Wednesday, June 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Maggie Meiners photographs; CATA art show; walk to stop the NED pipeline; Fairview donates to People’s Pantry; BTCF winter grants

Fairview Hospital has donated $1,500 to the People’s Pantry. The gift was made possible by proceeds from the Fairview’s annual Monster Dash 5k walk/run.

‘Revisiting Rockwell’ by Maggie Meiners at Berkshire School

Sheffield — A recent revelation about Norman Rockwell’s technique inspired a body of work by award-winning Chicago-area photographer and Berkshire School graduate Maggie Meiners: Rockwell’s cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post were created using staged photographs as studies. Building on a life-long affinity with Rockwell’s mid-century observations on American life along with the humor, candor, and social commentary found in his body of work, Maggie Meiners meticulously recreated and reinterpreted the scenes with her camera, reframing contemporary social issues in a series of uniquely American genre scenes. Meiners’ “Revisiting Rockwell” series will be displayed in Berkshire School’s Warren Family Gallery Monday, January 18, through Saturday, March 5.

Maggie Meiners, a 1990 graduate of Berkshire School, discovered her passion for photography after pursuing a career in teaching. Her photographs have been widely exhibited and remain in the permanent collections of the Illinois Institute of Art, Wheaton College, Harrison Street Lofts, and numerous private collections. Meiners gives private lessons and critiques, teaches classes and speaks regularly about her work. She currently serves on the board of the Filter Photo Festival, is a member of the photography group f/8 Collective, and is on the Advisory Committee at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

The Warren Family Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and by appointment. Contact Berkshire School for more information at (413) 229-8511.


*     *     *

CATA artists to exhibit at Good Purpose Gallery

David 2
Piece by CATA artist David.

Lee — Community Access to the Arts (CATA) will exhibit “40 x 30x 8,” a collection of paintings by people with disabilities, at Good Purpose Gallery from Friday, January 15 through Tuesday, February 16. An artists’ reception will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 15.

The exhibit will feature eight 40 inch by 30 inch canvases created in CATA’s A.R.T. (Artistic Realization Technologies) painting workshops. A.R.T. is an innovative adaptive painting technique developed by artist Tim Lefens that allows individuals with severe physical disabilities to precisely execute their creative visions with the help of a tracker acting as hands for the artist. CATA faculty artists were trained as A.R.T. trackers through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Both CATA and College Internship Program’s Good Purpose Gallery share a mission to integrate people with disabilities into the community at large. “We’re thrilled to partner with a gallery in the Berkshires that focuses on the ability within disability,” said CATA executive director Margaret Keller.


*     *     *

MLK Walk to Stop the NED Pipeline

Prayer flags at the New England Peace Pagoda on New Year’s Day, 2016.

Northfield — According to organizer Hattie Nestel of Athol, more than a hundred people have registered for the MLK Walk to Stop the NED Pipeline, scheduled to step off from the site of a proposed natural gas pipeline compressor station on Saturday, January 16. The Reverends Gyori Kato, Toby Keyes, and Clare Carter of the New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett will lead the 34-mile, three-day walk to the proposed pipeline construction yard site in Plainfield.

A potluck meal will be shared with participants on each evening of the walk, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, and Sunday, January 17, and 4 p.m. on Monday, January 18. A Buddhist monk or nun will offer considerations of the walk and pipeline from the perspective of Martin Luther King Jr. or of Buddhist tradition. Leigh Youngblood, executive director of Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, will share insights about conserved land under Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. Storyteller David Arfa of Shelburne Falls will offer celebrations of ancient Hebrew environmental wisdom. Lyn Shaw of Hartford, Conn., will discuss the International Peace Belt, and Ben Grosscup of Greenfield will lead singing. Jim Cutler of Hilltown Community Rights will provide information about compressor stations and construction yards after Saturday’s potluck. On Sunday and Monday after the potluck, Rose Wessel of Cummington, founder of No Fracked Gas in Mass will provide updates on the pipeline controversy.

Saturday walkers will meet at 8 a.m. at the Centennial House Bed and Breakfast. They will be offered a light breakfast before shuttling to the proposed compressor station site on Gulf Road to begin the walk. After more than 11 miles, the contingent will stop Saturday night at All Souls Unitarian Church in Greenfield. Following Sunday breakfast walkers will cover another 11-plus miles to the United Congregational Church in Conway. After breakfast at the Conway church on Monday, participants will walk another eleven miles to the proposed Plainfield construction site where they will be shuttled to Village Congregational Church in Cummington for a closing program and circle following the potluck meal.

Nestel urged walkers to dress appropriately in layers and to wear dependable footwear. “Even in cold weather, walking tends to warm the body,” she said. “so layers are important. If walking conditions are rainy or icy, walkers must be prepared for the elements and road surfaces.” Walk organizers have notified police departments along the way and have arranged for support vehicles, food, and overnight accommodations.

For further information or to register to participate in the walk, contact Nestel at (978) 790-3074 or


*     *     *

Fairview Hospital’s Monster Dash helps People’s Pantry

Vicki Coons (left) of Fairview Hospital’s Rehabilitation Department and Kathy Townsend (right) of Fairview’s Employee Recreation Association present a $1,500 check to Rosemary Carpenite (center) of the People’s Pantry.

Great Barrington – Fairview Hospital has donated $1,500 to the People’s Pantry. The gift was made possible by proceeds from the Fairview’s annual Monster Dash 5k walk/run held on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

The Monster Dash, which celebrated its 11th year in 2015, was started by Fairview’s Rehabilitation Department to celebrate Physical Therapy Month in October. The 2015 event drew a record number of participants and included a food drive along with a generous monetary donations and registration fees that helped make the gift possible.

“It is heartwarming to be able to support the increasing needs of those most vulnerable in our community,” said Vicki Coons, a physical therapy assistant at Fairview and founder of the event.


*     *     *

BTCF awards $2.1 million in winter grants cycle

Sheffield — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) has announced the recipients of the final round of grantmaking for 2015. BTCF distributed a total of $470,170 in grants to individuals and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves as well as grants totaling over $1.6 million from donors with charitable funds at the foundation.

Education and Enrichment: Grants to regional schools, school districts and organizations with educational programs in Berkshire County totaled $42,170 and included $5,000 for Dalton Cooperative Nursery School’s early childhood and literacy programs; $4,000 to offer Berkshire Theatre Group’s PLAYS!, a playwriting and performance program, to all fifth-grade students at Kittredge Elementary School and Becket Washington School; and $2,150 for Hillcrest Dental Care to provide oral health education to children in daycare and elementary school students.

Arts and Culture: Grants to artists and arts programs in Berkshire County totaled $66,983 and included $10,000 to Kim Faler of Williamstown to purchase equipment and produce a video piece for an upcoming exhibition; $6,150 for Community Access to the Arts’ visual arts workshops for the severely disabled; and $1,800 for Nutshell Playhouse to present a series of theater performances at Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter School.

Health and Human Services: Grants to nonprofits providing social and human services totaled $117,151 and included $26,500 for Youth Center, Inc.’s afterschool and leadership programs; $7,000 for Elizabeth Freeman Center’s violence prevention programs for middle and high school students; and $6,000 for Porchlight Home Care’s “Move In Time” program to reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Environment: Grants to environmental organizations and programs in Berkshire County totaled $16,304 and included $4,000 for Tamarack Hollow’s nature and conservation programs; $3,500 for Housatonic Valley Association for a project to protect cold water fisheries; and $2,844 for Berkshire Environmental Action Team to track wildlife and collect data.

A full list of regional grants is available online.



The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

Continue reading

BITS & BYTES: Pamyua at Bennington Theater; Center for Peace through Culture exhibition; New Marlborough Meeting House Gallery exhibition; Brandon Patrick George at Tannery...

Often described as “Inuit Soul Music,” Pamyua’s style derives from traditional melodies reinterpreted with contemporary vocalization and instrumentation.

Birds are the focus of the Great Barrington Land Conservancy’s upcoming program, including new project at McAllister Wildlife Refuge

The new bobolink monitoring program at McAllister Park is one citizen science endeavor the public is invited to learn about at the Great Barrington Land Conservancy’s (GBLC's) community program and annual meeting on Saturday, June 22.

BITS & BYTES: Aba Diop Trio at Race Brook Lodge; Kay Lerner, Pattie Lipman and John Huffaker at Art on Main; Congresswoman Nikema Williams...

The trio’s overall effect is a mesmerizing amalgam tethered to an ancient impulse while offering a current —and deeply listenable— reflection of our shared humanity.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.