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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Newman

Fredericksburg-Este Association Newsletter, June 2023

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

We give a preview of things to come and an overview of recent events…An exciting and full agenda for friends of Este!


Fred-Este Art Trip to National Gallery!

September 6, 2023: Canova-Sketching in Clay, at the National Gallery

The National Gallery of Art features 19th Century sculptor Antonio Canova’s sculptural clay studies in an exhibit, June 11-October 9.

Our program director, Odile Pryor, has arranged for a 15-seat bus to take us to the National Gallery on Wednesday, September 6th. We will join an NGA docent for a guided tour of the exhibition.

Here are particulars:

  • You must be a current member. If you’re not sure, send an email to Go to the website,, for membership information.

  • September 6th

  • Meet at Hyatt parking lot, Eagle Village, at 9:15 am.

  • Leave at 9:30, lunch on your own at Cascades cafeteria--around 11:30.

  • Gather at NGA meeting point (TBD) for docent-led tour at 12:15 pm.

  • Tour of the exhibit +/- 1.5 hours. Gift shop/etc.

  • Return 2:30 PM, arrive at Fredericksburg 4 PM.

  • $35 per person, includes van + mileage; gas + parking.

  • We will ask everyone to sign a waiver for insurance liability for the trip.

  • Please purchase your tickets on our website homepage,

In the meantime, take advantage of the many learning opportunities about Canova on the NGA website.

Este Adult Exchange Visit--October 4-16, 2023!

It is our turn to host our Este friends for a Fredericksburg visit! They will be arriving on October 4, and departing on October 16. They will be here for Pizza Palooza! (which happens on October 14—more about which later.)

Members (and you must be a member to host)—this is your opportunity to make new Italian friends. There will be 10 to 12 Este visitors who’ve not been here before. Several of you have expressed interest in hosting, so let us know that you’d like to participate.

Also, we need volunteers to help with trips, events, transportation and the like. If you’d like to serve in a planning group, also let us know. Send your volunteer requests to We’re gearing up our planning committees now, so thank you for your help and interest.

Pizza Palooza!

October 14, 2023.

Hurkamp Park, downtown Fredericksburg.

It’s a new venue for Pizza Palooza, one which will give us more room. We’ll still be cranking out Beatles tunes with Acoustic Onion, and we’ll have multiple choices (post-Covid) for pizza vendors and other food options, now that the servers and the vendors are back! We anticipate six pizza vendors for this year’s event. Mark your calendars and be thinking about how you can volunteer!

The Carter Memorial Concert.

November 10, 2023 7 PM, St. George’s Church. Free; donations accepted.

We’re offering a different kind of concert this year!

These plans are tentative, but we’re hoping that all will come together for a new program.

First off, we are featuring our well-loved soprano, Toni Maxine (photo right), whose operatic performances wowed our friends in Este when she performed with two male operatic talents in a concert in an ancient Este church in 2019.

Toni has been branching out, writing and singing jazz compositions, in venues throughout the mid-west, where she now lives. We are simply delighted that she’ll be with us!

For the second part of this program, we’re bringing a new performance group to our free concert offering. The Charlottesville Brass Quintet has been playing in venues throughout central Virginia, to excellent reviews, for nearly two decades. They have proposed a balance of Italian and American composers, finishing with an American veteran tribute in honor of Veteran’s Day. The Quintet is a small performing group of members of the Charlottesville Band, founded in 1922.

The Italian composers for the Quintet’s offerings include: Monteverdi, Gabriele, Vivaldi, Rossini, and a medley of Italian folk songs. To balance the American content, they offer Berlin, Gershwin, Cohen, and Copeland; and, to conclude the concert (so close to Memorial Day), an Armed Forces Tribute.

This should be a rousing performance, so plan a musical evening with friends!

La Befana.

We hope to resume this member-favorite event, marking Epiphany, January 6, with the traditional Italian witch, who flies on her broom to visit every home and sweep the old year away. We’ll offer Italian dishes and wines, along with fun!


We have not determined our lecture schedule for fall and spring, but we will be resuming this popular series.


Looking back…

Spring in Review

Annual Meeting

We brought our 2022-23 year to a close with our Annual Meeting on March 29 at the Library Theater. There’s a video of the meeting and a link to our PowerPoint year in review, as well as a formal document of our Annual Report on the website: From Pizza Palooza to Artist Exchange, from our free fall lecture and concert to a joint sister city fundraiser for Ukraine (which raised $26,592.49), it was a busy year.

By the numbers: (2020-’22 are combined as Covid years)


FY 2020-’22: $17,751.11

FY 2022-’23: $23,966.00


FY 2020-’22: $12,540.47

FY 2022-’23: $17,244.65

Bank Balance:

FY 2020-’22: $27,985.83

FY 2022-’23; $34,707.18

Our board for 2023-24 is:

Kathryn Willis, President

Scott Walker, Vice President

Pat Baughman, Secretary

Chip Willis, Treasurer

Bob Antozzi, At Large

Deb Newman, Website and Communications

Odile Pryor, Programs

Chuck Giallareto, At Large

Pamela Booth, At Large

Bill Hatch, Membership

Would you like to help with one or more of our specific program offerings? Just let us know.

Artist Exchange

Franco Rubini, photographer from Este and world-wide traveler, was our 2023 Artist Exchange Honoree. With a whirlwind of activities from April 1 to 20, three photographic exhibits, a big all-member potluck (Thank you, Sue and Rick Henderson!), lots of side trips and many dinners, Franco’s Fredericksburg visit was so much fun! Again, coverage is on our website.

All Sister City Potluck

On April 20, all the sister cities gathered at Dorothy Hart for an abundance of international foods and fun. This annual event is a chance for all of us interested in the riches of international connections to gather and share the cuisine and hospitality of our sister city connections. Franco Rubini, our artist from Este, was able to join for part of the evening. Fun!

We’ll be sending out updates toward summer’s end. PLEASE email us about helping with the Adult Exchange Visit! Ciao for now!


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