This weekend's Celebrate Stephentown event will showcase the vibrant, rural New York town. Photo courtesy Celebrate Stephentown

Bits & Bytes: Celebrate Stephentown; B’Shalom Chorale concerts; Du Bois talk; ‘The Opioid Crisis in the Berkshires’; flower show call for entries

On Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Lenox Town Hall, the Maimonides Society of the Berkshires will present “Opioid Crisis in the Berkshires,” a forum exploring the local impact of the opioid addiction crisis.

Celebrate Stephentown to showcase vibrant rural community

Stephentown, N.Y. — From Friday, Aug. 16, through Sunday, Aug. 18, the only Stephentown on Earth will welcome visitors from around the region and beyond for Celebrate Stephentown 2019. Situated just to the west of the Berkshires, the three-day grassroots festival celebrates everything Stephentown’s vibrant rural community has to offer with a schedule that includes 26 different events at 20 different locations all over town showcasing the work of artisans, artists, businesses, farmers, musicians and service organizations.

The program for this third edition of the festival features sales, stories, demonstrations, open houses, local food, music, a tour of a working farm and a rail trail race. The festival will kick off Friday, Aug. 16, with an opening night reception from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Stephentown Fire Hall featuring artwork, music, food and other products that are only #madeinstephentown. A highlight of the festival will be “Young Men At War: Remembering the Tet Offensive,” a photography exhibit by Chatham resident John Olson in 1968 and presented Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. by the Veterans of Stephentown at Stephentown Veterans Memorial Park, 350 NY Route 43.

For more information and a full schedule of events, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact


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The B’Shalom Chorale. Photo courtesy B’Shalom Chorale

B’Shalom Chorale to present two concerts

Great Barrington — The B’Shalom Chorale, the Berkshires’ only chorale showcasing Jewish music, will culminate its sixth season with two concerts, the first of which will be held Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire. The second concert will take place Thursday, Aug. 15, at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge.

At the Hevreh concert, the chorale will be singing music from Salamone Rossi’s Baroque era settings of Jewish liturgy to Kurt Weill’s jazz-inspired “Kiddush” as well as popular Israeli songs. The second performance is an interfaith concert with selections from the B’Shalom Chorale and the Berkshire Lyric Chamber Chorus.

B’Shalom Chorale conductor Jack Brown is also the artistic director of the Berkshire Lyric Chorus as well as choral director of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and the Hotchkiss School. Accompanist Joe Rose is also the accompanist for the Berkshire Lyric Chorus and music director at St. Charles Church in Pittsfield. The B’Shalom Chorale was founded and is coordinated by Cantor Emerita Emily Sleeper Mekler of Sinai Temple in Springfield.

Tickets to the Hevreh concert are $15 and will be sold at the door. Funds raised via donation from the Stockbridge concert will help support the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts. For more information, contact the B’Shalom Chorale at (413) 418-1836 or


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Becket Arts Center to host talk on W.E.B. Du Bois

Camesha Scruggs. Photo courtesy UMass Amherst

Becket — On Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 7:30 p.m., the Becket Arts Center will welcome Camesha Scruggs of UMass Amherst, a site guide at the W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site in Great Barrington, who will present a multimedia program about the famed civil rights leader and Berkshires native.

A founder of the NAACP, historian, sociologist and passionate advocate for breaking down racial divides, Du Bois’ career often caused controversy. He authored the bestseller “The Souls of Black Folk,” among dozens of other books. Said BAC board member Ruth Rosenthal, “We are hoping that this program and Camesha’s readings from his powerful work will alert people to the historical importance of Du Bois not just as a national figure but as a local hero who was born and raised right here in our Berkshires hills.”

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call (413) 623-6635 or


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DA Harrington, Brien Center’s Dr. Michaels to discuss opioid crisis

Dr. Jennifer Michaels. Photo courtesy the Brien Center

Lenox — On Sunday, Aug. 18, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, at the Lenox Town Hall, 6 Walker St., the Maimonides Society of the Berkshires will present “Opioid Crisis in the Berkshires,” a forum exploring the local impact of the opioid addiction crisis.

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington

Speaking about the health consequences will be Dr. Jennifer Michaels, assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the medical director of the Brien Center. Discussing the effect on law enforcement and incarceration will be Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington. Both speakers will respond to questions from the audience.

This event is open to the public. Couvert is $15; a breakfast of bagels and spreads will be served. To RSVP, contact the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires at (413) 442-4360 x10 or by Wednesday, Aug. 14.


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Entries sought for third annual Garden and Flower Show

Lenox — The Lenox Historical Society and the Academy Garden Club of Lenox will present the 2019 Garden and Flower Show Saturday, Aug. 24, and Sunday, Aug. 25, at the Lenox Town Hall, 6 Walker St.

The show will be reminiscent of flower shows held at Town Hall during the early to mid-1900s, and will feature flowers, fruits, vegetables and containers/houseplants. This year’s theme is “Music in the Hills.” Division I includes four design classes open to all ages: Enchanted Fairy Gardens, Whimsical Wreaths, On the Lawn at Tanglewood, and Magical Melodies of Summer. Division II includes five horticulture classes open to amateurs of all ages: Vegetables, Herbs, Cut Specimens, Containers/Houseplants, and Native Flowers.

All classes are free of charge. Applications and accompanying packets should be mailed to Lenox Historical Society, 65 Main St., P.O. Box 1856, Lenox, MA 01240 or dropped off at that location Thursday, Aug. 15, through Saturday, Aug. 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. See the application packet for general information and show rules. The deadline for entry is Monday, Aug. 19. For questions about the show, call Dianne at (413) 822-1447. For questions about the application, contact Vickie at (413) 441-7902 or