Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence; ‘Cool Sounds A Cappella’; ‘Berkshire Splendor’ at Stockbridge Library; carbon discussion at GreenDrinks

“Berkshire Splendor: The Great Estates of the Berkshires" will offer a glimpse of the past, present, and future of the interiors and exteriors of the Berkshires’ mansions, the architects who designed and built them, and the families who lived in them.

Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence to discuss writing

Lenox — The Mount will host a discussion among the 2019 Edith Wharton Writers-in-Residence Tuesday, March 19, at 5 p.m. Pulitzer Prize-winner Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, debut novelist Julia Phillips and award-winning historian Caroline Weber, who were selected from a pool of over 110 applications and have been “in-residence” at the Mount for three weeks in March, will discuss their past and present work, their careers, and their experiences writing in the home of Edith Wharton. 2015 resident Natalie Dykstra will moderate the discussion.

Ghansah won a Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2018 for her profile of Dylann Roof. She was also a National Magazine Awards finalist in 2014 for her profile of comedian Dave Chappelle. Her work has appeared in publications including the Paris Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Rolling Stone and the New Republic. Ghansah was recently featured on PBS News Hour’s “Brief But Spectacular” and her first book, “The Explainers and the Explorers,” is forthcoming.

Phillips is a Fulbright fellow whose writing has appeared in Glimmer Train, the Atlantic, Slate and the Moscow Times. Her debut novel, “Disappearing Earth,” is forthcoming.

Weber is a professor of French and comparative literature at Barnard College, Columbia University; she has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University. She is the author of “Queen of Fashion: What Marie-Antoinette Wore to the Revolution” and has written for the New York Times, the New York Times Book ReviewFinancial Times, London Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal and New York magazine. Her most recent work, “Proust’s Duchess,” was published in 2018.

The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mount at (413) 551-5111 or


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Cantilena Chamber Choir to perform ‘Cool Sounds A Cappella’

Haley Aguero. Photo: Glori Beaufort Photography

Pittsfield — The Cantilena Chamber Choir will present the concert “Cool Sounds A Cappella” Sunday, March 17, at 3 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church.

“Cool Sounds A Cappella” will introduce new and innovative a cappella music to the general. The choir will venture into new territory: music from Cuba with ear catching rhythms, new and sophisticated arrangements of Billy Joel’s music, and a tribute to Stephen Sondheim including music from “Company” and “Sunday in the Park with George” The featured guest on the program is Berkshire Theatre Group artist in residence Haley Aguero.

Now in its 15th season, Cantilena Chamber Choir is the recipient of a Cultural Portfolio grant award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the only Berkshire choir so honored. It is also a two-time winner of Choral Arts New England’s Alfred Nash Patterson Award for unique programming. Andrea Goodman, the founder and director of the choir, also serves as the music director for the annual summer Saratoga Choral Festival in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Admission is a suggested donation of $15. Portions of the proceeds will go to Zion Lutheran Church’s Laundry Love program in support of laundry expenses for families in need. For more information, contact Cantilena Chamber Choir at (518) 791-0185 or


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Stockbridge Library to present ‘Berkshire Splendor’

A game of croquet at Brook Farm. Photo courtesy Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives

Stockbridge — The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives will present the lecture “Berkshire Splendor: The Great Estates of the Berkshires” Tuesday, March 19, at 6:30 p.m. with Susan Frisch Lehrer, former curator of education at Chesterwood.

The presentation will offer a glimpse of the past, present, and future of the interiors and exteriors of the Berkshires’ mansions, the architects who designed and built them, and the families who lived in them. Lehrer was at Chesterwood for over 30 years. As curator of education, she coordinated the museum’s educational, interpretive and visitor services.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Stockbridge Library at (413) 298-5501 or


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Green Drinks meeting to focus on carbon market

Max Galdos-Shapiro. Photo courtesy Sheffield Historical Society

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Environmental Action Team and Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries will present “Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Markets” Tuesday, March 19, at 6 p.m. the Pittsfield Green Drinks meeting at J. Allen’s Clubhouse Grille. The event will include informal conversation with Mass Audubon’s Zach Adams and Max Galdos-Shapiro on carbon sequestration, carbon markets, and Mass Audubon and the Carbon Project.

Adams, an educator at Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, is a life-long naturalist who graduated from Juniata College where he studied environmental science and researched the impacts of invasive berry producing plants on migratory birds in wetlands.

An avid naturalist, Galdos-Shapiro holds a Bachelor of Arts in ecology and outdoor education from Bard College at Simon’s Rock and a Master of Science in ecological design from the Conway School.

The meeting will begin at 5:15 p.m. All are welcome. For more information, contact Elizabeth Orenstein at (413) 717-1255 or



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But Not To Produce.