The Scene | Hancock Shaker Village Summer Gala celebrates creation of Robert G. Wilmers Integrity Prize


PITTSFIELD — Art, music and dance came together at Hancock Shaker Village's annual Summer Gala on Saturday, July 6.

The sold-out event, which drew 275 guests, featured a dance performance by Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group in the Round Stone Barn, along with an auction with items ranging from a private screening of Hancock Shaker Village Director and CEO Jennifer Trainer's documentary film, "Museum Town," to a tour of Steiner Studios in Brooklyn. Those in attendance were treated to a surprise performance by world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

During the festivities, Trainer and fellow Hancock Shaker Village board member Maureen Jerome announced the creation of the Robert G. Wilmers Integrity Prize, designed to award those who exemplify integrity in the fields of social justice, art and architecture, design, conservation, community, music, agriculture, and commerce.

The prize is named in honor of Robert Wilmers, longtime CEO of M&T Bank Corp. and co-owner of New England Newspapers Inc., The Eagle's parent company. Wilmers died in 2017.

Wilmers' wife, Elisabeth Roche Wilmers, will chair the national panel that includes Ma. The annual $25,000 cash award will be awarded for the first time in 2020.

In addition to the funds raised by the gala's silent auction, more than $100,000 was raised for a "Cause within a Cause," allowing replacement of five miles of dilapidated fencing at the village.

The evening also included a Shaker farm-to-table dinner by chef Brian Alberg and a fireworks display.



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