Monday, July 15, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Women’s March on Washington solidarity event; James B. Conroy at Stockbridge Library; Coffee Hour Speaking Series; BCC spring workshops

Thanks to a collaboration with the Women’s March on Washington-national team and the Women’s March on Washington-Massachusetts Chapter, rally coverage from Washington will be live-streamed throughout the event at the Colonial.

Berkshire area event in solidarity with Jan. 21 Women’s March on Washington

Kristen van Ginhoven.
Kristen van Ginhoven.

Pittsfield — A local steering committee that includes WAM Theatre cofounder and artistic director Kristen van Ginhoven and community members Jayne Benjulian, Lynn Festa and Mary Lincoln is organizing a free local event in solidarity with the Jan. 21 Women’s March on Washington. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Colonial Theatre will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide a positive place for people to gather in support of the D.C. march.

“This event is free and people are welcome to stay the whole time or come and go,” van Ginhoven said. “We will be streaming the D.C. rally from 10 a.m. to1 p.m. in the theatre, along with having some other action-oriented activities in the lobby. We are having a curated program from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. inside the theatre that will highlight readings from the Constitution and original writing created especially for this event by local writers. The committee came together to organize this event because we wanted to offer a local alternative for everyone who can’t make it down to D.C. but wanted to support the march.”

Thanks to a collaboration with the Women’s March on Washington-national team and the Women’s March on Washington-Massachusetts Chapter, rally coverage from Washington will be live-streamed throughout the event. That’s A Wrap will have a take-out table and the Colonial Bar will be serving coffee, tea and snacks.

Also in the lobby, WAM Theatre associate artist Juliana von Haubrich has devised a variation on the spontaneous interactive art project which blossomed in the New York City subways in the weeks since the presidential election. Attendees will be invited to finish two statements — “I support…” and “I will…” — on sticky notes to be displayed in the Colonial lobby that day and then travel to other locations in the County in the future. Attendees are welcome to bring their own related signs and displays to be displayed in the lobby for all to enjoy throughout the day.

There will be a #WhyIMarch photo booth where photos can be taken that will immediately be posted to social media to join the plethora of others around the world who are participating in sister march events.

An information table will provide attendees with ideas and opportunities for future civic engagement.

A Jan. 21 March on Washington-Berkshire County keepsake magnet will be on sale for $5 to help cover the costs of the event. While an anonymous donor rented the Colonial, other costs associated with hosting the event have been covered by the steering committee. Anyone wishing to help offset those costs will be encouraged to buy magnet.

To complete the event inside the theatre at 1 p.m., 11 actors and writers will “Rock the Constitution,” a spirited staged reading curated by Jayne Benjulian, during which, the actors and writers will perform monologues they’ve written especially for the event and will perform portions of the U. S. Constitution. Local participating luminaries will include MaConnia Chesser, Joan Coombs, Lori Evans, Corinna May, Brenny Rabine, Jennifer Browdy, Sheela Clary, Barbara Newman, Grace Rossman, Rachel Siegel and Lara Tupper.

More details and information are available from the Berkshire Edge calendar.

–E.E.

*     *     *

Author James B. Conroy to speak at Stockbridge Library

James B. Conroy.
James B. Conroy.

conroy-lincolns-white-house-200x300Stockbridge — On Saturday, Jan. 21, at 4 p.m., the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives will present author James B. Conroy, who will discuss his new book, “Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime.”

“Lincoln’s White House” is the first book devoted to capturing the look, feel and smell of the executive mansion from Lincoln’s inauguration in 1861 to his assassination in 1865. Relying on fresh research and a character-driven narrative and drawing on untapped primary sources, Conroy takes his readers on a behind-the-scenes tour that provides new insight into how Lincoln lived, led the government, conducted war and ultimately unified the country to build a better government of, by and for the people.

Conroy, a trial lawyer in Boston for over 30 years, is the author of “Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 1865” (Lyons Press, 2014). He resides on Boston’s South Shore.

For more information, contact the Stockbridge Library at (413) 298-5501 or info@stockbridgelibrary.org.

–E.E.

*     *     *

BHS to offer Coffee Hour Speaking Series

Holly Rogers.
Holly Rogers.

Pittsfield — On Sunday, Jan. 22, at 2 p.m., the Berkshire Humane Society (BHS) will host attorney Holly Rogers in a talk titled “What Everyone Needs to Know about Estate Planning: Both for You and for Your Pets” as part of its Coffee Hour Speaking Series. Rogers’ presentation will cover the topics basic estate planning that includes the welfare of humans and pets, simple steps that will benefit people during their lives and after and ways to care for pets if they are unable to do so. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Rogers has been in practice since 1998 when she graduated cum laude from the Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Since relocating to the Berkshires in 2007, she has focused her practice on probate administration and estate planning for the peace of mind of individuals and families. She is a longtime advocate for responsible estate planning that includes pets.

The talk is free and open to the public, though reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Mary at (413) 447-7878 x128 or mkoncel@berkshirehumane.org.

–E.E.

*     *     *

BCC South County Center spring workshops

David Hodge.
David Hodge.

Great Barrington — More than 60 noncredit workshops will be offered at Berkshire Community College’s (BCC) South County Center during the spring semester.

New offerings

Mobile technology expert Thad Kubis will offer “Smartphone Photography” on Tuesdays from Jan. 24 through Feb. 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Technology consultant Amy Chin will offer “Facebook for Business” on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and Thursday, Feb. 2, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Angela Spita will lead Introductory Conversational Spanish I on Tuesdays from Jan. 24 through April 11 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Conversational Spanish II, led by Gloria Escobar, is slated for Mondays from Jan. 23 to April 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“Concrete Leaf and Garden Art Design” is a new offering with Tegan Cook of White Buffalo Studios in New Lebanon, New York. Students will learn how to cast leaves and create garden planters and gain knowledge to further create stepping stones, birdbaths and additional planters. Numerous three-hour sessions are offered.

“Grantseeking from Foundations and Corporations” has been redesigned by consultant Marilyn Gross into a compressed session on Saturday, Jan. 31 from 9 a.m. to noon, and will be repeated on Saturday, March 4. Gross will also offer a revised “Fundraising Fundamentals” workshop on Tuesday, Feb. 14, from 9 a.m. to noon with a repeat session on Saturday, March 4.

Returning workshops

Local musician David Hodge will offer “Songwriting,” “Continuing Guitar” and “Basics of Harmony” on Tuesday evenings beginning Jan. 31. He will also offer “Beginning Ukulele,” “Mastering the Ukulele,” “Beginning Guitar” and “Spring Jam” on Thursdays starting Feb. 2.

Longtime French instructor Kita Kobran will begin a new French 101 cohort on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. from Jan. 31 through April 11. Advanced levels will also continue including French 306 on Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m., Jan. 30 through April 24; and French 406 on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. from Feb. 1 through April 12.

For more information, call BCC at (413) 236-2127.

–E.E.

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