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 The New Hudson Area Library raised fun(ds) with a '50s-era party on Saturday, Aug. 6. | Rural Intelligence We celebrated the release of a novel by Art in America’s Richard Vine at The School in Kinderhook, NY. | Rural Intelligence Partners for Sustainable Healthy Communities annual Farmer's Table dinner was held on August 6 at Toplands Farm in Roxbury, CT. | Rural Intelligence North East Community Center held a Chef & Farmer Brunch Challenge at Hotchkiss School's Fairfield Farm in Lakeville. | Rural Intelligence Texas Meets Cuba…at Clermont | Rural Intelligence Berkshire Botanical Garden held its annual Fete Des Fleurs party on Saturday, July 30th at the Lenox Club. | Rural Intelligence Naumkeag Cuts The Ribbon On Its Renovated Chinese Temple Garden | Rural Intelligence Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Connecticut turns 25 years old. | Rural Intelligence Katchkie Farm hosted its 9th annual Farm-to-Table Dinner in Kinderhook, NY. | Rural Intelligence Bard's 2016 SummerScape Gala was held at Montgomery Place on Saturday, July 16. | Rural Intelligence Kids4Harmony Benefit Strikes A Chord For 400-Plus Supporters | Rural Intelligence WAM Theatre held a cocktail party benefit at Hilltop Orchards for the second year in a row on July 14, 2016. | Rural Intelligence
Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
 
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ELYSE HARNEY

BERKSHIRE GROWN

STAIR GALLERIES

Parties & Openings


Sept. 9 – Dalton
BNRC 50th Birthday Celebration

Sept. 2 – Claverack
Columbia-Greene Garden Party

Sept. 1 – Hudson
Drinks On The Waterfront

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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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Posted by Jamie Larson on 04/23/17 at 08:39 PM • Permalink

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Berkshire Country Day School Fulfills Its Promise

Lisa Green reports from Stockbridge. We could all learn a thing or two from Berkshire Country Day School. Such as: how to complete a capital campaign in which you surpass your goal and upgrade facilities without taking on any additional debt. The SRO crowd at the cocktail reception in the school’s new multi-level learning hub on Saturday, April 7 came also to celebrate the life of Kevin Hirt, a former BCD student who died of a rare pediatric cancer at age 10, and who requested that his college fund money be donated to help build a new library. But there’s more: next door to the Kevin Hirt Library and Learning Commons is the Kim and James Taylor Music/Performance Room, a space designed to foster musical creativity and experimentation. Money raised for the project totaled $3,240,202 and not only supported the new building but strengthens the school’s faculty endowment. Speaking to the guests, Kevin’s parents, Paul Hirt and Lynn Campana, talked about Kevin’s legacy, and Head of School Paul Lindenmaier thanked the many supporters. BCD is a 71-year-old independent school in Stockbridge, Mass. for students from preschool through grade 9. [Above, Despite the sadness of Kevin’s death, Lynn Campana and Paul Hirt tells stories about their son that make the teary-eyed crowd laugh.]



Head of School Paul Lindenmaier with Joseph Lewis of Allegrone Construction, the facility’s builder; Paige Orloff and Claire Naylor Pollart, both previous board chairs, flank Robin Slick, whose child attends BCD.


Charlie O’Brien, president of Adams Community Bank, a contributor to the music room (site of the Adams Community Bank Stage) and Lisa O’Brien; Attending the reception were aunts, uncle and grandfather of Kevin: Alberta Hirt, Randy Hirt, Pam Calvert-Hirt and Robert Hirt.


Paul Lindenmaier; sciente teacher Tim Gore, Hilary Dunne Ferrone, campaign committee co-chair; Cara Vermeulen, board president; Lynn Campana and Paul Hirt.


Christopher Ferrone, campaign co-chair and treasurer of the board of directors; Cara Vermeulen and Lance Vermeulen of Lance Vermeulen Real Estate; Claire Naylor Pollart, Alendandra Heddinger, director of admissions, and Jessica Provenz, campaign associate.


Faculty members Katherine Allentuck and Andrea Patel flank Tina Petricca, a BCD alum; Trustee Stephanie Buchanan with David Silver and Marine Penvern, a BCD mom.


Snowflakes were swirling, but it was warm inside Furey Hall, originally built in 1895 as a cow barn. The art studios on the second story have also been renovated.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 04/09/17 at 02:05 PM • Permalink

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Hudson Children’s Book Fest Literacy Fundraiser

Amy Krzanik reports from Hudson. A great cause deserves a great turnout, so it’s always a pleasure to see a large crowd of supporters congregate at the annual cocktail party fundraiser for the Hudson Children’s Book Festival Literacy Fund. Held at Stair Galleries on Warren Street for the past three years, the party is a way to assure that each Hudson City School District student is able to attend and to purchase a book of his or her choice at the summertime Festival. As the Fund’s co-founders, Chris Jones and Susan Simon, reminded the audience at the April 1 event, 73 percent of Hudson’s children live in poverty. The Fund, which became a certified 501(c)3 this year, has so far given away more than 2,000 books in its quest to instill the love of reading in area students. Along with last year’s creation of the Thumb’s Up book review program, the project has added a Young Writers Program, and the crowd was treated to readings by two of its participants — high school students Karrie-Ann Silvernail and Ingrid Kildiss. In addition to these ventures, the Fund works to bring a diverse array of authors to speak in classrooms, add new books to and replace much-loved classics in the city’s school libraries, and more. This year’s Festival is set for Saturday, May 6. [Above, Book Fest director Jen Clark with Melissa Brown, a board member and Hudson city school teacher.]


Simon Martinez, Susan Simon, Chris Davies and John Mahoney; Rob Bujan and Jeffrey Perry with board member and HCBF co-founder Lisa Dolan.


Kylie Heidenheimer, Jonathan Lerner and John Hunka; Katrina Wilbur and board member Jennifer Merwin-Domkoski.


Stephen King and Peter Bevacqua; Owen Davidson, board member Martha McMaster, Chris Jones and Mark Prezorski, who is now Olana State Historic Site’s senior vice president and creative director.


Darcy and Carolyn from 2 Note Hudson, also on Warren Street, supplied the ambience.


Arthur Baker, board member Agi Clark, Jacqueline Wilder, Martha McMaster and Sheldon Evans; Hudson Area Library volunteer Lucy Nathanson with the Library’s director, Emily Chameides.


Susan Simon and William Stone; Hudson high school students Ingrid Kildiss and Karrie-Ann Silvernail flank their writing teacher, Gail Wheeler.


Liz Nealon, Wendy Schmalz Wilde, Seymour Simon and Greg Powell; Michael Susi and Pamela Salisbury.


Keith and Katherine Kanaga flank a board member of the HCBF Literacy Fund, Virginia Martin; Melissa Brown, Peter Meyer, Ellen Thurston, host of the Thursday Afternoon Show on WGXC, and Janet Kealy.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 04/02/17 at 03:03 PM • Permalink

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Flying Deer Supporters Shake What Mother Nature Gave Them

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. If you were in downtown Lenox this past Saturday night, March 25, and heard thundering drumbeats in the distance, they were coming from The Berkshire Bateria who were performing for a packed house upstairs at the Lenox Community Center. Flying Deer Nature Center had booked the band for its “Shake Your Tail” Dance Party fundraiser, and the crowd needed no extra encouragement to do just that. Supporters took to the floor to shake off the week to Bateria’s samba sounds. Volunteers served up snacks, brews from The Beer Diviner in Troy, New York, and signature Flying Deer cocktails such as The Tom Brown Collins, The Stalking Wolf Swizzle and Berkshire Bateria Sangria. Flying Deer Nature Center, located in New Lebanon, New York, is a nonprofit nature education organization offering summer camps, school and homeschool programs for kids aged 4 to 17, coming-of-age programs for adolescents, adult programs and corporate trainings throughout Berkshire and Columbia counties, as well as in the Albany and New York City regions. Proceeds from the dance party benefit the Center’s Financial Assistance Fund. [Above, Lily, a Bateria drummer, poses with Bella and Beatrice.]


Emily Moraes of Radiance and Yoga GB with Aiden, and her sister, actress Ruby Littman; Willow Stron with Dan Hegerich of Berkshire Bateria.


Sara and Adam Heller; Katherine Simmons, board member Jane Bernstein and Meredith O’Connor.


Board member Malene Waldron and board chair Meg Agnew, with Flying Deer executive director Michelle Apland, program director Devin Franklin and their daughter, Wren.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 03/27/17 at 11:24 AM • Permalink

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Season Celebration: What’s New At WCMA

Amy Krzanik reports from Williamstown. Before studying in London, Los Angeles and New York City, and seeing his paintings hung in galleries around the world, artist Meleko Mokgosi graduated from Williams College in 2007. Therefore, his solo exhibition at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA), Lex and Love, can be seen as a sort of homecoming. The artist was on hand to speak to admirers at a spring celebration of three new shows at the museum on Thursday, March 16. Along with Mokgosi’s exhibit, which features two new chapters in his Democratic Intuition project, the event feted Robert Rauschenberg: Autobiography, which combines archival documents and original works and focuses on the artist himself; and Accession Number, which highlights pieces WCMA acquired from 1960 to 1962 and questions what the museum was given, why, and what work was prioritized or overlooked. [Above: WCMA director Christina Olsen and Meleko Mokgosi.]


Olivier Meslay, director of The Clark, with Lea Stephenson and Michael Hartman, current Williams College graduate students; Nina Pelaez, assistant curator of public programs at WCMA, with WCMA exhibition manager Kate Barber and Amanda Tobin of MASS MoCA.


Ghana ThinkTank participants Agung Geger, Wisnu Wisdantio and Agus Tri Budiarto of Lifepatch; Williams art history student Alex Jen with Joe Cruz, a philosophy professor at the college.


WCMA director Christina Olsen welcomes the crowd to the opening.


Ashley Drake and Amanda Bell; Lisa Dorin, WCMA’s deputy director of curatorial affairs, with Meleko Mokgosi, Christina Olsen and MASS MoCA curator Denise Markonish.


Marco Antonio Flores, Julie Reiter, Jenna Marvin and Eve Rosekind; Susan and Phil Smith are Mokgosi’s generous hosts while he’s in Williamstown.


Ghana ThinkTank is currently installed in the Rotunda; a piece from the exhibit Robert Rauschenberg: Autobiography.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 03/20/17 at 12:54 PM • Permalink

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Lenox Shows The Love For Sculptor Andrew DeVries

Lisa Green reports from Lenox. “We came to support our friend and fellow merchant,” said many of the guests attending a benefit for master sculptor Andrew DeVries at Ventfort Hall on Saturday evening, March 3. The award-winning bronze artist, who has a gallery on Church Street in Lenox, lost his foundry (in Middlefield, Mass.) in a devastating fire the day after Thanksgiving. His molds and many of his works of art were also lost. But the outpouring of support for DeVries and his wife, Patricia Purdy, has been extraordinary, and the proceeds from this event, spearheaded by the Lenox Chamber, will help fill the coffers so that DeVries can rebuild his foundry. Ventfort Hall donated the space, Nejaime’s provided the beer and wine; others (including James Taylor) offered items for the silent auction. The artist’s drawings that survived the fire — singed around the edges — have been framed by a merchant and were on display (and for sale). Clearly respected and loved by the community, DeVries thanked his friends and supporters. “The artwork comes through my hands, and it’s a gift,” he said, “but all of you are the gift to me.” [Above, Patricia Purdy and Andrew DeVries.]


Natalie Tublitz and Susan Frisch Lehrer, who worked at Chesterwood when DeVries first exhibited there; Fran Fowler, Beth Joppru and Andy Mick.

Dennis Messana and Victoria Ross, real estate agent at Stone House Properties.


Consultant Christine Singer and Ken Singer, CEO of Berkshire County Arc, who own several of DeVries’ pieces, including a bust of Ken Singer’s mother; Jamie Trie, marketing director of the Lenox Chamber of Commerce, and Autumn Ni Dubhghaill, artist and musician.


Chocolate Springs chocolates decorated with DeVries images.


Tracy Hiltpold, Jeff Hiltpold and Marj Hastings; DeVries thanks his supporters.


Nancy Garton and Barry Garton of Adams; Pieter Vanschaick and Suzannah Vanschaick, recently retired from their Lenox business, Second Home.


Chesterwood staffers past and present gathered for sentimental reasons: Chesterwood was DeVries’ first museum collaboration, and also where he met his wife, who managed the gift shop.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 03/04/17 at 01:13 PM • Permalink

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BAA’s Annual RAP Party Draws A Creative Crowd

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. Pittsfield’s 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival, held for 10 days each February, is an ingenious way to bring residents out of hibernation to attend or participate in readings, concerts, plays, dance performances, children’s activities and more all throughout the city’s downtown. One of the most popular events of the Festival is the Berkshire Art Association’s (BAA) Real Art Party (RAP), held this past Thursday evening, Feb. 23 at the Berkshire Museum. Not only a great way to expose the work of local artists to possible fans, it’s also a way for art lovers to take home a painting, photograph, collage or other piece (ceramics, leatherwork, etc.) for only $25. In keeping with the theme, the 137 creations are 10”x10” and are awarded by raffle — ticketholders are allowed to choose an artwork when their name is called. Proceeds from the sold-out event benefit the BAA college fellowships, art field trip grants for Berkshire high schools, and free admission for art students to the Berkshire Museum. [Above, BAA board members Jayme Kurland, Michael Vincent Bushy, Carrie Wright, Danielle Steinmann and Jenn Gomez.]


Ogden Gigli, Kat Whitney and John Ryall; watercolor artist Amanda Harrington and Mary Ellen Devanny, who donated two pieces to the show.


Artist Jacqueline Pelzek with Dan Cohen, who was lucky enough to be picked fifth in the raffle and chose Pelzick’s “Applause;” Regina Burgio, Wren Bernstein, whose work is featured in the show, and Elisa Mishory.


Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer with Dianne DiNicola and Bonnie Hoskeer-Kirchner; Ann and Marty Phillips chose an artwork by Carol Kelly.


Anselm Bradford and Sara Lelyveld; Larry Strauss, Fran Weinberg and Roger Gutwillig, who works in the Communications department at the museum.


Julia Dixon and Gwendolyn Bird both donated artwork to the raffle; Lucie Castaldo’s “Curiosity Cabinet.”


“In the Barn Again” by Sandra A. Rawson; Jared Gelormino’s name came up second in the raffle and he chose Bill Wright’s “Lux et Veritas.”

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 02/26/17 at 08:43 PM • Permalink

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Happy Feet: The Hudson Charity Sock Auction

Amy Krzanik reports from Hudson. More than 80 knitters and bidders crowded into Verdigris Tea & Chocolate on Warren Street for the very first Charity Sock Auction on Saturday evening, Feb. 18. The event, sponsored by Countrywool and Neighborhood Knitters of Hudson, was an ingenious way to supply neighbors with warm winter socks, which are a much-needed but rarely donated charity item. The live auction, led by Rupert Fennell, raised more than $3,000, which will be donated to The Salvation Army of Hudson to purchase thermal wool socks. Each of the 34 donated hand-knit sock pairs – which ranged from men’s striped to women’s silk to children’s booties – included a gift certificate stuffed inside, provided by one of 30 local businesses, making this a true community-wide effort and allowing even non-knitters a chance to participate. To add a little drama to the already brisk bidding action, one pair contained a $100 bill generously donated by one of the knitters.  


Lauren Osterhoudt, Elizabeth Schneider, auction knitter Nicky Sacco-Brown and her husband, Roy Brown, wearing a sweater Nicky made; Marlene Marshall and Betsy Miller.


Auctioneer Rupert Fennell with auction assistant and sock knitter Sarah Price; bidder Kitty Mackey and knitters Amanda Henry of Elder Living Strategies and Laura Teague of MELT Body and Skin, a generous auction prize donor.


Never stop knitting: at least seven future clothing items were created during the auction.


Bob Weinman and Carol Doerfer of the Salvation Army Advisory Board; a sample of the 34 warm and colorful lots up for bidding.


Sarah Price displays the current pair up for grabs as Rupert Fennell leads off the bidding at $35; merino and nylon cat socks.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 02/19/17 at 07:23 PM • Permalink

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TAG’s Annual Erotica Show Titillates In Tivoli

Amy Krzanik reports from Tivoli. Mid-February in the Northeast can be gray, both in spirit and surroundings, but that makes it all the more fitting a time to celebrate love, laughter and lingerie (and the lack thereof). Which is why the Tivoli Artists Gallery (TAG) plans its popular Annual Erotica Show for this time of year and celebrates with an opening reception full of sexy, light-hearted fun. This year’s event was held on Saturday, Feb. 11 and the exhibit featured more than 30 artists working in many formats. Not only paintings and photographs, but works of sculpture, collage and mixed media were shown next to cut-paper night-lights, decorated tiles and sparklingly suggestive art boxes. Cait Johnson and friends created a cabaret performance for the occasion, with live music from Joe Tobin of Acoustic Medicine Show and an appearance by belly-dancer Donna Barrett. Members created and sold erotic edibles – a selection of cookies, chocolates, eclairs and cupcakes in the shape of hearts and other human anatomy. Proceeds from the event benefit the non-for-profit gallery. Above: “Nude No. 3 (Blue Stockings),” one of three exhibited pieces by Oleg Menin.


Ania Aldrich, whose work is featured in the show, with Nikita Minin; Marcia Slatkin and Dan Maciejak stand near Slatkin’s collage, “CEOs Offer Full Disclosure.”


Kathleen Mandeville with a Medusa headpiece and Fre Atlast with an erotic edible; Oleg Minin, whose painting is featured above, and Denise Minin.


Cecilia Hapeman and Anne Blum of Tivoli attended the opening to support Patrick Lazarus, here with fellow artist Paul Sandiford, both of whom have work in the show.


Belly-dancer Donna Barrett mesmerized the crowd.


Mindy Nowik and Niio Vuori; Jason Doino with Mark Bernard.


TAG member Peggy Farrington and TAG treasurer Marie Cole helped serve snacks and refreshments; Cait Johnson penned the evening’s live show and Rebecca Singer performed.


J.P. Ward and Veronica Stork; cut-paper night-lights by Ella Davidson and Mary Untalan.


“Pink and Yellow Nudes” by Karl J. Volk; “Look Inside,” a mixed media piece by Ginger Long.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 02/13/17 at 01:51 PM • Permalink

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A Race In The Makers’ Space At ‘100 Hours In The Woodshed’

Amy Krzanik reports from North Adams. 100 Hours in the Woodshed, a collage marathon and exhibition co-founded by local artist Danny O, celebrated its fifth year when it kicked off with a reception on Thursday, Jan. 26. The marathon itself followed, beginning at 6 p.m. and lasting 100 hours (hence the name) until Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. During that time, the artists shown below (along with fellow creators Suzi Banks Baum, Gwendolyn Bird, Kathline Carr, Valerie Carrigan, Misa Chappell, Peter Dudek, EkkaLyra, Lilianna Espanola, Laurie Goddard, Victoria Jefferies, David Lachman, Michael McKinley, Mark Mulherrin, Jim Peters, Rich Remsberg, Anne Roecklein and Ann Scott) worked their cut-and-paste magic downtown at The Makers’ Mill and at the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts, where the opening reception was held on Thursday, Feb. 2. During the marathon, those interested in art could stop by either venue and watch the different ways artists went about the process of creating. See the finished products for yourself at the Eclipse Mill Gallery from now until Feb. 26.


Eclipse Mill Gallery manager Julia Dixon with Woodshed co-founder, artist Danny O; artists Debi Pendell and Zan Klain in front of two of Klain’s collages.


William Archer, an artist in the show, with Silas Sima, an artist from Belfast, Maine; Melanie Mowinski, whose work is seen below, with fellow Woodshed contributor Michelle Daly and her mother, Peg Daly.


Lucie Castaldo‘s 3D Woodshed creation.


Sharon and Ed Carson, who call the Eclipse Mill home, stopped by to support their fellow artists; Bill and Francie Riley, artists and owners of the Real Eyes Gallery on Park Street in Adams, Mass., pose with artist Arthur De Bow.


Open up and take a peek inside Melanie Mowinski’s 3D collage; Lynn Gall poses in front of her collages created for the exhibit.


Collage from Woodshed co-founder Danny O.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 02/06/17 at 01:27 PM • Permalink

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Spencertown Academy Makes Plans For Its Future

Amy Krzanik reports from Spencertown. “This building has been a treasured fixture of this community for 170 years, and it’s hard to imagine Spencertown without it,” said Nick Van Alstine, board president of the Spencertown Academy Arts Center, at the group’s 28th annual Revels fundraiser on Saturday evening, Jan. 28. The Academy has been around since 1972, but the building in which it is housed has been standing since 1847, and the Greek Revival structure, a former schoolhouse, has seen better days. After guests mingled over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, but before they dispersed to attend a handful of intimate dinners at local homes, Van Alstine addressed the crowd. He listed some urgent repairs needed to keep the building standing, and introduced phase one which focuses on repairing the roof, cornice and bell tower. While discussing the repairs, Van Alstine was upbeat, noting that major donors had already come forward with funds for the initial phase. The Center hosts free and low-cost community events throughout the year, including art exhibitions and its popular Garden Market on the Green in the summertime and Festival of Books each Labor Day weekend. It also supports art in the public schools, and serves as a meeting and performance space for other area nonprofits. [Above, Bill and Sandi Suk flank Michele Chase.]


Major Academy supporters John and Denise Dunne flank dinner hosts Christian Dewailly and Liz Garger; former board member Betsy Howard and current board member David Highfill.


Board member Jill Kalotay poses with Academy supporter Lee Magadini, a teacher at the Berkshire Waldorf High School; dinner hosts Chris Ferrone and Hilary Dunne Ferrone with Rupert Fennell.


Norma Cohen, a curator on the Gallery Committee, with actress Linda Lavin, Steve Bakunas and Allen Cohen.


Artist and dinner host Linda Horn with Revels committee member Cindy Atkins, board member and Revels co-chair Judith Choate and the Academy’s Eve Zatt; George Jahn and Sally Norvell.


Dinner hosts Debby Roth and Alan Kaufman with Revels co-chair Anita Fiorillo; Harry Petchesky with Rae Gilson.


Dr. Tim Chase, Rich Bilotti, Bill Collins and Bill Suk; Jeffrey Rosenthal, president of All American Contracting, and Helaine Ciporen.


Board members Jill Kalotay, Judith Choate, Nick Van Alstine, Madaline Sparks, Jo-Anne Bilotti and David Highfill.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 01/30/17 at 10:45 AM • Permalink

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Culture Rules At 1Berkshire’s Creative Resources Conference

Lisa Green reports from North Adams. The new administration in D.C. may threaten to shut down the NEA, but artists, creative entrepreneurs, arts administrators and non-profit cultural organizations in the Berkshires will always have 1Berkshire. The organization, which focuses on economic development, hosted its second Creative Resources Conference on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at MASS MoCA. Nearly 100 participants braved a slushy, sleety mess to attend panels and workshops geared to artists and creative entrepreneurs, which featured a keynote address by Cathy Edwards, executive director of New England Foundation for the Arts. Since one of the main goals of 1Berkshire is to provide opportunities for Berkshire creatives to network, the full day’s program ended with a reception next door at Bright Ideas Brewing. [Above, Bill Bean, one of the day’s presenters, with Suzy Helme, director of events for the city of North Adams.]


Walter McTeigue of McTeigue & McClelland, David Curtis of 1Berkshire and Seth Nash of Blue Q; Gallerist Natalie Tyler with Jonathan Butler, 1Berkshire’s executive director.


Michael Cohen of catchinteract, Brendan Burns, director of Stepstone Art Resources, and Jamie Odegaard, a freelance business operator.


Jonathan Swartz, Daniel Parkins, who is currently working with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, and jewelry designer Robin Sills; 1Berkshire’s Laura Wolf Brennan and Milton Ferguson.


Jacob’s Pillow staffers Thasia Giles and Abby Wood flank Randal Fippinger, producing director of the ‘62 Center at Williams College.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 01/24/17 at 07:31 PM • Permalink

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The Four Freedoms Ring Loud And Strong In Pittsfield, Mass.

Lisa Green reports from Pittsfield. Those of us who live in or visit the land of Norman Rockwell are intimately familiar with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech through the Rockwell paintings depicting freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom of speech and freedom of religion (on view at the Norman Rockwell Museum). On a cold Saturday, Jan. 7 — the 76th anniversary of FDR’s famous speech — more than 1,500 people walked the talk in Pittsfield, Mass. at the Four Freedoms March and Rally. The event was spearheaded by the Four Freedoms Coalition, a new, non-partisan, diverse coalition of over 150 community groups, nonprofit organizations, businesses and elected officials. To an over-capacity crowd at First Church of Christ, speeches by U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, U.S. Congressman Richard Neal, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, James Roosevelt (grandson of FDR), Dennis Powell, president of the Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP, and others emphasized the coalition’s mission: to uphold the American values as stated in the Four Freedoms, reject all forms of bigotry, hate and prejudice, and defend and reclaim the Four Freedoms for all people. Markey urged the diverse audience to remain true to their revolutionary roots by fighting for the values they believe in. “We are not just any state,” he said. “We are the state that begins these revolutions.” Responses to the speeches — and interactions among the participants — were overwhelmingly positive. “This isn’t a rally against anything,” Timothy Mahon, a professor at Williams College, told The Berkshire Eagle. “This is in support of the ideals of the United States.” [Above, inveterate organizer Megan Whilden with Sen. Ed Markey.]


At St. Joseph’s Church, the gathering place for the march, participants were encouraged to create their own signs; Tobi Lanciano and Ellen Lanciano, owners of Tobi’s Limo, flank Jeanet Ingalls and social media consultant Eugenie Sills as they all wait for the march to start.


Pam Rich of Paul Rich and Sons and Sarah Frenkel prepare to march.


Nan Bookless of BookMarc Creative shows off her 4 Freedoms sign; Tina Maffuccio and Joe Maffuccio, a para professional and teacher, respectively, at Reid Middle School, join the crowd.


Marchers head indoors for the rally. Photo: Nan Bookless.


Jason Verschot and Joseph Farnes, both of Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition, flank Peter Marchetti, Pittsfield City Council president (and a speaker at the rally) and Mass. State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier; The packed church. Photo: Nan Bookless.


Coalition partners to set up “action tables” at the church following the rally to encourage community members to “commit to one concrete action;” Rosemary Rahns and Chris Tucci of Railroad Street Youth Project at their action table.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 01/08/17 at 01:37 PM • Permalink

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Memorable Parties of 2016

There’s nothing we at RI love more than covering the region’s galas; it’s the perfect opportunity to visit with wonderful old friends, meet interesting new ones, and taste the delicious food and drink produced right here at home. That’s why picking only a handful of parties for our year-end wrap-up is always so difficult. We’d like to thank the residents of this region for being so generous with their time, talent and funding of organizations that improve the quality of life in our area and make residing here a joy. Below is a sampling of the galas, gallery openings, fetes and festivals that make our jobs so fun. (Click here to relive all of 2016’s parties.)

Celebrating a Century Huge congratulations were in order this summer as The Columbia County Historical Society blew out the candles on its 100th birthday cake. The centennial celebration made this year’s First Columbians gala that much more significant.