Sunday, July 14, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Ani DiFranco at The Mahaiwe; ‘Hopped Up for Health’; ‘Hidden Gardens’ tour; ‘Portraiture Beyond Portraits’; foster family information session

Big Elm Brewing will host “Hopped Up for Health” Saturday, June 16, beginning at 9 a.m. for all who would like to run, walk or bike in support of Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires.

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center to welcome Ani DiFranco

Great Barrington — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will welcome songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Ani DiFranco Sunday, June 17, at 7 p.m. Folk rock singer-songwriter Haley Heynderickx will open the show.

From the raw folk-punk of her early albums through the jazz/funk grooves she created during her years touring with a five-piece band to the twists and turns of her current work as a solo artist, DiFranco’s restless creativity continually leads her and her listeners into ever more exciting territory. With the release of her latest album “Binary,” DiFranco returns to the road for the “Rise Up” tour backed by Todd Sickafoose on bass and Terence Higgins on drums.

Tickets are $30-$80. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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‘Hopped Up for Health’ to benefit VIM Berkshires

Sheffield — Big Elm Brewing will host “Hopped Up for Health” Saturday, June 16, beginning at 9 a.m. The event is open to all who would like to run, walk or bike in support of Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires. The course will traverse beautiful country roads and includes a 12K hill challenge loop, a 5K run or walk, and 50-mile bike ride. Official race times will be recorded through Berkshire Running Center. Prizes will be awarded with T-shirts for the first 200 registrants. There will also be first-come, first-served massage post-race, as well as a free custom-brewed beer for each adult finisher compliments of Big Elm Brewery. Lunch will be available for purchase from Jaju Pierogi and Sky View Farm.

Entry fees are $45 for the bike ride, $40–$45 for the 12K, $25–$30 for the 5K and $15 for a children’s 5K. All race proceeds will benefit VIM Berkshires. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact (413) 528-4014 or


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Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 2018 Hidden Gardens tour will include this garden in Red Rock, N.Y., inspired by the Grand Allee of Monet’s garden in Giverny, France. Photo courtesy Spencertown Academy Arts Center

Spencertown Academy to celebrate ‘Hidden Gardens’

Spencertown, N.Y. — Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 14th annual Hidden Gardens tour will take place Saturday, June 16, accompanied by an array of events for garden enthusiasts. The theme of this year’s tour is “Artful Landscapes.”

The Academy’s annual Twilight in the Garden Party will take place Friday, June 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Meg and Bill Stratton’s 1845 Greek Revival home. Cocktails, sparkling beverages, hors d’oeuvres and a light supper will be served. The self-guided tour will occur rain or shine Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will showcase private gardens in Spencertown, New Concord and Red Rock, as well as the restored gardens of Edna St. Vincent Millay at Steepletop in Austerlitz. Participants will explore the landscapes of several historic homes featuring abundant gardens and curated grounds with ponds and other water features; a shade garden and pond complementing a contemporary house in the woods; a brick sundial garden bordered by lavender and filled with blooming perennials; a formal ‘secret garden’ surrounded by a tall privet hedge; and a garden inspired by the Grande Allee in Monet’s celebrated garden at Giverny. Also taking place Saturday will be a garden market plant and food vendors, artisans, garden furnishings and more; and the “Woodlands and Wetlands” art exhibition featuring artists Jacqueline AltmanJames Coe, George Dirolf, Ellen Jouret-Epstein, Roger McKee and Burdette Parks.

Tickets are $100 for the garden party and $40 for the tour. Proceeds will benefit the Academy. For tickets and more information, contact the Spencertown Academy Arts Center at (518) 392-3693 or


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St. Francis Gallery presents ‘Portraiture Beyond Portraits’

Artwork by Jean Claude Goldberg. Image courtesy St. Francis Gallery

South Lee — The St. Francis Gallery present the group exhibition “Portraiture Beyond Portraits” through Monday, July 30. The gallery will hold an opening reception with the artists Saturday, June 16, from 3 to 6 p.m.

“Portraiture Beyond Portraits” is the work of a group of artists who possess the ability to explore and utilize the essence of human expression, using their art to generate creative conversations between viewer and artist. One of the gallery’s principal artists, Jean Claude Goldberg, has ventured from his signature brand and has resurrected a source that speaks to new life. He is joined by other artists who have reached the same tipping point of new ideas, paying homage to and exploring shared humanity, including Jim Singelis, Michael Rousseau, Lorraine Klagsbrun, Michael Fabrizio, Brian De Nicola, Mark Davis, Naomi Grossman and Linda Baker Cimini.

For more information, contact the St. Francis Gallery at (413) 717-5199 or


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Berkshire Children and Families to hold reception for prospective foster families

Pittsfield — Berkshire Children and Families will host an information reception Tuesday, June 19, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Hotel on North for those who are interested in becoming foster families. The event will give prospective families the opportunity to speak with staff and current foster families in order to learn more about the process, expectations, challenges and rewards of being a foster family. All types of families are welcome—single- and two-parent families, families with or without children of their own, and families who reflect the diversity of children who need safe, nurturing homes.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is appreciated and childcare will be provided. For more information or to register, contact Bethany Kirchmann at (413) 448-8281 x233 or



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