Our May Program: “Fact vs. Fiction”

Martha Hall KellyThe Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes all to what promises to be a lively and informative program entitled “Fact vs Fiction,” which will be held at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, May 3, beginning at 2:30pm.

Martha Hall Kelly is a native New Englander who currently lives in Litchfield. She has earned journalism degrees from Syracuse and Northwestern universities, worked as an advertising copywriter for many years and raised three wonderful children, who are now mostly out of the nest. Her novel Lilac Girls is Martha’s first novel and it became an instant New York Times bestseller when it debuted in April of 2016 and is now in its’ 54th week on the paperback list.

She will speak about her experience with the Bellamy Ferriday House and will give a preview of her forthcoming book – a prequel to her previous novel.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-567-3966 and info@womensforumoflitchfield.org.

Our April Program: “Spectacle and Substance: Tracking a Tale of Victorian America”

April Jones PrinceThe Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes all to “Spectacle and Substance: Tracking a Tale of Victorian America” that will be held at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, April 5, beginning at 2:30pm.

What do Connecticut native P.T. Barnum and the Brooklyn Bridge have in common? Find out as author of children’s books Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing April Jones Prince reveals the “story behind the story” of discovering a fascinating nugget of American history. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at how picture books are made and what makes them an engaging, unique art form. Prince writes for children, but her lively discussion will be enjoyed by all ages.

Prince is a children’s book author and freelance editor who has worked in children’s publishing for 20 years. She holds a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a certificate in publishing from the Radcliffe Publishing Course. Prince has worked in the editorial departments at William Morrow and HarperCollins Children’s Books and has been a ghostwriter, children’s bookseller, and book reviewer.

She currently edits and represents children’s book authors and illustrators at Studio Goodwin Sturges in Providence and teaches part-time at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). When not working with clients or RISD students on their book projects, she speaks at elementary schools and writes at her home in Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and two sons. She is the award-winning author of ten books for young readers, including Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing and What Do Wheels Do All Day? She especially loves history, biography and all kinds of picture books.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-567-3966 and info@womensforumoflitchfield.org.

Our March Program: “Old Houses, New Tricks”

Hinkel Design Group building in BristolThe Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes all to what promises to be a lively and informative program entitled “Old Houses, New Tricks” that will be held at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, March 1, beginning at 2:30pm.

James Crisp of Crisp Architects, Patrick Walker and Elizabeth Demetriades of Demetriades + Walker and Paul Hinkel of Hinkel Design Group will discuss the challenges of renovating historic houses and buildings, adhering to preservation rules as well as satisfying new owners without sacrificing creativity.

James Crisp AIA has been an architect for well over twenty years. His architectural firm, Crisp Architects, designs projects throughout New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In 2007, Taunton Press published On the Porch by James Crisp and Sandra Mahoney.

Demetriades + Walker is located in the Northwest hills of Connecticut. Their focus is primarily residential, spirited by an innovative approach to modernism and site integration. Elizabeth Demetriades AIA, LEED AP, majored in Architecture as an undergraduate at Yale University and received her Master of Architecture from Columbia Graduate School of Architecture and Planning. She has partnered with Patrick Walker AIA since 1996. Patrick Walker received his Professional Degree in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati and his Master of Architecture from Yale University School of Architecture.

Paul Hinkel AIA, is the principal/owner of the Hinkel Design Group which specializes in high-end residential projects including new construction, renovations, additions and historic preservation. The Walter Ingraham House, built in 1892, is a particularly elaborate high-style Queen Anne structure. Located in Bristol’s Federal Hill Historic District, it is now the home of Hinkel Design Group.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-567-3966 and info@womensforumoflitchfield.org.

Our February Program: “A Life in Fashion and Beyond”

Ron LealThe Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes all to what promises to be a lively and informative program entitled “A Life in Fashion and Beyond” that will be held at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, February 1, beginning at 2:30pm.

Ron Leal is known for his innate style and was in the fashion business for over thirty years, beginning with his boutique on Madison Avenue where socialites the likes of Lee Radziwill and Mica Ertegun bought his designs. A move to Seventh Avenue eventually led to his eponymous label where he created high-end sportswear in the tradition of Giorgio Armani and Michael Kors. He then moved to Vancouver where once again he made fashion headlines with his clothes.

Since leaving the fashion arena, Leal has made his home in Litchfield and has channeled his creativity to many local causes: He has worked on Oliver Wolcott Library’s Festival of Trees, created fashion shoots for Litchfield Magazine, staged fashion shows for charities, and most prominently, is the creative force behind Litchfield Community Center’s annual Summerfest.

His pre-fashion life is just as colorful. Born in Hanford CA, he made a trip on the Nile at 18, worked at Woburn Abbey in England; modeled for Italian designer Walter Albini, worked for London’s most fashionable boutique Brown’s. He has lived in Venice, Milan, and Greece in addition to London. He graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and acted on various stages. He will talk about his career in fashion and how to dress without spending a fortune, sound advice peppered with personal stories from his illustrious career.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-567-3966 and info@womensforumoflitchfield.org.

Our January Program: “The Ghosts in our Oceans: Preserving Marine Wildlife”

Elizabeth HoganUPDATE: Elizabeth Hogan will be invited to present her program during the 2018-2019 season.

The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes all to what promises to be a lively and informative program entitled “The Ghosts in our Oceans: Preserving Marine Wildlife” that will be held at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, January 4, 2018 beginning at 2:30pm.

Elizabeth Hogan is the Program Manager for Oceans and Wildlife with World Animal Protection, where she specializes in marine wildlife entanglement in addition to work on marine debris, illegal wildlife trade, whaling policy, and wildlife in captivity. For the last five years she has researched the impact of derelict fishing gear on marine mammals and worked on establishing rescue networks and protocols for entangled marine life. She has previously worked with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) on protective policies and fishing gear modification for the conservation of North Atlantic Right Whales.

Prior to working in the animal welfare sector, Elizabeth developed fifteen years of experience with government, corporate, and non-profit organizations, including four years as a consultant on climate change, deforestation policy, and sea level rise. She has also worked in ecotourism development in Ecuador and with the Camara de Industrias of Costa Rica to assist Central American businesses in adopting environmentally sustainable business practices.

Elizabeth is a contributing author to two books on corporate social responsibility. She has a degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a dual Master of Science in Marine & Coastal Natural Resources and a Master of Science in Sustainable Development from the University for Peace in Costa Rica and American University in Washington, DC.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-567-3966 and info@womensforumoflitchfield.org.

2017 Holiday Concert

The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes flutist Jennifer Berman and harpist Susan Knapp Thomas to perform a special holiday concert at St. Michael’s Parish, 25 South Street, just off the Litchfield Green on Thursday, December 7, beginning at 2:30pm.

Jennifer Berman

Jennifer Berman, flutist, began studying the flute at age seven in South Florida. She attended the North Carolina School of the Arts where she received both her High School diploma and Bachelor of Music degree as a student of Philip Dunigan. She then studied at the Manhattan School of Music for her Master of Music degree.

After freelancing in New York, she became a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, where she was co-principal for 2 years. She moved to Connecticut in 1994, where she performs with many area orchestras, including the Hartford Symphony, Waterbury Symphony, Connecticut Virtuosi, Norwalk Symphony and New Britain Symphony. Jennifer performs chamber music as a member of the Harmonia V Woodwind Quintet, a group that focuses on new and rarely heard works.

Susan Knapp Thomas Susan Knapp Thomas, harpist, received her Bachelor’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music, and is a well-known Chamber, Orchestral and Solo Concert Artist and teacher throughout Connecticut and Southern New England. She has enjoyed a long relationship with the Hartford Symphony, and was their featured concerto soloist in 2008, performing Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto with principal flutist, Grieg Shearer.

She also plays regularly for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, is Principal Harpist for the Waterbury Symphony, and performed as harpist for the U.S. Coast Guard Band from 1987-2002. Ms. Thomas regularly plays shows for the Goodspeed Opera House, in addition to touring shows for the Bushnell and the Shubert Theaters in Hartford and New Haven, CT.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-567-3966 and info@womensforumoflitchfield.org.