Monday, June 24, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: BBG art exhibit; Lenox Jazz Stroll; Koshersoul; Bernard A. Drew to discuss CCC camps; old-time music workshop and concert; Knosh & Knowledge

Featuring well-known and up-and-coming artists, Berkshire Botanical Garden’s season-long “Symbiosis” exhibition will open with the third indoor installment on September 16.

Opening reception for Berkshire Botanical Garden’s third ‘Symbiosis’ art exhibition

Stockbridge— Featuring well-known and up-and-coming artists, Berkshire Botanical Garden’s season-long “Symbiosis” Art/Garden exhibition will open with the third indoor installment on Friday, September 16. The public is invited to the opening reception, from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition runs through October 30.

Including outdoor sculptures in the gardens and indoor artwork in the Leonhardt Galleries, “Symbiosis” is curated by renowned art collector Beth Rudin DeWoody. “Symbiosis” not only focuses on the interaction between two organisms that mutually benefit each other, but also speaks in a greater sense about the overall interconnectivity of living things.

Max Jansons’ “The Vase that Sees All” (2021). Oil on linen. 15 x 13 inches. Photo courtesy of Berkshire Botanical Garden.

“I am thrilled to continue my ongoing collaboration with the Berkshire Botanical Garden,” said DeWoody, who curated last year’s “Taking Flight” sculpture exhibit at BBG. “Throughout my collecting, I see patterns in the works that artists are creating. This exhibition focuses on the natural world and the relationships among living things and is reflective of what I have been seeing within the greater art world.”

This exhibition features works by John McAllister, Lou Beach, Helen Chung, Elliot Green, Adler Guerrier, Judi Harvest, Sophia Heymans, Marsia Holzer, Max Jansons, Poppy Jones, Iran Issa-Khan, Lacey Leonard, Matt Murphy, Rose Nestler, Jonathan Peck, Alexandra Penney, Rob Raphael, Megumi Shinozaki, Elizabeth Thompson, Henry Vincent, Gabrielle Vitollo, Shanna Waddell, Faith Wilding, and Anna Zemankova.

President of the Rudin Family Foundation, DeWoody is known for her vast art collection — some 10,000 pieces — which she houses and exhibits by appointment at The Bunker Artspace in West Palm Beach, Fla. She is a trustee at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The New School University and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in New York City; The Hammer Museum, in Los Angeles, Calif.; Design Museum Holon, in Israel; and Norton Museum of Art, in West Palm Beach.

The outdoor sculpture portion of “Symbiosis” is on exhibit through October 28. It features works by Michele Oka Doner, Daniel Gordon, Brandon Lomax, Yassi Mazandi, Thaddeus Mosley, Ben Wolf Noam, Kiki Smith, Ned Smyth, and Erwin Wurm.

“Symbiosis” is produced by Laura Dvorkin, co-curator of The Bunker Artspace and Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection.

The Leonhardt Galleries are open from 9 to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

For more information, visit


Lenox Jazz Stroll

Lenox— The 3rd Lenox Jazz Stroll, which will run from Thursday, September 15 to Saturday, September 17, will kick off at the Lenox Library. The event is a collaboration with the Milltown Foundation, Berkshire Jazz Collective and the Lenox Chamber of Commerce.

The festival will begin Thursday with a screening of a documentary film by George Schuller, The Modern Jazz Quartet: From Residency to Legacy. Friday night launches the musical performances at The Gateways Inn at 6:00 p.m. with a performance by the Ted Rosenthal Trio. The actual stroll is on Saturday, September 17 with performances throughout the day in various locations in downtown Lenox— see schedule below.

The Lenox Jazz Stroll started in 2020 and is organized by Andy Wrba, Founder, Berkshire Jazz Collective and Program Manager, Milltown Foundation, also a local musician and  music teacher.

“Now in its third year, the Jazz Stroll has quickly become a staple of the regional music scene with performances from top musicians from the Berkshires, Boston, and New York,” said Wrba.

Photo courtesy of the Lenox Jazz Stroll.

Performance schedule: Saturday, September 17:

  • Gateways Inn         12-1 p.m.     Richard Stanmeyer Quartet
  • Lilac Park                1-2 p.m.      Don Mikkelsen Quartet
  • Campfire                 2-3  p.m.     Dave Bartley Trio
  • Lilac Park                3-4  p.m.    Dominique Eade with The Armen Donelian Trio
  • Campfire                 4-5 p.m.     Suzi Stern
  • Gateways Inn         5-6 p.m.      Jeanne Laurin, John Sauer, Bob Ferrier
  • Lilac Park                6-7 p.m.     Mukana
  • Gateways Inn         7-9  p.m.     Green Street Trio
  • Firefly                     8-11 p.m.    Wanda Houston Band

For more information, visit


Koshersoul: A Conversation with Michael Twitty and Adeena Sussman

Photo courtesy of The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires.

Pittsfield– In preparation for the High Holy Days, the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires and Jewish Book Council will host a con­ver­sa­tion about iden­ti­ty, food, cul­ture, and inter­sec­tion­al­i­ty. The event will be held via Zoom on Thursday, September 15, from 12:30-1:30.

Michael Twitty’s Kosh­er­soul is a thought-pro­vok­ing mem­oir that examines the cre­ation of African-Jew­ish foods as a result of migra­tion and the dias­po­ra.Twit­ty will be joined by Adeena Suss­man, food writer and author of the upcom­ing book Shab­bat: Recipes and Rit­u­als From My Table To Yours.

Michael W. Twit­ty is a not­ed culi­nary and cul­tur­al his­to­ri­an and the cre­ator of Afro­culi­nar­ia, the first blog devot­ed to African Amer­i­can his­toric food­ways and their lega­cies. Twit­ty has appeared through­out the media, includ­ing on NPR’s The Splen­did Table, and has giv­en more than 250 talks in the Unit­ed States and abroad.

Adeena Suss­man has co-authored eleven cook­books, includ­ing the New York Times #1 best­seller Crav­ings—and its best­selling fol­low-up Hun­gry for More—with Chris­sy Teigen. She is also the author of Tahi­ni. She moved to Israel in 2015 and lives foot­steps from Carmel Mar­ket. She has writ­ten about Israeli food for Food & Wine, The Wall Street Jour­nal, and many oth­ers. Her forth­com­ing book is Shab­bat: Recipes and Rit­u­als from My Table to Yours.

Register for the event here.To pur­chase Kosher­soul, click here, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the local Bookstore in Lenox! Pur­chase Adeena Suss­man­’s Saba­ba here!


Bernard A. Drew to discuss Civilian Conservation Corps camps

Pittsfield—On Wednesday September 14 at 5:30 p.m., the Berkshire County Historical Society will present the free lecture 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps Camps: The Genesis of Our State Parks System by local historian and author Bernard A. Drew.

In his lecture, Drew will present a history of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Forest Army of the 1930s, a national program to provide employment, security, and training to young men during the height of the Great Depression. Drew will concentrate on Civilian Conservation Corps facilities in Great Barrington’s Beartown State Forest and at York Lake in Sandisfield State Forest. He will present a visual history of recruit work and leisure utilizing 100 projected images–most never shown in the Berkshires or reproduced in books. This free program in conjunction with BCHS’s The WPA in the Berkshires exhibition and will take place at Herman Melville’s Historic Arrowhead. The event is sponsored by Berkshire Bank and Greylock Federal Credit Union.

Bernard Drew is a newspaper editor and columnist and the author of local Berkshire histories including books about Great Barrington, Monument Mountain, Lake Buel, Beartown, the Knox Trail and, nearing completion, 18th and 19th century water powered industry on the Housatonic River. He is a past president of the Berkshire County Historical Society.

The WPA in the Berkshires exhibition is on view at Arrowhead through October 31.


Dirk Powell and Rainy Eyes workshop and concert

Sheffield— On Thursday September 15, old-time music-makers Dirk Powell and Rainey Eyes will give a workshop and concert at Dewey Hall.

Dirk Powell and Rainy Eyes play original and traditional music with deep roots in the Kentucky mountains, the Louisiana bayous, and the fertile soil of the Americana songwriting tradition. Dirk is well-known as a champion of rural roots music, particularly the traditional fiddle and banjo sounds he learned from his grandfather, but his vision and versatility have found him playing with the likes of Joan Baez, Eric Clapton, Levon Helm, Loretta Lynn, Jack White, and many others.

Originally from western Norway, though living in the U.S. since the age of nineteen, Rainy writes direct, emotional songs and immerses herself in the thick center of rhythmic tradition. Based in Lafayette, Louisiana, the pair draw on their varied rural roots and a love of life to create music that is soulful, powerful, and unadorned.

Dirk Powell and Rainy Eyes. Photo courtesy of Dewey Hall.

The workshop, focused on Appalachian stringband music, will offer instruction in fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, and bass (depending on the interests of the attendees). The workshop will be offered with a holistic approach that centers on creating the interwoven, expressive sound that draws us to the music in the first place. Attendees will learn a tune or two and talk about how it fits not only on each individual instrument but how things gel as a whole.

The workshop will be held from 6 – 7:15 p.m., and the concert will be held from 8 – 9:15 p.m. Workshop tickets are $25, concert tickets are $20, and tickets for both are $40.

Workshop + Concert: $40. For tickets, visit this link. For more information, visit the Dewey Hall website.


Knosh & Knowledge welcomes Rebecca Soffer 

Great Barrington– On Friday, September 16 at 10:45 a.m. The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires’ popular Knosh & Knowledge series welcomes Rebecca Soffer, Berkshires resident and co-founder of Modern Loss, a global movement and platform of content, resources, and community focused on eradicating the stigma around grief while also encouraging people to find meaning and live richly.

Rebecca Soffer will discuss her new book, THE MODERN LOSS HANDBOOK: An Interactive Guide to Moving Through Grief and Building Your Resilience.

Please note: Proof of vaccination and masking is required at this Federation event.

Knosh & Knowledge programs take place at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, 270 State Road in Great Barrington. For more on this free program and other Federation events, visit the calendar of events at


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