I’ll admit that the end of summer might be my least favorite time of year. And it’s especially hard to say goodbye to the wonderful art- and fun-filled months we just had at the museum. Yet, as I look to Labor Day and another autumn of COVID, I cannot help but feel a crazy-deep gratitude for the grounds at Hill-Stead. They will carry us through. Again.
Up first on the front lawn will be a revamped Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. Over three consecutive days, September 10–12, we will proudly present the 29th annual program with an impressive roster of authors, musicians, and timely topics. Jennifer Xie, Martín Espada, and our state’s Poet Laureate, Margaret Gibson, will headline a poetry-packed weekend with readings, workshops, and musical performances. Their subjects will be of utmost relevance to our lives, whether in terms of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, climate change, or commentary on capital in many forms. You may choose to visit for one event, one day, or the whole weekend. Please see our website for details and timing, and consider joining us, to let the words of these talented artists dazzle, move, or possibly inspire you.
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Toward the end of the month, on Sunday the 26th, the wildly popular Walktails we hosted earlier in the year will return as a September Stroll. The idea remains the same, walk the grounds with a seasonal beverage and fun companion or two, but the backdrop will be all new. Forget the freezing February cold or March muck, and imagine stunning (likely breathtaking) foliage as far as your eyes can see.
And because new is especially good during pandemic conditions that seem endless, we also added new elements. For those visitors who purchase, or have purchased this year, a Silver membership, there will be the opportunity to take an exclusive guided tour after the sun goes down for a rare nighttime visit inside the museum with the chance to see the world-class paintings glow under evening light. And for those who purchase membership at the highest level, Gold, we will offer something rarer still: a chance to watch the sunset from the roof of the veranda, where very few can and have appreciated that overwhelmingly beautiful experience.
With the hopes that these wonders will bring joy and fuel our stamina for the uncertain days ahead, I look forward to seeing you at one or both,
and wish you well,
Dr. Anna Swinbourne, Executive Director & CEO