Bits & Bytes: Hip hop residency performance; Farley-Bouvier to speak at autism meeting; Shining Star program; Thanksgiving interfaith service

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By Wednesday, Nov 15 Life In the Berkshires
Baba Israel of Open Thought Productions performs with students after a recent residency at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. The Mahaiwe will host another Hip Hop Theatre performance featuring area students and Open Thought Productions Friday, Nov. 17. Photo courtesy Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Mahaiwe to host student hip hop performance

Great Barrington — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will present Hip Hop Theatre with Open Thought Productions Friday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m.

The performance will be the culmination of the Mahaiwe education program’s four-day in-school residency taught by hip hop masters Baba Israel, Yako 440, and Ken Fury, and featuring approximately 55 students from Monument Valley Regional Middle School, Mount Everett Regional School and St. Mary’s School performing with the professional dancers from Open Thought Productions. Using music, dance, freestyle, hip hop and improvisational theater, the evening’s script will draw from the stories of the student participants, transforming them into the art of the theater.

Tickets are $5. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier to speak at autism collaborative meeting

Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier

Pittsfield — The Autism Collaborative of Berkshire County has announced that Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, and Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change will speak at its monthly meeting Friday, Nov. 17, from 10:15 a.m. to noon at in the Berkshire County ARC training room at Berkshire Common, 2 South St.

Farley-Bouvier will discuss her experiences with disabilities as well as upcoming activities and legislation at the State House. MFOFC will offer tips for individuals and families about how to empower themselves and advocate for change.

The event is free an open to the public. Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP to in order to ensure seating.


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Berkshire South holiday program helps with gift-giving

The Shining Star program tree at Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Photo courtesy Berkshire South Regional Community Center

Great Barrington — In response to the stress that the holiday season can add to financially disadvantaged families, Berkshire South Regional Community Center will offer its Shining Star supplemental holiday gift initiative. The program, now in its 10th year, allows those who want to fulfill a wish to shop for gifts for their neighbors.

Applications will be accepted through Monday, Nov. 20, for those seeking extra help to brighten the holidays by way of gifts for their loved ones. Small stars listing anonymous wish-list items will then be placed on a nondenominational tree in the Berkshire South lobby. “Shining Stars,” individuals who want to help purchase holiday gifts, will then select stars from the tree and return unwrapped gifts by Monday, Dec. 11. The process is entirely confidential.

In 2016, 136 individuals were served in the Shining Star program, which is unfunded and relies on community members and cash donations. To become a shopper or to submit an application, contact Betty Banker at (413) 528-2810 x32 or, or visit the Shining Star tree at Berkshire South.


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Thanksgiving interfaith worship service

Trinity Episcopal Church. Photo courtesy Lenox 250th Anniversary Committee

Lenox — As the town of Lenox’s 250th anniversary celebration draws to a close, the Lenox Clergy Association and the congregations of Lenox invite all to give thanks at the annual Thanksgiving interfaith worship service Sunday, Nov. 19, at 3 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Rev. Msgr. John J. Bonzagni of St. Ann and St. Vincent de Paul ​Roman Catholic parishes,​ Rabbi Josh Breindel of Temple Anshe Amunim in Pittsfield, Rev. Janet Deranian of the United Methodist Church of Lenox, Rev. Dr. John A. Nelson of Church on the Hill, and Rev. Michael Tuck of Trinity Episcopal ​Church and St. Helena’s Chapel will participate in the service. The service will include readings from a prayer book published near the time of Lenox’s founding, the singing of hymns, and the offering of humble thanks.

For more information, contact the 250th anniversary committee at


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