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Haddon Hall - A Glorious Country Manor House

Visiting historic houses is one of my favorite things to do in England and Derbyshire is a county that  offers an  extraordinary triumvirate of sites; Hardwick's Elizabethan glamour, the palatial splendors of Chatsworth and Haddon Hall, described by Simon Jenkins as "the most perfect English house to survive from the Middle Ages."  The joy of a visit to Derbyshire is that in visiting all three you can see the English country house through a variety of lenses and periods. 
In his definitive tome, England's1000 Best Houses Jenkins goes on to say of Haddon, "It has none of Hardwick's promiscuity or Chatsworth's bombast. It has not changed because it never needed to change". 
Indeed the house has remains in the hands of the Manners family since 1563 and is currently occupied by the Duke of Rutland's brother and his family. As they say on the website it has avoided, " fire; warfare;  family misfortune and changing fashions" and as such provid…

Funding ahdanco and the Arts - Five Dollars at a Time

We all know that the arts are being defunded and that it's harder for artists to attract sponsorship in the current economic clime, but do you know about Kickstarter? It's an innovative new way to raise money for creative and artistic endeavors.
See the 'Consider Funding ahdanco' banner to the right.

The artist or group creates a video pitch and states their goal. Individuals pledge an amount, anything from $5 and the money is deducted, if and when, the total goal is reached. The idea is that you can support artists, or small artistic companies, in the community around you without being a big donor - though they love them too!

We found out about Kickstarter  because our dear friend Abigail Hosien is raising money for her dance company ahdanco. Their new season will be in Berkeley at the Ashby Stage this May. She currently has 40 backers (including us) who have pledged a total of $3,690, with only 18 days to go to reach their  $4,500 goal. If they don't reach their goal by April 4th they lose all the pledges and the show 'won't go on', at this stage every dollar matters.

Why fund ahdanco? ahdanco is a wonderful young dance company that combines the contemporary choreography of Abigail Hosein in collaboration with the the work of local artists including composers, poets and musicians. We loved the show last year which brought together poets from the Oakland Poetry Slam with the dancers. It was great to see and we highly recommend their upcoming season.

So, consider making a donation to ahdanco, check out their video on Kickstarter and have a look at all the great arts projects happening around us. I love the idea of harnessing small donations to help create the beauty, art and community we so need in our world.