Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Daniel’s Art Party; CATA art book; ‘Battle of the Bartenders’; Voodoo Orchestra at Club Helsinki Hudson; ‘Backdoor Poetry’ art exhibit

The book "You Can't Replace Yourself” draws from 25 years of poems, paintings and drawings created in Community Access to the Arts' weekly arts workshops.

Daniel’s Art Party to celebrate the arts, community

Ken Roht. Photo courtesy Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Great Barrington — The Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock will present Daniel’s Art Party Tuesday, June 12, through Sunday, July 1. A springtime celebration of community and the arts, the festival is curated by Los Angeles theater, opera and film artist Ken Roht.

Ellen Gorman and Andrea Blacklow of Moving Arts Exchange. Photo courtesy Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Roht’s signature brand of whimsical surrealism will infuse the many interactive, multimedia offerings that will populate Daniel’s Art Party. Scheduled events include the pop-art ballet “Edward Elgar’s Variations Tour,” which incorporates every inch of the Daniel Arts Center and features Martin Jason Asprey as Elgar and choreography by Andrea Blacklow and Ellen Gorman of Moving Arts Exchange; a campus-wide theatrical scavenger hunt created by director/designer Michael Counts with art design by fiber artist and sculptor Huck Elling; a majestic choral concert gone hilariously awry featuring director/actor James Warwick and the Cantilena Chamber Choir; “The Secret City,” a postmodern, secular revival show led by Obie Award-winning performance artist Chris Wells; a collaboration with Railroad Street Youth Project and other community organizations to create an indoor county fair; and a collaboration with the Berkshire County firefighters on a spoken word concert.

James Warwick. Photo courtesy Bard College at Simon’s Rock

“Daniel’s Art Party is a festival of individual offerings, but it’s also a single, interconnected theatrical expression, investigating the beauty, humor, strength, and resilience of communities coming together to create a more enlightened and empowered whole,” said Roht. “As the artistic director of the festival, my focus will be to involve students and faculty from Simon’s Rock and the Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, community organizations, and artists from all over the Berkshires, New York City, and the national arts community.”

For tickets and more information on specific events, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Daniel Arts Center at (413) 528-7400 or


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Community Access to the Arts publishes art and poetry book

Community Access to the Arts artists David Zoharian and Cathy Marden display CATA’s book ‘You Can’t Replace Yourself.’ Photo courtesy Community Access to the Arts

Great Barrington — Community Access to the Arts has published “You Can’t Replace Yourself,” its first-ever collection of artwork and poetry, featuring work by 46 artists and writers with disabilities. CATA will celebrate the release with a book launch event at its studio Tuesday, June 12 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“You Can’t Replace Yourself” draws from 25 years of poems, paintings and drawings created in CATA’s weekly arts workshops. From touching observations and fantastic dreams to tender musings on love, life and hairdryers, “You Can’t Replace Yourself” is a moving collection that honors the individual voices of people with disabilities. Poets included in the book take part in CATA’s weekly Writers’ Workshop, which has been helping CATA writers to explore creative and expressive poetic forms since 2005. The paintings and drawings represent a small portion of the revelatory artwork created by CATA artists.

The book launch will include selections from the book read by CATA writers as well as CATA writing faculty and other supporters. A reception and book signing will follow. Books will be available for sale and several of the artists and writers will be in attendance to sign copies.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Community Access to the Arts at (413) 528-5485 or


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‘Battle of the Bartenders’ to support Berkshire Immigrant Center

Williamstown — Berkshire Realtors will present an evening of competitive bartending Monday, June 11, beginning at 5 p.m. at Gala Restaurant & Bar to benefit Berkshire Immigrant Center. Six teams will square off in half-hour shifts to see who can raise the most tips during their time behind the bar.

Berkshire Immigrant Center, which recently received an Excellence Award from the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, was founded in 1997 and is the only program in Berkshire County that focuses exclusively on meeting the unique challenges of growing immigrant and refugee population. All tips from the evening will support BIC and its current “10,000 Strong” campaign, honoring the more than 10,000 foreign-born residents of the Berkshires during June’s national Immigrant Heritage Month. Berkshire Realtors chose to donate proceeds from the evening to BIC in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

Bartending teams and schedules for the evening are Maureen Baran and Erin Scott, 5 to 5:30 p.m.; Buffy Lord and Susan Gold, 5:30 to 6 p.m.; Brooke Mead and Joe Bergeron, 6 to 6:30 p.m.; Seth Alden and Terry Lamb, 6:30 to 7 p.m.; Jason Dohaney and Sarah DeSanty Gaffey, 7 to 7:30 p.m.; and Brad J. Felix and Michelle Picard, 7:30 to 8 p.m.

For more information, contact Berkshire Immigrant Center at (413) 445-4881 or


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Club Helsinki Hudson to welcome Bobby Previte’s Voodoo Orchestra

Bobby Previte. Photo: Kate Previte

Hudson, N.Y. — Award-winning composer, drummer and bandleader Bobby Previte will bring his Voodoo Orchestra, which is devoted to exploring the music of Miles Davis’s electric jazz-funk masterpiece, “Bitches Brew,” to Club Helsinki Hudson Monday, June 11, at 8 p.m.

“Bitches Brew,” released in 1970, changed not only the landscape of jazz, but of rock, funk, soul and pop, as well. Hailed as a masterpiece upon its release, it has proven even more influential in the passage of time.

Previte, a seminal figure of the 1980s New York downtown scene, is the winner of the 2015 Greenfield Prize for music. A performer/composer whose work explores the nexus between composed and improvised music, Previte received a 2012 Guggenheim fellowship for music. His more than 200 original compositions have been recorded and released on the Sony, Elektra, Rykodisc, Palmetto, New World, Ropeadope, Thirsty Ear and Tzadik labels.

Comprised of an all-star lineup of Hudson Valley and New York City jazz talent, the Voodoo Orchestra features Tyler Wood on Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer, Tony Kieraldo on Fender Rhodes keyboard, Jonathan Talbott on violin, Keith Pray on soprano saxophone, Marcus DeGrazia on baritone saxophone, Danny Blume on electric guitar, and Previte on drums. Previte launched the original Voodoo Orchestra in the Tap Bar of New York City’s the Knitting Factory in 1999. Every Tuesday night, Previte and top jazz improvisers would assemble to play “Bitches Brew” in its entirety. The concept caught on, and Previte took the project to jazz clubs and festival stages around the world.

Tickets are $10. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Club Helsinki Hudson at (518) 828-4800.


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Artist Stella Elliston exhibits at Camphill Ghent

Stella Elliston. Photo courtesy Camphill Ghent

Chatham, N.Y. — An exhibit of oil paintings titled “Backdoor Poetry” by Great Barrington, Massachusetts, artist Stella Elliston runs through Saturday, June 30, at Camphill Ghent. A reception with the artist will be held Monday, June 11, at 4 p.m. in the gallery.

Elliston’s relationship with art began at an early age when she was invited to participate in an art program for youth at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. A graduate of Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in English and fine arts, Elliston paints in watercolors, acrylics and oils. She is a member of the Housatonic Art League and has shown her work in various venues in the area including the Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington and a juried show at the Welles Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts. Elliston has also exhibited her work at the Chatham Bookstore and Six Depot Roastery and Café in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Camphill Ghent at (518) 392-2760 or



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