Member Spotlights

May 4, 2020

Mermer Blakeslee

Member since: 1999

Favorite WKC performance thus far: DakhaBrakha and Greg Brown (so different I can’t choose) 

First WKC performance or event: Queen Ida and her Zydeco Band 

Favorite upstate beverage: Three Philosophers beer (Ommegang Brewery) 

Currently on heavy rotation on your playlist: The Iranian singer Rana Farhan and Leonard Cohen 

Favorite walk: through my garden and up to the top of the north meadow 

Greatest obsession outside of WKC: gardening 

Local ingredient that is always in your fridge: salad greens from Berry Brook Farm

Mermer is also our beloved long-time Fiction Writing instructor!
More about Mermer’s writing here


April 27, 2020

Kate Marsiglio

Today’s Member Spotlight shines on Kate Marsiglio from Stony Creek Farmstead in Walton

Member since: 2005 

Favorite WKC performance thus far: An acapella singing workshop with the Bumper Jacksons

First WKC performance or event: Shakespeare in the Valley – Love’s Labor Lost 

Currently on heavy rotation on her playlist: Anything my two teenagers are listening to. With my daughter – Green Day, Weezer, Led Zeppelin, The Clash; and anything that is electronic/dance music with my son. 

Favorite local business or organization: Just too many to choose! Faiga at Good Cheap food, Lucky Dog Farm and Stone and Thistle Farm have been instrumental in helping us start as farmers. Now, after 15 years, I feel like we are witnessing the rebirth of small diverse farms all over the county thanks in no small part to the support of all of the incredible support of our community members! 

Greatest extravagance: Swimming in our pond once a day in the Summer. 

Quality she likes most in a man: The renaissance quality – He can do just about anything. 

Quality she likes most in a woman: Confidence. 

Favorite season: Spring! no Summer! no Fall! wait…Winter!! 

Favorite smell: The smell of milkweed flowers when they bloom. Better than lilac or rose!


April 20, 2020

Bas Berkhout & Hanne Ghijsen

Bas Berkhout and Hanne Ghijsen are two visual powerhouses. Here’s a peek into their lives in today’s Member Spotlight. 

Members since: 2020 

Favorite WKC performance thus far: Arm-of-the-Sea 

First WKC performance or event: We don’t remember! 😭 

Favorite local walk: From our house to Heleen Heyning’s

Permanent source of inspiration: Local friends 

Idea of perfect happiness: No more emails 

Most overrated virtue: Patience 

Favorite flower: Tulip 

Coffee or tea: Fruity coffee from Africa 

Bas’s film work
Hanne’s web design work


April 13, 2020

Jenine Osbon

On our second Member Spotlight Monday, we’re proudly presenting Jenine Osbon of Peakes Brook Farm. She’s a mother, farmer, yoga teacher – and our latest board member!

Member since: 2020

Favorite WKC event thus far: West Kortright Fair

Currently on heavy rotation on your playlist: The Beach Boys and the Mary Poppins soundtrack

Favorite local walk: Catskill Scenic Trail

Favorite yoga pose: Standing Forward Bend

Favorite color: Indigo

Pet peeve: Putting produce in plastic bags


April 6, 2020

Lenny Davis

Member since: the beginning

Favorite performance: John Cage and Meredith Monk

First WKC performance: Oregon

Favorite local drink: the cabernet franc I’m growing in my vineyard

Greatest obsession outside of WKC: working on a book about how poverty is represented in literature and media

Greatest fear: boredom

Last vacation destination: Sicily

Favorite food: chocolate