Bits & Bytes: ‘What’s Next?’ workshops; immigration forum; Transgender Day of Remembrance; vegan Thanksgiving; Festival of Trees

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By Monday, Nov 13 Life In the Berkshires
Trees decorated by children at the Berkshire Museum's 2016 Festival of Trees. The museum will kick off its 2017 event with a preview party Friday, Nov. 17 (see item below). Photo courtesy Berkshire Museum

Four Freedoms Coalition to present ‘What’s Next?’ workshops

Great Barrington — The Four Freedoms Coalition will present “What’s Next? Get Involved and Make a Difference,” a day of advocacy workshops, Saturday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Monument Mountain Regional High School.

“What’s Next?” workshops focus on social issues, how they affect the community, and what the public can do at the local level to address them. The 24 workshops will cover topics such as climate change, ending domestic and sexual violence, W. E. B. Du Bois, health care reform, town government and more. Workshops will begin at 10 a.m. after a welcome address at 9:30 a.m. Participants will have the opportunity to attend up to four workshops and the day’s events will end with a sing-along with the Hoping Machine at 3:30 p.m.

The workshops are free and open to the public. Space is limited and participants are encouraged to register. Participants may bring their own food or order lunch at the event. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact lead organizer Becky Meier at (518) 781-4686 or beckyjmeier@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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BCC to offer immigration forum

Berkshire Community College sociology professor Stacy Evans. Photo courtesy Berkshire Community College

Great Barrington — Berkshire Community College sociology professor Stacy Evans, will offer the FORUM event “Immigration: Myths and Realities” Thursday, Nov. 16, from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. at BCC’s South County Center. Participants in the event will examine data to discover the truth about immigration and crime rates, immigration’s effect on wages, and how immigrants use social services. Open discussion will be encouraged. The FORUM event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the BCC South County Center at (413) 528-4521.

–E.E.

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Local rights groups to hold Transgender Day of Remembrance

Pittsfield — Berkshire Pride, Berkshire Trans Group and the Elizabeth Freeman Center will hold the first annual Berkshire Trans Day of Remembrance Thursday, Nov. 16, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

Transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith started the Transgender Day of Remembrance as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman killed in 1998. The Berkshire event will include a remembrance ceremony and a reading of names followed by candlelit procession in Park Square. The emcee for the evening will local trans/intersex activist Jahaira DeAlto.

For more information, contact berkshirelgbtqpride@yahoo.com or transberkshires@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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‘Living Thanksgiving’ vegan potluck gathering

Lenox — The Berkshire Vegan Network will hold its annual vegan “Living Thanksgiving” gathering Thursday, Nov. 23, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of Lenox.

Each attendee is asked to bring a dish that will serve eight hungry vegans, complete with a recipe card listing the dish’s ingredients. Attendees should also bring their own place settings and utensils. Hot and cold water will be available for drinks. After the dinner there will be time for people to read poems, tell short stories and speak about why they are thankful.

The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 3–12. All those wishing to attend must make reservations by Friday, Nov. 17. For more information or to make reservations, contact Matt Kelly at (413) 458-3664 or veganpeace@earthlink.net.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Museum to host Whimsical, Wonderful Festival of Trees

A child enjoys the Berkshire Museum’s 2016 Festival of Trees. Photo courtesy Berkshire Museum

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Museum will open its Whimsical, Wonderful Festival of Trees exhibit with a preview party Friday, Nov. 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibit will run Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, through Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, and will feature more than 100 decorated trees sponsored by businesses, schools and community organizations in celebration of the holiday season.

The 2017 Whimsical, Wonderful Festival of Trees will be fueled by imagination and tales of fantasy and whimsy with unlikely marriages of objects, strange juxtapositions and marvelous scenes. New this year, participants will be asked to place a unique object or ornament of their choice in their trees for visitors to search for. Inspired by the childhood game of “I Spy,” this year’s Festival of Trees will be a quizzical, fanciful treasure hunt for all to enjoy.

The Whimsical, Wonderful Festival of Trees will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition Morgan Bulkeley: Nature Culture Clash, a career retrospective that includes paintings, sculpture and a site-specific installation by Berkshire-based artist and visual storyteller Bulkeley.

Tickets to the preview party are $50 for adults and $25 for children. Tickets for Berkshire Museum members are $30 for adults and $15 for children. Children ages 3 and under will be admitted free. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Berkshire Museum at (413) 443-7171 x314.

–E.E.


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