Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This Saturday's Event!

"FREE at Last! Black History Celebration!"

My first time meeting Sandi English was in February '09, when she and her daughter Liana brought the character portrayal of "Mammy Reminiscence" to Sotterley Plantation. As I sat in the Warehouse, watching and listening, and taking it all in, I was completely swept away to another place and time. It is said that spirituality begins with truth - and as difficult as it was to witness the truth of this portrayal, I thought, "This is what this place (Sotterley) is all about ... honoring the histories of all who lived here."

In the 1790's, Sotterley held nearly 100 enslaved people, who were largely responsible for the prosperity of this once over 4,000 acre plantation. We honor the sacrifices, struggles, and survival of those who have been lifted.

Building upon this past event, Sotterley Plantation and The Boeing Company are pleased to offer "FREE at Last! Black History Celebration" as part of the 2010 Speaker Series. Included in this free to the public event, Sandi and Liana English will not only revive their performance of "Mammy Reminiscence" in the truth African-American storytelling tradition, but will also transport the audience to the 1960's Civil Rights Movement. "Grandma Wisdom" recounts the significance of this more modern-day revolution for equality to her questioning granddaughter.

Tours of our original 1830's Slave Cabin will be given by Education Director Carolyn Hoey. Take the walk down Rolling Road and you shall come to a small white cabin, which once housed as many people as that of the Plantation House (a.k.a. The Mansion). Ms. Hoey will share the history of the the enslaved people here at Sotterley, as well as share slave inventories and new findings from last summer's restoration project. Hands-on exhibits and Children's Activities will also be available.

Combining music and prayer, we are grateful to announce the soulful praisings of the St. Peter Claver Choir at 11:00 a.m. and the Southern Maryland Gospel Choir at 2:00 p.m.

Join us this Saturday from 10 am - 4 pm, as we come together as a community of FREE people.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Smashing Success - the First Annual Gala in the Garden!

On Saturday early evening, sponsors of this first time event made their way to the Portico for a special pre-reception with honored guest Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, overlooking the breathtaking views of the Patuxent River. The heat may have been stifling, but it didn't impact the merry moods at the meet & greet portion of the Gala!

At 5:30 pm the steady stream of over 200 guests, many wearing the encouraged pink and green attire, arrived at the party tent. The Hot Jazz of the Hot Club of DC set the mood for a spicy night, combining the flirtatious American Jazz with the most memorable French songs. The h'ordeuvres by Bailey's were plentiful, scrumptious, and exquisitely presented! Surrounding the multitudes of minglers, were tables overflowing with incredible silent auction items - from artwork to opera tickets to NFL tickets to jewelry! Halfway into the evening, Auctioneer AJ Bussler took the stage begin the LIVE Auction (and if you ever plan an auction, she is, without a doubt, the auctioneer you want!) and the competition was fierce. The stakes were high for a dozen highly sought after prizes, including a one week stay at Mabel Ingalls' "Sjohytta" Sea House on Mt. Desert Island, Maine ... a very hard to come by tour of the White House, all decked out for the holidays ... a tour of Lincoln's Civil War Retreat ... just to name a few.

Historic Sotterley, Inc. extends its thanks to this year’s sponsors: Congressman Steny Hoyer, Senator Ben Cardin, GOLD SPONSORS - Bailey’s Party Rentals, Constellation Energy, The Hilton Garden Inn, MedStar Health, Pepco Holdings, Inc., SILVER SPONSORS – Andrews, Bongar, Starkey & Clagett, P.A., Baldwin & Briscoe, P.A., Cindy Greb, Lockheed Martin, John and Julie McAllister, Raley, Watts & O’Neill, Christine Wray and John Felicitas, Skip and Ellen Zahniser, BRONZE SPONSORS – John and Mary Bohanan, Dave and Erna Brown, Andy and Jill Quinn, Resource Management Concepts, Inc., Sabre Systems, and Michael Whitson and Lynn Erwin.

We are tremendously grateful to the following amazing people and businesses who generously contributed treasures, wares and services to the Live and Silent Auctions:
Bob and Jane Aldridge, Arts Alliance of SMCM, Baldwin and Briscoe Law Firm, Blair’s Jewelers, Jan Briscoe and Sam Baldwin, John Hanson and Bonnie Briscoe, David and Erna Brown, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Tim and Angie Cameron, Clarke’s Landing, The Cosmic Symphony, Crazy for Ewe, Guy Curley, Bettie Currie, Wayne Davis, David Densford, Nancy Easterling, First Cash of Georgetown, Pat and Celeste Furey, Cindy Greb, Bonnie Green, Frank Greenwell, Glenn Guy and Guy Distributing, Sheila Gibbons Hiebert, Hilltop Graphics, The Hilton Garden Inn, Historic Sotterley, Inc., Tom Hodges, Sarah Houde, Marshall and Linda Jones, The Light Opera Company of Southern Maryland, Kumar and Centre Liquors, Barry Landau, Lowe’s, Julia Moe, Peter Neus, Planning Committee for Gala in the Garden, George Rogers, President, Lincoln’s Cottage, The Ruddy Duck, The Sotterley Garden Guild, Michael and Mary Ann Stamm, Robert F. Stamm, Dr. Martin Sullivan of The National Portrait Gallery, Meredith Taylor, Three Notch Veterinary, Top Notch, Traditions of Loveville, Gita S. van Heerden, Sandra van Heerden, The Vintage Source, and Ellen and Skip Zahniser.

Thanks must also be given to a remarkable committee whose creativity and countless hours of hard work have made this event a reality: Ellen Zahniser, Jan Briscoe, Cindy Greb, Sheila Gibbons Hiebert, Mary Ann Stamm, Katherine Stormont, and all of the Sotterley Staff including Kim Husick, Linda Tucker Jones, Eileen Miller, Arleen Strider, and Nancy Easterling (Executive Director).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gala in the Garden COUNTDOWN!

It's true. I have taken way too long of a break from this blog. The best excuse I can offer is certainly a reasonable reason - being incredibly busy.

With the opening of the 2010 season, the plantation have been a flurry of activity: school groups, bus tours, public events, private events, Garden Guild doing what they do so well, visitors on site for Guided Mansion tours and Self-Guided tours, and of course, meetings. A day is never dull here at Sotterley!

In just nine days (and counting), an event like no other will take place - the Gala in the Garden! On Saturday, June 19th at 5:30 pm, guests (many wearing pink and green) will be greeted in front of the Corn Crib and will stroll or be driven to Sotterley's Colonial Revival Garden. Spicy and flirtatious Hot Jazz by the Hot Club of D.C. will set the lovely party mood! To cool things down, guests will enjoy an open bar highlighting the luscious libation of the "Sotterley Splash." And oh, the food - scrumptious palate pleasing morsels! The Silent (Shhhh! Silencieux) Auction will remain open until 7:30 pm, with the chance to bid upon 43 magnifique items (or grouping of items), including original artwork, tickets to performances, jewelry, crystal, china, dinners about town, and so much more! Promptly at 7:15, the competitive thrills begin with the LIVE (Vie!) Auction, with such amazing items as a week long Maine vacation, Ravens and Redskins Tickets, a boat trip with a crab feast, a tour of Lincoln's Civil war retreat, a private tour of the national Portrait gallery with a cocktail reception, to name a few. Oh, and can you keep a secret? Well, we at Sotterley have been sworn to secrecy about a top secret surprise item, which will only be revealed the night of the Gala, so ...........

Call 301-373-2280 to make your reservation today! Tickets are $100 per person. All proceeds directly benefit the educational programs at Sotterley.

We all hope you will join us!