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The memorial stone at the W.E.B. Du Bois River Park at the Housatonic River Walk in Great Barrington, which will host the community event 'W.E.B. Du Bois: Born by a Golden River' Wednesday, July 11. Photo courtesy Housatonic River Walk

Bits & Bytes: ‘W.E.B. Du Bois: Born by a Golden River’; ‘Wednesday’s Child’ at the Mahaiwe; ‘Galactic Landscapes’ at Berkshire Museum; ‘Tales of Europe’ at the Crandell Theatre; Hilltown Brouhaha

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By Monday, Jul 9, 2018 Life In the Berkshires

‘W.E.B. Du Bois: Born by a Golden River’ to be held at Housatonic River Walk

MaryNell Morgan-Brown. Photo: Daesha Devon Harris

Great Barrington — Housatonic River Walk will host “W.E.B. Du Bois: Born By a Golden River,” an afternoon of poetry and musical offerings in celebration of W.E.B. Du Bois, Wednesday, July 11, at 2 p.m. at the W.E.B. Du Bois River Park at Church and River streets.

Kwaky Kwaakye Obeng. Photo: Frank Rubolino

Organizations throughout Berkshire County will honor the Great Barrington native with readings and musical offerings including a musical interpretation by MaryNell Morgan-Brown of the “Sorrow Songs” from Du Bois’ classic work “The Souls of Black Folk,” and a “musical libation” introduced by jazz specialist James Browne and performed by Ghanian master drummer Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng and American saxophonist Antoine Roney in tribute to Du Bois’ African and American duality. The event will be followed by a walking tour of sites in downtown Great Barrington that helped shape the town’s native son, including Du Bois’s birth site, the First Congregational Church and the Warren Davis Home. The walk will conclude at the former Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church, 9 Elm Court, with a reception and refreshments. In the event of rain, the program will be held at the First Congregational Church, 251 Main St.

“W. E. B. Du Bois: Born by a Golden River” will be held on the anniversary of the first Niagara Movement Conference in 1905. Du Bois often wrote that he was “born by a golden river,” referring to the River Park dedicated in 2002 by the Great Barrington Land Conservancy to honor his love of the Housatonic River and his campaign for the restoration of rivers around the world.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, contact River Walk founding director Rachel Fletcher at (413) 528-3391 or river@gbriverwalk.org.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Playwrights Lab to present ‘Wednesday’s Child’

Mark St. Germain. Photo: Kevin Sprague

Great Barrington — Berkshire Playwrights Lab will present a staged reading of “Wednesday’s Child” by Mark St. Germain Wednesday, July 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

Bringing mystery and murder to life in a dramatic tale, St. Germain’s new play “Wednesday’s Child” challenges the distinction between right and wrong in the story of the investigation into the murder of a surrogate mother that explodes the lives of everyone around her.

St. Germain has written numerous plays including “Freud’s Last Session,” “Camping with Henry and Tom,” “Relativity,” “Typhoid Mary,” “Becoming Dr. Ruth” and “Ears on a Beetle.” With John Markus he wrote the comedy with music “The Fabulous Lipitones” and, with composer Randy Courts, the musicals “Gifts of the Magi” and “Jack’s Holiday.” St. Germain co-wrote the screenplay for Carroll Ballard’s film “Duma.” He directed and produced the documentary “My Dog: An Unconditional Love Story” and wrote the award-winning children’s book “Three Cups.” He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild East and an associate artist at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield.

Tickets are $15. For tickets and information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

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PWMM 3.9.18 6.5 by Josh Simpson. Photo courtesy Berkshire Museum

Berkshire Museum to exhibit ‘Galactic Landscapes’ by Josh Simpson

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Museum will feature the exhibit “Josh Simpson: Galactic Landscapes,” a solo show of works by glass artist Josh Simpson, Saturday July 14, 2018, through Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. An opening reception with the artist will be held Saturday, July 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The new exhibition focuses on works that embody the artist’s fascination with astrophysics, deep space and the cosmos. “Josh Simpson: Galactic Landscapes” will feature Simpson’s widely acclaimed imaginative Planets—solid glass spheres that suggest distant worlds and landscapes—along with large-diameter discs full of swirling textures and colors that evoke nebulae, colliding stars and other astronomical events. A centerpiece of the gallery will be an original Orrery—a moving, mechanical model of the solar system, made in collaboration with artist Erik Van Cort—that incorporates Simpson’s glass spheres as the sun, the planets and their moons. This exhibit will also feature Simpson’s Tektites and Portals, sculptural objects inspired by meteorites and geodes.

Simpson has been a glass artist since 1971, maintaining a studio in Shelburne Falls since 1976 where he uses ancient glass-blowing tools and techniques along with his own inventions and high-tech engineering to create his glass. Simpson’s glass has been shown in many museums and galleries across the U.S. and internationally and are included in the collections at the Corning Museum of Glass; the White House Collection of American Crafts at the Clinton Library; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Yale University Art Gallery; the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina; and the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton. Simpson will spend part of 2018 as artist-in-residence at the Corning Museum of Glass, researching the use and history of silver in glassmaking.

Tickets to the reception are $10 for the general public and $5 for Berkshire Museum members. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Berkshire Museum at (413) 443-7171 x314.

–E.E.

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Crandell Theatre to screen ‘Tales of Europe’

Image courtesy EclairPlay

Chatham, N.Y. — The Crandell Theatre will serve as the exclusive regional host for the premiere of “Tales of Europe,” a series of five new and acclaimed contemporary films from France and Italy, each of which screened at major international film festivals this year, Friday, July 13, through Thursday, July 19.

Made by leading European filmmakers and featuring some of their most celebrated actresses, each of the five films will be screened twice in its original language with English subtitles during the seven-day event at the Crandell. Additionally, a Crandell Theatre members-only free screening of “Catch the Wind” will be held Sunday, July 15, at 3:30 p.m. with an introduction by Laurence Kardish, artistic director of FilmColumbia and former senior curator of the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film, and an audience discussion following the film.

The theater will debut “Tales of Europe” via an arrangement with Europa International, a nonprofit organization whose aim is to improve and increase the international distribution and circulation of European films; and Europa Cinemas, a network of cinemas focusing on European movies.

Tickets are $7.50 for the general public and $6.50 for children and Crandell Theatre members. For a list of films and screening times, see the Berkshire Edge calendar. For tickets and more information, contact the Crandell Theatre at (518) 392-3445 or mail@crandelltheatre.org.

–E.E.

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A variety of vendors took part in the 2017 Hilltown Brouhaha in Becket. Photo courtesy Becket Washington Community Partnership

Third annual Hilltown Brouhaha to celebrate local community

Washington — The Becket Washington Community Partnership will present the third annual Hilltown Brouhaha Saturday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Washington Town Park, 400 S. Washington State Road.

The day-long community gathering will feature music, vendors and artisans with one-of-a-kind creations, new “Treasure in the Trunk” items, the Becket Athenaeum’s annual book sale, great food and much more. After the festivities at Washington Town Park, the Becket Volunteer Firemen’s Association will host a family friendly evening at the firemen’s pavilion, 178 Bancroft Road, North Becket, with food, live music by Whiskey City and a beer garden by Wandering Star Craft Brewery from 7 to 11 p.m.

For more information, contact the Becket Washington Community Partnership at bwcpchair@gmail.com.

–E.E.


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