Three Good Things to Do – April 28, 2021

I am honored to bring you the third installment of Hill-Stead’s Three Good Things to Do on this stunning spring day.

1 Speaking of gorgeous weather, we are expecting a beautiful weekend ahead and invite you to join us for May Market this Friday, April 30th through Sunday, May 2nd. Hill-Stead’s springtime fundraising event benefiting the gardens, grounds, and trails. This year, the festive happening features over 30 premium exhibitors, flowers, and unique plants perfect for Mother’s Day, children’s activities, and refreshments. The safe, socially distanced outdoor marketplace features booths with individual tents and one-way aisles for attendees to shop comfortably! Timed tickets are still available for purchase, and admission includes access to a Museum Open House.

A huge thanks to the Hill-Steaders, volunteer ambassadors of Hill-Stead, who have supported the Museum for over 25 years and help produce this signature event. We will fete them with a special ceremony to kick off the festivities on our brand-new terrace. Please look for coverage this Thursday on Channel 8’s nightly news in advance of the festivities.

2 We are delighted to announce that From the Porch is back for 2021. Deemed a “mini- Tanglewood,” this incredible initiative united a diverse and dynamic group of partners across the performing arts sphere in 2020 with an astounding 28 events, 12 collaborators, and 102 performers during the series that extended through late October. Join us for Juneteenth on June 5th, a day of discovery and celebration featuring regional Black artists, organizations, and businesses. This outdoor community event will offer visual art, food, music, and family fun activities on Hill-Stead’s picturesque grounds. Joining local cultural organizations, including The Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Kamora’s Cultural Corner, Free Center, this inaugural Juneteenth event is part of a month-long series of celebrations taking place throughout the region. The Hartford Courant took notice of the festivities, promoting an exhibit of self-portraits by Black Artists with Free Center for our upcoming Juneteenth event.

3Curious to hear about what is happening at Hill-Stead? Behind the dark cloak of the pandemic, we created something beautiful at Hill-Stead! Construction has been underway steadily since last fall. We will soon celebrate new beginnings with a state-of-the-art exhibition gallery, a new media space, a vibrant lecture hall, an elegant museum shop, and much more. In the meantime, please check out Hill-Stead’s Capital & Endowment Campaign landing page for a glimpse into our transformative renovation project. If you are so inclined, please support Hill-Stead as our cultural & education hub reaches this incredible milestone!

I am eager to hear from you. Please email or post a comment to our social media channels.

Best always,

Beth Brett, Chief Advancement Officer

Three Good Things to Do – March17, 2021

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am honored to bring you the second installment of “Hill-Stead’s Three Good Things to Do” on St. Patrick’s Day.

1Please join us this Saturday to celebrate the first day of spring with Walktail Hours from noon to 6 p.m. Enjoy the gorgeous grounds as you safely sip and stroll with a warm drink in hand. The Liquorist will serve up craft cocktails from their mobile bar (once a 1970’s horse trailer!). Grillin & Groovin will provide creative and delicious comfort food. While onsite, take a guided tour of the 1901 house museum with masterworks by Monet, Manet, Degas, Cassatt, and Whistler.

2As the snow melts and birds’ return signals the beginning of springtime, we are kicking off our Healthy Living campaign. We invite you to name a lamb, a trail or dedicate a bench. A naming opportunity is a lovely way to memorialize or honor a loved one or share as a meaningful gift for a birthday, anniversary, new baby, or graduation. Our beautiful 152-acre campus has remained open and accessible to all throughout the pandemic. We hope you have enjoyed Hill-Stead’s exceptional natural environment. Now is your chance to support our beloved cultural hub and preserve the land for the enjoyment of future generations.

3There are more than the sweet sounds of birds chirping at Hill-Stead. Noisy, invigorating construction began in September and is on track to finish in late May! Without altering its footprint, the major renovation is well underway to adapt our historic carriage barns into an exhibition gallery and a new media space for topical and thought-provoking presentations. We are immensely grateful for the various crews and teams working together to realize the project ahead of schedule. Please enjoy the incredible animation video here and contribute to our transformation by joining our campaign. We would be happy to speak with you directly about this possibility.

I am eager to hear from you. Please email or post a comment to our social media channels.

Best always,

Beth Brett, Chief Advancement Officer

Three Good Things to Do – February 19, 2021

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am honored to bring you the first installment of “Hill-Stead’s Three Good Things to Do” to kick-off my new role as Chief Advancement Officer. It is the new 2.0 Version of “Hill-Stead’s Three Things to Know.”

This week, Dr. Anna Swinbourne, Hill-Stead’s Executive Director & CEO, graciously participated in an interview on the state of Hill-Stead as a guest on Ginny Wolf’s radio show, “Spotlight: Radio Reveling in the Arts and Entertainment.” The segment ran on 1150AM /1420AM Radio, which reaches a robust audience from Hartford to New Haven to New London and the CT Shore. Catch it again this Saturday at 5 am and 1 pm and Sunday at 8 am.

1In the meantime, enjoy a snow day at Hill-Stead. An outdoor masterpiece in any season, bundle up and take part in the joys of winter from sledding to x-cross skiing and snowshoeing. Do you want to build a snowman? All are welcome to come out this weekend and participate in a Snowman Building Contest. Think snowman, snow sculptures, snow creatures, and more. Creativity is welcome. The winner will receive an amazing prize and potential broadcast coverage. Please submit your contest entry with a description of your work to Hill-Stead Educator Rachel Cutler (


2And, next weekend, the fun continues with Hill-Stead’s ‘Walktail Hours.’ Tailgating on the success of our first-ever event, the popular series continues on Saturday, February 27 and March 20 with extended hours from noon to 6 p.m.! Enjoy a sip and stroll with a warm, delicious drink courtesy of The Liquorist, who will be once again on-site in their mobile bar (once a 1970’s horse trailer!). A variety of fast-casual food items will be available for purchase, too.





3 Please save-the-date(s)! We invite you to “Come Fly Away with Us” on June 11 & 12 and July 9 & 10 for a series of gala dinners to benefit Hill-Stead. Enjoy four unique evenings of delicious cultural cuisine from area chefs, inspired by Theodate Pope Riddle’s extensive travels to Europe and collection of souvenir postcards.

These stunning affairs include multi-course dinners with wine pairings, top-notch musical talent, and post-reception house tours. Please join us for al fresco dining at its finest sans tents where you can choose to sit at a safe distance among friends or with your guest at a stand-alone table during the magic hour. Bask in the glory of our outdoor masterpiece where you’ll feel as though you are in Tuscany with the rolling hills as a backdrop as a stunning sunset takes center stage.


Best always,

Three Things to Know – January 14, 2021

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am honored to bring you the eighth installment of “Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know” to kick-off 2021.

Straight out of the starting gate, Hill-Stead was featured on Better Connecticut this week on CBS (Ch3/WFSB). We should all be proud to see our beloved cultural hub gaining such well-deserved visibility with 5:30 minutes of television airtime.

1 Winter on the Hill nature and arts program has been such a success that the program continues in 2021 with both in-person and virtual programming. In tribute to Martin Luther King Day, we are pleased to offer students a free one-hour program on January 18 at 11 am (grades 3–5) or 1 pm. (grades 6–8). The virtual session includes both independent and collaborative art-making led by Hill-Stead’s resident artist and education specialist, Rachel Cutler. During the engaging workshop, the students will reflect on Martin Luther King’s legacy by analyzing his words and dreams with those of Hill-Stead’s founder, Theodate Pope Riddle.

There will be back-to-back in-person sessions of Winter on the Hill at Hill-Stead on February 15 & 16 from 1-4 p.m. to coincide with President’s Day vacation time.

2 Hill-Stead is carrying on with its 2020 practice of joining hands with fellow arts organizations. This time, we join Capital Classics Theatre Company in presenting Contemporary Classics Conversations on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 7:30 pm. The event is complimentary, and all are welcome to join us via Zoom for an insightful and lively evening of conversation inspired by Athol Fugard’s one-act play, Victory. Set in New South Africa, following the first free election in 1994, Victory features two adolescents discovered while robbing a home. Their discovery leads to a night of dialogue, revealing the hardships of living in apartheid-created poverty. Capital Classics Theatre Company artists will perform scene readings examining the despair of many young Black citizens in South Africa who see little prospect of a constructive future. Between excerpts, the audience will discuss the play’s themes and their relevance and resemblance to our world today.

3We are excited to announce Hill-Stead’s very first Walktail Hour on Saturday, January 30, from 3:30–5:30 pm. with an inclement weather date of Sunday, January 31 (same timing). Enjoy the Hill-Stead’s gorgeous grounds as you safely sip and stroll during the magical sunset hour while taking in the breathtaking views of our outdoor masterpiece. Admission will be free, with beverages available for purchase from The Liquorist on-site in their mobile bar (once a 1970’s horse trailer!). Imagine a beautiful sunset, a warm, delicious drink, stretching your legs, together with a loved one in the refreshing early evening air – the perfect end-of-day antidote to the winter blues!

Best always,

Three Things to Know – December 9, 2020

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am honored to bring you the seventh installment of “Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know” on this crisp December day.

1 First, it is my pleasure to report that visitors are enjoying The Nutcracker Reimagined by Ballet Theatre Company two weeks into the exhibition. NBC national news ran a segment on the show last Friday across all 12 major markets, including Connecticut, New York, and Boston. We should all be proud to gain positive press for pulling off yet another incredible initiative amid the pandemic. Continue reading

Three Things to Know – November 11, 2020

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am honored to bring you the sixth installment of “Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know” this Veteran’s Day. We thank you and invite all those who served to take a complimentary House Tour this weekend.

1 With the holidays ahead, we invite you to celebrate the season at Hill-Stead! Enjoy The Nutcracker Reimagined brought to us by Ballet Theatre Company, including a costume exhibition, dance performances, and special events. Imagine the museum decked out in festive garb with 20 sparkling pieces from the theatre company’s Through the Tulle costume exhibition? Special House tour tickets are available for purchase and going fast! The Carriage Porch will come alive with BTC’s resident professional dancers as they twirl, leap, and pirouette in their very own snow globe. Visitors will be mesmerized as they watch from the outside, transported to New York City’s Fifth Avenue for a stunning window display.

Throughout the run of the presentation, there will be a host of incredible programs including two Snowflake Soirees (Friday, December 11 & Saturday, December 12 at 7 pm). These intimate, socially distanced performances in the Makeshift Theatre will feature twenty-year-old ballet principal Roman Mejia, Resident Guest Dancer from New York City Ballet along with BTC’s Season Dancers. Following the performance, there will be a Q & between the audience, BTC’s artistic team, and dancers. Thematic dessert and libations will be the icing on the cake. Sugarplums, anyone?

Continue reading

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. Continue reading

What Matters Most Photo Contest Winners

And the winners are…

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 ComfortsSummertime Funand Victory Gardens. Because there were so many wonderful photos, we are also highlighting a staff pick for each category.

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.”

Creature Comforts

Bobcat NeighborRobert Trafford

WINNER: Bobcat Neighbor, 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

Summertime Fun

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

Victory Gardens

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.”

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!

Continue reading

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! Continue reading