Wednesday, July 24, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Gabrielle Senza New Marlborough Meeting House; Urban Bush Women at The Fisher Center; Afghan Female Student Outreach and Cuatro Puntos present Arson Fahim; ’Painting Belonging’ at Erikson Institute; Rebecca Guanzon at The Clark; Dr. Shannon Risk at Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum; New resources at Great Barrington libraries

Join Senza at the New Marlborough Meeting House to hear more about her experience in Antarctica and her commitment to inspire a million people to take climate action now. 

Berkshire Artist Gabrielle Senza talks about ‘Crawling on a Glacier in Antarctica’

New Marlborough— On Saturday June 29th at 2 p.m., Berkshire Artist Gabrielle Senza talks about “Crawling on a Glacier in Antarctica” at the New Marlborough Meeting House.

Crawling on a glacier in a long white gown may sound like a scene in a bizarre dream, but for American artist Gabrielle Senza, it was a sobering reality. In 2022, Senza found herself performing “A Prayer for Antarctica” in a trance state at Neko Harbor in Antarctica as nearby ice shelves collapsed into the sea.

Possessed by a dress that has mysteriously urged her to perform many strange and unusual acts since the mid-eighties, Senza calls this long white gown, Terra Luna. The artist states, “While I can’t claim to understand Terra Luna, I have learned to trust her. Whether she has me floating down a river in Maine, sweeping up broken eggshells, or walking across Governor’s Island with a chair strapped to my back, I sense I am in service to an important mission.”

Gabrielle Senza an internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist, a trauma-informed empowerment coach, and the founder and artistic director of the Walk Unafraid Foundation. She has devoted her creative practice to addressing human rights and environmental issues for more than 30 years. Her work has been included in solo and traveling group shows throughout the U.S. and abroad, and is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA New York, Lifetime Entertainment, and numerous other corporate and private collections.

Join Senza at the New Marlborough Meeting House to hear more about her experience in Antarctica and her commitment to inspire a million people to take climate action now.

The talk is on Saturday June 29th at 2 p.m. at the New Marlborough Meeting House on Route 57 in New Marlborough. It is free, accessible, and open to the public. More information can be found online. 

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The Fisher Center presents a world premiere by the Urban Bush Women

Annandale-On-Hudson— On Friday, June 28th at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 29th at 7 p.m., and Sunday, June 30th at 3 p.m., The Fisher Center presents the world premiere of “SCAT!…The Complex Lives of Al & Dot, Dot & Al Zollar” by the Urban Bush Women.

Urban Bush Women founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar grew up performing in floor shows in Black neighborhoods in a segregated Kansas City in the mid-20th century, an era when Black businesses were booming, and there was great hope of upward mobility post-WWII.

Urban Bush Women celebrates its 40th anniversary with a new dance-driven jazz club spectacular performed with a live band that tells the story of two people making their way in Kansas City, from the Great Migration to the present. Performed with a live band to an original jazz score by Craig Harris, this world premiere tells the powerful journey of the Zollar family and what happens when dreams encounter the harsh realities of American life in the 1940s and 50s.

Urban Bush Women. Courtesy The Fisher Center.

The performances are on Friday, June 28th at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 29th at 7 p.m., and Sunday, June 30th at 3 p.m. at The Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater on Manor Avenue in Annandale-On-Hudson. Tickets start at $25. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Afghan Female Student Outreach and Cuatro Puntos present ‘Songs of Love and War,’ underground music from Afghanistan 

Pittsfield— On Sunday, June 30th from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Afghan Female Student Outreach (AFSO) and Cuatro Puntos present “Songs of Love and War,” underground music from Afghanistan featuring pianist, composer, and conductor Arson Fahim and a piano quartet commissioned by Cuatro Puntos. 

‘Songs of Love and War.’

An Afghan composer whose work is inspired by the tragedies and injustices of war as well as the power of music, Fahim has partnered with Cuatro Puntos, a Connecticut-based nonprofit devoted to amplifying silenced and persecuted music and musicians, to produce the CD “Unsilenced,” music recorded secretly in 2023 in Afghanistan under the Taliban, which has banned music performance despite the country’s rich instrumental and vocal tradition.

The Taliban has also banned education for women, including all university women. An international collective of professors forging a pathway to the future for female university students in Afghanistan, AFSO will present a program at the post-concert reception featuring Afghan author Homeira Qaderi, author of the powerful memoir “Dancing in the Mosque,” as well as representatives of the remarkable evacuation of the Afghan National Institute of Music, local leaders, and AFSO students still in Afghanistan. 

The free concert is on Sunday, June 30th from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at  St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 67 East Street in Pittsfield. A goodwill donation will be collected. More information can be found online. 

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Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center presents ‘Painting Belonging: Community Art in the Berkshires’

Stockbridge— From June 29th through October 14th, Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center presents “Painting Belonging: Community Art in the Berkshires.”

A collaboration with local community groups including Community Access to the Arts (CATA,) Soldier On, and the Railroad Street Youth Project (RSYP,) “Painting Belonging” is a collaborative and participatory art exhibition that explores the role of community, mental health in America, and the life cycle. It features five large-scale collaborative art pieces created by community groups in the Berkshires working with Austen Riggs Center Visual Arts Instructor Chalice Mitchell.

‘Painting Belonging: Community Art in the Berkshires.’

The paintings reflect the artists’ and groups’ conceptions of community across the Berkshires and throughout different life stages. The exhibition places these collaborative pieces of art in the context of mental health in America in 2024 to examine the way that creativity, art, and mental health change over the course of a person’s life.

The exhibit runs from June 29th through October 14th at the Corner House Community Exhibition Space at 48 Main Street in Stockbridge. More information can be found online. 

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The Clark Art institute presents ‘From Ground To Cup,’ an herbalist workshop with Rebecca Guanzon

Williamstown— On Saturday, June 29th at 10 a.m., The Clark Art institute presents ‘From Ground To Cup,’ an herbalist workshop with Rebecca Guanzon.

Discover the benefits of red clover, raspberry, rose hips, and mugwort in promoting hormonal balance. These herbs are particularly effective in alleviating hormonal fluctuations of individuals with estrogen dominance. At the end of the talk, participants can create a take-home tea blend with the herbs explored in the workshop.

Rebecca Guanzon. Courtesy of The Clark.

Rebecca Guanzon, a trained herbalist and practitioner of multiple energetic healing modalities, brings over twenty years of experience with trauma-informed care practices. She is a graduate of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, specializing in Medicine Making, Foraging, and Herbal Immersion. As a neighborhood herbalist, she promotes mutual aid by distributing free goods and cultivating an intimate circle of accountability partners. This work often takes place at Wild Soul River, an abolitionist herbal gathering space in Williamstown that Rebecca co-owns with her partner Justin.

The free workshop is on Saturday, June 29th at 10 a.m. at The Clark Art institute on South Street in Williamstown. More information can be found online. 

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Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum presents a book lecture by Dr. Shannon Risk

Adams— On Saturday, June 29th at 5 p.m., the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum hosts Dr. Shannon Risk for a lecture on her book “The Life and Times of Elizabeth Upham Yates: Crusader for Women’s Suffrage, Temperance, and Missionary Work.”

Elizabeth Upham Yates. Courtesy Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum.

Elizabeth Upham Yates used her beauty, humor, and eloquence to charm audiences. She brought her skills to Rhode Island, where the women succeeded in bringing presidential suffrage in 1917, and later ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.

Her dynamic speaking caught the eye of Susan B. Anthony, who sent Yates to crucial 1890s suffrage battlegrounds in California, South Dakota, and throughout the South performing what historian Lillian Faderman has called “the feminine drag.” She became a media darling. Susan B. Anthony, speaking to the press, with perhaps a sly smile, said of Yates: “This is one of our sour old maids you have read about. Sour old maids and discontented wives, you know.” 

Dr. Shannon M. Risk is a professor of history, director of the M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, and manager of the public history minor at Niagara University in Lewiston, New York.

The lecture is on Saturday, June 29th at 5 p.m. at the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum at 67 East Road in Adams. A Q&A will follow. More information can be found online. 

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New resources at Great Barrington libraries

Great Barrington— Great Barrington Libraries are happy to announce access to several new databases and museum passes.

New databases include Asian Life in America, Black Life in America, and Hispanic Life in America. Each features the experience and impact of the particular group as recorded by the media. These three resources are available on the library website under “Learning and Research.”

A similar database is the LGBT Magazine Archive. This database provides articles dated 1954-2015 from some of the most influential magazines. To access this resource, patrons need to be on library WiFi at either Mason or Ramsdell using either their private device, or a public computer. Instructions are available at the circulation desk.

Ancestry.com will also be available for the next year. Access to the website allows patrons to research their family histories. It is also available on library WiFi at either Mason or Ramsdell. The url is also available at the circulation desk.

New museum passes include discounts to Boston Children’s Museum and Boston Science Museum, and full admission to Berkshire Museum, Bidwell House, and Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. For museum passes, please check the website. Some must be picked up in person at Mason. Most include general admission but not special shows or tours. Please call or email Mason Library for more information.

Mason Library is located at 231 Main Street in Great Barrington and Ramsdell is located at 1087 Main Street in Housatonic. More information can be found online. 

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The Edge Is Free To Read.

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