Nasty Women art exhibit; March for Science; Cornell Williams Brooks at Simon’s Rock; Unity in Diversity; refugee crisis film, talk; BIO Spring Action

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By Thursday, Apr 20 We the People
Berkshire Nasty Women art exhibition and fundraiser

IMG_0014Pittsfield — Berkshire Nasty Women Art Exhibition and Fundraiser is having an opening reception on Friday, May 5, 2017 from 7-9 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. This Art Exhibition will feature the work of national and local artists. Berkshire Nasty Women Art is donating 100 percent of the proceeds raised from the show to either the ACLU or the League of Women Voters, depending on the art buyer’s choice. The art will be on view at the Colonial from May 4-14, 2017.

In solidarity with the national Nasty Women’s Art Movement, we are holding this opening as a guest presentation at the Colonial Theatre. The Nasty Women Art Movement is a global art movement that demonstrates strength and unity among artists in the face of threats against equality. There are currently over 40 Nasty Women Art exhibitions happening throughout the world, supporting organizations that defend our individual rights.

You can learn more about Berkshire Nasty Women Art at

Never Underestimate The Power of Art.

 — D.S.

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River Walk to host March for Science

The W. E. B. Du Bois memorial stone at the Great Barrington River Walk.

The W. E. B. Du Bois memorial stone at the Great Barrington River Walk.

Great Barrington — In solidarity with the national March for Science in Washington, D.C, the Great Barrington River Walk will host a sister march on Saturday, April 22, at 11 a.m. The event will begin at 10 a.m. with an art station at the W. E. B. Du Bois River Park at River and Church streets that will provide supplies for the creation of signs and banners to celebrate connection to the natural sciences. The march will begin at 11 a.m. at the park, proceed along Main Street to River Walk’s Main Street entrance upstream, and return to the starting point by following the River Walk trail along the Housatonic River. The event is family-friendly and all are welcome. Registration is suggested though not required for participation. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Rachel Fletcher at (413) 528-3391 or


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NAACP president Cornell Williams Brooks to speak at Simon’s Rock

Cornell William Brooks. Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post

Cornell William Brooks. Photo: Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post

Great Barrington — Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP, will deliver the 21st annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture at Bard College at Simon’s Rock on Wednesday, April 26, at 7 p.m. in the Daniel Arts Center.

The annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture at Simon’s Rock celebrates the legacy of Great Barrington native, civil rights activist and NAACP founding member W.E.B. Du Bois. The lecture will be presented in partnership with NAACP – Berkshire County Branch.

Since assuming the role of president in 2014, Brooks—a civil rights attorney, social justice advocate, fourth-generation ordained minister and coalition builder—has led the association in its fight for equality for all American citizens. Last spring, the NAACP, Greenpeace and the Communications Workers of America organized and led the march at Democracy Awakening, a weekend of workshops, rallies, speeches and demonstrations that the Nation called “The Most Important Protest of the 2016 Election.” Brooks continued to make news defending the NAACP’s moratorium on charter schools, getting arrested protesting Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general, and decrying evidence of a resurgence of KKK activity in the present political climate. Two months after his arrest outside Sessions’ office, Brooks and Sessions met to discuss voting rights, voter suppression, police misconduct and civil rights.

For more information, contact Simon’s Rock at (413) 644-4400 or


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Berkshire Museum to offer ‘Unity in Diversity’

event-1490975644Pittsfield — A showing of the documentary film “Salam Neighbor,” depicting life in a Syrian refugee camp, is the centerpiece of “Unity in Diversity,” an event organized by Community Access to the Arts founder Sandra Newman in collaboration with the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Berkshire International Film Festival director Kelley Vickery. The screening, which will be followed by a reception and discussion, will take place on Saturday, April 22, at 5 p.m. at the Berkshire Museum.

The brief panel discussion after the film will be led by Sherwood Guernsey, a Four Freedoms Coalition founder and the outreach chair for the First Congregational Church of Williamstown, and will feature voices from diverse backgrounds. The reception will include hors d’oeuvres, wine and desserts from Berkshire restaurant owners and chefs, many of whom are immigrants from countries all over the world.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public. For more information, call the museum at (413) 443-7171.


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Williams College to host film, talk on refugee crisis

11205023_979029632136796_8689259520701335770_nWilliamstown — Williams College will host a film screening and discussion about the refugee crisis, contemporary American politics and the work of the International Rescue Committee on Thursday, April 27, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Paresky Auditorium. Filmmaker Renee Silverman will present her film “Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes on the World” and then give a short presentation, which will be followed by a talk by Gerrard Khan, director of U.S. programs at IRC. Khan will discuss the refugee crisis, contemporary American politics and the work of his organization.

Silverman, the film’s co-director and producer, is a news and documentary filmmaker whose work has been distributed theatrically and broadcast on major networks including PBS in the U.S., German public television networks, and the BBC in the U.K. She has produced hundreds of reports, including an award winning three-part feature series on global warming in Alaska for German NOVA. She collaborated with Peter Miller on “Sosua: Make a Better World,” which was broadcast on PBS affiliates across America, and has also written, produced and directed the two short dramatic films “Other Islands” and “Deep Water.”

After graduating with a degree in history and English from Williams in 1993, Khan studied at the Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy before assuming various positions with the IRC. He has been posted around the world, working with refugee programs in a number of crisis zones.

The event is free and open to the public. For building locations on the Williams campus, consult the online map or call the Office of Communications at (413) 597-4277.


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BIO to hold Spring Action

Pittsfield — On Sunday, April 30, from 4 to 6 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Berkshire Interfaith Organizing will hold its Spring Action to share the community’s priorities with public officials and seek commitment to advance them at the state and local levels. The meeting will be led by clergy and lay leaders from BIO’s 17 member groups. Berkshire County’s full state legislative delegation including Sen. Adam Hinds and Reps. Gailanne Cariddi, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Paul Mark and William “Smitty” Pignatelli have committed to attend.

BIO leaders will present local campaigns and an advocacy platform that grew out of conversations and relationship-building in its member organizations, including actions related to food insecurity, transportation, housing and support for immigrants. Legislators will have an opportunity to respond to stories shared by leaders directly affected by the issues and commit to specific actions in support of the priorities. Specific commitments include working together to:

  • Ensure the release of bond funding for the Massachusetts Food Trust, which was established to provide creative financing options for the launch and expansion of businesses offering affordable healthy food in food deserts.
  • Support passage of the Safe Communities Act, which would ensure that local and state police resources remain focused on local and state priorities and not on the enforcement of federal immigration law, and work to support the passage of local versions of the act within their districts.

For more information, contact BIO lead organizer Wendy Krom at (413) 464-1804 or


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