Three Things to Know – October 9, 2020

For your Friday! In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am delighted to bring you the fifth installment of Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know.

1) As the perfect capstone of our diverse and dynamic 2020 From the Porch performing arts series, Hill-Stead and Opera Connecticut join together on October 25 at 3 pm to honor the life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her great love of opera! International opera stars Ta’u Pupu’a and Thomas Cannon and local luminary Elizabeth Lyra Ross will sing Puccini, Verdi, and more!  The notorious RBG was a legal, cultural, and feminist icon of the highest order. It is most fitting to honor her at Hill-Stead, founded by Theodate Riddle Pope, our nation’s fourth female architect and a visionary female leader in her own right. Don’t fret if you cannot be there in person. You can tune in from the comfort of your home with a live-stream presentation as it happens.

2) Join us for Halloween on the Hill on October 31 from 10 am to 8 pm. Enjoy an incredible day at Hill-Stead strolling through the gorgeous grounds all gussied up for All Hallows’ Eve! Kids and adults alike will delight as they follow a socially distanced path to numerous candy chute stations for touch-less treat delivery! Beyond safe trick-or-treating, there will be spooky displays by local businesses throughout the 152-acre campus as well as a haunted house. A spirited adventure awaits you at Hill-Stead. Hill-Stead continues to embrace the community, creating a “spooktacular” event free and open to all! Reservations are required.

3) Please check out our launched Hill-Stead’s Haystacks, the blog of the Hill-Stead Museum. The ongoing project involves the entire Hill-Stead community.  The newly-minted blog goes behind-the-scenes to discover the art & archives, people, places, and educational aspects of our incredible cultural destination. Speaking of stories, Hill-Stead continues to make the news. Recent press includes The Hartford Courant for hosting Silk City Steampunk on our campus and Channel 8 for our Birds of Prey event with the Farmington Land Trust! I hope you enjoy all the fun features!

Three Things to Know – September 8, 2020

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am delighted to bring you the fourth installment of Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know.

1)  Due to popular demand, Hill-Stead continues its phenomenal From the Porch performing arts programming. Hill-Stead has created its own version of Tanglewood, collaborating with 20 institutions, 80 artists, and bringing together over 1700 patrons to date for music, film, theater, comedy, and more!

The latest lineup includes a socially-distanced dance party with Darlene Zoller (September 16); beloved folksy band Among the Acres (September 18); Painting on the Hill with resident artist Rachel Cutler (September 20); Playhouse on the Park’s Playwrights on the Park (September 23), Sonia Plumb Duos & Trios (September 25 & 26) and family-friendly Farmington Land Trust’s Birds of Prey (October 4). And, there are a few tickets left for Hartford Symphony (September 8) and Hartford Stage’s community commemorations of 100 years of Women’s Suffrage with readings, music, and conversation (September 12).

2)  To keep up with all the press coverage, we have created a News Room on our website to capture the bevy of media activity. Please click on the link here to see our national and local wins, including NBC, The New York Times, Channel 8 News, The Hartford Courant (three pieces in as many months!), to name a few. Featured pieces include our From the Porch series, gala events with celebrity chef Tyler Anderson, Sunken Garden Poetry Festival with a newly-added conversation with poet laureate Joy Harjo this coming Sunday (tickets here), and Autumn on the Hill, our nature camp for kids on campus! Hill-Stead was highlighted in Only in Your State as a true treat for visitors and praised for our reopening in CT News Junkie with quotes from Dr. Anna Swinborne chronicling our positive outlook despite the pandemic.

Grainstacks, Bright Sunlight, Claude Monet3)  Speaking of our reopening, our veritable Musée d’Orsay in the heart of Farmington, best known for its Impressionist collection—including singular examples of Degas, Monet, Manet, Cassatt, and Whistler—has fully reopened its doors for public and private tours! Tours are properly socially distanced with hour-long daily, walk-in tours on a first-come, first-serve basis begin on the hour, Thursday through Sunday from 10 am-4 pm. Treat yourself and join us this fall!

I am eager to hear from you. Your questions, ideas, and inspirations are welcome. Share a comment on a post relevant to the topic or email brettb@hillstead.org.

I will strive to respond to questions as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours.

Best wishes,
Beth

Beth Brett
Director of Communications and Marketing

Three Things to Know – August 5, 2020

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am delighted to bring you the third installment of Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know.

1) Hill-Stead continues to bring the magic with its phenomenal summer programming! From the Porch, our inaugural multicultural performing arts series appears in more than a dozen articles. Here are some of the recent clips, highlighting the series, including not one but three feature articles in The Hartford Courant. Coverage includes today’s article on our upcoming Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, a full account of our summer series, along with a front-page story from last weekend’s Dance of Da Vinci 2.0 (pictured here).

In the coming weeks, the lineup includes music, film, theater, comedy, and more, so please join us for extraordinary evenings under the moonlit among our creative spirits, crickets, and fireflies!

2) As many of you know, one of Hill-Stead’s most popular annual events is the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. Now entering its 28th year, this one-of-a-kind event continues to celebrate poets laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners, and prestigious award recipients. We have persevered in planning two unique poetry programs to be enjoyed in-person on Hill-Stead’s West Lawn or live-streamed to your home.

On August 9 from 5 to 8 pm, Hill-Stead hosts Young Poets Day of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival features Mahogany L. Browne, a California-born, Brooklyn-based writer, educator, activist, mentor, and curator. The talented winners of Hill-Stead’s Fresh Voices Poetry Competition, an annual competition for student poets, will join her. We are also thrilled to bring moderator, Kamora Le’ Ella Herrington, founder of Kamora’s Cultural Corner to the stage.

We are over the moon to welcome our country’s first Native American poet laureate, Joy Harjo, along with Dujie Tahat, Winner of the Tupelo Press Sunken Garden Poetry Award. The two will close the Festival on September 13 from 4 to 7 pm

Tickets to the upcoming events are going fast! Purchase yours today and tell your friends! You can tune in from the comfort of your home with a Livestream presentation as it happens.

3) Tailgating off the success of our socially-distanced, farm-to-table dinner, we invite you to join us for the August and September dinners to benefit Hill-Stead. Affectionately coined, Theodate and Tyler: For the Love of Hill-Stead, celebrity chef Tyler Anderson has created a culinary masterpiece for these one-of-a-kind experiences. Held on select dates through September 10, these stunning affairs include multi-course dinners with wine pairings, top-notch musical talent, and post-reception house tours.

In related news, our silent auction is now online, with new items added throughout the summer. We are immensely grateful to our presenting Sponsor: Bank of America; Bronze Sponsors: Grunberg Management, Liberty Bank and Stanley Black & Decker; Friend Sponsors: Peoples United Bank, V.F. McNeil Insurance, and Chubb Corporation.

I am eager to hear from you. Your questions, ideas, and inspirations are welcome. Leave a comment on a post relevant to the topic or email brettb@hillstead.org.

I will strive to respond to questions as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours.

Best wishes,

Beth Brett
Director of Communications and Marketing

Three Things to Know – June 19, 2020

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am delighted to bring you the second installment of “Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know.”

1.) With the official first day of summer around the corner, Hill-Stead is beyond thrilled to bring you From the Porch, our inaugural multicultural performing arts series. Please join us for this diverse and dynamic showcase featuring music, dance, theater, and more! The series celebrates the “Year of the Woman,” to coincide with the centennial of women’s suffrage with signature events to amplify women’s crucial role in history.

First up, vocal-guitar duo Kristen Renehan and Jim Mastrianni create an elegant, enjoyable musical experience for all ages. This Saturday’s family-friendly prelude performance will include jazz, pop, soul, rock, and folk music with a twist.

Then, join us on Friday, July 26, for an opening night celebration to remember. Tammy Denease, an accomplished storyteller and actor, will perform as Sarah Margu, a captive on the Amistad. Powerful songstress Elizabeth Lyra Ross will also headline the event with a voice to make angels weep. Her distinguished career has included performances with the Metropolitan Opera and an Emmy Award nomination.

Don’t fret if you cannot be there in person. You can tune in from the comfort of your home with a Livestream presentation as it happens. Tickets to the upcoming events are going fast! Purchase yours today and tell your friends!

2.) Where better for children to spend summer than Hill-Stead. Now your children or grandchildren can “Summer on the Hill” with a four-week in-person workshop series offered from July 14- August 14, perfectly pairing painting with nature. Hill-Stead’s own resident artist and educator Rachel Cutler introduces young artists to drawing and painting en Plein air. As we say at Hill-Stead, “If you like Bob Ross, you are going to LOVE Rachel!”

Courses are offered two days per week from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Tuesdays & Thursdays OR Wednesdays & Fridays. Space is limited to 10 students, so please sign up now to reserve your spot. To register, please email Kate Ebner, Director of Education, at ebnerk@hillstead.org.

At the same time, Hill-Stead’s education department runs a virtual summer arts series for seniors, exclusively for Duncaster residents. If the pilot proves successful, it will serve as a model for future programs.

Summertime Fun

For creative spirits near and far, Hill-Stead’s What Matters Most Photography Contest allows those from all over the world to submit their photography. Everyone has a story to tell, and this contest provides a forum to capture unexpected outcomes, epiphanies of personal discovery, and moments of pure joy and connection. In doing so, Hill-Stead hopes to build a global community of artists and art enthusiasts. Please enter your work or vote through September 21.

3.) This year, Hill-Stead will host six separate benefit dinners (yes, you heard correctly, in lieu of our annual gala we will hold a bevy of special evenings!). Affectionately coined, Theodate and Tyler: For the Love of Hill-Stead, these exceptional farm-to-table experiences – intended for up to 75 guests each evening – will be created by celebrity chef Tyler Anderson and take place on the gorgeous grounds of Hill-Stead from Thursday, July 23 through Thursday, September 10. These stunning affairs will include special guest appearances, multi-course dinners with wine pairings, and, after-parties in the Sunken Garden. In addition to the live events, there will be a silent auction open to all with new items added throughout the summer. Stay tuned for more details soon!

I am eager to hear from you. Your questions, ideas, and inspirations are welcome. Share a comment on a post relevant to the topic or email brettb@hillstead.org.

I will strive to respond to questions as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours.

Best wishes,
Beth
Beth Brett
Director of Communications and Marketing

Three Things to Know – May 12, 2020

Dear Friends,

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am delighted to bring you a monthly update dedicated to “Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know,” from me, our new director of communications and marketing.

1. Extra, Extra! I am thrilled to share the first of many great stories about how our cultural destination is innovating during the pandemic on NBC News. I gave NBC’s digital producer an exclusive interview with Hill-Stead’s Executive Director Anna Swinbourne as well as resident shepherdess Bobbie Emery for the announcement of our interactive Virtual Sheep Experiences.

Bobbie Emery and her business partner Anne Foss are the owners of Clatter Ridge Farm. And, it is their Shetland sheep that graze on Hill-Stead’s historic grounds. This spring, we welcomed nearly 30 lambs, and they are now ready to visit you via Zoom! The sweet farm animals are available for work happy hours, corporate conference calls, school field trips, or family get-togethers. All offerings ranging from $25-$250 can be gifted, too, for a memorable and meaningful surprise. Please visit our website to book your sheep experience today!

2. Speaking of sheep, we are pleased to announce the winning bidder of fine artist Kate Emery’s original oil painting, After the Storm. Kate is Bobbie’s sister, and her impressive work depicts the historic barns at Hill-Stead and the flock of sheep that visitors experience at our 152-acre property. During their childhood, the two sisters, along with their three siblings, spent many happy occasions at Hill-Stead. They recall skating on the pond, sledding on the hill, and even enjoying camping trips on the grounds. The Emery sisters are generous supporters of the Hill-Stead Museum, and together, they have found creative ways to support the cultural destination. Held in March 2020, 75 percent of the proceeds from the Emery art auction directly benefited Hill-Stead.

“I want my work to make a difference,” says Kate, a second-career painter. She is also the founder of reSET, a Hartford-based non-profit that seeks to advance the state’s social enterprise sector.

Farmington native, Alden Warner III, purchased the painting for $1250. It was a nod to his childhood friend, Kate, the picturesque village where he spent his formative years and Hill-Stead Museum. Mr. Warner, a third-generation Farmingtonian, says: “It was a chance to buy a lovely painting by my old friend. And, it was a chance to honor Hill-Stead, the last magical landmark that has endured while so much around it has changed.”

3. Last but certainly not least, thank you for being a friend! Hill-Stead was overwhelmed by the generosity of our growing group of supporters. We participated in a full-fledged campaign for Giving Tuesday Now, a new global giving initiative on May 5, 2020. Our weeklong program included authentic content along with beautiful donor quotes, shared via e-blasts, and our various social media platforms to engage our audience. Among the creative posts were a beautiful graphic by educator Rachel Cutler, a chalk drawing by Anna’s daughter, and a “Thank You” photo captured by a drone over the House. We are immensely grateful for all of your contributions as well as our partner Liberty Bank who offered a challenge to match this goal. Every gift sustains us into the future.

I am eager to hear from you. Your questions, ideas, and inspirations are welcome. Leave a comment on a post relevant to the topic or email brettb@hillstead.org.

I will strive to respond to questions as soon as possible, generally within 24 hours.

Best wishes,

Beth Brett