Parties & Openings
March 9 – Pittsfield
Pittsfield Education Foundation
March 3 – New Lebanon
Culinary Crossroads Tea
Feb. 22 – Dalton
Taste Of The Berkshires
Alchemy Initiative’s Earthy Earth Day Fundraiser
Fiona Breslin reports from Pittsfield.
Perhaps it was the gypsy theme that set the wild, whirling scene for Alchemy Initiative’s third annual Earth Day fundraiser on Friday, April 20. Held in the second-floor event space above Spice Dragon, the evening kicked off with music from Hudson’s Pamelech Klezmer Orkester as guests moseyed and mingled, enjoying drinks and bites from local eateries — including The Meat Market and Mission Bar + Tapas— and eyeing mannequins dolled up in handmade, upcycled clothing for auction. For additional stimulation, guests could have a palm reading or get a henna tattoo. The younger set was ushered out before the start of a burlesque show by Williamstown’s Gypsy Layne troupe. Titillating acts were interspersed with a live fashion show, in which the the Gypsy Layne crew fiercely strode the runway, modeling original upcycled ensembles by local designers, including Alchemy board member Crispina ffrench, Kelley Keefner, and Stephanie Woodruff, whose garbage gown (above) played with the idea of opulence and waste. After the show, guests had a chance to get a closer look at (and vie for) the clothing at online bidding stations set up in the room. While the clothes were tempting, few could resist the raucous, infectious beat laid down by the horn-heavy, percussion-driven band Brooklyn Qawwali Party; the dance floor filled while artist Joe Wheaton projected mesmerizing, psychedelic images on the walls.
Cultural Pittsfield czarina Megan Whilden with designer Crispina ffrench and event volunteer Jennifer Morse; Lana Carron and her mother Wendy Darling with a design by Darling.
Artist Joe Wheaton and his husband novelist Dick Lipez flank gallerist Mary Childs; Alchemy board members Diane Firtell and Sandra Thomas, executive director of Images Cinema in Williamstown, with Alchemy director Jessica Conzo.
Scot Vighi reads Shelby Giaccarini’s palm; Pittsfield resident Carrie Wright with her children (from left) Parker, Pilot and Paige, with Olivia Karbott, center.
Gypsy Layne dancers nearly took it all off; Brooklyn Qawwali Party band fans Hillary Melville and Devin Febbroriello.