Bits & Bytes: ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop; Jonathan Dee at Stockbridge Library; West Stockbridge Chamber Players harvest concert; Miles Sanctuary tour; library book giveaway

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By Friday, Oct 13 Life In the Berkshires
Jennifer Owens
The Emily Winthrop Miles Wildlife Sanctuary will be the destination of a Sharon Historical Society excursion Saturday, Oct. 14 (see item below).

‘Know Your Rights’ workshop to be offered for immigrants

Pittsfield — On Monday, Oct. 16, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pittsfield High School library, Berkshire Immigrant Center, Berkshire Interfaith Organizing, in the Massachusetts Immigrants and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, the Elizabeth Freeman Center and the Central West Justice Center will offer a “Know Your Rights” workshop for immigrants.

Presenters from BIC, MIRA and CWJC will offer detailed information for local immigrants on their rights as well as the legal resources available to them. The workshop will also offer information on the changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recently announced by the Trump administration. As a follow-up to this workshop, BIO will offer a Spanish-language community organizing training session Monday, Oct. 23, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Church to teach immigrants to use community organizing to raise their voices and help their communities.

The workshop is free and open to the public. For more information, contact BIC at (413) 445-4881 or info@berkshireic.com.

–E.E.

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Stockbridge Library to host author Jonathan Dee

Jonathan Dee. Photo: Jessica Marx

Stockbridge — On Saturday, Oct. 14, at 4 p.m., the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives will welcome author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Jonathan Dee to discuss his new novel “The Locals,” which is set in the southern Berkshires.

In the nervous months after 9/11, a rural working-class New England town elects as its mayor a New York hedge fund millionaire, giving him the unchecked power to do everything from gutting the town’s tax base to personally installing security cameras on Main Street. “The Locals” follows the residents of this formerly idyllic Berkshires community as they grow ever more disillusioned with civic duty and one another.

Dee is the author of seven novels. His novel “The Privileges” was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize and winner of the 2011 Prix Fitzgerald and the St. Francis College Literary Prize. A former contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, a senior editor of the Paris Review and a National Magazine Award-nominated literary critic for Harper’s, he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He lives in Syracuse, New York.

This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase. For more information, contact the Stockbridge Library at (413) 298-5501 or info@stockbridgelibrary.org.

–E.E.

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West Stockbridge Chamber Players to stage harvest concert

Catherine Hudgins. Photo: Tiziana Rozzo.

West Stockbridge — On Sunday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. at the Old Town Hall on Main Street, the West Stockbridge Chamber Players will present a harvest concert in support of the West Stockbridge Historical Society’s Campaign to Restore the Old Town Hall. The program of chamber music by Mozart, Busoni and Beethoven will feature West Stockbridge Chamber Players artistic director Catherine Hudgins on clarinet, Oliver Aldort on cello, Lisa Crockett on violin, Leah Ferguson on viola and Sheila Fiekowsky on violin. A reception will follow downstairs in the Old Town Hall, during which the audience will have the opportunity to mingle with the musicians and enjoy light refreshments. Tickets are $35. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call (413) 232-5055.

–E.E.

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The estate of Emily Winthrop Miles was donated to the Audubon Society in 1962 and is now a base for research and field work. Photo: Jennifer Owens

Sharon Historical Society to present wildlife sanctuary tour

Sharon, Conn. — The Sharon Historical Society will present a tour of Audubon Sharon’s Emily Winthrop Miles Wildlife Sanctuary Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The tour will be conducted by Ed Kirby who will talk about his experiences growing up on the estate, the life and career of poet and artist Miles, and the sanctuary’s unique geology and ecosystem. The tour will consist of about one mile of walking, a historical review by Kirby, and a review of current Audubon use of the property by sanctuary manager Mike Dudek.

Miles (1893-1962) was born in New York City and was a direct descendant of Governor John Winthrop, one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She studied sculpting under Daniel Chester French and Harriet W. Frishmuth. A collector of Wedgwood, 19th-century glass, and English and American artworks, Miles was also a designer of furniture and jewelry, a published poet and a photographer. Her collections are housed in numerous locations including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, the Southern Vermont Arts Center, and several university collections.

The cost of the tour is $20. Those wishing to participate are asked to reserve a spot by contacting (860) 364-5688 or director@sharonhist.org.

–E.E.

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Mason Library to hold book giveaway

Great Barrington — The Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries will hold its biannual Massive Book Giveaway Saturday, Oct. 14, from 8 a.m. to noon on the front lawn of Mason Library. Books, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks donated to the libraries which have condition issues, are dated or have been de-accessioned will be available for free on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We welcome donations for the items,” said Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries treasurer Holly Hamer, “but our main object is to find a home for every book we feel we can’t sell and encourage readers to bring bags and fill them up. Rain either cancels or we move indoors when the library opens.”

Donations will support library programs including free museum passes, the First Saturday Free Film Series and Sunday programming at Ramsdell Library in Housatonic. For more information, contact Mason Library at (413) 528-2403.

–E.E.


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