Good News - Summer 2021

A quarterly update designed to share news, tell stories, inspire creativity, and most importantly - make you smile. 

concert image at bethel woods

They say time flies when you're having fun.

And looking at the calendar, we simply cannot believe it is already halfway through the year! In the last six months, we’ve accomplished so much, and we’re looking forward to welcoming more people and excitement in the next six, especially this summer.

It is with gratitude that we present this quarter’s Good News to you, our steadfast donors and champions, who stepped up during the most challenging time in a century to sustain Bethel Woods. There was no telling what the future of our organization looked like or where the end was going to be, but it was because of your support, encouragement, and commitment that we are able to stand here today.



Meet Shyia, our 2021 Museum Summer Intern! Originally from Texas, Shyia Magan joins us after her first year at the Cooperstown Graduate Program where she is earning her master’s degree in Museum Studies. Throughout the summer, Shyia will work closely with Museum staff on collecting oral histories, developing interpretation, and landscape preservation.


In the last edition of Good News, we introduced you to Ele Hein, our first-ever Landscape Preservation Fellow. Ele works closely with the rest of the team to uncover the secrets of our historic site and interpret the landscape for all our visitors. Recently, Ele led a clearing of Gentle Path – one of the paths in the Bindy Bazaar Trails. Hear more about the project directly from Ele by watching the video below.

Ele’s work even means reimagining familiar spaces – including the 2021 Special Exhibit! She’s created the first-ever Bethel Woods Escape Room – where you and your group (band) must find clues among the psychedelia of the exhibit in order to make it to your gig on time!

Interested? Participation is by appointment only for groups of 15 or less. For a clue, contact Tina. You don’t want to miss this!



We recently had the exciting opportunity to officially kick off our season with an event we’re calling The Great Unwrap. Together with full-time staff and 50 of our amazing volunteers, we gathered on June 22 to begin the process of opening our Pavilion stage by cutting off hundreds of yards of protective shrink wrap.  Numerous donors, members, and dignitaries including Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and Senator Mike Martucci joined us to voice a sentiment that was shared by all: It's good to be back.

The 2021 Pavilion season kicks off with a performance by Chicago, one of the longest-running and best-selling groups of all time, who come to Bethel Woods on July 20 to perform hits spanning multiple generations. Get tickets here!

Staff and volunteers work together to uncover Bethel Woods’ Pavilion seating after 21 long months of silence on the stage.

Staff and volunteers work together to uncover Bethel Woods’ Pavilion seating after 21 long months of silence on the stage.


Eric Frances, CEO, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, leads a champagne toast before staff and volunteers uncover Pavilion seating after 21 long months of silence on the stage.

Robyn Gerry, Board Member Mike Watkins, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, and Senator Mike Martucci make ceremonial first cut of Pavilion covering at Bethel Woods’ “The Great Unwrap.”

Robyn Gerry, Board Member Mike Watkins, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, and Senator Mike Martucci make ceremonial first cut of Pavilion shrink wrap covering at Bethel Woods’ “The Great Unwrap.”


What's that, you may ask?! We have recently been able to renovate a secondary location for Museum Education and Creative Programs on our site. Atria will be a gathering place for our P.L.A.Y. participants and provides the opportunity for young learners to explore music production, theater, and creative writing. Atria features three different studio spaces as well as an outdoor stage for community share-out events. Upcoming programs include:

  • P.L.A.Y. Rock Camp: July 5-16 | Exploring the history of rock, rhythm, and the musicians who helped shape popular culture of the 1960s. | Ages 9-15
  • P.L.A.Y. All Day: Weekly July 12-August 20 | This introductory program dips into history and imaginative ways of thinking through arts activities and exploration of our grounds. . | Ages 5-9
  • P.L.A.Y. Songwriter Workshop: July 19-30 |Students go “behind the music” to learn composition through individual lessons and small group ensemble work with a focus on vocal and instrumental work. | Ages 9-15
  • P.L.A.Y. Music Theater: August 2-13 | Explore music, spoken word, movement, costume, and stage design to gain a deep understanding of Musical Theater. | Ages 9-15

Many of these participants are able to attend these art intensives free of charge because of you.

Thank you to the following for their contribution to our nonprofit organization: The American Gift Fund, the John N. Blackman Sr. Foundation, Annelise Gerry and Family, Robyn Gerry, Nellie and Robert Gipson of the Tianaderrah Foundation, the William and Elaine Kaplan Family Foundations, the Phillip & Edith Leonian Foundation, the Rhulen Loughlin Family -- in memory of Trevor John Loughlin, TD Charitable Foundation, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

bethel woods teaching artists
Bethel Woods Teaching Artists on the newly-constructed stage deck.


We hope to see you at an upcoming event. With your help, all funds raised will sustain arts education programs, historic preservation efforts, and The Museum at Bethel Woods.

  • Backstage at Bethel Woods | Saturday, July 31: Enjoy a behind-the-scenes cocktail reception, dinner under the Pavilion, an auction, live music by The Bacon Brothers, and more!  Learn more here.
  • Daisy Drop | Saturday, August 14: Following Joe Cocker's performance at Woodstock on August 17, 1969, a Bell H-13 Sioux helicopter flew over the festival and dropped daisies on the field. More than fifty years later, we are recreating this moment. Purchase a golf ball (we're making them look like daisies!) and watch it get dropped onto the field. If yours is the closest, you could win $1,000!  Learn more here.


Other ways to get involved

  • Amazon Smile - Set it Once, Give Every Time

    When you use, you purchase the same products at the same prices but Amazon donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Set it once; give every time you shop.

    Go to Amazon Smile

  • Annual Fund - Inspiring the Spirit of Giving

    Give a smile. Make a wish come true. Open doors for aspiring artists and musicians.

    Annual Fund Donor Recognition Program giving levels:

    • CHAIRMAN'S CIRCLE $50,000+
    • CEO'S CIRCLE $25,000 - $49,999
    • CONDUCTOR'S CIRCLE $10,000 - $24,999
    • BENEFACTOR'S CIRCLE $5,000 - $9,999
    • SUSTAINER'S CIRCLE $2,500 - $4,999
    • ASSOCIATE'S CIRCLE $1,000 - $2,499
    • ENCORE CIRCLE $500 - $999
    • INVESTOR'S CIRCLE $250 - $499
    • GARDEN CIRCLE $100 - $249
    • PEACE CIRCLE $1 - $99

    Please consider contributing to our Annual Fund today. Call (845) 295-2501 or submit a contribution here.

  • Create a Personal Touchstone at Bethel Woods

    Become a permanent part of Bethel Woods when you purchase an anniversary paver. Placed along the pathway at the entrance to Bethel Woods, your personalized message is a lasting symbol of your special memories of this place – and your continued support of our mission.

    About the Paver Program
    You can help Bethel Woods grow and expand its offerings, including the opening up of a newly restored trail system in the Bindy Bazaar Trails. The paver program also helps support special exhibits, museum programming, and preservation projects.

  • Planned Giving

    Legacy giving is at the heart of the non-profit world. It establishes connections, ensures survival, and makes dreams possible – to the organizations, the donors, and those who benefit from such a generous act.

    Bethel Woods works with you and your team to arrange bequests, life insurance, gifts of real estate, retirement plan assets, charitable gift annuity, and charitable trusts. Planned giving allows you to protect the inheritance of your loved ones, while making a meaningful gift to an organization you care about. Help us provide educational programming, community outreach, museum programs, and more for all ages.

    Contact our Development Office today to begin your Bethel Woods legacy at (845) 295-2501.

  • The Williams Endowed Education Fund

    Mr. and Mrs. Joseph D. Williams of Dover, NJ and Bethel, NY established the Williams Endowed Education Fund at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. The fund provides tuition assistance for children and youth to participate in current and future programming, and transportation assistance for the children and youth of the Hudson Valley Region.

    Help the young people of our region discover their own potential and consider making a contribution to The Williams Endowed Education Fund. Complete our secure online donation form, and choose “Endowment,” under 'Area of Interest'.

Thank you for your support yesterday, today, and always.

With each passing year, it is clear that the most significant part of our story is the people who have touched our organization.  For more information on What's Happening this month, please click here.