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Bits & Bytes: ‘Finding Home’ at Norman Rockwell Museum; ‘Dream/Awake’ premiere; ‘Food for Thought’ dinner; Nutcracker tea party; Malcolm Nance at Club Helsinki

Butcher and charcuterie expert Jake Levin, author of “Smoke House Handbook,” will host the next installment of Hancock Shaker Village’s “Food for Thought” series Saturday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m.

‘Finding Home: Four Artists’ Journeys’ to open at Norman Rockwell Museum

‘The Bombing Scare’ by James McMullan for his book ‘Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood.’ Image courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum

Stockbridge — The Norman Rockwell Museum will open the exhibition “Finding Home: Four Artists’ Journeys” Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. The exhibition documents the complex emotional realities of adapting to a new life thousands of miles away from where their stories began, through compelling visual memoirs inspired by the personal journeys of illustrators, Frances Jetter, David Macaulay, James McMullan and Yuyi Morales.

More than 200 original drawings, paintings, linoleum block prints and digital mixed media works by the artists draw upon memories and family narratives, and on historical research that establishes meaningful contexts for their work. Personal mementos such as photographs, travel documents, treasured toys, articles of clothing and books as well as video commentary illuminate each illustrator’s story. The space that images make to inspire conversation is explored, as are the distinctive qualities of each artist’s voice, their aesthetic and technical approaches, and the use of visual symbols as anchors in their poignant sequential narratives.

The exhibit will be on view through Saturday, May 25, 2020. For more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Norman Rockwell Museum at (413) 298-4100.


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The Whit to present ‘Dream/Awake’ by J. Peter Bergman

The cast of ‘Dream/Awake’ at the play’s first reading. From left to right: Liam Reynolds, Amy Hausknecht, Hollie Zegman, J. Peter Bergman, Brandon Lee, Patrice Metcalf and Josh Bishoff. Photo: Monica Bliss

Pittsfield — The Whitney Center for the Arts will present “Dream/Awake” by Edge contributor J. Peter Bergman Friday, Nov. 8, through Sunday, Nov. 17.

The play centers a man dealing with both seven-year-itch syndrome in his marriage and with the ghosts of his childhood experiences that have reinforced identity issues, and he cannot help but confuse his dreams and his real life. Directed by Bergman assisted by Monica Bliss, the cast includes Josh Bishoff, Hollie Zegman, Brandon Lee, Amy Hausknecht, Patrice Metcalf and Liam Reynolds.

Developed through the Berkshire Playwrights Lab workshop under the supervision of Michael Brady and Jim Frangione, “Dream/Awake” was given a staged reading, directed by Macey Levin, at Saint James Place in Great Barrington this past January.

Tickets are $5-$20. A talkback with Bergman will take place following the final Sunday matinee. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar, or call the Whitney Center for the Arts at (413) 442-0289 or


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‘Food for Thought’ dinner series to welcome author Jake Levin

Jake Levin at work in the smokehouse. Photo: Keller + Keller Photography

Pittsfield — Butcher and charcuterie expert Jake Levin, author of “Smoke House Handbook,” will host the next installment of Hancock Shaker Village’s “Food for Thought” series Saturday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. Participants enjoy an elegant farm-to-table meal, a conversation with the author and a copy of the book.

Levin’s book thoroughly details the fundamentals of smoking, from selecting the right cut to choosing the perfect combination of brine, cure, smoking method and fuel for the best flavor and texture. Whether using a firepit, a commercial smoker, or a backyard smokehouse crafted from Levin’s detailed plans, readers can master the art and taste the rewards of making their own smoked meat, poultry, seafood and more.

Levin trained at Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats in Kingston, New York. He has worked in whole-animal butcher shops including the Meat Market in Great Barrington and Eli’s Manhattan in New York City. Levin is the head butcher at Raven and Boar Farm in East Chatham, New York, and he sits on the boards of Berkshire Grown and the Berkshire Food Co-op. He and his wife live in New Marlborough.

Tickets are $90 members and $100 for nonmembers and include dinner, wine and a copy of the book. Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call (413) 443-0188.


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Albany Berkshire Ballet to hold Nutcracker Tea Party

Albany Berkshire Ballet dancers at a recent Nutcracker Tea Party. Photo courtesy Albany Berkshire Ballety

Pittsfield — Albany Berkshire Ballet will hold its annual Nutcracker Tea Party Sunday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church.

The family experience will include an array of sweet treats, tea, coffee and punch served up with excerpts of ABB’s upcoming production of “The Nutcracker” performed by members of the ABB Junior Company, along with other holiday themed-dances by dancers of the Cantarella School of Dance. The afternoon of enchantment will culminate with the Sugar Plum Fairy performing the solo from the grand pas de deux from Act 2 of “The Nutcracker.”

Tickets are $21 for adults and $16 for children age 12 and under. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar, or contact the Albany Berkshire Ballet at (413) 445-5382 or


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Book launch party to celebrate Malcolm Nance’s ‘The Plot to Betray America’

Malcolm Nance. Photo: Jason Schneider

Hudson, N.Y. — Club Helsinki Hudson will host a book launch party for intelligence expert and news commentator Malcolm Nance‘s book “The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It” Sunday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m.

In “The Plot to Betray America” Nance argues that President Trump and his team have conspired to commit the greatest act of treason in the history of the United States: betrayal of the oath of office for personal gain. The book contains in-depth interviews with insiders, analysis from intelligence experts, and substantial evidence of Trump’s deep financial ties to Russia. It also provides solutions on how to protect America’s compromised security.

Nance is an intelligence expert and a popular guest on NBC News, MSNBC and WAMC Northeast Public Radio. With over 33 years combating radical extremist terrorism, Hudson Valley resident Nance champions human rights, ethical responsibility and cultural awareness in intelligence practices.

The event is free and open to the public, but a suggested donation of $20 will support Warrior’s Haven in Stockport, which assists in the education, care and recovery of veterans and their families. For more information, contact Club Helsinki Hudson at (518) 828-4800 or



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The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.