Monday, July 15, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: First Fridays Artswalk; ‘Dying to Know’ at Mason Library; school readiness fairs; water quality monitoring training

Berkshire United Way will hold two events Saturday, April 7, to enable preschoolers to get ready to begin school.

First Fridays Artswalk to showcase professional and student work

‘Masculinity’ by Halie Smith. Image courtesy Downtown Pittsfield Inc.

Pittsfield —The April 6 First Fridays Artswalk will encompass over a dozen art shows featuring more a dozen student and professional artists in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District from 5 to 8 p.m. The event will kick off with opening receptions and artists present throughout, plus a free guided walking tour lead by Artswalk co-founder Mary McGinnis beginning at 5 p.m. from the BRTA Intermodal Center.

The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts presents the Berkshire Art Association College Fellowship Show for the month of April. The show features the work of Berkshire County residents enrolled as art majors at any college in the country, as well as nonresidents currently majoring in art at a Berkshire County college. The show was juried by a panel of art professionals and cash awards totaling $5,000 will be presented. There will be a reception during Artswalk from 5 to 8 p.m.

The AdLib Center for Independent Living will present a kick-off event for Autism Awareness Month from 5 to 8 p.m. The event will feature artists of all ages who have a disability or are on the autism spectrum. There will be a special performance by students from the College Internship Program during the event, and selected pieces will be displayed in the window throughout the month. Also as part of Autism Awareness Month, the Funky Phoenix will curate a separate show, a culmination of work by its Autism Connections teen group, in the gallery space at Methuselah Bar and Lounge with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m.

Dottie’s Coffee Lounge presents the group photography show “Photographers as Impressionist” during the month of April, which showcases the work of John Clarke, Diane Firtell, Giles Prett, Elaine Radiss and Sara Wallach. A reception with the artists and refreshments will take place from 5 to 8 p.m.

New shows from local artists will also be displayed at the Marketplace Café, RJ Stohr Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, Berkshire Paint and Sip, the Kinderhook Group Real Estate, the Whitney Center for the Arts, Hotel on North, the Berkshire Athenaeum and Berkshire Medical Center. For more information, contact Downtown Pittsfield Inc. at (413) 443-6501.


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Mason Library to screen ‘Dying to Know: Ram Dass and Timothy Leary’

Image courtesy

Great Barrington —The Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries will screen the documentary film “Dying to Know: Ram Dass and Timothy Leary” Saturday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Mason Library.

The film is a portrait of two conventional Harvard University psychology professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, who, in the early 1960s, began probing the edges of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelics. Leary became the LSD guru, preaching free thought and igniting a global counter-cultural movement. Alpert became Eastern guru Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher who continues teaching service through compassion into his 80s.

The event is part of the Friends’ First Saturday Free Film Series and will begin with a wine and cheese social in the vaulted reading room at 7 p.m. More socializing and community discussion will follow the film until 10 p.m. The film does not reflect endorsement or advocacy for any particular point of view by the library or the town of Great Barrington. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Mason Library at (413) 528-2403.


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Berkshire United Way to hold school readiness fairs

Pittsfield — Berkshire United Way will hold two events Saturday, April 7, to enable preschoolers to get ready to begin school.

From 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Berkshire Athenaeum, families will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activity stations including Mad Science, school bus rides, and Ages and Stages developmental screenings. In addition, Pittsfield Public Schools representatives will be available to register qualifying kindergarten-age children for the 2018–19 school year. From 1 to 3 p.m. at Berkshire South Regional Community Center in Great Barrington, families will be able to connect with teachers, mentors and other families through interactive activities including the Word Project’s story plays and Kinder art show. Representatives will be on hand with information on local schools and programs including kindergarten registration for the 2018–19 school year.

Parents and guardians of rising kindergartners planning to attend should bring school registration documents including birth certificates, proof of address, immunization records, copies of the children’s last doctor’s physical exam records, and photo identification from the parents and guardians. For more information, contact Berkshire United Way at (413) 442-6948.


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Housatonic Valley Association to offer water quality monitoring training

Stockbridge —The Housatonic Valley Association, Berkshire Environmental Action Team and the Hoosic River Watershed Association are recruiting volunteers to help map storm drain outfalls in Adams, Cheshire, Dalton, Lanesborough and Pittsfield. Volunteers will work in teams to walk selected streams and look carefully for pipes. Once pipes are identified, information such as pipe material, condition and water flow will be collected. For more information or to volunteer, contact Steve McMahon at for Cheshire and Adams; Alison Dixon at (413) 298-7024 or for Lanesborough, Pittsfield or Dalton; or Elia Delmolino at (413) 429-6416 or



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