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Bits & Bytes: Wild & Scenic Film Festival; Citizens’ Hall residency; ‘The Last Flapper’ at the Whit; Fanto to debut percussion composition

Jacob Fanto, a 14-year old freshman from Lenox, Massachusetts, has composed “Mythical Realms” for the Empire State Youth Percussion Orchestra, a four-movement work that journeys into the lands of the Norse, Greek and Aztec gods.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival to highlight environmental issues

Pittsfield — In partnership with the Wild & Scenic Westfield River Committee, the Berkshire Environmental Action Team will present the Wild & Scenic Film Festival Friday, March 23, at 6 p.m. in Berkshire Community College’s Robert Boland Theatre.

The event will include two hours of short films and lively conversation about the environment. The films to be screened will include “(unofficial) History of the National Parks,” “The Fix,” “The Shape of a River,” “Water Song,” “The Nature of Maps,” “Biomimicry,” “Chasing Wild: Journey Into the Sacred Headwaters,” “My Irnik,” “Blue Ventures,” “The Community They Fight For,” and “The Elwha Undammed: What’s a River For?”.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival began in 1983 and is now the largest film festival of its kind in the United States. The event partners internationally to present “on tour” festivals by engaging hosts who jointly raise awareness of preservation issues in nature. 2018 marks a dual anniversary: 50 years since the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act was passed and 25 years since the Westfield River received its Wild & Scenic designation.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Elizabeth Orenstein at (413) 717-1255 or elizabeth@thebeatnews.org.

–E.E.

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IS183 to present Citizens’ Hall residency artists

Wit McKay. Photo courtesy IS183 Art School of the Berkshires

Stockbridge — IS183 Art School of the Berkshires invites the community to its 2018 Citizens’ Hall residency opening reception Saturday, March 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring works by resident artists Wit McKay and Philip Howie.

McKay graduated from Williams College in Williamstown and received his master’s degree from the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked in New York City for 27 years as both an artist and a freelance commercial photographer specializing in large-format, still-life work primarily for the fine and decorative arts industry. The panoramic landscapes of his recent “Road Cuts” series portray humankind’s violent interaction with the natural world. He recently completed a four-week artist’s residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Philip Howie. Photo courtesy IS183 Art School of the Berkshires

Howie is a figurative sculptor and artist living in Catskill, New York. He studied sculpture at the New York Academy of Art and at Bellas Art in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. Howie had his first solo show in 1999 in New York City and has since completed commissions for patrons such as former Andy Warhol estate executor Frederick W. Hughes, the Institute for Humanist Studies in New York, the Saint Louis Priory School and Abbey in Missouri, Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey in Iowa and Michael Pulitzer. Howie suffered a stroke in 2010 and taught himself to use his non-dominant hand to resume his art. He has since created more than 2,000 drawings and sculptures.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact IS183 at (413) 298-5252 x100.

–E.E.

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Whitney Center for the Arts to present ‘The Last Flapper’

Diedre Bollinger as Zelda Fitzgerald in ‘The Last Flapper.’ Photo courtesy Whitney Center for the Arts

Pittsfield — The Whitney Center for the Arts and Homespun Productions will present Diedre Bollinger in “The Last Flapper” by William Luce and directed by Carl Ritchie on Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 25, at 2 p.m. Based on her stories and letters, this one-woman play is a portrait of Mrs. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the glamorous, fun loving and tragic Zelda. Luce reveals the contradictions and mysteries of an extraordinary woman while fashioning a moving, yet witty play. Set in Asheville, North Carolina, Zelda tells of her innocent rebellion as a southern belle, her destructive marriage and her mental disintegration. Tickets are $18. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Whit at (413) 443-0289.

–E.E.

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Music festival to include piece by 14-year-old Lenox resident

Jacob Fanto. Photo courtesy UAlbany Performing Arts Center

Albany, N.Y. — The University at Albany’s Festival of Contemporary Music will take place Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center.

For the third consecutive season, the program will feature the first performance of a new work for percussion. Jacob Fanto, a 14-year old freshman from Lenox, Massachusetts, has composed “Mythical Realms” for the Empire State Youth Percussion Orchestra, a four-movement work that journeys into the lands of the Norse, Greek and Aztec gods. Scored for a battery of melodic and non-melodic percussion instruments, the composition describes a battle among the Norse gods in Asgard; a trip to the undersea realm of Atlantis; the peace of the rolling hills and sparkling waters of Elysium, realm of the fallen heroes; and a journey to the jungle world of Aztlán, the lost kingdom of the Aztecs. Also on the program is “Quartet for Percussion” by Lucas Foss, which will be played by members of the University Percussion Ensemble, as well as works by Chris Brooks, Tom Nazziola and Lynn Glassock.

Jacob Fanto has been part of the Empire State Youth Orchestra program for four years. He is currently a member of the top ESYO percussion ensemble and the principal timpanist in the youth orchestra. His interest in composing has grown over the past two years, and “Mystical Realms” is his first major work for percussion ensemble.

Tickets are $6 for the general public and $3 for students, seniors, and UAlbany faculty and staff. For tickets and more information, contact the UAlbany Performing Arts Center box office at (518) 442-3997.

–E.E.

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