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Sag Harbor Whaling Museum Makes A Big Splash

Originally Posted: July 11, 2011

Christopher Beninati

Caroline Doctorow kept guests entertained at the fifth annual luau at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum. (Christopher Beninati)

Sag Harbor - This past Saturday, July 9, was the fifth annual luau at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum. Music was played the talented Caroline Doctorow while catering was handled by Cynthia Battaglia Distinctive Catering.

The museum is planning events to bring more visitors to view its treasures, such as this whale bone. (Christopher Beninati) Here

Located at 200 Main Street, the beautiful building that once was a mansion has housed this East End historic gem since 1936. The museum displays an array of paintings, artifacts, whale bones and teeth, as well as navigation tools, Inuit Native American artifacts and harpoons. Each room of the museum speaks major volumes to the rich tradition of Sag Harbor.

This summer the director of the museum, Zach Studenroth created a new way for the museum to raise money and show the local community that they know how to throw a party. Introducing the "Summer Music Series" to the East End, this inaugural season saw a new artist perform on the front steps of the museum including acts such as Susan Gabriel and Red, Light, Blue and The Complete Unknowns. The open bar was front and center serving up wine by the glass, beer and fresh and mint mojitos. Studenroth had a vision when introducing the music series to the museum "This is our way to try and expand on our audiences greatly, we are looking to attract music lovers and really go after the art lovers as well." With passion in his eyes about the historic site and all that it stands for, Studenroth hopes to create great things with a new targeted demographic. "We really hope to get new faces in here and are really focused on building up our membership program with younger people."

"It is not an easy task" explained assistant director Lynnette Pintauro. "We rely heavily on admission fees and gift shop revenue to run this location yet with a small staff we are all extremely dedicated and work so hard." It is their united goal to not only see more faces in the museum but for them to return and see the creative, historic and importance behind the location. "The museum is such an interesting and unique place, returning guests can always find something new with each visit. I love when people return for the first time since they were little children" said Pintauro.

Zach Studenroth and Lynn Pintauro. (Christopher Beninati)

Although there are struggles to keep the museum running all the time the luau has been a major success in years past and this year was no different. The lively crowd enjoyed the wonderful harmony by the band as they sipped their cocktails in the picturesque setting of Sag Harbor. "I have never been here before but I love the old building and tonight with drinks and music it is so much fun" said Brittany Collins of Sag Harbor.

Although the museum is closed during the winter months, the staff does open its doors for a haunted house the last two weekends in October and are always working on getting federal and local government funding to create new and creative techniques and offerings for all ages to enjoy this special place. The party continues for the next two months with a August 6 performance by Song Writers in the Round, and on September 9 for a special performance by Inda Eaton.

The rich tradition of the historical museum is a great reminder of Sag Harbor's whaling history and speaks to the many generations before our own. The summer music series was and is an excellent innovative idea by Studenroth and the entire staff to keep the museum a vital visitor's center in this quaint village.

Guests, including Jacob and Allison Studenroth had a whale of a good time. (Christopher Beninati)


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