Through the ancient art of book-binding, Great Barrington artist Suzi Banks Baum teaches Armenian women to express themselves

t the end of the day, this is what Baum is inching these women toward: to stand in their Armenian-ness, to look at their neighbor as a safe person, and to recognize that in this practice — as a fellow artisan in this community — they can ask one another for help and feel part of something together.

EDGE WISE: Perilous times for humankind

Disasters make us wake up and realize all over again how precious life is, and how important health and security are to human happiness. Even here in the placid Berkshires, we need to think about disaster prevention and preparedness. No, we don’t live in an earthquake zone, and no, I don’t see any riots on the horizon in quiet little Great Barrington. But there are some big issues brewing that we do need to be paying attention to now, before they become runaway disasters.

Berkshire-based relief efforts seek donations to aid stricken Nepal

There are two organizations with roots right here in the Berkshires that already have boots on the ground in Nepal and are up and running, hard at work with crucial relief efforts.
For those who would like their donation to have a direct effect rather than be swallowed up in one of the giant relief funds, please consider donating to these two local organizations
“Kathmandu is in chaos. The aftershocks are powerful and continuous and people are living in the streets because they are afraid to go back into their houses, even if there has been no damage. Some of the major charitable organizations are calling us, asking if we can help because they are not yet here and are not set up. Our people have been working around the clock and we are doing all we can, but the task is enormous.”
— Anya Cherneff, founder of Empower Generation, aiding recovery efforts in Nepal, and daughter of Hester Velmans and Peter Cherneff of Sheffield