Members of the Kiwanis clubs of Lee, Pittsfield and Sheffield gathered Aug. 23 at St. Mary’s School in Lee to collaborate with the Outreach Program to provide over 14,000 meals to food pantries and other organizations in their service areas. Kiwanis members, family and friends volunteered to weigh, measure, label and package bulk dry ingredients for pasta with tomato sauce and minestrone soup into packs of four to six meals each. Through this program, each Kiwanis Club was able to provide nearly 4,000 meals to local families in need. For more information, contact Photo courtesy Kiwanis Club of Sheffield

Bits & Bytes: ‘Songs of Comfort’; Census form help; ‘Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance’

The committee states that an accurate Census count is important in order to ensure that every community gets its share of the over $629 billion distributed each year through a variety of federal and state programs.

Hancock Shaker Village to offer ‘Songs of Comfort’ to essential workers

Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax at Tanglewood’s Linde Center for Music and Learning. Photo courtesy Boston Symphony Orchestra

Pittsfield — On Sunday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m., Hancock Shaker Village will present “Live from Hancock Shaker Village: Songs of Comfort,” a concert for a small, invited audience of essential workers. The concert will be broadcast live on WAMC and will stream on and the WAMC app. The concert will feature Yo-Yo Ma, Anjimile, Emanuel Ax, Billy Keane and Chantell McFarland performing on the Hancock Shaker Village lawn for a regional audience including teachers, nurses, firefighters, health care workers, police officers, maintenance workers, farmers, food bank volunteers and grocery workers. Former Gov. Deval Patrick will speak briefly during the concert about resilience in the face of adversity.

“Our goal is to create one night of words and music as a thank you to those who work so hard to sustain us and keep our community safe,” said Hancock Shaker Village director Jennifer Trainer Thompson. “Life has been so difficult for so many, especially given that we don’t know when this pandemic will end. ‘Songs of Comfort’ is an evening to thank our essential workers of the region — in person, and on WAMC — and maybe also to inspire them, given that our hardest days may still be ahead.”

“Music, like all of culture,” Yo-Yo Ma wrote, “helps us to understand our environment, each other, and ourselves. Culture helps us to imagine a better future…. And these things have never been more important.”


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U.S. Census form help available

Sheffield — Berkshire County residents who have yet to complete their 2020 U.S. Census forms are welcome to join members of the Sheffield Complete Count Committee at the Bushnell-Sage Library from 10 to 11 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday through Wednesday, Sept. 30, the date the U.S. Census Bureau has decided to end the Census, which is one month earlier than previously announced. The committee states that an accurate Census count is important in order to ensure that every community gets its share of the over $629 billion distributed each year through a variety of federal and state programs. For more information, contact Rene Wood at (413) 248-1172.


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Ventfort Hall to present talk on ‘Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance’

Elizabeth A. Williams. Photo courtesy Ventfort Hall

Lenox — On Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 4 p.m., Ventfort Hall will present Elizabeth A. Williams, the David and Peggy Rockefeller Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence, Rhode Island, speaking via Zoom on “Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850-1970.” Her talk will be based on the major exhibition of the same name that she curated for the museum last year.

When Gorham Manufacturing opened its doors in 1831, the company was located in Providence. Gorham was perhaps best known for innovating the use of the steam-powered press in its operations, but mechanization was always accompanied by meticulous handwork. The company’s influence in the U.S. and worldwide hit full stride in 1860 when Mary Todd Lincoln chose a Gorham pattern for the White House.

Before joining the museum, Williams was assistant curator of decorative arts and design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where she reinstalled 450 pieces of decorative art in its European galleries. She also curated “Daily Pleasures: French Ceramics” at LACMA, and created new educational and interpretive materials for European decorative arts objects.

Tickets are $20. Although Williams will be speaking via Zoom from the RISD Museum, reservations for viewing her at Ventfort Hall on Zoom can be made. Reservations are required as seating will be strictly limited. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Ventfort Hall at at (413) 637-3206 or