ABOUT CONVERSATIONS ON THE GREEN
"Conversations On the Green," known simply as COG, brings nationally recognized voices and artists to the pine-crowned Litchfield hills to discuss the country’s most provocative issues and ideas. Although akin to “Ted Talks,” COGs are interactive, Town Hall style seminars designed to allow the speakers and the audience to share experiences, perspectives and insights in an effort to build an ongoing conversation that bonds the community.
Proceeds from each conversation are donated to local charities that work with the most vulnerable residents of the county - a verdant checkerboard of hardscrabble dairy and cattle farms interspersed with New Yorkers’ second homes, creating a mirror of the country’s cultural, political and socio-economic tensions. The series attracts an audience ranging from blue-collar workers to white-shoed attorneys, mom & pop business owners to hedge-fund executives.
The series is tied to current events. But it transcends conventional boundaries to examine historical, political, social and ethical perspectives and, cross pollinate diverse but interrelated ideas. Most years, it also includes a “Special Event,” a family-friendly community celebration designed to dazzle and amaze, divert and entertain. Past participants have been a distinguished group of writers, historians, scientists, analysts, theologians, et al. Representing a broad spectrum of views and opinions, they have included, among others: Linda Greenhouse, the noted Supreme Court observer from the New York Times; Jeffrey Toobin, the legal affairs writer for The New Yorker; Chris Hayes of MSNBC, David Stockman, the Reagan Administration’s budget director, Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, a former assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who shared the stage with his daughter, Katrina, the editor of The Nation; Nicolle Wallace, former chief of communications for President George W. Bush; E.J. Dionne, the Washington Post columnist; Jonathan Alter, the historian and political analyst; and Oz Pearlman, the astounding magician of the mind.
Jane Whitney, Moderator
During her 25-year career in television, Jane Whitney was a correspondent for NBC News based in Central America and a reporter for "Entertainment Tonight." Ms. Whitney also anchored broadcasts for PBS, CNN and CNBC. Finally, she was dubbed a "recovering talk show host" by New York times columnist Maureen Dowd after she hosted the Warner Bros. nationally syndicated TV program "The Jane Whitney Show." Her political columns and social commentaries have appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine and The New York Observer.