BITS & BYTES: Foundry summer programming; Aaron Jonah Lewis Workshop, concert; BCC Early College; Free Day Clark Art; The Education Working Group changes its name and mission

The Foundry announces lineup for the 2022 summer season

STOCKBRIDGE WESTThe foundry announced it summer programmingwhich will present a wide range of artists and multidisciplinary events.

For fans of contemporary and offbeat music, OUA, the solo project of Brooklyn-based musician and artist Saara Untracht-Oakner of BOYTOY, comes out in May. In June, the New York group casio gold returns with irresistible indie-dance melodies and a high-energy performance. Rockers will appreciate Thelma and the Sleazean all-female queer Southern rock band from Nashville, Tennessee, coming in July.

Avi Salloway of Billy Wylder. Photo: Steve Benoit

Back for a third year in August, the group Billy Wylder, featuring Avi Salloway joined by a cast of artists who have performed on five continents. The same month, inspired by reggae from the Hudson Valley The big takeover makes a return appearance.

Also in August, jazz and blues lovers will appreciate both the Skyla Burrell’s group as well as Mrs. Pat Tandy with Charlie Apicella and Iron City. And classical music fans will enjoy pianist Chelsea Randall in a solo recital of modern and contemporary black composers.

In addition to its musical programming, the hall continues to present comedy, cabaret, theatre, dance and its series of emerging artists, which gives a platform to young talents.

Collaborations supporting local community groups such as the West Stockbridge Historical Society, West Stockbridge Wisdom Lodge and Pittsfield High School Chamber Orchestra are part of the venue’s mission, as well as donating The Foundry Green each summer to the West Stockbridge Farmer’s Market and the West Stockbridge Visitor Center on the venue’s property.


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Dewey Hall presents a workshop and concert with fiddler Aaron Jonah Lewis

Aaron Jonah Lewis Hall Dewey
Aaron Jonas Lewis. Photo courtesy Dewey Hall

SHEFFIELDDewey Hall will welcome the violin player Aaron Jonas Lewis on friday april 22, for a workshop from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. ($25), followed by a concert from 7:30 to 9 p.m. ($20). Those wishing to attend both the workshop and the concert can purchase tickets at the reduced rate of $40.

In the Old-fashioned violin by ear workshop, Lewis will teach Appalachian fiddle styles, which are characterized by their syncopated bowing patterns and driving rhythms. The workshop will be devoted to discussing musical and technical aspects and learning a melody. This workshop is for people who can already play their fiddle/violin, but will be taught by ear so you don’t need to read the music.

Aaron Jonah Lewis (they/them) is a virtuoso banjo player and fiddler whose concerts take audiences on a journey through the back roads of early American and folk music, with detours through ragtime and early jazz. Lewis won blue ribbons at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, West Virginia, and the Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax, Virginia, the oldest and largest fiddler convention in the country. They spend most of their time teaching, touring as a solo performer and with the Corn Potato String Band, the Lovestruck Balladeers and other projects.

Lewis has appeared on dozens of recordings ranging from bluegrass and old time to traditional jazz, contemporary experimental and Turkish classical music projects. They have given workshops at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London. They also play and teach banjo, mandolin and guitar.

Lewis’ most recent recording is 2020’s “Mozart of the Banjo: The Joe Morley Project”, which is dedicated to the music of the great English prodigy and virtuoso composer Joe Morley (1867-1937), who wrote an important set great banjo pieces. in a technique that people today call “classic fingerstyle”.


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BCC will hold a virtual open house for the Early College program

The main campus of Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield. Photo courtesy BCC

PITTSFIELD — Secondary school students are invited to take a leap in their university career by attending Berkshire Community College (BCC) virtual open houses for its Early College program on Saturday April 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Dual-enrollment coach Kiara Badillo will present an overview of the program, followed by breakout sessions on how to register for college courses in high school, academic advising opportunities, student support systems and admissions. A question-and-answer session will close the event.

Supported by BCC’s Dual Enrollment Grant, the Early College Program allows eligible Massachusetts high school students to take up to two free classes during Session I and/or Session II of the 2022 summer term. tuition and fees are abolished; the purchase of books and other school materials may be the student’s responsibility. Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.


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The Clark Art Institute announces the last free Sunday of the season

WILLIAMSTOWNThe Clark Art Institute will hold its last program First Free Sunday of the season on Sunday May 1. Offering free entry to galleries and special exhibitions from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the day will also feature a series of special activities from 1 p.m.May Day at the Clark.” Visitors are invited to weave a spring wall hanging, make a kit to plant their own flower garden and listen to live music. At 2 p.m., join a docent to browse spring highlights from the Clark’s collection. As always, visitors can enjoy the outdoors by relaxing by the reflecting pool or hiking the Clark trails.

This event is free. To book tickets, Click here.


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Education Task Force adopts new name and mission

PITTSFIELD – The Berkshire County Education Task Force (BECTF) has changed its name to better reflect a mission that has changed over the past two years. The new name, Berkshire K12 Educational Resources (BERK12), reflects a renewed focus on creating and making available the resources school districts need to make the best decisions for their communities.

“We have always viewed our role in the success of schools in the region as helping, not directing,” said Dr. William Cameron, President of BERK12. “Now we are expanding the way we help – we are becoming doers as well as helpers.”

The mission – “to support the school districts and educators of Berkshire County by collaboratively providing solutions to short and long-term problems, in order to promote high quality public education” – evolved from the way the organization has risen to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. BERK12 found himself tackling issues more actively. They created the Berkshire Remote Learning Initiative, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, to ensure high-quality online and distance learning was available to all students and faculty across the county. A Portrait of a Graduate grant, obtained through the Barr Foundation, led to the development of innovative high school reform adopted in a number of Berkshire districts.

Based on these experiences, BERK12 plans to do more, focusing on research, collaborative projects and public engagement.

“We are opening up the resources we have developed to everyone, especially those in Berkshire County,” said Brian Fairbank, one of the organization’s founders. “While our past focus included regionalization, our current goals are more about research and organizational assistance, and helping school districts of all shapes and sizes meet public education needs.”

For more information, email [email protected]


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