Sunday, July 14, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes; ‘Being Black in the Berkshires;’ Joachim Frank at Lenox Library; ‘Having Difficult Conversations’ workshop; Amanda Stern at Stockbridge Library

A discussion of African-Americans’ Berkshires history and culture as well as the stories and voices not being told or heard, 'Being Black in the Berkshires' will remember the past, assess the present and plan for the future.

Eighth annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to benefit Elizabeth Freeman Center

Pittsfield — The eighth annual Berkshire County Walk a Mile in Her Shoes March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence will take to the street Thursday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. during Pittsfield’s Third Thursday event.

Registration will begins at 5 p.m. on the corner of North Street and Columbus Avenue. Walkers are encouraged to wear their flashiest shoes as they walk a mile downtown to demonstrate their commitment to stop violence and show solidarity with abuse survivors. Registration is free and walkers are encouraged to raise funds through pledges as individuals or as teams to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Walkers who raise $55 or more will receive Walk a Mile commemorative T-shirts. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Elizabeth Freeman Center domestic violence and rape crisis organization.

EFC executive director Janis Broderick said: “Gender based violence, endemic at home as well as across the globe, is not tolerable. There have been four women murdered by male partners in the past two years in the Berkshires and almost one third of the homicides in Berkshire County in the past ten years have been domestic violence murders. Violence affects us all. We must work together as a community to make our homes and streets safe.”

Men are encouraged, though not required, to walk in women’s shoes or to decorate their own shoes at the walk. They can bring their own or choose from shoes and shoe decorations available at registration. Pledge sheets are available online and at all EFC offices as well as at Flavours of Malaysia, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace and Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men. For more information, contact EFC at (413) 499-2425 or


*     *     *

‘Being Black in the Berkshires’ to discuss African-American history, culture

NAACP – Berkshire County Branch President Dennis Powell. Photo: Terry Cowgill

Pittsfield — On Friday, Sept. 21, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church, the Pittsfield Human Rights Commission, the NAACP – Berkshire County Branch and the Second Congregational Church will present the panel discussion “Being Black in the Berkshires.” A discussion of African-Americans’ Berkshires history and culture as well as the stories and voices not being told or heard, the community conversation will remember the past, assess the present and plan for the future.

Frances Jones-Sneed. Photo courtesy Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The panel will consist of Berkshire Juvenile Court officer Russell Boyd; Alfred K. Enchill, Berkshire County district aide to Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield; Shirley Edgerton, M.Ed., founder and director of the Rites of Passage and Empowerment program and director of the Youth Alive step dance and drum teams; Eden-Reneé Hayes, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and dean of equity and inclusion at Bard College at Simon’s Rock; Frances Jones-Sneed, Ph.D., history professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, co-director of the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail and Samuel Harrison Society member; and Dennis Powell, NAACP – Berkshire County Branch president, member of the Pittsfield Licensing Board, the Pittsfield School Committee, the steering committees of the Four Freedoms Coalition and the W.E.B. Du Bois Educational Series, and board vice-chair of Clinton Church Restoration.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Drew Herzig at


*     *     *

Lenox Library to welcome Nobel Prize-winning scientist Joachim Frank

Joachim Frank. Photo courtesy Lenox Library

Lenox — On Sunday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m., the Distinguished Lecture Series at the Lenox Library will welcome Nobel Prize-winning scientist Joachim Frank, who will present “Single-Particle Cryo-Electron Microscopy: A Revolution in Visualizing Biological Molecules.”

Frank is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics and of biological sciences at Columbia University, and distinguished professor of the State University of New York at Albany. Born and educated in Germany, he received his Diplom in physics from the University of Munich. In 1975 Frank joined the Wadsworth Center in Albany, New York, as a senior research scientist, where he developed the single-particle reconstruction approach and applied it to the ribosome. He took on his current position at Columbia University in 2008. Frank shared the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in developing a way to create high-resolution 3D images of molecules of life such as proteins, lipids and ribosomes. Dubbed cryo-electron microscopy, this “cool method,” which uses electron beams to examine the tiniest structures of cells, freezes biomolecules mid-movement. The technique has allowed scientists to take a closer look at the Zika virus and an Alzheimer’s enzyme.

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Lenox Library at (413) 637-0197.


*     *     *

Berkshire Women’s Action Group to present discussion workshop

Daniel Noah Moses. Photo courtesy Seeds of Peace

Great Barrington — The Berkshire Women’s Action Group will present “Having Difficult Conversations,” a workshop led by Daniel Noah Moses, Ph.D., Thursday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Great Barrington firehouse, 37 State Road.

The interactive workshop and discussion will focus on challenges, opportunities and techniques for engaging in productive dialogue across diverse perspectives and belief systems. Moses is the director of educator programs at Seeds of Peace, having dedicated 18 years to engaging with people across conflict lines and exploring the roots of cross-cultural understanding. He is currently writing a book about his experiences working for Seeds of Peace.

The workshop is free and open to the public but is limited to 30 participants. For more information or to register, contact


*     *     *

Author Amanda Stern to speak at Stockbridge Library

Amanda Stern. Photo: Jon Pack

Stockbridge — The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives will host Amanda Stern, author of “Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life,” as part of its Speaker Series Saturday, Sept. 22, at 4 p.m.

Shuttled between divorced parents from a barefoot bohemian existence in Greenwich Village to a sanitized, stricter world uptown, Amanda experienced life through the distorting lens of an undiagnosed panic disorder, convinced her worries would protect her family from danger. Candid, tender, funny and immersive, “Little Panic” is at once a love letter to 1970s- and ’80s-era New York City and a memoir about living life on the razor’s edge of panic.

Stern’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Filmmaker, the Believer, Salon, BlackBook, Post Road Magazine and others. Her personal essays have been included in the anthologies “Love is a Four Letter Word,” “The Marijuana Chronicles” and “Women in Clothes,” and her Believer interview with Laurie Anderson was included in “Confidence, or the Appearance of Confidence: The Best of the Believer Music Interviews.” She has published 12 novels: nine for children (the “Frankly, Frannie” under the name A.J. Stern); two for young adults (“You’re So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” and its sequel under the name Fiona Rosenbloom); and one novel of literary fiction, “The Long Haul” under her real name. She’s held fellowships at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. In 2012 she was a New York Foundation for the Arts fiction fellow. She lives in Brooklyn.

The event is free and open to the public. For ore information, contact the Stockbridge Library at (413) 298-5501 or



The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

Continue reading

THEN & NOW: The first railroad in Berkshire County

West Stockbridge also holds the honor of welcoming the first railroad into Berkshire County.

BITS & BYTES: Madou Sidiki Diabaté and Salif Bamakora at The Foundry; Ximena Bedoya The Clark; The Funky Fiber Artist at The Little Gallery;...

Experience the history, power, magic and guidance of the West African Kora with world renowned 71st-generation virtuoso Madou Sidiki Diabaté, accompanied by his longtime student Salif Bamakora.

BITS & BYTES: ‘The Comedy of Errors’ at Shakespeare & Company; Heard World Jazz at New Marlborough Meeting House; ‘Iodine’ at Adams Theater; James...

“The Comedy of Errors” is set in the seaside Vaudeville of New York City, 1912, a mystical and sometimes strange place filled with as much magic and mischief as sailors and sea captains.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.