Monday, June 17, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Dr. Beth Piatote at Bard College; Venki Ramakrishnan at Bard College; Berkshire Artists Guild present Katherine Borkowski-Byrne and Cindy Mathias; ‘Drag Story Time’ at Simon’s Rock; London’s National Theatre at The Mahaiwe; Comedy Night at Crissey Farm; T.J. Thompson at American Mural Project; Open writing at The Clark; Williamstown Repair Cafe

“To have Beth Piatote and her play ‘Antíkoni' at the center of this symposium is more than we could have hoped for. The play uses the classics as its own trojan horse; it is an invitation to examine how we as a collective can disrupt colonial practices and shift decision making."

Bard College Center for Indigenous Studies to host inaugural symposium with keynote speaker Dr. Beth Piatote

Annandale-On-Hudson, N.Y. — On Thursday, April 25th and Friday, 26th, the Bard College Center for Indigenous Studies will host its inaugural symposium, which includes workshops, lectures, and discussions centered around Dr. Beth Piatote’s (Nez Perce enrolled Colville Confederated Tribes) brilliant play “Antíkoni,” an adaptation of Sophocles’ “Antigone.”

Dr. Beth Piatote. Courtesy Bard.

On Thursday, April 25th from 2p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Piatote will give her public keynote address “Antíkoni and the Question of Adaptation.” On Friday, April 26th from 4:30 p.m. to 3:50 p.m., Yale University’s Dr. Royce K. Young Wolf (Hiraacá, Nu’eta, and Sosore, ancestral Apsáalooke and Nʉmʉnʉʉ) will give the closing lecture, Between the Heart and Horizon Line: Culturally Responsive Care in Collection Management.”

Inspired by this work’s themes of possession, belonging, and inheritance, the Center for Indigenous Studies has invited speakers to discuss tribal preservation, NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act,) and the universality of the values that run through both Sophocles’ Antigone and Piatote’s adaptation. Invited guests include Dr. Laurie Arnold (Sinixt Band Colville Confederated Tribes), the director of Native American Studies and Professor of History at Gonzaga University; Bonney Hartley (Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican), tribal historic preservation manager for the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans; Dr. Julie Burelle, performance studies scholar, dramaturg, and assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California San Diego; and Dr. Sailakshmi Ramgopal, classicist, artist, and assistant professor of history at Columbia University.

On the symposium, the Center for Indigenous Studies Curator of Public Programs Brandi Norton (Iñupiaq) writes: “To have Beth Piatote and her play ‘Antíkoni’ at the center of this symposium is more than we could have hoped for. The play uses the classics as its own trojan horse; it is an invitation to examine how we as a collective can disrupt colonial practices and shift decision making. ‘Antíkoni’ is the perfect material for the cross fertilizing between the classics, theater, American and Indigenous Studies and civic engagement.”

The symposium is on Thursday, April 25th and Friday, 26th at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. All talks are open to the public and do not require registration, and the full symposium schedule can be found online.

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Bard College presents “Why We Die,” a talk by Nobel Laureate Venki Ramakrishnan

Annandale-On-Hudson — On Friday, April 26th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the Bard College Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing will present “Why We Die,” a talk featuring Venki Ramakrishnan, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and author of the book “Why We Die: The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality.”

The last few decades have seen dramatic advances in human understanding of aging and death, and along with that knowledge comes an impulse to negate some of the causes of aging to improve health in old age. Some would wish to postpone aging and death, perhaps indefinitely. Ramakrishnan will explore these issues, including our current understanding of the causes of aging and efforts to tackle it, while also touching on the potential social and ethical implications of such work.

Nobel Laureate Venki Ramakrishnan. Courtesy Bard.

Venki Ramakrishnan grew up in India and left at the age of 19 for the US. After a long career there, he moved in 1999 to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. He works on the structure and function of the ribosome, an enormous molecular complex that reads the genetic information on mRNA (itself copied from a stretch of DNA) to synthesize the proteins they specify. His work also showed how many antibiotics work by blocking bacterial ribosomes, which could help to design better antibiotics. For this work, he shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. From 2015-2020, he was president of the Royal Society, a Fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. Ramakrishnan is the author of a popular memoir, Gene Machine, a frank description of the race for the structure of the ribosome and the science and personalities involved, and Why We Die, about the biology of aging and our current efforts to combat it.

The talk is on Friday, April 26th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. There will be a post-show Q&A and reception. More information can be found online.

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Artists Guild present ‘Abstracting from Nature,’ works by Katherine Borkowski-Byrne and Cindy Mathias at Art on Main Gallery

West Stockbridge — From April 25th through May 5th, Berkshire Artists Guild presents ‘Abstracting from Nature,’ works by Katherine Borkowski-Byrne and Cindy Mathias at Art on Main Gallery. 

Katherine Borkowski-Byrne finds inspiration for her abstract paintings from looking at nature from clouds, plants, and water or reading about the findings within quantum science where any two elementary particles both within and outside of our body are forever intertwined, no matter how far apart they are, even if separated by millions of miles.

Katherine Borkowski-Byrne, artist. Courtesy Berkshire Artists Guild.

Cindy Mathias is a photographer who is driven to capture the abstract in nature and its compositional possibilities. The intricate patterns and vibrant hues of the Canna plant have inspired her to create this series of photographic botanical abstraction. Her current work includes botanicals, landscapes, waterscapes, reflections, and whatever she is moved by at the moment.

Cindy Mathias, photographer. Courtesy Berkshire Artists Guild.

The show runs from April 25th through May 5th at Art on Main Gallery on Main Street in West Stockbridge. Hours are Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is an opening reception on Saturday April 27th from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. More information can be found online. 

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Bard College at Simon’s Rock presents ‘Drag Story Time’

Great Barrington — On Friday, April 27th at 2 p.m., Bard College at Simon’s Rock presents “Drag Story Time.”

‘Drag Story Time.’ Courtesy Bard.

Partnering with Drag Story Hour of the Berkshires, Berkshire Queer Leadership Project and the library are excited to present “Drag Story Time.” Fun for the whole family, come listen to two fabulous Queens read books, throw a dance party, and color bookmarks.

The event is on Friday, April 27th at 2 p.m. in the Alumni Library  at Bard College at Simon’s Rock on Alford Road in Great Barrington. It is free and open to the public. All LGBTQ+ affirming folks are encouraged to attend. More information can be found online. 

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London’s National Theatre in HD’s ‘The Motive and the Cue’ at The Mahaiwe 

Great Barrington — On Friday, April 26th at 6:30 p.m., The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center presents London’s National Theatre in HD’s ‘The Motive and the Cue.’

In 1964, Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new Broadway production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. But as rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel.

London’s National Theatre in HD’s ‘The Motive and the Cue.’ Courtesy The Mahaiwe.

Sam Mendes directs Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton, Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud, and Tuppence Middleton as Elizabeth Taylor in this fierce and funny new play by Jack Thorne, offering a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.

The event is on Friday, April 26th at 6:30 p.m. at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Castle Street in Great Barrington. Tickets are $17 and $10; Card To Culture is accepted. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Crissey Farm and Barrington Brewery present ‘Comedy Night at Crissey Farm’

Great Barrington— On Friday, April 26th at 8 p.m., Crissey Farm and Barrington Brewery present ‘Comedy Night at Crissey Farm.’ 

Buddha Joe, Mike Hanley, and Bob Montgomery. Courtesy Barrington Brewery.

Come out and greet spring with a laugh with a comedy show presented by the Northeast Comedy Review featuring comedians Buddha Joe, Mike Hanley, and Bob Montgomery. 

The event is on Friday, April 26th at 8 p.m. The doors open at 7 p.m. at Chrissy Farm at 426 Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington. Tickets are $20 and there is a cash bar available. There is a “Brew-Ha-Ha” dinner package available for $50, which includes dinner at the Barrington Brewery at 420 Stockbridge Road, Unit 4 in Great Barrington, which includes the show and a drink token to use at Crissey Farm. Tickets and more information can be found online. The show contains adult language and content. 

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The American Mural Project Happy Hour Piano Series continues with pianist T.J. Thompson

Winsted, C.T.— On Friday, April 26th at 5 p.m., The American Mural Project (AMP) proudly presents the fourth performance of the Happy Hour Piano Series.

Pianist T.J. Thompson will perform blues, soul, and jazz in the mural gallery. A Connecticut favorite, pianist T.J. Thompson, of T.J. Thompson Trio, has performed with Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead and was a featured artist on Branford Marsalis’ Jazz Set. He’s been a teacher and performer for more than 25 years, playing the blues, soul, and jazz of New Orleans, Memphis, and more. His albums include “Take 2: The Sound of Playing.” Thompson is also currently a music teacher at Taft School, Watertown, C.T.

Pianist T.J. Thompson. Courtesy AMP.

The event is on Friday, April 26th at 5 p.m. at The American Mural Project on Whiting Street in Winsted, C.T. Admission is $6. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore the mural exhibit while listening to Thompson’s renditions and relax with a drink from the cash/credit bar. More information can be found online. 

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The Clark Art Institute presents ‘Writing Closer: Art and Writing’

Williamstown— On Friday, April 26th at 10:30 a.m., the Clark Art Institute’s Manton Study Center for Works on Paper invites writers of all experience and skill levels to find inspiration in thematic selections from the Clark’s collection of works on paper.

John Taylor Arms, From Knoedler’s Window (detail), 1935, etching with aquatint on paper. The Clark, 1955.988

April’s open writing session theme, “Art and Writing,” features prints, drawings, and photographs exploring the relationship between images and text. The selection includes works with inscriptions, captions, and hand-written dedications by their artists, as well as illustrations of famous literary scenes. Whether it’s poetry or prose, fiction or non-, and a story-in-progress or something completely new, allow the works to inspire your writing.

The free event is on Friday, April 26th at 10:30 a.m. at The Clark Art Institute on South Street in Pittsfield. Basic materials are provided. Writers bringing their own supplies should note that only graphite pencils are allowed in the Study Center. Registration is required. Registration and more information can be found online. 

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Williamstown Repair Cafe

Williamstown— On Saturday, April 27th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the South Williamstown Community Association and Williamstown Rural Lands at Sheep Hill

Volunteer “fixers” include people who can do small electrical repairs, wooden furniture repair, blade sharpening (knives, scissors, small tools,) costume jewelry repairs, leather repairs, darners, knitters, and sewers. There’ll be computer advice, window screen repair, and the Purple Bike Coalition will be on hand to do simple bike repairs.

Through a partnership with BagShare Project, materials and grommet machines will be on hand to make reusable shopping bags. Come and learn how to make a bag. It’s a good activity for older children, and it keeps all kinds of animal feed and barley bags out of the landfill.

Williamstown Repair Cafe.

Repair Café is free, although donations are gladly accepted. It’s all about helping our neighbors and helping our planet. It is kid friendly and there’ll be refreshments. The event is on Saturday, April 27th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Sheep Hill at 671 Cold Spring Road on Williamstown. 

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The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.