The Beechwood BFDs

What's the BFD?

The BFD is a series of Ben Franklin Dinners. They are modeled after the Junto, a club that Benjamin Franklin started for "mutual improvement" of the self, the community and society in 1727, when our Copper Beech tree was just a sapling, and just eighty years before Beechwood was built. In Benjamin Franklin’s Junto, the same people met on Fridays to share ideas and to find ways to support each other. They also focused on Franklins 13 virtues to set personal goals.

What people are saying about the Beechwood BFD's:

“I didn’t know what to expect! But I just spent 2 hours talking with strangers and never once even thought about checking or looking at my phone! It was amazing. I loved it.”

“I thought I knew what the subject would generate in terms of ideas and conversation – but I was so surprised at the different viewpoints. It completely shifted my perspective and made me reflect on my own role as a mentor.”

“I could never have imagined that I would connect in a meaningful way with others with such different backgrounds and viewpoints. It was so refreshing and like nothing I had ever done.”

Why the BFDs?

The Beechwood BFD series was inspired by feedback from several patrons who participated in the “Idea Dinners” and several who enjoyed the Community Conversations at our salons.  They expressed interest in making meaningful  connections with others of diverse backgrounds with a common desire to explore and learn, and also to have more opportunity  to enjoy Beechwood as the home it has been for 211 years.

How Do the BFDs Work?

In the spirit of Franklin's Junto, the BFDs will be held on selected Fridays, 7-9:30pm. The guests at the table (12-16 max)  will represent a diverse cross-section of cultures & generations as well as a mix of professions from the arts, science, business, civics and education. Unlike Franklin's Junto, the guests and topics  will change with each dinner. Each BFD begins with an arrival toast and a bite followed by a short artistic or music performance. Guests then take their place around one large table in the Dining Room where dinner will be served and the guided conversation will begin around the evening's topic. The subjects explored will be timely and relevant to all.

The Purpose of the BFD's...

  1. To create connection & community through respectful discussion and sharing of ideas 

  2. To promote openness and collaboration between people of different generations, perspectives and cultures

  3. To promote individual self-reflection and ideas for the betterment of oneself, the community and society as a whole

  4. To expand the idea and understanding about how the arts can play a role in important issues in the 21st century

What Do I Bring To The Dinner?

Admission to the dinners is a donation of a "Benjamin" ($100). At each dinner, 4 spots are reserved for working Artists, Musicians and Performers who may bring an “Alternative Benjamin" of a 5x7 visual art piece inspired or including Ben Franklin's image, life or philosophy or a short performance inspired by Benjamin Franklin.

Because seats are limited, any cancellation 2 weeks or less before the event are non-refundable.

Looking for BFD Network Hosts

Last year we kicked off the "BFD Network" where Beechwood supporters host a BFD in their home - part unique dinner party and part Beechwood supporter. You host a diverse group of people and provide the food and we come and facilitate. The proceeds from the participants go to Beechwood to support programs in community connection and engagement. If you're interested in hosting a BFD, contact us HERE.


"What's the BFD?"

Read below to see why we are doing it, how it works, and why it’s so special.

Join us for one of the BFDs! Spaces are limited to 16 and the cost is 1 Benjamin ($100).

We reserve 4 seats at each BFD for working artists who can bring an alternative Benjamin in the form of a 5”x7” artwork or a short performance. If you want to be considered, please email us HERE.

(To see news of past BFDs, scroll all the way down.)

BFD #1 - EmpathyPages/BFD1.html
BFD #2 - MentorshipPages/BFD2.html
BFD #3 - Giving VoicePages/BFD3.html
BFD #4 - InclusionPages/BFD4.html
BFD #5 - CommunityPages/BFD5.html
BFD #6 - Being Fired UpPages/BFD6.html

Reserve your spot at future BFDs here. 2020 dates TBD