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Bits & Bytes: ThinkFOOD conference; Berkshire Pulse duo in Baltimore; ‘Close Look: Mapping Stories’

The daylong ThinkFOOD conference at Simon's Rock will explore the theme “The Future of Farming: Democratizing the Food System.”

Fifth annual ThinkFOOD conference to focus on future of farming

A panel of experts discusses equity and fair wages for farmworkers at the 2017 ThinkFOOD conference at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Photo courtesy Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Great Barrington — The Center for Food Studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock will hold its fifth annual ThinkFOOD conference on Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Kellogg Music Center. The conference will explore the theme “The Future of Farming: Democratizing the Food System.” The daylong conference will feature interactive sessions with stakeholders in agriculture and food justice who are working directly to change the system.

At the morning panel, speakers from Soul Fire Farm in Petersburg, New York; Gardening the Community in Springfield; and the National Young Farmers Coalition in Hudson, New York will discuss why the ownership of food production is important. A lunch featuring local foods will be served in Simon’s Rock’s dining hall. The afternoon will consist of roundtable discussions with invited moderators representing different facets of the food system including Greenagers executive director Will Conklin and Amanda Brown, director of the UMass Student Farm in Amherst. The discussions will examine how concerned citizens can connect with agriculture in a productive way via social justice organizations, community supported agriculture, farmers’ markets and community gardens, for example. The conference will close with a campus tree walk led by Simon’s Rock environmental science faculty member Donald McClelland to discover native trees with foraging potential.

Admission is $25 for the general public and free for students. Lunch is an additional $10. Seating is limited and registration is required. For a schedule of the day’s events or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar.


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Zenith Limon, left, and Antonius Louw. Photo: Susan Quinn

Berkshire Pulse students to perform at Baltimore Theatre Project

Housatonic — Berkshire Pulse has announced that Antonius Louw and Zenith Limon, 14-year-old students in its Dance for Boys program, have been invited to perform their original piece “Limitless” as part of “In the Company of Men…Part III,” an evening of dance art embracing themes of masculinity, life, love, social awareness and human-ness curated by Vincent E. Thomas. The performances will take place Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31, at the Baltimore Theatre Project in Maryland.

Antonius and Zenith, both eighth-grade students at Monument Valley Regional Middle School in Great Barrington and residents of Housatonic, have participated in the Dance for Boys program since its creation in 2012. Directed by Tom Masters, the program offers classes specifically for young men ages 9 and up in modern and ballet technique, improvisation and dance making.

Award-winning choreographer and educator Thomas is the founder of VTDance and professor of dance at Towson University in Maryland. His work in dance for men and boys in Baltimore and beyond sparked his interest in Pulse’s program and led to an invitation for the two boys to visit Towson, participate in classes and perform their piece.

Featuring an intergenerational cast of men, the dance concert will highlight artistic works including “Limitless,” the original piece choreographed and performed by Antonius and Zenith to music by Croatian cello duo 2Cellos. Inspired by their studies with Pulse instructors Masters and Tom Truss as well as visiting teachers such Shawn Ahern of the Pilobolus dance company in Washington, Connecticut, and their own experiments with movement on a trampoline, Antonius and Zenith created “Limitless” to depict the connection they have as friends and their common appreciation for experiencing life and learning through the physical and artistic journey of dance. Antonius and Zenith have done their own fundraising to cover expenses associated with the trip, an have also received funding from the Railroad Street Youth Project’s Youth Operational Board.


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‘Close Look: Mapping Stories’ at WCMA

Lordy Rodriguez, ‘Territory State,’ 2006. Watercolor and ink on paper. Image courtesy Williams College Museum of Art

Williamstown — The Williams College Museum of Art will present “Close Look: Mapping Stories” Tuesday, April 3, at 4 p.m., featuring Williams College assistant professor of geosciences José Constantine and artist Lordy Rodriguez discussing Rodriguez’s conceptual maps that visualize global relationships, history and culture. The talk is offered in conjunction with WCMA’s Object Lab student course “Mastering GIS,” taught by Constantine, which uses a geographic information systems to display data related to positions on Earth’s surface to help solve environmental problems. The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact WCMA at (413) 597-2429.



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