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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!

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

A New Multicultural Performing Arts Summer Series

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).

See all upcoming From the Porch events


Prelude Event – Kristen Renehan and Jim Mastrianni

June 20, 2020
6:30 to 8 pm

Tickets | $25 per person
PURCHASE TICKETS

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.


Opening Night – Tammy Denease & Elizabeth Lyra Ross

June 26, 2020
6:30 to 8 pm

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.

Tickets | $20 per person
PURCHASE TICKETS

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.

Announcing the winners of the 2020 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition

Congratulations, Poets!

The winners are:

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!

Please join us at the opening of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on Sunday, August 9. Winners will read their poems in person at Young Poets Day featuring acclaimed spoken word poet and activist, Mahogany L. Browne.

Learn more about the Fresh Voice Poetry Competition 

NYT says “Yes” to Hill-Stead

     

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share this exciting news—hot off the press! The New York Times said, “Yes” to Hill-Stead!

They accepted our proposal for a wedding story! Magdalena and Brett Day’s beautiful elopement took place in Hill-Stead’s Sunken Garden on Cinco de Mayo at the end of our incredible Giving Tuesday Now (May 5, 2020). The story appeared as a ¼ color-page feature in today’s Vows Section and posted online.

On a related note, a lovely couple out on an evening stroll at Hill-Stead offered their congratulations to the Day’s. Both had married at Hill-Stead on precisely the same day—albeit four decades apart! What sweet serendipity!

Congratulations again to Magdalena and Brett Day! Hill-Stead remains open for small, properly socially distanced, outdoor events. For more information, please contact Jennifer Mooney, Manager of Private Events & Corporate Functions (860-677-4787 ext. 134, or mooneyj@hillstead.org)

We are 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.

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

Best wishes,

Beth Brett
Director of Communications and Marketing

2020 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition Finalists

2020 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition

Thank you to all the high school students who participated in Hill-Stead Museum’s Fresh Voices Poetry competition and the teachers and parents who supported them. Poetry has the power to heal and bring comfort, particularly during these trying times.

United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo attests to this statement: “Poetry tends to hang out at points of transformation…when a death happens in the family, or some other grief event, or marriage, or falling in love, or falling out of love, birth—people always turn to poetry.”

Hill-Stead is thrilled to announce the 2020 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition Finalists, congratulations to:
  • Haneen Alkabasi, Avon High School
  • Alicia Chiu, William H. Hall High School
  • Jake Colangelo, Joel Barlow High School
  • Holden Escabi, Wethersfield High School
  • Ashton Hamre, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
  • Hannah Kim, Glastonbury High School
  • Rose Kitz, William H. Hall High School
  • Alexandra Melo, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
  • Maggie Munday Odom, The Grove School
  • Olatunji Osho-Williams, Westminster School
  • Connie Pan, Lyme-Old Lyme High School
  • Sophia Ramirez, Wilton High School
  • Melanie Trotochaud, Marine Science Magnet High School
  • Cindy Troung, Educational Center for the Arts
  • Charlotte Watts, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
  • Lauren Young, Trinity Catholic High School

Hill-Stead Museum would like to thank this year’s Fresh Voices judges, David Caldwell, David K. Leff, and Amy Nawrocki.  The judges are currently reviewing the poems by the finalists. Fresh Voices readers, Kate Doemland of Miss Porter’s School, and Jamie Perry of Avon Old Farms School thoughtfully recommended the sixteen finalists from nearly 50 poetry submissions.

Budding Photographers Photo Contest Winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of Hill-Stead Museum’s Budding Photographers Contest

We hope you enjoyed participating in this fun-filled contest while experiencing Hill-Stead’s glorious grounds this spring. Thanks, too, for those who voted on the competition and helped Hill-Stead exceed its goal, raising $2,825. Please stay tuned for news about our upcoming summer photo contest.

Congratulations to our winners in the following categories:

Architecture

Winner  Joyce B. | From a Distance
Runner-up  Donna W. | The Colors of Spring
Second Runner-up  Azeem S.  | The Grandeur

Landscapes & Horizons

Winner  Gabriella R. | A Hint of Spring
Runner-up  David C. | Croquet Sunset
Second Runner-up  Kate E. | Rainbow

Living Things

Winner Donna H. | At the Pond
Runner-up Maddie M.| Lambs at the Hill-Stead Museum
Second Runner-up Gary A. | Grazing Sheep & Lamb

Each of the first-place winners will receive a 9×12 print of their winning photo and a gift certificate worth up to $75 from Farmington Frame. All of the winners will receive a Hill-Stead Museum membership along with a $20 gift certificate to Hill-Stead’s shop.