Bits & Bytes: First Fridays Artswalk; MOMIX at the Mahaiwe; Solarize Mass program grants; ‘Swords Through the Ages;’ Berkshire Rainbow Seniors meeting; clown workshop at Berkshire Pulse

Since its launch in 2011, 51 cities and towns have participated in Solarize Mass, which has led to the contracting of more than 2,600 new small-scale installations at homes and businesses and resulted in 18 megawatts of contracted solar capacity.

July First Fridays Artswalk

Pittsfield — The First Fridays Artswalk on July 1 will encompass more than 15 different art shows featuring work by more than two dozen regional artists in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District. The Artswalk will kick off with opening receptions and artists present throughout from 5 p .m. – 8 p.m. A free guided walking tour will begin at 5 p.m. at the BRTA Intermodal Center.

Art by Kathryn Jensen, who is one of the many artists participating in Pittsfield's First Fridays Artswalk on Friday, July 1.
Art by Kathryn Jensen, who is one of the many artists participating in Pittsfield’s First Fridays Artswalk on Friday, July 1.

Community Access to the Arts (CATA) will present “I Am a Part of Art,” a month-long celebration and exhibit of its visual artists, at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. The exhibit features more 100 works of art created by artists with disabilities from across Berkshire County and an opening reception will take place Thursday, July 14, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. will present designs from the Pittsfield Paintbox Project. The Whitney Center for the Arts will host a selection of artwork by members of the Pittsfield High School Class of 1981. Curated by Leo Mazzeo and part of the 35th reunion celebration of the Class, the exhibit will showcase the talents of artists Alison Brett, Francine Lyon, Peter Marcus, Leo Mazzeo, Don Orcutt, and Michelle Sylvester. New shows from local artists will also be displayed at Berkshire Paint and Sip, Hotel on North, Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, Unusual Wedding Rings & More, the Marketplace Café, the Berkshire Museum, the Kinderhook Group Real Estate, Bagels Too, and NUarts Studios & Gallery.

Most art exhibits will be on display in participating venues throughout the month. For more information, contact (413) 443-6501 or info@firstfridaysartswalk.com.

–E.E.

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Mahaiwe to present MOMIX

Great Barrington – The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will present the internationally acclaimed dance company MOMIX on Saturday, July 2, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 3, at 3 p.m. MOMIX Artistic Director Moses Pendleton will give a pre-show talk to Mahaiwe members on July 2 at 7 p.m., and he and several dancers will offer a post-show question-and-answer session to the entire audience on July 3.

Known for its work of inventiveness and physical beauty, the Washington, Conn.-based MOMIX will perform its new, family-friendly production, “VIVA MOMIX,” which features a collection of dancer- and audience favorites. With nothing more than light, shadow, props, and the human body, MOMIX has astonished audiences in some 55 countries over the course of its 35-year history. Artistic director and choreographer Moses Pendleton was a founding member of Pilobolus Dance Theater in 1971 before starting MOMIX. Pendleton toured with Pilobolus through the 1970s and began working outside of the group, performing and choreographing several works, including the closing ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. Most recently, Pendleton choreographed “Doves of Peace” featuring Diana Vishneva for the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Tickets to “VIVA MOMIX” are $28 to $78, with $15 ArtSmart tickets for those 30 and under. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

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Solarize Mass chooses local participants

Boston — Solarize Massachusetts (Solarize Mass) has announced that the towns of Windsor, Cummington, Goshen, and Worthington (WCGW) are among the 12 communities selected to participate in its 2016 program, which helps residents and business owners to adopt solar photovoltaic (PV) technology for power generation.

Solarize Mass, a partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Green Communities Division of the Department of Energy Resources, is part of an effort initiated by former Governor Deval Patrick to reach a goal of 250 megawatts installed solar panels by 2017. Solarize Mass encourages the adoption of small scale solar via PV by deploying a coordinated education, marketing, and outreach effort combined with a tiered pricing structure that provides increased savings as more people in the community adopt solar power. MassCEC provides free technical support and hosts free educational meetings in the participating communities to educate people about the benefits of installing solar and to encourage interest in implementing the technology.

Since its launch in 2011, 51 cities and towns have participated in Solarize Mass, which has led to the contracting of more than 2,600 new small-scale installations at homes and businesses and resulted in 18 megawatts of contracted solar capacity. To date, systems installed under Solarize Mass have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 1,500 cars from the road annually.

The team of WCGW will be working with the MassCEC to inform residents/businesses about the solar program. The outreach effort and sign up period will begin in late summer 2016. To take advantage of the discounts, commitments must be made prior to Saturday, April 1, 2017.
For more information,

contact the individual participating towns at: Windsor, (413) 684-3732 and SolarizeWindsor@gmail.com;
Cummington, (413) 634-5342 and SolarizeCummington@gmail.com;
Goshen, (413) 268-7093 and SolarizeGoshen@gmail.com; and
Worthington, (413) 238-0841 and SolarizeWorthington@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Lee Library summer reading kick-off

Lee – On Thursday, June 30, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Lee Library will host “Swords through the Ages,” the kick-off event for the teen/tween segment of its summer reading program.

“Swords Through the Ages” will be led by Jeff Goodhind and Jeff Lord from the Association for Renaissance and Medieval Swordsmanship at UMass-Amherst. They will demonstrate the art of Western European swordsmanship over the centuries and give a chronological presentation of several different eras of sword use. The presenters will use choreographed sword fights, some of which will include audience members (blunt swords only). A question-and-answer session will follow and will address common misconceptions about swords.

For more information, call the Library at (413) 243-0385.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Rainbow Seniors meeting

William Finn
William Finn.
Vic Ziter
Vic Ziter.

Pittsfield – Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County will hold a meeting on Saturday, July 2, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. in the downstairs auditorium of the Berkshire Athenaeum. Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist William Finn (“Falsettos”, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”), who launched Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theater Lab, will open the meeting with a talk about his journey to and from Broadway. Rainbow Seniors member Vic Ziter, a professional ballroom dance instructor, will speak about, demonstrate, and teach a few steps of ballroom dancing.

For more information, contact Ed at (413) 441-6006 or rainbowseniorsbc@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Pulse to present clowning workshop

Don Jordan
Don Jordan.

Housatonic — Berkshire Pulse will host “Meet Your Clown,” a two-hour workshop for aspiring adult clowns, on Saturday, July 2, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Led by international clowning specialist Don Jordan, the workshop will encourage adults to tap into the silly, soulful, adventurous and creative clown within using costume, movement, improvisation, and humor.

Don Jordan taught and performed with Teatro Studio and I Gesti di Roma in Italy before joining “Mummenschanz” on Broadway. He directed the Pan-Twilight Circus’s 1995 production of “Creatures of the Lawn” and served as artistic director of the Pickle Family Circus. He was assistant professor in the MFA Professional Actor Training Program at Ohio University for five years, and has taught at Smith College, Barnard College, and Juilliard. A graduate of the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, Jordan is the founder and director of Nutshell Playhouse in Lenox.

The cost of the workshop is $20. No experience is necessary. For more information or to register contact Berkshire Pulse at (413) 274-6624 or pulse@berkshirepulse.org.

–E.E.