Monday, July 15, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: John Mayall at the Colonial; Outstanding in the Field dinner; Ramsdell Winter Sundays; Writers Read series; BTCF grant deadlines

The architecture and history of Housatonic will be highlighted during the final Ramsdell Public Library Winter Sunday Afternoon on March 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Berkshire Theatre Group to present John Mayall

John Mayall.

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group will present Grammy Award-nominated John Mayall at the Colonial Theatre on Thursday, March 24, at 8 p.m.

Often referred to as “the Godfather of British blues,” John Mayall has an impressive musical career that spans over 50 years. The English blues singer, pianist, harmonica player, guitarist, and songwriter founded the band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in the 1960s — a band whose members included a copious amount of celebrated blues and blues rock musicians such as Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Walter TroutCoco Montoya, and Buddy Whittington.

Throughout the last three decades, Mayall’s popularity skyrocketed with a succession of dynamic albums including the Grammy Award-nominated “Wake Up Call” that featured guest artists Buddy Guy, Mavis Staples, Albert Collins, and Mick Taylor. Today John Mayall has reached a creative pinnacle with, in his opinion, the best band he’s ever had with Rocky Athas on guitar, Jay Davenport on drums, and Greg Rzab on bass, all of them featured players on Mayall’s last four albums including his latest, “Find a Way to Care.”

Tickets to the concert are $35, $50 and $60. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.


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Outstanding in the Field tickets

Great Barrington — On Tuesday, September 8, Outstanding in the Field (OITF) will arrive in the Berkshires for a fifth year on the hills of Lila Berle’s Farm. Executive Chef Brian Alberg and his crew from the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge will be manning the field kitchen and the celebrated long table, presenting a five-course meal to approximately 200 guests.

OITF’s first visit to the Berkshires took place in 2012 at Indian Line Farm in South Egremont, the birthplace of the first Community Supported Agriculture farm in North America. In 2013 OITF presented at Hancock Shaker Village with a second dinner at Lila’s Farm.

According to OITF, more than 50 percent of the ticket price goes directly into local businesses. Tickets to the event will go on sale Sunday, March 20.


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Final Ramsdell Library Winter Sunday Afternoon

Ramsdell Library
Ramsdell Public Library.

Housatonic — The architecture and history of Housatonic will be highlighted during the final Ramsdell Public Library Winter Sunday Afternoon on March 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Noted author and Great Barrington Historical Society archivist Gary Leveille and third-generation Housatonic resident Michelle Loubert will lead an informal architectural tour of the downtown area in a walk-and-talk format starting at the library that will include 18 historic structures. Residents of the village who have stories they wish to add are encouraged to join the tour.

Mount Everett Regional High School librarian Michelle Raczkowski will lead a workshop for children on egg blowing and decorating from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. For those who do not participate in the walking tour, the Himalayan climbing documentary “Meru” will be shown from 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Hot coffee, snacks, Sunday papers, and crosswords will be available to share throughout the afternoon. For more information call the Library at (413) 274-3738.


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Writers Read at the Lee Library

HIlde Weisert.

Lee – The Writers Read monthly reading series at the Lee Library will continue on Tuesday, March 22, at 5:30 p.m. with Hilde Weisert and Christopher Nye. Frances Roth will guest host.

Hilde Weisert’s poetry collection, “The Scheme of Things,” was published in 2015 by David Robert Books. Her poems have appeared in such publications as Ms. magazine, Calyx, Prairie Schooner, the Cincinnati Review, Southern Poetry Review, and the Cortland Review. She has been awarded fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and was a longtime Geraldine R. Dodge poet. She lives in Sandisfield and Chapel Hill, N.C.

After completing a Ph.D in American Studies at the University of New Mexico, Christopher Nye taught English and creative writing at Adelphi University and later headed the Business Division and the Sciences and Engineering Division at Berkshire Community College. He now works for Orion magazine in Great Barrington. His most recent books are “Poems Out of Thin Air” and the children’s picture book “The Old Shepherd’s Tale.”

For more information on the Writers Read series, contact David Giannini at


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BTCF grant deadlines

Sheffield — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) has announced the second round of deadlines for competitive grants in 2016. Covering the period from April through June, the spring cycle of deadlines is open to regional nonprofits, students, schools, and community members.

For nonprofits:
The Wassermann-Streit Y’diyah Memorial Fund supports projects and programs that encourage people to learn about Judaism with an aim to dispel religious prejudice, bias and intolerance. Grants of $500 will be awarded. Applications are due Friday, April 1.

The Fund for Williamstown’s DeMayo Bright Futures Innovation Award recognizes organizations, institutions, businesses, or individuals who are passionate about solving community challenges with innovative practices in Williamstown. The award recipient will receive $1,000. Nominations are due Friday, April 15.

For students:
BTCF administers 30 individual scholarship funds for students in Berkshire County who plan to attend an accredited college, university, or graduate program. Scholarships generally range from $1,000 to $10,000 and support a variety of academic interests including engineering, history, nursing, and others. Many scholarship funds offer annual grants to students throughout the course of their undergraduate or graduate careers, provided that the recipient continues to meet the fund’s requirements. All scholarship applications are due Friday, April 1, unless otherwise noted. The full list of Berkshire County scholarships is online.

For schools:
Eight education enrichment funds will award grants to individual schools and school districts in Berkshire County this spring. Grants of up to $5,000 will support extracurricular projects to inspire and engage students. Application deadlines range from from Friday, April 1, to Thursday, June 30. The full list of education enrichment funds and their deadlines is online.

For individuals:
The William J. & Margery S. Barrett Public Service Award for Adams, Cheshire, and Savoy celebrates individuals who make a significant contribution to the wellbeing of those towns through paid or volunteer work. Nominations are due Sunday, May 1. The selected nominee will be allowed to designate a nonprofit organization to receive a cash award of $1,000 in his or her name.

The application processes for both grants and scholarships are available online.



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