Friday, July 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Baby Animal Festival; Erica Von Kleist comedy show; Kids Need Music benefit concert; Douglas Davis exhibition opens; Neil Gaiman lecture series; ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ opera showing; poetry reading

Spencertown Academy Arts Center will host a benefit concert for Kids Need Music on Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m.

Attend the Hancock Shaker Village’s annual Baby Animals Festival

Pittsfield— Hancock Shaker Village opens for the season with Baby Animals Festival on April 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Meet the Hancock Shaker Village’s newest farm babies – lambs, piglets, calves, chicks and kids (goats, that is) and partake in daily events and village-wide activities, from daily talks about the farm and the Shakers to craft demonstrations to walks along the Farm & Forest Trail and fun in the Discovery Barn.

Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, purchase tickets when you arrive at the ticket desk or pre-purchase your tickets here.

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See BOOBS! with Erica Von Kleist

West Stockbridge— The Foundry is hosting Erica Von Kleist in her musical comedy show BOOBS! on Saturday, April 15 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Featuring all original songs and material, BOOBS! has been described as the musical lovechild of Amy Schumer and Tim Minchin. Sung and performed by Erica on piano, sax and ukulele, this escapade of estrogen covers everything from menstruation to mansplaining, nipples to breast reductions, and is rated R for adult themes.

Erica von Kleist has led many lives as a musician and producer, leading the charge as woodwind specialist, pianist, writer, and educator. After receiving the first jazz bachelor’s degree in the history of the Juilliard School, Erica went on to tour and record with Sean Jones, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, spent time on Broadway in the pits of “The Addams Family,” “Chorus Line,” and “Gypsy,” and recorded on five Grammy-Nominated recordings.

Tickets are $30, available here.

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Joana Genova. Image courtesy of Spencertown Academy Arts Center.

Kids Need Music benefit concert “Strings for Spring” with Joana Genova and Gili Melamed-Lev

Spencertown, N.Y. — Spencertown Academy Arts Center will host a benefit concert for Kids Need Music on Saturday, April 15 at 3 p.m. “Strings for Spring” will feature violinist Joana Genova and pianist Gili Melamed-Lev playing music by Piazzolla, Beethoven, Scott Joplin, Arvo Pärt, Amy Beach, and more.

“Join us to a concert featuring music from around the world to raise funds for Kids Need Music, a unique organization that empowers children and youth with the gift of making music part of their daily life and inspiration,” says Kids Need Music President Craig Bender. “All are welcome to the reception with the artists following the concert.”

Gili Melamed-Lev. Image courtesy of Spencertown Academy Arts Center.

Bulgarian-born violinist Joana Genova has built a diverse career as a chamber and orchestral musician, soloist, and pedagogue. She is co-artistic director of Taconic Music in Manchester, Vt., and currently teaches at Montclair State University, Williams College, and Bennington College. She is the second violinist of the Indianapolis Quartet, concertizes with Williams and Taconic Chamber Players, and appears as a frequent guest at festivals and concert series.

Pianist Gili Melamed-Lev is recognized for her artistic vision, unique artistry, and innovative programing. She is an engaging, multi-faceted pianist who enjoys a career as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative artist. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Jazz and Classics for Change, a concert series in Columbia County, N.Y., and Berkshires, Mass., that is dedicated to connecting and healing through music in our changing world.

Tickets ($30 general admission; $10 students) may be purchased in advance via and will be available at the door pending availability. All proceeds will be used to purchase instruments so that more children can participate in the Hudson City School District music program.

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Douglas Davis “Inter – Actions: Selected Works 1970-1980” exhibit opens

Hudson, N.Y. — For the first time in nearly 30 years, a selection of artist Douglas Davis’ video performances, publicity posters, prints and photographs will be shown in a joint exhibition at CREATE Council on the Arts (Catskill) and Hudson Hall to celebrate Davis’s nearly lost work.

For nearly a decade, the work and archive of pioneering video artist Douglas Davis (1933-2014) languished in an abandoned house near Woodstock, New York, after it was moved from his SoHo apartment upon his death. Davis’ live satellite performances were seminal exercises in the use of interactive technology as a medium for art and communications.

The opening reception is on Saturday, April 15, 4 to 6 p.m. at Gallery@CREATE, and 6 to 8 p.m. at Hudson Hall.

A talk by David A. Ross, (former director of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and ICA Boston, and now Chair of MFA: Art Practice at School of Visual Art in NYC) will be given entitled “The Work and Legacy of Douglas Davis” on Friday, April 21 at 6 p.m. 

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Neil Gaiman. Photo by Kyle Bice. Image courtesy of Bard College.

Neil Gaiman lecture series begins with “Why Be a Bard?”

Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. — Author Neil Gaiman will give a series of lectures at Bard College beginning on Saturday, April 15 at 7 p.m. with “Why Be a Bard?” at the Fisher Center.

Award-winning author, professor in the arts at Bard, and Fisher Center Advisory Board member Neil Gaiman has an astonishingly broad career: from journalism to graphic novels; fiction for adults and children; and writing for film, television, and theater. Over five nights across the 20th Anniversary Season, Gaiman will debut a series of five lectures on writing in which he will explore his creative strategies, sharing stories and offering advice—live and in-person at the Fisher Center.

Lecture 2, “A String of Pearls: How We Come to Be Us” will be given on Sunday, April 16 at 5 p.m. “Pulling Back the Curtain: How Fiction Works and Why It Still Matters” will be given on Thursday, October 12 at 7 p.m. “To Pay the Pied Piper: The Cost of Stories” will be given on Friday, October 13 at 7 p.m. And the series concludes on Saturday, October 14 at 7 p.m. with “On Endings, Epilogues, and Afters.”

Tickets start at $25.

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A scene from Act II of Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier.” Karen Almond / Met Opera. Image via the Clark Arts Institute.

Clark Art Institute airs The Med: Live in HD production of “Der Rosenkavalier”

Williamstown— The Metropolitan Opera’s broadcast production of “Der Rosenkavalier” airs at the Clark Art Institute on Saturday, April 15 at 12 p.m. in the latest installment of the 2022–23 season of The Met: Live in HD. The award-winning series of live, high-definition cinema simulcasts features the full live performance along with backstage interviews and commentary. The Clark broadcasts the opera in its auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center.

A dream cast assembles for Strauss’s grand Viennese comedy. Soprano Lise Davidsen is the aristocratic Marschallin, opposite mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey as her lover, Octavian, and soprano Erin Morley as Sophie, the beautiful younger woman who steals his heart. Bass Günther Groissböck returns as the churlish Baron Ochs, and Markus Brück is Sophie’s wealthy father, Faninal. Maestro Simone Young takes the Met podium to oversee Robert Carsen’s fin-de-siècle staging.

Tickets are $25 ($22 for members, $18 for students with valid ID, and $7 for children 10 and under). To purchase tickets, visit or call the box office at 413-458-0524.

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Volta 5 (2023), Sally Van Doren, India ink on canvas. Image courtesy of the Scoville Memorial Library.

Sally Van Doren and Emma Wynn poetry reading

Salisbury, Conn. — The Scoville Memorial Library will host a poetry reading by Sally Van Doren and Emma Wynn on Friday, April 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Reading Room.

At this event, Sally Van Doren will read from her fourth book of poems, “Sibilance” (Louisiana State University Press, 2023). Emma Wynn will read from their first full-length collection, “The World is Our Anchor” (FutureCycle Press, 2023).

Van Doren, a Cornwall-based poet and artist, explores the fertile cognitive territory between image and language. Her first book of poems received the 2007 Walt Whitman Award. A number of Van Doren’s poems are available online. Her artworks draw upon a personal iconography of calligraphic gestures, handprints, and letters. Sally Van Doren’s art exhibition at the Furnace Art on Paper Archive in Falls Village is on view through Saturday, April 15, the day after this reading.

Emma Wynn received their M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School and teaches Philosophy, Psychology, and LGBTQ+ U.S. History at the Hotchkiss School. They have been published in multiple magazines and journals and nominated for a Pushcart Prize twice. “The World is Our Anchor” is a collection of unsparing poems on the legacies of human brutality.

Registration is required for this after hours event. Register here.


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