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This weekend's Celebrate Stephentown event will showcase the vibrant, rural New York town. Photo courtesy Celebrate Stephentown

Bits & Bytes: Celebrate Stephentown; dancing fairy workshop; ‘Look & See’ film screening; ‘Art Collectors; An Inquisitive Gene’; Hay Day Fair

By Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 Life In the Berkshires

Celebrate Stephentown to showcase vibrant rural community

Stephentown, N.Y. — From Friday, Aug. 17, through Sunday, Aug. 19, the only Stephentown on Earth will welcome visitors from around the region and beyond for Celebrate Stephentown 2018. Situated just to the west of the Berkshires, the three-day grassroots festival celebrates everything Stephentown’s vibrant rural community has to offer with a schedule that includes 40 family-friendly events at 20 different locations all over town showcasing the work of artisans, artists, businesses, farmers, musicians and service organizations.

The program for this second edition of the festival features a 5K rail trail race, a car show, a farm equipment demonstration, a Texas hold ‘em tournament, an ice cream social and a town-wide scavenger hunt as well as a variety of open houses, tours, tastings, meals, outdoor activities and educational programs. The festival will kick off Friday, Aug. 17, with an opening night reception from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Stephentown Fire Hall featuring artwork, music, food and other products that are only #madeinstephentown. The closing reception Sunday, Aug. 19, from 5 to 7 p.m., also to be held at the fire hall, will include with an old-fashioned bake-off with local celebrity judges and prizes from area businesses.

For more information and a full schedule of events, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact jennifer@celebratestephentown.com.


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Build your own dancing fairy at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead

Workshop participants build a wireform fairy at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. Photo courtesy Herman Melville’s Arrowhead

Pittsfield — On Saturday, Aug. 18, from 1 to 3 p.m., Betsy Sherman and Hannah Sherman will lead a “build your own dancing fairy” workshop for families on the lawns of Herman Melville’s Arrowhead.

In celebration of Melville, who saw fairies dancing on the side of Mount Greylock and wrote about them in his short story “The Piazza,” families participating in the workshop will create fanciful 16-inch-high wireform figures. The Shermans will supply stuffing materials, fabric, beads, ribbons and other adornments including glue to be used for the various creations, although participants are encouraged to bring along personal pieces to use that will help them express their own histories and personalities in the completed statues. The Shermans will also supply scissors and other necessary tools, and will supervise first-time sculptors as well as assist the more experienced participants.

The cost of the workshop is $25. Space is limited and registration is recommended. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Herman Melville’s Arrowhead at (413) 442-1793.


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‘Look & See’ film chronicles the life of Wendell Berry

Image courtesy Two Birds Film

Chatham, N.Y. — Buttonwood Hollow Farm will present a screening of “Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry” Saturday, Aug. 25, at noon at the Crandell Theatre. The documentary film is a cinematic portrait of the changing landscapes and shifting values of rural America in the era of industrial agriculture as seen through the mind’s eye of farmer, essayist, and poet Wendell Berry.

Berry has produced more than 40 works including novels, short stories, poems and essays in which he celebrates a life lived in close communion with neighbors and the Earth while addressing many urgent cultural problems. He has farmed a hillside in his native Henry County, Kentucky, with his wife, for more than 40 years. Berry has received the National Medal of Arts and Humanities, a National Institute of Arts and Letters award for writing, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Jean Stein Award. Executive producers Robert Redford and Terrence Malick headed the crew of the film, a shorter version of “Look & See,” which premiered April 23 on PBS.

Tickets are $11 and must be reserved by Saturday, Aug. 18. Refreshments will be served prior to the screening. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Buttonwood Hollow Farm at (518) 755-9143.


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Art collectors to discuss collections at L’Atelier Berkshires

Joyce Silver. Photo courtesy L’Atelier Berkshires

Great Barrington — L’Atelier Berkshires will host the summer art salon “Art Collectors An Inquisitive Gene” Friday, Aug. 17, at 6 p.m. The talk will feature art collectors Joyce Silver and Robert Wilk discussing their passion for art and telling stories of finding unique artworks, and will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception.

An avid collector all her life, Silver holds a master’s degree in biochemistry and a doctorate in neuropharmacology. She started her career working for Ford motor company as an expert in paint, redesigned sheet metal for cars and trucks, and implemented anticorrosive products. She also worked for Pfizer and Bankers Trust analyzing profit and loss. Her passions are art depicting the “state of inequality” and the survival of Israel. She has a video blog called the Voice of Joyce and contributes a column for the Artful Mind.

Lenox artist and collector Wilk also lives and works in Sarasota, Florida, to which he recently moved after 20 years in Venice, Italy. Originally from Housatonic, he spent over 25 years in Tokyo and Hong Kong as an international marketing executive. His stated essential medium is color and he works in various materials, but mostly steel and aluminum.

The event is free and open to the public. An RSVP to Natalie at natalie.tyler@atelierberks.com is requested. For more information, contact Natalie Tyler at (510) 469-5468.


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The Williamstown Historical Museum

Williamstown Historical Museum to present Hay Day Fair

Williamstown — The Williamstown Historical Museum will host its first annual Hay Day Fair Sunday, Aug, 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Live music will be provided by Val Martel. Boy Scout Troop 70 will have a model campsite set up. Carpenter Norm Jolin will sell his woodcrafts and exhibit his skills. Waubeeka Golf Links golf pro Erik Tiele will demonstrate proper golf swing techniques. The fair will feature relay, sack, and egg and spoon races; a petting zoo with a rabbit, a calf, sheep and chickens from Cricket Creek Farm and Sweet Brook Farm; and a face-painting booth from Girl Scout Troop 12940.

Local chef Robin Lenz will make grilled cheese sandwiches, and the Store at Five Corners will send over its sandwich creations, too. There will be a lemonade stand and the Mr. Ding-a-Ling ice cream truck will pay a call. Local businesses and artists have been generous in their donation of prizes for the silent auction, which include an overnight stay at the Manhattan Club in New York City, a pair of ski passes to Mount Snow, dinner for two at the Mill on the Floss, and a still-life oil painting by Grant Sun. A 50/50 raffle will also help raise funds for the work of the museum.

Admission is $10 for families and $5 for individuals. All proceeds will support the museum’s mission of preserving Williamstown’s history. For more information, contact the Williamstown Historical Museum at (413)458-2160 or info@williamstownhistoricalmuseum.org.


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