Austen Riggs Center will open its 'The Hospital on Main Street: Human Dignity and Mental Health' exhibit this weekend at the Old Corner House in Stockbridge. Photo courtesy Austen Riggs Center

Bits & Bytes: ‘The Hospital on Main Street’; Chris Herren at the Mahaiwe; Hancock Shaker Village exhibits

Austen Riggs Center to open ‘The Hospital on Main Street’ exhibit

Stockbridge — The Austen Riggs Center will open to the public its new exhibition, “The Hospital on Main Street: Human Dignity and Mental Health,” Sunday, May 26, and Monday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. over Memorial Day Weekend. The exhibition, which chronicles the history of Riggs, will be located in the newly renovated annex of the Old Corner House.

“The ‘Hospital on Main Street’ exhibition celebrates our centennial and tells the story of the evolution of mental health care in the United States, the development of the Riggs model of treatment that seeks to decrease the stigma associated with mental illness, and advocates for a biopsychosocial approach to understanding and treating patients,” said Jane G. Tillman, Ph.D., the director of the Riggs Erikson Institute for Education and Research, and project director for the centennial exhibitions.

The exhibition is structured to tell three key stories:

  • The founding of the Austen Riggs Center and the larger historical context of mental health care in America;
  • The development of a treatment model integrating principles of psychoanalysis and social learning in a therapeutic community; and
  • The partnership between Riggs and the local community, as well as Riggs’ commitment to education, training, research, and outreach.

The permanent installation incorporates historic photographs, artifacts, ephemera and a video installation that span the 100-year history of Riggs.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Austen Riggs Center at 1 (800) 51-RIGGS or


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Chris Herren to discuss opioid crisis, personal recovery journey

Chris Herren. Photo courtesy Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Great Barrington — Fairview Hospital and Grace Church will present “Prevention Starts With ALL: The Chris Herren Story” Thursday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

Chris Herren was a celebrated basketball star in his native Fall River before graduating high school. He went on to play at Boston College and California State University, Fresno plus two seasons in the NBA—including one with his hometown team, the Boston Celtics—and seven seasons overseas before losing it all to addiction. With the support of his family and friends, Herren has been sober since Aug. 1, 2008, and now shares his story with the goal of making a positive difference in the lives of others. His recovery journey has been documented in the bestselling memoir “Basketball Junkie”; the Emmy Award-nominated ESPN Films documentary “Unguarded”; and in local, national and international stories by the New York Times, the Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated, among others. In 2011, Herren grew his vision of support for others when he founded the nonprofit Herren Project. In 2018, he founded Herren Wellness, a residential health and wellness program that helps guests lead healthy, substance-free lives.

The event will begin with a five-minute film introducing Herren and showing highlights of his basketball career. From growing up in Fall River to playing basketball in Division 1 and the NBA, Herren will take the audience on his journey from addiction to sobriety. Additionally, he will relate his story to the audience addressing themes of gateway drugs, prescription drug use, vaping and the responsibility of prevention. Herren will also field questions from the audience.

the event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center at (413) 528-0100.


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‘Channelled Light’ by Barbara Ernst Prey

Hancock Shaker Village to celebrate the opening of two exhibits

Pittsfield — Hancock Shaker Village will host an opening celebration Sunday, May 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. in honor of the exhibitions “Borrowed Light: Barbara Ernst Prey” and “While Mighty Thunders Roll: Popular Artists Sing the Shakers.” Both exhibitions will be on view through Monday, Nov. 11.

“Borrowed Light” features 10 large-scale watercolors by Barbara Ernst Prey, each imbued with “borrowed light,” a term adopted by the Shakers, who designed their built environment to let light in. Prey’s paintings capture the luminescence found in and around the 20 buildings on HSV’s campus.

“While Mighty Thunders Roll: Popular Artists Sing the Shakers” celebrates the central role music played in Shaker life. Through video and audio, “While Mighty Thunders Roll” explores and expands on a musical legacy with newly commissioned a cappella renditions of Shaker songs performed by popular musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, Natalie Merchant and Allison Russell along with a display of historic objects and ephemera.

Tickets to the event are $10 for the general public and free to members. Light refreshments and wine will be served. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Hancock Shaker Village at (413) 443-0188.