Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Holiday Handcraft Fair; ‘Under Pressure’ screening; Cedric Watson at Dewey Hall; ‘Three Gentlemen of Vienna’; free children’s books

Created by the class of 2019 at Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield, “Under Pressure” covers the September 2018 Merrimack Valley Columbia Gas explosions and the natural gas industry in Massachusetts and nationally.

Berkshire Waldorf School to hold annual handcraft fair

Great Barrington — The Berkshire Waldorf School will host its 47th annual Holiday Handcraft Fair Saturday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To kick off the holiday season, parents and faculty transform the school into a winter wonderland of family fun including puppet shows, hayrides, face painting, candle dipping, and gifts to make and give.

Every family in the school’s community comes together to create the fair, which includes the Little People’s Shop, where children in fourth grade and below can choose gifts for family and friends; a handcraft room that with warm handmade items; and the Gently Used Shop with books, toys, clothing and home goods. Other highlights of the day will include the puppet play “The Golden River”; a children’s craft room; a cake walk with live musicians; the Pocket Lord and Lady; a silent auction; the Berkshire Country Store; and a cafe serving lunch, warm drinks and homemade desserts.

Admission and parking are both free, and the fair will be held rain or shine. All proceeds from the fair will benefit Berkshire Waldorf School programs and students. For more information, call Berkshire Waldorf School at (413) 528-4015.


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‘Under Pressure’ documentary film to highlight natural gas industry

Dr. Curt Nordgaard. Photo courtesy No Fracked Gas in Mass

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Environmental Action Team, No Fracked Gas in Mass, 350MA Berkshire Node, NAACP Berkshire County Branch, Indivisible Pittsfield and Massachusetts Sierra Club will present a screening of the documentary film “Under Pressure” Thursday, Nov. 7, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Berkshire Community College’s Koussevitzky Art Center, Room K111.

Nathan Phillips, Ph.D. Photo courtesy Boston University

Created by the class of 2019 at Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield, “Under Pressure” covers the September 2018 Merrimack Valley Columbia Gas explosions and the natural gas industry in Massachusetts and nationally. Following the screening will be a discussion of the Merrimack Valley disaster as well as the health and safety hazards of fracked gas in the home with Dr. Curt Nordgaard and Nathan Phillips, Ph.D. Nordgaard is a pediatrician from Newton who has been investigating and lecturing on the health impacts of fracked gas infrastructure, both in the outdoor environment and use of appliances in the home. Phillips is a professor in the Boston University Department of Earth and Environment and has been working with various organizations to track fracked gas system leaks at Aliso Canyon and in the greater Boston area. He was instrumental in getting electric induction cooktops to residents impacted by the Merrimack Valley disaster. Both are also actively assisting the fight against the Weymouth Compressor Station.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact


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Dewey Hall to welcome zydeco musician Cedric Watson

Cedric Watson performing at Dreamaway Lodge in Becket. Photo: Beth Carlson

Sheffield — Oldtone Productions will present a concert with Cajun, Creole and zydeco musician Cedric Watson Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. at Dewey Hall.

Watson is a four-time Grammy Award-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist   songwriter who made his first appearance, at age 19, at the Zydeco Jam at the Big Easy in Houston, Texas. He moved to south Louisiana two years later and, over the next several years, performed French music in 17 countries and on seven full-length albums with artists including the Pine Leaf Boys; Corey Ledet; Les Amis Creole with Ed Poullard and J.B. Adams; and his own group, Bijou Creole. A prolific songwriter, Watson writes almost all of his music on his two-row Hohner accordion. Watson’s songs channel his diverse African, French, Native American and Spanish ancestry to create his own original sound.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar, or contact (413) 429-1176 or


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‘Three Gentlemen of Vienna’ to discuss music of Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler

Melinda Haas. Photo courtesy Close Encounters With Music

Lenox — Close Encounters With Music’s “Conversations With…” series will present “Three Gentlemen of Vienna: Beethoven, Schubert and Mahler” with musician and analyst Melinda Haas Sunday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m. at Seven Hills Inn.

Haas’ research has focused on the “inner other” — displacement, isolation and outsider status as a rite of passage that accompanies the creative act. Seen through the prism of Jungian analysis with Vienna as the fraught backdrop for all three of these musical giants, she takes special note of their music. In her presentation, Haas will share highlights of a paper she recently presented in Vienna for the International Association of Analytical Psychology. Before becoming a Jungian analyst, Haas was accompanist for Martha Graham Dance Company and Limón Dance Company.

Tickets are $20 and include light refreshments. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Close Encounters With Music at 800-843-0778 or


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Great Barrington libraries offering free used children’s books

Jessica Platt of Lee Bank, Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries President Ed Abrahams and Brandy McKie of Lee Bank. Photo courtesy Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries

Great Barrington — The Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries are giving away used children’s, teen and parenting books at both Great Barrington libraries during all regular library hours.

Donated and deaccessioned books have been for sale at both Mason and Ramsdell libraries for many years. Money raised from the sale of books helps to support enhanced library programming, but according to Friends President Ed Abrahams, the children’s books will now be free. And thanks to a donation from Lee Bank, the Friends can now give away books for free without a loss of funding.

Bins and boxes of books ranging in appeal from board books for babies to large picture books, early reading books and young adult books are located opposite the children’s room at Mason and in the lobby of Ramsdell.



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