The Urban Choral Arts Society of Baltimore, Md., will join the Cantilena Chamber Choir for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. tribute concert Sunday, Jan. 19, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox. Photo courtesy Urban Choral Arts Society

Bits & Bytes: Martin Luther King Jr. tribute concert; ‘The Making of a Protest Artist’; Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service; tree and wildlife talk

Pops Peterson's presentation will center on those artists whose artwork was devoted to making political change.

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. concert to include tribute to Elijah Cummings

Lenox — The Cantilena Chamber Choir will present its annual Martin Luther King Jr. concert, with a special tribute to late Rep. Elijah Cummings Sunday, Jan. 19, at 3 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church. Special guests include a return appearance by the Urban Choral Arts Society from Baltimore, Maryland. King will be remembered in a combined choir performance of Robert Ray’s “Gospel Mass” and the choral music of composer Adolphus Hailstork. Members of the Baltimore choir, several of whom were well acquainted with Cummings’ life and work, will give a special tribute through personal testimonies. The winners of the Martin Luther King Jr. student essay contest will be present to read their winning entries.

The Urban Choral Arts Society is a combined choir of youth and adults under the direction of Ronald McFadden and based at the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center. The society is dedicated to improving the achievement and esteem of Baltimore-area youth through music and cultural arts. Its mission is to build a community of artists, preserve music of the African diaspora, and empower youth with competitive artistic skills for innovation.

There is a suggested donation of $25 per person for admission. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar, contact the Cantilena Chamber Choir at (518) 791-0185 or


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Pops Peterson to present ‘The Making of a Protest Artist’ at the Foundry

‘I’m With Her (Freedom of Assembly)’ by Pops Peterson

West Stockbridge — In conjunction with the “Tiny Pricks Project: Empower and Reclaim” exhibit, the Foundry will host artist and public speaker Pops Peterson for his new presentation, “The Making of a Protest Artist,” Saturday, Jan. 18, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

This presentation will center on those artists whose artwork was devoted to making political change. Peterson will examine the reasons why the artists were prompted to devote their work to activism and will discuss his own personal journey from landscape and portrait painting to activist art.

Peterson is best known for his award-winning series “Reinventing Rockwell” and his multimedia presentation and podcast “Portraits Of Freedom.” His painting, “Freedom From What?” is currently featured in the Norman Rockwell Museum‘s international tour “Reimaging the Four Freedoms: Enduring Ideals.”

Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar, or contact the Foundry at (413) 232-5222 or


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BCC to hold Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service event

Eden-Reneé Hayes, Ph.D. Photo courtesy Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College will give back to the community at its annual Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service event, which will begin Monday, Jan. 20, at 8:30 a.m. in the Connector building at BCC’s main campus.

The event will begin with registration and a light breakfast. At 9 a.m., there will be welcome remarks by BCC President Ellen Kennedy and a keynote address by Eden-Reneé Hayes, Ph.D., dean of equity and inclusion and associate professor of psychology at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Volunteers will be then sent out into the community to build with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, play Bingo with veterans at Soldier On, create Valentine’s Day cards for the elderly and write thank-you letters to active service members at the First United Methodist Church, play with children at the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, or join the family feud fun at the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires. The event will conclude at noon at First United Methodist Church with a community lunch, hosted by Harvest Table and shared by all volunteers and fellow community members.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to register in advance by contacting BCC’s career center coordinator Sarah Offenbach at (413) 236-1611 or


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Wildlife talk to focus on winter habits of animals, trees

Peru — Mass Audubon will present “Winter Wonders: The Chilly Lives of Trees and Animals in Winter” Saturday, Jan. 18, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Dorothy Frances Rice Wildlife Refuge, 85 South Road.

Attendees will learn about what trees and animals do for the winter as well as how to identify them (or their presence). The event includes an outdoor walk and talk with Mass Audubon naturalist Dale Abrams.

Geared toward both adults and families, the event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries at (413) 637-0320.