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Shown here, from left, Sturdy Savings Bank Business Development Officer Michael J. Clark and Cape May Branch Manager Kathleen Makowski present a check to Cape May MAC Director Jody Alessandrine, with Staff Accountant Vicki McBride and Chief Operating Officer Melissa Payne, at the Emlen Physick Estate.

Sturdy Savings Bank updates its support as programs change in response to COVID-19 CAPE MAY - On Feb. 25 this year, Sturdy Savings Bank presented Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) with a gift of $7,500 to help underwrite two popular annual community events in 2020, Cape May MAC’s Volunteer Reception and Community Day, along with a special event to celebrate the organization’s 50th Anniversary. But when COVID-19 began to take hold across the nation in March, with quarantines in

place and no end in sight, Cape May MAC leaders realized that none of these events would be possible in 2020. As well, as the summer progressed, it became clear that the annual Christmas Candlelight House Tours -- in which thousands of visitors tour over a dozen private homes, churches, inns and hotels decorated for the holiday season (CONTINUED ON PAGE 11)


Photo by Susan Krysiak

Vintage is open through Nov. 29, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for dinner, 5pm8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays for brunch, 11am-4pm. If you haven’t experienced Vintage yet, don’t miss out in 2020! Reservations suggested. Dog-friendly. Parking is free. Dining is outdoors under the heated patio tent. Call 609-224-6064 for reservations & takeout orders.

Partnerships are a vital part of Cape May MAC’s mission CAPE MAY – Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) has recently partnered with organizations that have brought exciting new programs to Cape May. Creating and maintaining partnerships is a vital part of Cape May MAC’s mission. But this year, new partnerships have helped build tremendous community spirit in these historically tough times and created new ways to do more with less. Vintage, a new restaurant partnership with KARA Restaurant Group to provide (CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)

In This Issue

Photo by Susan Krysiak

Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture) now offers City Guide Golf Cart Tours for custom tours of Cape Island for your small group. Two business days advance notice is required. Call Susan Gibson at 609-224-6030 for details.

Donor Profile..............................Page 5 Education Wrap-up................Page 12 Membership News .................. Page 7 Message from the Director...Page 13 Recent Happenings..................Page 2 Thank You Department.... Pages 8-11


On a continuous quest to make the best lemonade out of the lemons we were handed this summer, Cape May MAC’s staff proved to be determined and creative. Led by Chief Operating Officer Melissa Payne, we were able to institute safety precautions, mobilizing staff and volunteers to assist with taking temperatures and monitoring social distancing regulations at our historic sites and on our trolleys. By and large, our visitors were cooperative and appreciative of our efforts. Ayeshah Dickerson, Manager of Volunteer Engagement, developed a volunteer-staffed crew of Ambassadors at the Physick Estate to welcome and answer visitors’ questions. While limiting Physick Estate Tours to small groups certainly impacted our bottom line, the upside was a distinctly intimate tour experience for visitors. Speaking of visitors’ experience, Tom Carroll’s loyal crew of volunteers kept the grounds of the Physick Estate in tiptop shape throughout the summer. The group gathered weekly, tackling the task of keeping our several acres manicured. In July, we sadly bid farewell to Denny Sweetman, who has been on the crew for several years. Innovation was pretty much a byword this summer. Thanks to Interpreter Janet Coupland, we launched a new tour, the Magic & Mystery House Tour in the Physick House. Visitors were treated to a look into magic, illusion, the mysterious and the odd, all things that fascinated our Victorian ancestors. We looked to new partners, Ken Bingham and the actors from Without a Cue, to provide staffing for the

Photo by Susan Krysiak

Officials from the New Jersey Historic Trust (NJHT) made a site visit to the Emlen Physick Estate on Sept. 2 to inspect the Physick Estate outbuildings, restoration of which were part of Cape May MAC’s 2020 capital grant application. Shown here, from left, Cape May MAC Director and CEO Jody Alessandrine, NJHT Historic Preservation Specialist Erin Frederickson, Cape May MAC COO Melissa Payne, and NJHT Executive Director Dorothy Guzzo.

tour. In another partnership, we hosted jazz concerts on the outdoor stage produced by Michael Kline’s Spyboy Productions. The Physick Estate grounds also served as the main venue for Spyboy’s four-day Exit Zero Jazz Festival in early October, which brought Wynton Marsalis to the estate as headliner. We also opened the Physick House Museum to a taping of the play “Victoria’s Secrets” by Cape May Stage. In yet another successful partnership, Vintage BYOB rocked the Physick Estate this summer.

NEWSLETTER Published by Cape May MAC, a not-for-profit corporation P.O. Box 340, Cape May, NJ 08204 • Phone: 609-884-5404 New Jersey Relay Center for TTY Customers: 800-852-7899 Web Site: • E-Mail: Editor: Jody Alessandrine • Assistant Editor: Jean Barraclough Contributors: Sandra Adams, Susan Krysiak, Anna Marie Leeper, Eliza Lotozo and Mary E. Stewart

OUR MISSION The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. ---- v ---OUR VISION Preserving Cape May’s rich heritage and assuring its vitality through superior cultural programs and events Page 2 • Fall/Holiday 2020

Chef Niko and his crew created a wonderful dining experience and attracted a very loyal following in just a few weeks. Possibly top of the list in innovative projects this summer are the City Guide Golf Cart Tours we instituted this summer. The brainchild of Tour Manager Nanci Coughlin and Group Tour Manager Susan Gibson, these tours allowed visitors to tailor their own itineraries, pick their starting time, set the pace and enjoy Cape May up close and possibly off the beaten path. As the summer went on, we were granted permission by the state to expand capacity at the Cape May Lighthouse which helped the lines that formed most afternoons. Attendance at the Lighthouse has remained strong through the Fall, possibly as a result of parents home-schooling their kids. We also increased capacity on our trolleys by installing Plexi-glass dividers between each row of seats. We again started to offer the popular Underground Railroad Trolley Tour in collaboration with our friends at the Center for Community Arts and combined the Spirits & Oddities Trolley Tour with the Magic & Mystery House Tour for an uninterrupted hour of weirdness. As a kick-off to our Halloween Happenings, our IT Manager Cathy Baldacchini volunteered to take on the task of organizing

Cape May MAC




ATTRACTIONS 609-884-5404 • • 800-275-4278

Holiday Preview Weekend and Tree Lighting Ceremony Nov. 20-22: Holiday Preview Weekend is special this year! The Atlantic Brass Band will be performing holiday classics on the outdoor stage at the Physick Estate as an extension of the 2020 Cape May Music Festival, with funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, launching six weeks of Christmas tours, activities and events in Cape May. Come to the Physick Estate Saturday, Nov. 21 at 5pm for this special concert of holiday joy! Then, at 7pm, see Santa flip the switch turning on hundreds of lights during the festive Tree-Lighting Ceremony, followed by a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Visit “An Old-fashioned Christmas” Exhibit in the Carroll Gallery from 10am8pm. Sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank. Santa will be practicing proper social distancing as we usher in the season; letters are welcome. A limit of 500 guests on the grounds. Registration is required this year with a $3 fee to help offset costs. Go to or call 609-884-5404. Masks are required on the grounds. We invite you to join us for this much-needed celebration of the season! Bring non-perishable food items, personal care items and paper goods for collection to donate to the Cape May Community Food Closet. Parking is limited on the estate grounds. Holiday Lights Trolley Rides, Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides, new Lamplighter Walking Tours, as well as Physick Family Christmas House Tours and the new “A Dickens of a Murder,” both in the Physick House Museum, all begin this weekend. Admission is limited for all holiday tours. Advance purchase recommended.

New in 2020! Fridays, Nov. 20-Dec. 18; Saturdays, Nov. 28-Jan. 2; Thursdays, Dec. 3-17: 6pm, 7:15pm and 8pm: A man. A lamp. A mystery. As the holidays unfold in the seaside town of Cape May, so too does a mystery. Join the Lamplighter as he endeavors to solve it, and perhaps help him discover the clues along the way in this immersive experience along Cape May’s historic lamp-lit streets. Masks are required. Adults $35, children (ages 3-12) $28.


New in 2020! Fridays, Nov. 20-Dec. 18; Tuesdays, Dec. 1-29; Thursdays, Dec. 3-17, Dec. 31; Hours vary: Bah, humbug! Ebenezer Scrooge is known for his miserly, uncompassionate ways, but he’s a changed man; he’s been practically giving his money away! Scrooge’s nephew, Fred Sawyer, is throwing a Christmas party and everyone is delighted by Scrooge’s appearance! But when things go awry and murder is served for supper, the guests may just become detectives…or even suspects. This Christmas party’s a hoppin’, but there’s a murderer a knockin’ at the 1879 Physick Estate!


Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Nov. 20-Dec. 20; Saturday, Dec. 26 and Sunday, Dec. 27. Hours vary: Enjoy a guided trolley tour of Cape May’s festive Historic District followed by a guided tour of the 1879 Physick Estate, decorated in authentic Victorian fashion for Christmas, presented through the eyes of a member of the Physick family in the late 1800s. Masks are required. Trolleys are open-air. Blankets are recommended! Cape May MAC blankets are available for purchase. Adults $25 children (3-12) $14.


An Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit Nov. 20-Jan. 2, 2021: Don’t miss this wondrous exhibit that

Friday, Nov. 20, Saturday, Nov. 21; Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Nov. 27-Dec. 20; Saturday, Dec. 26 and Sunday, Dec. 27. Hours vary: Take a guided, daytime, living history tour of the 1879 Physick Estate, decorated in authentic Victorian fashion for Christmas, presented through the eyes of a member of the Physick family in the late 1800s. Masks required. Includes a visit to the Carriage House Carroll Gallery for “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit. Adults $15 children (3-12) $8.

Bring the Kids!


delights the child in everyone! See a giant Christmas tree, an authentic Dept. 56 Dickens village, model trains and much more! At the Carroll Gallery at the Physick Estate. Open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas); hours vary. Free admission. Bring your letters to Santa for delivery to the North Pole. Visitation is limited and masks are required in the Carriage House and on the grounds.

Children will love Breakfasts with Santa at Aleathea’s at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St. Santa and everyone in attendance will be wearing a mask and maintaining the proper social distancing, but the Christmas spirit will be abundant! Enjoy a family-friendly breakfast with table service. Adults $20 children (ages 3-12) $12 children under 3 who are dining $5. Saturday, Nov. 28, Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 5 & 6, and 12 & 13, and Saturday, Dec. 19, at 10am. Santa’s Trolley Rides are hosted by Mrs. Claus and include a special greeting from Santa, in the Gazebo on the grounds of the Physick Estate – all with the proper social distancing, of course. Tours are Saturdays and Sundays at 10am and 11am, Nov. 28-Dec. 20. Masks are required. Trolleys are open-air with Plexiglass dividers in each row. Dress warmly! Cape May MAC blankets available for purchase. Adults $10 children (ages 3-12) $8. Advance reservations recommended!

Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Nov. 20-22, Nov. 27-29; Fridays, Dec. 4, 11 & 18; Sundays, Dec. 6, 13, 20 & 27 and Saturday, Dec. 26. Hours vary: A member of East Lynne Theater Company regales you with a Victorian holiday ghost tale on a 30-minute ride through the Historic District at Christmas. Masks are required. Trolleys are open-air. Blankets are recommended! Cape May MAC blankets are available for purchase. Tour begins and ends at the trolley stop on Ocean Street. Accessible with advance notice. Adults $15 children (3-12) $8. Advance reservation strongly recommended.

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ATTRACTIONS 609-884-5404 • • 800-275-4278

A Virtual 47th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour We are excited to announce that the Christmas Candlelight House Tour will be virtual in 2020! Of course, we look forward to when we can offer these self-guided tours in person once again, but we couldn’t have Christmas in Cape May without them. We are creating a video featuring nearly a dozen beautiful Cape May properties, all decorated for the holiday season, with interviews, and more! A keepsake that will bring the spirit of this beloved annual tradition into your home for you and yours to enjoy at Christmas for years to come. Sponsored by Sturdy Savings Bank and Brown & Brown Insurance.

Holiday Shopping at MAC’s Museum Shops Stop in at Cape May MAC’s fully-accessible Museum Shops with free parking and find the perfect gift for Cape May lovers! (plus, Cape May MAC members receive a 10% discount). The Carriage House Museum Shop offers a variety of museum-quality gift ideas for women, men and children, including gorgeous teapots, fine teas, clothing, blankets, ornaments and accessories, Cape May books and memorabilia, jewelry, men’s accessories, sports-inspired gifts, and more. Of course, there are selections for youngsters, including children’s books, toys, tea sets, puzzles and games. Open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas). The Cape May Lighthouse Museum Shop contains gifts for the lighthouse lover with nautical, lighthouse, pirate and nature-inspired gifts, art, Cape May apparel, toys, books and other maritime items. Masks are required in our shops. The Carriage House Museum Shop is open seven days a week (except Thanksgiving and Christmas), visit for shop hours. The Lighthouse Museum Shop is open 12pm-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 27 and daily Dec. 28 through Jan. 2.


Yuletide Authors: How Charles Dickens and Washington Irving Transformed Christmas

Wednesday, Dec. 9: 1pm via Zoom; Presented by Ben Ridings Please see the following for Zoom access information: cape-may-itineraries/history-buffs/lunch-learn/

Christmas Traditions: Decking the Halls

Wednesday, Dec. 16: 1pm via Zoom; Presented by Mary Stewart Please see the following for Zoom access information: cape-may-itineraries/history-buffs/lunch-learn/

Tours and events are limited. Mask required for all tours and activities. Tickets available at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth, Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street, and the Hill House Office and Carriage House Visitor’s Center, at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. Page 4 • Fall/Holiday 2020

Cape May MAC

Saturday, Nov. 21: 9:30am: Grab your best girlfriends or guy friends and enjoy time away from the holiday to-do list as you enjoy brunch served at Aleathea’s at the Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean St. Play a little bingo and enjoy a fashion show by Lace Silhouettes/Cotton Company with a chance to win some great prizes. Masks are required. $25.


Saturday, Nov. 21 and nightly, Nov. 27-Dec. 31 (except Dec. 14, Christmas Eve and Christmas). Hours vary: Who can resist the twinkle of Cape May’s beautiful Victorian homes decorated for Christmas? This trolley ride through the historic streets of Cape May is a delight. Listen to Christmas music and enjoy hearing about the history of many of our Christmas traditions today. Victorian Cape May is outstanding at Christmas and this is a ride to share with friends and family to revel in Cape May’s Christmas spirit. Masks are required. Trolleys are openair. Blankets are recommended! Cape May MAC blankets are available for purchase. Tour begins and ends at the trolley stop on Ocean Street. Accessible with advance notice. Adults $15 children (ages 3-12) $10.


New in 2020! Wednesdays, Nov. 25-Dec. 23 at 11am: Join Dr. Physick for a first-person tour of the 1879 Physick House in this interpretive step back into the Victorian era. Dr. Emlen Physick invites you into his stately home during the Victorian Christmas season as his personal guests for the holidays. Masks are required. Adults $15; Children (ages 3-12) $8.


Mondays and Wednesdays, Nov. 30-Dec. 30 (except Dec. 14). Hours vary: Take this guided tour of the first-floor rooms of the 1879 Physick House Museum, authentically decorated for a Victorian Christmas. See and hear how the Physick family might have entertained and celebrated during the holidays. Afterwards, visit the Carriage House where a collectible, commemorative gift is yours to keep: a Christmas ornament designed in 2020 featuring the 1879 Physick House. Visit “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit in the Carroll Gallery featuring a huge Christmas tree, model trains, and an elaborate Dept 56 Dickens village collection. Masks are required. Adults $20 children (ages 3-12) $18.


New in 2020! Thursday, Dec. 3: Long-time friends and peers Bay Atlantic Symphony Musical Director Jed Gaylin and New York Chamber Ensemble Artistic Director Eliot Bailen will present a virtual holiday-themed concert featuring the music of France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, England and America, for classical music lovers to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes! Afterwards, join the Zoom Q&A session to talk to the artists. For information or to register, visit or call 609884-5404. Donations are welcome.

MAC DONOR PROFILE: Sue Priester, of Greenville, S.C., and her family are connected to Cape May MAC (Museums+Arts+Culture), and to Cape May, as deeply as any family could be. One of Cape May MAC‘s most committed donors, Priester and her family have supported the organization and loved this historic seaside resort for decades, and their ties to Cape May started with Sue’s father, Bill Carpenter. “We go way back in Cape May on my father’s side,” she said. “I am suspecting that his parents, who lived in Philadelphia, may have discovered Cape May in the 1920s, but I know Dad, my father, came to Cape May in 1927, so we are close to 100 years in our connection to Cape May with our family.” Sue was born in St. Louis and her parents, Pat and Bill Carpenter, raised the family in Pittsburgh, Pa. Pat had spent summers in Cape Cod, Mass., and so she grew up loving the beach. “Dad rented our first home in Cape May in 1964 on Benton Avenue. They never bought a home in Cape May, but I certainly remember the rental homes, and we spent the whole summers there.” Sue and her sister Jane (Valdes-Dapena) began spending summer vacations in Cape May most years from 1964 to 1971. Sue’s first job was in Cape May, at Morrow’s Nut House. She worked at The Lobster House in the summer of 1971. Since her family had not rented a house for the entire summer season that year, she found a place to live directly across from the Physick Estate, where she rented a third floor room, so small, she recalls, she could only stand up straight in one spot. “I didn’t really know about what was stirring with MAC at that time,” she recalls. “The Physick Estate was this forbidding, hulking structure that some people wanted to tear down.” In 1985, when she was married and her own family grew, her children Anna, 1, and Reimer, 4, began spending summer vacations in Cape May, thus beginning the next generation. Sue purchased a family vacation home on Franklin Street in 2000. That home served in 2009 as one of Cape May MAC’s Designer Show House fundraisers. “There’s so much about Cape May that is so interesting and unique among seashore resorts. Every seashore place has a story. But in addition to Cape May MAC and the arts, it has the fishing industry, it has birding – I really enjoy the birding -- I love the history of it, just the sheer beauty. Aesthetically

Shown here with Director Emeritus Michael Zuckerman, Sue Priester, through the Priester Foundation, has steadfastly supported Cape May MAC for decades. This year her foundation’s generous support has helped Cape May MAC through the financial challenges of 2020.

Perhaps the greatest lesson that the “Nation’s Oldest Seashore Resort” can impart to its present-day admirers is simply to slow down. Enjoy the pleasures of a tree-lined street –dappled sun by day, gaslit at night. Or a golden sunset spreading across Delaware Bay. Spend some time rocking on a front porch, doing nothing but watching the passers-by. Admire the intricate details of a gingerbread home. Allow yourself to be seduced by this “Town out of Time,” and be grateful to those who enabled its rebirth. From “Cape May Renaissance” Oct. 10, 2006 Authored by Sue Priester

Cape May is so lovely. I love the beach. And of course, the food, the seafood. I love that there are so many attractions in this one place.” With her grown son, Reimer, now living in Detroit, her grown daughter, Anna, living in Massachusetts, and her sister, Jane, and

Sue Priester

her husband in Philadelphia, Sue describes Cape May as the glue that holds together her now geographically dispersed family. “It’s been our gathering place,” she said. “Cape May has been a constant with us.” In 2003, Sue’s parents, Pat and Bill Carpenter, returned east from Arizona where they had moved in 1981. They had already started a small family foundation, the Carpenter Family Foundation, and had made their first gift to MAC of $75,000, benefitting the Cape May Music Festival. That gift was instrumental in helping the music festival flourish. In 1997, Sue and her late husband set up the Priester Foundation following the sale of their company. Cape May MAC began receiving grants from that entity annually. For more than 20 years, an annual grant from the Priester Foundation has supported the organization in a variety of ways, this year, specifically, with a general operating grant that has gone a long way toward helping the organization stay afloat during an extraordinarily challenging time. “I’m a generalist in my approach to most things,” Sue said. “I think the whole of what Cape May MAC is doing is important. If you are running a sound organization, a professional, ethical organization, it’s not my role to tell you how to spend the money. In certain, specific ways, sure, if that’s what you’re asking for. But if we can give a general operating grant -- particularly now in this environment, when so many nonprofits are just trying to keep their doors open -- to continue their services, then that is most helpful. You’re just trying to keep things running.” Sue lauds Cape May MAC as a collaborative force that helps keep Cape May’s tourism economy humming all year long, while working with other non-profit and business leaders in the community. “MAC’s role has been just absolutely enormous,” she said. “You want to preserve that which attracts you to the place in the first place. It’s been so important to my family. No, it’s not my primary residence, but it’s such a huge part of our family history, and one of the great things about our life, that you want to preserve that. And by contributions, we hopefully set an example for other people to do the same. If you enjoy a place over time and it becomes important to you, and if you are able, support it in a meaningful way -- from one generation to the next.” -- SK

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Fall/Holiday 2020 • Page 5

Partnerships (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1) delicious brunch and dinner dining on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, has been one of these proud new partnerships. Cape May MAC is partnering with KARA Restaurant Group to oversee the entire restaurant operation beginning this year. KARA operates some of the most successful and diverse restaurants in the Cape May region -- George’s Place, Scola, Shamone, YB -- and now Vintage, featuring menu items that are creative and wildly unique, as co-owner Chef Nikolaos “Niko” Goutzouris describes them. “We are thrilled to be working with our partners KARA Restaurant Group to bring an excellent dining experience to the Physick Estate for visitors to enjoy here,” said Cape May MAC Director Jody Alessandrine. “It has been an outstanding partnership. We are proud to bring a new dining experience to the Cape May restaurant scene, and visitors have responded with delight and enthusiasm. This year has been a challenge for all restaurants, everywhere, and we are just so grateful that we could provide a gorgeous outdoor venue that enabled Niko and his staff to do what they do so well and to flourish. Our visitors have appreciated it and we have, too, as one of our most successful new ventures.” Cape May Stage and Cape May MAC forged a new venture as well this year. The Cape May Stage production, “Victoria’s Secrets,” was filmed on site inside the 1879 Physick House in August. Written and performed by Candace O’Donnell, the production is a one-woman show that tells the story of Queen Victoria in her later years, as she dwells on her full life and experiences, and her deep abiding love of Prince Albert. “I think the reason that Cape May Stage had such a glorious partnership with Cape May MAC when we shot ‘Victoria’s Secrets’ at the Physick Estate was the profound respect each had for the other, said Cape May Stage Producing Artistic Director Roy Steinberg. “Jody Alessandrine is the kind of leader who inspires his staff to bring the best version of themselves to every project. ‘Art’ and ‘Culture’ are not just two-thirds of the acronym of Cape May MAC, they are the very life of the organization. Together, Cape May Stage and Cape May MAC bring a unique treasure to the citizens and visitors of Cape May.” An ongoing five-years-plus partnership with REV Theatre was a bright spot as well this year. REV’s performance of “Victorian Vaudeville: How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm” at the Physick Estate’s outdoor

stage in October was enjoyed by many during the Victorian Weekend Crafts & Collectibles Show. Exit Zero Jazz Festival and Spy Boy Productions brought jazz to the estate grounds this year, through a partnership forged that confidently embraced a challenging production schedule to bring live arts to the public even in a difficult year. “In a year where most events were cancelled due to the pandemic, Cape May’s own Spy Boy Productions was a bright, shining star in the world of live music performance,” said Producer Michael Kline. “Guided by an absolute belief in the transformative power of live music and the genuine human connections made when we interact in a live music experience, Spy Boy thoughtfully and creatively crafted production protocols allowing artists to return to performance stages. Here in Cape May, with the Emlen Physick Estate as the idyllic setting, Spy Boy Productions presented the SunSet Jazz Series and the Exit Zero Jazz Festival keeping patrons, production staff, and musicians safe and healthy. In a testament to Spy Boy’s work, one of the most respected cultural organizations in the world, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, chose the stage of the Exit Zero Jazz Festival and the Emlen Physick Estate as the site of their first live performance since February of 2020.” A new partnership with Without A Cue Productions has enabled Cape May MAC to offer several creative, new offerings for visitors to enjoy this year. “Without a Cue Productions is thrilled to have the opportunity to create immersive theatrical experiences for Cape May MAC and the Physick Estate,” said Executive Director Traci Connaughton. “The estate and Cape May have been creatively inspiring sites for the company and its members to work.” These new exciting tours include a “Magic & Mystery House Tour,” and “A Gloomy Apparition,” both in the Physick House Museum, and two new Christmas offerings, “A Dickens of A Murder” in the Physick House Museum, and the “Lamplighter Walking Tour Mystery” this holiday season. Continuing its mission of commitment to the preservation, interpretation and cultural enrichment of Cape May for its residents and visitors, Cape May MAC has furthered that mission in 2020 even in challenging times. -- SK

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Cape May MAC

Photo by Susan Krysiak

Cape May Stage Victoria’s Secrets filming at the Physick House Museum

Photo by Susan Krysiak

REV Theatre presents Victorian Vaudeville “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm”

Photo by Richard Conde

Exit Zero Jazz Festival Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis, Thursday, Oct. 1

Photo by Susan Krysiak

Without A Cue Productions: A Gloomy Apparition

MEMBERSHIP NEWS Welcome New Members


Ned & Susie Maguire of Cape May, NJ; Layle (Kip) Smith & Holly Vavrek of Hutchinson Island, FL.

Family: Matthew & Ethel Amato of Lawrence, NJ; Bill & Jennifer Ashley of Telford, PA; Donna & Rick Bell of Cape May, NJ; LeaAnn Bigelow & B. Stanley of Shepherdstown, WV; Andrew & Kathleen Chigounis of Moorestown, NJ; Michael & Jennifer Clancy of Penn Yan, NY; Keith & Erica Conaron of Springfield, PA; Melvin & Dorothy Croucher of Bel Air, MD; Jim & Dani Elliott of Avondale, PA; Yuny & Yuliya Gilshteyn of New Fairfield, CT; Linda Heller of Fair Lawn, NJ; J. David & Maura Keener of Landisville, PA; Jason & Cynda Kliewe of Rumson, NJ; David Knapp & Melisa Robinson of Cape May, NJ; Michael & Tara Mellace of Williamstown, NJ; Adriana & Zack Pashley of Villas, NJ; Arleen & Ti-Jean Preston of Cape May, NJ; Tracey & Craig Schimpff of East Syracuse, NY; Philip Stefanowicz & Lucas Rundecker of Haskell, NJ; Daniel & Celine Van Dyck of Niskayuna, NY; Brian & Vanessa Viera of Port Reading, NJ; Melissa Yowe & Brian Clark of Sparta, NJ. Grandparents: June & Anthony Ferraro of North Cape May, NJ; Brenda & Paul Reichert of East Syracuse, NY. Joint:

of State College, PA; Ann Butchart & Marian Luongo of Philadelphia, PA; Kevin & Karen Collins of Glenmoore, PA; Mary-Anne & Joe Colucci of Emerson, NJ; George & Margaret Conklin of Basking Ridge, NJ; William & Jennie Dallas of Harrisburg, PA; Alexander & Barbara Debbage of Pennsville, NJ; Peter & Marie D’Ostilio of Shelton, CT; Bob & Barbara Dreyfuss of Cape May, NJ; Kenneth & Janice Elia of Sicklerville, NJ; Lynda & Don Garrett of West Berlin, NJ; Frank & Elizabeth Gilbreth of Mahopac, NY; Ron Keren & Michelle Hu of Wyndmoor, PA; John & Cris Hutchinson of West Chester, PA; Jonathan & Tracey Landon of Cape May, NJ; Judy LaPorta (Little Oaks Campground) of Cape May Court House, NJ; Carolina Londono & Peter Jacob of Vauxhall, NJ; John & Judy Lynch of West Chester, PA; Edward & Debra Mattson of Erie, PA; Michael & Sheila McCarthy of Highlands, NJ; Denise Mount & Tim Hilsey of Villas, NJ; Joan Nikelsky & Peter Smyth of Upper Darby, PA; Warren & Barbara Nuessle of Cape May, NJ; Bobby Obermeier & Carol Buggs of Villas, NJ; Maryellen V & James Ozalas of Wayne, Pa; Dennis & Adriana Park of West Chester, PA; Gary & Karen Ramuno of Ossining, NY; Bruce & Maxanne Rosenthal of Owings Mills, MD; Kimberly Rivas & Shane Freeman of Lansdale, PA; Ronald & Patricia Small of Fayetteville, PA; Dawn Smith & Jacob

Dan & Jeanette Adams of Manchester, NJ; Thomas & Carolyn Albright of Cape May, NJ; Lisa Balewitz & Thomas Kutcher of Sayreville, NJ; Deb & Chris Bradley

Llewellyn of Collegeville, PA; Patricia Smith & William Solimine of New City, NY; Alan & Merrill Stauber of Monroe Township, NJ; Stephen & Robbin Seuling of South River, NJ; Fred & NancyLynn Thiele of Sag Harbor, NY; Diane & Sam Venuto of Cape May, NJ.

Individual: Carmen Alessi of Villas, NJ; Karen Liebowitz, of Perry Hall, MD; Karen Mera of Hazlet, NJ; Elizabeth Mertz of Allentown, PA; Paulette Yaswinski of Pottstown, PA; Hiejin Yoon of White Plains, NY. Sponsor: Bruce Davidson & Donald Barb of Philadelphia, PA; Christina Ellis & Andrew Sitkoff of West Chester, PA; Jeff & Susan Rocke of Devon, PA; George Sulzbach & John Butler of Interlaken, NJ. Student: Althea Hutchinson of West Chester, PA; Gabriel Pyra of Bridgewater, NJ; Chloe Whorl of Johnstown, PA. FRIENDS OF THE PHYSICK ESTATE

Individual: Megan Friel of Margate City, NJ; Karen Liebowitz of Perry Hall, MD.


Individual: Margaret Reynolds of Toms River, NJ.

Congratulations to:

Frank Corrado, Cape May MAC’s attorney, for being named NJ Law Journal Lawyer of the Year for 2020; Former Cape May MAC Board President Chris Shoemaker and his wife Erin, on the birth of their son Patrick James.

Condolences to:

Dan Barbera on the death of his father Anthony; the friends and family of Gerry Benjes, former Cape May MAC Lighthouse Keeper; former White Dove Cottage innkeeper Alison Bjork on the death of her mother Joan Bjork; innkeepers Kelly Lavorgna and Andrew Bares, on the death of her son; the friends and family of Anne LeDuc, former owner of The Chalfonte Hotel; the friends and family of former Cape May MAC staffer Cheryl MacDonald; Jackie Matkowski, Cape May MAC staffer, on the death of her mother.

Photo by Susan Krysiak

An Old-fashioned Christmas Exhibit returns this year, featuring a Dept. 56 Dickens Village and model trains beneath the boughs of a giant Christmas tree, and much more! At the Carriage House Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate, through Jan. 2. The Gallery is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas); hours vary. Free admission. Cape May MAC

Fall/Holiday 2020 • Page 7


($25,000 pledges over 5 years)

Dan Barbera Curtis Bashaw Lee & Jill Bellarmino Tom & Sue Carroll Chris & Dave Clemans Tom & Peg Curran Mary & Tedd McKenney NJM Insurance Group Jay & Lisa O’Donnell Bill & Audrey Schwab Patricia Valas Joan & Dane Wells


($10,000 pledges over 4 years)

Photo by Susan Krysiak

Dr. Physick’s Neighborhood Walking Tours were a popular offering this summer and fall. Shown here, Cape May MAC Registrar Ben Ridings portrays Dr. Emlen Physick as he leads the tour along Washington Street.

John & Sylvia Baer Brown and Brown of New Jersey Bob Fite Richard and Susan Foxx Myles and Leslie Martel Doug and Anna Marie McMain Jim and Betty Moffatt Barbara Morris PNC Bank Sue Priester Catherine Rein Steve and Sandy Sheller Sturdy Savings Bank

• $100-$249 Donors: Aaron Wittkamp Colwell Post #239 (Dennis DeSalvo), Jody & Cheryl Alessandrine, Donna & Michael Amundsen, Charles Antinori, Corylin Armour, Frank & Sue Barber, Howard & Joyce Barth, Anthony & Margaret Battistelli, Glenn & Barbara Becker, Bedford Inn (Paula Murray), Albert & Deborah Beuttler, Roy & Ruth Brader, Steve Brangs & Kathleen GansBrangs, Sally Brice-O’Hara, Arleen Buchanan & James Imbriaco, Dan & Elaine Burgess, Barbara Caldwell, Mary Claire Cancelmo, Joseph & Marianne Catagnus, Barry & Ronnie Cohen, Bruce & Robin Corini, Christine Cosenza, Edward Crutchfield & Nancy Boyd Ray, Erin & Thomas Curtis, Nancy & Gary Datrio, Beti Derbyshire, Rosalie DiBianca, Ronald & Terry Diubaldi, Dwayne & Sandra Ebersole, William Flounders, Michael & Sally Forry, Ron Frech, Carolann Gaites, Peg Gillies, David & Karen Goldner, Charles & Audrey Goss, Alex & Mary Beth Hager, Frank & Barbara Hatch, Ed & Teresa Henry, Scott & Nancy Holland, Joan Hollander, Earle & Barbara Hughes, Victor & Jeanne Keen, William & Linda Kennedy, Stephen & Linda Kimler, John Klos,Carol Kunkel, Lori & Steve Lazan, Lynn & Dan Lenco, Bob & Jane Lester, Little Oaks Campground, Lester & Cheryl Lottman, David & Lynne Martz, Glenn & Patricia Matis, Patrick & Joanne Meehan, Scott & Jana Meisinger, James & Diane Morton, Gordon & Patricia Munson,

You can help ensure MAC’s future by becoming a GOLD MEMBER of the 2020 Society with a $4,500 pledge over 3 years ANNUAL APPEAL DONATIONS • $1,000-$1,999 Donors: Jeanette Block, Peggy & Stan Gora, Roger Henry, Catherine Rein, Peter & Anita Rohrer. • $250-$599 Donors: Lester & Roberta Aungst, Barbara Biller, Byron’s Plumbing & Heating (Byron & Jill Vile), Wister & Joy Dougherty, Sharon Falkowski & Ronald Holman, Joseph & Elizabeth Garner, Marlene Lengner, Bob & Karen McClennen, Carol Nick, RE/MAX Surfside (Brian Groetsch), Sharon Somers, Sanford & Mary Stewart, The Original Fudge Kitchen (Joseph & Paul Bogle), Charles & Sandra Wise, Marvin & Lee Zektzer. Page 8 • Fall/Holiday 2020

Cape May MAC

Joseph & Diane Nadolski, Robert & Barbara Oberholtzer, John & Jennifer Ochman, John & Laurie Orem, James & Maryellen Ozalas, Mark & Clarre Pagliettini, Mark Palmer & Janet Westlund, Pierce, Guyon & Shoczolek, PA, Linda & Lou Riccio, Jodie Ritto & Warren Jacobs, Arthur & Elaine Rottger, Christopher & Carol Saracco, Henry & Mary Anne Satt, Alan & Prudence Silfies, Anthony & Patricia Staltari, Paul & Janice Stridick, Sunset Beach Gift Shops (Larry & Michele Hume), Michael & Martha Torpy, Philip & Catherine Tumminia, Carole Ulmer, Jane & Dan Valdes-Dapena, Joan Viguers, Washington Inn (Michael Craig), Larry & Clare Wharton, Gale White & Charles Henderson, Betty Wieslawski, Peter & Candis Willis, Samuel & Kathy Wise, John & Arlette Wright, Dennis & Susan Yankosky, Gail Yeager, Karl & Judith Zeigler, Peggy & Ray Zemaitaitis •  Under $100 Donors: Robert & Jane Biehn, Patricia Bulwith, Stephen & Marjorie Burke, Carla Capizzi, Marianne Catagnus, Maria Cestaro, Debra & David Chapman, Susan & Gerard Crean, Thomas & Deborah Cutler, Jeffrey & Kimberly DeNick, Frank & Ernestine DiMaggio, William & Margaret Flanagan, Richard & Donna Gaglianese, Gordon Gearhart, Scott & Marie Elana Gearhart, Janet Greenlee, Kenneth Kajkowski, Charles & Margaret Kealy, John & Antonia Kintzer, Ann Kowalski, Brenda & Alan Leonard, Domenick & Mary Lozupone, Dolly Mabin &

‘T H A N K YO U’ N E W S James Perciante, Maria & Eugene Mancuso, Lynn Martenstein & Jorrj Pawlick, Helen Mashuda, Arlene McMahon, Tom & Ellen Measday, Franco & Diane Meza, Chris & Carol Monreale, Carol Petters, Maria & Tom Quigg, Donald & Vivianne Rogers, Thomas & Rosemary Rosko, Anthony & Linda Ryan, Wes & Cindy Schroeder, Barbara St. Clair, Robert Stewart & Barbara Barnett-Stewart, Robert & JoAnne Szewczyk, Frank Thomson, Nina Versaggi, Anthony & Lisa Villanova, Victoria Wagner, Cindy Wanamaker, Theresa & David Williams, Women’s Community Club of Cape May, Francis & Beth Yaroszeufski, Stacey Yaroszeufski. 2020 SOCIETY DONATIONS • Charter Members ($5,000 pledge payment): Daniel Barbera, Curtis Bashaw, Patricia Diane Valas. • $100-$499 Friend Donors: Susan Curley, Ronald & Rosaline Levy, Wayne & Joyce Monsees, Christopher & Roseanne Traficante. • Under $100 Donors: Francis & Jane Roddy. CAPE MAY MUSIC FESTIVAL DONORS •  Trio Sponsor ($1,500-$1,999): Kindle Ford Lincoln Mercury, Inc. (William Kindle). • Quartet Sponsor ($1,000-$1,499): Professional Benefit Consultants. • Musician’s Circle ($100-$249): Robert

Photo by Susan Krysiak

Open-air trolley tours this holiday season in Cape May feature the ever-popular Holiday Lights Trolley Rides, Santa’s Trolley Rides, Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Rides and more. Bring a blanket!

Stewart & Barbara Barnett-Stewart. •  Friends (Under $100): Claudia Beechman, Michelle Bingnear, Ralph & Ginny Cooper, Roger & Heather Furlin, Ralph Milnes, Anne Molofsky, Robert Molofsky. LESSONS OF HISTORY FUND DONATIONS •  $2,000 and up Donors: Layle (Kip) Smith. • $250-$599 Donors: The Green & Petrik Family Trust (David Green & Christine PetrikGreen), Robert Fite, Catherine Rein, Chris & Rose Traficante.

Photo by Susan Krysiak

New in 2020! Walk the festive grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate this holiday and experience Winter Wonderwalk, an outdoor holiday-themed collection of displays created by members of the community, starting with Holiday Preview Weekend, Nov. 20-22 through Jan. 2, 2021.

Cape May MAC

•  $100-$249 Donors: Pamela & Jim Gory, Stephen & Susan Irving, Richard Klein, Rick & Jan Koester, Tricia Kraemer, Wayne & Joyce Monsees, Bud & Jill Waisbren, Karol Wasylyshyn. • Under $100 Donors: Winnie & Hank Lyons, Martin & Judith Miller, Gregory & Cynthia Nappi.


•  Natali Abramov, for a $10 donation. •  Atlantic City Electric, an Exelon Company (Veronica Town), for a $2,000 donation. •  Tommy Ayala, for a $4 donation. • Barbara Bakely and Barbara BakelyMarino, for the donation of four side chairs for the Physick House Museum. •  Howard & Joyce Barth, for a $50 donation in memory of Frances Skrypnyk. •  Linda Bartsch, for a $20 donation. •  Martha Bendel, for a $10 donation. •  Art Braunschweiger, for a $14 donation. •  Wendy Brelsford, for a $10 donation. •  Warren & Elizabeth Brodt, for a $230 donation. •  Brown & Brown of New Jersey, LLC (Steve Rankin & Matt Hook), for a $2,000 donation. •  Beth Broyles, for a $10 donation. •  Jade Brunton, for a $10 donation. •  Tom & Sue Carroll, for a $500 donation for Maintenance Department expenses. •  Eddie Cohen, for a $4 donation. •  Bari Lu Cooper, for donating the cost of her Paula Johns concert ticket to the Cape May Music Festival. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 10)

Fall;/Holiday 2020 • Page 9

‘T H A N K YO U’ N E W S Donations (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9) •  Robert Cox, for a $5 donation. • Alyssa DeNardi-Cladek, for a $25 donation. • Ayeshah Dickerson, for donating two decorative chairs for the Carriage House Museum Shop retail desk. •  Lynn Dowling, for a $5 donation. •  Christina Ellis & Andrew Sitkoff, for a $100 donation. •  William & Kathleen Falls, for a $12 donation. •  Flying Fish Studio (Sue Lotozo) for a $335 donation. •  Paul Forbes, for a $28 donation. • Joseph & Elizabeth Garner, for a $250 donation. •  Peggy Gora, for donating the cost of her Bach’s Lunch ticket to the Cape May Music Festival. •  Susan Greene & Kathleen Sheridan, for a $200 donation. •  Mary Beth Hager, for donating the cost of her Bach’s Lunch ticket to the Cape May Music Festival. •  Brenda Harlacher, for a $4 donation. •  Mary Houck, for a $4 donation. •  Linda Kastner, for a $30 donation.

Photo by Susan Krysiak

Vintage Restaurant will be open through November under the patio tent. Go to capemaymac. org for hours and reservations.

•  Tina & Dane Kopp, for a $4 donation. •  Pat Kramer, for a $25 donation. •  Joe Laurenzano, for a $4 donation. •  Anna Leeper, for an in-kind donation of two commercial grade clothing racks for the costume room. •  Doug Mann, for a $4 donation. •  Michael McGahn, for a $25 donation.

• John & Patricia Meisenhalder, for a $25 donation. •  Lauren Musarra, for a $50 donation. •  Ann Orourke, for a $10 donation. •  Catherine Osborne, for a $20 donation in memory of Donald Osborne and Matthew Hynson. •  Robert Panepinto, for a $18 donation. •  Aurora Paradise, for a $20 donation. •  Jacob & Amanda Pashelinsky, for a $2,000 donation. •  Colette Perri, for a $100 donation. • Diane Piccolino, for a $25 donation in memory of Garrett B. Eastlake. •  Kimberly Rayford, for a $3 donation. •  Christine Readdy, for a $5 donation. •  Joseph Rocereto, for a $5 donation. • Selective Insurance Group Foundation, for a $500 donation. •  Alfred Shehab, for a $25 donation to the World War II Lookout Tower.


Volunteers of the Month

The 2020 Cape May Music Festival Virtual Concert series featured four virtual classical concerts followed by a Q&A Zoom session with the artists on Sept. 8, 17 & 22 and Oct. 1. The series featured performances by members of the Bay Atlantic Symphony and New York Chamber Ensemble. You can enjoy these concerts by CLICKING HERE. Coming Dec. 3: A Musical Holiday Celebration: Traditions from Home and Abroad, featuring melodies and songs from France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, England and America. See for details. Page 10 • Fall/Holiday 2020

Cape May MAC

AUGUST: Bill McCray SEPTEMBER: Joe Byrne OCTOBER: Margaret “Peggy” Ose

‘T H A N K YO U’ N E W S •  Daniel Valint, for a $2 donation. •  Vintage BYOB (Nikolaos Goutzouris) for a $500 donation. •  Karl & Judith Ziegler, for a $41 donation. •  Margaret Zelsnack, for a $4 donation. •  Tom & Susan Zug, for a $50 donation. On-line Auction Donors: Sandi Adams, Terry Anstead, John Bailey, Brett Barnes, Billmae Cottage (Bob & Linda Steenrod), The Boarding House (Jonathan Hirsch), Tom & Sue Carroll, Carroll Villa (Mark Kulkowitz & Pam Huber), Linda Castner, Congress Hall (Jim Lennon), Dani Elliott, Flying Fish Studio (Sue Lotozo), Joe Halasz, Mary Kay Klara, Walter Kuemmerle, Myles Martel, Helen Mashuda, Carla Schaeffer, Shore Soaps (Leslie Weidel), Liz Unruh, The Virginia (Jim Lennon).


• Jill Bellarmino, for continued curatorial assistance. • Frank Corrado, Barry Corrado & Grassi, PC, for his legal advice in Cape May MAC’s Batts Lane Whalers’ Cottages application to the Lower Township Zoning Board. •  Janet Coupland, for volunteering on the Cape May MAC archival project. •  Marc DeBlasio, DeBlasio & Associates, for his engineering services in Cape May MAC’s Batts Lane Whalers’ Cottages application to the Lower Township Zoning Board. •  Roger Henry, for polishing the brass on the Trolleys and Model-T. •  Barb Hubmaster, for clipping stars for the WWII American Flag project and clipping “Cape May MAC in the News” articles. • Anna Marie Leeper, for assisting in the office. • Dave Morais, for assistance with special projects for the grounds and curatorial division. •  Ben Ross, for building a new lattice house to cover the well pumps and working on the Hill House railings/banisters. •  Mary Stewart, for providing a lecture for the Avalon History Center for the Museum Education Division. • Karen Van Varick-McGuire for assisting with Breakfast with the Pirates.


Exit Zero Jazz Festival Beer Garden Volunteers: Bill & Tina Angstadt, Cathy Baldacchini, Brett Barnes, Bill & Sue Currie, Donna Flegal, Lorraine Filter, Christine Fecteau, George & Christina Fore, Maureen

& Michael Gallagher, Debbie Green, Lynne Glasser, Bob & Roe Gorgone, Scott Griffith, Carol Haggas, Theresa Harris, Cathy Hay, Victoria Heimall, Bob & Carole Irwin, Megan Kately, Christine Knight, Eliza Lotozo, Barbara Merzig, Dave & Kathy Morais, Carole Qualters, Violet Rixey, Libby Ross, Patti Sands, Mike Smith, Carl Schnekenburger, Mary Beth Toewe, Karen Van Varick-McGuire, Susan Wiggins, Jack & Arlette Wright, Rachel Zeides, Ernie ZeliBove.

Jan Randle, Rosemary Rombado, Libby Ross, Mary Stewart, Barb Whitlock, Stacey Wiswall, Carole Ulmer, Susan Wiggins, Ernie Zeli-Bove.

Group Tour Volunteers: Joyce Barth, Eliza Lotozo, Paul Smargiassi.

Painted Ladies Walking Tour Volunteers: Joyce Barth, Carol Hartman, Rosemary Rombado.

Historic Haunts Volunteers: Rosalie Gallagher, Sue Gibson, Ellie McDevitt, Rosemary Rombado. Lighthouse Volunteers: Jody Alessandrine, Melanie Bateman, Kim Cotton, Bill & Sue Currie, Jan Dwyer, Donna Flegal, Lorie Filter, George Fore, Maureen Gallagher, Scott Griffith, Kate Grossi, Alice Haber, Carol Haggas, Theresa Harris, Cathy Hay, Victoria Heimall, Mary Lutz, Helen Mashuda, Janie McNutt, Peggy Ose, Melissa Payne,

Maintenance Volunteers: Tom Carroll, Joseph Cassidy, Jan Dwyer, Walt Gabriel, Bob Gorgone, Ben Werner, Michelle Uhl Werner, Carol Lindsay, Dave Morais, Joe Noll, Ben Ross, Theresa Schmal, William Schlitzer, Harley Shuler, Mike Smith, Sue Smith, Denny Sweetman.

Cape May MAC Ambassadors: Eileen Cassidy, Donna Flegal. Peggy Ose, Libby Ross, Carole Ulmer, Ernie Zeli-Bove. Social Distancing Volunteers: Ayeshah Dickerson, Charlie Kealy, Larry Ryan, Mary Stewart, Susan Wiggins. World War II Lookout Tower Volunteers: Sue Gibson, Janie McNutt, Rosemary Rombado.

Sturdy Savings Bank (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1) on three nights in December -- would be impossible to host safely in 2020, regardless of the organization’s best efforts. In an abundance of caution, regretfully and out of necessity, all these events were postponed until 2021. In a spirit of generosity and goodwill, Sturdy Savings Bank agreed to reallocate their sponsorship this year. Sturdy Savings Bank will instead sponsor this year’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, on Nov. 21, which will include a performance by the Atlantic Brass Band, and a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” along with the much-anticipated appearance of Santa Claus! Additionally, along with Brown & Brown Insurance, Sturdy Savings Bank has agreed to help underwrite the production of this year’s virtual version of the popular Christmas Candlelight House Tour, a video featuring nearly a dozen beautiful Cape May properties, all decorated for the holiday season, with interviews, and more. It will be a keepsake that will bring the spirit of this beloved annual tradition into the home for Christmas for years to come.

“We are sad, but understand the circumstances of not being able to see thousands of tour-goers this year at our Christmas Candlelight House Tours, and we are excited to offer this experience for the first time in a virtual way,” said Cape May MAC Director Jody Alessandrine. “A Virtual Christmas Candlelight House Tour will be available for purchase in early December, can be experienced more than once and we think it will honor the best of this annual tradition in 2020.” “Words cannot express how grateful we are for the support and flexibility of Sturdy Savings Bank, and especially its President and CEO and former MAC Officer Jerry Reeves, Director of Retail Banking Dave Repici, Michael Clark and Kathy Makowski, for their ongoing partnership,” Alessandrine said. “Their willingness to stand by us in trying times as we work our way through this year is a reflection of the community spirit for which Sturdy Savings Bank is so well known.” -- SK

Cape May MAC

Fall/Holiday 2020 • Page 11

Recent Happenings (CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2) this year’s Scarecrow Alley, picking up where Anna Marie Leeper, Assistant to the Director, had left off. Cathy and our Maintenance crew installed the scarecrows about the grounds, instantly making it a festive Fall destination. Janice Corkery, Director of Visitor Services & Special Events, lined up an array of regional crafters and collectible vendors for the Victorian Weekend Crafts & Collectibles Show and again for a new show on Halloween Day itself. We again relied on our partners from Without a Cue for a Halloween experience in the Physick House. The result was The Gloomy Apparition, an immersive theatrical experience in the Physick House Museum. Our visitors were treated to a few things that went bump in the night as they tried to solve the mystery. The weather threw somewhat of a monkey wrench into the Halloween events we had planned with Craig McManus of Ghostwriter fame. We were forced to cancel one night of programming, but Craig graciously added a third walking tour on Saturday to accommodate any inconvenienced guests. Over at Aleathea’s Restaurant, playwright/ director Jackie Fazio was putting the cast of “All Bets Are Off,” this year’s Murder Mystery Dinner, through their paces. Even in the time of COVID, we managed to stay busy and entertain visitors safely.


The Museum Education Division had to adapt to a whole new set of rules, as well. No longer making any visits to classrooms or

community centers, our Museum Educators boarded the innovation train, switched to digital and virtual experiences and used Instagram, audio and video. Melissa Palmer created a vibrant community in our Friends of Cape May MAC Museum Education Facebook page, now with nearly 300 members. We added content, suggested activities and reading for members, posted Registrar Ben Ridings’ History Minutes, and shared post from affinity organizations. In late June, Museum Educator Rich Chiemingo provided a Zoom program on John Philip Sousa for the Avalon History Center, and just last week, Mary Stewart offered the same group a quick primer on the Roaring Twenties. We look forward to gradually adding regular programming.

2020 Music Festival Presents Live and Virtual Performances

After scheduling and rescheduling concerts for Spring and Summer, we finally succeeded in our quest to present the Cape May Music Festival in September. Partnering with the City of Cape May, we presented Backtrack Vocals at the Rotary Park Bandstand on Saturday, Sept. 19. Director of Visitor Services & Special Events Janice Corkery coordinated the details with Laurie Taylor, Cape May’s Director of Marketing, as part of Cape May Strong. Working with long-time partners Jed Gaylin and Brian McPeak (Bay Atlantic

Photo by Susan Krysiak

The Cape May County Library’s Cape May Court House branch reopened its doors this fall to the public with limited hours and capacity. Cape May MAC’s Mary Stewart and Susan Krysiak created a display for the months of November and December, which celebrates Victorian Christmas traditions.

Page 12 • Fall/Holiday 2020

Cape May MAC

Symphony) and Eliot Bailen (New York Chamber Ensemble), we were able to develop four virtual concerts offered in September and October. Interestingly, these virtual concerts made possible musical collaborations that would not have been possible on our concert stage. Musicians from both groups played together through the magic of the internet. Each concert was about 30 minutes long and featured four or five pieces of mixed repertoire. We were able to enjoy Jed on piano and Eliot on guitar, instruments we don’t usually associate with either of them. Each concert was followed by a live Zoom Q and A session immediately following. To say it was a quick learning curve is an understatement. While the musicians mastered the art of playing together in different cities, let alone different rooms, Cape May MAC’s staff learned the ins and outs of Zoom and Vimeo. IT Manager Cathy Baldacchini, Director of Media Relations Susan Kyrsiak and Chief Outreach Officer Eliza Lotozo guided our journey into this digital and virtual wonderland. The videos of the concerts are still available on Cape May MAC’s website, Due to our success with that initial foray into the world of virtual concerts, we have all agreed to another session. On Dec. 3, the group gets together again for “A Musical Holiday Celebration: Traditions from Home & Abroad.” The concert will feature a selection of melodies and songs from France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, England and America, a perfect holiday-themed concert to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Check your email box for the invitation to attend. We still have one live concert on our calendar. Our friends at the Atlantic Brass Band have agreed to help us welcome the Christmas season at the Physick Estate. Under the baton of Maestro Salvatore Scarpa, they will provide the perfect concert of rousing holiday music at our Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 21. Tickets are free but limited and must be reserved in advance. Check out to order. Ending with some more good news, on Oct. 27, we received the word that the New Jersey State Council on the Arts has awarded us level funding for the 2021 Cape May Music Festival. We can now begin to plan what will be a unique series, possibly both live and virtual, for next year. -- MES

A message from the Director:

Cape May MAC thanks you for your continued support If you’re like me, the best thing about the holiday season is that most people treat others with the kindness and respect that we all should (myself included) the entire year. And if there was ever a year we all “Need a little Christmas, right this very moment,” it’s this one.   Despite COVID and the subsequent restrictions, our creative and versatile staff created new programming and partnerships to adapt and augment our tours and special events. These include private golf cart tours, new tours of the Physick House Museum, and we promoted more of our charter trolley tours for whole house rentals and those quarantining on vacation together. The 31st Annual Cape May Music Festival culminates with a live performance by the Atlantic Brass Band on Nov. 21 as part of our annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, and another digital performance with a live Q&A Zoom with the conductors and performers on Dec. 3.   While there will be no tours of B&Bs, hotels or private homes this holiday season, there will still be our full complement of holiday trolley and Physick House Museum tours, as well as new holiday walking tours, presented by guides in Victorian costume. And, of course, everyone can count on our traditional “An Old-Fashioned Christmas Exhibit” at the Carriage House’s Carroll Gallery on the Emlen Physick Estate.   Sincerest thanks to all who has contributed to Cape May MAC to offset our nearly $2 million in revenue losses due to the pandemic. Without your help, it could’ve been even worse. Note that our “$1 donated makes $3” campaign runs through the end of the year— please click on the button below for further details. (Just put “$1 makes $3” in the comments box). And giving the gift of Cape May makes a great holiday offering. Cape May MAC memberships are available online at support/membership/   To you and all yours, may the season be the best it can, and here’s to a safe, healthy and prosperous 2021. Jody Alessandrine Director/CEO