Millbrook Community Partnership Announces Appointment of Suzie Kovner
to the Board of Directors.
MILLBROOK, NY, September 19, 2022 — The Millbrook Community Partnership (MCP) is thrilled to announce that Suzie Kovner, long-time patron of the arts and advocate for excellence in education, has agreed to join its Board of Directors.
Kovner, a trustee of Carnegie Hall and founding member of the Drama Council at The Julliard School, will bring expertise in program development and non-profit management to the MCP board as it transforms the old Thorne Building and former Bennett College campus into cultural, educational, and recreational hubs for the greater Millbrook community.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have Suzie joining our leadership team during this pivotal moment,” commented Oakleigh Thorne, President of MCP. “Her philanthropic background and knowledge of the arts will be invaluable as we guide this project into its next phase of development.”
“Joining the board of the Millbrook Community Partnership was a natural decision for me, as the project combines my passion for the arts with my desire to revitalize Millbrook and create spaces for community members to gather,” Kovner said of her appointment. “I’m impressed with the progress that has already been made and excited to help shepherd it forward.”
The Millbrook Community Partnership’s mission is to turn two of Millbrook’s greatest liabilities into its greatest assets, with the conversion of the dilapidated Bennett College campus into a beautiful park at the entrance to the Village, and the preservation and renovation of the abandoned Thorne Memorial School Building as a state of the art community center focused on the arts and learning.
Kovner’s background in nonprofit leadership combined with her lifelong passion for the arts make her a tremendous asset to the Partnership. She serves on multiple boards, including as Co-Chair of the Kovner Foundation, promoting excellence in the arts and education, and as a Trustee of Carnegie Hall. Through her work with Carnegie Hall, Kovner leads a collaboration with The Julliard School that supports young professional musicians. As a founding member of the Drama Council at Julliard, Suzie helped raise the school’s reputation as a premiere destination for acting study. Kovner’s list of achievements continue with establishing the first U.S. office for the National Theatre of Great Britain, formerly serving as the Director of Development for the Board of the American Associates and currently serving as a Board member. Beyond the arts, Kovner’s long list of philanthropic endeavors include serving as Vice Chair of Success Academy Charter Schools, as a Sustaining Member of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’s Administrative Board and as a Director of ThanksUSA.
Tremendous progress has already been made on both MCP projects. With the recently completed asbestos abatement at the Thorne Building, the MCP can safely provide tours for community members, sharing their vision for the future. On the Bennett site, the old college has been torn down and landscaping has begun. The site is on a track to open for the community in 2023.
The new Thorne Building Community Center will serve the Village of Millbrook, the Town of Washington, and central Dutchess County by offering programs for all ages. The facility will include:
- Performing Arts Center for dramatic arts, dance, music, lectures, film, and social events;
- Culinary Center and Instructional Kitchen
- Technology Center
- Video Gaming Room
- Studio for Art Classes
- Music/Recording Studio
- Dance Class Studio
- “Smart” Classrooms
- Shared Office Space
- Exhibition/Gallery Space
- Formal Garden and Ample Parking
Once the project is complete, residents will find many offerings at Bennett Park as well, including:
- Thirty-two acres of beautifully landscaped parkland
- Trails for walking and biking, connecting with existing trails that lead into the Village
- A Bennett Museum and Visitors’ Center
- Outdoor venues for musical and theatrical performances