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Les Dames d’Aspen

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes
Les Dames dAspen members Holly Reed Simpson, left, and Jeannie Hough. MEH photo.
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Les Dames d’Aspen is a group of Aspen women who contribute funds to the arts, and they had a luncheon at the Hotel Jerome with president Christine Aubale Gerschel giving a report on what money was raised and who received the funding for 2004. The result of the year’s fund raising was $132,000, with $100,000 going to Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and $32,000 distributed to the Aspen Writers’ Foundation, Theatre Aspen (formerly Aspen Theatre in the Park), Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Aspen Music Festival and School, the Robert Harth Memorial Fund, and college scholarships in the arts for students in the Aspen and Basalt schools.Les Dames was reorganized a few years ago with founder Christine again becoming president. Instead of one big gala put on by the women every New Year’s Eve, the funding is now obtained by having each member contribute $1,000. It is now more a social organization with two parties per year, one around the second week of January and another about the third week of August. The group also enjoys at least one monthly social event, including hikes, skiing days, bicycling, hiking, golfing, luncheons and dinners, wine and cheese tastings, art gallery lectures and concerts. These events are not benefits but are purely social. Anyone interested in joining should call Christine at 925-9028. There are many changes in the air, and more are at the Aspen Art Museum. There will not be a Howl dinner dance at the home of Suzanne Farver this summer, but instead there will be an Art Crush on Friday, Aug. 5, at the Art Museum. Co-chairs are Carolyn Powers and Maria Bell. The museum’s new director, Heidi Zucherman Jacobsen, will be present and there will be wine tasting, entertainment and a gourmet dinner. Other news from the Art Museum … Susan Bursten, the former director of development and the producer of Howl, is leaving Aspen and moving back to England. The museum’s big winter benefit, the Dennis Basso Freestyle, presented by Bulgari, will be held on Dec. 28.A Kentucky Derby party was held Saturday afternoon with hosts Leroy Merritt, Patti Pope, Jack Miller, Steve Serna, Donna Rowlands, Dale Ireland, Barbara and Peter Elias, Bill Cook, Gwen Richter, Steve Wright and Mark Lipman. Of course everyone enjoyed mint juleps.Liza and Charley Podolak have returned from a holiday and visiting their daughter, Zara Podolak, who is studying English literature and playing basketball at the University of London. They all met in Prague and traveled to Scotland and London. Zara will return to Aspen in June and will finish her degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Studio Core owner Caroline Christensen has been attending the “Mind/Body, Pilates and Gyrotonic and Yoga” conference in Santa Clara, Calif., and during the last two weeks in May she will be the featured lead instructor at the Greenhouse Spa in Dallas to direct two courses, titled “Mommie & Babies” and “Mind/Body Connection.” Caroline has opened her own Pilates/Gyrotonic Studio at 617 W. Main St. in Aspen.A “Save the Date” is June 18, when the Wyly Community Art Center celebrates its move from the Aspen Community School to downtown Basalt at 255 Gold Rivers Court, No. 130. Brittaney Moon, of Woody Creek was awarded an associate of arts in equestrian studies during the University of Findlay’s spring commencement on April 20. The university is located in Findlay, Ohio. Brittaney, a 2003 graduate of Aspen High School, is the daughter of Cindy and Orrin Moon of Woody Creek.Filmmaker and longtime Aspenite Connie Baxter Marlow will lead a seminar June 3-5 at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) titled “Henry David Thoreau’s Life-Long Fascination with the American Indian and Life-Changing Epiphany on Mt. Katahdin.” Bradley P. Dean, a Thoreau scholar and editor, will introduce Thoreau’s unpublished “Indian Notebooks” and his essay “Civil Disobedience.” The seminar is being held as part of a series of events in conjunction with the photography exhibit, “Rhythms of Creation: A Family’s Impressions of Indigenous Peoples of the World,” featuring the photography of Jack Baxter, Connie Baxter Marlow, Alison Baxter Marlow, and Andrew Cameron Bailey that will be held June 1-30 in the Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen. The opening reception with Ute dancers and elders will be Thursday, June 9, from 5-8 p.m. To sign up for the Thoreau seminar call Connie Baxter Marlow at (617) 784-7470 or ACES at 925-5756.I already mentioned that Aspen photographer Jeffrey Aaronson’s photographs of reflections in New York City windows were named as the best art in Reader’s Digest’s listing of the “100 Best” in many fields. Jeffrey tells me that the Reader’s Digest goes to 40 million people and the International Edition has a circulation of 120 million. Pretty good recognition!Anna and Yvo Engering of Marble announce the birth of a daughter, Shania Helena Christina Engering, on April 16 in Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. Yvo Engering’s family is from the Netherlands and Anna’s family, Sembiring-Meliala, is from Indonesia.The “Spring Renewal” show at the Red Brick Arts Center will hang until May 31 and features the work of the following artists: Elisa Ahmer, still lifes in oil; Cindy Hansen, monotypes; Jennie Hough, portraits; and Sara Ransford, ceramics. Undercurrent … The irrigation ditches are running brimful of springtime water.


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