Friday, July 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Pittsfield Photo Challenge winners; Music in Common Community MeetUps; ‘I’m Going to Graceland’ at the Colonial; ‘What’s It?’ Show and Tell

Community MeetUps integrate the creative arts and cross-cultural immersion as a platform for conflict transformation and civic engagement.

Winners of Pittsfield Photo Challenge announced

Pittsfield — This past fall, Downtown Pittsfield Inc. held a photo challenge to find the photo that best captured why downtown Pittsfield is the “Heart of the Berkshires.” The first-place winner, as determined by a panel of local judges, was Zach Morris of Pittsfield. His photo, titled “Tropical Pittsfield,” won him a prize package donated by local downtown businesses, and his photo will be featured in Pittsfield’s 2019 Downtown Guide and a Downtown Pittsfield Inc. social marketing campaign.

The second-place winner, Christy Butler of Cheshire, will also take home a prize package donated by local downtown businesses. His winning photo was of the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company performing at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Zone during the July 2018 Third Thursday. Alan W. Metzger’s photo of Park Square in the spring took third place. Honorable mentions were awarded to photos by Shaun Muldowney and Maria Brodeur.

All 39 photos entered into the contest will be exhibited at Downtown Pittsfield Inc. in May, with a reception to be held during the May 3 First Fridays Artswalk from 5 to 8 pm.


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Youth gather for a dialogue circle at a Music in Common event in Williamstown in 2016. Photo courtesy Music in Common

Music in Common, youth organizations partner for Community MeetUps

Berkshire County — In its 14th year of programs and events centered on empowering youth against hate, Berkshires-based nonprofit Music in Common is partnering with Railroad Street Youth Project in Great Barrington, the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center in Pittsfield and ROOTS Teen Center in North Adams to offer monthly Community MeetUps starting in January 2019.

Music in Common’s Community MeetUps are monthly gatherings that offer high school and college-aged youth from diverse backgrounds opportunities to build relationships through individual and collaborative creative expression. MeetUps include workshops and master classes on songwriting, filmmaking, photography, singing, diversity training and community building, and will feature special guests throughout the year. Community MeetUps integrate the creative arts and cross-cultural immersion as a platform for conflict transformation and civic engagement.

The Community MeetUps will take place on the second Friday of each month, rotating among the sites in north, central and south Berkshire County. Each MeetUp will run for two hours. MeetUps are free and participants are welcome to attend any and all MeetUps. Pre-registration is appreciated but not required.

The first Community MeetUp will focus on “How to Write Lyrics” and will take place Friday, Jan. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Railroad Street Youth Project.  January’s workshop is “How to Write Lyrics.“ For more information, contact Music in Common program director Marisa Massery at


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Rev Tor and Friends to celebrate the music of Paul Simon

Rev Tor. Photo courtesy Rev Tor Band

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group will present “I’m Going to Graceland,” a music tribute to the album “Graceland” by Paul Simon by Rev Tor and Friends Friday, Jan. 11, at 8 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre, 111 South St.

Fresh off the success of “Respect: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin,” Rev Tor & Friends will return with “I’m Going to Graceland,” which will feature the entire “Graceland” album along with select songs from Simon’s solo career. Lively, thoughtful, gritty and poignant, “Graceland” was one of the most popular albums of the 1980s and featured classic songs such as “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” “I Know What I Know” and “You Can Call Me Al.” The show will feature performances by members of Max Creek, EntrainSteal Your Peach Band, the Picky Bastards and others. Opening the show will be acoustic folk duo Belle of the Fall, who will perform as Simon & Girlfunkel. Pre-show entertainment by Tom Corrigan will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.


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‘What’s It?’ Show and Tell to highlight hidden treasures

Sheffield — The Sheffield Historical Society will present “What’s It?” Show and Tell Friday, Jan. 11, at 7:30 pm at Dewey Hall. Community members are invited to bring historical items that they own and can’t identify to be analyzed by historical society members as well as members of the audience. This year’s “What’s It?” will feature a few items from the historical society’s collection, but the event will focus on hidden treasures contributed by the audience.

The program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact the Sheffield Historical Society at (413) 229-2694 or



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