Monday, July 15, 2024

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Bits & Bytes: Lee Greener Gateway Cleanup; youth poetry festival finale; Bill and the Belles at Dewey Hall; ‘Straight Answers to Gay Questions;’ Emma Willmann at the Garage

The Outspoken poetry festival includes workshops, peer-led open mics and competitive poetry slams for youth ages 15–24, and the finale is a celebration that includes performances by the top finishers of the poetry slams and a feature set by poet Mariah Barber.

Greener Gateway Cleanup Day

Lee — In honor of Gov. Charlie Baker’s proclamation declaring the month of April 2017 as “Keep Massachusetts Beautiful Month,” the Greener Gateway Committee is sponsoring the second annual Lee Greener Gateway Cleanup on Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to noon as part of the statewide Great Massachusetts Litter Cleanup. The first annual town-wide cleanup removed more than 200 bags full of trash and recyclables from Lee’s roadsides and organizers are hoping to cover more of the town this year. Participants will meet at the gazebo near the post office, work in groups in designated areas of town, and return to the gazebo for a celebratory thank-you reception around 11:30 a.m. Volunteers are encouraged to bring work gloves and water and to wear sturdy boots or shoes and bright clothing and hats. The rain date is Saturday, May 6. For more information or to find out how to volunteer, contact committee co-chair Valerie Bluhm at valerie4748@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Outspoken youth poetry festival to offer public finale

Mariah Barber. Photo courtesy WordXWord
Mariah Barber. Photo courtesy WordXWord

Pittsfield — WordXWord’s second annual Outspoken youth poetry festival will offer its public finale performance at the Berkshire Museum, Sunday, April 30, at 2 p.m..

Outspoken includes workshops, peer-led open mics and competitive poetry slams for youth ages 15–24, and the finale is a celebration that includes performances by the top finishers of the poetry slams and a feature set by poet Mariah Barber, author of the newly released “Of Mics & Pens & Gods & Other College Courses” and is member of the Albany, New York-based Nitty Gritty Slam team. In addition to the finale, the public is welcome at the events that comprise the Outspoken poetry slam competition on Saturday, April 29, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at multiple venues.

The finale is free and open to the public. For more information, contact web@wxw365.org.

–E.E.

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Oldtone Productions to present Bill and the Belles

Sheffield — In a preview concert for the 2017 Oldtone Roots Music Festival, Oldtone Productions will present Bill and the Belles on Friday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Dewey Hall. Local favorites the Easy Ridin’ Papas will open the show.

From the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee, Bill and the Belles aims to further the musical traditions of their region. Lifelong musicians Kris Truelsen, Grace Van’t Hof, Kalia Yeagle and Karl Zerfas celebrate the diversity of country music from sentimental Southern ballads to the popular songs of Tin Pan Alley and regional fiddle breakdowns. The band continues to play alongside America’s top country and roots music artists as the resident band for the radio program Farm and Fun Time presented by the Birthplace of Country Music’s Radio Bristol.

Tickets are $20. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Beth Carlson at (413) 429-1176 or beth@oldtoneproductions.com.

–E.E.

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‘Straight Answers to Gay Questions’

Ed Sederbaum.
Ed Sederbaum.

Pittsfield — On Thursday, April 27, at 10:45 a.m., the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires will welcome Ed Sedarbaum, who founded Rainbow Seniors of Berkshire County in 2015 in order to foster a Berkshires community of LGBTQ seniors. He will present the free program “Straight Answers to Gay Questions” at Congregation Knesset Israel.

Sedarbaum’s talk will trace the social and emotional history of LGBTQ people who were born in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, a time when, he says, they never heard a positive word about themselves. His talk will illuminate the consequences for some LGBTQ elders, including a fear of going to authority figures for assistance. Sedarbaum hopes the audience will feel free enough to ask questions about LGBTQ people and their lives.

Sedarbaum, 71, of Williamstown, moved to the northern Berkshires in 2003 after a career in New York City as a caseworker, editor/writer and community organizer. He headed the New York State Hate Crimes Bill Coalition to fight for a hate crimes law, founded an LGBTQ senior center in Queens, and worked for the Anti-Defamation League in New York City where he focused on intergroup relations and public policy.

For more information, call the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires at (413) 442-4360 x10.

–E.E.

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Comedian Emma Willmann to perform at the Garage

Emma Willmann. Photo courtesy Berkshire Theatre Group
Emma Willmann. Photo courtesy Berkshire Theatre Group

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group will welcome comedian Emma Willmann to the Garage on Thursday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m.

In the past two years, Willmann was featured in Just for Laughs’ New Faces, named one of the “10 Funniest Women in New York” by Time Out New York, featured in Elle Magazine, performed at New York City’s Comedy Cellar, became a regular on SiriusXM’s Raw Dog, and appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. She will appear on a new Fuse TV show in October.

Tickets are $5. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Colonial ticket office at (413) 997-4444.

–E.E.

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