As we all know, sometimes one has to take things apart to create something new and beautiful!
We are delighted to share that we are now at that exciting stage at Hill-Stead. The exterior fencing—in our favorite shade of green—has gone up and been decorated with colorful renditions of the renovated spaces to come. And, the interior demolition has begun. In these photographs, you can see the transition that is occurring in the museum’s entryway. The paneling on the north wall has come down, revealing a first look at the ticket desk and gift shop! For the moment, the shop serves as central command for our site supervisor, Carl (pictured above in red coat here). Continue reading →
From left to right: Dave Perbeck, Operations Director at Hill-Stead; Lavell Thompson, President of Hill-Stead’s Board of Governor’s; Frank Giordano and Chuck Mueller of Centerbrook Architects.
After a decade in the making, Hill-Stead launched our highly anticipated strategic endeavor to enhance our sustainability. As you can see from the photos, the construction phase of our Carriage Barn renovation kicked off this past Friday, September 18 with work on the Entry Hall, Gift Shop, and Media Space now underway.
Please stop by Hill-Stead to check on progress or visit these pages every two weeks as we continue to post project updates.
In the meantime, please read our Case Statement validating the importance of this renovation to the future of Hill-Stead for generations to come!
Everyone has a story to tell and this contest provided a forum to capture unexpected outcomes, epiphanies of personal discovery, and moments of pure joy and connection. We invited photographers to submit their best work. The public voted on the submissions based on their ability to capture four themes: Art In All Its Forms, Creature Comforts, Summertime Fun, and Victory Gardens. Because there were so many wonderful photos, we are also highlighting a staff pick for each category.
Loving Summer Lauren Krupnikoff
Bobcat NeighborRobert Trafford
Summer Croquet at Hill-SteadDavid Ciriello
Tulips in the Sunken GardenRachael Ann
Winners receive $50, promotion of their photography via Hill-Stead’s website & social channels, a certificate for a personalized VIP Tour of Hill-Stead Museum, and bragging rights!
Art in All Its Forms
Loving Summer, Lauren Krupnikoff
WINNER: Loving Summer, Lauren Krupnikoff
“My friend and I were by the water not too long ago, and we saw that the sun was starting to set. So we decided to try this cool idea of doing a heart with our hands surrounding the sun as it sets.“
She Dances Anyway, Nora H.
STAFF PICK: She Dances Anyway, Nora H.
“This is Kiersten. Her beloved dance studio was shut down and the recital she was starring in cancelled because of COVID. But she keeps dancing. She records dances in her backyard to songs like “Six Feet Apart.” She and I dance in the rain together and throw rocks into the river because we’re so angry at the way our lives have been put on pause. She dances in public parks with a mask. Because this is her art. And it is what matters most to her.”
Bobcat NeighborRobert Trafford
WINNER: BobcatNeighbor, Robert Trafford
“This fellow sat outside my just slider and just stared.“
Serinity, Sofia A.
STAFF PICK: Serinity, Sofia A.
“Bird on the dock at Cozumel Island“
Summer Croquet at Hill-Stead, David Ciriello
WINNER: Summer Croquet at Hill-Stead, David Ciriello
“Our son and a friendly pup played and danced the night away under the sun as we played croquet and caught the sunset.”
Bronx Sprinkler, Barbara O.
STAFF PICK: Bronx Sprinkler, Barbara O.
“Summer in the city..near Yankee Stadium“
Tulips in the Sunken Garden, Rachael Ann
WINNER: Tulips in the Sunken Garden, Rachael Ann
“Hill-Stead Museum and Sunken Garden, July 2019. Shot in the infrared range of light.”
Brighter Days, Emi Z.
STAFF PICK: Brighter Days, Emi Z.
“As I wandered the sunflower maze with my friend after the hurricane, we noticed many of the sunflowers had been pushed over. This one however, stood tall and upright. It’s a great reminder of staying strong, positive and bright even when things in the world are dark and difficult. There are always brighter days ahead.”
Judy Dworin Performance Project’s latest production, ColorFields shot on location at Hill-Stead Museum as part of the performing arts series, From the Porch
The restrictions brought by COVID closed some doors but also opened new avenues of creativity. With funding from the Edward T. and Ann C. Roberts Foundation, Judy Dworin Performance Project, Inc. (JDPP) has utilized the power of Zoom and other technology to develop ColorFields, a new dance-theater piece inspired by the work of American abstract expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler, in partnership with the New Britain Museum of American Art, which is hosting an exhibit of Helen Frankenthaler’s late work as part of their 20/2020 focus on American women artists, and in cooperation with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation. “It is this process that I find so informative,” says museum director Min Jung Kim. “Learning about [Helen Frankenthaler’s] work, her artistic practice, and seeing how visual art forms can be interpreted into and with movement art forms is so inspirational.”
On July 16, 2020, JDPP held an outdoor in-process exploration of the grounds of the Hill-Stead Museum, the National Historic Landmark and 1901 Farmington, CT home of Theodate Pope Riddle, one of America’s first female architects. With the Colonial Revival house and grounds designed by Riddle herself as the landscape, the JDPP Ensemble dancers experimented with movement, shape, line, and color in the spectacular Sunken Garden and Parterre among other locations. The JDPP Ensemble dancers explored how Helen Frankenthaler’s interest in nature and the improvisational moment inspire and interact to become works of art, making the beautiful grounds of Hill-Stead an active, living element of the performance.
This outdoor dance theater exploration was video recorded by Mindspin LLC in 4K HD and edited to a 22-minute short feature, ColorFields, and premiered by JDPP on August 27, 2020, simultaneously on YouTube, Facebook Live, and the JDPP web site, www.judydworin.org. Says founder and artistic director, Judy Dworin, “I would not have imagined JDPP making a foray into broadcast performance a year ago. While nothing will replace the live theater event, this process has opened rich avenues for JDPP’s artistic development and spirit of innovation as we discover new ways to engage audiences during this challenging time.”
Currently a work-in-progress, ColorFields embodies Judy Dworin Performance Project’s signature artistry, interpreting visual image and spoken word through the vocabulary of dance and movement. ColorFields is a deep exploration into Helen Frankenthaler’s work and process to bring her inspirations and creative choices to life for audiences to ponder. Helen Frankenthaler’s pioneering use of color, the centrality of the improvisational moment in her work, and her inspiration in nature are key touchstones for JDPP’s founder and artistic director, Judy Dworin.
JDPP and New Britain Museum of American Art, in cooperation with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, are inviting their members and supporters to witness and engage in the creative development of ColorFields through a yearlong series of open rehearsals, project updates, and in-progress showings, both live and online. These developmental milestones will lead to a final performance hosted by NBMAA in May 2021.
Since 1989, Judy Dworin Performance Project, Inc. has used the arts to address social justice issues. JDPP’s mission is to innovate, inspire, educate, and build community to overcome the barriers of race, economic opportunity, culture, and other divisions. JDPP harnesses the arts as a powerful catalyst for positive change and collaboration. JDPP’s award-winning performance work premieres in Hartford and has toured throughout Connecticut, the Northeast, and internationally. Over 4,000 largely underserved adults and children participate in fourteen JDPP residencies and professional performances
Balance your child’s screen time with some outdoor fun at Hill-Stead’s winter afterschool program. Children ages 9–14 will explore Hill-Stead’s expansive property, hike the trails, create natural artworks, and much more!
Each session introduces new adventures, games, and challenges. Register for one, two or more days.
Last year, Hill-Stead hosted five separate benefit dinner auctions!
Affectionately coined, Theodate and Tyler: For the Love of Hill-Stead, these exceptional farm-to-table experiences—created by celebrity chef Tyler Anderson—will take place on the gorgeous grounds of Hill-Stead.
Held on select dates through September 10, these stunning affairs will include sumptuous multi-course dinners with wine pairings and post-reception house tours led by a special guest.
In addition to the live events, there will be a silent auction open to all with new items added throughout the summer.
From the Porch offers a diverse and dynamic showcase of music, dance, theater, and more
Building on the success of Hill-Stead’s indoor events and nationally acclaimed Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, From the Porch summer programming will take place on our 152-acre campus. The experiential events will happen several nights per week and be open to audiences of all ages.
Hill-Stead will kick off the inaugural series with a venerable celebration of the “Year of the Woman,” to coincide with the centennial of women’s suffrage. Our signature events will amplify women’s crucial role in history.
Bring a blanket and picnic or order beverages online through The Wise Old Dog (check back soon for beverage ordering link).
Vocal-guitar duo Kristen Renehan and Jim Mastrianni bring their time and talent to Hill-Stead. Classically trained, musically appealing and daringly eclectic, the two musicians combine beautiful vocals with tasteful guitar to create an elegant, interesting musical experience for all ages. Next Saturday’s family-friendly performance will include jazz, pop, soul, rock and folk music with a twist.
To coincide with the centennial of women’s suffrage, Hill-Stead will kick off its inaugural series with a venerable celebration of the Year of the Woman. The evening filled with storytelling and song will amplify women’s crucial role in history.
Tammy Denease, an accomplished storyteller, actor, historian, and playwright will be performing as Sarah Margu, a captive on the slave ship, Amistad. Margu went on to become the first African to graduate from college in America (Oberlin College, Ohio). Tammy proudly brings the lives of significant, yet “hidden” women in history to life. Tammy received the gift of storytelling from her great-grandmother, a former enslaved person who lived to be 125, and grandmother, who lived to 100.
We are equally delighted to bring songstress Elizabeth Lyra Ross to the stage for our opening night. Elizabeth is the first African American female member of The U.S. Army Band and Chorus. Since completing her enlistment, her international career has included performances in Aida, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, Santuzza, and as both Bess and Serena in Porgy and Bess. Elizabeth has performed with the Metropolitan Opera and she was nominated for an Emmy Award on the Live from Lincoln Center Series.
Haneen Alkabasi, Avon High School Alicia Chiu, William H. Hall High School Jake Colangelo, Joel Barlow High School Olatunji Osho-Williams, Westminster School Maggie Munday Odom, The Grove School Charlotte Watts, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
For the first time, the Fresh Voices readings were performed live via zoom. Many things were missing from the event—the historical and beautiful setting, the applause of the crowd, live music, and contemplative silences between each reading. Zoom can never replace live art. But even virtually, the students’ poetry was transcending. For one evening, these young poets created a community through their creativity, intense curiosity, and commitment.
Hill-Stead Museum is grateful to all the Fresh Voices Finalists for their efforts and willingness to participate. We are immensely appreciative of the Fresh Voices Judges, who had a challenging task this year! Thanks, too, to parents and teachers who supported our poets! A special thanks to Hill-Stead Museum’s sponsors and donors, especially the Ellen Jean Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust, our members, and our amazing interns and volunteers.
A video compilation of the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition reading will be coming soon for everyone to enjoy!