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The Great Barrington Libraries will offer public forums Monday, April 9, and Tuesday, April 10, in order to gain input on the future of Ramsdell Library in Housatonic. Photo courtesy Great Barrington Libraries

Bits & Bytes: Future of Ramsdell Library discussion; Bettye LaVette at Club Helsinki Hudson; RSYP parent education workshops; Holocaust Remembrance Day film screening; Earth Month film series

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By Thursday, Apr 5, 2018 Life In the Berkshires

Public meeting to discuss the future of Ramsdell Library

Great Barrington — The Great Barrington Libraries and library consulting firm Kimberly Bolan & Associates invites community members to participate in a forum to discuss the future of Ramsdell Library in Housatonic. With an emphasis on rethinking the role of libraries in the 21st century and beyond, Kimberly Bolan & Associates seeks the public’s thoughts on what Ramsdell Library is and can be.

Forums will be held Monday, April 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire; and Tuesday, April 10, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Mason Library.

For more information, contact Mason Library at (413) 528-2403 or Ramsdell Library at (413) 274-3738.


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Club Helsinki Hudson to welcome Bettye LaVette

Bettye LaVette. Photo: Mark Seliger

Hudson, N.Y. — Club Helsinki Hudson will welcome rhythm and blues singer Bettye LaVette Saturday, April 7, at 9 p.m.

After nearly 50 years in the music business flying just under the radar of popular recognition, LaVette’s 2005 album, “I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise” introduced the Detroit-raised vocalist to a wider audience for the first time. It also helped establish her new and unique aesthetic as a soulful interpreter of songs from the rock arena, as heard on her 2010 album, “Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook.”

LaVette comes to the area just one week after the release of her highly anticipated new album, “Things Have Changed,” which features versions of songs written by Bob Dylan. The album includes backing by former Dylan guitarist Larry Campbell as well as guests such as Keith Richards and Trombone Shorty. The album includes the title track and “It Ain’t Me Babe,” plus 10 other Dylan-penned tunes.

Tickets are $35–$50. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Club Helsinki Hudson at (518) 828-4800.


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Berkshire Museum to host Holocaust Remembrance Day film screening

Image courtesy imdb.com

Pittsfield — The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, the Diocese of Springfield and the Italian-American Club of Pittsfield will present a screening of the documentary film “My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes” Sunday, April 8, at 2 p.m. at the Berkshire Museum in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“My Italian Secret” recounts how, during World War II, Tour de France bicycling champion Gino Bartali, physician Giovanni Borromeo and other Italians worked with high-ranking officials of the Roman Catholic Church, risking their lives by defying the Nazis to save thousands of Italy’s Jews. The film, which was released in 2015, is narrated by Isabella Rossellini with Robert Loggia as the voice of Bartali.

After the film, La Rabinessa Liora Kelman of Congregation Beth Israel in Schenectady, New York, will share her family history of survival. The public is welcome to stay for candle lighting and prayers in memory of those who died in the Holocaust.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires at (413) 442-4360 or federation@jewishberkshires.org.


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RSYP to hold workshops for parents of children struggling with substance abuse


Jeffrey Foote. Photo courtesy Center for Motivation & Change

Great Barrington — The South Berkshire Community Health Coalition, led by Railroad Street Youth Project and the CMC: Foundation for Change, invite parents to “An Invitation to Change: Parent Training for Helping a Child Struggling with Substances” at Berkshire South Regional Community Center. The program will be offered in three sessions: Monday, April 30, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Monday, May 14, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The training, which offers tools and support for parents of young people who are currently experimenting or struggling with substance use, will be taught by Jeffrey Foote, Ph.D., co-founder and co-executive director of CMC: Foundation for Change. Based on “The Invitation to Change Approach,” the training is practical and skills-oriented, bringing together ideas from several evidence-based therapy approaches. It is not based on ideas of “detachment,” but on the idea that parents can take care of themselves and the rest of their family while also learning active strategies to help their child. The workshop will cover four major topics: helping with understanding, helping with self-care, helping with words and helping with actions.

The cost of the three-session program is $25. Scholarships are available. For more information or to register, contact Iona Smith at iona@rsyp.org.


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Williams College to offer Earth Month film series

Image courtesy imdb.com

Williamstown — Throughout the month of April, the Williams College Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives will sponsor a film series in honor of Earth Month. All films will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Paresky Auditorium.

Friday, April 6 – “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story
Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of food waste from farm and retail, and pledge to quit grocery shopping and survive only on discarded food. A discussion with Zilkha Center assistant director Mike Evans will follow the film.

Tuesday, April 10 – “Growing Cities
“Growing Cities” tells the stories of urban farmers, innovators and everyday city-dwellers who are challenging the way the U.S. grows and distributes its food. A discussion with assistant professor of leadership studies and political science Mason Williams will follow the film.

Image courtesy imdb.com

Thursday, April 19 – “Arise
“Arise” presents the stories of a diverse group of 13 women in five countries who have initiated solution-oriented environmental projects in their communities, towns and villages. A discussion with assistant professor of environmental studies and faculty affiliate in history Laura Martin will follow the film.

Tuesday, April 24 – “At the Fork
“At the Fork” follows filmmaker and omnivore John Papola and his vegetarian wife, Lisa, as they investigate the way the U.S. agricultural system produces animal products for human consumption. A discussion with Mellon postdoctoral fellow in environmental studies Les Beldo will follow the film.

The screenings are free and open to the public. For building locations on the Williams campus, consult the online map or call the Office of Communications at (413) 597-4277.


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