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July 2017

Will Call Episode #58: Bang on a Can, Story Slam & DownStreet Art

Spirit and Song tie both this episode and much of the creative community.

Anna & Elizabeth appear at Hancock Shaker Village 7/26; photo by Brett Winter Lemon
Anna & Elizabeth appear at Hancock Shaker Village 7/26; photo by Brett Winter Lemon

 

This is Will Call, #58—I’m your host, Jason Velazquez, and I thank you for tuning in. This episode is sponsored by the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which presents the brand new musical, “A Legendary Romance,” August 3rd through the 20th on the Main Stage. Tickets available at wtfestival.org.

I don’t always know what thread that runs through each episode will be when I start planning, but by the time I start weaving together story, song, images, and information, the pattern always emerges.

Art and Soul

The Clark Art Institute, in conjunction with Pastor Mark Longhurst of the First Congregational Church of Williamstown, presents StorySLAM on Friday, July 28. The event, free and open to the public, celebrates the Clark’s exhibition, As In Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings open July 1- September 24, 2017. The luminous, large-scale canvases in the exhibition emphasize nature as the artist’s long-standing inspiration. Members of the Williamstown community and beyond are invited to hear and tell stories that center around the theme of nature. Have you ever had a profound or unexpected experience in nature? How has the natural world opened your eyes or changed your perspective? StorySLAM is hosted on the Moltz Terrace at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill which offers extraordinary views of the Berkshires and the Green Mountains. On the evening of the event, names of those interested in sharing stories are chosen at random, and those selected are invited to tell a five-minute story. A panel of judges provides feedback and prizes are awarded. The rules: Live. True. First person. No notes. No net.
The Clark Art Institute, in conjunction with Pastor Mark Longhurst of the First Congregational Church of Williamstown, presents StorySLAM on Friday, July 28.

This week, the magnifying power of community on creative expression revealed itself as our theme. We speak with Rev. Mark Longhurst of the First Congregational Church of Williamstown both about the seasonal “Art and Soul” series of sermons going on now, as well as the upcoming Story Slam taking place at the Clark Art Institute. “Art & Soul” examines the intriguing intersection of creativity and spirit. This week, Mark recommends taking in the July 26th appearance of Anna & Elizabeth at the Hancock Shaker Village in preparation for his sermon, “Spirit and Song” which will feature local favorite performing and recording duo, Long Journey. In between, Mark emcees an annual Story Slam taking place at the Clark Art Institute, who’s theme of Nature fits divinely with two Helen Frankenthaler exhibits now on view at the Clark.

We also connected with Philippa Thompson via Skype in this episode to catch up with Bang on a Can, whose summer festival is going on now at MASS MoCA. Philippa describes how new interactions among an international collection of musicians breathe life and innovation into a curious species of musical organization now in its 30th year.

Finally we welcome back one the Greylock Glass’ oldest friends, Michelle Daly. She also spoke via Skype to give us an overview of this year’s DownStreet Art celebration, and talks a little bit about her new role as director of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

First though, let’s get in the spirit of things with a bit of song—From Anna & Elizabeth’s self-titled 2015 release, here is “Poor Pilgrim of Sorrow” right now on Will Call.

Rev. Mark Longhurst of the First Congregational Church in Williamstown will emcee the StorySlam at the Clark July 28; photo courtesy Rev. Mark Longhurst
Rev. Mark Longhurst of the First Congregational Church in Williamstown will emcee the StorySlam at the Clark July 28; photo courtesy Rev. Mark Longhurst

That was another one, “Troubles,” from Anna & Elizabeth’s debut album. Anna & Elizabeth are playing Wednesday, July 26, at the Hancock Shaker Village as part of the Barn Music Summer Series, which launched this year. Rev. Longhurst discusses the work of Anna & Elizabeth and other artists in “Spirit and Song,” the next installment of the “Art and Soul” series of summer sermons exploring the creative landscape of the Berkshires through Scripture. Service begins Sunday at 10 a.m. All are welcome. The Story Slam happens at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown Friday, July 28th at 7:00 p.m. The event is free, and would make a great pairing with the Helen Frankenthaler, open to members and the public at regular admission prices.

Bang on a Can

Ashley Bathgate performs the work of 2007 Festival alum Kate Moore; photo by W.S. Melnick.
Ashley Bathgate performs the work of 2007 Festival alum Kate Moore; photo by W.S. Melnick.

Now, on to discussion of a music event which is not new, but is, in fact, like a familiar bird that makes its home ever so briefly at MASS MoCA each Summer. Our guest is Philippa Thompson, program manager for Bang on a Can, who gives us an inside look into some of what makes this celebration of new composition so enduring.

16Th Annual Bang On A Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA
July 19 – August 5, 2017

• Daily Recitals in the Galleries at 4:30pm including
Ghanian Drumming, Latin Music, and much more
• The Bang on a Can All-Stars preview ROAD TRIP by
Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe
• Mark Stewart and festival fellows perform on hundreds
of spectacular original instruments of Gunnar
Schonbeck
• World Premiere Composer Concert – Over 40 young
composers and performers from around the world
debut nine new works written especially for the festival.
• A tribute concert to Pauline Oliveros
• Music from Central Asia – musicians from Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan
• Festival fellows perform Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 3
• Concert celebrating guest composer George Lewis
• Concert celebrating guest composer Louis Andriessen
• 6-hour Bang on a Can Marathon featuring music by Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen, Jeffrey Brooks,
Michael Gordon, David Lang, Vanessa Lann, György Ligeti, Nicole Lizée, Julia Wolfe and more

An astounding diversity of musical perspectives and geographic origins adds texture through powerful collaborations, such as that between Australian composer Kate Moore and Bang on a Can All-Stars cellist Ashley Bathgate. The two met in 2009 and have worked together on various projects including Moore’s debut with Cantalope Music and 2016’s Stories for Ocean Shells, to which this song, “Velvet,” belongs.

In a 2015 Will Call video special presentation, Bang on a Can Program Manager Philippa Thompson discusses what makes the atmosphere of the Summer Festival so conducive to creativity; video capture by Jason Velázquez.
In a 2015 Will Call video special presentation, Bang on a Can Program Manager Philippa Thompson discusses what makes the atmosphere of the Summer Festival so conducive to creativity; video capture by Jason Velázquez.

And that was “Thorn,” composed by David Lang and performed by Molly Barth. Check the shownotes for information about where to go to make the music you hear on this episode your very own. You can also find links to Bang on a Can and MASS MoCA which has a full slate of events lined up for the entire season.

DownStreet Art

DownStreet Art, a production of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, continues with more music, more interactivity, and more, uhhh...art than ever,
DownStreet Art, a production of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, continues with more music, more interactivity, and more, uhhh…art than ever,

Well THIS season would certainly not be complete unless we checked in with Michelle Daly of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center at MCLA. DownStreet Art is among the region’s premier events and just about the best excuse to shut down Downtown for a few hours.

Michelle Daly, now the Director of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, explains some of the changes to this years festivities; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Michelle Daly, now the Director of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, explains some of the changes to this years festivities; photo by Jason Velázquez.

I feel like we barely tread couple yards of all the ground I wished I could cover with Michelle. Alas! But, as always, links to DownStreet Art and the BCRC are in the shownotes, so you can explore on your own. Just don’t forget to find your way to downtown North Adams this Thursday.

Well, I don’t always time it this well, but it looks like we do, in fact, have a little space here at the end of the episode to play a song we haven’t featured on any of our shows yet, and that’s “Rescue Me,” by Long Journey, the beloved Berkshires duo comprised of Karl Mullen and Amrita Lash. They’ll be providing some of the “song” portion of the “Spirit and Song” community worship service this Sunday at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown.

Again I want to thank our sponsor for this episode, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, and encourage all of our listeners who are as crazy about musicals as we are to make haste to wtfestival.org to pick up tickets for A Legendary Romance, playing on the Main Stage August 3rd through August 20th. That’s our show for the week, I’ve been your host, Jason Velazquez, and I hope you’ll join me again for another episode of Will Call.

Long Journey will provide some of the song in the "Spirit and Song" installment of the Art and Soul community worship series at the First Congregational Church of Williamstown on July 30th at 10 a.m.
Long Journey will provide some of the song in the “Spirit and Song” installment of the Art and Soul community worship series at the First Congregational Church of Williamstown on July 30th at 10 a.m.

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Will Call Episode #57: Stacy Schiff — The Witches: Salem 1692

(from released information)

HANCOCK, Mass.—A native of Adams who majored in art history at Williams College, Stacy Schiff is a best-selling Pulitzer-prize winning author – most recently of The Witches: Salem 1692 – who will discuss the intersection of politics and hysteria at Hancock Shaker Village on Friday, July 14, 2017.

Composite image created from cover of The Witches: Salem 1692 and "Witches flying on broomsticks," from The history of witches and wizards," 1720; Wellcome Library, London; CC BY 4.0
Composite image of cover for The Witches: Salem 1692 and “Witches flying on broomsticks,” from The history of witches and wizards,” 1720; Wellcome Library, London; CC BY 4.0

 

”The hottest biographer on the block,” according to Vanity Fair, Schiff is the author of numerous biographies, as well as essays and articles have appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Times, and The New York Review of Books. Schiff won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Vera, a biography of Vera Nabokov, wife and muse of Vladimir Nabokov, and her Cleopatra was #1 on The New York Times bestseller list. She was also a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for Saint-Exupéry: A Biography of Antoine de Saint Exupéry.  “With The Witches Schiff is at her best,” continued Vanity Fair, “infusing a historical event with as much life, mystey, and tragedy of any novelist.”

Stacy Schiff; photo by Elena Seibert.
Stacy Schiff; photo by Elena Seibert.

 

“She’s perhaps the most seductive writer of nonfiction prose in America in our time,” said novelist Brad Gooch.

“Settlements were isolated and lit with only smoky fires, which fed vivid imagination. New Englanders lived very much in the dark, where one listens more acutely, feels most passionately, and imagines most vividly, where the sacred and the occult thrive,” writes Schiff.   The Witches entailed voluminous research, and Schiff conjures up late-17th-century New England with gripping detail.

Come be seduced.   Meet the bestselling author over dinner, when she talks about the witch trials: what we know, what we think we know, and what we indeed should know.

The evening includes a seasonal, neighborhood sourced, three-course dinner prepared by noted regional chef Brian Alberg, wine, and a copy of the author’s book.

The Salem Witch Trials, by Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Salem Witch Trials, by Unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Tickets:

Dinner with Stacy Schiff is part of a series of important authors talking about far-ranging subjects of relevance today.  Far ahead of their time, the Shakers addressed issues as far ranging as gender equality, sustainability, land renewal, racial equality, pacifism, and shared economies decades before fashionable, let alone there being a vocabulary to address such subjects. Hancock Shaker Village’s Food for Thought is a monthly dinner series with today’s best thinkers, who address topics of relevance to our world today.  The series is sponsored by October Mountain Financial Advisors.

The next Food for Thought dinner in the series is Friday, August 11 with Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The New York Times bestseller The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.

But don’t listen to us…Here’s what the critics say:

“An oppressive, forensic, psychological thriller: J. K. Rowling meets Antony Beevor, Stephen King, and Marina Warner… Schiff’s writing is to die for.” The Times (London)

“Schiff excels at finding fresh angles on familiar stories, carries out massive research and then weaves it into a dazzling social panorama.”  Elaine Showalter, The Washington Post

“She writes with such spirit and agility that to read her books is something like watching a great dancer. To say that her latest book is fascinating and insightful is hardly sufficient. It’s brilliant from start to finish.” David McCullough, Favorite Reads of 2015

“Eerie and engrossing. Schiff is a proven spellbinder.” Maureen Corrigan, NPR

“In this beautiful retelling of one of our ugliest tales, Schiff describes the sheer strangeness of the trials and the society from which they spring.” Boston Globe, Best Nonfiction Books of 2015

ABOUT HANCOCK VILLAGE

Home to the Shakers for more than 220 years, Hancock Shaker Village is now an outdoor history museum dedicated to preserving the Shaker legacy and making that story relevant and illuminating for today’s visitors. Situated on 750 acres of picturesque farm, field, and woodland in the bucolic Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Village consists of 20 historic buildings, a working farm and heirloom gardens, and a premier collection of 22,000 authentic Shaker artifacts.

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Will Call Episode #57: Western Centuries

(from supplied release)

HANCOCK, Mass.—Blend a country band with early R&B, throw in a hefty amount of vocal harmonies and witty one-liners, and rock out like The Band. That’s what you’ll get Thursday, July 13, when roots music maverick Western Centuries takes the 1910 hayloft stage at Hancock Shaker Village. With upbeat, bar room dance numbers, lilting, soulful tunes of heartbreak, and everything in between, the band is as tight they come.

Western Centuries; photo by Brooke Warren.
Western Centuries; photo by Brooke Warren.

 

 

Comprised of Seattle-based country musician Cahalen Morrison, jam band veteran Jim Miller (co-founder of Donna the Buffalo), R&B and bluegrass-by-the-way-of-punk rock songwriter Ethan Lawton, pedal steel player Rusty Blake, and bassist Dan Lowinger, Western Centuries is clearly a diverse bunch. The band is collaborative in nature, but they are – albeit subtly – helmed by Morrison. After years of performing in prominent roots duo Cahalen Morrison & Eli West (whose music made fans of Tim O’Brien, Jim Lauderdale, Dirk Powell, and BBC Radio’s Bob Harris along the way), Morrison formed and led the band Country Hammer, made up of members who have mostly crossed over into Western Centuries.

“If you enjoy country, honky-tonk music with hard floor dancing with scuffed boots on a Friday night, corn liquor, hand-rolled cigars with barbeque pork and beans on tin plates – take a deep breath – Western Centuries is salvation,” says No Depression.

Hancock Shaker Village is committed to highlighting national acts and local talent.  Opening the evening is Pittsfield, MA, native and regional favorite Wes Buckley, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose seven releases speak of love, quests, and sometimes even the economy. His grandfather snuck on stage to perform tenor sax with Stan Kenton and his father was momentarily a guitarist in Jefferson Starship – talk about shoes to fill.

The concert is in a barn…literally.  Until June, it stored hay.  At last weekend’s performance, guests lolling around the fence waiting for Woodie Guthrie’s granddaughter to take the stage were startled to see a fox sneak into the barnyard nearby where chickens were ignoring the warm-up band and apparently the fox.  The fox won.

Everyone knows the Round Stone Barn, built in 1826 with stones quarried from the site and now an icon on the National Historic Register, but few know the 1910 barn tucked behind.  On a knoll overlooking the hills of Richmond, the post-and-beam structure was the site of a cow barn that burned in 1879.  The Shakers rebuilt immediately – the barn where the music takes place was built in 1880 with a commodious root cellar and an expansive loft.  On August 2, 1910 the barn was struck by lightning, and burned down.  It was full of hay and wagons, and the loss was estimated at $6,000.  Fortunately (and amazing for 1910) the building was insured, and the Shakers built a new barn immediately – the 1910 Barn, which still uses the stone foundations laid in 1880.  Its architecture has close ties to a church, with the points of visual affinity being the lofty peak, which happens to provide ideal acoustics.  Come hear for yourself.

Shaker Barn Music series, which runs through September (when we need the barn to store hay again), features American roots music that incorporates elements of various styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it draws.  The series is curated by Karl Mullen who has run legendary music venues for 30+ years including World Cafe Live in Philadelphia and Club Cafe, Rosebud, and Metropol in Pittsburgh.

All performances in the Shaker Barn Music series take place in the hayloft of the 1910 Barn. The July 13 concert begins at 7pm. Doors and the Barn Bar open at 6pm. Seeds Market Cafe at Hancock Shaker Village serves dinner before every show. The cafe’s fresh-picked menu items celebrate Shaker-inspired, neighborhood-sourced food, prepared by regional farm-to-table chef Brian Alberg. His menu highlights produce from the museum’s gardens just steps away, which have been continuously cultivated using practices of the original Shakers, including an all-natural approach to fertilizing and pestcontrol. Enjoy your supper in Seeds or grab a picnic and dine on the ample lawn space of Hancock Shaker Village.

Tickets are $15 ($20 day of).  For tickets or information call 413.443.0188 x115 orhttps://shop.hancockshakervillage.org/product-category/experiences/concerts/

Western Centuries debut release, Weight of the World.
Western Centuries debut release, Weight of the World.

The worn floor of an old honky­tonk is not usually a place you’d think of as welcoming to bold new experimentation. If you’ve got something new to say, you’d better say it in the form of a brisk two­step that keeps the dancers moving. So it’s doubly impressive that Seattle country band Western Centuries is able to meld wildly disparate influences into an original honky­tonk sound that won’t make dancers miss a step. Formed originally under the name Country Hammer by Americana songwriter Cahalen Morrison, known for his innovative work as an acoustic duo with Eli WestWestern Centuries revolves around three principal songwriters–MorrisonEthan Lawton, and Jim Miller–each with a totally different perspective. Here, Cahalen Morrison channels his New Mexico roots–he grew up exploring lost arroyos and playing drums in a conjunto band–into a kind of blood­red Western drawl. His songs are as influenced by cowboy poetry or his great­grandfather’s Scottish Gaelic poetry as much as his love of George JonesEthan Lawton came out of the rough, working­class streets of Seattle’s South end, working in hip­hop and punk before losing his heart to bluegrass. His bone­dry vocals meld intensely with the rocksteady back­beat of his country songs, born from his love of old Jamaican 45s mixed with early bluegrass. Jim Miller comes from the jamband circuit, where he ruled for decades as a founding member of the much­loved band Donna The Buffalo. Throughout, the dancefloor was his temple, and he cribbed ideas from Louisiana Zydeco all the way to the The BandWestern Centuries’ debut album, Weight of the World, released by Free Dirt Records on June 3, 2016, introduces a band of roots music mavericks bringing refreshingly new ideas to their country roots.

Produced by Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) and recorded in his Nashville studio, Weight of the World features powerful musicianship from all members, including special guests Rusty Blake (pedal steel), Rosie Newton (fiddle), and Dan Lowinger (bass). With songs that have been road-tested on actual dance floors throughout the Pacific Northwest, the bedrock of American honky-tonk on this album was hard­earned. The progressive, almost psychedelic nature of Weight of the World’s lyrics, however, infuses the 12­ track record with a distinctly modern sensibility. Sure, there’s plenty of country telecaster twang, but Western Centuries elevate these neo­traditional two­stepping tunes into transcendental, rootsy rock­‘n­roll­doused think­pieces. With each songwriter’s distinct approach, and the strict dictums of the dancefloor ruling the sound, Western Centuries deconstructs the world of country dance. But it’s also marked with a profound ingenuity – the type that feels instinctual rather than intentionally labored for, the kind that continues to flourish and snake into new realms as time wears on. This is just the beginning for Western Centuries, and it’s not likely their creative well is going to dry up any time soon.

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Will Call Episode #57.3: WordXWord / Lift Ev’ry Voice — until / UNTIL

until / UNTIL

WordXWord and Lift Ev’ry Voice collaborate in a poetic response to Nick Cave’s UNTIL

Nick Cave's "UNTIL" will be on display at MASS MoCA until September 4, 2017.
Nick Cave’s “UNTIL” will be on display at MASS MoCA until September 4, 2017.

 

Pittsfield, MA – WordXWord and the Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival have collaborated to invite poets to participate in a performance response to artist Nick Cave’s massive installation – UNTIL – at MASS MoCA on July 14 at 7:30P. The performance is free (does not require Museum admission fee) and is open to all.

“When Nick Cave conceived UNTIL, he intended it to be more than an exhibition; his vision was a space that would serve as a platform for dialogue and expression.”

until / UNTIL is both a collective response and a dialogue featuring spoken word artists whose work spans a wide range of poetic styles. Participating poets include Curtis Asch, Alex Hicks, Ashley Wonder, Donna Motta, Stan Spencer, Epiphany Thomas, Tristan Alston, Seth Brown, Mariah Barber, Elizag, and Kori Alston.

“Cave’s UNTIL addresses issues of gun violence, gun control policy, race relations, and gender politics in America today.”

Parents are cautioned that this program may contain material that raises more questions than it answers.

until / UNTIL
WordXWord and Lift Ev’ry Voice in poetic response to Nick Cave’s UNTIL
July 14, 7:30 p.m.
Mass MoCA, 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA
Free

For more information about WordXWord, visit WordXWordFestival.com. For more information about Lift Ev’ry Voice, visit LiftEvryVoice.org

Signature Events / Lift Ev’ry Voice 2017

June 16, 8P

Carl Hancock Rux

Mass MoCa, 1040 Mass Moca Way, North Adams, MA

MASS MoCA presents Carl Hancock Rux spoken word and poetry created in response to Nick Cave’s expansive installation UNTIL. [Tickets: MassMoca.org]

June 17, 1P

Workshop with Carl Hancock Rux

Mass MoCa, 1040 Mass Moca Way, North Adams, MA

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Mass MoCA present a poetry/spoken word workshop with Carl Hancock Rux. [Free. Pre registration required: LiftEvryVoice.org]

June 27 – 30

Camille A. Brown & Dancers Community Residency

Pittsfield, TBD

Jacob’s Pillow Dance presents a series of dance workshops and events for youth, teens, and adults with Camille A. Brown & Dancers. All experience levels welcome. [Free. JacobsPillow.org]

June 29, 3:30P

Camille A. Brown & Dancers Lecture Demonstration

Pittsfield, Location TBD

[Free. JacobsPillow.org]

July 14, 7:30P

until/UNTIL

Mass MoCA, 1040 Mass Moca Way, North Adams, MA

Lift Ev’ry Voice in collaboration with the WordXWord Festival presents a multi-generational cast of poet/performers who will share work created in response to Nick Cave’s UNTIL. [Free. WordXWordFestival.com]

July 22,  10A – 6P

The Gather-In

Durant Park, Columbus Ave, Pittsfield, MA

Sponsored by the Berkshire Branch of the NAACP, In celebration of community, the Gather-In features activities for all ages, including games for children, musical performances, dance, food, a variety of vendors and informational booths, and a spirited a basketball tournament. [Free. NAACPBerkshires.org]

August 5, 5-8P

Struttin’ with Wanda Houston

The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home, 2 Plunkett St, Lenox, MA

The Mount plays host to Lift Ev’ry Voice in a celebration of community with the Wanda Houston Band. Enjoy delicious food from the Terrace Café and Lucia’s Latin Kitchen, available for purchase, or bring your own picnic. [Free. EdithWharton.org]

August 12, All Day
Lift Ev’ry Voice Day at Jacob’s Pillow Dance

Jacob’s Pillow Dance, 358 George Carter Rd, Becket, MA

Jacob’s Pillow Dance invites the Lift Ev’ry Voice community to spend a day and enjoy all that the Pillow has to offre. The day’s activities include free and ticketed performances, tour of the historic grounds, the opportunity to observe classes, picnic and more. [Free and TIcketed Events. JacobsPillow.org]

August 20, 3P

Walkin’ with LEV

The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home, 2 Plunkett St, Lenox, MA

Enjoy the SculprtureNow exhibition at the Mount as never before when Lift Ev’ry Voice takes you for medley of music, dance and poetic responses to the grounds and sculpture. [Free. EdithWharton.org]

August 25, 1-4P

Beaded Hope

Mass MoCA, 1040 Mass Moca Way, North Adams, MA

In conjunction with Highland Free Day at Mass MoCA, Lift Ev’ry Voice presents a family-friendly beading making workshop with Marla Robertson. [Free.]

Schedule updates and additional events, including events presented by friends of the festival can be found on line at LiftEvryVoice.org.

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The history of the African-American community in the Berkshires stretches from the War of Independence, which dozens of blacks from this region fought in, to the present day’s diverse community, including the second African-American female astronaut, Stephanie Wilson. Famous Berkshire natives include such historic figures as the legendary writer and activist W.E.B DuBois; Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, the first American slave to successfully sue for her freedom; and the Reverend Samuel Harrison, who served as the chaplain to the legendary African-American 54th Regiment of western Massachusetts in the Civil War and successfully fought for and won equal pay for black soldiers. Lift Ev’ry Voice celebrates this rich tradition of the African-American community, arts and culture, history and heritage, while acknowledging the larger global context in which this community exists.

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Growl #2: Net Neutrality Ajitation (nsfw)

Graphic Composed of (left to right) Tubes, by glasseyes view (axel); cropped, resized; CC BY-SA 2.0 / Loading, courtesy Battle for the Net / Net Neutrality, courtesy Public Knowledge/
Graphic Composed of (left to right) Tubes, by glasseyes view (axel); cropped, resized; CC BY-SA 2.0 / Loading, courtesy Battle for the Net / Net Neutrality, courtesy Public Knowledge/

Normally, I’d write up a fairly lengthy summary of what you’re going to hear in this episode. Not a lot of point in that, honestly. The topic is net net neutrality—what it is, how it came to be under attack for a third time, and what the consequences are if the battle to defend it fails.

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