BITS & BYTES: First Friday Artswalk; The Mohican Journey; Berkshire Bounty Food Drive; Bennington Poetry Series; New Marlborough grants deadline

BITS & BYTES: First Friday Artswalk; The Mohican Journey; Berkshire Bounty Food Drive; Bennington Poetry Series; New Marlborough grants deadline

Pittsfield’s October First Friday Artswalk to include live music, open studios

PITTSFIELD — Pittsfield’s next First Fridays Artswalk will be held Friday, Oct. 1 from 5–8 p.m. and include new indoor art shows and Indoors Out! Music on North. New for October, visitors can download the Downtown Pittsfield app to follow a virtual walking tour of art and music.

From 5­–7 p.m., Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. will present free outdoor performances as part of Indoors Out! Music on North. Singer-songwriter Jaane Doe will perform at Sotille Park, 200 North Street; freestyle acoustic rocker Garrin Benfield will be at Persip Park, 175 North Street; and musical trio The Midnight Anthem, will perform at the Marketplace Cafe’s parklet at 53 North Street.

The Berkshire Art Association (BAA) will present “DISTILLATIONS, An Art Show,” at The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Ave., through November 28. The exhibit features work by Peg Dotchin, Jesse Tobin McCauley, and Ilene Spiewak.

Ian Mosher, “atomoc monkey.” Image courtesy First Friday Artswalk

MCLA Pittsfield, 66 Allen Street, will host an art show by Ian Mosher through October 31. The show will feature art centered on traditional and legendary monster themes, as well as unique visions that run through the artist’s mind. The result is a collection that is an homage to Halloween.

NUarts, 311 North Street, will host an Open Studios event with artists Caroline Kelley, Shany Porras, Ilene Richard, and Sally Tiska Rice. New works will be on view and for sale by over a dozen artists in NUarts’ gallery space. Hotel on North, 297 North Street, will feature “then + now” by Ellie Spangler. The Brothership Building Window, 141 North Street, curated by IS183 Art School of the Berkshires, will feature “Urgency & Potential by Lindsey Patrick.” The Unitarian Universalist Church, 175 Wendell Avenue, will present a show by mother-daughter team Kerry and Kamille Hylton.

The Koussevitzky Art Gallery at Berkshire Community College’s Main Campus, 1350 West Street, will host a closing reception for Nicole Irene Art’s “Endanger Your Complacency by Tempting the Lumps in the Cosmic Gravy.” Enjoy complimentary refreshments, meet the artist, and purchase limited run prints.

All art exhibits are on display in participating venues throughout the month. For more information on First Fridays Artswalk and to view a listing and map of all participating artists and locations, visit the First Fridays Artswalk website.


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Sheffield Historical Society presents “The Mohican Journey” free, outdoor exhibit

SHEFFIELD — The Sheffield Historical Society presents “The Mohican Journey: Homelands, History, and Hope,” a free exhibit that can be viewed outdoors on the Society’s grounds September 25–October 11. The exhibit is a collaboration between the Society, Mt. Everett High School, and the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans.

This interactive, multimedia exhibit breaks down the history of the Muhheconneok, the “People of the Waters that are Never Still.” From their ancestral homelands in the Berkshires, to their present home in Wisconsin, their journey is told through their point of view.

The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans have worked for decades in research, preservation, education, and governance to promote equality and programs that strengthen their culture and community heritage. Making connections to their ancestral homelands continues to be of sacred value. The exhibit combines a variety of art forms, artifacts, and audio and video elements, including content from Dorothy David’s “A Brief History of the Mohican Nation,” as well as many personal narratives.

The exhibit includes videos and recordings that the Mt. Everett Art Department teacher Stephanie Graham taped this summer on a road trip following the path the Mohicans took when driven from their ancestral lands west to their current homelands in Wisconsin. She recorded numerous tribal members and took photos and video of life today and artifacts in the tribal cultural center that reveal what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries.


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Berkshire Bounty announces October food drive date

Berkshire Bounty logo NEWGREAT BARRINGTON — Berkshire Bounty’s monthly Mobile Food Drive will be held Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 9–11 a.m.

There are still many families in the community who continue to face food insecurity. Data has suggested that it will get worse before it gets better. Berkshire Bounty continues to need the support of community members to help those in need. Berkshire Bounty will continue to plan on collecting canned and/or packaged goods that will be distributed to the growing population of food insecure people in South County through The People’s Pantry in Great Barrington and the Otis Food Pantry in Otis.

Berkshire Bounty volunteers will come to Donors’ homes on Tuesday, Oct. 5 between 9–11 a.m. Donors are asked to leave their food donations at their doorstep by 9 a.m. If the food is not there, the volunteer driver will knock on your door or call you when they arrive. Donors may also drop items at Hevreh or at The People’s Pantry during those same hours.

Please consider a) donating canned and/or packaged food; b) driving to pick up donations at food donors’ homes; and/or c) helping unload from driver’s cars as they deliver food to The People’s Pantry on the day of the Mobile Food Drive. If you are interested in participating, please email Berkshire Bounty at  and tell them would like to do. Please also include your street address, email address, and best contact telephone number.

Foods in most demand are hearty soups, pasta sauce, and cereal (preferably low sugar). If donating from your own pantry, please check expiration dates.


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Virtual Fall 2021 Poetry at Bennington Series begins September 29

Justin Phillip Reed. Photo courtesy Bennington College

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Poetry at Bennington, an endowed program of short-term residencies that brings established and emerging poets to Bennington College for public readings and close work with students, has announced its Fall 2021 lineup of featured poets.

This fall, in line with public health best practices, all Poetry at Bennington readings will be presented remotely over Zoom. All events occur Wednesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. and are free, open to the public, and can be accessed and shared from the Poetry at Bennington webpage.

On Wednesday, Sept. 29, Brenda Shaughnessy will read from her poetry. Shaughnessy is the author of five poetry collections, including The Octopus Museum (Knopf, 2019); So Much Synth (Copper Canyon, 2016); and Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon, 2012), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award, the International Griffin Poetry Prize, and the PEN Open Book Award.

On Wednesday, Oct. 6, Justin Phillip Reed will read from his poetry. Reed is the author of two poetry collections, The Malevolent Volume (Coffee House, 2020) and Indecency (Coffee House, 2018), which won the the National Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry.

Ladan Osman. Photo courtesy Bennington College

On Wednesday, Oct. 27, Sandra Lim and Ladan Osman will read from their poetry. Lim is the author of three books of poetry: The Curious Thing (Norton, 2021); The Wilderness (Norton, 2014), selected by Louise Glück for the Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Loveliest Grotesque (Kore Press, 2006). Osman is the Somali-born author of Exiles of Eden (Coffee House, 2019), a hybrid work of poetry, photography, and experimental text; and The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony (U of Nebraska Press, 2015), winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets.

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, Camille Dungy and Deborah Landau will read from their poetry. Dungy is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan, 2017) and Smith Blue (Southern Illinois University Press, 2011), a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Award. Landau is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Soft Targets (Copper Canyon, 2019), winner of The Believer Book Award, and The Uses of the Body (Copper Canyon, 2015), 2012), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award, the International Griffin Poetry Prize, and the PEN Open Book Award. Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry, Harpers, The New York Times, The New Yorker, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Paris Review, and Poetry. The recipient of fellowships from the Japan/US Friendship Commission, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, she is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Newark.


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New Marlborough Cultural Council accepting grant applications for 2022

NEW MARLBOROUGH — The New Marlborough Cultural Council (NMCC), part of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, is accepting proposals for grants for 2022. The deadline for submitting an application is October 15, 2021. Non-profit organizations, schools and individuals may apply for grants that support cultural activities that benefit the residents of New Marlborough. Applications for arts, humanities, science, history, and environmental programs or activities are all welcome.

The NMCC gives priority to grant applications that meet the following criteria:

  • Applications proposed by residents of New Marlborough
  • Applications that directly benefit residents of New Marlborough
  • Applications in which the creative work is provided by residents of New Marlborough
  • Applications for events or creative work that will occur in New Marlborough. This includes schools or organizations outside of New Marlborough that are attended by students residing in New Marlborough.

Application forms, local guidelines, and application information can all be found here. Questions can be directed to Nancy Barbe, Chair, at


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