Monday, July 15, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Mahaiwe holiday programs; OLLI open house; new Simon’s Rock provost; Upstreet Holiday Festival; Berkshire Grown farmers’ markets

Bard College President Leon Botstein has announced the appointment of Dr. Ian Bickford, Simon's Rock ‘95, as provost of Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Bickford will begin his term in January, succeeding Dr. Peter Laipson.

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center celebrates the holidays

Great Barrington – The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will present a festive array of events this holiday season, including a concert by popular jazz artist John Pizzarelli, screenings of two classic family films, and HD broadcasts by the Bolshoi Ballet, London’s National Theatre, and the Metropolitan Opera.

On Saturday, December 19 at 8 p.m., the Mahaiwe will present the John Pizzarelli Swing 7’s “Frank Sinatra Centennial Celebration” concert honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of Frank Sinatra. Internationally known for classic standards, late-night ballads, and the cool jazz flavor he brings to his performances and recordings, Pizzarelli is also the host of “Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli,” the nationally syndicated radio program he co-hosts with his wife Jessica Molaskey.

As a special holiday gift to the community, the Mahaiwe will host a free screening of Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)” starring James Stewart and Donna Reed on Sunday, December 20 at 7 p.m. Families can also enjoy a 25th anniversary screening of the Christmas family comedy “Home Alone (1990)” starring Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, and Macaulay Culkin on Saturday, December 26 at 4:00pm. Tickets are $7.

On Sunday, December 20 at 1 p.m., the Mahaiwe will screen the HD broadcast of the Bolshoi Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” with choreography and libretto by Yuri Grigorovich and music by Piotr Tchaikovsky. On Sunday, December 27 at 3 p.m., the Mahaiwe will screen London’s National Theatre in HD production of “Jane Eyre.” Tickets to the Bolshoi Ballet in HD and National Theatre in HD are $17 per broadcast. Tickets to the Met Opera Live in HD are $18 to $25.

The Mahaiwe will host Berkshire Bach Society’s “Bach at New Year’s” celebration on Thursday, December 31 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 to $85.

Tickets and more information these and other Mahaiwe shows are available via the Berkshire Edge calendar and the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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Berkshire OLLI to hold winter open house

OLLI Winter 2016 catalog coverPittsfield — The public is invited to learn more about the Berkshire Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and its winter semester of classes on Thursday, December 17 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at during an open house to be held at the Whitney Center for the Arts.

A number of OLLI’s winter semester instructors will be on hand to meet with potential students and share information about the courses they will be teaching. Instructors who will be in attendance at the open house include:

  • Thaddeus Kubis, “The Two Faces of Photography:” the technical and creative hands-on aspects of photography;
  • Marney Schorr, “Women and the Creative Self:” exploring female creativity through readings and hands-on artmaking;
  • Howard Arkans, “Sinatra: The Man and His Movies:” a film series at the Triplex Cinema;
  • Charles Haynes, “Monkeys Don’t Text: A Short Course on Linguistics;”
  • Retired neurosurgeon Tony Segal, “Science Conversations:” a discussion course based on the New York Times’ science section;
  • Jamie Keller, “Love and Transformation: Reading Ovid:” a course to re-awaken an interest in Latin and the ancient world; and
  • Dr. Daniel Wollman, “Matters of the Mind:” exploring brain science through the prism of the Oliver Sacks book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.”

OLLI’s winter semester of non-credit classes will begin the week of Tuesday, January 12, 2016 and continue through Thursday, February 25, 2016. Classes are open to all, regardless of educational background, and there are no tests or grades. Membership is required in order to register for courses.

Contact Berkshire OLLI for more information at (413) 236-2190.


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Dr. Ian Bickford named provost of Bard College at Simon’s Rock

BCSR Provost Ian Bickford_Photo Credit_Dan Karp
Dr. Ian Bickford. Photo: Dan Karp.

Great Barrington — President Leon Botstein has announced the appointment of Dr. Ian Bickford, Simon’s Rock ‘95, as provost of Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Bickford will begin his term in January, succeeding Dr. Peter Laipson.

At the end of this semester, Laipson will depart his administrative post as provost at Simon’s Rock to become the Emily H. Fisher Research Fellow of Bard College, a position he will hold through June of 2017. He intends to pursue research in early 20th-century American history as well as in educational practice.

A scholar of early modern literature, Bickford is one of three siblings who graduated from Simon’s Rock and went on to complete doctoral studies. He began his work with Bard in 2007 as a member of the faculty, first at Simon’s Rock, and then at the Bard High School Early College in Queens, N.Y. He has since participated in the founding of new Bard programs in Baltimore and Harlem. Bickford presently serves as the first Dean of Bard Academy as well as Dean of the Bard Early Colleges, providing academic support and guidance to Bard’s public early-college network.


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Second annual Upstreet Holiday Festival

The 2014 Upstreet Holiday Festival.

Pittsfield — The Office of Cultural Development and Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. will hold the Second Annual Upstreet Holiday Festival on Saturday, December 19 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts.

The festival will feature a visit from Santa, free train rides from Roaming Railroad, live music featuring cast members of the Town Players of Pittsfield’s “Christmastime in the City,” face painting, a cookie decorating station by Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, the Berkshire Eagle holiday photo booth, the Jingle Bell Fun Run to benefit the Eagle Santa Fund, and more.

The Upstreet Holiday Festival is free and open to the public. Call the Office of Cultural Development at (413) 499-9348 for more information.


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Berkshire Grown holiday farmers’ markets

Great Barrington — Berkshire Grown will host holiday farmers’ markets from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 19 at Monument Valley Regional Middle School and on Sunday, December 20 at the Williams College Towne Field House. The events will feature locally grown and produced foods and gifts along with live music, lunch fare, and activities for children. Admission is free.

The December markets will showcase the late fall Berkshire crop of squashes and root vegetables as well as locally-roasted coffee, baked goods, meats, cheeses, apples, jams, chutneys, pickles, cordials, cider, maple syrup, and honey. Artisan-made gifts will include cutting boards, jewelry, scarves, pottery, yarn, soaps, lotions, candles, dried flower arrangements, and wreaths.

The Great Barrington December market will feature musical entertainment by Erika Ludwig and guests. Children’s activities will include hands-on snack-making with Food Adventures and face painting. The Williamstown market will feature traditional acoustic music by the MoCA jam band and seasonal crafts activities for children.

Contact Berkshire Grown for more information at (413) 528-0041.



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