Monday, July 22, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: ‘Celebrating Freedom: Democracy in Action’; Stefan Jackiw, Conrad Tao at Simon’s Rock; memoir lecture; wildlife tracking workshop

The program will include works by Stravinsky, Lutoslawski, Saariaho and Brahms, and will be preceded by a pre-concert conversation with Stefan Jackiw and Conrad Tao.

‘Celebrating Freedom: Democracy in Action’ to explore meaning of freedom

Pittsfield — The Four Freedoms Coalition will present “Celebrating Freedom: Democracy in Action: Sunday, Jan. 27, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Berkshire Community College’s Koussevitsky Arts Center. The event will feature speakers, music, action items from a variety of partners and a collaborative art project.

Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington. Photo: Terry Cowgill

The event will begin at 1 p.m. with a community art project about what freedom means plus action tables from NAACP Berkshire County Branch, the South Congregational Church Food Pantry, Berkshire Democratic Brigades, Berkshire Emergency Response Committee, Voter Choice Massachusetts, Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County, MassCare, Progressive Democrats of America and others. Presentations will begin at 1:30 p.m. and feature Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield; a spoken-word performance from WAM Theatre; District Attorney Andrea Harrington on #21stCenturyJustice; a poem from Maya Bahl; MacArthur Fellow Deborah Meier on education reform; a crowdsourced folk song with Wes Buckley; a benediction with Rabbi David Weiner, Pastor Sheila Sholes-Ross and Rev. Mark Longhurst; and drumming with Otha Day.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact


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South Berkshire concerts to welcome Stefan Jackiw, Conrad Tao

Stefan Jackiw

Great Barrington — South Berkshire Concerts will present violinist Stefan Jackiw and pianist Conrad Tao Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. at the Bard College at Simon’s Rock Daniel Arts Center. The program will include works by Stravinsky, Lutoslawski, Saariaho and Brahms, and will be preceded by a pre-concert conversation with Jackiw and Tao at 6:45 p.m.

Jackiw made his European debut at age 14, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra. He has performed abroad with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Ulster Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. He has also appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco symphony orchestras; and performed the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Albany Symphony at its opening concert last October. In 2017 he performed the complete violin sonatas of Charles Ives at 92Yin New York City, a feat he will repeat at Tanglewood this summer.

Conrad Tao. Photo: Brantley Gutierrez

Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer. His orchestral composition “Everything Must Go,” performed by the New York Philharmonic last September under the direction of Jaap van Zweden, was featured on the New York Times’ Best Classical Music of 2018, marking Tao’s second consecutive year of inclusion on the list. In 2011, the Department of Education’s Commission on Presidential Scholars and the named Tao a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded him a Young Arts gold medal in music. Throughout this season, Tao has continued to perform concertos with orchestras around the world, including engagements with the Swedish Radio; San Diego, Baltimore, Pacific and Colorado symphony orchestras; the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel.

Admission is free with a suggested donation of $10. For more information, contact Bard College at Simon’s Rock at (413) 644-4400 or


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Jennifer Browdy to speak on writing a purposeful memoir

Jennifer Browdy. Photo: Jake Borden

Lenox — The Distinguished Lecture Series at the Lenox Library will host writer and educator Jennifer Browdy Sunday, Jan. 27, at 4 p.m. for a lecture titled “The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir.”

Browdy has taught comparative literature and writing at the college level for more than 25 years, with a special focus on purposeful memoir by women from around the world. She leads writing workshops and coaches authors internationally, motivated by the belief that people can and should “write the change we want to see in the world,” starting with personal stories. Browdy’s writer’s guide, “The Elemental Journey of Purposeful Memoir: A Writer’s Companion,” won a 2017 Nautilus Book Award for “books that make the world better.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Lenox Library at (413) 637-2630.


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TurnPark to offer wildlife tracking workshop

Josh Wood. Photo courtesy Flying Deer Nature Center

West Stockbridge — TurnPark Art Space will host an animal tracking workshop with Josh Wood Sunday, Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

During the outdoor event, participants will explore habitats within the park to find animal tracks and clues that reveal information about local wildlife. Wood will teach participants to identify animals by their tracks, recognize scat and other animal signs, and recognize animal gaits and patterns.

Wood is a wildlife tracking enthusiast, teacher and program director of Flying Deer Nature Center in East Chatham, New York. He leads a monthly tracking club, an annual weekend-long winter tracking intensive, and has presented at the Northeast Wildlife Trackers Conference.

The workshop is free an open to the public. Donations will be accepted, and hot chocolate and tea will be offered. For more information, contact TurnPark Art Space at



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The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.