BENNINGTON -- What could have been a conflict of entertainment audience interest has turned into a fun weekend for all and a prime example of two of the town’s premier cultural organizations working together.
To avoid what was originally having both the Oldcastle Theatre Company’s summer cabaret fundraiser and Bennington Museum’s Farm to Table dinner event occur on the same evening, Saturday, Aug. 25, the Museum announced Thursday that it is moving its event to the next day.
As originally planned, Oldcastle will be holding its summer cabaret fundraiser on Aug. 25, beginning at 6 p.m., at their new downtown location at 331 Main St. The Museum has rescheduled its annual Farm to Table Benefit Dinner, a benefit for the Bennington County Meals on Wheels Program, and it will now take place on Sunday, Aug. 26, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Good for both organizations
"The goal is to have people come out and support both non-profit cultural venues," Robert Wolterstorff, executive director of the Bennington Museum, said in supplied material. "We wanted to eliminate having to make a choice between the two. Oldcastle Theatre’s move to downtown Bennington is transformative for the theater and the town, and we at the Bennington Museum are happy to move the date of our dinner."
Oldcastle appreciates the move.
"We’re most grateful to the Bennington Museum for moving their Farm to Table event to Sunday the 26th in a spirit of cooperation," Eric Peterson, Oldcastle’s producing artistic director," said in supplied material. "We urge everyone to attend both events and to enjoy a glorious Bennington weekend."
The Oldcastle event, "Oldcastle Celebrates Downtown!", will be a celebration of Oldcastle’s new home as well as a fundraiser for Oldcastle’s theatrical season and educational programs. The evening will begin cocktails with pub fare, a live auction with wine, and a silent auction with items donated by many local businesses. The cabaret will include performances by Oldcastle regulars and friends, including Richard Howe, Kim Turner, Peter Langstaff, Evita Cobo, Meredith McCaslind, Ed Lawrence and Liz Stott, among others.
Tickets are $50 each or two tickets can be purchased for $90 if bought before the event by calling Oldcastle at 802-447-0564, or by purchasing them at the Bennington Bookshop.
The third annual Farm to Table Dinner is an evening that celebrates local farming. The gastronomical adventure, according to the Museum, is a Tuscan-inspired, elegantly casual, seven-course tasting dinner that showcases dishes prepared from the bounty of farm fresh foods from our region and available from the many local farmers represented at the Walloomsac Farmers’ Market, Bennington. The dinner will be accompanied with fine wines. Introductory remarks will be given by Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of "The Complete Kitchen Garden" from which many of the evening’s recipes are taken. Tickets for the Farm to Table Dinner are $75, and reservations are requested by Aug. 20, by calling 802-447-1571.
Museum offers a deal
"To help realize two successful benefit events in one weekend, and make it easier for people to come out for both, we have a remarkable challenge from two anonymous donors who are making it possible for people to attend both fundraisers for $100," Wolterstorff said.
The Museum said that if patrons purchase tickets to both the Oldcastle fundraiser and the Museum’s benefit, the price for the Museum dinner on Sunday will be $50, instead of $75. The difference will be covered by the anonymous donation allowing the museum still to benefit the full $75 ticket price, according to the Museum.
The co-operation between the two organizations is just beginning, however.
"We are excited for the future of the theater in downtown and look forward to collaborative efforts beginning with their production of ‘Grandma Moses and the American Primitive,’ coming in the Spring of 2013," Wolterstorff said. "It is important to the community that the arts stay alive and healthy in our town. It is an integral part of our community."
-- K.D. Norris