Bits & Bytes: ‘March into Action’; ‘Handbags for Habitat’; Miss ‘Nogood’ drag pageant; CATA art exhibit, poetry reading; Williams seeks ‘books’

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By Tuesday, Jan 16 Life In the Berkshires
Heather Bellow
From left: Aurel and Molly de St Andre of Great Barrington with children, and Sarah Davis of Sandisfield and children at the 2017 Women's March sister event at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. Indivisible Pittsfield will hold an event Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Colonial in solidarity with the 2018 Women's March.

Indivisible Pittsfield to hold ‘March into Action’ solidarity event

Pittsfield — On the anniversary of the first Women’s March and in solidarity with the Women’s March 2018: Power to the Polls, Indivisible Pittsfield will offer a “March into Action” resource fair and community forum Saturday, Jan. 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre.

“March into Action” will begin with a resource fair featuring more than 20 groups. Brief spoken-word performances by artists from WordXWord and WAM Theatre will follow, leading into a panel discussion of important issues facing the Berkshires in 2018, how to build better partnerships to address the issues, and how the community can help in the efforts. The panel will include Rep. Paul Mark, D-Peru; Pittsfield City Councilor Helen Moon; NAACP-Berkshire County Branch President Dennis Powell; Geraldine Shen from Greylock Together; and Kristen van Ginhoven from WAM Theatre. Representatives from Berkshire Democratic Brigades, Berkshire Interfaith Organizing, Berkshire Immigrant Stories, Four Freedoms Coalition, the Great Barrington Democratic Town Committee, Lift Every Vote, Pittsfield Area Council of Congregations and the United American Muslim Association of the Berkshires will also participate.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact indivisiblepittsfield@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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A selection of the handbags to be auctioned off at the Jan. 18 ‘Handbags for Habitat’ event in New Lebanon, N.Y. Photo courtesy Columbia County Habitat for Humanity

‘Handbags for Habitat’ event to raise money for WomenBuild New Lebanon

New Lebanon, N.Y. — WomenBuild New Lebanon will hold a ‘Handbags for Habitat’ fundraising event Thursday, Jan. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Meissner’s Auction Service to help support the kickoff of the upcoming WomenBuild in New Lebanon, set to begin at the end of January. The event will include wine and refreshments and will sell and auction off slightly used, new and vintage handbags.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Columbia County Habitat for Humanity’s first WomenBuild project as well as the affiliate’s 25th anniversary. The WomenBuild home will become the 21st house in the organization’s “30 x 2020” campaign.

Tickets are $10 and include a $5 coupon towards the purchase of a handbag. Those unable to attend the event may submit absentee and qualified phone bids by contacting Meissner’s Auction House by phone at (518) 766-5002 or fax at (518) 794-8073. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact WomenBuild New Lebanon at (518) 828-0892.

–E.E.

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Egremont Barn to host drag pageant

Nancy Nogood. Photo courtesy Only in My Dreams Events

South Egremont — Only in My Dreams Events will present the Miss “Nogood” drag pageant Friday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m. at the Barn at the Egremont Village Inn.

Fierce and fabulous provocateur Miss Nancy Nogood has hand-selected an outrageous and accomplished group of queens to compete for the title of Miss “Nogood.” Hosted by Nancy Nogood and Boxxa Vine, the event will boast a panel of judges including Broadway star Alison Fraser, actor and comedian Shawn Hollenbach, and New York City drag queens Gilda Wabbit and Gina Tonic who will evaluate contestants based on their PUNK quotient: Personality, Urself, Nastiness and Kill It Onstage. The highest scoring performer will win the crown.

Tickets are $45. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar.

–E.E.

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CATA to offer art exhibit and poetry reading

Rachel Siegel

Lenox — Community Access to the Arts will hold an art opening Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Kimball Farms Life Care as part of CATA’s Art on Tour gallery series. The event will include writer and actor Rachel Siegel reading selected works by writers with disabilities from CATA’s Writers Workshop.

The exhibit will run through Wednesday, Feb. 28, and features artwork in a variety of expressions and media by CATA artists with disabilities from throughout Berkshire County. All works in the exhibit are professionally matted, framed and available for sale, with proceeds supporting commissions for individual artists.

The event is free and open to all with reservations. Refreshments will follow. For more information or to make reservations, contact Sharon Lazerson at (413) 637-7043..

–E.E.

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Williams College seeks ‘books’ for Human Library Project

Williamstown — Williams College is seeking volunteers for its seventh annual Human Library Project, which will be held Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Paresky Student Center.

Founded in 2001 in Denmark, the Human Library seeks to promote human rights and social cohesion by creating greater understanding among people. It provides an opportunity for people to learn more about each other while working through stereotypes and discrimination. The event has been held annually at Williams since 2012.

A Human Library consists of volunteers who act as “books” that can be “checked out” by “readers.” Each book decides on a title that gives a snapshot of the story: “A Triple Minority in Trump’s America,” “From Wall Street to East Harlem,” “My 150-pound Weight Loss Journey,” etc. The book and reader engage in a 30-minute one-on-one conversation about the book’s life and experience, and then the book can ask questions of the reader as well, prompting discussion about shared experiences and differing perspectives. As a central goal of the Human Library is to reduce prejudice through dialog, the project welcomes stories from people in the process of change or who are willing to share how their thinking has evolved.

Those interested in volunteering as books are asked to fill out the Human Library Participant Information Form no later than Saturday, Jan. 20. For more information, contact Lois Banta at (413) 597-4330 or lbanta@williams.edu.

–E.E.


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