Sunday, July 14, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Earth Day celebrations; BBG talk about flora; Prageeta Sharma poetry reading; Decluttering space presentation; “Odds Against Tomorrow” showing; “Liminal Spaces” exhibit at MCLA; buy FreshGrass North Adams tickets

On April 22 at 11 a.m. Berkshire Botanical Garden presents a talk on the flowers, herbs, shrubs, trees, and veggies that grow at BBG.
Image courtesy of Becket Arts Center.

Becket Arts Center celebrates Earth Day

Becket— The Becket Arts Center is planning two events to celebrate Earth Day. One on Sunday, April 16 and on Saturday, April 22.

On Sunday, April 16, at 4 p.m., environmentalist Jane Winn, the  executive director of BEAT (Berkshire Environmental Action Team), will discuss what BEAT is doing to protect and enhance the local environment in light of climate change and biodiversity challenges. The Pittsfield native will offer tips on how to address “Zero Waste” and share other ideas for safeguarding the natural wonders of the Berkshires. Her presentation is part of the BAC’s monthly Speaker Series. These events are free to the public, though donations are welcome.

On Saturday, April 22, from 7 to 9 p.m., the BAC will host a ‘70s and ‘80s Dance Party. The first Earth Day was on that date in 1970, so guests are encouraged to dress in their hippiest, happiest best. The charge for this event, which is exclusively for those over 18, is $10 a person.

For more information, please go to

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Enjoy an alphabetical romp through Berkshire Botanical Garden

StockbridgeOn April 22 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Berkshire Botanical Garden presents a talk entitled “Remarkable Flora, Memorable Greek Myths and Surprising Etymologies: A Romp through the Berkshire Botanical Garden” with Steward Edelstein.

This talk is chock-full of fun facts about flora — flowers, herbs, shrubs, trees, and veggies — that grow at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. Based on the book “An Alphabetical Romp through the Flora of Berkshire Botanical Garden: from Agave to Zinnia,” this talk will enhance your every visit to our 24 acres of magnificent gardens. Presented by the author, Stewart Edelstein.

Stewart Edelstein is the author of this and three other books, as well as numerous articles on a variety of subjects. Stewart creates podcasts, gives webinars and teaches OLLI courses. He lives in Stockbridge, Mass., with his wife, Lynn. He wrote the 100 essays in this fun and informative book in collaboration with Berkshire Botanical Garden’s horticultural team.

Tickets are $10 for members/$12 for nonmembers.

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Prageeta Sharma. Image by Mike Stussy. Image courtesy of Poetry at Bennington.

Readings from “Grief Sequence” by Prageeta Sharma

Bennington, Vt.On Wednesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. in the Tishman Lecture Hall, Prageeta Sharma will read selections from “Grief Sequence” (Wave, 2019), a narrative reflection on grief over the loss of a loved one. She is the author of five poetry collections, a recipient of the 2010 Howard Foundation Award, and a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s 2020 Four Quartets Prize. Sharma has taught at the New School for Social Research, Goddard College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the University of Montana, and is now the Henry G. Lee professor of English at Pomona College.

Poet Prageeta Sharma was born in Framingham, Massachusetts. Her parents emigrated from India in 1969, and Sharma was raised a Hindu. Sharma attended Simon’s Rock College of Bard as an undergraduate and earned her MFA from Brown University and an MA in media studies from The New School. In addition to her most recent collection, noted above, her collections of poetry include Bliss to Fill (2000); The Opening Question (2004), which won the Fence Modern Poets Prize; Infamous Landscapes (2007); and Undergloom (2013).  She is the founder and president of the conference Thinking Its Presence: Race, Creative Writing, and Literary Studies.

This event is free and open to the public.

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Learn the “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” with Spark Joy Charlotte

West StockbridgeOn April 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the West Stockbridge Public Library to attend the “Spark Joy Program” and learn how to tidy with Shannon Huneycutt of Spark Joy Charlotte.

During the presentation, Shannon Huneycutt will share the KonMari philosophy and guiding principles that will help you tidy up once and for all. Learn the secrets to leading a life that sparks joy and discover how decluttering and organizing can have a positive impact on your overall well-being. You’ll leave feeling motivated and inspired to create a more joyful and organized environment in your home, office, and life.

In addition to the insightful presentation, there will be a special giveaway at the end of the event, as well as an opportunity for you to ask questions and interact with Shannon Huneycutt. To attend, pre-registration is required and can be done at

Don’t miss this chance to learn the life-changing magic of tidying with the Spark Joy Program. Mark your calendars for April 19 and join the West Stockbridge Public Library for an evening of inspiration and practical tips for creating a more joyful and organized life.

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Odds Against Tomorrow 1959 film poster.

Hudson Hall shows “Odds Against Tomorrow” from 1959

Hudson, N.Y.On Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m., Hudson Hall will show “Odds Against Tomorrow” (1959, dir. Robert Wise, 95min) in collaboration with The Hudson Area Library History Room.

Partly shot right here in Hudson, New York, “Odds Against Tomorrow” is widely cited as the last movie of the film noir era. This taut and tense heist film stars Harry Belafonte as a reckless gambler who joins with a bigoted ex-con (Robert Ryan) and an embittered ex-cop (Ed Begley) in a last-ditch bank robbery in a small upstate town. Featuring incredible footage of 1950’s Hudson and many local residents as extras, “Odds Against Tomorrow” not only offers an opportunity to see the Hudson of yesteryear, but offers an allegory about racism, greed, and man’s propensity for self-destruction.

This screening includes a special exhibition of photographs shot on location during the filming of “Odds Against Tomorrow,” provided by the Hudson Area Library History Room.

Tickets are $5, available here.

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“Liminal Spaces: the Overlooked and the Overworldly” on view now at MCLA Gallery 51

North Adams— MCLA Gallery 51 will debut a new exhibit, “Liminal Spaces: the Overlooked and the Otherworldly,” on Thursday, April 20 at 5 p.m.

This exhibit showcases the work of six artists whose imagery focuses on being between spaces or times, such as ending college and beginning life outside of school, or finding one’s way through changes of the pandemic’s impacts on our lives, to subtler states of being that are often overlooked or fantasized.

Each artist’s work explores these larger themes differently. Senior Eloise Baker’s installation relates to hidden computer code made apparent through weaving; Tiffany Ferriera’s ‘23 collage-paintings pull together common elements from nature, living, and dying; Rachel Zemsky’s ‘23 imagery activates considerations of burn-out and recovery; whereas Deianara Seamans’ ‘23 colorful rabbits implore us to consider folklore passing through our attention; Joseph Vigiard’s ‘23 drawings imply dreams of the past and the future; and Delano Mill’s ‘23 comics detail stories of moving through revenge to difficult truths. “Liminal Spaces” is a culmination of MCLA Art Major seniors’ final exhibit of their expertise and artistry.

The reception is free and open to the public.

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Fresh Grass | North Adams. Image courtesy of MASS MoCA.

FreshGrass North Adams music festival tickets are now on sale

North Adams— Set against the foothills of the beautiful Berkshire mountains FreshGrass North Adams, September 22-24, is a family-friendly festival with the best in bluegrass and roots music filling the fields, courtyards, and galleries of MASS MoCA—the largest contemporary art museum in the country (gallery admission included with all tickets). Along with world premieres, emerging artist competitions, farm-fresh food, local brews, and pop-up jam sessions, this is three days of festival magic produced in partnership by MASS MoCA, the FreshGrass Foundation, and No Depression.

The FreshGrass North Adams 2023 lineup features Dropkick Murphys Acoustic—playing songs from their two albums with the lyrics of Woody Guthrie – plus acoustic arrangements of all your DKM favorites—Lukas Nelson + POTR, Sierra Ferrell, Rhiannon Giddens, The Devil Makes Three, Aoife O’Donovan premiering a FreshGrass Composition Commission, Allison Russell, Mighty Poplar featuring Noam Pikelny, Andrew Marlin, Chris Eldridge, & Greg Garrison, and more.

Tickets are $500 VIP FreshPass; $164 3-Day Adult; $119 3-Day Student; $59 3-Day Child 6-16; Free Kids 5 and under; available here.


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