Bits & Bytes: The Yellow Bowl Project discussion; Mavis Staples at MASS MoCA; writers-in-residence at The Mount; Dana Louise at the Colonial; BCC Players auditions

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By Monday, Mar 20 Arts & Entertainment
Setsuko Sato Winchester
Setsuko Sato Winchester's Yellow Bowl Project in Manzanar, California. Winchester will discuss the project at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge on Saturday, March 25.

Setsuko and Simon Winchester to discuss the Yellow Bowl Project

Stockbridge — Artist Setsuko Sato Winchester will present a talk about the Yellow Bowl Project, her new conceptual work exploring freedom, at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Saturday, March 25, at 5:30 p.m.

During World War II, the U.S. government opened 10 concentration camps to incarcerate 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who had been forcibly removed from the West Coast. In 2015, Winchester, a Japanese-American, began a journey to visit all the remains of those camps, most of which are now in ruins. The Freedom from Fear/Yellow Bowl Project, consisting of 120 ceramic tea bowls created by the artist and photographed in the camps and related iconic landscapes, focuses on this challenging aspect of American history.

Winchester is a former NPR journalist and ceramicist. Photographs of her Freedom From Fear/Yellow Bowl Project are currently on exhibit at the FDR Presidential Library & Museum in Hyde Park, New York, through the end of the year.

Winchester will be joined and interviewed during the evening by her husband, author and journalist Simon Winchester. A reception will follow the program. The event is free for NRM members or included with admission; for the program only, the cost is $10. For more information, contact NRM at (413) 298-4100.

–E.E.

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MASS MoCA to present Mavis Staples

Mavis Staples. Photo: Chris Strong Photography

Mavis Staples. Photo: Chris Strong Photography

North Adams — From her debut in the legendary Staple Singers to her Grammy Award-winning 2010 collaboration with Jeff Tweedy and her recently released “Livin’ on a High Note” produced by M. Ward and featuring contributions by Neko Case, Justin Vernon, Ben Harper and Tune-Yards, Mavis Staples is a classic artist who is as vital today as at any point in her legendary career. She will perform at MASS MoCA on Saturday, March 25, at 8 p.m.

Led by Roebuck “Pops” Staples, Staples and her siblings formed the Chicago-based family band the Staple Singers and took their living room gospel tunes to the road. As the band gained national attention, the Staple Singers’ music became signatures in many American homes. While touring with the Staple Singers, Staples consistently upheld a solo music path of her own and created 14 solo albums spanning four decades. The 2003 album “Have a Little Faith,” her first solo project after the death of Pops Staples in 2000, revitalized her solo career when it was reviewed to critical acclaim. Staples’ Jeff Tweedy-produced album “You Are Not Alone,” released in 2010, won a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album. Staples and Bob Dylan recently finished a European tour together and have plans for future collaborations.

Tickets range from $35–$55. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the MASS MoCA box office at (413) 662-2111.

–E.E.

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The Mount to welcome writers-in-residence

Claire McMillan.

Claire McMillan.

Lenox — The Mount has announced the recipients of the 2017 Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence: Christene Barberich, global editor-in-chief and co-founder of the lifestyle media company Refinery29; author and screenwriter Donna M. Lucey; and award-winning novelist Vanessa Manko. All three writers will participate in the public program “Writers in the House” on Wednesday, March 22, at 3 p.m. The panel discussion will be moderated by novelist and 2016 Edith Wharton Writer-in-Residence Claire McMillan.

Christene Barberich. Photo: Harrison Boyce

Christene Barberich. Photo: Harrison Boyce

Barberich is the editor-in-chief and cofounder of the award-winning global women’s media company Refinery29.com. She was named an Ad Age Media Maven in 2014, and one of Folio Magazine’s 2016 Top Women in Media. She is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling book “Style Stalking” and is a frequent speaker on new media, content vision and fashion in the digital space. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Departures, Dwell and New York Magazine, among other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Donna M. Lucey.

Donna M. Lucey.

Lucey is the author of “Archie and Amélie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age” and “Photographing Montana 1894–1928: The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron.” She is currently interim media editor for the online Encyclopedia Virginia, produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Her book “Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas” will be published in August 2017.

Vanessa Manko.

Vanessa Manko.

Manko is the author of “The Invention of Exile,” which was a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, a Barnes & Noble Fall ’14 Discover Great New Writers pick, and was named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews. She earned her MFA from Hunter College and an MA from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Her work has appeared in Granta, the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Brooklyn Rail, and on NPR’s “Selected Shorts.” She has taught writing at Wesleyan University, the Gallatin School and SUNY Purchase. Originally from Brookfield, Connecticut, she now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Mount at (413) 551-5111.

–E.E.

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Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds to perform at the Colonial Theatre

Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds.

Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds.

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group will present indie folk band Dana Louise and the Glorious Birds at the Colonial Theatre on Thursday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m.

During a solo journey to the Azores Islands in 2011, visual artist Dana Louise taught herself to play guitar. The daughter of Ezra Idlet of the Grammy Award-nominated Trout Fishing in America, she forged the beginnings of her sound practicing amid the archipelago’s lava rocks and dragon trees. Once back in the U.S., she began singing and songwriting professionally, performing regionally and internationally, and is currently touring in support of her debut album with Trout Records.

Tickets are $30. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.

–E.E.

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BCC Players to hold auditions for spring production

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College’s BCC Players will hold auditions for their spring production, “Next to Normal,” on Monday, March 27, and Tuesday, March 28, at 7 p.m. at BCC’s Robert Boland Theater.

With book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt, “Next to Normal” explores how one suburban family copes with crisis and mental illness. The show won three 2009 Tony Awards including Best Musical Score, as well as the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Those auditioning need only attend one evening and will be taught selections from the show on the night of their audition; there is no need to prepare a song or monologue. The BCC production will be directed by Sam Slack with musical direction by Ellen Shanahan. Rehearsals will begin Friday, March 31, with performances set to take place Friday, May 12, through Sunday, May 21. For more information, contact Ellen Shanahan at (413) 236-4703 or eshanahan@berkshirecc.edu.

–E.E.


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