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Greylock Together

Women’s March Solidarity Event 1/20

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — On Saturday, January 20th from 1:00 p.m.–4: p.m., Indivisible Pittsfield will be hosting a “March into Action” Resource Fair and Community Forum at The Colonial Theatre, 111 South Street, Pittsfield Mass.

 

On the anniversary of the first Women’s March and in solidarity with the Women’s March 2018, Indivisible Pittsfield invites the public to join together in sharing our stories, re-affirming our community and preparing for action in 2018.

A resource fair with over 20 groups participating will be followed by brief spoken word performances, leading into a round-table discussion of ‘where do we go from here in the Berkshires’, featuring leaders of various social justice efforts and related organizations in the region.

Panelists will discuss the important issues facing our community in 2018, how we can build better partnerships to address these issues and how our community can help in the efforts.

 

The Panelists

The panel will include State Representative Paul Mark, Pittsfield City Councilor Helen Moon, Berkshire NAACP President Dennis Powell, Geraldine Shen from Greylock Together, and Kristen Van Ginhoven from WAM Theater, as well as representatives from the following organizations:

Berkshire Democratic Brigades, Berkshire Interfaith Organizing, Berkshire Immigrant Stories, Four Freedoms Coalition, Great Barrington Town Democratic Committee, Lift Every Vote, Pittsfield Area Council of Congregations, and the United American Muslim Association of the Berkshires

Spoken word performances will be shared by artists and representatives from WordXWord and WAM Theatre.

Drew Herzig, co-chair of Indivisible Pittsfield says, “From the Women’s March to the Women’s Convention to the rallies and stand-outs we have organized here in Pittsfield, we’ve seen how powerful we are when we gather together, share space and lift each other up. Across the country Women’s March Chapters are organizing exciting anniversary events throughout the anniversary weekend, from marches to legislative actions to community events to voter registration drives. We are proud to be hosting one in Pittsfield that brings together so many organizations dedicated to taking positive action.”

Join the thousands of women, femmes and allies who will be coming together across the country to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March and to launch the collective 2018 Women’s March agenda: #PowerToThePolls.

Doors will open at 1 pm. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact indivisiblepittsfield@gmail.com.

 

About Indivisible Pittsfield

Written by former congressional staffers, the 26-page Indivisible guide was originally distributed, via Twitter, as a Google Doc after the November 2016 Election. It went viral and its authors decided to formalize the document, making it freely available for download on its own website. Indivisible Chapters formed all over the nation, including the one here in Pittsfield.

Indivisible Pittsfield stands for an America that forwards the principles of human decency, respect, and community. Our diversity is our strength. We support activities related to embracing diversity, justice, and equality while combating racism, misogyny, homophobia/transphobia, and xenophobia in all its forms. Everyone is welcome to join us at our regular meetings. For more information, please write to indivisiblepittsfield@gmail.com

TLC #47: 1st Berkshire Primary Forum, Perpetual Foreigners, a Creative Consultation

We begin our show with Alexander Davis, who talks about the meetup with candidates for 1st Berkshires district state representative organized by Greylock Together. Julia Dixon discusses the state of the area’s creative economy and her new endeavor as a consultant who can help both artists and organizations with her experience and insights. We talked at length with Setsuko Winchester about the discussion, “Asian-Americans: No More Perpetual Foreigners,” as well the Yellow Bowl Project—her photo/ceramic response to the forced incarceration of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War II.

Setsuko Winchester’s Yellow Bowl Project is a powerful exploration of the unjust, destructive, and pointless incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II; photo by Setsuko Winchester.

 

Greylock Together gives the public a chance to hear from the four Democratic candidates vying for the chance to face off against C

 

Meet Your 1st Berkshire Candidates
Sunday, September 10; 3:00–4:30 p.m.
Williamstown Youth Center
66 School Street, Williamstown, Mass.

 

Alexander Davis discusses the upcoming 1st District state representative candidate forum; submitted photo.
Alexander Davis discusses the upcoming 1st District state representative candidate forum; submitted photo.

Activist group Greylock Together has invited the candidates for the vacant 1st Berkshire seat in the Massachusetts House to come and speak about their candidacy. Everyone is invited to join us and hear each candidate make a brief pitch about how they would be the best to serve. As of right now, we will hear from all four of the declared candidates: John Barrett III, Lisa Blackmer, Stephanie Bosley, and Kevin Towle.

The event will be broadcast on Willinet. We will have three babysitters available if you need someone to watch your mini-activists, too!

Greylock Together has been helping citizens in the region become more actively engaged in politics at the local, state, and national level since November, 2016.
Greylock Together has been helping citizens in the region become more actively engaged in politics at the local, state, and national level since November, 2016.

You can come prepared! Over the course of the past couple of months, Greylock Together has assembled a list of goals we wish to achieve on the local, state, and national level. Each goal is supported by a supermajority of our members. While some are not immediately actionable for a state representative, we still think it’s important that our representative shares our goals and values. We have sent out a survey based on these goals to each candidate. Read their responses now.

 

Alexander Davis is an English teacher and a political activist with Greylock Together. While he’s been a political obsessive for many years, he only really got involved after attending the Women’s March on Washington. Since then, he’s been trying to do what he can. Alexander lives in Williamstown, MA with his wife and baby daughter.

 

Julia Dixon — Creative Economy Specialist

We were really excited to speak with Julia again, especially upon learning that, as a consultant, she’ll be filling a key need in the region. Now, individuals and organizations can tap into all that she has learned about the cultural landscape in a direct, highly personalized fashion. Visit her website to learn more.

Artist and activist Julia Dixon has helped shape the robust creative economy of the Berkshires for nearly a decade; submitted photo.
Artist and activist Julia Dixon has helped shape the robust creative economy of the Berkshires for nearly a decade; submitted photo.

Julia Dixon is an artist, writer, arts administrator, community convener, and creative economy consultant. She is working as a freelance project manager as well as an economic and business consultant based at the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts in North Adams, Massachusetts, where she lives. Her previous full time positions include Managing Director of Berkshire Creative and Creative Economy Specialist at 1Berkshire. She is the founder and owner of BerkshireFlirt LLC, founder and host of “Creative City” on WMNB-LP 107.1FM, appointed co-founding member and chair of the North Adams Public Arts Commission, and volunteers as a student mentor. She received her BFA from Purchase College in 2005 and MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2014.

Julia sits on numerous community development and cultural committees. She is an appointed founding member and chair of the North Adams Public Arts Commission, member of the North Adams Exchange (NAX) steering group, member of MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center advisory board, and was a founding board member of the Makers’ Mill in North Adams. In addition, she is passionate about mentoring high school and college students. She co-taught MCLA’s fall 2016 design thinking capstone class Community Engagement in the Arts with department chair Lisa Donovan, Ph.D., and mentored students participating in MCLA’s inaugural Entrepreneurship & Innovation Challenge in 2017.

Julia is a 2017 honoree of Berkshire Community College’s 40 Under Forty awards, recipient of Americans for the Arts’ 2016 Annual Convention scholarship, and 2014 graduate of the Berkshire Leadership Program and former member of its steering committee.

 

 

Asian-Americans: No More Perpetual Foreigners

The first humans in North American came from the Asian land-mass. Yet somehow Asian-Americans can still be perceived as ‘foreign’. How many years, how many generations must pass before immigrants become ‘American’? Is there a double-standard? Do immigrants from European countries become accepted – and acceptable – sooner than immigrants from other parts of the globe? More laws have been passed in the United States attempting to restrict immigration from Asian countries than from any other part of the world. Japanese-Americans were the only US citizens collectively interned during World War II. And yet Asian-Americans are also paradoxically stereotyped as being a ‘model minority’. What does all this mean?

Join Helen Haerhan Moon, Deepika Shukla, Setsuko Winchester, and K. Scott Wong as they discuss what it means to be Asian-American in the USA and here in the Berkshires.

 

Yellow Bowl Project
Yellow Bowl Project; photo by Setsuko Winchester.

 

During the Second World War, the US Government opened ten concentration camps to incarcerate 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who had been forcibly removed from the West Coast.

Asian-Americans: No More Perpetual Foreigners
Presented by the City of Pittsfield’s Human Rights Commission
Sunday, September 10, 2017, 2:00–4:00 p.m.
Berkshire Museum
39 South Street, Pittsfield, Mass.
Free

 

Setsuko Winchester

(excerpted from submitted info and her project’s website.)

Setsuko Winchester will be part of the panel Asian Americans: No More Perpetual Foreigners at the Berkshire Museum, Saturday, September 10; photo by Simon-Winchester.
Setsuko Winchester, Artist/Ceramist/Photographer, will be part of the panel “Asian-Americans: No More Perpetual Foreigners” at the Berkshire Museum, Saturday, September 10; photo by Simon-Winchester.

 

Setsuko Sato Winchester is a former NPR journalist and ceramicist. Photographs of her Freedom From Fear/Yellow Bowl Project are currently on exhibit at the FDR Presidential Library & Museum in Hyde Park, New York, through December 31, 2017.

In 2015, I — an American-Japanese, former NPR journalist, ceramicist — began a journey to visit all the remains of these camps, most of them now desolate and lonely ruins. In my studio in Massachusetts I had hand-pinched and glazed 120 bright yellow tea bowls: yellow, to represent the “Yellow Peril,” as Asians were euphemistically referred to at the time, and tea bowls, to represent man’s humanity. My plan was to photograph arrangements of these bowls in each camp, to create a conceptual art project which I called the “Freedom From Fear/Yellow Bowl Project.” The intent of this project is to inform and educate. The hope is to diffuse fear, not spread it.

It was FDR who created the camps — the same FDR who had famously made the iconic Four Freedoms speech. My belief, after much research, is that “Japanese-Americans,” imprisoned in these ten camps wrongly and unjustly, were about as frightening as the tea bowls I planned to display. It is widely agreed today that there was absolutely nothing to fear from them. And it turns out — the irony at the center of my art project — that they had much to fear from the US Government. ​

Hence my project.

 

Helen Moon

Helen Moon is a critical care nurse at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington. While studying at UMass Boston, she worked and volunteered her time to community programing and advocacy groups affecting Black, Korean and Vietnamese Americans in the greater Boston region. Moon has lead summer camps for Somalian refugee children in Ethiopia, taught English to children in Mexico, served food to homeless veterans in Boston, and has had tea with Muslim women in Egypt. It is because of her love of people from all walks of life, and her continued pursuit of human rights, equal representation, and diversity that Moon is honored to engage in conversations that enrich our understanding of race relations here in Berkshire County.

Deepika Bains Shukla

Deepika Bains Shukla is an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts in Springfield. She prosecutes federal criminal cases involving fraud, public corruption, gun and drug crimes, terrorism, and civil rights crimes. Before coming to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Deepika was a Staff Attorney at the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, a litigator at a small civil rights firm, and an associate at a large law firm in New York.

Setsuko Winchester

Setsuko Winchester, born in New York City of Japanese immigrant parents, worked as a journalist, editor and producer at NPR’s Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation before moving to Western Massachusetts in 2006 to pursue a life-long interest in ceramics and the visual arts. In 2015 those interests of art and journalism converged in an online project called the Freedom From Fear/Yellow Bowl Project. Using her ceramics and photography, her work explores the concept of freedom and what it could mean to different groups at different times in American history through the lens of the mass incarceration of people of Japanese ethnicity in the United States during WWII. The actual tea bowls used in this project were selected by SculptureNow and are installed on the grounds of the Mount, the home of Edith Wharton in Lenox, MA (from June 1- Oct.31, 2017). You can find her website at: http://www.yellowbowlproject.com

K. Scott Wong

K. Scott Wong is the Charles R. Keller Professor of History at Williams College where he teaches a variety of courses in Asian American history, comparative immigration history, history and memory, and the history of race and ethnicity in American culture. He has written numerous articles in journals and anthologies. His most recent monograph is “Americans First”: Chinese Americans and the Second World War (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005.) He is also a former series editor for the Asian American History and Culture series published by Temple University Press.

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Densho

Densho’s mission is to preserve the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II before their memories are extinguished. We offer these irreplaceable firsthand accounts, coupled with historical images and teacher resources, to explore principles of democracy, and promote equal justice for all.

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TLC #46: Greylock Together Against Hate; Purple Dragon, Farm to Fork Fondo

Greylock Together “Stand Against Hate” brings hundreds to Field Park
Hundreds answered the call of Greylock Together to Stand Against Hate at Field Park, Williamstown the day after three died and 19 were wounded at a demonstration of white nationalists in Charlottesvill, VA; photo by Jason Velázquez
Hundreds answered the call of Greylock Together to Stand Against Hate at Field Park, Williamstown the day after three died and 19 were wounded at a demonstration of white nationalists in Charlottesville, VA; photo by Jason Velázquez

In this episode, we heard from some of the hundreds of people who took part in the Stand Against Hate organized by Greylock Together after the Charlottesville, VA tragedy.

We toured the new Spring Street, Williamstown shop, Purple Dragon Games., founded by Nico White.

And we had a great conversation with Tyler Wren, founder of the Farm to Fork Fondo, bringing cyclists into a closer connection with local food.

And we get an exclusive first listen to “Close to the Edge,” by our good friends the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow.

This episode is sponsored by The Hancock Shaker Village, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their beloved Country Fair. And by Headwater Cider, a local orchard and mill that believes hard cider is best when you grow what you press, and press you grow.

We also heard a snatch of “Descendants,” performed by the Rob Piltch Trio on the amazing 2016 Jazz release, Portraits in Jazz: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery, sent to us by someone connected to Ed Bickert, though we are not really clear who. We’ll be playing more from this release as we can.

Greylock Together Responds to Charlottesville, VA attack

 

People of all ages, including a good number of creative children, joined the Williamstown happening August 14, 2017; photo by Jason Velázquez
People of all ages, including a good number of creative children, joined the Williamstown happening August 13, 2017; photo by Jason Velázquez

Today is Thursday, August 24, 2017, and this is Episode number 46. In the immediate aftermath of the August 12th tragedy in Charlottesville, VA, local activist group Greylock Together summoned hundreds of local residents, as well as some visitors, to Field Park in Williamstown for an observance of death of longtime social justice advocate Heather Heyer and a show of solidarity against hatred and violence. Today we here some of the voices who were present that day, calling for change.

We also speak with well-known cyclist Tyler Wren, founder of the Farm to Fork Fondo, which connects athletics and local agriculture where the rubber really does meet the road.

And we profile new local Williamstown business owned by Nico White, Purple Dragon Games, a Spring Street shop that creates a social epicenter for a community of gamers who roll old-school.

First though a Greylock Glass exclusive. Americana and Bluegrass powerhouse the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow are letting us share a tune from their as-yet-unreleased EP due out in September.

The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow will be performing September 24 at the Hancock Shaker Village's 20th annual Country Fair; submitted photo.
The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow will be performing September 24 at the Hancock Shaker Village’s 20th annual Country Fair; submitted photo.

And I’m guessing they’ll be performing this deeply moving track, “Close to the Edge,” which they’ve asked me to share with you right here on the Top Left Corner.

We’ve got a link to the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow’s website in the shownotes, and I really want you to make contact with them there, and sign up for their occasional newsletter, so that you can be the first to find out as soon as that EP drops next month.

Let’s go now to Field Park in Williamstown, August 12th and hear some of what was on the minds and in the hearts of those who gathered to Stand Against Hate. We ran first into frequent guest of various GG shows, artist, musician, promoter and activist Karl Mullen.

Geraldine Shen, who directs Greylock Together, explained why there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation on the group’s part to call people to Stand Against Hate.

Wendy Penner has been with Greylock Together since its origin back in November, and talked about the need for local responses to events tied into national conflicts.

Purple Dragon Games Events:
Wednesday: Magic Standard Constructed, $5 entry, Round 1 begins 6:00 p.m.
Thursday: Open Board Games, free entry, begins 6:00 p.m.
Friday: Friday Night Magic Booster Draft, $15, begins 6:30 p.m.
Sunday: D&D, $2 entry, 2:00pm

Nico White is on a quest to outfit North County gamers with games and gear as he nurtures a growing tabletop community; photo by Jason Velázquez.
Nico White is on a quest to outfit North County gamers with games and gear as he nurtures a growing tabletop community; photo by Jason Velázquez.

Laura Savia, Associate Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival was just hours away from debuting this year’s community theatre production of “Once Upon a Time in the Berkshires” when she decided to offer the cast and crew a chance to participate in the demonstration. The sold-out show was, in fact, heartbreakingly aligned with the clash in Charlottesville that led to three deaths and injuries to 19 others.

Writer, editor, retired English professor, and general member of the local literati, Tela Zasloff was thoughful in her estimation of the manner in which Trumpism can be countered and the role of journalists in a political landscape that has grown increasingly hostile to the press.

 

Purple Dragon Games is open on Spring Street in Williamstown; submitted image.
Purple Dragon Games is open on Spring Street in Williamstown; submitted image.

Nico White, a Williams alum who also grew up in town, returned to pursue a passion he indulged in between study sessions at school—tabletop gaming. And he’s taken it pro right on Spring Street with the launch of Purple Dragon Games.

For anyone who’s spent any touring around on a bicycle, the fresh air and pastoral views in farm country are among some of the most delicious experiences you can have on two wheels. Tyler Wren, founder of Farm to Fork Fondo takes pedalers out of the breakdown lane and into the barnyard to sample some of the scenery they could once only enjoy with their eyes.

The Maine Farm to Fork Fondo took place on Sunday august 27, 2017; photo courtesy Farm to Fork Fondo.
The Maine Farm to Fork Fondo took place on Sunday august 27, 2017; photo courtesy Farm to Fork Fondo.

 

More information about the Farm to Fork Fondo can be found at their website, and of course, you can find the links in the shownotes. Looks like it’s going to be a helluva weekend, now matter how you get involved.

Well, that’s our show for this week. This has been Jason Velazquez, your host, writer, editor, web admin, and chief bottle washer here at the Greylock Glass. We’ve got a little time left over here at the end, so I think I’ll let Charlie Parr take us home with the title track of his 2015 release, Stumpjumper, since Tyler started off our conversation talking about mountain biking. Have a great week and check back again soon.

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