Bits & Bytes: NAACP awards dinner; W.E.B. Du Bois Falseworkshop; ‘Chicken People’ at Mason Library; Abigail Pogrebin at Knosh & Knowledge; Ghent Playhouse auditions

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By Monday, Oct 30 Life In the Berkshires  1 Comment
John Bissell, Shirley Edgerton and Wray Gunn will be honored at the NAACP Berkshire County Branch's Freedom Fund awards dinner Saturday, Nov. 4, at the ITAM Lodge in Pittsfield. Photos courtesy NAACP Berkshire County Branch

Berkshire NAACP to hold awards dinner

Tim Wise. Photo courtesy Time WIse

Pittsfield — The NAACP Berkshire County Branch will hold its Freedom Fund awards dinner Saturday, Nov. 4, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the ITAM Lodge.

Awards will be given to Clinton Church Restoration Project president and longtime community advocate Wray Gunn, w was the first African-American to play on a University of Massachusetts basketball team, and later the first African-American basketball captain at UMass; Pittsfield Public Schools cultural competency coach Shirley Edgerton, who founded of the Rites of Passage and Empowerment program for girls and the Women of Color Giving Circle, and co-founded Lift Ev’ry Voice; Greylock Federal Credit Union president and CEO John Bissell, founder of the Pittsfield Promise literacy campaign. The dinner will include live music and and a keynote address by author and advocate Tim Wise.

Tickets are $40 for a single ticket, $65 for a couple and $350 for a table of eight. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Berkshire NAACP at


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‘W.E.B. Du Bois: Homegrown Internationalist’

Asma Abbas. Photo courtesy Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Great Barrington — In association with Hic Rosa and the Falsework School, Multicultural BRIDGE will offer the Falseworkshop “W.E.B. Du Bois: Homegrown Internationalist” Sunday, Nov. 5, at 9:30 a.m. at Bard College at Simon’s Rock’s Liebowitz Center for International Studies. The workshop will be followed by a closing panel discussion at 2:30 p.m.

The Falseworkshop will focus on Du Bois’s global reach as a political thinker and activist, in preparation for the town of Great Barrington’s celebration of Du Bois’s sesquicentennial in 2018. The day of study will feature close collaborative readings of works that also highlight the many genres of intellectual, cultural and political production sported by Du Bois over the course of his life, and will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Purdue University professor of American studies Bill Mullen, Williams College professor of Africana studies and political science Neil Roberts, Bard College at Simon’s Rock professor of social studies and the arts Wesley Brown, writer Ciaran Finlayson and Bard College at Simon’s Rock associate professor of politics and philosophy Asma Abbas.

The registration fee for the workshop $60 on a sliding scale, $40 for students and $20 for virtual participants. The panel discussion is free and open to the public. For more information or tow register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar.


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‘Chicken People’ documentary to screen at Mason Library

Image courtesy CMT

Great Barrington — The Friends of the Great Barrington Libraries will screen the film “Chicken People” Saturday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mason Library. A documentary that takes a look at the colorful, competitive world of champion show-chicken breeders “Chicken People” follows the struggles and triumphs of breeders and their chickens on the road to compete at the Ohio National Poultry Show. The film is not rated and suitable for all ages.

The event is part of the Friends’ First Saturday Film Series and will begin with a free wine and cheese social in the vaulted reading room at 7 p.m. More socializing and a community discussion will follow the 83-minute film until 10 p.m. The film does not reflect endorsement or advocacy for any particular point of view by the library or the town of Great Barrington. For more information, contact the Mason Library at (413) 528-2403.


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Knosh & Knowledge to present author Abigail Pogrebin

Abigail Pogrebin. Photo courtesy Jewish Federation of the Berkshires

Great Barrington — On Friday, Nov. 3, at 10:45 a.m. at Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires’ Knosh & Knowledge program will present Abigail Pogrebin, author of “My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew,” in which she chronicles her mission to research observe, and write about every Jewish holiday on the calendar without skipping one festival or fast. The program will be followed by a buffet lunch.

Pogrebin’s undertaking began as a blog for the Forward, which recorded her immediate experiences in observing a full cycle of the Jewish calendar from Rosh Hashanah through Tisha B’Av – all holidays major and minor, plus Shabbats. The book, released in March 2017, expands on the blog posts and includes insights from a diverse and multi-denominational array of religious figures, scholars, thinkers and writers.

The cost of the program is $11 including the lunch. Participants may attend the program only for $5. Advance lunch reservations required. For reservations and more information, contact the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires at (413) 442-4360 x10 or


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Ghent Playhouse to hold auditions for ‘Clever Little Lies’

Ghent, N.Y. — The Ghent Playhouse will hold auditions for its winter production of “Clever Little Lies” by Joe DiPietro, to be directed by Cathy Lee-Visscher, Tuesday, Nov. 7, and Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, at 7:15 p.m. Sign-in will begin at 7 p.m. The cast consists of one man and one woman age mid-50s to early 60s, and one man and one woman age mid- to late 30s. Those auditioning will be asked to read specific scenes from the script. Those who are younger or older than the ages listed for the characters, but feel they can portray those ages are also welcome to audition. For more information, contact Cathy Lee-Visscher at (518) 755-9278.


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One Comment   Add Comment

  1. Pete says:

    Congrats to all the NAACP winners. It was Wray Gunn’s dad who was at UMass, not young Wray who is deserving of the award.

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