community College came out in force to celebrate the Berkshires: Christina Wynn, Adam Klepetar, Adams Select Board member Christine Hoyt, Linda Morelli and Jonah Sykes.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/18/17 at 10:36 AM • Permalink

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Community Celebrates BNRC’s Half Century Of Landkeeping

Lisa Green reports from Dalton. “Landkeeping is for all of us.” So says the Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s website, and for 50 years, this organization has valiantly worked with landowners who want to donate land, it has scouted for new acquisitions, and planned, built and maintained trails — all so that we have easy access to the Berkshires’ natural world. On Saturday, Sept. 9, Tim Crane opened up his Holiday Brook Farm for a day of hayrides, guided walks, presentations, archery lessons, fishing clinics, food and music to celebrate and honor the work of the last 50 years. BNRC has big plans going forward as it embarks on the High Road project, which will create a system of linked trails that covers the entirety of Berkshire County. [Above, Sarah Hudson, whose brother Barclay Hudson donated Steadman Pond in Monterey, Mass. to the BNRC, with Tad Ames, BNRC’s outgoing president.]


Holiday Brook Farm’s pond was the perfect spot for a fishing clinic and fishing derby.


Jim Lamme, Wendy Linscott, a Council board member and Narain Schroeder, who is the director of land conservation at the BNRC; Roxanne Gawthrop, who runs development and donor relations, with Tom Curtin, a Council board member.


Mackenzie Greer, conservation and stewardship associate, chats with George Wislocki, who was founding president of the Council 50 years ago.


Joel Lerner, who was director of the Massachusetts Division of Conservation Services, and Gige Darey, former chair of the Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife Board, and “one of the nation’s great conservationsts,” said Lerner; David McGowan, executive director of the Williamstown Rural Land Foundation, and Nicole Pyser, stewardship coordinator at the BNRC.


Tad Ames and Holiday Farm owner and BNRC board chair Tim Crane with Jonas and Betsy Dovydenas.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 09/10/17 at 06:50 PM • Permalink

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James Ivory Hosts The 2017 Columbia-Greene Garden Party

Amy Krzanik reports from Claverack. The Alliance for Positive Health’s annual Columbia–Greene Garden Party is always a well-attended event and the cause is one that many hold close to their hearts. An added draw is that the APH (formerly the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York) holds the fundraiser at a different, magical property each year. This year, more than 400 guests were able to tour the home and grounds of famed film director James Ivory on Saturday, Sept. 2. Simons Catering created fanciful hors d’oeuvres, Kelly Mittleman & Friends played their hearts out, and the silent auction, another of the event’s big draws, featured hand-chosen pieces of art, furniture, fashion, personal care packages, dinners and overnight stays.


Brian Flynn, New York State Assemblymember Didi Barrett and Kris Kohler; Lindsay Pennington, Anthony Slayter-Ralph and Priscilla Woolworth.


Keith Lee with Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan and former mayor of Altamount James Gaughan; Robin Horowitz and Dale Stewart of Halstead Property with Cricket Coleman.


Artist Stephen King, host James Ivory and gala committee member Peter Bevacqua.


Mary Jane Bendon Couch, APH president, with Bill Faragon, APH executive director; Dave King, Frank Tartaglione, Maria Manhattan and Merry DePhillips.


Stephen Sipperly, board members Dominic Carota and Victor Mendolia, and Matt Lynch; Elizabeth Homitzky, Kurt Parde and Claire Parde, executive director of the Columbia County Community Healthcare Consortium.


Craig Chorney, John Boone and Chris Lockwood.


Alex Contreras, Lisa Briscoe and Andy Goldsborough; Christine Boeke, Suzanne Frye of NYC and Barbara Challan of Hudson.


Charles Rosen with Joseph Sniado and Michael Moy of Joe’s Garage in Catskill, and Duke Dang; Jane Duffstein, Charles Edwards and Michael Myers.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/04/17 at 09:54 PM • Permalink

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Drinks At the Waterfront With Historic Hudson

Jamie Larson reports from Hudson. An empty lot beside an abandoned warehouse, surrounded by barbed wire and next to railroad tracks, might seem like a strange locale for a posh party. But this is Hudson, New York, and that’s exactly what took place on Friday, Sept. 1. Historic Hudson held its Drinks on the Waterfront event at the old Dunn Warehouse to benefit the organization and to think big about the future of the highly visible historic site on the Hudson River. There was additional reason to celebrate; the city recently won a $10 million economic development grant for the riverfront district, which means plans to revitalize the building could become a reality sooner than later. The weather was perfect, as was the food provided by Talbott & Arding and the unique Eastern European wines from Hudson Wine Merchants. The party, produced by Katharine Millonzi, also was used to promote the equally unique upcoming Historic Hudson chamber music series. [Above, executive director of the Columbia County Historical Society Lori Yarotsky and executive director of Historic Hudson Lisa Weilbacker.)

Lacy Clarke, Historic Hudson intern Lucie Huston and realtor Dina Palin of Houlihan Lawrence, Scenic Hudson land project manager Abdiel Lopez Torres and Isabel Ramirez.


Photographer Annie Leibovitz with daughters Susan and Samuelle. Photo by Kelly Thompson.


Principal at Hudson Praxis Damara Rose (she is currently undertaking a feasibility study about turning Dunn into a Hudson River museum and science center), Chandra Glick, and photographer Antony Nagelmann holding Indigo Nagelmann; NY State Assemblymember Didi Barrett, Historic Hudson vice president Dorthy Heyl, candidate for Hudson 1st Ward Alderman Rob Bujan and Kathy Bujan.


President and executive producer at Hoff Productions Michael Hoff, Julia Ritchie, Shari Brink, Judy Kramer, Win Jackson and principal broker at Historic Hudson Homes Paul Trantanella; Kathryn and Bernadette Fitzgerald with Laurie Fenlason.


Linda and Bill Livanos, Glenda Ruby, author of the new book A Murderous Summer at Bard, and Ros Delay.


Morag Hann, Michael Arkin and Colin Stair of Stair Galleries, who sponsored the event; Historic Hudson president Alan Neumann invites attendees to dream big about the future of the site. 


Olana landscape curator Mark Prezorski, Hudson 3rd Ward Alderman and candidate for 3rd Ward Supervisor John Friedman, and designer Mitchell Motsinger; Eric Tucker and Susannah Millonzi wearing Francis Tucker.


Zachary Hill, Rhodes Adler, Annick de Bellefeuille and Historic Hudson president Alan Neumann.


Historic Hudson volunteer photographers Jackie O’Neill and Kelly Thompson; Suzanne Frye, Nancy Westbrook and Barbara Challan.

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Posted by Jamie Larson on 09/03/17 at 05:02 PM • Permalink

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Berkshire Grown Eats (And Contemplates) Farm-To-Table

Lisa Green reports from Sheffield. Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown, leads me to the menu posted at the entrance of the brunch on Sunday, Aug. 27, catered by The Old Inn on the Green and The Southfield Store. “Read, and prioritize,” she advises. “Peter Platt has outdone himself.” And indeed he has, providing a home-grown feast under the shade trees at the home of Hester Velmans and Peter Cherneff, with food and drink supplied by local farmers and beverage makers. It all just underscored the purpose of the event: Berkshire Grown’s championing of the local food economy in the Berkshires, and whetted the guests’ appetites for the after-brunch conversation, “Food, Farming and our Future.” Although one of the speakers, columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman was unable to make the event due to a family emergency, Dan Barber held the audience’s attention with his views on where the farm-to-table movement is heading. “We’re just beginning,” said the author, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill New York and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. “For farm-to-table 2.0 we need to look beyond what is passive or easy, and develop hyper-regional cuisines.” While his talk left guests wanting more, each was rewarded on the way out with a copy of Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming and Our Future, compiled by the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. [Above: The two men of the hour(s): Chef Peter Platt and Dan Barber.]


Ellen House, who is assistant to cosmetics company owner Jane Iredale, and Geoffrey House; Doug McTavish and Linda Saul-Sena.


Steve Sagarin of the Berkshire Waldorf High School, Janis Martinson, advancement director at The Mahaiwe, Chris Weld, owner of Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Berkshire Grown’s Barbara Zheutlin, and Tyler Weld.


The farmers and other vendors who contributed to the brunch; Anna Oliver, Stephan Klein, Bonnie Rosenberg and Susan Bubenas.


Blue Q graphic designer Silka Glanzman, Susan Engel, a professor at Williams College, and Emily Bronson of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.


Jewelry designer Dai Ban, Robin Ban, Jessica Velmans and artist Jorge Silveira.


Restaurateur Mark Firth, owner of Prairie Whale, joins the sausage-grilling team Hope Millham, Jake Levin  of Jacuterie, Brian Heck, and Sean Stanton of Blue Hill Farm.


Guests head to the barn to hear Dan Barber’s talk.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 08/28/17 at 09:47 AM • Permalink

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Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon Gala 2017

Amy Krzanik reports from New Lebanon. Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon’s annual summer benefit gala, held this year on Saturday, Aug. 19, began with a cocktail hour in and around the Vault of the impressive Great Stone Barn. Guests moved to the tent for dinner, which was prepared by The Farmer’s Wife located in Ancramdale and Millbrook, New York. The evening’s highlight was a performance by the gala’s guests of honor, actress Frances McDormand and actress/singer Suzzy Roche [shown left]. The two performed an excerpt from The Wooster Group’s Early Shaker Spirituals: A Record Album Interpretation, which was introduced by The Wooster Group’s current and founding member Kate Valk. Dolores Meissner of Meissner’s Auctions led a live auction, where supporters participated in a friendly battle for trips, nights out on the town, finely made Shaker reproduction side tables and other items. Coffee, camaraderie and desserts from Manhattan’s Magnolia Bakery rounded out the evening’s events. Early Shaker Spirituals will return to The Performing Garage in SoHo for a limited engagement this December. [Above photo of Frances McDormand and Suzzy Roche by John Mulligan.]


Chair of the board Paul Cassidy with Lisa Malone Jackson, the site’s director of advancement, and her husband Jeffrey Jackson; Patricia Crown and Tracy Kelly.


Jed Englund and Alyce Englund, a curator at The Met; architect John James, Jill and Rufus Jones of the James Weldon Johnson Foundation, and board member Rae Gilson.


Daniel Schmeder, Zoe McFarland and Gavin McFarland; chair emeritus Jeff Daly with Dennis Corrado.


Julia Todoli, Roni Horn and Vernon Evenson; Chris Thompson and David Landauer.


Jeffrey Peabody, Jennifer Dowly and Guy Walker of The Re Institute; Arlin Wasserman with Dan and Nina Worth.


Auctioneer Dolores Meissner and Lacy Schutz, the site’s executive director; Nancy Kyle, Michael Hursa, Max Gitter and Linda Hursa, who created bouquets for the dinner tables.



Jerry Grant, the Museum’s director of collections and research, with Toby Bilanow and Stephen McNabb; Shaker scholar Sharon Koomler, Stephanie Aeder and Rae Gilson.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 08/21/17 at 04:24 PM • Permalink

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

n
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

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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

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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

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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

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Berkshire Botanical Garden Celebrates The Berkshire Eagle

Lisa Green reports from Stockbridge. The Berkshire Botanical Gardens’ annual Fête Des Fleurs stepped it up this year with a sit-down dinner and a tribute to the new and improved local newspaper. To honor The Berkshire Eagle’s support of the area’s cultural institutions, The BBG asked those organizations to be part of the party on Friday, July 28 at the home of Chris and Ellen Greendale. Representatives of institutions such as The Mount, the Shaker Museum Mount Lebanon, the Clark Art Institute, Jacob’s Pillow Dance, and Barrington Stage Company as well as community-minded businesses including A.J. Schnopp, Jr. Construction Inc. and Main Street Hospitality were among the guests attending “The Best View of the Berkshires: Celebrating our New Eagle.” And while we must gently insist that Rural Intelligence offers an equally fine “view of the Berkshires,” the landscape vistas afforded by the Greendales’ property were quite spectacular. To complement the newspaper theme, guests were provided press passes as nametags, topiary eagles designed by Board Chair Matt Larkin hovered over the tables, and a “newspaper” program shared the latest BBG news. [Above, Executive Director Michael Beck at the reception, with Julia Schwartz.]


Claudia Perles, quilt artist Pam Johnson and Maria Carls; Susan Wissler, executive director of The Mount, with Christopher Magee, MIT professor emeritus.


Happy gathering of the Garden’s professionals and stalwart supporters: Madeline Hooper, vice-chair of the board of trustees, Anthony Archer-Wills, Pauline Archer-Wills, Ian Hooper, a board member, Dorthe Hviid, director of horticulture, and Page Dickey, garden designer and writer.


The event’s hosts, Chris Greendale and Ellen Greendale; Trustees Martha Piper and Mary Copeland flank Linda O’Connell and Palma Fleck.


Kevin Moran, editor of The Berkshire Eagle, and Melanie Moran; Max Aflalo and John Spellman.


Robin Parow, director of marketing communications, holds up The Garden Bug, a specially produced edition for and about the Fête des Fleurs; Topiaries in the shape of eagles deliver The Garden Bug to each table.


William Binnie and Mari Binnie with Matt Larkin, chair of the board of trustees.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/29/17 at 09:06 PM • Permalink

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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

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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

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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 made with Peony Vodka; 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Shakespeare & Company’s Ruby Gala

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. Bright garnet gowns, crimson lips and fingertips, and deep scarlet dress ties were de rigueur at Shakespeare & Company on Saturday, July 1, as the non-profit theater celebrated its 40th or “ruby” anniversary. Party guests sipped Ruby Drop cocktails – a mixture of vodka, triple sec, lemonade, fresh raspberries and love – and munched hors d’oeuvres before settling in for a surprise-filled show in the Tina Packer Playhouse. Sweet Honey in the Rock serenaded the crowd, and Company actors performed pop-up (sometimes literally) soliloquies from some of the Bard’s best-loved plays. Actor David Joseph led a live auction to close the show, but it’s Shakespeare & Co., and the show is never really over here. As guests filed out of the theater, they came upon a man, a woman and a horse in the Rose Meadow below. It was artistic director Allyn Burrows, who performed a scene from Henry V, alongside Kat Whitney and horse Ali. As Burrows exited and horse and rider galloped away, a new scene from Romeo and Juliet took its place. Dinner, dancing and more pop-up performances rounded out the magical evening. Here’s to 40 more! [Above, Tina Packer and her son, actor Jason Asprey, flank Casey McShain.]


Margy and Lew Steinberg with trustee Claudia Perles; Reggie Life, director of God of Carnage, with Natalie Johnsonius Neubert, director of development, and artistic director Allyn Burrows.


Board chair Ken Werner and Rhea Werner of the advisory board with Janet Lee and Martha Rosen; actor Actor Josh McCabe and Yuki Cohen.


Actors David Adkins and Tommy Schrider; Mass. state senator Adam Hinds with Kristen van Ginhoven and Nick Webb.


Guests walk down the path to dinner in the tent; Kat Whitney plays the Queen of France atop Ali.


Cathy Monoxelos and Steve Bader; S&Co. actors and teachers Dara Silverman and Douglas Seldin flank Carol Seldin of the advisory board.


Mass. state representative Smitty Pignatelli and Nancy Kalodner; Burrows performs a monologue as attendees leave the Playhouse and head to dinner.


Party guests passed under saber arches along the winding path.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 07/02/17 at 05:42 PM • Permalink

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Food, Farm, School…Hawthorne Valley Association Does It All

Rachel Louchen reports from Ghent. The threat and eventual arrival of a torrential downpour didn’t put a damper on spirits for Hawthorne Valley Association’s Declaration of Interdependence field-to-table dinner. On Saturday, July 1, the third annual event benefited the education, research, and cultural programming produced by the association’s roughly 12 initiatives (Farmscape Ecology Program, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, and Free Columbia, to name a few). The “field-to-table” promise rang true: the food was provided by the Hawthorne Valley farm, which has been producing organic and biodynamic food since 1972, and which provides products that are sold at the farm store located across the street. Farmer/philosopher Fred Kirschenmann [above, with the association’s Rachel Schneider] was honored for his longtime work advocating for organic farming. The event also included a silent auction, live music, and a sturdy tent sheltering all of the well-fed guests.


Farmers Phyllis Van Amburgh and Paul Van Amburgh of Dharma Lea Farm, Kevin Irby, who works at Armonia LLC, one of the event’s sponsors, and Steffen Schneider, director of farm operations.


Hawthrone Valley farm store manager Jeremy Laurange and director of retail manager Dana Wagner; director of marketing and communications Heather Gibbons and Michael Frosch, school director at Hawthrone Valley Waldorf School.


Hillsdale residents David Revede and Jeremy Dodd; board member Christina Lowery, CEO of Girl Rising, and Lauren Haberland.


Hawthorne Valley Center for Social Justice co-director Gary Lamb, Waldorf School teacher Janene Ping and Linda Frosch.


Justin Goldman, branch manager at Bank of Greene County and Andrea Girolamo; Lauren Wolff and Katie Smith-Cashen, owner of Farm at Miller’s Crossing in Hudson.


Mackenze McAleer and Dana Bezerra; Hawthorne Valley Association’s executive director Martin Ping and Scott Sylvester, who has three children attending the Waldorf school.


Alex Strompf, farm store operations manager Chandra Strompf, Daniele Do and Sam Sutton.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 07/01/17 at 09:05 PM • Permalink

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Summer School: Jack Shainman’s Kinderhook Gallery Opens New Exhibit

Amy Krzanik reports from Kinderhook. The School | Jack Shainman Gallery opened its 2017 summer exhibit, The Coffins of Paa Joe and the Pursuit of Happiness, on Saturday, June 24 with a celebration that has, in 4 short years, come to be one of the most eagerly awaited events of the season. Local artists and visitors from the city (where Shainman’s Chelsea gallery has opened a related show) got to know each other over signature cocktails, food from Simons Catering and desserts by Eat.Sip.Smile. A special performance of PATIENT(CE) by Company SBB and jazz ensemble Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber took place under shade trees while viewers enjoyed the sunshine. A third exhibit, If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day: Collections of Claude Simard, up now at the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, focuses on pieces from the collection of the Shainman Gallery’s late co-founder. All three are diverse, crossing time periods, cultures and countries, and encompassing sculpture, murals, photography, 3D work and more.


Artist and sheep farmer Dan Devine with Ruth Adams, director of Art Omi in Ghent; Aiko Tanaka, Priscilla Torres and Jasmin Hernandez.


Ian Berry, director of the Tang Museum at Skidmore, with Jack Shainman gallery director Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels, Jack Shainman, and choreographer Stephen Petronio.


Warren Suss, Nat Chase and Tamsen Greene, senior director at the gallery; Laura Loving and Stella with Elena Filimonova and Sasha.



You’ll know you’ve arrived at The School when you see the large red sculpture on the front lawn.


Molly Gottschalk with Olivia Smith of Magenta Plains Gallery; Lars, a filmmaker, and producer Irene Francis with Ronald Shaw.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/27/17 at 08:37 AM • Permalink

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Jacob’s Pillow Announces Big Plans For Its 85th Season

Amy Krzanik reports from Becket. This summer, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival celebrates its 85th season and its director, Pamela Tatge, celebrates her first as curator of the esteemed institution. Tatge, pictured at left with Judith Wilkinson, took over last year with a full season pre-planned by outgoing longtime director Ella Baff. At the Pillow’s opening night gala on Saturday, June 17, Tatge introduced the 2017 season, presented her vision for the festival’s future – a year-round, community-engaged plan set to be fully realized by 2022 – and awarded the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award to choreographer Liz Lerman. The sold out gala crowd was treated to performances by Miami City Ballet, New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns with Company Wang Ramirez, and students from the School at Jacob’s Pillow in a visually stunning world premiere choreographed by Bruce Wells. A sit-down dinner followed and, as always, dancing concluded the evening’s festivities. 


Pillow trustee and gala co-chair Hunter Runnette, Albert Pope and actor David Rasche; former Mass. Governor Deval Patrick with Jane Iredale.


Liz Richards and Alison Hart; event underwriter Suzanne Nash with Tom Patti, a glass artist who creates each year’s Dance Award, and his wife Marilyn Patti.


Vicky Spelman, Vincent Thomas, Peter Prix and Anna Spelman.


Karen Cellini with Bruce Evenchick; JK Brown, Evette Sonia Brower and Eric Diefenbach.


Choreographer Liz Lerman with Pamela Tatge and Eleanor Oldham of Wang Ramirez; David Schecker, Vicki Bonnington and Carrie Wright.


Ogden Gigli and Kat Whitney with Jedediah Thompson of the brand-new Township Four in Pittsfield and Nathan Hanford of Soldier On.


Judith Monachina, Dennis Powell and Yvette Jamuna Sirker; Gary Levante and Shela Hidalgo.


Camila Notaro and Grace Bilodeau; Carolyn Valli, who recently auditioned for Wheel of Fortune (Good luck, Carolyn!), with Mass. State Senator Adam Hinds.


Deborah Spey, Seth Cohen, Rachel Cohen, Charles Rosen and Duke Dang.


Brian Cruey with David and Maria Carls; Harriet Ross and Irwin Ross.


Laurie Norton Moffatt, director and CEO of the Norman Rockwell Museum with Kit DobelleRitch Holben, Ken De Loreto and Scott Edward Cole of the Monterey General Store.


Elissa Haskins–Vaughan, the Pillow’s director of development, with Michael Flamini, who is on the Pillow’s education committee; Methuselah owner Yuki Cohen and its friendly bartender, Johnny, serve up craft cocktails.


Lourdes Lopez, Board President Chris Jones, Katy Rule and Colter Rule.


Toronto’s Throwdown Collective performed two works, outside on the lawn, during the cocktail hour.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/19/17 at 04:21 PM • Permalink

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Hidden Events Start With Twilight In The Garden

Lisa Green reports from Spencertown. It mattered not a whit that this year’s Twilight in the Garden reception on Friday, June 16 was held at the same location as last year. After all, who wouldn’t want to return to the pastoral landscape at the home of Denise and John Dunne? The garden party, a kickoff to the Spencertown Academy’s annual Hidden Gardens tour the following day, is a fundraiser for the real fundraiser: tours of spectacular gardens in the area, lectures and workshops, a garden market on the green and an art exhibition. Although the all-volunteer party planners hastily set up tents because of rain, all turned out just fine: the showers stopped as guests started to arrive, and even the sheep, as if on cue, drifted out to pasture to assure that the view would be as stunning as possible. [Above: Hostess Denise Dunne and Betsy Winters Russell, a member of the Hidden Gardens committee.]


Cindy Atkins, Carl Atkins, Wayne Greene and Helen Whitney, a producer and director of documentaries for PBS; Rae Gilson, Greg Vogler and Nansi Friedman.


The blond-hair, red-lipstick club: Linda Ziskind and Christine Callander.


Jill Kalotay, secretary of the Academy’s board of directors, and Anita Fiorillo, who was on the Hidden Gardens committee; Pauline Archer-Wills and water garden designer Anthony Archer-Wills flank party host John Dunne.


Eve Zatt, who designed the evening’s special cocktail, and Cindy Atkins, who was on the Hidden Gardens event committee.


New members Christian Dewailly, who worked in the Swiss hospitality industry for 20 years, and Liz Garger volunteered to serve Swiss raclette; Bill Howe is “surrounded by Joy:” Joy Weiner and Joy Howe.


Hidden Garden co-chair (and Rural Intelligence garden contributor) Madaline Sparks, with Chip Rae of Easthampton and Ghent, NY.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/17/17 at 12:17 PM • Permalink

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Cherchez La Femme: CEWM Celebrates Women Composers

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. “Cherchez la femme. Look for the woman,” said Yehuda Hanani in his introductory remarks at Close Encounters With Music’s 2017 gala concert, Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman – Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage, on Saturday, June 10 at the Mahaiwe. The oft-quoted French phrase was used, in this case, to spotlight the fact that women, sometimes billed only as “anonymous,” were the composers behind some very famous works credited to men. CEWM celebrated them in a concert that began with pieces from the past by Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and others, and ended with commissioned world premieres by Joan Tower, Patricia Leonard, Tamar Muskal and others. Performers included pianists Renana Gutman and Ieva Jokubaviciute, Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes, violinist Peter Zazofsky, and cellist and CEWM’s artistic director Yehuda Hanani. A dinner and cocktail reception at the Stockbridge Golf Club allowed guests to mingle with the evening’s musicians and composers in attendance. [Above: pianist Renana Gutman, left, performed a piece by Joan Tower, right.]


Danielle Talamantes with Mark Cannon and Marcia Levy; Betsy and Jonas Dovydenas with pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute.


Composer Tamar Muskal poses with her husband; board member Michael Wise, Susan Pettee, who sang as a “suffragette” in the concert’s opening a cappella number, and composer Patricia Leonard.


Penny and Claudio Pincus, Beverly Zabriskie, Carrie Chen and Stanley Cohen.


Violinist Peter Zazofsky with Joan Tower and Yehuda Hanani; Muskal, Hanani, Gutman, Zazofsky and Jokubaviciute on stage. (Photos by Alena Bergmann)


Johanna Janssen, Lorraine Abraham, Helene Berger and Penny Pincus; Aso Tavitian and Isabella Meisinger.


Trevor and Denise Forbes with Timothy, Melanie and Michelle Manuel.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 06/12/17 at 04:50 PM • Permalink

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Past And Present Converge At Wassaic Project’s Summer Exhibit

Rachel Louchen reports from Wassaic. The Wassaic Project is known for being so much more than a nonprofit—it’s truly a mix of art and community—and this year they honored their ties to Wassaic’s past. On Saturday, June 10, they unveiled their (always awesome) summer exhibition, Vagabond Time Killers. The name was inspired by a found photograph of a group of Wassaic residents, circa 1901, holding a banner boasting those words. The work of 53 artists creating in a variety of media is displayed throughout the seven floors of the old Maxon Mills grain elevator. Many of the exhibitors are artists-in-residence, who have lived and worked in the hamlet. It’s always an incredible sight, but this year’s exhibition is more mature, said co-founder Bowie Zunino, thanks to its theme depicting the artist’s relationship to their current location in time and space, and how it relates to the past and present. In addition to previewing the exhibition, on view until Sept. 24, the party served as a fundraiser to help keep the project’s upcoming July and Aug. one-day festivals free to the public. That’s just another testament to the project’s community spirit. Above, founders and co-executive directors Eve Biddle, Bowie Zunino and Jeff Barnett-Winsby.


Volunteer Kendra LaCroix and programs and exhibitions manager Jenny Morse; Chris Offensend  and Jill Duncan.


Benefit committee members James Snyder and Krista Fragos; Mike Welt, board member Jillian Dunham and Deb Murnin.


John Hoffman and Mike McCalman who have a house in Millerton; Liza Stark and Alex Goldmark are friends of an artist featured in the exhibit.


Guests previewed the first of seven floors in the summer exhibition, Vagabond Time Killers.


Artist Ghost of a Dream, whose work is featured in the exhibit, with Wassaic resident Jean Gutierrez; annual summer benefit attendee John Willey and Rich Aronstein of Millerton.


Past resident Ryan Vahey, who donated work to the event’s auction, with Nicole Issembert;  programs and exhibitions coordinator Julie Le and board member Genevieve Christy.


Board members Karen Zukowski and Lucy Commoner in front of work by artist Kirstin Lamb; Barry Zucker-Pinchoff and Barbara Zucker-Pinchoff.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 06/11/17 at 03:13 PM • Permalink

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Norman Rockwell Museum’s Annual Gala Honors The Legends

Lisa Green reports from Stockbridge. The Norman Rockwell Museum’s annual gala, “Legends,” on Saturday, June 10, just may have attracted the best-dressed crowd of the season — at least so far. Many of the guests were inspired to take a page out of ‘60s and ‘70s fashion, and here’s why: The summer exhibit, “Inventing America: Rockwell & Warhol” examines each of those artist’s roots in the world of commercial illustration. To discover what these two American icons of the art world shared, we encourage you to visit the exhibit, but there was another common element: family members of both artists were at the gala — and, in fact, James Warhola (an artist whose work is included in the exhibit) and Rockwell grandson Geoffrey Rockwell were honorary co-chairs of the evening. The traditional cocktails-and-dinner format was followed by a dance party in the Studio 54 disco that was recreated on the museum’s grounds in homage to Warhol. The after-party was open to the community and the invitation to dress up was enthusiastically accepted. [Above, Trustee John Hyson, museum director and CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt and former trustee Hans Morris.]


Susan Consigli and Christina Consigli; Bonnie Burman and Terry Burman, a trustee.


Three generations of Rockwells: Margaret and Geoffrey Rockwell (grandson of Norman Rockwell) flank the seated Jarvis Rockwell (Norman Rockwell’s son), Jarvis’s wife, Nova, and Geoffrey’s daughter, Alethea Rockwell.


Dr. Justin Wernick and Nancy Kalodner, now at Cohen + White Associates; At the exhibition preview, James Warhola talks about his uncle, Andy Warhol, while the museum’s chief curator, Stephanie Plunkett, looks on.


How might Norman Rockwell have depicted this millennial tableau? Matt Arnold, Nicole Arnold, Spencer Rice, Lili Weiss Voskidis, Molly Hubbard and Nick Cushing.


Pat Chory and John Chory; Christy Williams, vice president of museum and corporate art services at Sotheby’s, who conducted the auction during dinner, with Robert Coombs.


Veronica Martin and Daniel Underhill, ready for the Studio 54 after-party; Isanne Fisher and Susie Hirshfield.


Arriving to dance the night away: Mark Amero, director of admissions at Craneville Place of Dalton, Adrian Sexton, a comedian in New York, and Brian Amero, director of development at United Way of Greater Waterbury.


The reincarnated Studio 54; Shawn Ahern, photographer Ogden Gigli, Kat Whitney, co-founder of the Yoga Institute of the Berkshires, and Sayer Mansfield.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 06/11/17 at 10:58 AM • Permalink

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The Missing Piece: Building 6 Opens At MASS MoCA

Amy Krzanik reports from North Adams. You’ve read about it in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and here, on our site. It’s Building 6, the 3-story refurbished factory building that’s adding 130,000 square feet of space to MASS MoCA, nearly doubling its total gallery size and allowing for artist workshops, performing artists’ support facilities, festival amenities and more. Thousands of people visited the museum’s campus on Sunday, May 28 for a first look at the building and exhibits by Laurie Anderson, Jenny Holzer, James Turrell,  Joe Wardwell, the Louise Bourgeois Trust, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the estate of Gunnar Schonbeck and others. Pop-up performances throughout the day featured music by The Amherst String Quartet and Brooklyn United Marching Band, DJ Herbert Holler, and a Soundsuit celebration of dancing and drumming, choreographed by Williams College professor Sandra Burton, which culminated in Nick Cave’s Until exhibit. An evening performance by the band CAKE in Joe’s Field capped off the festivities.


Danielle Krcmar and Dana, Barron and JB Clancy pose in front of their friend Joe Wardwell’s Hello America: 40 Hits from the 50 States; Maggie Mitts, who works at Chesterwood in Stockbridge, and her mother, Marybeth Mitts, who works at Williams College.


Bob Faust, artist Nick Cave, Sandra Burton and the museum’s director, Joe Thompson.


Part of an exhibit by Jenny Holzer; one of the rooms in the James Turrell exhibit.


John, Jen and Cailyn Soltanas; Dan Mitchell, Maxime Leroy-Tullie, Nicolas Cogrel and Colin Martin.


The dark room, created by Laurie Anderson; a closeup of Anderson’s work featured in an adjacent gallery.


Mark Anders, Zirwat Chowdhury, Paige Johnston, Karthik Pandian and Aaru.


One view of Robert Rauschenberg’s A Quake in Paradise (Labyrinth); guests play a large xylophone in Gunnar Schonbeck’s No Experience Required.


The courtyard was packed with visitors enjoying the sunny weather.

The Brooklyn United Marching Band performs for an enthusiastic crowd.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/30/17 at 11:26 AM • Permalink

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At The Factory, After Hours, With IS183

The creative community turned out in force for IS183 Art School of the Berkshires’ Factory Gala on Saturday, May 20. This year’s fundraising event to celebrate and support art-making in the Berkshires was held at, fittingly, a former stationery factory in Dalton, Mass. Known for being one of the most imaginative parties of the season, the gala saw guests donning personas ranging from punk rock provocateur to Andy Warhol lookalike. Dinner was served by Chef Peter Platt of The Old Inn on the Green, and dancing was encouraged by DJ J-Wolf and the swirling projections of Joe Wheaton. The party raised a total of $65,000 that will go directly to support all that IS183 does to “inspire, educate and engage,” including Learning Through Arts, its after school, summer and residency program that uses art-making to engage children in some of the region’s lowest performing K-12 public schools to experiment, collaborate and create while helping foster conflict resolution and social-emotional skills, and reinforce academic goals. [All photos by Bill Wright and Edward Acker. Shown above, honorary committee member and Patron Star Paul Kopperl, IS183 Executive Director Hope Sullivan, and Patron Stars Marilyn and Nathan Hayward.]

Former board member and Hancock Shaker Village Executive Director Jennifer Trainer Thompson with IS183 Board Chair and Patron Star Andy Foster; Dr. Jon Gotterer, Dr. Nina Molin, Patron Star Tom Werman, and board member and Patron Star Suky Werman.


Event committee member Noel T. Henebury, Janine Strong, Reba Evenchik, and Berkshire Athenaeum Executive Director Alex Reczkowski.


Honorary committee member and Patron Star Marcia Feuer with Wendy Gordon; Shirley and Ira Yohalem.


Nancy Nogood, Oskar Hallig of Only in My Dreams Events, Boxxa Vine and Noelle Diamond; artist and Patron Star Henry Richardson and Patron Star Barrie Roman.


Honorary committee members, Patron Stars and Blue Q owners The Nash Family: Mitch, Mary, Seth, Suzanne, Caitlin, Grace Clark and Jasper.


Honorary Committee Member and Patron Star Natalie Johnsonius Neubert with honorary committee member and Patron Star Bruno Quinson; Tony Guthrie of Factory sponsor the 37 Interlaken Road Project with honorary committee member, former board member and Patron Star Vicki Bonnington.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/30/17 at 08:44 AM • Permalink

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Pine Plains Memorial Hall Groundbreaking Community Day

Jamie Larson reports from Pine Plains. The Pine Plains Memorial Hall was once a huge part of the town’s history. On Saturday, May 20, a day full of activities brought the community out to celebrate the groundbreaking of the long awaited restoration of the vacant town icon. The original Memorial Hall was constructed in 1915, but today the big brick building, its tall windows, crown of dormers and the grand theater inside are, admittedly, in rough shape. The mission of the renewal effort is to bring together the community and foster economic development in Northern Dutchess County and surrounding areas. With this restoration, the hall will be a vital part of the town’s future; plans are to make it a regional center for community-based civic and social programs, agriculture and arts education, cultural performances and a starting point for local charitable organizations. Now in its second year of a five-year planning, capital fundraising and construction cycle, there’s enough money to begin the first phase of the project. The man who got the ball rolling, PPMH President Jack Banning, said they’re excited for the innumerable possibilities for the venue. “The trick is that this can be done without taking ourselves too seriously,” Banning said, pictured at left with board secretary Hollis Bart.


The large assembled crowd cheered, “We dig Pine Plains!” as they ceremoniously shoveled out chunks of the Memorial Hall’s front lawn.


PPMH renovation architect Doug Larson and PPMH Executive Director Brian Keeler; Donn Potter, PPMH board member Claire Copley and advisory committee member Alan Eisenberg.


Head event coordinators for the Community Day, Chris Hedges and Jennifer Updike (fresh out of the dunk tank); Joan and Dick Dunham with PPMH volunteer communications representative and principal at VKLarson Communications Victoria Larson.


The atmosphere during the groundbreaking was decidedly jubilant, even after a full day of festivities.


Retired local farmer Barney Chase, attorney Charles M. Napoli with Judy and Tom Allen; Gallatin, New York Town Supervisor John Reilly emerges from the dunk tank.


Andres Vialpando and Anthony Silvia of Anthony Silvia Signs; Ann Simmons of the Little Nine Partners Historical Society with Brett McCormack and Josh Nathanson of Gathering Greens, which opened at the Grange Hall Monday.


The present condition and future vision for theater space in the PPMH.


Volunteer Gully Stanford and Louis Loeb; Ken and Ruth Noskin with their dog Rasa.


The current condition of the side of the hall, surrounded by partygoers; the future of the same view represented in model form.


Debra Bartlett and Gabriela Montenegro behind their booth for doTerra Wellness Advocate; Peter and Brittany Destler representing their family’s shop, A New Leaf Used Books.

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Posted by Jamie Larson on 05/22/17 at 07:20 AM • Permalink

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Guests Rock To A New Riff At The Berkshire Museum

Lisa Green reports from Pittsfield. The guitar is such a ubiquitous instrument that one tends to take it for granted. Until, that is, one takes in the Berkshire Museum’s current exhibition: “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World.” The traveling collection, on loan from the National Guitar Museum, opened on Friday, May 19 with a debut party that featured music by the Berkshire Jazz Collective [at left] and food from Just Kickin’ It Bar-Be-Que. On display are 80 specimens of guitars (and guitar-like instruments) — many of them rare and antique. The exhibit also includes stations examining the science of sound, plenty of hands-on interactive stations, and videos and photographs of famous guitarists in history. The exhibit runs through Sept. 4.


Museum director Van Shields, board member Missy Scarafoni , Jen Hines and Steve Oakes; Maryellen Vincent and David Vincent with David Harrington of Lee Bank.


Jim Wojtaszek of Greylock Federal Credit Union, the exhibit’s sponsor, with Debbie Wojtaszek, who says her husband is “an awesome guitar player.”


Amy Bozek with Leah Thompson of BART Charter Public School; Alison Farkas and Matthew Farkas of October Mountain Financial Advisors.


Veronica Martin and Daniel Underhill.


Taking a special interest in the Fender Stratocaster are luthiers Darren Rahilly and Don Sweener, who own Firepit Guitars in Pittsfield; Ted Burdick, Chloe Geffken and Caroline Tegeler.


Matthew McLain serenades his colleagues from Greylock Federal: Meghan McGrath, Jordyn Mason and Kellie Canino.


Matt Scarafoni, president and founder of Scarafoni Financial Group and Dave Neubert; Ted DiPietro, a musician who works at General Dynamics and Alisa Costa, the initiative director at Working Cities Pittsfield.


The world’s largest guitar, certified by Guinness World Records, is 43.5 feet long and 16 feet wide.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/21/17 at 12:23 PM • Permalink

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Welcome To West Stockbridge: Turn Park Art Space Opens

Amy Krzanik reports from West Stockbridge. Turn Park Art Space, a contemporary sculpture park and community gathering spot, opened to a large and eager crowd on Sunday, May 14. The Park’s architects and founders spoke about the conception of the site, about its construction, and about plans for its future growth and myriad uses. Newly elected West Stockbridge Selectman Bernie Fallon formally welcomed the project’s team to town. In what had been (and continued to be) a very rainy spot of weather for the region, the sun shone brightly down on Turn Park for the length of the opening event, allowing for a true celebratory mood. Both young and old came to walk the paths, as well as to veer off into the fields for pop-up “happenings” – stories, songs and skits from Brooklyn’s Floating Tower. Read RI’s recent article about Turn Park Art Space.



Turn Park architect Alexander Konstantinov with West Stockbridge Selectman Bernie Fallon; Eugene Mamut and Irina Borisova of AniMagic.


George Cox, Iin Puranti and Rya; Turn Park architect Grigori Fateyev and James Culliton, a principal at Allegrone Construction, the Park’s general contractor.


View of the Gatehouse from Brussels Square; Ekaterina “Katya” Brezgunova and sculptor Gene Montez Flores, whose work is featured in the Park.


Colin Harrington, Lisa Harvey, Deborah Balmuth and Jonathan Ginzberg.


Matthew Chester, Catherine Shearn Chester and their daughter, Leah; Turn Park founders Igor Gomberg and Ekaterina Brezgunova address the crowd.


The Dauphine of Brussels Sprouts (a.k.a. Alyona Gomberg.)


Visitors enjoyed complimentary food and drink from local establishments; The Megaphonics (a.k.a. Chris Okawa and Kierna Conner).


Members of Floating Tower parade through Turn Park.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/16/17 at 12:58 PM • Permalink

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CATA Makes The “Everyday” Extraordinary

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. Although we may wear different “hats,” we’re all just everyday people who share more similarities than we do differences. The students and teachers of Community Access to the Arts (CATA) explored this theme in their annual performances on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14 at Shakespeare & Company. At Saturday evening’s gala performance, “Everyday People” included all of the things CATA fans love most about the organization’s shows: creative and colorful juggling routines, a brand-new dance choreographed by the inimitable Dawn Lane, music, skits, and comedy from “stand-up” guy Scott Thomas. The cocktail and dinner portions of the evening, catered by Firefly, gave supporters a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. DJ BFG continued the good vibes with an after-dinner dance party. Funds raised from the events, including the gala’s live auction, help CATA foster and celebrate the artistry of people with disabilities in the Berkshires and Columbia County. [Above: Gala committee co-chair Claudia Perles with Natalie Neubert and Robin Slick.]


Jonathan Swartz, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Director Pamela Tatge, Rebecca Newman and her mother, CATA founder Sandra Newman; Mass. State Senator Adam Hinds with Cherri Sanes and Scott Sanes of ExtraSpecialTeas in Great Barrington.


Board and gala committee member Sharon Mozian with Amanda and Daniel Weil; Anne Schnesel, Cindy and Jeff Caminiti, and Lauren Smith.


Illustrator Elwood Smith with author Will Osborne and Janice Kittner.


Steve Bankert and Casey Jones; Anamyn Turowski, who is a member of CATA’s writing faculty, with board member Elaine Radiss and Eddie Allen, a faculty member who teaches improv.


The CATAdirect crew: Kara Smith, Trena Heinrich, Elaine Myers, Jane Johnson and Sandy Van; Jen Salinetti of Woven Roots Farm with author Rachel Urquhart.


Brett Goldberg, CEO of Synqware, with daughter Isa Goldberg, board member John Whalen, and Robin and David Slick.


Ilana Seigal, Andrea Blacklow, Jocelyn McGrath and Ellen Gorman; Marie Erwin, Sarah Burdsall, board member Kate Burdsall, Berkcirque’s Jill Fleming, a faculty member who teaches juggling, and Steve Bankert.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 05/15/17 at 05:34 PM • Permalink

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Raising Glasses And Funds For The Berkshire Music School

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. There were toasts…and toasts…and toasts to the Berkshire Music School at its wine pairing dinner on Tuesday, May 9 at the Castle Street Café. And although there was a special wine selected for each course, the cheer could be attributed to the purpose of the evening, which was to raise funds to benefit the school’s scholarship fund. Each year, BMS awards $16,000 in merit scholarships for students to take music lessons; no one is ever turned away from lessons if they can’t afford it. The evening began with hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction, and between the main course and dessert, the high-money live auction included tickets to “Hello Dolly”! (now on Broadway starring Bette Midler) and a Tanglewood/Guido’s package. “It’s for the little kids,” repeated board vice president Jeff Bradway (above, with school director Tracy Wilson) as he encouraged guests to up their bids. But the truth is, the school is populated as much with older students as it is with the young ‘uns. In fact, the oldest student is 93, proving you’re never too old to learn new music.


Tommie Hutto-Blake and Andrea Pecor, both from Beckett, Mass.; Sarah Novak and Sam Craig, whose wife, Kate Barton, is president of the Board of Trustees.


Mary Albertson, Dick Lipton and Bianca Wallen; Lynn Edelstein and Betsy Dovydenas, a painter.


David Hall and Marianne Hall, who is secretary of the Board of Trustees.


David Buxton, Lisa Avery, a performing artist, and Sheri James Buxton, cabaret singer who is also the music school’s outreach coordinator and instructor of the cabaret program; BMS registrar Sandy Moderski manages the “pick a number, get a bottle of wine for $20” lottery.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 05/09/17 at 10:58 PM • Permalink

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The Proprietors Ball Celebrates Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow

Jamie Larson reports from Hudson. We go to a lot of great parties, but rarely does a gala feel like a significant historical event as did the Proprietors Ball at Hudson Hall at the Historic Hudson Opera House on Saturday, April 22. The party, which officially opened the fully restored and renovated hall at the center of Hudson’s cultural life, was a celebration of both the end of a long journey to return the hall to its past glory and the anticipation for all that is to come. There was a ribbon cutting, cocktails, and great food and entertainment sourced from Hudson’s diverse and hyper-talented arts community. Celebrating the work of the Opera Hall’s tireless staff, its board and its throngs of donors, the Proprietors Ball ushered in a new era for the venue and the city. The expectations for Hudson Hall moving forward are unenviably high right now, but it’s not just the gorgeous renovations that have us confident in the Hall’s future, it’s the people in these pictures, who run, support and love this building and all it represents. [Above: Proprietors Ball co-chair Richard McCarthy and Hudson Hall Executive Director Gary Schiro.]


Rick Sharp, Meredith Kane, Frances Spark and Michel Goldberg; President of the Columbia County Historical Society James Guidera, CCHS Executive Director Lori Yarotsky and David Forer.


Designer Harold Streitman, NY1 anchor and reporter Tamani Wooley and artist Gene DeBartolo; Columbia Land Conservancy Executive Director Peter Paden, President of the Olana Partnership Sean Sawyer and Executive Director of the Columbia-Greene Hospital Foundation Betsy Gramkow.


Hudson Hall co-director Tambra Dillon, New York State Assembly Member Didi Barrett and Hudson Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton.


Monique Heeremans and Michiel van Dijk; Maryna Bilak Haughton and Maurice Haughton.


Peter Bevacqua, Mayor Hamilton, Stephen King and Friends of Clermont Board Vice President Mary Ellen Ross; Deidre and Jonathan Meier, Mary Ellen Higbee and Hudson Hall Board Treasurer Jack Higbee with Maureen and Stephen Hansen.


Artist Dan Taulapapa, theater artist Andrew Loren Resto and founder of the Second Ward Foundation Walter Sudol.


Ann Artschwager and Natt Wieland; Director of Dancers Responding to AIDS Denise Roberts Hurlin, Executive Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site Betsy Jacks and DRA Development Officer Sarah Cardillo.


Clarinetist Paul Green, Rural Intelligence editor Lisa Green, Gwen Gould and Ed Grossman; The downstairs gallery was wall-to-wall revelry during the Ball’s opening cocktail hour as guests waited to get up into the refurbished Hall.


Thad Thomas and Laura Haspel; Despina Leandrou, Anne Schomaker and Michael Laudati.

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