Monday, June 24, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: First Fridays Artswalk; Behold! New Lebanon opening day; Summer Celebration of Jewish Music; D.R.E.A.M. Ring dance; Harrington qualifies for ballot; South Shore Trio at the Colonial

Andrea Harrington, candidate for state Senate, submitted well over the required 300 certified signatures to the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office and will appear on the ballot in the Democratic primary on Thursday, September 8.

June First Fridays Artswalk

“Near Sana ‘a January 27th, 632 A.D.” by Mark Mellinger.

Pittsfield — The June 3 First Fridays Artswalk will encompass more than 15 different art shows featuring work by more than two dozen accomplished regional artists in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District. The Artswalk will kick off with opening receptions and artists present throughout from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. A free guided walking tour will begin at 5 p.m. at the BRTA Intermodal Center. The evening will culminate with a free after-walk party featuring live music from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Whitney Center for the Arts.

The Whitney Center for the Arts will present “Scapes,” a group show of regional landscape painters including Margaret Buchte, Peg Dotchin, Andrea Feldman, Ghetta Hirsch, Pat Hogan, Mark Mellinger, and John Townes. NUarts Studios and Gallery will feature the open studios of Kathy Gideon, Stacey Healy, Karen S. Jacobs, Sophie Lee, Martha Peskin, Sally Tiska Rice, Marney Schorr, and Claudia Shuster. Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men will show “From the Realm of Nature, ” a series of oil paintings and digital images by Joanna Gabler. New shows from local artists will also be displayed at Berkshire Paint and Sip, Hotel on North, Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, Unusual Wedding Rings & More, the Marketplace Café, the Berkshire Museum, the Kinderhook Group, Bagels Too, and the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts.

For more information on First Fridays Artswalk, call (413) 443-6501.


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Opening day programs at Behold! New Lebanon

Johnsons and dogs Uli Rose
The Johnson family and their border collies. Photo: Uli Rose.

New Lebanon, N.Y. — Behold! New Lebanon, the living museum of contemporary rural American life, has announced the schedule for Saturday, June 4, the opening day of its 2016 summer programs.

The programs will include:

Corkscrew Choo! Choo! – Take a leisurely stroll along the Wyomanoc Creek following the footprint of the once-famed Rutland Railroad with Joe Ogilvie, president of the Corkscrew Rail Trail Association.

The Shaker Water Works – Learn how the Shakers powered their world with water in a behind-the-scenes tour with Peter Watson at the Mount Lebanon Shaker Museum North Family site.

Hops Make the Beer – Tour artist/writer Alex Olchowski’s Spring Hill Hops, the only commercial-scale hops farm in Columbia County.

Working Dogs – Visitors to the Johnson family homestead will learn how herding breeds of farm dogs are trained and worked.

Gemstones Demystified, Pearls Renewed – Master jeweler and jewelry designer, Heather (Van Oort) Naventi will bust myths about jewelry and gemstones, demonstrate, how to distinguish fake from real, and show how to detect flaws in diamonds.

Tickets are $18 with discounts for multiple programs and families; children ages 12 and under will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Advance ticket purchase is recommended for all programs. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Behold! New Lebanon at (518) 720-7265 or


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Summer Celebration of Jewish Music

Paul Green lecturing at 2015 Summer Celebration of Jewish
Paul Green lecturing at the 2015 Summer Celebration of Jewish Music.

Pittsfield — Now in its seventh season, the Summer Celebration of Jewish Music will present a trio of events that will include a closer look and listen to the Sephardic tradition of Jewish music, a crowd-pleasing Klezmer concert, and a lecture/performance focusing on the connection between Jewish and African-American music.

The Celebration will open on Thursday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m. with a chamber music concert, “Sephardic Songs, Andrew Previn and More,” at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire in Great Barrington. The concert will feature Paul Green on clarinet, Doris Stevenson on piano, Joanna Kurkowicz on violin, and Robert Scherr on vocals. Special guest will be Ladino singer Sarah Aroeste. Tickets are $25 and will be available at the door.

Returning after a few years’ absence will be the “Klezmer Favorites” concert with Paul Green and friends on Sunday, June 5, at 3 p.m. at Temple Anshe Amunim in Pittsfield. Joining clarinetist Green will be Alan Gold on keyboard, Charles Tokarz on saxophone, and Bill Chapman on percussion. The concert will feature traditional pieces from the Eastern European Klezmer repertoire as well as the American Klezmer repertoire. Tickets are $20 and will be available at the door.

The celebration will conclude with a free lecture and demonstration by Paul Green that will look at the Jewish/African-American connection on Sunday, June 19, at 4 p.m. at the Lenox Library. Jewish music and African American music have flourished in the United States during the 20th and 21st centuries, although both cultures faced problems in adapting to life in the United States. The program will include a discussion, with live music and recorded examples, about the similarities and differences between the two genres and how they have influenced each other.


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D.R.E.A.M. Ring dance competition

Reggie Regg Roc Gray
Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray.

Pittsfield – On Friday, July 22, Jacob’s Pillow and the Berkshire Museum will co-present the D.R.E.A.M. Ring dance competition at the Berkshire Museum. Hosted by Brooklyn-based Flex dance pioneer and co-creator of FlexN, Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray, D.R.E.A.M. Ring (Dance Rules Everything Around Me) is a dance competition event that honors the culture of the street dance community, encouraging dancers to “battle” with an emphasis on creativity, innovation, and storytelling.

The day’s events will include a D.R.E.A.M. Xperience master class at 1 p.m. with Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray, Jason Cust, and Flex artists which is open to dancers of all levels ages 8 and over, and observers are welcome. D.R.E.A.M. Talks – an interactive conversation led by Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray, Jason Cust, and Abena Floyd – will take place at 6 p.m., followed at 6:30 p.m. by the D.R.E.A.M. Ring dance competition, an all-styles dance battle featuring Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray, Jason Cust, Flex artists, and local dance artists.

To register for the master class, contact Thasia Giles at (413) 243.9919 x161 or The dance competition is open to all dancers ages 12 and over and all styles of dance are accepted. Applications for the competition are due by 10 p.m. on Friday, June 3.


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Harrington qualifies for State Senate ballot

Senate Candidate Andrea Harrington Qualifies for Ballot
Andrea Harrington submitting her nomination papers to the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office.

Richmond — Andrea Harrington, a Richmond attorney and small business owner running in the Democratic primary for State Senate, has officially qualified for the ballot. Harrington submitted well over the required 300 certified signatures to the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office and will appear on the ballot in the Democratic primary on Thursday, September 8.

Harrington grew up in Richmond where she currently lives with her husband, Tim, and their two young sons. She has been actively involved in the region, serving as a member of the Richmond Affordable Housing Committee and the Richmond Consolidated School council, and as an advisory board member for BerkShares, Inc. Harrington is a graduate of Taconic High School in Pittsfield, the University of Washington, and American University‘s School of Law.


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BTG to present the South Shore Trio

Jennifer Muñiz.
Rudolf Haken
Rudolf Haken.
Trevor O’Riordan.

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) will present an afternoon of chamber music and chocolate with the South Shore Trio and Chocolate Springs on Sunday, June 5 at 3 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre as part of its On the Stage Series.

The South Shore Trio features Berkshire native Jennifer Muñiz on piano, northern Indiana and Chicago’s Trevor O’Riordan on clarinet, and Rudolf Haken on viola. The program will include Mozart’s “Kegelstatt Trio” K498 for clarinet, viola, and piano; “Ferlinghetti” and “…fifty-one clowns in the back all wearing nothing but Stars and Stripes,” by American composer Libby Larsen; and “Four Rags for Two Jons” by John Novacek.

Tickets are $30 and include a post-show reception catered by Chocolate Springs. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.



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