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Ben and Judy Kohl's Vision

Ben and Judy Kohl shared a love of education, history, the arts and humanities, museums, travel and community service. They met in a history class at the University of Delaware where Judy was a senior and Ben a teaching assistant.  Ben, born and raised at Hedgelawn Farm on the Levels Road in Middletown, Delaware, was educated at Bowdoin College, University of Delaware and Johns Hopkins University.  He became a renowned scholar of medieval and renaissance studies and retired from Vassar College as Andrew Melon Professor of Humanities.  Judy was raised in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania and was valedictorian of The Ellis School in Newton Square.  She earned degrees from the University of Delaware and State University of New York at New Paltz.  She was Professor of English at Dutchess Community College and shared her lifelong passion for theater, poetry

and literature with friends, students and colleagues.

The Kohls retired to Kent County Maryland, and enjoyed many years living along the Sassafras River on the Upper Chesapeake Bay.  They enthusiastically embraced preforming and fine arts organizations on the Eastern Shore.   They served on numerous Boards including: Trustee for Washington College, Kent Youth, the Mainstay, the Garfield Center for the Arts, and Kent County Historical Society to name a few.  They contributed to their community in varied ways including; teaching in the college’s adult education program, writing a weekly column for the county newspaper, restoring a fishing ark and creating a new town hall for Betterton, and delivering food to those in need.

Upon the sale of the Hedgelawn Farm Ben and Judy seized an opportunity to give back to their community while continuing to foster their commitment to history, scholarship, and the arts and humanities.  In 2004 the Hedgelawn Foundation was established with a mission centered on both the Delmarva Peninsula, where their shared history began, and in Venice, Italy, where their scholarship and love of the arts took them almost every year of their lives.  During her lifetime Judy made over 40 trips to Venice.

With Judy’s passing in 2018, Ben Kohl Jr, became president of the Hedgelawn Foundation.  Along with his wife, Kim, the Foundation continues to honor the original intent of Ben’s parents while extending its reach to include the natural environment of the Chesapeake Bay region and the intersectionality of the arts and humanities, education, environmental justice, and the environment.   The foundation is headquartered in the village of Lynch, Maryland in an 1886 building of which Ben Sr. once remarked, “is probably the only foundation chartered in the 21st century heated entirely by a wood stove.”

Officers and Directors

Benjamin G. Kohl Jr. (PhD New York University, 2006) is a social work educator, manager and clinician whose career has focused on behavioral health services to children, youth and families.  Dr. Kohl held leadership positions at Eastern Shore Psychological Services, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, and Bellevue Hospital.  Ben has taught clinical practice at New York University, Salisbury University and Washington College.  Dr. Kohl’s research interests focus on cross-racial best practices and cultivating anti-racist organizational leadership.  In addition to local non-profit service, Ben maintains a small private practice where he provides supervision, executive coaching and individual, couple and family therapy. 

John Schratwieser has been a leader in nonprofit management in the arts, healthcare and higher education for over 30 years.  Since 2017 he has been the Director of the Kent Cultural Alliance.  Previously he was Director of Maryland Citizens for the Arts, the organization responsible for Maryland’s public investment in arts.  He is the Vice-chair of the Maryland State Arts Council Board and President of the Board of the Marshfield School of Weaving in Vermont.  John has performed with numerous choral organizations and currently sings with the Chester River Chorale and the Emmanuel Church Chester Parish choir.  He lives with his husband, artisan potter Mike Pugh, and their Golden Retriever Franklin at the historic Friendship Farm in Worton, Maryland.

Kim Kohl (MPA Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs) recently retired from a career in the not for profit sector, building systems, tools and teams for strategic, financial and performance management.  Most recently Kim served as Senior Director for Research and Analysis for the Sierra Club National, focused on decarbonizing the electric sector. Previously Kim held leadership roles in international public health, higher arts education and local environmental advocacy.   A lifelong environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast, Kim grew up on western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.  Her passion continues to be protecting our natural resources and the people, plants and animals that depend on these.

Meredith Davies Hadaway is the author of three poetry collections, most recently At The Narrows. She has received fellowships and awards from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council as well as multiple Pushcart nominations. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and was, for ten years, poetry editor for The Summerset Review. Hadaway is currently the Sophie Kerr Poet-in-Residence at Washington College. She is also a musician, playing Celtic harp in both performance and therapeutic settings.

Reinhold C. Mueller (PhD Johns Hopkins University, 1969) taught at the University of Arizona, Tucson in the 1970s, thereafter at the University of Venice, Italy, where he retired as professor of medieval social and economic history in 2008. His research interests lie in the history of money and banking, of immigration and citizenship, of the Jews in Venice and its maritime and continental empire. Among his publications are The Venetian Money Market: Banks, Panics and the Public Debt, 1200-1500 (Johns Hopkins University Press,1997, reprinted in 2019) and Late Medieval Venice: Economy and Society, edited by students and colleagues, Rome, 2021.

Tara Gladden is an artist, curator, and educator. Her artistic practice includes conceptual, multimedia, and performance strategies. She works both independently and in close collaboration with her artistic partner and husband, David Gladden. Their work has been programmed and exhibited regionally, nationally, and internationally in festivals, private and non-profit galleries, established and DIY performance venues. She holds an MFA from Brooklyn College in Performance and Interactive Media Arts, and a BM from Boston University in Voice Performance. She is currently Director and Curator for the Kohl Gallery at Washington College.

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