Friday, July 19, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Native American Festival; the Skivvies at the Colonial; Diane Taraz at the Bidwell House; expansion grant for CHP; 2016 Local Farmer Awards

The goal of the Local Farmer Awards is to strengthen farmers’ abilities to compete in the marketplace so that the region benefits from the environmental, health, and economic advantages of local farming.

Native American Festival at Bascom Lodge

Adams – On Saturday, May 28, Bascom Lodge will hold its annual Native American Festival from noon to 6 p.m. The Festival is an afternoon-long celebration of Native American music, dancing, storytelling, and drumming, and will include a Southern Plains tipi raising, a mountain blessing, and craft exhibitions. The Festival is free and open to the public.

A tipi raising, to be followed by communal drumming in the tipi, will take place behind Bascom Lodge at noon. The afternoon will feature presentations by an Abenaki drum group, storyteller and Native American star watcher Chief Roger Longtoe, a mountain blessing, additional drumming, and displays by Abenaki artisans. A Native American-inspired dinner will be held at 7 p.m., and there will also be an overnight stay and dinner offered in the tipi (reservations required).

For more information or to make reservations, contact Bascom Lodge at (413) 743-1591 or


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BTG to present the Skivvies

The Skivvies.

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) will welcome comedy-pop duo the Skivvies to the Colonial Theatre as part of its On The Stage Series. Performances will take place Saturday, May 28, at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 29, at 7 p.m. A post-show reception will be held on Sunday, May 29 at Hotel on North.

Award-winning New York City singers/actors/musicians Lauren Molina (cello and vocals) and Nick Cearley (ukulele and vocals) perform stripped-down (musically and otherwise) arrangements of eclectic covers and eccentric originals as the Skivvies. Molina (Broadway: “Sweeney Todd,” “Rock of Ages”) and Cearley (Broadway: “All Shook Up”) became YouTube sensations with their covers of artists like Robyn, Carole King, and Rihanna.

Tickets to all performances are $40; Sunday’s performance plus post-show reception at Hotel on North is $65. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.


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Diane Taraz at the Bidwell House

Diane Taraz.

Monterey — The Bidwell House Museum will open its season with a concert on Sunday, May 29, at 3 p.m. Singer-songwriter Diane Taraz will perform “She Named Him Adonijah,” a selection of songs from the 18th century, in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Adonijah Bidwell. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

Pittsfield native Diane Taraz is the director of the Lexington Historical Society Colonial Singers, a longtime member of the Gloucester Hornpipe and Clog Society, and a singer with a cappella Renaissance choir Vox Lucens and the women’s a cappella group the UUlations. Taraz will wear clothing of the time and accompany herself on an instrument similar to the now-extinct English guitar played by Colonial ladies.

There is a suggested donation of $15 for the general public. The event is free for Museum. For more information, call the Museum at (413) 528-6888.


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CHP’s Lee Family Practice receives expansion grant

Lee — A $1 million federal grant will fund an expansion and reconfiguration of Community Health Programs’ (CHP) Lee Family Practice. Awarded by Health Resources and Services Administration, the grant will allow CHP Lee Family Practice to accommodate a 30 percent increase in medical visits and a 22 percent increase in behavioral health counseling visits. The expansion will also enhance internal initiatives to expand team-based health care and better integrate behavioral health services into primary care.

Lee Family Practice has grown from 2,716 patients since merging with CHP in 2012 to 3,729 in 2015. When the facility was built in 2003, the practice had projected growth of about 5 percent per year; from 2011-2013, overall growth was 30 percent. The number of CHP patients over 65 grew by 25 percent.

The project will go out to bid this summer and completion is expected in 2017.


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2016 Local Farmer Awards

Agawam — Local Farmer Award partners the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and Big Y awarded 47 local farmers from the Berkshires to the Pioneer Valley $2,500 each to make physical infrastructure improvements to their farms.

One hundred twenty-eight farmers submitted applications for the 2016 awards describing their improvement projects. The award recipients are diverse: 32 percent have been farming for more than 20 years; 23 percent have been farming for fewer than five years; over 40 percent of the farms have sales of over $100,000; and 30 percent of the farms recorded sales of less than $49,000.

The goal of the Local Farmer Awards is to strengthen farmers’ abilities to compete in the marketplace so that the region benefits from the environmental, health, and economic advantages of local farming. This year’s award recipients include Caretaker Farm in Williamstown; Equinox Farm and Moon in the Pond Farm in Sheffield; Hosta Hill in Housatonic; Mill River Farm in Mill River, North Plain Farm in Great Barrington; Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham; and MX Morningstar Farm in Copake, N.Y.



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