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Musician and artist Sally Taylor will perform Saturday, June 23, at MASS MoCA in North Adams in a concert to benefit MASS MoCA's Kidspace that will feature special guests including Carly Simon, Ben Taylor, Sophie Hiller, Kori Withers, Eric Erdman and John Forte. Photo courtesy Sally Taylor

Bits & Bytes: Sally Taylor at MASS MoCA; Wild Thing trail race; Jacob’s Pillow call for performers; ‘The Nerd’; Sarah Cunningham at Southfield Church

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By Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018 Life In the Berkshires

Mass MoCA to celebrate ‘Come to Your Senses ‘ exhibit with all-star concert

North Adams — MASS MoCA will celebrate the opening of its Kidspace “Come to Your Senses” exhibition Saturday, June 23, at 7 p.m. in a concert featuring acoustic performances from musical greats including the legendary Carly Simon with her family Ben Taylor and Sophie Hiller; exhibition curator Sally Taylor, daughter of Simon and James Taylor; R&B artist Kori Withers, daughter of Bill Withers; blues guitarist Eric Erdman; hip-hop artist and producer John Forte, formerly of the Fugees; and a dance performance by Alison Manning and Jesse Keller of the Yard.

“Come to Your Senses: Art to See, Smell, Hear, Taste, and Touch” asks visual artists, poets, dancers, musicians, perfumers and chefs to use one another’s art as prompts to create their own work. For the first time since the founding of Sally Taylor’s Consenses nonprofit arts organization, young student artists from local elementary schools catalyze the interpretive chains with paintings reflecting on the topics of joy and fear. The resulting 55 works across all media combine to create a multisensory experience in which visitors can trace the transformation of joy and fear as it travels through multiple artists and mediums.

Tickets are $35–$75. All ticket proceeds from the evening will benefit arts education at MASS MoCA. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact MASS MoCA at (413) 662-2111 or info@massmoca.org.


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Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to host Wild Thing trail race and walk

Participants in Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’s 2016 Wild Thing trail race. Photo courtesy Mass Audubon

Lenox — Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary will present its third annual Wild Thing 5K/10K trail race and 5K walk Sunday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The races and walk will begin at the wildlife sanctuary, and the courses will feature the single-track trails and scenic carriage roads of adjacent Kennedy Park. All racers and walkers are invited to a post-race celebration in Pleasant Valley’s big red barn where they can enjoy treats from Chocolate Springs as well as other light refreshments. Prizes will be awarded to the male and female winners and runners-up of the 10k and 5k races, as well as to the top two “Best Dressed Native Species” racers. All race participants will receive a tote bag from Blue Q and are eligible to win prizes donated from local businesses including the Arcadian Shop, the Annie Selke Companies, Berkshire Mountain DistillersKripalu and Zogics.

The entry fees for the race is $30 by Saturday, June 23, and $35 the day of the event. Race-day registration can only be done in person from 7 to 8 a.m. Proceeds will benefit Mass Audubon’s conservation and education programs throughout Berkshire County. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary at (413) 637-0320 or berkshires@massaudubon.org.


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Jacob’s Pillow calls for local dancers to participate in Festival 2018

Becket — Jacob’s Pillow has announced an open call for Berkshire-area performers to appear in Festival productions by Compañía Sharon Fridman and Faye Driscoll. This is a unique opportunity for performers to work with internationally renowned artists at the longest-running international dance Festival in the United States.

Compañía Sharon Fridman is seeking 30 local performers of all genders and experience levels to perform in “Free fall,” a Max Award for the Performing Arts-winning piece that rehearses and engages with community volunteers who become an integral part of the production. Rehearsals will begin Sunday, July 22, with performances Wednesday, July 25, through Sunday, July 29.

Faye Driscoll is seeking 10-15 local performers of all genders and experience levels to perform in “Thank You For Coming: Play.” The ensemble is voice-based, so it is essential that participants are comfortable vocalizing onstage. No memorization is required and performers will be coached in Driscoll’s vocal technique. Rehearsals will begin Monday, July 30, with performances Wednesday, Aug. 1, through Sunday, Aug. 5.

Performers must be at least 18 years old and available to participate in all rehearsals and performances. The priority application deadline is Monday, June 25. Each performer will receive meals while at Jacob’s Pillow, two complimentary tickets to the performance, a 10 percent discount at the Pillow Store, and a modest travel stipend.


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Steve King, Brett Epstein, Jean Garner in the Theater Barn production of ‘The Nerd.’ Photo courtesy Albany Times Union

The Theater Barn to present ‘The Nerd’

New Lebanon, N.Y. — The Theater Barn will present “The Nerd” by Larry Shue Thursday, June 22, through Sunday, July 1.

“The Nerd” is a play about the hilarious dilemma of a young architect who is visited by a man he’s never met, who just happened to have saved his life in Vietnam. The visitor turns out to be an incredibly inept, hopelessly stupid “nerd” who outstays his welcome with a vengeance.

Tickets are $29. A portion of ticket proceeds from the 4 p.m. performance of “The Nerd” Saturday, June 23, will benefit Columbia County Habitat for Humanity’s WomenBuild New Lebanon program. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Theater Barn at (518) 794-8989.


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Music at the Southfield Church to present viola da gambist Sarah Cunningham

Sarah Cunningham. Photo courtesy Music at the Southfield Church

Southfield — Music at the Southfield Church will present viola da gambist Sarah Cunningham Saturday, June 23, at 7 p.m. at the Southfield Church, 234 Norfolk Road. The program will feature solo works composed as early at 1585 and as late as present day, some of which will feature Cunningham on vocals.

Cunningham trained at Harvard University; the Longy School of Music; and the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, Netherlands. She was a co-founder of Trio Sonnerie, with whom she toured and recorded chamber music for violin and viol between 1982 and 1997. She was invited by Sir James Galway to collaborate on his CDs of Bach’s flute music and toured with him in Europe and the U.S. Her solo CDs were released on ASV and EMI/Virgin Classics, and she has appeared as recitalist from Helsinki to Vancouver. As a concert soloist, Cunningham has recorded works by Telemann with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Monica Huggett. She founded and directed the East Cork Early Music Festival in Ireland from 2003-09. Since 2010 she has been on the faculty of the Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program. A recording of J.S. Bach’s works for viola da gamba with harpsichordist Richard Egarr, which was recorded in the Southfield Church, will be released later this year.

The performance is free and open to the public; a retiring collection will be taken in support of the artist. A reception with refreshments will follow the program. For more information, call the Southfield Church at (413) 229-8109.


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