Wednesday, June 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Live Out Loud conference; Martin Luther King Jr. tribute concert; ‘Nature Narratives’ at BBG; Cathcart, Klein on philosophy; Blue Art Show

Special guests the Urban Choral Arts Society from Baltimore, Maryland, will make a return appearance at the Cantilena Chamber Choir concert, and Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered in poems and speeches.

Live Out Loud Berkshires to present community conference

North Adams — The sixth annual LGBTQIA+ Live Out Loud community conference will take place Saturday, April 6, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Church Street Center.

Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. Following welcoming remarks at 10 a.m. by MCLA President James Birge and the conference committee, activist HB Lozito will present a keynote address focused on rural organizing. From 10:50 a.m. to 12:25 p.m., two blocks of workshops will feature various topics. Lunch will follow, with an afternoon plenary session including breakout discussion groups and a social gathering ending the day. New this year is a clothing swap with a separate small area for attendees to bring clean, gently used clothes to give away, and/or try on and walk away with new items.

HB Lozito is executive director of Green Mountain Crossroads, a Brattleboro, Vermont-based organization that connects rural LGBTQ people throughout northern New England to build community, visibility, knowledge and power. Lozito has spent nearly 20 years organizing in the LGBTQ community, including marching on the Maine State House as a queer high school student; organizing with Camp Trans in Michigan; supporting queer youth as an adult facilitator in Oregon; and producing community events as the co-founder of the HomoPromo event collective. They are also a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program, an elected town meeting representative from Brattleboro District 2, an alum of Marlboro College‘s nonprofit board fellowship and nonprofit management certificate programs, and theVermont Changemakers Table.

The conference is free and open to the public. Registration is requested in order to make provisions for lunch. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar.


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The Baltimore, Md.-based Urban Choral Arts Society after a winter concert. Photo courtesy Urban Choral Arts Society

Urban Choral Arts society to join Cantilena Chamber Choir in Martin Luther King Jr. tribute concert

Lenox — The Cantilena Chamber Choir will present a Martin Luther King Jr. psalms and spirituals open sing Saturday, April 6, at 5 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church. Special guests the Urban Choral Arts Society from Baltimore, Maryland, will make a return appearance, and King will be remembered in poems and speeches. The focus of the program will be a spiritual sing-along with the choirs. All words and music will be provided.

The featured work on the program will be selections from Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concert” and spiritual arrangements by the King’s Singers and Rosephanye Powell. The winners of the Martin Luther King student essay contest will be present to read their winning entries.

The Urban Choral Arts Society is a combined choir of youth and adults under the direction of Ronald McFadden and based at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center. The society is dedicated to improving the achievement and esteem of Baltimore-area youth through music and cultural arts. Its mission is to build a community of artists, preserve music of the African diaspora, and empower youth with competitive artistic skills for innovation.

There is a suggested donation of $25 per person for admission. For more information, contact the Cantilena Chamber Choir at (518) 791-0185 or


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Berkshire Botanical Garden to exhibit ‘Nature Narratives: The Botanical Art of Carol Ann Morley’

‘Ponderosa Lemon’ by Carol Ann Morley. Image courtesy Berkshire Botanical Garden

Stockbridge — Berkshire Botanical Garden will present its spring gallery exhibition, “Nature Narratives: The Botanical Art of Carol Ann Morley” Saturday, April 6, through Saturday, May 26, in its Center House Leonhardt Galleries. The exhibition is a retrospective collection of botanical artworks presented in colored pencil, pen and ink, graphite, carbon dust, and pastel. An opening reception will be held Friday, April 5. from 1 to 3 p.m.

A New Hampshire artist whose love of nature features the subjects she portrays, Morley was classically trained in England, graduating in 1963 from the Medway College of Art. Her artwork has been represented in numerous private and public collections and museums including the Smithsonian Institute of Natural History, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, the Shirley Sherwood Collection, and the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in England. Morley has taught basic drawing skills, nature drawing and botanical drawing at BBG since 1999.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Berkshire Botanical Garden at (413) 320-4794.


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Authors and philosophers Thomas Cathcart, left, and Daniel Klein. Image courtesy Cathcart and Klein

White Hart Speaker Series to host philosophical discussion with Cathcart, Klein

Salisbury, Conn. — In collaboration with the White Hart InnScoville Memorial Library, and Oblong Books & Music, the White Hart Speaker Series will present Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein Thursday, April 4, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the White Hart Inn.

Cathcart and Klein have been thinking deep thoughts and writing jokes for decades. Covering topics as diverse as religion, gender, knowledge, morality and the meaning of life (or the lack thereof), their latest book “I Think, Therefore I Draw” gives a thorough introduction to all of the major debates in philosophy historically and through the present. Cathcart and Klein’s bestsellers “Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar” and “Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates” have been a favorite of philosophers and non-philosophers alike for years.

Cathcart and Klein studied philosophy together at Harvard University in the last millennium. Since then, Danny has written comedy for Lily Tomlin, Flip Wilson and others, and published fiction and nonfiction books from thrillers to philosophy, including his London Times bestseller “Travels with Epicurus” and his most recent book, “Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It.” Cathcart studied theology and managed health care organizations before linking up with Klein to write books. He is also the author of “The Trolley Problem, or Would You Throw the Fat Guy Off the Bridge?”, a philosophical look at a tricky ethical conundrum.

The event is free and open to the public, though registration is required. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the White Hart Inn at (860) 435-0030.


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Blue Art Show to commemorate Autism Awareness Month

‘The Ghost Inside’ by Katherine Haig. Image courtesy Downtown Pittsfield Inc.

Pittsfield — Downtown Pittsfield Inc. is hosting an exhibition of blue or mostly blue artworks in honor of Autism Awareness Month through Friday, April 26. Blue Art Show will have an opening reception Friday, April 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. during First Fridays Artswalk.

The 21 local artists represented in Blue Art Show include Irene Collias, Tiffany Delmolino, Mary Beth Eldridge, Susan Geller, Katherine Haig, Anadelia Hart, Michelle Iglesias, Caroline Kelley, Christina Kelly, Henry Kleine, Ben Mancino, Dorothy Martell, Julie Morgan, Don Orcutt, Carolina Perrone, Alicia M. Sicotte, Karen Jo Sicotte, Sally Tiska Rice, Julian Rocca, Joan Rooks and Stephanie VanBramer.

The art show is part of the “Go Blue” April programming by the Autism Collaborative of Berkshire County. For more information, contact Downtown Pittsfield Inc. at (413) 443-6501 or



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