Bits & Bytes: Rock, Rattle & Drum Pow Wow; VIM Berkshires gala; bird language workshop; Thelonious Monk tribute; waste oil & paint collection

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By Monday, Aug 7 Life In the Berkshires  1 Comment
Meaghan Morgan-Puglisi Photography
The head man dancer at the 2015 Rock, Rattle & Drum Pow Wow.

Great Barrington Fairgrounds to host 12th annual Rock, Rattle & Drum Pow Wow

Great Barrington — On Saturday, Aug. 12, and Sunday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Great Barrington Fairgrounds will host the 12th annual Rock, Rattle & Drum Pow Wow, a celebration of Native American music, dance, education, entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, and cultural festivities.

Traditionally pow wows are gatherings used by Native American people as places to meet, dance, sing, renew, strengthen and share their rich culture. This year’s gathering will feature authentic Native American dancing, drumming and tribal regalia. Native Americans ranging in age from toddlers to elders will dance in several different styles including fancy, traditional, grass and jingle dress, wearing traditional and contemporary regalia. Well-loved drum groups will provide vocal and rhythmic accompaniment for the dancers. Each year the pow wow honors veterans, and shares an indigenous perspective on sustainable living and community. Local not-for-profit activist organizations will also be represented.

Special guests will include Mercedes Terrance, an Akwesasne Mohawk woman who has been traveling across the country creating awareness about pipelines; and hip-hop artist, motivational speaker and Native American rights activist Jayohcee. A special veteran’s honoring and presentation will take during the grand entry on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. All veterans and their families are welcome to participate. Cedric and Sissy Goodhouse of the Hunkpapa Lakota will be recognized for their ongoing work. The Goodhouses have a drum group and organize a traditional pow wow in Fort Yates, North Dakota, where they maintain a Water Protector camp via their own fundraising.

For more information and a detailed schedule of the weekend’s events, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Susan Jameson at (802) 753-6835 or


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VIM Berkshires to hold gala event at Ski Butternut

Jane Salamon. Photo courtesy Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires

Jane Salamon. Photo courtesy Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires

Great Barrington — On Thursday, Aug. 10, at 6 p.m., Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires will hold its “A Night in Havana” gala at Ski Butternut.

Guests at “A Night in Havana” will be offered gambling, great food, and festivities as they raise funds to allow VIM to respond to the increasing number of patients in need of healthcare. Entertainment will feature a full gambling parlor with roulette, Texas Hold ‘Em poker, a craps table and blackjack. Each person will receive chips free of charge to start the evening. Prizes will be awarded to those who have the most chips at the end of the event and will include a weekend stay with meals at the Bar Harbor Inn in Maine; a week’s stay in an apartment near Nice, France; a day pass to Canyon Ranch in Lenox; and dinners at Berkshire-area restaurants. The event’s honoree will be longtime VIM Berkshires board member Jana Salamon.

Said VIM Berkshires’ development director Jeff Bliss, “We’re delighted to have local favorite Rita Welch Catering back again this year. It will be a resplendent meal and the night will buzz with the recorded sounds of Buena Vista Social Club and other Cuban-inspired music for dancing.”

Tickets are $175–$500. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact VIM Berkshires at (413) 528-4014.


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Bird language workshop at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Lenox — On Saturday, Aug. 12, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary will host the workshop “Song of the Forest: Understanding Bird Language,” co-taught by experts from Flying Deer Nature Center in New Lebanon, New York, and Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

The workshop is designed for birders, naturalists, educators, conservationists and outdoor enthusiasts and is geared toward adults and teens. A separate bird language program for children ages 6–12 will be offered at the same time. Workshop participants will learn about bird language theory and put the ideas into practice during an observation and mapping activity. The kids’ group will learn, practice and explore bird language on their own, joining the larger group at the end of the day.

The cost of the workshop is $50 for adults and teens and $40 for children. For more information and to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary at (413) 637-0320 or


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Berkshires Jazz to present Thelonious Monk tribute

Ted Rosenthal. Photo: Cathy Lillian Photography

Ted Rosenthal. Photo: Cathy Lillian Photography

Lee — Berkshires Jazz Inc. will present the Ted Rosenthal Quintet in a salute Thelonious Monk in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth Saturday, Aug. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Lee.

The winner of the 1988 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, Rosenthal has 15 CDs to his name, including “Images of Monk,” which provides the musical foundation for the concert. Rosenthal tours worldwide as a soloist and in various configurations, and he has performed with jazz greats including Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Phil Woods, Bob Brookmeyer and James Moody.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 on the day of the event. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Berkshires Jazz at


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Waste oil and paint collection scheduled

Great Barrington — On Saturday, Aug. 12 from 8:30 to 11 a.m., the South Berkshire Household Hazardous Waste Collaborative will hold a paint and oil collection in Great Barrington for the 15 participating towns Alford, Becket, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham and West Stockbridge. The Center for EcoTechnology will coordinate the collections.

Acceptable materials are oil-based paint, oil-based stains, paint thinners, spray paint and turpentine as well as waste motor oil. No other type of oil or fuel will be accepted, nor will latex paint. Empty cans can be recycled with scrap metal. Dried-up cans of latex paint as well as empty cans of oil-based paint, stains and solvents can be disposed of with the regular trash.

Those wishing to participate in the collection must register online or contact Thomas Jakubasz at CET at (800)-369-3333 x142 or by 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11. Residents from communities that are not participating should call their city or town halls for information about hazardous household product collections.


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  1. Berkshire Center for Justice, Inc. says:

    The Berkshire Center for Justice, Inc. a non-profit charitable organization in Great Barrington will hold a free legal clinic on site at the Pow Wow on Saturday and Sunday. at the Berkshire Center for Justice tent. A lawyer will be onsite and intake providers will be on hand to help address more complicated issues. For more information call 413-854-1955.

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