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Bits & Bytes: ‘Jefferson’s Children’ at MMRHS; trauma healing talk; Writers Read; Natalia Zukerman at Club Helsinki Hudson

W.E. B. Du Bois Educational Series will welcome Shannon LaNier and Jane Feldman for an interactive, multimedia presentation exploring the meaning of race.

‘Jefferson’s Children’ presentation to explore race relations, American identity

Great Barrington — On Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. at Monument Mountain Regional High School, the W.E. B. Du Bois Educational Series will welcome Shannon LaNier and Jane Feldman, co-authors of “Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family,” for an interactive, multimedia presentation exploring the meaning of race, its influence on personal identity and the interrelatedness of Americans. The event will begin with a spoken word arrangement by poet Ted Thomas and performed by students from MMRHS as well as Pittsfield and Taconic high schools.

Television host, media personality and author LaNier, who is a ninth-generation descendant of Thomas Jefferson and slave Sally Hemings, and author, photojournalist and activist Feldman will expound on their award-winning book that recounts, in the style of a family photo album, LaNier’s travels across the country to meet his relatives descended from Jefferson’s wife, Martha, and from Hemings.

Emmy Award winner LaNier is a correspondent and senior producer for Black Enterprise Magazine’s nationally syndicated shows “Black Enterprise Business Report” and “Our World With Black Enterprise.” Feldman, has worked on projects for Amnesty International and created portraits of Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. Her work has appeared in media outlets including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the History Channel and Orion Magazine.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact MMRHS at (413) 528-3346.


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Dr. Bessel van der Kolk to discuss trauma, healing

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. Photo courtesy Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Great Barrington — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, in partnership with Berkshire United Way, will present a lecture by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk titled “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. The talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. This event is free; the doors will open at 6:30pm for general admission seating.

Van der Kolk has been the medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston for the past 30 years. He is a professor of psychiatry at Boston University Medical School and serves as the co-director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Complex Trauma Network. Though he identifies himself primarily as a clinician, he has published well over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles on various aspects of trauma, including his current projects: yoga for treating post traumatic stress disorder, funded by the National Institutes of Health; the use of theater for violence prevention in the Boston public schools, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the mechanisms of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy; sensory integration in traumatized children; and the use of neurofeedback in PTSD. Van der Kolk has written extensively using neuroscience research to identify appropriate treatments for PTSD and completed the first National Institute of Mental Health-funded study of EMDR. He has taught at universities and hospitals around the world. He is author of the New York Times bestselling book “The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in Healing From Trauma.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.


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Writers Read at the Lee Library

Sonia Pilcer

Lee — The Writers Read monthly reading series will present Sonia Pilcer and Jeffrey Thomson Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the Lee Library.

Sonia Pilcer’s most recent novel, “The Last Hotel,” is based on the residential hotel her father managed on the Upper West Side of Manhattan has been serialized in the Berkshire Edge. Pilcer’s stories have been collected in anthologies and her awards include a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and fellowships to Yaddo and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has taught writing workshops at the Chautauqua Institution, the Writer’s Voice, and Berkshire Community College.

Jeffrey Thomson

Thomson is a poet, memoirist, translator and editor who is the author of multiple books including his new memoir “fragile;” and the poetry collections “The Belfast Notebooks,” “Birdwatching in Wartime,” “The Complete Poems of Catullus: an Annotated Translation” and “From the Fishouse.” He has been a National Endowment for the Arts fellow; the Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry in Belfast, Northern Ireland; and the Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Fellow at Brown University. He is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Maine Farmington.

For more information, contact David Giannini at


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Rogovoy Salon to present Natalia Zukerman

Natalia Zukerman

Hudson, N.Y. — On Sunday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m., Club Helsinki Hudson will present musician, painter and educator Natalia Zukerman. The performance is part of the Rogovoy Salon music, literary and art series curated and hosted by music journalist Seth Rogovoy.

Zukerman grew up in New York City; studied art at Oberlin College; started her mural business Off The Wall in San Francisco; began her songwriting career in Boston; and now resides, writes, plays, teaches and paints in Brooklyn, New York. Having released seven independent albums on Weasel Records and her own label Talisman Records, Zukerman has toured internationally as a solo performer since 2005. She has also accompanied and opened for Janis IanAni DiFrancoRichard ThompsonTom Paxton and others. Alongside her touring career, Zukerman continues to paint private and public murals as well as illustrate children’s books, design and paint sets for plays in New York City, and paint private portrait commissions. She teaches private songwriting lessons and has taught at festivals and locations throughout the U.S. and in Canada. In February 2017, Zukerman became a cultural diplomat for the U.S. Department of State, playing concerts and conducting workshops throughout Africa with the Northern Lights.

Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Club Helsinki Hudson at (518) 828-4800.



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