Monday, July 15, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Founders Day at Norman Rockwell Museum; ‘The Mystical 16’; rainforest music, culture at Race Brook Lodge; RSYP block party; Alastair McIntosh at Hawthorne Valley

The twin brothers will speak and present songs, stories and movement, and will answer questions about the indigenous ways and traditions of their Amazon culture.

Norman Rockwell Museum to celebrate Founders Day

Stockbridge — The Norman Rockwell Museum will host Founders Day Sunday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary.

Founders Day honors Rosamond Sherwood, one of the three Stockbridge women who, in 1967, helped rescue the then-200-year-old building on Main Street that later became the original Norman Rockwell Museum. “Rosamond Sherwood, with Norma Ogden and Patricia Deely led an effort to save this historic building and helped rescue the Old Corner House from demolition in 1967,” said NRM CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt. “When the board was looking for programs and exhibitions for the house museum, which would include displays from the Stockbridge Historical Society, Rockwell generously offered, ‘Would you like to hang some of my pictures?’”

Founders Day will feature gallery talks recounting the early days of the museum, plus a talk at 1 p.m. by curator of education Tom Daly that will explore Rockwell’s Stockbridge years. Rockwell’s painting “Shuffleton’s Barbershop” will be on view, by loan from the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Art activities throughout the day will include “Curate Your Own Rockwell Exhibit” and “Create a Museum Sign.” A historic property site walk and guided tour will take place at 3 p.m., weather permitting.

Founders Day admission and activities are free for Berkshire County residents with ID. For more information, contact the Norman Rockwell Museum at (413) 298-4100 or


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The singers and musicians of Crescendo, led by Christine Gevert, at a May 2018 concert at Trinity Lime Rock in Lakeville, Conn. Photo: Steve Potter

‘The Mystical 16’ to highlight sacred compositions

Lakeville, Conn. — Crescendo has announced that it will present “The Mystical 16,” a program of compositions about Psalm 116, Friday, May 17, at 6 p.m. at Saint James Place in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Saturday, May 18, at 6 p.m. at Trinity Lime Rock.

In the year 1616, German merchant Burckhard Grossmann survived a near-death experience and, in gratitude, commissioned 16 composers from central Germany to write settings of Psalm 116. Among them were master composers of church music Heinrich Schütz, Christoph Demantius and Johann H. Schein.

The concert program also includes motets, double-choir settings and cantata choruses by Johann Sebastian Bach, Adrian Willaert, Orlando di Lasso and Johann Bach based on the psalm’s text. Additionally, Crescendo has commissioned three works inspired by Psalm 116 by 21st-century composers Jonny Priano, Cheng-Chia Wu and Juan Mesa, which will have their world premieres. The composers’ music has been set to poetry written for Crescendo by Bruce McEver, Frances Roth and Juliet Mattila. Soloists will include bass-baritone John Cheek; bass Jim Barrett; sopranos Jordan Rose Lee and Jennifer Tyo; mezzo-soprano Mavis Hsieh; Emily Hale and Job Salazar on Baroque violin; Malina Rauschenfels on Baroque violoncello; Liza Malamut, Mack Ramsey and Simon Wood on sackbut; Juan Mesa on organ; and Hideki Yamaya on theorbo. Crescendo artistic director Christine Gevert will conduct.

Tickets are $10–$60. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Crescendo at (860) 435-4866 or


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Twin brothers Busê Cosmo and Siā Damião de Araujo Braz Kaxinawá, members of the indigenous Huni Kuîn tribe of the Amazon rainforest. Photo courtesy Race Brook Lodge

Race Brook Lodge to share Amazon rainforest culture

Sheffield — On Sunday, May 19, from 4 to 6 p.m., twin brothers Busê Cosmo and Siā Damião de Araujo Braz Kaxinawá, members of the Huni Kuîn indigenous tribe in the Acre region of Brasilia in the Amazon rainforest, will present “Huni Kuîn: A Cultural Sharing of Indigenous Music, Story and Dance form the Amazon Rainforest” at Race Brook Lodge.

The brothers will speak and present songs, stories and movement, and will answer questions about their indigenous ways and traditions. Through their chants, songs and prayers, they are hoping to share their relationship with the healing spirits of the rainforest and the beauty and magic of their land. ​

The brothers live in the village of Aldeia Caucho, situated within the Amazon rainforest on protected indigenous land in Tarauacá, Acre, Brazil. At their village school, they teach reading and writing in both their native Huni Kuîn language and Portuguese. They also teach the children painting, drawing, native beadwork and handcrafting, as well as Huni Kuîn history, mythology and spirituality. For them, passing on their cultural heritage and deep sense of connection to the trees, animals, and countless medicinal plants of their native rainforest is an essential component of educating the next generation.

The event is free and family-friendly. Donations are encouraged. All proceeds will go to help the Huni Kuîn sustain their way of life in harmonious balance with nature and continue to share their message. For more information, contact Race Brook Lodge at (413) 229-2916 or


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Railroad Street Youth Project to host annual block party

Great Barrington — Railroad Street Youth Project will host its annual block party Saturday, May 18, from noon to 5 p.m.

The party will kick off with a performance from the Mount Everett Regional School marching band, which will start at the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market and proceed to RSYP. A ceremony at 12:30 p.m. will feature awards presented to local youth who have exceled in RSYP’s programs, including the Austen DuPont Award for first-generation college-bound youth to Adrian Flint; the Amanda Root Award for identifying and overcoming obstacles in order to achieve a goal to Blue Stephens; and the Key Estime Award for a young woman in leadership to Sara Rawson. In addition, intergenerational awards will be presented to Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, and Main Street Hospitality Group‘s Brian Alberg and Sarah Eustis for their commitment to supporting regional youth.

Food trucks from 413 Grill, Cliff’s Smokin’ Backyard Barbeque and Catering, and Mr. Ding-A-Ling will be available all day as well as crafts, games and other activities for people of all ages including basketball, a skate jam and Ultimate Frisbee. Live entertainment will be provided by DJ Pjark from 1 to 2 p.m., Shoji Rinaldi from 2:10 to 2:40 p.m., Lady Band from 2:50 to 3:20 p.m. and Jess Kinn from 3:30 to 4:20 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Railroad Street Youth Project at (413) 528-2475 or


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Hawthorne Valley to welcome author Alastair McIntosh

Alastair McIntosh, Outer Hebrides, 2015, looking north from Uist toward the Isle of Harris and Roineabhal, the mountain once threatened by a superquarry. Photo: Vérène Nicolas

Ghent, N.Y. — The Hawthorne Valley Association will welcome author Alastair McIntosh for an illustrated talk about his latest book, “Poacher’s Pilgrimage: An Island Journey,” Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m., in the Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School music room. A leading Scottish writer and environmental activist, McIntosh’s work on ecology, community and the soul has already made an impact in New York through previous visits hosted by Friends of Hudson.

Seven years in the making, the book tells of McIntosh’s return to his home Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. In the course of a 12-day walk through remote wild land punctuated with encounters with poachers, trappers, clergy and antiquarians, McIntosh explores the meanings of community.

A pioneer of modern land reform in Scotland, McIntosh helped bring the Isle of Eigg into community ownership. On the Isle of Harris, he negotiated withdrawal of the LafargeHolcim cement company from a devastating “superquarry” plan, then agreed to serve unpaid on the company’s sustainability stakeholders panel for 10 years. McIntosh guest lectures at military staff colleges, most notably the Defence Academy of the Unites Kingdom, on nonviolence. He is a fellow of the University of Edinburgh School of Divinity and a visiting professor at the University of Glasgow College of Social Sciences.

The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Hawthorne Valley Association at (518) 672-4465 or



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