Wednesday, July 24, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Herb garden workshops at Bidwell House Museum; Guild of Berkshire Artists at Welles Gallery; Sara Porkalob at WTF; Chelsea Gaia at Ventfort Hall; Jacques Schwarz-Bart at The Clark; Stuffed animal sleepover at West Stockbridge Library

The Bidwell House Museum presents a two-part herb garden workshop series.

Bidwell House Museum presents a series of herb garden workshops

Monterey— On July 2nd and July 16th, the Bidwell House Museum presents a two-part herb garden workshop series. 

On July 2nd from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the first of the two workshops, join gardener Pat Parkins as she explores how to plan an herb garden for both culinary and medicinal uses. You will have the opportunity to work on a rough design for your own herb garden and learn how to prepare the ground to receive your new plants. Bring your ideas, measurements of the area you would like to develop, and your enthusiasm! Register online. 

On July 16th from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the second of the two workshops, Pat Parkins will show you what to do when your herbs have sprouted and are ready to be harvested. Starting with a sampling of medicinal plants readily found in our area, we will talk about what to harvest, how to identify the plants, how to harvest, and ways to dry these plants. We will also talk about different ways to use herbal remedies, such as teas and tinctures, and how to prepare them. Register online. 

Pat Parkins is the owner of Gardens of the Goddess, a Becket based company that has been working for over 25 years to enhance nature’s beauty through artful landscape design, installation and maintenance.

The workshops are at the Bidwell House Museum at 100 Art School Road in Monterey. The cost is $10 to $20 per workshop. 


Guild of Berkshire Artists presents ‘Alchemy: An Exhibit of Transformations” at Welles Gallery in the Lenox Library

Sarah Morrison, ‘Spring Happens.’

Lenox— From July 3rd through July 30th, the Guild of Berkshire Artists presents ‘Alchemy: An Exhibit of Transformations” at Welles Gallery in the Lenox Library.

Participating artists include Carolyn Abrams, Michael Coyne, Lear Levin, Sarah Morrison, Amy Pressman, Susan Sabino, and Bruce Shickmanter. Mediums include watercolors, acrylics, encaustic, cold wax, fiber arts, and photography.

The exhibit is on view from July 3rd through July 30th at the Welles Gallery in the Lenox Library at 18 Main Street in Lenox. More information can be found online. 


Williamstown Theatre Festival presents Sara Porkalob’s ‘Dragon Mama,’ part two of ‘The Dragon Cycle’

Williamstown— From July 2nd through July 14th, Williamstown Theatre Festival presents Sara Porkalob’s ‘Dragon Mama,’ part two of ‘The Dragon Cycle.’

Sara Porkalob transforms the stage into a vast canvas of emotion, humor, and resilience. With her powerful voice and an evocative collection of ’90s R&B hits, Porkalob vividly brings to life the complex tapestry of her mother Maria’s early years and queer identity, affirming the power of family, the importance of self-discovery, and the indomitable spirit of those who dare to dream beyond their circumstances.

‘The Dragon Cycle.’ Courtesy WTF.

The performances are July 2nd through July 14th at Williamstown Theatre Festival’s CenterStage Theater on Main Street in Williamstown. More information can be found online. 


Chelsea Gaia to speak at Ventfort Hall 

Lenox— On Tuesday, July 2nd at 4 p.m., Chelsea Gaia, Director of Programming & Events for Ventfort Hall, will speak at Ventfort Hall about the time Ventfort Hall operated as Festival House, an inn in the 1950’s where everyone was welcome.

The Berkshires haven’t always been so open and celebratory of diversity. In fact, it’s a fairly recent development with an obscure catalyst. During the 1950’s, Ventfort Hall did not exist as the Gilded Age Museum it is today, but instead, an inclusive resort open to all who wished to stay, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or socio-economic class or status.

Chelsea Gaia. Courtesy Ventfort Hall.

An avid researcher and student of life, Gaia is openly neuro-divergent and finds joy and fulfillment executing in-depth study and research in many disciplines, as well as the history of each particular study.  Among her skills, she is a native plant expert for flora of the Pacific Northwest region of North America, a stained glass restoration specialist, a visual artist, a 20-year photojournalist, a seasoned graphic designer, and a multi-disciplined application scientist.

The talk is on Tuesday, July 2nd at 4 p.m. at Ventfort Hall at 104 Walker Street in Lenox. A tea will be served after the presentation. More information can be found online. 


Clark Art Institute presents Jacques Schwarz-Bart

Williamstown— On Wednesday, July 3rd at 6 p.m., the Clark Art Institute kicks off its July Outdoor Concert Series with a performance by Jacques Schwarz-Bart and Band. 

Born in Guadeloupe, Jacques Schwarz-Bart has voyaged across musical genres from neo-soul, where he worked with D’angelo and Erika Badu, back to his Carribean roots where he innovated hybrid jazz genres. Playing Gwo ka and Vodou jazz, Schwarz-Bart connects jazz music with its Afro-Caribbean and spiritual origins.

Jacques Schwarz-Bart and band. Courtesy The Clark.

The free concert is on Wednesday, July 3rd at 6 p.m. on the reflecting pool lawn at the Clark Art Institute on South Street in Williamstown. Bring a picnic and your own seating. Rain moves the performance indoors. More information can be found online. 


West Stockbridge Public Library to host a stuffed animal sleepover

West Stockbridge— On Tuesday July 2nd from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., children are invited to drop off a stuffed animal to the library for a stuffed animal sleepover.

Stuffed animal sleepover.

On Wednesday, July 3rd from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., children can pick up their stuffed animals and view photos of what they did during the night.

The event is free and all ages are welcome.  No pre-registration is necessary. Just bring your stuffed animal to the West Stockbridge Library at 21 State Line Road in West Stockbridge. 


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