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Shaker Museum annual benefit gala to honor local community builders

August 13, 2019 11:33 am

NEW LEBANON — At its 2019 annual Benefit Gala, Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon will honor three local individuals who are building community.

Brenda Adams, Ralph Gardner Jr. and Sarah Steadman are each working to improve the lives of their fellow citizens in Columbia County. The benefit, which will be held on the grounds of the historic Mount Lebanon site in New Lebanon on the evening of Aug. 17 is the organization’s largest fundraising event of the year.

After a 20-year career in marketing and sales in New York City, Brenda Adams moved to Canaan with her young family. She volunteered for Mount Lebanon | Shaker Village, delivered Meals on Wheels, and chaired the Canaan Planning Board. Additionally, Adams served as the president of Tannery Pond Concerts and as vice-president of both the Columbia Land Conservancy and New Lebanon Library Boards. Currently, she serves as executive director of Columbia County Habitat for Humanity and town board member of the town of Canaan.

Ralph Gardner Jr. is a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, and the New Yorker, among other publications. Gardner also wrote 1,300 articles over seven years for the Wall Street Journal’s daily Urban Gardener Column. Outside of writing, he has also been working as a commentator for WAMC, Northeast Public Radio. He divides his time between New York City and his home in Ghent, where his family has lived since 1948.

Sarah Steadman grew up in New Lebanon, where she is currently directing the Mount Lebanon Residency, a community of artists, researchers and farmers dedicated to supporting the arts in New Lebanon. Steadman is a co-owner and manager of Abode Farm CSA and a co-founder of Project Sprout. Devoted to combining her passion for nature, social justice and the arts, she has worked in the arts for The Brooklyn Rail and Home School. Steadman practices poetry; in her works, she has examined personal and collective painful histories, with feminism and queer narratives in the forefront.

Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon stewards the historic site in New Lebanon, which is open year-round for hiking and self-guided tours, and offers tours, exhibitions, and public programs seasonally. The museum also has a campus in Old Chatham, open yearround by appointment, where the administrative offices, collections, library, and archives are housed. The museum’s collection of Shaker items is the most comprehensive collection of its kind in the world.