Monday, July 15, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: ‘Living Longer, Living Better’; Grow Show; Stockbridge Art Walk; ‘Screenplay by Stalin’; children’s music at Lenox Library

New to the Grow Show is a digital photography show, a children’s edible arrangement workshop, and the men’s floral design competition “Game of Flowers.”

‘Living Longer, Living Better’ conference to focus on culture of aging

Pittsfield — On Thursday, Aug. 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College will present “Living Longer, Living Better: Changing the Culture of Aging” on the Berkshire Community College campus, and simulcast to WBUR-FM’s CitySpace in Boston and to Cape Cod Community College in West Barnstable.

The day will begin with a keynote speech and question-and-answer session with Ashton Applewhite, internationally recognized anti-ageism advocate and author of “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism,” recently named one of the “one hundred must read books for any age” by the Washington Post.

Her talk will be followed by four breakout sessions—two in the morning and two in the afternoon—with moderated panels and distinguished speakers featuring:

Attendees will have the opportunity to continue conversations over lunch with many of the speakers, who will be joining designated tables. The day will end with a spoken-word performance on the themes of aging and ageism by VOICES, a group of OLLI members. On display throughout the day will be a pop-up installation of photographic portraits of and essays about active older adults breaking stereotypes from throughout the Berkshires.

The daylong conference is open to all ages. Registration is $40 for OLLI members and $55 for members of the public, and includes morning coffee, refreshments and lunch. The registration deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 7. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact OLLI at (413) 236-2190.


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Judges Jacqueline Connell and Kathy Michie discuss a Design Division entry at a recent Grow Show. Photo courtesy Berkshire Botanical Garden

Annual Grow Show to include ‘Game of Flowers’

Stockbridge — Berkshire Botanical Garden will host its 49th annual Grow Show, a judged event showcasing the summer harvest and floral design, Saturday, Aug. 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. New this year is a digital photography show, a children’s edible arrangement workshop, and the men’s floral design competition “Game of Flowers.”

This year’s Floral Design division theme, “Gardens of the World,” invites competitors to create floral arrangements inspired by gardens near and far, including noted gardens in New York City, Japan, England and India. The class “Mr. McGregor’s Unruly Rabbit” is open to children ages 14 and under, and takes inspiration from “The Tales of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter. The Horticulture division celebrates regional backyard gardeners when their summer harvest is at its peak. Nearly 80 horticulture classes are open for registration representing annuals, perennials, biennials, vegetables, fruits and berries, container-grown plants, and dish gardens.

Online registration is available for both divisions. Those who pre-register using the online form are automatically entered into a drawing to win a BBG giveaway.

In addition to the Grow Show floral design and horticulture exhibition, “Considering Gardens,” a weekend-long digital onscreen exhibition presented by the BBG Photography Group will be on display in BBG’s Center House classroom. “Vegetable Art in the Garden,” an edible art workshop for children, is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the Schoolhouse. “Game of Flowers,” an epic live battle of two teams of floral designers, will be held Saturday, Aug. 10, at 3 p.m.

The event is included with BBG admission and there is no charge to enter the Grow Show. For more information, contact Berkshire Botanical Garden at (413) 298-3926 or


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Stockbridge Art Walk to feature more than 20 artists

Artist Jill Gustavis practicing her craft. Photo courtesy Guild of Berkshire Artists

Stockbridge — The Guild of Berkshire Artists and TKG Real Estate will present the Stockbridge Second Thursday Art Walk Thursday, Aug. 8, from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Art Walk is a self-guided tour of locations within the downtown area of Stockbridge. Participants can partake of light refreshments at TKG Real Estate and then stroll to Schantz Galleries across the street, the Stockbridge Library art exhibit, Image Gallery at 34 Main St., art demonstrations at the Red Lion Inn, and the River Art Project. Creating Art Outdoors artist Jill Gustavis will present a watercolor at 4:30 p.m. at 10 Elm St. Mixed media artist and photographer John Clarke will answer questions about his work as the Red Lion Inn’s artist-in-residence from 5 to 5:30 p.m. in front of the Red Lion Inn.

More than 20 artists are displaying their work at TKG Real Estate, previewing work that will be on view at their studios around the Berkshires Saturday, Aug. 10, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Among the artists showing are Amy Pressman, ML Kammel, Marion Grant, Joan Sewall, Anouk Schmitt, David Hagerty, Joan Burkhard, Diane Firtell, Mark Olshansky, Walter Pasko, Virginia Bradley, Chris Malcomson, Kerry Hamilton, Keith Emerling, Adrian Holmes, Doane Perry and Karen Carmean.

A map of the Art Walk locations, which are all within a half-mile walk, will be available at the TKG office. Stockbridge Art Walk will continue on the second Thursday of each month through December. For more information, call (413) 298-0610.


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Berkshire Playwrights Lab to stage ‘Screenplay by Stalin’ by Tom Fontana

Tom Fontana. Photo courtesy Berkshire Playwrights Lab

Great Barrington — Berkshire Playwrights Lab will present a staged reading of “Screenplay by Stalin” by Tom Fontana Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

In a room below Joseph Stalin, two screenwriters have just completed a script for a film celebrating the Soviet triumph over the Nazis, and they’re anxiously waiting to hear what the man upstairs thinks. When they do finally get some feedback, the writers have to decide whether sticking to the truth is worth risking their lives. The reading will be directed by BPL co-artistic director Joe Cacaci.

Fontana has written and produced such groundbreaking television series as “St. Elsewhere,” “Homicide: Life On The Street,” “Oz,” “The Philanthropist,” “Copper” and Netflix‘s “Borgia.” Most recently, he was the show runner on the new Showtime series “City on a Hill.”

Tickets are $15. For tickets and information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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Davis Bates, Roger Tincknell to perform for children at Lenox Library

David Bates and Roger Tincknell. Photo courtesy Lenox Library

Lenox — The Lenox Library will celebrate the 2019 summer reading program “A Universe of Stories” Thursday, Aug. 8, at 10:30 a.m. by hosting Parents’ Choice Award-winning performers Davis Bates and Roger Tincknell in a participatory program of songs and stories for all ages.

Bates and Tincknell have over eight decades of combined experience performing for families in community settings throughout the Northeast. They are known for their humor, their strong vocal harmonies, and for their warm and participatory performing style. Bates’ traditional style of telling empowers and encourages audiences of all ages to join in the fun, and to take the stories home with them to share with others. His album “Family Stories” won a Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and was recently named one of the year’s best audio recordings by Booklist magazine. Tincknell is an accomplished musician, singer and songwriter whose concerts include a wide variety of guitar styles as well as banjo, mandolin, bouzouki, harmonica and piano. His repertoire ranges from folk to rock and roll, and often includes some show-stopping yodeling. Tincknell won a Parents’ Choice honor awards for his “Earth Rhythms” album of environmental songs and his most recent release, “Carnivalito”

The event is free and open to the public. It will take place on the library lawn or indoors in the Reading Room if there is rain. Attendees are welcome to bring a blanket and/or picnic. For more information, contact the Lenox Library at (413) 637-0197.



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