Monday, July 22, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: ‘Forgotten Farms’ at BIFF; Hotel California at the Colonial; ‘From Hard Rock to Hospitality;’ Tom Lee workshop; Library Challenge

New England’s dairy farmers remain the backbone of the region’s agriculture but fight for survival in an age of artisan cheese and kale.

‘Forgotten Farms’ documentary to premier at BIFF

Forgotten Farms posterGreat Barrington — The documentary film “Forgotten Farms” will premier at the Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF). Screenings will take place Saturday, June 4, at 1:45 p.m. at the Triplex Cinema, and Sunday, June 5, at 11:30 a.m. at the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield.

New England’s dairy farmers remain the backbone of the region’s agriculture but fight for survival in an age of artisan cheese and kale. “Forgotten Farms” profiles these farmers and examines the class divides in New England’s farm and food communities. New England has lost more 10,000 conventional dairy farms in the past 50 years and is currently home to nearly 2,000 dairy farms that tend 1.2 million acres of farmland and produce almost all of the milk consumed here.

Director Dave Simonds directed “Cherry Cottage: the Story of an American House,” which premiered at BIFF in 2013. His screen credits include “Amateur,”The Book of Life,” “Signs and Wonders,”The Fish in a Bathtub,” and Henry Fool.” He has appeared in music videos for Everything But the Girl, Beth Orton, and others and is currently working on a documentary called “The Hoy Boys.”

Producer Sarah Gardner is the associate director of Williams College’s Center for Environmental Studies and teaches environmental planning there. Her areas of research include land use, climate change, agriculture, and food systems.  She was a leader of the three-year research initiative North Berkshire Keep Farming. She is the co-chair of the Williamstown Agricultural Commission and a Berkshire Grown board member. Gardner is a graduate of Smith College, holds a masters degree in public policy from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in political science from the City University of New York. She has made two short films about tourism and farming in Eleuthera, Bahamas.


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BTG to present Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles

Hotel California photographed in San Francisco, April 2008 at Pat Johnson Studios,
Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles.

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) will welcome Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles to the Colonial Theatre on Thursday, June 2, at 8 p.m.

Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles recreates the music and mystique of the Grammy Award-winning band the Eagles by blending vocal harmonies and instrumentation with a modern stage show, allowing audiences to once again experience the energy and magic of live performances of classics like “Take it Easy,” “Heartache Tonight” and “Hotel California,” as well as selected titles from the solo works of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Joe Walsh. Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles includes Dicky-Lee Dickinson on vocals, mandolin, harmonica, and guitar; Wade Hogue on vocals, keyboards, guitar, and percussion; Phil Rowland on drums; Scott Fronsoe on vocals and bass; and Steve Probst on vocals, banjo, and guitar.

Tickets to Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles are $30 and $45. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.


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OLLI to present ‘From Hard Rock to Hospitality’ talk

Tom Werman photo
Tom Werman.

Lenox – OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College, will present “From Hard Rock to Hospitality,” an afternoon conversation with Tom Werman as part of its Distinguished Speaker Series on Wednesday, June 1, at 3pm at Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort.

Werman’s career has taken him from producing gold and platinum hit records in Los Angeles to the bucolic Berkshires where he runs Stonover Farm, a luxury bed & breakfast named one of the world’s greatest hotels by Travel+Leisure magazine in 2013. Werman will talk about his days as a rock music producer and agent in Los Angeles where produced more than 20 gold and platinum records for the likes of Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Molly Hatchet, Mötley Crüe, Twisted Sister, and others, and discovered and signed five acts who have collectively sold more than 100 million albums.

Admission is $10 for OLLI members, $15 for the general public, and free to Berkshire Community College students and youth age 17 and under. For more information, contact (413) 236-2190 or


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Storytelling workshop for writers and teachers

Tom Lee
Tom Lee.

Hudson, N.Y. — Storyteller Tom Lee will lead a tour through the main house at Olana State Historic Site on Friday, June 10 at 4:30 p.m. The tour is designed to teach how to spark students’ imaginations and enhance learning for elementary and middle school language arts and social studies while also supporting the frameworks, standards, and Common Core curricula for each grade. Lee will use Olana’s collection and views as the jumping-off point for creative storytelling.

Tom Lee has worked as a professional arts educator for more than 20 years in schools and museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Harvard Art Museums. Lee is a roster artist with the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, and an arts partner with BOCES and the New York State Council on the Arts. He is currently the artist-in-residence at Spencertown Academy Arts Center in Spencertown, N.Y.

The cost of the program is $10. Enrollment is limited and advance registration is required. The tour inside the main house at Olana will last about one hour and be followed by question-and-answer session. See the Berkshire Edge calendar for tickets and more information.


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Library Challenge to celebrate 21st year

Stockbridge — Golfers and tennis players of all levels are invited to play in the 21st annual Golf and Tennis Challenge to benefit the Stockbridge Library and the Lenox Library. The Challenge will be held at the Stockbridge Golf Club on Tuesday, June 7, with a rain date of Tuesday, June 21.

Golf participants will start the day’s events with a light lunch followed by a 12:15 p.m. shotgun start for teams of four, vying for prizes in the categories of low gross score, low net score, closest to the pin, and straightest drive. The $145 fee for golfers includes a round of golf with cart, lunch, snacks, and cocktail buffet with cash bar.

For the third year, the tournament will also include a doubles round-robin style tennis event for both men and women. At 1:45 p.m., tennis players will participate in play with prizes awarded to the top scorers. The $85 fee covers a cocktail buffet with cash bar.

All players will gather for a cocktail dinner buffet and awards ceremony featuring a cash bar and the awarding of prizes for the top players, as well as the many donated raffle prizes.

Members of the community are encouraged to support both libraries by purchasing raffle tickets: one ticket for $5 or six tickets for $25. Raffle prizes include golf outings, theater tickets, and gift certificates to local restaurants and museums. Raffle tickets can be purchased at either library or from library board members.

For an invitation to participate in this event or to donate raffle prizes, buy raffle tickets, or help underwrite, contact Susan Faber at or (413) 637-2630 x121.



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