Letter: Unfair criticism of Naumkeag, music series

Unfair criticism of Naumkeag, music series

To the editor:

As a Stockbridge resident and direct abutter to Naumkeag, I was saddened to read the recent article regarding their Thursday night music series. I attended "The Naumkeager" in early June. For those who did not, it was well-attended by a diverse group of folks of various ages interested in supporting and funding what is a cornerstone of cultural venues in Stockbridge.

"The Naumkeager," surely intended to be a whimsical play on words, was anything but "a really out of control frat party." My wife and I were joined by Stockbridge friends, second-home owners and visitors for an enjoyable evening. It was more of a "tasting" with food, beer and wine provided by vendors representing area businesses and breweries.

Chesterwood, Rockwell, Berkshire Theater Festival and so on all have functions where refreshments are served. Why is Naumkeag given the distinction of being "a part-time drinking establishment in a residential neighborhood?" I am baffled.

The Trustees of Reservations have been wonderful neighbors. We have worked on various projects over the past 15 years. They are cooperative and professional. Clear communication requires a simple phone call. If sound levels are a concern, why not have a conversation? I have never had to contact the Selectmen or speak to a reporter to communicate with our friends at Naumkeag.

As far as "The whole place has gone to hell, no maintenance at all," I am speechless. You don't need to pay admission to see the many improvements and preventive maintenance being performed. One only need drive up Prospect Hill Road to see the new cedar roof. The Chinese Garden has been faithfully restored. There is a terraced cutting garden on the west side of the property. The list goes on.

All nonprofits are drawing from the same well for funding. It is tougher than ever to keep abreast of repairs and maintenance. Stockbridge residents celebrate a history of enlightenment and culture. These things don't come free. It seems that three hours on on a Thursday night should be tolerable for anyone.

The series is a creative means for fund-raising, with minimal impact for a very good cause. Perhaps we should be a little more generous and understanding of the efforts being made to preserve this architectural gem.

Bob Jones, Stockbridge


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