Driving up to the gorgeous Yaddo Mansion on Tuesday night the Tattlers just knew it was going to be a special evening. Any time one gets a chance to see the inside of this historical home is a treat, and this night was no exception.
Our hosts for the evening were two past artists in residence, composer Nathan Barr and author Will Hermes, who had overlapping stays at the Mansion. Described by Will Hermes as a sort of “summer camp for grown ups crossed with a Zen monastery” both of our hosts had much to say about Yaddo and their experiences there.
“This place is just straight out wonderful because it is beautiful as a building, beautiful as a natural environment, and is inspiring as a place,” described Hermes. “What is super inspiring is the community of artists and being able to not only do your work but come together with all these people who you wouldn’t normally cross paths with. Everyone is engaged in a similar thing here, we are all trying to tap into memories, family inspirations, stories.”
Barr also spoke about the feeling of community at Yaddo…
“It is a great place to come and sequester oneself and then get together at the table each night for dinner and commiserate if you had a bad day or celebrate if you had a good day.”
Our very gracious hosts for the evening, author Will Hermes and composer Nathan Barr
The evening was marked with a sense of community and camaraderie. Guests mingled and chatted while sipping champagne and Joseph Carr wines and spirits were high as the second floor filled up. The Tattlers bumped into guests like Colleen Hart Carlson and her husband Skip Carlson, Sponsorship Committee Chair Cindy Hollowood, her husband Brien and lovely daughter Colleen, and Supreme Court Justice Joe Sise and his beautiful wife Robin. While Sponsorship Committee member Rick Partyka delighted the Tattlers with stories, Margie Rotchford, Micki Massry and Benefit Planning Committee Member Susan DePaula all chatted with friends.
The Tattlers got a chance to speak to one of the current artists in residence, Alessandro Ricciarelli, about what makes Yaddo so special.
“Yaddo is the one thing in my life where nothing is wrong with it at all. It’s the one thing that is completely amazing, it’s a very magical place.”
Yaddo Artist In Residence Alessandro Ricciarelli
Soon the evening was ready to move downstairs to the music room for the artists’ discussion. The event was sold out so every seat was filled and Will Hermes and Nathan Barr gave the guests a fantastic talk about their work, their experiences at Yaddo and answered questions from the audience. Barr has scored all four seasons of HBO’s Emmy-winning series True Blood, and he is currently at work on Season 5. He has composed music for more than 30 feature films in addition to his television experience. Barr even gave guests a little tidbit about maybe bringing HBO’s True Blood to Broadway! Hermes delighted guests sharing his experiences with the New York City music scene in the mid-1970s, the subject of his latest book, Love Goes to Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York City That Changed Music Forever.
Jill & Mike DeAnzeris
After the talk, guests spilled out into the gorgeous Yaddo Mansion, filling up the elegant rooms and enjoying the twilight view from the terrace. Many local restaurants provided the delicious food, and there were also stunning floral arrangements from local florists. Guests like Justin Jordan, Benefit Planning Committee Member Melissa Zieker, and Larry Ambrosino and wife Linda browsed the silent auction table with items from Saratoga Polo, Hidden Gardens, Saratoga Trunk and more. The Tattlers spotted Jamie & Shane Williams-Ness, Penny Jolly and Jay Rogoff, Jill & Mike DeAnzeris and Brendan Flanigan among the revelers there to support Yaddo.
Our evening ended on a high note as we got to chat with Benefit Planning Committee Chair Tamie Ehinger and Honorary Patrons Chair Anne Palamountain. Ehinger described Anne as “all that is elegance and graceful” and we couldn’t agree more. Both women looked even more stunning in the beautiful, unique setting of Yaddo. Always a highlight of the social year, the Yaddo Summer benefit was a smashing success with organizers reporting that the event surpassed its fundraising goal of $110,000!
Tamie Ehinger and Anne Palamountain
You can find the live feed from this event on our Twitter page here, and check out the full gallery from the evening on our facebook page here. If you have an event you’d like us to come Tattle on, email us at TogaTattlers@saratogian.com. Check back to find out where the Tattlers will be mingling next…