Wednesday, May 22, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Pittsfield CityJazz Festival; The Bards of Gungywamp at Race Brook Lodge; Writers at the Rock welcomes Paul Yoon; Baseball in the Berkshires new exhibit; Third Thursday at Olana; Nighttime astronomy at Springfield Museums

Berkshires Jazz, Inc. presents the eighteenth annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival.

Eighteenth annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival

Pittsfield— From April 18th through the 28th, Berkshires Jazz, Inc. presents the eighteenth annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival.

Art contest winning artwork by PHS junior Brooklyn Duck.

The 10-day festival kicks-off with an open jam session at Hot Plate Brewing, Co. and ends with a jazz brunch at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge. Other events include the popular Jazz Crawl, a swing dance at Proprietor’s Lodge, the jazz prodigy concert introducing two young musicians to Berkshires audiences, and headline concerts featuring Brandon Goldberg and Marcus Roberts.

Berkshire Jazz, Inc. also announces the winners of the annual student art contest. This year’s winners are Brooklyn Duck, Nye Stedman, and Karalin Melendez. Honorable mentions go to Brenna Bellefontaine, Ari Berard, Tierra Darrisaw, John Mullen, and Amaya Rennie, all students of Pittsfield High School. The students’ work is on display at City Hall throughout the festival, and the winning entry by Brooklyn Duck appears on the festival posters and program cover. 

The festival runs April 18th though the 28th through Pittsfield. More information can be found online. 

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Race Brook Lodge’s Down County Social Club presents The Bards of Gungywamp

Sheffield— On Thursday, April 18th from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., Race Brook Lodge’s Down County Social Club presents The Bards of Gungywamp.

The Bards of Gungywamp’s unique style combines traditional Celtic Music, Bluegrass, and Sea Shanties with original music in the same vein. From New London county’s whaling city, they traverse the hills and valleys of New England telling tales of old and new. Come dance to jigs and reels and learn a little history about Irish rebellion, or life aboard a whaling ship through songs of the times.

The Bards of Gungywamp. Courtesy Race Brook Lodge.

The concert is on Thursday, April 18th from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Down County Social Club at Race Brook Lodge on South Undermountain Road in Sheffield. Tickets are $10 in Advance and $12 at the door. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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The Simon’s Rock Poetry & Fiction series Writers at the Rock welcomes author Paul Yoon

Great Barrington— On Thursday, April 18th at 7 p.m., the Simon’s Rock Poetry & Fiction series Writers at the Rock welcomes author Paul Yoon. 

Author Paul Yoon. Courtesy Simon’s Rock.

Paul Yoon is the author of five works of fiction, most recently “The Hive and the Honey,” a finalist for the 2024 Story Prize. He is the recipient of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

The event is on Thursday, April 18th at 7 p.m. at the Blodgett House at Simon’s Rock on Alford Road in Great Barrington. It is free and open to the public. More information can be found online. 

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Baseball in the Berkshires presents “Not Your Ordinary Story of Baseball in the Berkshires”

West Stockbridge— From April 18th through the 21st, Baseball in the Berkshires presents “Not Your Ordinary Story of Baseball in the Berkshires.”

The game of baseball has a long and storied history in the Berkshires – the broken window by-law of 1791, the first college game ever played in Pittsfield in 1859, 60 years of minor league teams calling the Berkshires their home, and 40 major league players coming from the Berkshires. But, did you know that going back to the late 1800’s both the history of women and people of color have some strong roots here. Baseball in the Berkshires newest exhibit “Not Your Ordinary Story of Baseball in the Berkshires” exhibits the history of Black baseball and women’s baseball in Berkshire County.

Baseball in the Berkshires.

There is a sneak preview of the exhibit on Thursday, April 18th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There is an opening reception on Friday, April 19th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with a presentation on the history of Black baseball and women’s baseball at 6:30 p.m. by Larry Moore, director of Baseball in the Berkshires. Special guests include Bryan House, former Pittsfield Cub who spent seven years playing minor league baseball, and Joe Bateman, Pittsfield native who had an eleven-year career playing professional baseball. The exhibit continues on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from noon to 4 p.m.. Saturday features an on-going “hands-on” presentation “Innovation in Baseball – What’s New?” On Sunday, the presentation will be “Tools of the Trade – the History of Baseball Equipment”.

The all-ages exhibit runs from April 18th through the 21st at West Stockbridge Old Town Hall on Main Street in West Stockbridge. It is free and open to the public. 

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Third Thursday at Olana State Historic Site

Hudson, N.Y.— On Thursday on April 18th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Olana Partnership presents Third Thursday at Olana State Historic Site, a day of free tours and programs for all ages offered in both Spanish and English languages.

Artist Ellie Irons will present a hands-on watercolor painting workshop with paints made from locally sourced wild and weedy plants. This drop-in program focuses on making pigment from the plants that live on the shores of the Mahicannituck/Hudson River. Participants of all ages can watch hourly paint-making demos and experiment with painting from plant-made pigments. Postcards will be available for painting and takeaway. Ellie’s book, “Feral Hues,” will be available for purchase.

From 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., join the Forest Ecology Walk. Learn how land use has transformed Hudson Valley landscapes as you explore Olana’s forests with Dr. Charles Canham from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Learn more about forest history and discover over 250 years of land use patterns that have transformed the Hudson Valley landscapes artists like Frederic Church admired.

There will be fun activities and giveaways throughout the day including a special nature scavenger hunt, Arbor Day activities, and free tours of the historic landscape and house.

Olana State Historic Site.

The event is on Thursday on April 18th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Olana State Historic Site on N.Y. Route 9-G in Hudson, N.Y. Tour tickets and more information can be found online. 

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‘Stay Up Late with the Moon,’ nighttime astronomy program at the Springfield Museums

Springfield— On Thursday, April 18th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Springfield Museums invite families to “Stay Up Late with the Moon.” Enjoy astronomy activities, planetarium programming, and glimpses of the moon through the Science Museum’s rooftop observatory telescope.

“We’re lucky to offer so many visitors a chance to look through a telescope for the very first time. From tiny children to seniors, whether it’s their first or hundredth time seeing celestial objects through a telescope, the view always delights!” Director of Science Jenny Powers continues, “We hope that since school is out for the week, parents and children will come to the museum together and participate in this event created just for them.”

‘Stay Up Late with the Moon.’ Courtesy Springfield Museums.

The event is on Thursday, April 18th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Springfield Museums on Edwards Street in Springfield. The program is best suited for ages 8 and up. Tickets are $5 with limited availability, advance registration strongly recommended. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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