legend of Daphne, while fleeing from Apollo's passionate pursuit,
the river nymph cries out to her father, Peneus, the river god,
to save her, and he transforms her into a laurel tree.
"Daphne" will be re-enacted in an original short dance
and musical presentation on Aug. 20 at Riverrun, the late William
Meredith's beautiful home on the Thames River in Uncasville and
the perfect setting to bring Ovid's Greek myth to life.
Richard Harteis, president of the William Meredith Foundation
and Meredith's longtime partner, conceived the performance along
with Brett Raphael, founder and artistic director of the Connecticut
Ballet and creator of The New London Dance Initiative that is
aimed at increasing dance exposure and training for the city's
It is with
great sadness that we note the death of recently-appointed Board
member, Valentin Krustev who died suddenly of a heart
attack on June 3, 2016, at his home in Sofia, Bulgaria. This
gentle spirit and brilliant intellect was friend, collaborator
and cicerone to William and me for decades. He was an essential
bridge between the foundation and Bulgaria and is irreplaceable.
Here is my tribute to this dear friend and artist.
is too long until the word
comes that your are gone, and gone
now another world, another life
you brought me through translation.
was like a window pane
Through which a reader met a poet
And his poem, with never a smudge
Of your own ego on the clear glass.
But it wasnt
only the meaning,
it was the thing itself you showed me:
It was never a question of right or
Wrong: This simply is how we raise
our children, how we eat our soup.
American overly sure of
Himself and his culture, learned a bit
The subtlety of silence, the elegance
Produced by history, the need and skill
to work and live in the hive at peace.
diplomat, smile on me again:
Translate me at the end of my own days.
The faults will be obvious enough.
I rely on
your constant goodness, your talent
to intuit what I may have done well and speak
on my behalf brother, even if, at times, you must
cloud the pane between us and the stars.
With Love from Richard
William Meredith Foundation is proud to announce the establishment
of the William Meredith Center for the Arts to remember and honor
a great American spirit. Friends who have come together as a foundation
wish never to forget this extraordinary human being and the impact
he has had on so many lives. Poet, pilot, arborist, beloved teacher
and friend, his legacy is a treasure we wish to pass on to future
generations. The Meredith Center will keep the flame of generosity
and artistic camaraderie burning at Riverrun, William's home on
the Thames River in Connecticut where he lived and worked for
60 years and which has recently been added to the State
Registry of Historic Landmarks.
center sponsors educational programs during the year to provide
cultural enrichment through a diverse selection of artistic programming.
It fosters an appreciation for the work of local and regional
artists and develops artist exchange programs internationally
as well, particularly with the Republic of Bulgaria where Mr.
Meredith was made a citizen by presidential decree for his work
in the culture. Artists invited for residencies at the Meredith
Center share their talents through art exhibitions, readings,
publications and academic seminars. The center serves as a retreat
where artists can create new works in the same spirit of peace,
equality, and serious endeavor that characterized William's life
and work at Riverrun.
Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote
a letter joining Connecticut College in a celebration of William's
80th birthday in which she says, "The arts have always been a
unifying force in our world, bringing people together across vast
cultural, social, economic and geographical divisions. Through
his work, William Meredith both enhances and strengthens the American
spirit. As you honor Mr. Meredith, you celebrate the timeless
power of poetry and poets as our American memory, our purveyors
of insight and culture, our eyes and ears who silence the white
noise around us, and express the very heart of what connects us,
plagues us, and makes us fully human."
William Meredith Center for the Arts offers another window on
the world through which we can enhance our spirit, a window through
which artists may search their private worlds and speak for us
as we make our slow progress as members of the human tribe. A
short signature poem by William Meredith inspires us in our efforts
to honor his memory as a model of courage, good will, civility
Poems are hard to read
Pictures are hard to see
Music is hard to hear
And people are hard to love
But whether from brute need
Or divine energy
At last mind eye and ear
And the great sloth heart will move.
brochure for the William Meredith Foundation (pdf)