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Hancock Shaker Village

staring at the sun, Rafa Esparza

Detail: "Border Wash," by Rafa Esparza; a Mexican immigrant laborers sprayed with DDT at processing center in Hildago, Texas - After Leonard Nadel, 1956, 2019; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura.
Detail: "Border Wash," by Rafa Esparza; a Mexican immigrant laborer is sprayed with DDT at a processing center in Hildago, Texas - After Leonard Nadel, 1956, 2019; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura.

“My interest in browning the white cube — by building with adobe bricks, making brown bodies present — is a response to entering traditional art spaces and not seeing myself reflected. This has been the case not just physically, in terms of the whiteness of those spaces, but also in terms of the histories of art they uphold”

Rafa Esparza, ArtForum, November 21, 2017
Keep Reading

Festival: Shakerfest

A new kind of festival curated by Anna & Elizabeth

It’s not Coachella.

 

Imagine a day of music, ballads, storytelling, harmony workshops, and dance. A place where musicians blend with the audience. Where there’s no backstage. Where the green room is a vast field for picnicking.  Anna and Elizabeth are Appalachian singer/songwriters who nestle in the space between ancient ballads and new sounds, and  “are not only extraordinary musicians; they are also visual artists, historians, and storytellers” (No Depression) who have created a day of music with friends, including composer/cellist Paul Wiancko, experimental pedal steel luminary Susan Acorn,  and dancer Sandy Silva, whose body percussion techniques and contemporary movement stands out at the vanguard of contemporary artistry in traditional music and dance. Come for a heritage-inspired festival and stay for the close harmonies.

From food to free tours of ancient medicinal herb gardens, this festival offers numerous experiences to enjoy with the music. Afternoon harmony & dance workshops. An evening performance in the barn that combines traditional song and dance with new compositions, movement, and projections inspired by the Shakers who built the barn. Followed by a rollicking barn dance.

TICKETS:

WORKSHOPS only $25/Members $22.50

CONCERT and BARN DANCE $25 Advance/$30 Day of

BARN DANCE only $15 Advance/$20 Day of

ALL ACCESS $65 Advance/$70 Day of

“They brought many of us to tears with some of the most yearning harmonies we’d heard…If you never thought your tastes would lean to mountain music, take a deep breath and soak it all in.” NPR, Tiny Desk Concert

Music: The Autumn Defense and Heather Maloney

Longtime Wilco multi-instrumentalists John Stirratt and Pat Sansone have been playing together in their spare time as the American indie rock band The Autumn Defense ever since the idea struck them 18 years ago in New Orleans at the end of Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue sessions with Billy Bragg. Stirratt (formerly Uncle Tupelo) and Sansone take inspiration from the crisp season in the duo’s name, combining classic pop and rock sounds from ‘60s and ‘70s AM radio traditions with silk-soft country-folk. “In short: warming, gorgeous, delightful,” wroteRolling Stone of the duo’s second album, Circles.

Heather Maloney’s sound is timeless. The Northampton indie folk singer-songwriter has a distinctive, clear, and pure voice, and she uses it to tell down-to-earth tales in polished folk songs exploring themes of spirituality, transformation, and impermanence. According to Glide Magazine, Maloney’s “…sound will knock-you-to-your-knees.”

TICKETS: Advance $25/22.50 members; Day of $30/27 members

Doors open 7pm/Show 8pm

Music: Pi Power Trio

We’re heading to the Love Shack.  Pat Irwin, Sasha Dobson, and Daria Grace (Pi Power Trio) draw on the rich tradition of instrumental rock ‘n roll, then surprise you and blow it up.  Legendary rock critic Robert Palmer, writing in The New York Times, described Irwin as a “mercurial presence on the New York rock scene of the early ’80’s. The bands he helped found, The Raybeats and 8 Eyed Spy, resembled each other only in that both had an aversion to the predictable and ordinary.”

Irwin was a founding member of the seminal No Wave bands The Raybeats and 8 Eyed Spy and a long time member of the B-52s, joining the band in 1989 and helping to bring hits “Love Shack” and “Roam” to mass audiences around the world.  He’s also composed the music for hundreds of cartoons including “Rocko’s Modern Life” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” Sasha Dobson (who often opens for Willie Nelson) was a member of Puss ‘N Boots (with Norah Jones), whose record “Aquarius” was hailed by Magnet as “raw and compelling,” and whose “Into The Trees” was released in 2014 to wide acclaim.  Daria Grace has been singing and playing on the New York Scene for over 20 years, and has toured and recorded with avant-rockers God Is My Co-Pilot, pop-noir sextet Melomane, and Hawaiian swing quartet The Moonlighters. Her current band, the Pre-War Ponies, specialize in obscure tunes from the 20s and 30s. Their 2016 recording, “Get Out Under The Moon” was recently praised by the New York Daily Music Blog, “Grace is one of New York’s most distinctive and elegant singers…You’ll be missing out if you don’t own this album.”  You’ll be missing out if you don’t head to the barn.

TICKETS Advance $20/18 members; Day of $25/22.50 members

Doors open 6:30pm/Show 7:30pm

First-ever Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention with Bill & the Belles and Nils Fredland

The first-ever Northeast Fiddlers’ Conventionold-time is a musical gathering featuring workshops led by Bill & the Belles, Tara Linhardt, and Nils Fredland; image courtesy Hancock Shaker Village.
The first-ever Northeast Fiddlers’ Conventionold-time is a musical gathering featuring workshops led by Bill & the Belles, Tara Linhardt, and Nils Fredland; image courtesy Hancock Shaker Village.

 

Oldtone and Hancock Shaker Village present a traditionally inspired old-time music gathering featuring workshops led by Bill & the Belles, Tara Linhardt, and Nils Fredland, an open jam in the historic Round Stone Barn, a fiddle and banjo contest and more jamming. We’ll top off the night in the 1910 Barn with a square dance with live music from Bill and the Belles, one of the most popular roots bands on the scene today, called by Nils Fredland. Local food vendors and craft beer available all day.

10am Village opens
2-4pm Workshops
4-5pm Open Jam in the Round Stone Barn
5-7pm Fiddle & Banjo Contest
7-8pm Open Jam
8pm-midnight Square Dance with calling by Nils Fredland and music from Bill and the Belles

TLC #63—We catch up, then cross the line to cover the Poor People’s Campaign

Lt. Gov. candidate Quentin Palfrey, poet Clarrisa Sacherski, Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention, mystery author Chris Wondoloski, The Poor People’s Campaign

Welcome, Greylock Nation, to episode #63 of the Top Left Corner here at the Greylock Glass. We’ll hear more from Carrisa later in the show, and if you behave, I’ll even treat you to one of her recent poems she was kind enough to record and share with us.

A no-foolin'-around sized force of City of Albany and New York State Capitol police was on hand at the June 4 Poor People's Campaign event. Some twenty-seven arrests were made for trespassing and disturbing the peace; photo by Jason Velázquez.
A no-foolin’-around sized force of City of Albany and New York State Capitol police was on hand at the June 4 Poor People’s Campaign event. Some twenty-seven arrests were made for trespassing and disturbing the peace; photo by Jason Velázquez.

We have a pretty sizable show for you this week. Guests include candidate for Lt. Governor, Quentin Palfrey, Poetess Carissa Sacherski, author Chris Wondoloski, organizer of the first ever Northeast Fiddlers’ Convention Jim Wright, AND special coverage of the June 4 Poor People’s Campaign rally and action in Albany, including speaking with North County activists Sam Smith and Reverend Mark Longhurst, Poor People’s Campaign- NY organizer Barbara Smith, and Vocal-NY staff member G.G. Morgan. Keep Reading

Music: The Sweetback Sisters

This renegade retro band offers a modern take on country music, pushing their timely take on country’s golden age into more adventurous territory that includes blazing leads, charging rhythms, and playful lyrics.  Performing everywhere from A Prairie Home Companion to Mountain Stage, they are a sweet opener to our second year of Shaker Barn Music.  The Boston Globe’s James Reed writes, “…they have the perfect balance of sass, sincerity, and swing. And a good sense of humor, too.”

Gorgeous girl-on-girl harmonies over swell honky-tonk melodies…trust us: these guys are brilliant!” NBC New York

OPENING for Sweetback Sisters, North Adams native Izzy Heltai

TICKETS Advance $20/18 members; Day of $25/22.50 members

Doors open 6:30pm/Show 7:30pm

TLC#59: Food for Thought: Dinner with Virginia Willis at Hancock Shaker Village

Shaker Meets Southern with Virginia Willis

Gardens with Round Stone Barn and Dairy Ell, Hancock Shaker Village; Photo by Bestbudbrian; [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Gardens with Round Stone Barn and Dairy Ell, Hancock Shaker Village; photo by Bestbudbrian; [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
 

Top Left Tunes

2014's Prospect Hill, Dom Flemons' first release after leaving the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is an intense whirlwind of a tour through eclectic folk styles and textures.This episode features “Hot Chicken,” off Dom Flemons‘ release, Prospect Hill. We interviewed this Grammy Award winning artist on a recent episode of the Cornbread Cafe, our American Roots music show. Check out the artist’s website, find out more about him, and maybe even pick up a CD or download while you’re there. Tell him Jay sent you.

🎶

 

Text from submitted release

HANCOCK, Mass.—The Chicago Tribune praised Georgia-born, French-trained, chef Virginia Willis as “one of the seven food writers you need to know,” and on Saturday, November 4, 2017, you’ll get the chance over dinner at Hancock Shaker Village when Shaker meets Southern. Willis, Editor-at-Large for Southern Living, is considered a leading authority on southern cuisine, its origins, and evolutionary future, and she’ll talk about Kentucky and Ohio Shaker foodways. There’s much more to southern cooking than we’ve been lead to believe, and she’ll show us the way. The perception may be BBQ and bacon, but in fact, thanks to a 12-month growing season, produce plays a large role in their regional foodways.

Virginia Willis; submitted photo.
Virginia Willis; submitted photo.

As a child, making biscuits – the same recipe she uses today – with her grandmother was the beginning of a culinary adventure which includes articles in national publications like Southern Living, Eating Well, and Fine Cooking, a food blog (named a favorite by Saveur), five books, and a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence. Willis has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, Serious Eats, and Tasting Table and quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She has worked behind the camera for Martha Stewart and in front of the camera with Bobby Flay.

Currently, Willis is developing with WGBH a series called Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South to air nationally on public television in 2018.

“Food is central to Hancock Shaker Village,” said president & CEO Jennifer Trainer Thompson. “We have 5 acres of heirloom gardens that we tend – just as the Shakers did two hundred years ago. When we say field-to-table, we’re talking maybe a hundred feet from the onion being pulled to the kitchen door. Virginia is an authority on Southern foods, and teaming up with Brian in the kitchen promises to be a culinary souffle. We can’t think of a better way to wrap up our series for the season than to return to our roots: nourishment.”

Willis, who champions social justice and sustainable sourcing, teams up with Hancock Shaker Village regional farm-to-table chef Brian Alberg to reimagine Southern cuisine on a New England farm and create a memorable neighborhood sourced meal highlighting heirloom produce from the Hancock Shaker Village gardens. The communal dinner will be served by candlelight in the beautiful historic 1830s Brick Dwelling dining room and includes wine and a copy of her latest cookbook, Lighten Up Y’all.

 

Food for Thought: Dinner with Virginia Willis
Saturday, November 4, 2017; 6:00 p.m.
Hancock Shaker Village
1843 W Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, Mass.
Tickets: $100—Available via Hancock Shaker Village website

 

The Menu

Appetizer
Butternut Squash Soup. Thyme Sautéed Apples. Country Ham.

Main Course
Herb Crusted Fresh Ham with Onion Gravy
Slow Roast Carrots and Parsnips with Dill
Stone Ground Herb Grits and Greens
Chive Biscuits
Pickles and Preserves

Dessert
Chocolate Chess Pie. Black Walnut Brittle. Buttermilk Creme Fraiche.

Shaker Meets Southern

Food for Thought: Dinner with Virginia Willis is the final 2017 dinner in a series at Hancock Shaker Village of today’s most compelling authors talking about wide-ranging subjects of relevance today. Far ahead of their time, the Shakers addressed 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 invites today’s best thinkers to address topics of importance to our community and world.

About Virginia Willis

Chef Virginia Willis is the author of Lighten Up, Y’all, Bon Appétit, Y’all, and Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, as well as Okra: A Savor the South Cookbook and Grits by Short Stack Editions. Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome received a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health category and was a finalist for Best American cookbook by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is currently in development with WGBH for a series called Secrets of the Southern Table: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South to air nationally on public television stations.

She is an Editor-at-Large for Southern Living writes a popular on seasonal ingredients called “Cooking with Virginia.” The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” A popular Southern chef, her legion of fans love her knack for giving classic French cooking a down-home feel and reimagining Southern recipes en Français. Her eponymous food blog, tagged as a favorite blog by Saveur magazine, receives rave reviews for her recipes and stories celebrating her Southern heritage and classic French training. Her articles have appeared nationally including Southern Living, Food52, CNN, All Recipes, Country Living, Eating Well, Family Fun, and Fine Cooking. As a nationally recognized Southern food and beverage authority she has been featured in the Washington Post and USA Today, Serious Eats, and Tasting Table and quoted in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Virginia is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree. She was the producer of Epicurious on the Discover Channel and Home Plate for Turner Studios. In front of the camera, Virginia has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, Paula Deen’s Best Dishes, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in recipe development, content creation, culinary editorial services, culinary video production, spokesperson representation, and media training.

She is a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Georgia Organics, the International Association of Culinary Professionals, and the Southern Foodways Alliance. She participates in Chef’s Move to Schools and is also part of the No Kid Hungry Blogger Program for Share our Strength. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force. As an Atlanta chef, she is proud to be on the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board as well as the Atlanta Community Farmer’s Market Advisory Board.

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.

 

Mentioned in the show:

Chef’s Collaborative

Calhoun’s Restaurant

New England Culinary Institute

The Guardian; Article: “Insectageddon: farming is more catastrophic than climate breakdown,” by George Monbiot

TLC #50: Voices for Recovery with NBCC, but first, the news…

Voices for Recovery: Strengthen Families and Communities
Rally, walk and vigil to raise awareness of opioid addiction and recovery

Voices for Recovery
Voices for Recovery

NORTH ADAMS, MA – On Saturday, September 23, the North Berkshire Community will gather to remember those lost, learn about resources, and celebrate recovery from addiction. The Rx Heroin Work group of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition along with the City of North Adams are holding the Voices for Recovery Rally, Walk and Vigil from 1-3:30PM. The rally and vigil will be centered at Colegrove Park, with a Recovery Walk through downtown North Adams.

The event will include informational tables representing the recovery services community such as Spectrum Health, the Brien Center, Tapestry, Clean Slate, Narcotics Anonymous, the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative, Al Anon, and Josh Bressette Commit to Save a Life. Children’s activities will be on hand from The Family Place and the north Berkshire Systems of Care Committee, along with live music provided by Common Folk Artists Collective. Common Folk will also have a display of art inspired by the topic of addiction and recovery, from the exhibit “To Bless the Space Between Us”.

The theme of the event, “Strengthen Families and Communities” acknowledges that families and the North Berkshire community play a major role in recovery. The impact of addiction on families will be evident at the vigil, in remarks by Pastor Dave Anderson from the North Adams First Baptist Church, and Dawn Windover who will speak about the loss of her son Derek.

The walk, led by Mayor Alcombright, will take place at 2PM through downtown North Adams. The route of the walk will be lined with signs posting information about substance use disorder, recovery services, and celebrating recovery. Walkers will pause for a standout at the intersection of Main Street and Route 8 by City Hall. T-shirts will be available for purchase.

Following the walk, participants will hear from speakers including Collin Woods, former North Adams resident now in recovery and working as a Recovery Coach at Berkshire Transition Network. Dave Risch, North Adams resident and active member of Al Anon as well as the Rx Heroin work group will speak about the role of families in recovery. Mayor Alcombright will conclude the event with words about recovery, and building a recovery community.

A highlight of the event will be the Wall of Remembrance and Recovery created by the volunteer recovery organization, Josh Bressette Commit to Save a Life. The wall will include pictures, images, poems and other statements to remember those lost to addiction. Waterman says she hopes the Wall “creates a compassion for those suffering with loss and for those struggling to recover within the community. Heroin/opioid addiction is not a moral failing, these people featured on the wall had full lives ahead of them, they were loved, cherished and needed.” The wall will also include images to celebrate people in the community in recovery from substance use disorders.

For more information, including how to order a t-shirt for the event, visit www.nbccoalition.org.

Kimball Farms Life Care hosts talk on identity theft, computer fraud on Thursday, Sept. 28

LENOX, MASS. (Sept. 20, 2017) –Kimball Farms Life Care in Lenox will host a presentation on identity theft, the Equifax security breach, computer fraud, and other scams on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. Presenters will include Ann Lynch from the office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts, and Kate Alexander from Berkshire Consumer Services. Refreshments will be served. Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP to Kimball Farms at 413-637-7000.

Hinds lauds MASSDOT for convening kick-off” meeting of the NYC/Berkshire Rail Working Group

PITTSFIELD – State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield) announces that MassDOT will convene an organizational, “kick-off” meeting of the NYC/Berkshire Passenger Rail Working Group tomorrow, Thursday, September 21st at 1:00pm at the MassDOT Region 1 Headquarters in Lenox.

The NYC/Berkshire Passenger Rail Working Group, established by Outside Section 137 of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget (Chapter 137 of the Acts of 2017), is an initiative sponsored by Hinds during the Senate budget debate. The proposal was unanimously passed by the Senate, endorsed by the budget conference committee and was signed into law by the Governor.

NORTH ADAMS—Representatives of North Adams Ambulance and Village Ambulance announce agreement for Village Ambulance to merge with North Adams Ambulance pending due diligence.

It is well known that Village Ambulance Service, like many small EMS providers, has been facing increasing financial challenges. In light of this, a working group consisting of representatives of Williams College, the Town of Williamstown, the Williamstown Fire Department and Village Ambulance was formed to evaluate and recommend the best solution that would ensure continued, sustainable emergency medical services to the communities Village serves.

Sameer Gupta comes to MASS MoCA

NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS – Sameer Gupta is a “kinetic, bass-heavy, and tender” percussionist (The Jazz Observer), with roots in the Indian Classical tradition. He’s at MASS MoCA on Saturday, September 30, at 8pm, with a propulsive band featuring Marc Cary (keyboards), Jay Gandhi (bansuri), and Rashaan Carter (bass), for a magical evening of tracks from his new album, A Circle Has No Beginning. Bang on a Can favorite and North Adams resident Todd Reynolds opens the show.

Known as one of the few percussionists simultaneously representing the traditions of American jazz on drum-set and Indian classical music on tabla, musician and composer Gupta did not begin mastering the tabla until well into his jazz career in the early ‘00s. First studying under the guidance of Ustad Zakir Hussain, over the last two decades Gupta has become an accomplished, innovative tabla player and a dedicated disciple of the great tabla maestro Pandit Anindo Chatterjee.

Children’s book author to visit Clark Art Institute

Williamstown, Massachusetts—Join author Maria-Christina Sayn-Wittgenstein Nottebohm (also known as “Puppa”) at the Clark Art Institute on Saturday, October 7 at 11 am as she explores ways to engage children with art. Nottebohm talks about the fun, magical world of exploring Old Master pictures and the methods she discovered in researching her book Old Masters Rock: How to Look at Art with Children. The free talk, held in the Michael Conforti Pavilion, includes a question-and-answer session followed by a book signing.

Empowering children with the skills to look at art enables them to stimulate their imagination and interpret the pictures in their own ways, often seeing things adults don’t notice. According to Nottebohm, enjoying art is all about responding to what the viewer is seeing. Old Masters Rock stimulates children in a playful way so that, together with an adult, they can decode fifty masterpieces of Western art from the last 700 years. The book demonstrates that art is accessible to all—adults and children alike.

600 bicyclists ride through Berkshires at Farm to Fork Fondo

What: Farm to Fork Fondo – Berkshires bicycle event.
600 riders from more than 25 states riding from farm to farm in Berkshire County, MA sampling chef-prepared bites at each farm
When: September 23-24, 2017 weekend

Where: Hancock Shaker Village, 1843 W Housatonic Rd, Pittsfield, MA

Photo/video/media opportunities at Hancock Shaker Village*:
9/23, 5pm: Bicycle Skills Clinic for riders of all abilities on the Brick Dwelling green, taught by the Colavita – Bianchi Professional Women’s Cycling Team
9/23, 7pm: Meet the Farmers Dinner in the historic Shaker dining hall in the Brick Dwelling
9/24, 9am: Farm to Fork Fondo Mass Start – 600 cyclists departing en masse from Hancock Shaker Village at the Brick Dwelling green
9/24, 1 pm: Live Music from Whiskey Treaty Road Show
9/24, 5pm: Volunteer Competition winners announced – More than $5,000 donated to local non-profit organizations

WAM Theatre announces attendees for October’s Berkshire Leadership Summit

LEE, MA – Organizers of the pilot Berkshire Leadership Summit, an event for women aspiring to, or already in, leadership positions in the non-profit theatre, and hosted by WAM Theatre, are excited to announce that the attendees of this event have been selected.

Of the 163 women theatre professionals who applied to participate in the Berkshire Leadership Summit, 75 have been accepted, hailing from 22 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. This cohort reflects an emphasis the Steering Committee members placed on diversity, accessibility, and intentionality early in the process. Towards this goal, the steering committee members, comprised of Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theatre (Steering Committee Chair); Akiba Abaka, Audience Development Manager at ArtsEmerson; Rachel Fink, Managing Director of Theatre Bay Area; and Shafer Mazow, who currently works at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, went through a rigorous selection process that focused on creating a cohort that balanced career (early/late/mid-career), background (race, sexual identity, geography), and level of leadership experience. The process resulted in an intentional balance of these criteria in an effort to provide the greatest opportunity for personal growth and community-building for each attendee at the summit.

MCLA Gallery 51 to exhibit “Yellow Bowl Project”

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Gallery 51 announces “Freedom from Fear/Yellow Bowl Project,” a solo exhibition by Setsuko Winchester, will open on Thursday, Sept. 28. This exhibition at MCLA Gallery 51 marks the first show of the entire series of photographs created for the project, which documents site-based installations of 120 yellow tea bowls made by Winchester to represent the forced removal of 120,000 Japanese-Americans to 10 internment camps in the American West during World War II.

The public is invited to attend a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. in the 51 Main St. gallery on Thursday, Sept. 28, to celebrate the opening of the “Yellow Bowl Project,” which also was designed to bring attention to a history of Asian and Asian-American racism in the United States.

MCLA offers free global film series this Fall

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces the campus will present a Global Film Series this fall, which will feature three documentary films. The first film will be presented on Tuesday, Sept. 26, with a second film to screen in October. The third and final film of the series will be offered in November.

All of the screenings will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Murdock Hall room 218, on the MCLA campus. Each event is free and open to the public.

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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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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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