Monday, July 15, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: First Fridays Artswalk; “Hats Off” at Bidwell House; Cuban dance at The Pillow; Young Women in Science; Francine Segan at Ventfort Hall

On Friday, August 7, at Bard College at Simon's Rock, the Flying Cloud Institute will celebrate its 15th year of the STEM(science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program to encourage young women to become scientists and engineers.

August First Fridays Artswalk

Pittsfield — First Fridays Artswalk on August 7 will feature 18 different art shows with work by more than 30 accomplished regional and international artists in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District. The August First Fridays Artswalk will kick off with opening receptions and artists present throughout from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m There will be a guided walking tour beginning at 5 p.m. at the Intermodal Center at BRTA and the evening will culminate with an free afterparty and social gathering with the night’s artists from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Whitney Center for the Arts.

Comic and Cartoon Art presents “Reimagined — An International Show of Comic and Cartoon Art” at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts through August 29. Knesset Israel hosts a special one-time show through August 24 of more than a dozen artists in ceramics, oils, photography, quilting, weaving, acrylics, jewelry, resin sculpture, and mixed media. The Whitney Center for the Arts will present “Women’s Work” in August in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the Women’s Club which is now the home of the Whit. New shows from local artists will also be displayed at the Marketplace Café; Berkshire Medical Center; Unusual Wedding Rings & More; Berkshire Paint and Sip; Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men; Deidre’s Special Day; Shire City Sanctuary; Bagels Too; and Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. as part of the Artswalk.

First Fridays Artswalk is presented by Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. Most art exhibits are on display in participating venues throughout the month. More information is available by calling (413) 443-6501.


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“Hats Off to the 25th” anniversary of the Bidwell House Museum

Monterey — The Bidwell House Museum will hold its summer fundraiser on Saturday, August 15 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the hilltop field of the Stone House on Route 23. This year’s celebration marks the 25th anniversary of the museum as an educational and cultural centerpiece of the Berkshires. The museum is honoring the legacy of Joyce Scheffey and the late Lew Scheffey for their founding membership and support of the Bidwell House throughout its first quarter century. All proceeds of this event will benefit the Bidwell House Museum.

The theme of the party is “Hats Off to the 25th.” The Easy Ridin’ Papas will provide music and Kate Baldwin will prepare delectable hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Both a live and a silent auction will take place during the celebration featuring fine art, collectibles, gourmet treats, and Berkshire experiences. Guests are invited to wear fun and vintage hats, and flat shoes are recommended given the outdoor location of the event.

Tickets to the 25th anniversary party are $75 per person before August 7, $85 at the door, and may be reserved by contacting the Museum office at (413) 528-6888.


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Malpaso Dance Company Roberto Leon
Malpaso Dance Company. Photo: Roberto Leon

Havana-based Malpaso Dance Company at Jacob’s Pillow

Becket — The Havana, Cuba-based Malpaso Dance Company comes to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s Ted Shawn Theatre, August 5-9. The company’s program celebrates cultural collaboration, dazzling dance, and live music. Choreographed by Malpaso Dance Company’s Artistic Director Osnel Delgado, “Despedida” is set to an original score by Mexican-American composer Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, performed live. Taking inspiration from the eponymous poem by the award-winning Argentinian writer and recipient of the French Legion of Honour Jorge Luis Borges, “Despedida” showcases the company’s signature virtuosic range in style from Brazilian capoeira to ballet. Choreographer Trey McIntyre’s “Under Fire” is an intimate portrait of redemption and renewal. Set to popular covers and original works by Boise-based singer/songwriter Grandma Kelsey, the work includes renditions of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and Ginuwine’s “Pony,” with lighting design by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Lighting Director Al Crawford.

This engagement marks Malpaso Dance Company’s Jacob’s Pillow debut. More information and tickets can be found via the Berkshire Edge calendar and by calling the Jacob’s Pillow box office at (413) 243-0745.


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Flying Cloud Institute celebrates 15 years of Young Women in Science

Great Barrington — For the fifteenth anniversary of Flying Cloud Institute’s Young Women in Science program, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) summer program for girls will host a celebration honoring graduates of the program, scientists who have volunteered their expertise, founders, and funders who made it possible for 1,200 girls to discover a love of scientific discovery while overcoming pervasive negative stereotypes that often inhibit women from entering STEM professions. Current participants who are going into grades seven through 12 will honor those who came before them as they showcase their field research and results of their lab experiments completed during an intensive week of scientific exploration.

The celebration will be held on Friday, August 7 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Fisher Science Center of Bard College at Simon’s Rock.


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“Life Is a Picnic” Tea & Talk at Ventfort Hall

FS headshot --low rez
Francine Segan.

Lenox — Francine Segan will return to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum to present “Life Is a Picnic!” on Tuesday, August 4 at 4:00 p.m. followed by a Victorian tea.

According to Segan, since the Renaissance when Queen Elizabeth of England ordered picnics as part of the hunt scene, outdoor dining has taken on a bucolic allure all its own. Segan will speak about lunches on the lawn through the ages, including picnics of the Gilded Age.

Segan is a noted food historian and James-Beard-nominted author of six books.  Tickets for the Tea & Talk are $22 in advance and $27 day of the event.  Reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.  For information or reservations, call Ventfort Hall at (41) 637-3206 or email



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