The virtual gallery for the Berkshire Museum's 'Their Stories: Oral Histories from the NAACP' exhibit, which opens Friday, Oct. 2. Image courtesy Berkshire Museum

Bits & Bytes: ‘Their Stories’ returns; ThinkFOOD conference; ‘Eleanor’ encore; First Fridays Artswalk

The conference’s theme of 'Eating to Save the Planet' will offer interactive sessions from experts in and around the Berkshires on how healthier eating can lead to the improved health of the planet.

‘Their Stories: Oral Histories from the NAACP’ to return to Berkshire Museum

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Museum, NAACP Berkshire County Branch and Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College will present an updated, virtual version of the 2019 exhibition “Their Stories: Oral Histories from the NAACP” Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, through Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. The digital show will open with a free online panel discussion moderated by Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center Director Judith Monachina Friday, Oct. 2, at 5:30 p.m.

The exhibit includes excerpts from interviews with 10 African American leaders and community members of the NAACP Berkshire County Branch whose stories were a part of the NAACP Oral History Project conducted by the Oral History Center and the NAACP over a period of two years. The stories offer brief glimpses into each participant’s life and are presented alongside black and white portraits by photographer Julie McCarthy, and a timeline of events both local and national. The exhibition was first presented February through May 2019 and has since made pop-up appearances at Lee Elementary School and Lee Middle and High School. The virtual version that opens Friday will include an updated timeline that highlights key events that have taken place in the last year.

The online version of the exhibition will include a 3D rendering of the museum’s galleries that guests can explore at their own pace and a pre-recorded video tour that guides viewers through the complete exhibition. Portraits and transcribed recordings of each participant may also be enjoyed separately from the 3D galleries. Individuals featured in the exhibition include Magdalene Adams, Churchill Cotton, Wray Gunn, Mabel Hamilton, Dennis Powell, Rev. Charles Pratt, Evelyn Pratt, Shirley Ann Session Edgerton, Will Singleton and Gwendolyn VanSant.


*     *     *

ThinkFOOD conference to go virtual

Great Barrington — The Center for Food Studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock will convene its seventh annual and first-ever virtual ThinkFOOD conference, streamed via Zoom, Saturday, Oct. 3, and Sunday, Oct. 4. The preview event “Kombucha and Building Community as Makers” will be held Friday, Oct. 2, at 5 p.m.

Brian Donahue. Photo courtesy Brandeis University

The conference’s theme of “Eating to Save the Planet” will offer interactive sessions from experts in and around the Berkshires on how healthier eating can lead to the improved health of the planet. Brian Donahue, author of “A New England Food Vision: Healthy Food for All, Sustainable Farming and Fishing, Thriving Communities” and associate professor of American environmental studies at Brandeis University, will give the keynote address. A series of panels and talks comprising local experts, scholars, and practitioners in the food and agriculture fields will offer an insider’s view on everything from greener shopping to sustainable food sourcing, waste disposal, access to food during the COVID-19 pandemic, regenerative agricultural practices, food justice, environmental law, and more.

Tickets are $20 for access to all sessions, $10 for the keynote only, and free for students. For more information, including a schedule of events, or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar.


*     *     *

Barrington Stage to present encore streaming of ‘Eleanor’

Harriet Harris in ‘Eleanor’ by Mark St. Germain. Photos courtesy Barrington Stage Company

Pittsfield — Barrington Stage Company will present an encore streaming of “Eleanor” by BSC associate artist Mark St. Germain and starring Tony Award winner Harriet Harris Saturday, Oct. 3, and Sunday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Henry Stram, “Eleanor” brings to life influential first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. From her “Ugly Duckling” upbringing to her unorthodox marriage to Franklin, “Eleanor” puts her controversial life, loves and passions on the stage.

On Monday, Oct. 5, at 4 p.m., BSC founder/artistic director Julianne Boyd will moderate a free interactive panel discussion via Zoom featuring Harris, St. Germain and Stram. The discussion will center on the creation and development of the play, including the last-minute arrangements to film the staged reading in the empty Boyd-Quinson Mainstage when BSC was unable to open its indoor theater to live audiences. Space is limited; registration is required.

Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Barrington Stage Company at (413) 236-8888 or


*     *     *

First Fridays Artswalk to feature indoor/outdoor exhibits, mural

Pittsfield — The First Fridays Artswalk on Friday, Oct. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. will feature indoor and storefront art shows, outdoor sculpture, and 19 of Artscape‘s Pittsfield Paintboxes.

‘Rapture’ by Andrew DeVries. Photo courtesy Downtown Pittsfield Inc.

At 5 p.m., Pittsfield’s Artscape will unveil the mural “The Sun Will Rise” at 443 North St. The mural is 20 feet by 16 feet and was created by Jesse Tobin McCauley with Jay Tobin and Stephanie Quetti. Hotel on North will feature bronze sculptures, pastel paintings, and an ink-and-watercolor series in an exhibit by Andrew DeVries titled “Horizon” Thursday, Oct. 1, through Monday, Nov. 30. There will be a reception with the artist during Artswalk. The Marketplace Café will feature works by Kaela Nommay with an opening reception during Artswalk.

Beginning Friday, Oct. 2, and continuing all month long, NUarts Studios and Gallery will display the artwork of seven artists in the storefront windows along Union Street across from Barrington Stage Company’s Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. Participating artists are Ilene Richard, Karen S. Jacobs, Caroline Kelley, Peggy Morse, Linda Petrocine, Sally Tiska Rice and Marney Schorr.

‘Joshua Tree No. 2’ by Joe Chirchirillo. Photo courtesy Downtown Pittsfield Inc.

The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts will feature “Next,” the Berkshire Art Association’s juried biennial show through Friday, Nov. 20. “Next” features 37 works from 30 artists from New England and New York. Those wishing to view the show in person must call (413) 499-9348 and make an appointment to do so (including at Artswalk).

The Brothership Building Window, 141 North St., curated by IS183 Art School of the Berkshires will feature the photography exhibit “The Beauty of Classic Cars” by Dylan W. Kubis during the month of October. The October Artswalk will also highlight Artscape’s three outdoor sculptures throughout downtown, which will be in place through April of next year: Paul Angiolillo’s “Flame of Hope”; Joe Gitterman’s “Couple 3”; and Joe Chirchirillo’s “Joshua Tree #2”.

All art exhibits are on display in participating venues throughout the month. Artswalk participants are asked to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet from other individuals and to wear masks. An online map of all indoor and outdoor locations is available. For more information, contact Downtown Pittsfield Inc. at (413) 443-6501.