Half Waif Race Brook Lodge
Half Waif will return to Race Brook Lodge for a performance in its Event Barn on Saturday, June 11 at 7 p.m. Photo courtesy Race Brook Lodge

BITS & BYTES: Half Waif at Race Brook Lodge; 30 in 30 literacy fundraiser; Becket Arts Center opens season; NBUW Spirit of Caring Awards; free coding exam prep; Juneteenth celebration

Northern Berkshire United Way will host its 4th annual Spirit of Caring Awards, on Thursday, June 9 from 5–7 p.m., at 3 West Events in The Norad Mill.

Half Waif returns to Race Brook Lodge June 11

SHEFFIELD Race Brook Lodge will welcome back Half Waif for a performance in its Event Barn on Saturday, June 11 at 7 p.m. Albany-based folk artist Blue Ranger will open the show.

Half Waif is the project of singer, songwriter, and producer Nandi Rose. The project — which blends pop, folk, and electronic styles into a layered and transportive sound —has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Pitchfork; on NPR’s Tiny Desk series; toured internationally with bands like Mitski, Iron & Wine, and Calexico; and recently announced its fifth full-length album, “Mythopoetics” on ANTI Records.

Tickets are $20 in advance, and $25 the day of the show.

—A.K.

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Literacy Volunteers of Berkshire County to host 30 in 30 fundraiser

PITTSFIELD — Registration is now open for the 30 in 30 fundraiser to benefit Literacy Volunteers of Berkshire County (LVBC). Supporters can choose to walk, run, hike or bike 30 miles in 30 days, from June 1–30. Registration will remain open through June 30. At the completion of the fundraiser, a t-shirt commemorating the event will be mailed to all registrants. Registration is $30 per person. Participants are encouraged to exercise at their own pace to support LVBC in its mission. Click here to register online.

This year, you can also choose to sponsor someone registered for the 30 in 30, or make a donation to LVBC by going online.

—A.K.

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Becket Arts Center opens for season with two exhibits, silent auction

Artwork by Cindy Chandler-Guy will be on view during the month of June at Becket Arts Center. Image courtesy the Center

BECKET — The Becket Arts Center will celebrate the opening of its summer season on Saturday, June 4, from 12–4 p.m. The first juried show of 2022, “Celebrating Color,” will be on display in the second-floor gallery, where an artist reception will start at 2 p.m. Participating artists are Cindy Chandler-Guy, Karen Bognar Khan, and Ivor Parry. The exhibition will also include works by ceramicist Ingrid Raab and photographer Glenn Yarnell.

At the same time, a solo show will open in the main-floor gallery, “Funny Food Art” by Bill Wurtzel. The artist reception begins at 12 p.m. In addition to being a photographer, Wurtzel is a professional jazz musician and he will perform on guitar at 1 p.m.

The Becket Arts Center’s seasonal opening will also feature the launch of its 2022 Silent Auction. Bidding for over 25 items, ranging from theater and museum passes to gift certificates, will continue until June 25, when the winners will be announced.

—A.K.

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NBUW Spirit of Caring Awards to be held June 9 at Norad Mill

NORTH ADAMSNorthern Berkshire United Way (NBUW) will host its 4th annual Spirit of Caring Awards, on Thursday, June 9 from 5–7 p.m., at 3 West Events in The Norad Mill. This will be the first time since 2019 that the event will be held in person. This event honors individuals for their service to Northern Berkshire United Way, its network and the overall Northern Berkshire community.

Amy Giroux will be presented with the Al Nelson Spirit of Caring Award, named after the former NBUW executive director. Giroux is a longtime volunteer in the community and a former Board President of NBUW. During her years of work in the community she has been a huge advocate for creating learning and recreational opportunities for children of all ages.

Stacy Parsons will be presented the Spirit of the Future Award. Parsons works out of North Adams Public Schools as the North Berkshire School Housing Partnership Coordinator and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education McKinney Vento Regional Liaison. Her work focuses on supporting schools and community organizations in meeting the educational stability needs of highly mobile students. Parsons also served as the volunteer coordinator at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic in North Adams during the pandemic.

Alex Daugherty will be presented with the Spirit of the Community Award. Daugherty is a longtime Adult Probation Officer through Northern Berkshire District Court who has given back to his community through his volunteer service. At the core of Daugherty’s volunteerism is youth development and support for individuals who have overcome challenges and are trying to make a fresh start

Adams Community Bank will be recognized as NBUW’s Campaign of the Year for the generous employee and corporate support.

—A.K.

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BCC offers free exam prep class for Certified Professional Coders

Berkshire Community College’s Pittsfield campus. Photo courtesy BCC

PITTSFIELDBerkshire Community College (BCC) invites students who have completed the Medical Coding Technical Skills Certificate program to register for a free, non-credit course called Certified Professional Coder (CPC) Exam Prep. The course, offered both in-person and remotely, will be held on four consecutive Thursday evenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on June 9, 16, 23, and 30. To register, click here. www.berkshirecc.edu/him

The comprehensive review course is designed for students preparing to take the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) credential exam to become a Certified Professional Coder. It covers the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) manuals, medical terminology, anatomy, and the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) coding manual and guidelines.

Students will learn new test strategies and build test-taking skills. After each class, students will be provided with timed assignments that will assess knowledge, accuracy and speed. The final assignment will be a short test that replicates the CPC exam.

About the Medical Coding Program

Medical coding is the assignment of letters and numbers to specific medical and diagnostic phrases. These codes enable the healthcare industry to collect, process, and send information more effectively. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical coding is among the 20 fastest-growing occupations, with a national anticipated growth of 18.2% by 2028.

Medical coders may become inpatient or outpatient coders, auditors, clinical documentation specialists, insurance evaluators, case reviewers, teachers, or compliance officers.

At BCC, the Medical Coding Department is designed to meet the needs of students at different stages of their careers, whether just starting out, returning to school for a second career, studying part-time at night to enhance a full-time job, or looking for promotion in the field. The stackable credits towards a certificate or a degree represent different phases of expertise in this emerging career path.

For more information, contact Laurie Vilord at lvilord@berkshirecc.edu.

—A.K.

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Juneteenth celebration to be held June 19 in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD — The Juneteenth Collaborative Committee — consisting of NAACP, Berkshire County Branch, Westside Legends, BRIDGE, Berkshire Black Economic Council, Saint John’s Lodge #10, Clinton Church Restoration, and Lift Ev’ry Voice — will host its first annual Juneteenth Celebration on Sunday, June 19 from 12–7 p.m. at Durant Park in the Westside neighborhood of Pittsfield.

Juneteenth, also known as Black Independence Day, is now a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans. It is often observed by celebrating African-American culture. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 in various parts of the United States since 1865.

The event is the new reimagining of the formerly annual Gather In festival. It will be a celebration of freedom with a day filled with music, dance, spoken word, child-friendly activities, basketball tournaments, food, and vendors.

Those who are interested in becoming vendors must apply by June 13 and can find the form on the NAACP website or by emailing naacpberkshirecounty@gmail.com. As we recognize the strain on our local restaurants during COVID, there is no fee for vendors this year, but donations of any amount are accepted to offset the event costs.

—A.K.