Authors Posts by Melissa Arnold

Melissa Arnold


Anthony Famulari in a scene from The Switcheroo. Photo courtesy of Staller Center
Fest to include indie weekend, female directors panel, SBU grads

By Melissa Arnold

Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts turns into a movie lover’s mecca when new independent films screen at the Stony Brook Film Festival from Thursday, July 21 to Saturday, July 30. The popular event pairs memorable short films with an array of features you won’t see anywhere else, making it a favorite of moviegoers and filmmakers alike.

Now in its 27th year, the festival will celebrate its return to a fully live experience after some creative adjustments during the pandemic. Over the course of nine days, 38 films from 27 countries will be screened on evenings and weekends. But deciding what to show is no easy task.

More than a thousand films are sent to festival director Alan Inkles each year, he said. With the help of co-director Kent Marks, they go through an intense process of screening, debating, and cutting before the final selections are made.

The resulting collection showcases both shorts and feature-length films in all kinds of styles and genres. Among them is a short sci-fi comedy called The Switcheroo, directed by brothers and Stony Brook natives Ryan and Anthony Famulari. The film will be screened on Sunday, July 24 at 7 p.m. 

“I try not to read anything about a film before I watch it — I owe it to our viewers to not favor anyone, so I’m not going to pick a film just because it’s local. We choose a film because it’s enjoyable,” Inkles explained. “That said, I love that we’ve been able to include Switcheroo and have Long Island represented. Comedy is hard to do, especially for young filmmakers, but this story is so charming, funny, and just really nailed it. And when I read that the brothers were from Stony Brook, I thought it was great.”

The Switcheroo stars Anthony Famulari playing both a heartbroken scientist and his charismatic clone. The clone tries to help his creator land a date, which reveals some surprising and funny secrets.

Cloning was the perfect concept to explore for the brothers, who were living together during the worst of the pandemic and looking for something fun to do.  

“The idea was more of a necessity, considering we didn’t have a crew or a large budget,” said Anthony, 33. “But we wanted to make something that was still enjoyable and interesting. We both gravitate to stories with sci-fi elements, and it was a great solution to the creative challenges of the time.”

The brothers grew up with their own interests, but shared a deep love of movies and storytelling. Both went on to major in journalism at Stony Brook University. While there, Ryan played football and Anthony dove into theater. They also worked together conducting and filming interviews on campus, and wrote film scripts in their spare time.

“Anthony was always a ham, but I didn’t see him act for the first time until college. I found that he was really good at it,” recalls Ryan, 35. “This has been a passion for us for a long time. We’ll go see a movie and then get into a deep discussion about it for an hour after. Our filmmaking is like that too. We’ll wrestle over an idea, but that’s fun for us.”

These days, the Famularis are on separate coasts — Ryan went to grad school for creative writing and is currently living in New York working remotely for a Los Angeles-based animation studio, while Anthony lives in Los Angeles pursuing acting while also working for an animation studio. But they’re still writing together and looking forward to whatever comes next.

“We’re constantly bouncing ideas around, and with each one of our short films, we learn something new and continue to improve,” Anthony said. “At the end of the day, our goal is to create something enjoyable that’s worth people’s time, while pursuing our passions.”

Also of note during this year’s festival is a panel discussion on women in filmmaking, and a weekend celebrating the spirit of American-made indie films.

“We have a lot of female writers and directors represented here, and have since the festival first began,” Inkles said. “It was important for us to feature them in a special way, and provide a unique opportunity for conversation, both among the panelists and with the audience.”

The panel is an exclusive benefit open to those who purchase festival passes. A variety of options are available, including an opening weekend pass.

Many film screenings will also include a question and answer session with the filmmaker. “That’s what makes a film festival so interesting as opposed to just going to the movies — you get the chance to talk with the filmmakers directly and learn more about their process,” Inkles said.

The Stony Brook Film Festival will be held from July 21 through July 30 30 at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook. Individual tickets and premium passes are available. For the full schedule and more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call the box office at 631-632-2787.

This article was updated July 23, 2022.

Jeffrey Sanzel in 'Every Brilliant Thing'

By Melissa Arnold

On any given day here in America, roughly 130 people die by suicide. Countless more are actively struggling with poor self-esteem, depression or self-harm. If it’s not you, then it’s likely someone you know and love. No one is immune. One bright spot: It’s also becoming more common to talk openly about mental health. More people are going to therapy or reaching out for help in other ways.

This summer, Theatre Three in Port Jefferson will present eight performances of an intimate, moving and funny one-man play called Every Brilliant Thing. The protagonist, a middle-aged man played by Jeffrey Sanzel, takes the audience along as he recalls his mother’s mental illness and multiple attempts at suicide, along with their impact on his own wellbeing.

Audience participation is a large part of ‘Every Brilliant Thing.’

What’s funny about that? Well, after his mother’s first attempt when he was seven years old, the young narrator sets out to make a list of everything in life that’s brilliant – like eating ice cream, or peeing in the ocean without getting caught. Some items on the list come with silly memories that put the honest, pure heart of a little kid on full display. And as he grows, so does the list. The hour-long show is equal parts heartbreaking and uplifting.

Sanzel, the theater’s executive artistic director, said he first discovered the show thanks to lighting director Robert Henderson.

“Robert attended the Utah Shakespeare Festival several years ago and bought the script [for this show] for me to read, just because he thought I’d enjoy it,” Sanzel recalled. “I thought it was a beautiful piece of writing, though I didn’t intend to do a production of it.”

Some time later, he bought a second copy of the script as a gift to his friend, director and actor Linda May.

“When I read the show, I said to Jeffrey, ‘Not only do I love this, but I think we need to do it, and we should do it together.’ Everything came together very quickly from there, and I feel like it was meant to be,” May said.

Every Brilliant Thing was originally set to open in July 2020, only to be tabled by the pandemic. May said the extra time has allowed them to delve much deeper into the show and its character.

Jeffrey Sanzel stars in the one-man show, ‘Every Brilliant Thing,’ on Theatre Three’s Second Stage through Aug. 28. Photo by Steven Uihlein/Theatre Three Productions, Inc.

“Jeffrey is very decisive and businesslike as a director, but I’ve had the opportunity to see a more vulnerable side of him as an actor,” she said. “This unnamed narrator really divulges personal parts of his life, and I knew that Jeffrey could bring that sensitivity and communicate how important it is to bring the issue of suicide into the open, without shame.” 

The show relies on some audience participation, with showgoers making brief appearances as significant people in the narrator’s memories — his father, a counselor, a young woman — and reading items from “the list” from Post-It notes they’re given on arrival. The resulting dynamic is personal and emotional, and each performance will have its own unique variations.

“I have to admit that audience participation isn’t my favorite thing, but it’s brilliantly woven into the fabric of the piece,” Sanzel said. “It’s very funny and balances out the darker elements, while remaining sensitive and respectful of the topic … In fact, this is probably the best play I’ve ever read on the subject of depression. It’s a common topic of discussion in theater, but this was captured in such a unique way.”

Theatre Three has partnered with Response Crisis Center of Long Island for this production. Founded in 1971 by volunteers after a suicide attempt at Stony Brook University, the center is now a 24/7 local hotline and chat service for people in crisis. They also function as a backup center for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, taking more than 5,000 additional calls, chats and texts from them each month.

“We want to give people the support they need and help them to stay safe. It’s hard to problem solve during a crisis situation — you can get a sort of tunnel vision and feel helpless. Talking to someone can help create distance from those feelings,” said Meryl Cassidy, the center’s executive director. “There’s tremendous relief that comes in sharing your story, having someone take the time to listen and help come up with a plan for safety.”

Sanzel approached Cassidy about using the performance to lessen stigma and shine a light on local resources.

Cassidy said that it was important to vet the play first to ensure its message was appropriate and accurate. While she had never heard of the play before, it was well-known to colleagues at the American Association of Suicidology, who were thrilled to endorse the production.

“People are afraid to say the word suicide or disclose thoughts of suicide, both because of stigma and fear of repercussions. But open and honest conversation about suicide saves lives — it’s so important to be able to speak frankly about what you’re feeling and know there are people you can talk to,” Cassidy said. 

Half of all gross ticket sales will directly benefit Response Crisis Center. Staff members from the center will be at each performance to answer questions, provide information and offer a listening ear. 

Audiences are encouraged to fill out their own “brilliant things” on provided Post-It notes, which will be on display throughout the show’s run — a constantly growing collection of reasons why life is worth living.

“It’s not only a lovely hour of theater — funny, sweet and poignant — but there’s something to take away from this show, and that’s being able to see people in crisis in a different way, without judgment,” May said. “If people walk away feeling more compassionate or less judgmental, or if someone finds the courage to reach out for help, then it’s a success.”

Every Brilliant Thing will run at 3 p.m. on Sundays from July 10 through Aug. 28 at Theatre Three, 412 Main Street, Port Jefferson. Performances are held downstairs on the second stage. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 631-928-9100 or visit Learn more about Response Crisis Center by visiting 

Note: Although the play balances the struggles of life while celebrating all that is “truly brilliant” in living each day, Every Brilliant Thing contains descriptions of depression, self-harm, and suicide. The show briefly describes attempted suicides and death by suicide. The show is recommended for ages 14 and up, with your own comfort level in mind. 

If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available 24/7 at 631-751-7500 or the National Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

This year's Wet Paint Festival will be held at the Sherwood-Jayne Farm in East Setauket. Photo courtesy of Preservation Long Island

By Melissa Arnold

Since 2004, Gallery North’s annual Wet Paint Festival has invited artists from far and wide to revel in nature’s beauty. For a week or a weekend, artists enjoy each other’s company and a healthy dose of plein air painting — the tricky, constantly changing art of working outdoors.

This year’s festival, scheduled for June 4 and 5, will be held at the historic and picturesque Sherwood-Jayne Farm on Old Post Road in East Setauket and seeks to build upon past events where visitors can watch the artists work and ask questions about their creative process. There will also be the opportunity to tour the Sherwood-Jayne House, go bird watching, enjoy live music and more.

An artist paints plein air at the Sherwood-Jayne Farm. Photo from Preservation Long Island

“The landscape of the show has changed in a variety of ways over the years, not just in location but in the way it’s structured,” said Ned Puchner, executive director of Gallery North. “During the pandemic, people could paint remotely for a two-week period. Last year, we had a few different locations to choose from. This year, we’re returning to the traditional style of having a specific site where everyone will come together and paint for a weekend, with some additional activities for the public to enjoy.”

The Sherwood-Jayne Farm was originally slated to host the Wet Paint Festival in 2020, and planning for the event was nearly complete when the pandemic shut things down.  

“Gallery North reached out to us a few years ago looking to change up the festival from the way it was done in the past,” said Elizabeth Abrams, Assistant Director of Operations and Programs for Preservation Long Island, which cares for the property. “We used to team up with the gallery for an apple festival, and considering we are just down the street from each other, it was natural for us to work together again.”

Preservation Long Island is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization dedicated to protecting Long Island’s history and culture. Founded in 1948, their focus is on education, advocacy, and the stewardship of historic buildings and artifacts.

Abrams explained that the Sherwood-Jayne House was built in 1730 as an early colonial, lean-to salt box dwelling. The house and surrounding farmland were cared for by the Jayne family for more than 150 years. In 1908, it was acquired by the founder of Preservation Long Island, Howard Sherwood, who lived in the home and displayed a variety of antiques there.

Throughout the weekend, the Sherwood-Jayne House will be open for tours with Preservation Long Island curator Lauren Brincat. Keep an eye out for the Tallmadge wall panels, and the incredibly beautiful wall mural in the parlor that’s meant to look like wallpaper — they are very rare to see, especially on Long Island, Abrams added.

“The house contains a large portion of Howard Sherwood’s personal antique collection and other bits of history from colonial Long Island. This area had a foundational role in American history — exploring the house and its collections are a unique way to learn more about that important time period,” she said.

There will be plenty of outdoor inspiration for the artists at the festival as well. The property is also home to a variety of outbuildings and trails, gorgeous old-growth walnut trees, an apple orchard, and all kinds of wildlife. 

The Four Harbors Audubon Society will lead tours exploring the wildlife and ecology of the area, with a particular focus on local birds. If the barn is open, you might be lucky enough to meet some goats, a few sheep, or an old, sweet white horse named Snowball.

Visitors are free to wander the grounds at their leisure, watch the artists work or ask questions, Puchner said. For those who are feeling shy or not sure what to ask, an artist will offer a guided tour and lead discussions once each day.

“The whole objective of the Wet Paint Festival is to help people understand what goes into the process of creating a painting, and to meet local artists. It’s a great way for someone who has no artistic experience to learn how it all works,” Puchner said.

Nancy Bueti-Randall, pictured in her studio, will join over 40 other artists at this year’s Gallery North Wet Paint Festival.
Photo by Heidi Sutton/TBR News Media

Over 40 artists will be participating this weekend including Nancy Bueti-Randall of Stony Brook who began to paint outdoors as a way to recharge while raising her three children. She’s spent more than 20 years creating and showing her work, which runs the gamut from pictorial to abstract, figures and landscapes. Most of the time, though, she’s painting in her garden or other familiar surroundings.

Sometimes, she’ll start a painting with the idea to focus on one thing, but something else in a landscape will catch her eye instead.

“There are a lot of challenges with plein air painting. It’s very fleeting — a landscape is always changing, even from day to day,” Bueti-Randall explained. “You have to be fast and responsive to what’s going on around you. It’s about becoming engaged with the thing you’re painting. I can get overwhelmed by beauty, and I try to capture the essence of what I’m seeing in a process of give and take.”

Marceil Kazickas of Sands Point considers herself an artistic late bloomer. She started drawing and painting to cope with a health crisis, and found that when she was being creative, she wasn’t in pain. Kazickas prefers to work in oil, which she loves for its luscious, sensual properties.

“When you go outside, there’s an overwhelming amount of information to take in — the views are always changing, the clock is running, and you want to get your design done quickly because the light and shadows are constantly evolving,” she explained. 

“I’m not as focused on painting exactly what I see … People can get caught up in producing a finished, frameable piece of art, but for me it’s exciting to be outside and come up with whatever I can in the short time I’m out there, even if it’s nothing. It’s about the painting process.”

Puchner hopes that the variety of activities, including a scavenger hunt for kids and live music from the Keenan Paul Zach Trio and Tom Killourhy, will appeal to all kinds of people.

“These new additions will give the public the opportunity to enjoy nature, the arts and history all in one place, and our artists will have a fun new location to experiment and be creative in,” he said.

The 18th Annual Wet Paint Festival will be held June 4 and 5 at the Sherwood-Jayne Farm, 55 Old Post Road, East Setauket from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Rain date is June 18 and 19. The event is free and open to the public. 

All participating artists will have their festival work on display in an exhibit at Gallery North, 90 North Country Road, Setauket, from July 7 through Aug 7. A free opening reception will be held at the gallery from on July 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. 

For more information about the festival or to register to paint, visit or call 631-751-2676. Learn more about Sherwood-Jayne Farm at

A scene from 'We Feed People' Photo courtesy of National Geographic

By Melissa Arnold

When Russia first began its major assault on Ukraine earlier this year, the whole world turned its eyes on the conflict. As days turned into weeks and scenes of destruction played out on screens everywhere, it seemed like everyone had the same questions: How will this end? What can we do?

Among them was Lyn Boland, co-director of the Port Jefferson Documentary Series (PJDS). “I must ask myself at least once a day what more I could be doing, because this situation is so heartbreaking,” she said.

A scene from ‘We Feed People’
Photo courtesy of National Geographic

Boland, co-directors Barbara Sverd and Wendy Feinberg, and board members Honey Katz, Lorie Rothstein and Lynn Rein put their heads together to create an inspiring event to support Ukrainian people in need. On Monday, May 9, they will host a screening of the film We Feed People, a family-friendly documentary about generosity, food and its power to heal.

Directed by Ron Howard, the National Geographic film tells the story of chef Jose Andres, the Spanish-born founder of World Central Kitchen. The not-for-profit organization is dedicated to feeding communities impacted by natural disasters and humanitarian crises around the globe. 

“I have found that in the most challenging moments, food is the fastest way to rebuild a sense of community,” Andres said in the film. “A humble plate of food is just the beginning … there is no limit to what we can achieve when we come together and just start cooking.”

The documentary was already completed when Ukraine was invaded, but World Central Kitchen has been on the ground there ever since, helping to provide food and other basic needs.

Boland said that a contact from National Geographic reached out to the arts council recently, offering the film for consideration in the Port Jefferson Documentary Series. The spring lineup was already planned, but Boland asked if they’d be willing to screen the film as a benefit instead. All proceeds from the screening will be sent to World Central Kitchen to provide immediate support to Ukrainians in need. 

“Getting to see Jose Andres in action, and the embrace of humanity that he has, is incredible. He has a way of pulling everyone in,” Boland said.

A scene from ‘We Feed People’
Photo courtesy of National Geographic

Andres started from the bottom in various kitchens when he arrived in America in the 1990s. Over time, he worked his way through the ranks and eventually became a restaurant owner and cookbook author with his own massive following. He founded World Central Kitchen in 2010 in response to the earthquake in Haiti, and since then, it’s been his way of giving back through his greatest passions.

We Feed People takes viewers inside planes, trucks and kitchens as Andres and his team deliver food over a 10-year period. 

Following the movie screening, there will be a live Q&A session via Zoom with the film’s producer Meredith Kaulfers and Ukrainian singer Olha Tsvyntarna, who fled her country for safety a month and a half ago. Tom Needham, host of “The Sounds of Film” on 90.1 WUSB-FM radio, will serve as moderator.

“What’s happening in Ukraine is an abomination, and the people there need the whole world to step up and help them,” said Allan Varela, chair of the Greater Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council, which sponsors the Port Jefferson Documentary Series. 

“Our mission at the arts council is to bring joy to our communities and expose people to ideas and subjects they may not otherwise know about. For us, we can use our artistic mission to raise awareness, create a fundraiser and ultimately do our part to assist the Ukrainian people.”

Varela also expressed gratitude to Lori and Tom Lucki of Riverhead Toyota for covering all expenses for the screening.

We Feed People: A Fundraiser for Ukraine will be held at John F. Kennedy Middle School, 200 Jayne Blvd, Port Jefferson Station on May 9 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10.69 per person online at ($10 from each ticket will be sent to World Central Kitchen, and the remaining $0.69 will be used to cover Paypal fees for the donation) or $10 at the door (cash only). 

For more information about this event, email to [email protected]

Milinda Abeykoon, lead beamline scientist at Pair Distribution Function Beamline, NSLS-II, aligning a sample holder for high-speed measurements, 2019. Photo courtesy of BNL

By Melissa Arnold

Over the past 75 years, Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) in Upton has become an international hub for innovative research and problem-solving. Their hard work has led to advancements in energy, medicine, physics and more, as well as seven Nobel Prizes.

A scientist at a fast neutron chopper at the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor (BGRR), 1953. Photo courtesy of BNL

This year, the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook will celebrate the lab’s myriad achievements and explore their deep roots in the area. The new exhibit, titled Atoms to Cosmos: The Story of Brookhaven National Laboratory, opens April 21.

BNL and the Long Island Museum started working on ideas for a future exhibition back in 2018 with plans to open in April of 2020. But as with other museums, the pandemic led to a halt in operations.

In some ways, the rescheduled timing of the exhibit is better than their initial plans.

“While the exhibition was temporarily shelved, both the lab and the museum wanted very much to still make it happen. We had done so much work in advance and preparation for it in 2020, and so we really wanted to get back to this opportunity,” said Joshua Ruff, Deputy Director and Director of Collections and Interpretation for the Long Island Museum. “We are especially pleased we were able to do it now, as it fits nicely with the lab’s 75th anniversary celebration.”

Brookhaven National Laboratory was founded in 1947 at the former site of the U.S. Army’s Camp Upton, becoming the first large research facility in the Northeast. At the time, they were exploring peaceful ways to utilize atomic energy. 

“The BNL site has been in federal ownership since 1917 when it became the location of Camp Upton. Before that, the site was used for the cordwood industry and there was a small farm near the eastern edge of what is now the lab,” explained Timothy Green, BNL’s Environmental Compliance Section manager. “After World War I, all of the buildings were sold at auction and the site sat empty until around 1934, when it was declared the Upton National Forest and the Civilian Conservation Corps started planting trees. At the end of World War II [and a second period as Camp Upton], the land was transferred to the Atomic Energy Commission and became Brookhaven National Laboratory.”

It took some time for local residents to adjust to having a laboratory in the area, Ruff said.

A Positron Emission Tomography Halo Scanner/Detector.
Photo courtesy of BNL

“The lab has often been misunderstood in its past, in fact from its origins. Many Suffolk County residents were not entirely sure that atomic research was safe, nor did they fully understand the relevance and significance [of that research] to their lives,” he explained. “The lab devoted years of hard work and financial resources to strengthen public dialogue and communication, which the exhibition details.”

Today, the lab employs almost 3,000 people and spans 5,320 acres.

The exhibit is co-curated by Joshua Ruff and Long Island Museum curator Jonathan Olly. They’ve included more than 140 items that showcase the lab’s growth and varied discoveries from the 1950s to the present day. The Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington is lending four of the objects, including a 1,000-pound, 94-inch square magnet lamina from the Cosmotron, BNL’s first major particle accelerator. 

Another 40 objects are coming directly from the lab. Their contribution includes equipment from their facilities, personal belongings of former director Maurice Goldhaber, and “Atoms for Peace,” a famous painting that came to symbolize the lab’s work in its early years.

“A lot of the scientific research at BNL over the years has involved [developing] and testing cutting edge technologies. When these machines are no longer useful they’re usually recycled. Fortunately we do have two examples in the exhibition of early PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scanners, one from 1961 and another from 1981,” Olly said. “In the case of these early machines, the focus was on the brain — the machines used radiation sensors arranged in a ring to produce a picture of a slice of your brain. Brookhaven scientists have used this PET technology (specifically the PETT VI scanner in the exhibition) in studying drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, ADHD, aging, and neurodegenerative disorders. The 1961 version is a prototype that was never used on patients.”

Also on view are an original chalkboard from the Graphite Research Reactor that still has writing on it; a 7-foot window from a bubble chamber that helped track the paths of atomic particles; and a detector that aided BNL chemist Raymond Davis Jr. in his Nobel Prize-winning neutrino research. 

Recently, the lab was a part of the ongoing effort to study and contain COVID-19. The exhibit will include a model of the virus, with the familiar spiky shape that’s become commonplace since the pandemic began.

“Scientists at the lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source II worked on imaging the virus and the proteins … that allowed it to attach to human cells. At the same time, BNL computer scientists began developing algorithms to evaluate existing chemicals and drugs that could potentially prevent infection. One past experiment by [BNL biophysicist] William Studier, the T7 expression system, ended up being critical to the rapid development of two of the vaccines,” Green said.

Both the Long Island Museum and BNL staff hope that visitors to the exhibit come away with a deeper interest in science and an appreciation for the lab’s work.

“There are 17 national laboratories scattered throughout the United States, and Long Islanders can be proud to have one in their backyard. Long Island children have been inspired to pursue careers in science as a result of attending educational programs at the lab during public visitor days dating back to the 1950s. And the lab is invested in addressing our real-world problems, whether the dangers posed by DDT on Long Island in the 1960s or COVID now. This summer BNL should be resuming their “Summer Sundays” visitor program, and I encourage everyone to visit the lab, walk around, talk to staff, and get a glimpse of our scientific present and future,” Olly said.

Atoms to Cosmos: The Story of Brookhaven National Lab is on view now through Oct. 16 in the Long Island Museum’s History Museum and Visitor Center’s Main Gallery, 1200 Rt. 25A, Stony Brook. Regular museum hours are Thursday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Masks are required at this time, though health and safety guidelines are subject to change Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $5 for students 6 to 17 and college students with I.D. Children under six are admitted for free. Tickets are available at the door; pre-registration is not required. For more information visit or call 631-751-0066. 

Learn more about Brookhaven National Lab at

By Melissa Arnold

Over the past few generations, hardworking and determined women from all walks of life have fought to be heard and seen. Their efforts laid the groundwork for today’s women to break all sorts of glass ceilings.

In the late 19th century, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe was the richest woman around thanks to her family’s inheritance of the famed Lorillard Tobacco Company. Wolfe was generous with her fortune, doing whatever she could to support education, the arts and museums.

Portrait of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1876,
by Alexandre Cabanel

One major recipient of that generosity was Grace Church on Broadway in New York, where Wolfe was a parishioner. Among her final wishes was a request that the church use her financial gift for some sort of “women’s work.”

In response, the church founded the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club (CLWAC) in 1896 to provide counsel and support for female art students in the city. This year, the club is marking its 125th anniversary with a series of special exhibits around the tri-state area, including a juried satellite exhibit at Deepwells Mansion in Saint James. from April 10 to 30, and will culminate with a national juried exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan from June 20 to July 1.

“The goal was always to support women artists in particular. Cooper Union [a college focused on arts, architecture and engineering] was in the area, so there were plenty of women who needed a place to go to relax, have lunch, and exhibit their work,” said Karene Infranco, president of the CLWAC. 

The club has boasted a number of famous artists in its lifetime, including sculptors Anna Hyatt Huntington and Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, to name a few. By paying modest dues, any woman can become an Associate Member and participate in select shows and events, but the requirements for full membership are rigorous.

“In order to become a Juried Member, you have to be selected to exhibit your work in at least two of our open shows within a five-year period — shows that are just for Associates don’t count, as the competition for the open shows is on a much higher level, with many more people entering,” Infranco explained. 

Entrants can exhibit in five categories: pastel, oil and acrylic, watercolor, graphics (pencil and printmaking), and sculpture. Selections are made by a committee of five artists, and then each competition is judged for prizes by a three-person jury of curators, critics and fellow artists that are well-known in their field. A computerized system allows jurors to score each piece by objective criteria. Those who make the cut twice are then invited to join the club as a full, lifetime member.

Member artists range in age from their 20s to their 80s, with wide-ranging careers and art interests. Infranco owned a healthcare advertising agency and, in 2013, decided to sharpen her skills in drawing and painting by taking classes at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. She eventually began exhibiting her work at the national level with numerous groups, including CLWAC, and currently serves as a docent for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.

“When the Met was incorporated in 1870, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe contributed $2500 of her funds and became the only woman founder,” Infranco said. “The club stands out to me because of its long history, that unique relationship with the museum, and the fact that it caters specifically to women. While there are other women-focused organizations out there, Catharine was such a savvy, interesting and influential person with spot-on taste for art and the ability to carve her own path in life. That’s a big attraction for all of us.”

Catharine Lorillard Wolfe ultimately bequeathed her personal collection of 140 paintings, along with an endowment for its maintenance, to the Met. Her endowment was the Museum’s first, and her donated paintings formed the beginning of the museum’s European painting collection.

Today, the club still meets in person at Grace Church, and its ranks are growing with 410 club members located throughout the country. There is a sizable Long Island contingent in the group, and many of the local women have known each other for years.

Flo Kemp of Setauket and Eleanor Meier of Centerport became friends after spending time together at many of the area’s drawing clubs and classes. Kemp has devoted herself to marketing her oil paintings and etchings for years, and Meier pursued her own art style after a long career as a high school art teacher.

“I entered shows with CLWAC intermittently over the years until I was eventually invited to become a member,” Kemp said. “It’s a great encouragement and inspiration to be around so many excellent artists through the club. It has deep roots, and it’s an honor to be a part of that history.”

While she works with oils, Kemp specializes in soft ground etchings that have a “painterly” effect. Her inspirations are land and sea scapes which she enjoys for the calming, serene way they draw the viewer in, she said. Her submissions for the exhibit are two etchings: one of Flax Pond, and another of West Meadow Beach.

Meier first heard about the club at a luncheon for the National League of American Pen Women, a professional organization for female writers, artists and composers. She was intrigued by the club’s mission as well as the opportunity to learn from others, and was invited to join them around 1990.

“Being a member of the club has given me an opportunity to meet artists from all over, people I never would have met otherwise, which is always exciting,” she said.

Meier prefers to focus on detailed still life drawings of simple items she finds around the house, saying that they’re easy to set up and fun to create. Her two submissions to the exhibit are watercolor paintings: one of stacked cups, and the other of a Mason jar filled with hydrangeas. 

“For all the years I was teaching, the art projects that I did were for the classroom. It wasn’t until after retirement that I had the chance to work on and develop my own personal style,” Meier said. “I’ve been showing at Deepwells with [a local group] for several years now … it’s a classic building and Suffolk County has put a lot of work into it. There’s so much history and gravitas there.”

Indeed, Deepwells Mansion, located at 2 Taylor Lane in St. James, is the perfect venue for such a prestigious show. Dating back to 1845, it is in the Greek revival style built for Joel L.G. Smith — one of the family for whom the Smithtown Township is named. Its most famous owner was W.J. Gaynor, mayor of New York City from 1910 to 1913. In 1989 the house became the property of the Town of Smithtown and is now managed by the Deepwells Farm Historical Society.

The Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club exhibit will be on display at Deepwells from April 10 to 30. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (closed April 17).

The exhibit will feature 45 works of art from 41 artists, including a small collection of oil and pastel pieces by the late Jeanette Dick of Belle Terre, a past president of the CLWAC who passed away in January of this year. Many of the included artists will act as docents for the exhibit, guiding guests through the gallery and sharing their personal insights.  All artwork on display is available for sale. An awards ceremony will be held on April 30 at 2 p.m. For more information about the CLWAC, visit

By Melissa Arnold

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about pigs? Is it this morning’s bacon or your upcoming Easter ham? Maybe you’re picturing a smelly hog rolling in a dusty barn. Or perhaps your religious or personal convictions leave you saying “No thanks!” almost instantly.

Regardless of how you feel about them, there’s no arguing that the humble pig occupies a prominent place in global culture. From farm to table, predator to house pet, pigs are truly all things to all people.

On March 31, PBS stations nationwide will air Magnificent Beast, a captivating documentary that explores the unique ways pigs and humans relate to one another.

Co-directors Tess and Josh Gerritsen, a mother and son duo, traveled across the United States and around the world to capture the whole spectrum of the pig-human dynamic. Along the way, they met chefs, farmers, hunters, archaeologists, historians, and more, each with a unique connection to the animals. At times, their viewpoints differ so much that it’s almost comical to imagine them in a room together. The film’s strength lies not only in that diversity, but in the great care and respect given to each perspective.  

The idea for a pig-focused film came to Tess Gerritsen, author of the popular “Rizzoli and Isles” book series, while attending a promotional event in Turkey several years ago.

“I found myself craving bacon for breakfast while I was there, but the majority of Turkish people are Muslim, so you can’t find it there,” Tess explained. “It got me thinking a lot about food taboos. What causes certain foods to become off-limits in a society? As [Josh and I] began to dig deeper, we realized that there was something unique about the status held by pigs.”

Josh Gerritsen began his career in short films and photography, but after a while, he needed a change of pace.

“I thought that I was going to live in New York City forever, but I didn’t have a lot of momentum,” he recalled. “I wasn’t making the world a better place, and that really bothered me. So I decided to move back home to Maine, and spent four years in organic farming. That period was also a major inspiration for Magnificent Beast.”

The pair began research for the film in 2016, with Tess, who has a degree in cultural anthropology, taking the lead. She combed through academic journals in search of people exploring the same issues, and found that many of them were based in the United Kingdom and Egypt.

There’s also a local connection among the featured experts: Dr. Katheryn C. Twiss, an associate professor of anthropology at Stony Brook University.

Twiss’ research focuses on social and economic practices in early agricultural and urban societies. As a zooarchaeologist, she studies animal bones and other remains to learn more about past interactions between humans and animals. 

In the film, Twiss explains how pigs have been increasingly domesticated over the course of human history, along with some of the surprising traits that pigs and humans share.

“We were really impressed by the passion Dr. Twiss has for her work, and for pigs in general. It’s clear that she loves what she does, and that was a big part of why we chose to include her,” Tess Gerritsen said.

Dr. Twiss’ curiosity about the ancient world began with an elective class she took early in her undergraduate years.

“Like a lot of people, I had no idea what I wanted to study when I started college. I liked biology, history, languages … and then I took an Introduction to Archeology course and completely fell in love,” she explained. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is awesome! Archeology has everything — I don’t have to choose!’” 

Much of Twiss’s research has been on the Neolithic period (between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago) in southwest Asia. In this period, people were first building large communities and relying on foods that they produced or farmed themselves. Pigs were also domesticated at this time. Twiss said that in some Neolithic societies, carved pig tusks were used as personal adornments, and pig bones were embedded in the walls and buried below the floors of homes for symbolic purposes.

“I’m interested in how humans relate to different kinds of animals — how do we obtain our food? How do we feed ourselves, and what rituals are associated with the way we eat? Pigs are environmentally and socially important, just like cattle,” she added.

When the Gerritsens reached out to Twiss about being a part of their film, she was excited and happy to pull a few skulls from the lab for her segment.

“I enjoyed the film’s deeper dive into the social relationships that people have with pigs, especially as pets. It didn’t make me want to get a pet pig, but it did make me want to meet someone with one so I could visit,” she joked. “I hope that Magnificent Beast helps people develop a greater awareness of the many ways in which people interact — or choose not to interact — with pigs. It highlights both the complexity of pigs and the diversity of human cultures.”

To further highlight this complexity, Josh went on social media to find people who interact with pigs on a non-academic level. Using Facebook, he was able to connect with a number of pet pig owners as well as wild hog hunters.

“I made it clear that I wanted to give everyone a fair say, and after a while it led to some really great conversations and a sense of trust,” Josh said. 

Ultimately, the Gerritsens were able to meet with members of both groups in person. The pet pig owners taught them more about the deep affection, intelligence and social skills of domestic pigs, while the hunters took them along on a nighttime search for dangerous and destructive wild hogs.

“When people think about pigs, they have a tendency to think of a lazy, sloppy animal, but they are so much more than that,” Josh said. “Our goal is to encourage greater respect and understanding for pigs, and to promote more mindful eating when you do choose to eat pork.”

Distributed by the National Educational Television Association, Magnificent Beast premieres locally at 10 p.m. Thursday, March 31 on WLIW Channel 21. The documentary will air on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings) and stream on For more information, visit

A behind the scenes moment in the documentary with director Norman Jewison (right) and Chaim Topol in the role of Tevye on the set of Fiddler on the Roof.

By Melissa Arnold

The long-anticipated spring Port Jefferson Documentary Series kicks off Feb. 28 with Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen, a homage to the beloved movie musical.

There is something visceral about Fiddler on the Roof. Whether on stage or on screen, it has a way of gripping your emotions and stirring up memories like few other musicals can.

Based on the story Tevye the Dairyman by Sholem Aleichem, the original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof opened in 1964 and became the first musical to run for more than 3,000 performances. The epic, three-hour film adaptation came along in 1971, and quickly earned accolades as the highest-grossing movie of that year.

Rosalind Harris (Tzeitel)

Nearly 50 years later, filmmaker Daniel Raim set out to document all that he could about the film through the eyes of its cast and crew. Along the way, he explored what Jewish culture, faith and family ties mean to him in the present day.  

The finished product, “Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen,” is narrated by actor Jeff Goldblum and presented by Zeitgeist Films.

“I brought a lot of curiosity into my exploration of Fiddler on the Roof,” said Raim, who lives in Los Angeles. “It wasn’t just about what makes [director] Norman Jewison’s film so great, but what Norman Jewison’s personal and spiritual journey was like in the process of making it.”

Raim’s grandparents were Holocaust survivors, and his parents met in Israel, where he moved as a teenager. While there, he attended an art-focused high school and, upon graduation, began to make documentaries for the Israeli Defense Force during his required time of military service. He later returned to the United States and attended the American Film Institute.

As for Fiddler on the Roof, Raim recalled watching it for the first time at his grandparents’ house.

“My great-grandparents died in the Holocaust, and when I was watching Fiddler with my grandparents, a portrait of them hung on the wall. My great-grandfather was a kosher butcher and a rabbi, and my grandfather took me to synagogue and taught me about their values,’ he recalled. 

“I was so moved watching it with them — it felt like I was looking at a realistic portrait of Jewish life in Tsarist Russia in 1905, what life might have been like for my great-grandparents’ generation as they wrestled with changing times and anti-Semitism. I had a very specific connection to it and began to ask questions: Who am I? Where do I come from? How did my family live? It made it very meaningful to me.”

Ironically, director Norman Jewison wasn’t Jewish at all. Despite this, he had a deep desire from early childhood to learn more about Jewish culture, especially as he faced harassment because of his last name.

Neva Small (Chava)

It took Raim more than 10 years to complete the film as he traveled the world interviewing the cast and production team. The 88-minute documentary offers an intimate, heartfelt peek inside the memories and creative process of Chaim Topol (Tevye), Rosalind Harris (Tzeitel), Michele Marsh (Hodel) and Neva Small (Chava), among others. The film also includes behind-the-scenes footage and thoughts from production designer Robert F. Boyle, lyricist Sheldon Harnick and renowned composer John Williams.

Raim made a point of showing just how much effort and research went into developing the Fiddler film, so that it could be as authentic as possible. Norman Jewison and John Williams traveled to Israel for a research trip before production began, where Williams pored over Yiddish archives and music. In the documentary, Williams shares what he learned about different types of music that were meaningful in that era and culture, and about the importance of the fiddle in a musical and historical context. 

Similarly, producer Robert Boyle had to research what life was like in a shtetl, or small Jewish community. It was a difficult process, as the shtetls were targeted and destroyed during the Holocaust. Despite this, Boyle was able to faithfully recreate a Jewish painted synagogue based on the very little information he could find.

The attention to detail and commitment to authenticity is only part of what makes Fiddler on the Roof so enduring, Raim said.

“I think the appeal of the stories by Sholem Aleichem, up through the Broadway musical and the film, is that their themes and issues are universal — the breaking down of traditions, the relationships and tensions between family members,” he said. “Everyone can relate to it. You have these beautiful narratives with complex, fun characters, and it can be both joyous and heartbreaking. And then for Jewish audiences, it’s almost like an origin story that they can see themselves and their families in.”

While many in the film industry faced life-altering changes during the pandemic, Raim used his downtime as the final push to complete the documentary.

Michele Marsh (Hodel)

“At the start of the pandemic, I began to collaborate with Michael Sragow, who was the co-writer, co-producer and lead researcher, and producer Sasha Burman. The three of us worked together over Zoom during the lockdown. I thought, now is the time to pull out the juiciest archival footage and interviews I’d ever shot and start working on and shaping them. I really feel like thanks to the pandemic I could really focus on this film, and I was blessed to be able to continue filming original interviews in 2021.”

Production was completed this past December, making the Port Jefferson Documentary Series one of the first showings with an audience. 

The Port Jefferson Documentary Series began in 2006 with a group of friends around a dining room table. The series has since won the title of Best Film Festival on Long Island for six consecutive years.

“When I screen a film, I need to experience an emotional connection before I share it with my board members, and one doesn’t need to be Jewish to appreciate Fiddler on the Roof,” said Barbara Sverd, co-director of the twice-yearly Port Jefferson Documentary Series. 

“Why is it so successful? I think it’s because it’s about average, everyday people trying to make a living, trying to keep old traditions alive, trying to fit into an ever-changing world they may not understand and leaving the Old World behind for an unknown future. But its broader message is about hope, faith and acceptance,” she said.

“We are proud to present Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen as a sneak peek before its theatrical premiere and as a welcome back to our Long Island audience. It’s the first in our upcoming Spring Series, and we are thrilled to have director Daniel Raim as our guest speaker by Zoom.”


Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen will be shown on Feb. 28 at Theatre Three, 412 Main Street, Port Jefferson at 7 p.m. A conversation with Daniel Raim via Zoom will follow, where audience members can ask questions and share their thoughts. All tickets are $10 and are available online or at the event (cash only). In accordance with Theatre Three’s policy, masks, vaccination cards and a photo ID are required to attend. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit 


'The Snowbaby'

By Melissa Arnold

Author Jonny Hamilton

Jonny Hamilton of Greenlawn has a gift for visual arts and creative work. After becoming a father and reading one too many poorly-written children’s books, he decided to try writing his own. Hamilton’s second book, The Snowbaby, follows a just born snow-pal as he explores the world for the first time. The simple story and sweet characters are enhanced by Hamilton’s captivating and textured illustrations. The book was a hit with his own children, and will surely capture the eyes and imaginations of little ones during this especially snowy winter.

Do you write for a living, or is this a new undertaking for you? 

For the past 15 years, I’ve worked as the creative lead for an advertising network, but I’m an animator at heart. I went to school for digital media production and found myself drawn to the graphic design side of things. I started working professionally in Portland right out of school in a few boutique production and animation studios with some truly inspiring talent. On a personal trip to NYC, I decided on a whim to send my reel around. I ended up getting a job offer and moved east two weeks later. 

Writing is a relatively new undertaking — I drew comics for my friends in grade school and wrote absurd short stories in high school (very much inspired by Monty Python sketches and Steve Martin’s short stories), but I never really thought of myself as a writer. I suppose I sort of backed into it more as an illustrator looking for a story.

Did you read a lot when you were younger? What books inspired you? 

I didn’t read a lot as a kid. I was and still am a slow reader, so it’s hard to make time.  I do have very fond memories of the books of my childhood that are probably standard for my generation. Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak, and Arnold Lobel really resonated with me both visually and from a storytelling standpoint. And now that I have kids, I’ve become a big fan of Mo Willems, Adam Rubin & Daniel Salmieri, and Dav Pilkey. 

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always been interested in creating children’s media in general. I grew up with Sesame Street, the Muppets, Mister Rogers, etc. I had a deep love for all that stuff, and was a fan well past the age when most kids outgrew it. As an adult I did some freelance work making animated educational shorts for preschoolers and enjoyed it so much I started making some on my own.  

When I became a parent, I was exposed to this whole world of children’s books. The thing is, for every great book you get your kids, you somehow also end up with three terrible books. So after a few years, I thought, ‘I should give writing a kids’ book a try.’

My twin sons were 5 and our youngest was around 1, so we had a new baby around. The twins loved anything that had to do with babies, so I thought that was fertile ground to start with. I wrote my first book, What Babies Do at Night, and then The Snowbaby, and gave them to the twins as Christmas gifts. 

My kids loved the books, partly because they recognized themselves as the characters, but mostly because I nailed their favorite subject. It was the reaction from other family members that got me to publish. Everyone seemed genuinely impressed if not surprised that it was actually a decent little book.

What is the ‘The Snowbaby’ about?

The Snowbaby is the story of a curious and good-natured newborn exploring an entirely new world. He is fascinated by everyone he meets including a fox, rabbit and cardinal, and eventually finds just what he needs: his family. 

How long did it take to write?

My first book took almost three months, and I really struggled to get through it. I think I was trying too hard to get everything in, as if it were the only book I would ever write. With The Snowbaby I allowed it to be much simpler. I started with the illustrations, and the story just emerged.  

Tell us more about the illustrations. 

Each of my books has a different illustrative style, but I’ve received the most positive feedback about the artwork in The Snowbaby. I’m a huge fan of the background artwork in the Peanuts animated holiday specials, so that’s where I started with The Snowbaby. I used watercolor washes throughout to create an atmosphere of winter and then added bright splashes of color here and there with the cardinal, fox, etc. 

Did you publish in the traditional way, or did you self-publish? What company did you choose and why? 

I spent about a year sending out query letters for The Snowbaby, and my latest book The Annual Elf. As expected, I received many “Thank you, but …” responses. I finally decided to google “Self-Publishing Children’s Books” and I found a great video that showed how to do it “in 10 minutes” on Amazon through Kindle Direct Publishing.

Well, it took quite a bit longer than 10 minutes, but it wasn’t too difficult. There are pros and cons of publishing through this service. There are limited options for sizing, so I had to rework the layout. The color in the printing varies from batch to batch, and paperback is the only option for a book as short as The Snowbaby. The biggest benefit is you don’t have to order a bunch of copies. You just make it available, and they print them as needed per individual order.  

Is there a particular message or lesson you hope to share through this book?

I hope they experience a feeling of love and kindness that everyone deserves.

What is the target age for this book?

From ages 2 to 7 seems to be the sweet spot. One of my sons brought it into his kindergarten class and the class sent me a poster where every student drew their favorite scenes. It was an incredibly touching gift (Thanks, Mrs. Gutheil)!

Jonny Hamilton’s books are available for purchase at View an animated version of The Snowbaby by searching for “Jonny Hamilton The Snowbaby” on YouTube, and keep up with Hamilton on Instagram @jonny_hamilton_author.

Judith Kalaora will portray Revolutionary War hero Deborah Sampson on Feb. 21. Photo by Vincent Morreale
Meet the first woman to secretly serve in the military at TVHS living history event

By Melissa Arnold

If you could spend an hour with any historical person, who would it be?

Many people have answered this question as part of an ice breaker or an online survey. It’s a fun dream to consider.

But what if you actually could meet and talk to someone who left a significant mark on American history? On Feb. 21, the Three Village Historical Society will welcome “Deborah Sampson,” a daring woman who bound her chest and hid her identity to serve in the Revolutionary War. Sampson, played by Judith Kalaora, will share her dramatic and captivating story and take questions from the audience about life in the 18th century.

Judith Kalaora as Deborah Sampson during a livestream event.

Kalaora is the founder and artistic director of History At Play, a living history performance group. She has made it her life’s mission to connect people in personal, immersive ways to fascinating historical figures. But for Kalaora, who holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree in Acting from Syracuse University, it’s about so much more than entertainment.

“I’ve always believed that theater is a wonderful teaching tool. I had phenomenal teachers growing up who utilized role playing and activities like Mock Trial, and that’s all acting. It became very clear to me that there was an avenue to explore and that I wanted to teach, but I wasn’t sure what. I was drawn to history because it’s all about stories, and ultimately became a historical interpreter in Boston right out of college.”

A historical interpreter is highly educated in a particular period of history, and teaches by wearing the fashions of the era and playing the role of a historical figure, whether that is a specific person or just a common citizen.

For that first job, Kalaora chose to portray a woman named Deborah Sampson, a self-educated indentured servant who chose to disguise her identity and join the American military. Sampson fought under the alias Robert Shurtlieff and later became the first woman to be honorably discharged.

“She is the official heroine of Massachusetts, but I never learned about her when I was in grade school,” Kalaora explained. “I was always a tomboy, really interested in the military and weaponry from a young age. And as I looked through history books trying to decide who I would portray, I fell in love with Deborah’s life.”

Judith Kalaora will portray Revolutionary War hero Deborah Sampson on Feb. 21.
Photo by Bjorn Bolinder/Find The Light Photography

Tourists of all ages and nationalities were fascinated by Deborah’s story as well, and it inspired Kalaora to write a one-woman play called “A Revolution of Her Own.” Since its debut in 2010, she has taken the show from coast to coast for more than 2,000 performances, including on 42nd Street in New York City.

When the pandemic shut down theater performances around the world, History at Play had to get creative. Thanks to Zoom, audiences can meet Deborah Sampson and learn from her in the comfort of their living rooms. The event is a part of the Three Village Historical Society’s (TVHS) monthly Lecture Series, which hosts prominent and emerging historians, authors, genealogists, archeologists and storytellers from around the nation. 

“The first lecture at TVHS was in 2003, and happened occasionally. It officially became a monthly offering in early 2006,” said TVHS executive director Mari Irizarry. “TVHS has proudly offered an average of nine monthly lectures to the public for nearly 16 years with the intention of furthering the mission of the Society by educating the public about our rich history.”

The historical society was introduced to Kalaora thanks to historian Margo Arceri, who runs Tri-Spy Tours which offers walking, biking and cycling tours around the Three Village area.

“This will be our first living history performance! We’re very excited about introducing this as a new offering from the Society,” Irizarry said. “The event is perfect for the entire family, and we hope that our younger audience attends this online presentation as well. The story of Deborah Sampson is largely unknown and we believe that our audience will be awe-inspired by her legacy.”

“A Revolution of Her Own! Deborah Sampson, Immersive Living History” will be presented online via Zoom at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 21. The evening is free for members of the Three Village Historical Society, and a suggested donation of $5 is requested for all others. For more information or to register, visit or call 631-751-3730.


TVHS lecture series line-up for 2022

All lectures begin at 7 p.m. 


“A Revolution of Her Own! Deborah Sampson, Immersive Living History”

Presented by Artistic Director of History at Play Judith Kalaora

Sponsored by Tri-Spy Tours


“History of the LIRR with a North Shore Perspective”

Presented by Railroad Museum of Long Island President Don Fisher


“A New York Experience: A  Constant Affair”

Presented by art historian Louise Cella Caruso


“A School with a Vision: Celebrating 100 Years of  The Stony Brook School”

Presented by Stony Brook School History Faculty David Hickey


“The Drafting of a Radical Idea – The Declaration of Independence”

Presented by Stony Brook University Senior lecturer & Faculty Director Tara Rider


“Winning Votes for Women on Long Island and the Nation”

Presented by author and professor Emerita Natalie Naylor


“Mafia Spies: The Inside Story of the CIA, Gangster, JFK and Castro”

Presented by author, journalist and television producer Thomas Maier


“William Sidney Mount’s Long Island and the People of Color”

Presented by authors Katherine Kirkpatrick and Vivian Nicholson-Mueller

The evenings are free for members of the Three Village Historical Society, and a suggested donation of $5 is requested for all others. For more information or to register, visit or call 631-751-3730.