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Hill-Stead Museum’s Reopening Plan

After temporarily closing our Museum doors, Hill-Stead will be gradually reopening. The Museum will be open for private tours by appointment only beginning July 2.   Schedule a Private Tour

Through it all, we have honored our commitment, keeping our gorgeous grounds open for all—an oasis in a turbulent time.

We invite you to attend From the Porch, Hill-Stead’s inaugural multicultural outdoor performing arts series, featuring music, dance, theater, and more.

Before You Visit

Our first priority is the health and safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers, and neighbors. Before you visit, please learn how to make your visit a safe and enjoyable one.

Review our visitor expectations

All ticket holders who attend an outdoor event at Hill-Stead, beginning June 20, must adhere to the following Visitation Protocols at all times while onsite. If a ticketholder does not wish to adhere to these Visitation Protocols, that ticketholder should not attend the event and should contact Megan Olver PRIOR to the event for assistance in obtaining a refund.

The health and safety of our guests and employees is Hill-Stead Museum’s number one priority. An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. In the interest of your personal safety and community health, please observe all the precautions listed below.

  • Guests are advised to practice physical distancing by standing at least 6 feet away from other groups of people not traveling with them while standing in lines and moving around the property.
  • Children must stay with adults at all times and a minimum of six feet distance must be maintained between all other non-family members.
  • Face masks should be worn by all visitors six years of age and above.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed at entrances and high contact areas.
  • A first aid station will be accessible.

Hill-Stead employees have already pre-marked spaces on the lawn for your group. Upon arrival, guests will be escorted to a pre-marked space on the west lawn by an employee wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

For further details on visitation protocols governing Hill-Stead’s summer event series, including a map of our West Lawn event space layout, please click here.

We are closely monitoring government policy changes, Center for Disease Control (CDC) guideline, government mandates, and public health advancement, and will continue to make changes, as necessary or appropriate, to our protocols and procedures.

By purchasing a ticket, you assume the risks of and waive liability to Coronavirus/Covid-19
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has been declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization. COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. As a result, federal, state, and local governments and federal and state health agencies recommend social distancing. Hill-Stead Museum has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19; however, it cannot guarantee that you will not become infected with COVID-19. Further, attending an event or program at Hill-Stead Museum or on its grounds could increase your risk of contracting COVID-19. By purchasing a ticket to an event or program at Hill-Stead Museum, you acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk that you may be exposed to or become infected by COVID-19 and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death. You understand that the risk of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19 at Hill-Stead Museum may result from the actions, omissions, or negligence of yourself and others, including, but not limited to, Hill-Stead Museum employees, volunteers, and program participants and their families. You voluntarily agree to assume all of the foregoing risks and accept sole responsibility for any injury to yourself (including, but not limited to, personal injury, disability, and death), illness, damage, loss, claim, liability, or expense, of any kind, that you may experience or incur in connection with your attendance at Hill-Stead Museum or participation in Hill-Stead Museum programming (“claims”). You hereby release, covenant not to sue, discharge, and hold harmless Hill-Stead Museum, its employees, agents, and representatives, of and from claims, including all liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs or expenses of any kind arising out of or relating thereto. You understand and agree that this release includes any claims based on the actions, omissions, or negligence of Hill-Stead Museum, its employees, agents, and representatives, whether a COVID-19 infection occurs before, during, or after participation in any Hill-Stead Museum program.

Theodate and Tyler: For the Love of Hill-Stead Benefit Dinner Auction Series

This year, Hill-Stead will host six 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 between July 23 and September 10, these stunning affairs will include special guest appearances, sumptuous multi-course dinners with wine pairings, and post-reception 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.

Schedule

5 pm          Reception with hors d’oeuvres and beverages
6 pm           Dinner & Dessert
7:30 pm     Monet’s Circle Post Event Reception

Events will be held on Thursday, July 23; Saturday, July 25; Thursday, August 27; Saturday, August 29; Thursday, September 3; and Thursday, September 10


Tickets

Monet’s Circle  |  $1000 per couple (2 tickets); $500 single ticket

      Tickets Include
  • Post Event Reception in the Sunken Garden with Special Guest
  • Early access to silent auction
  • Sumptuous dinner and fine wine
  • $375 is tax-deductible for single ticket, $750 for couple ticket

Supporter  |   $400 per couple (2 tickets); $200 single ticket

      Tickets Include:
  • Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails
  • Sumptuous dinner and fine wine
  • $140 is tax-deductible for single ticket, $280 for couple ticket)

PURCHASE TICKETS | JULY 23
PURCHASE TICKETS | JULY 25
PURCHASE TICKETS | AUGUST 27
PURCHASE TICKETS | AUGUST 29
PURCHASE TICKETS | SEPTEMBER 3
PURCHASE TICKETS | SEPTEMBER 10 


Our grateful thanks to the following sponsors

Lead Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

Grunberg Management

Friend Sponsor

People’s United Bank

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

Summer on the Hill – A Painting and Nature Workshop Series

Begin your days at Hill-Stead, meet new friends, make art, and enjoy the outdoors!

Hill-Stead’s new four-week summer camp, Summer on the Hill, introduces young artists to drawing and painting en plein air. Perfect for outdoor lovers with creative sensibilities! Participants will learn field drawing and sketching, and build skills in both watercolor and oil pastel, depending on age and interest. No art experience necessary!

Explore four themes in four weeks!

Summer on the Hill runs for four weeks two days a week — choose either Tuesdays & Thursdays or Wednesdays & Fridays). You may register for one week or all four weeks.
See all sessions  Download a printable flyer

Register for all Four Weeks

Week 1: Field Sketching and Drawing  
Learn the fundamentals of art, sketch and draw scenes and objects, and create a line art piece
July 14 & 16 or July 15 & 17

REGISTER 

Week 2: Introducing Colors! 
Learn to make field sketches with color, make landscape studies and how to draw animals in action with both watercolor and oil pastel
July 21 & 23 or July 22 & 24

REGISTER 

Week 3: Around the World
Learn about the art at Hill-Stead Museum with a guest speaker, enjoy a crash course on Impressionism and Japanese woodblock prints!
July 28 & 30 or July 29 & 31 

REGISTER 

Week 4: Final Masterpiece
Use the skills you have learned to create a final showpiece in watercolor or oil pastel
August 4 & 6 or August 5 & 7

REGISTER 


Program details

  • For students ages 9 to 14
  • 15+ are welcome to apply as “artists-in-training” to assist
  • 10 students maximum
  • Campers must dress appropriately for outdoor activities and bring snacks. Hill-Stead will provide water bottles and art supplies. All campers must wear masks, keep at least six-feet apart from other campers and staff, and wash hands regularly.
  • Questions?  Contact ebnerk@hillstead.org.

Cost

One week  |  $100
Four weeks  |  $375
Siblings  |  10% discount
Artists-in-training*  |  $80/week or $275/series

*Those ages 15+ can apply to assist

 

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.

June 12, 2020

Dear Friends,

Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington CT

With the imminent approach of Summer Solstice—a precise planetary moment when the Earth’s tilt reaches its zenith—I take solace in knowing that I am part of a global community. It happens at an exact moment; it is the same moment everywhere on Earth. We cannot take it back; we can only move forward together.

On this day (June 20), we invite you to come to Hill-Stead and step outside with us at the moment of the Solstice. To pause, be present, and mindful in this powerful and challenging moment in our collective history.

With utmost conviction, we acknowledge our responsibility to fulfill our founder’s intention for Hill-Stead, namely that it serves to enrich and educate our local citizens and the greater public. We exist for all members of the public and seek to build a strong, healthy community that, among many things, is inclusive and embraces equality. And we believe that the arts have the power to unite, an ability that is now more important than ever.

Taking this to heart, not only igniting dialogue but moreover, putting actions behind its words, Hill-Stead is launching From the Porch, a multicultural performing arts series. Building on the successful indoor events and nationally acclaimed Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, the vibrant and inclusive programming of this new series – with music, dance, theater and more – will take place outside on our gorgeous grounds, several nights per week. We will welcome audiences of all ages, and strictly follow the state and local regulations for distancing and safety.

We are also, in this kickoff, celebrating both our identity as the brainchild of an extraordinary woman, and the importance of 2020 as the 100th anniversary of women acquiring the right to vote in the United States. Yet even as we celebrate, we acknowledge that this reform was flawed, as voting rights were not accessible to all women equally in our country. Barriers such as poll taxes and literacy tests fostered unequal and discriminatory voting practices.

To welcome summer on the evening of June 20, our dear friend and neighbor, singer-songwriter Kristen Renehan will sing an acoustical concert from the front veranda. Jim Mastrianni will accompany her on guitar.

Then, on June 26, Tammy Denease, an accomplished performing artist and storyteller, will be performing as Sarah Margu, a captive on the Amistad. She 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 to the stage that same night, Elizabeth Lyra Ross, who will dazzle us with her magnificent song. 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 the opera roles of Aida, Tosca, Madame Butterfly, Santuzza, and both Bess and Serena in Porgy and Bess. Elizabeth has performed with the Metropolitan Opera and she has been nominated for an Emmy Award on the Live from Lincoln Center Series.

Throughout the summer season, Hill-Stead will collaborate on specific events with other arts organizations from Opera Connecticut to dance companies led by Judy Dworin and Sonia Plumb. In doing so, we will provide a venue for these neighbor institutions, knowing they cannot host their performances indoors now. Our aspiration is simple: by linking our hands and sharing our resources, we nonprofit cultural institutions can together create a lively and sustainable future.

And if the weather allows, we will continue this series into the autumn, to bring to our community as many enjoyable and enriching experiences as we can. During colder days, be ready to sit in the audience wrapped in a blanket or wearing your winter coat!

Throughout the pandemic, we have kept our grounds and gardens open to all every day. Now, you can be there for us by supporting this vibrant summer series, which will simultaneously serve as a fundraising effort for our beloved Hill-Stead. With your support, we can join together to be part of this shared endeavor to bring the arts back to the community.

To find details of the series events, please visit our calendar. It will grow as we move through the summer!

I look forward to greeting you personally when you arrive for a performance.

My best,

Anna

 

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