A demonstration hive from the Northern Berkshire Beekeepers Association at the 2017 Berkshire Earth Expo. the 2018 event will be held Saturday, April 21, at the Stationery Factory in Dalton. Photo courtesy Berkshire Environmental Action Team

Bits & Bytes: Berkshire Earth Expo; ‘Embrace Your Voice’ at Stockbridge Library; Wildflower Festival; ‘Chasing Coral’ at the Moviehouse; Girls’ empowerment concert

The “Embrace Your Voice, Reclaim Your Power: Changing the Dialogue Surrounding Sexual Assault” series will provide the community with an opportunity to talk about and understand sexual violence.

Berkshire Earth Expo will highlight environmental issues

Dalton — The 2018 Berkshire Earth Expo and Environmental Action Fair will take place Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Stationery Factory.

A collaboration between Berkshire Environmental Action Team and Living the Change Berkshires, the event showcases and celebrates environmental activism and activists’ achievements; helps people engage with their neighbors; educates the public about renewable energy solutions; and features businesses, artisans, and scientists who work in harmony with nature.

The event will include children’s activities, a marketplace for local and sustainable goods and services, hikes at the Boulders, electric cars, renewable energy vendors, workshops and fresh food. The day will also feature a spotlight conversation about energy and environmental justice with former Sen. Ben Downing and Kris Rutman of Western Mass. Labor Action moderated by BEAT executive director Jane Winn. Short presentations from local experts will run throughout the event, including insect expert Charley Eiseman, a discussion of Native American sacred stone monuments with Doug Harris and the state of birds in Massachusetts with Jon Atwood of Mass Audubon.

The event is free and open to the public, though donations are appreciated. For more information, contact BEAT at (413) 230-7321 or team@thebeatnews.org.


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Stockbridge Library, Elizabeth Freeman Center to partner on workshop series

Jahaira DeAlto. Photo courtesy liveoutloudberkshires.org

Stockbridge — The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives will partner with Elizabeth Freeman Center to present two programs in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The “Embrace Your Voice, Reclaim Your Power: Changing the Dialogue Surrounding Sexual Assault” series will provide the community with an opportunity to talk about and understand sexual violence: what it looks like; who it impacts; and how the community can work together to create a culture of respect, equality and safety for all. Embracing one’s voice can take the form of supporting survivors and speaking out against victim blaming, encouraging conversations about consent, and helping the children in your life feel safe by teaching them that the choices they make about their bodies deserve to be respected.

The first program, “Faces of Sexual Assault,” will be held Sunday, April 22, at 4 p.m. and feature a panel discussion focused on the topic of what sexual violence looks like. The panel, moderated by Jennifer Goewey and Tess Lane of EFC, will include trans/intersex activist Jahaira DeAlto; Kate Gallagher of the Austen Riggs Center; Victim Rights Law Center executive director Stacy Malone and Baystate Family Advocacy Center victim service coordinator Lisa McCue. Discussion topics will include understanding sexual violence and the forms it can take as well as the people it impacts. Questions from the audience will be encouraged.

“Your Voice Has Power: Becoming Agents of Change to End Sexual Violence” will take place Tuesday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. Building on the first part of the series, Goewey and Lane will talk about consent, the process of recovery for survivors, action steps toward empowerment, and how people can be change agents to end sexual violence.

Both programs are free and open to the public, and will be held at the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives. For more information, contact the Stockbridge Library at (413) 298-5501 or info@stockbridgelibrary.org.


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Bartholomew’s Cobble to host Wildflower Festival

Native columbine at Bartholomew’s Cobble in Ashley Falls. Photo courtesy the Trustees of Reservations

Ashley Falls — Bartholomew’s Cobble will host its third annual wildflower festival Saturday, April 21, through Sunday, May 13.

Often referred to as “spring ephemerals,” delicate wildflowers take advantage of the small window of time when conditions are just right: plenty of moisture from melting snow, soil that has started to warm as a result of the warmer spring temperatures, and sunlight that can still reach through the defoliated limbs of tall trees. Spring ephemerals such as white and red trilliums, spring beauty, bloodroot, toothwort, wild ginger, blue cohosh and violets, are typical in New England forests, and the Cobble is dense with unique rock outcroppings, small caves, over 800 plant species—including 29 listed by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program—and 53 species of ferns and fern allies, one of the most diverse and natural assemblages of ferns in the United States.

Volunteer wildflower guides have been trained extensively in the ecology and geology of the property and have crafted their own wildflower tours, which will be given four times daily. The festival will also feature self-guided art projects, a native plant sale and family wildflower walks designed with young children in mind.

The cost of a tour is $5 for Trustees of Reservations members, $10 for nonmembers and free for children. Reservations are recommended. For more information, contact Carrieanne at (413) 298-3239 x3013 or cpetrikhuff@thetrustees.org.


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The Moviehouse to offer Earth Day screening of ‘Chasing Coral’

Image courtesy Exposure Labs

Millerton, N.Y. — FilmWorks Forum at the Moviehouse will host a community screening of the acclaimed Netflix documentary “Chasing Coral” Sunday, April 22, at 11 a.m. The film will be introduced by John Hoffman, Emmy Award-winning director/producer and executive vice president of documentaries for Discovery, who will also moderate a panel discussion and audience question-and-answer session after the film. The discussion will include with Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies President Joshua Ginsberg and North East-Millerton Council member Chris Kennan, who works closely with the town’s Climate Smart Community Conservation Advisory Committee.

Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans but, with carbon emissions warming the seas, a phenomenon called coral bleaching has been accelerating around the world. “Chasing Coral,” from “Chasing Ice” director Jeff Orlowski, provides strong evidence of a serious problem happening under the oceans by tapping into the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed “coral nerd,” top-notch camera designers and renowned marine biologists as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Moviehouse at (518) 786-0022 or info@themoviehouse.net.


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Miss Hall’s School seniors Tiffany Luu, left, and Anna Kim. Photo: Kitty Sheridan

Miss Hall’s students to present concert for girls’ empowerment at the Egremont Barn

South Egremont — Seniors Anna Kim and Tiffany Luu of Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield will host the fundraising concert “Girls Aloud! Advocating Girls Empowerment” Sunday, April 29, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the Barn at the Egremont Village Inn. The concert will feature music from multiple genres performed by music students and bands from Miss Hall’s School. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Berkshire HorseWorks, which provides EAGALA Model equine-assisted psychotherapy, and at which Kim has been interning.

Tickets are $15 for the general public and $12 for students with ID. Seating is limited and tickets must be reserved in advance by Saturday, April 21. For tickets and more information, contact Anna Kim at skim@misshalls.org.