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


Pittsfield’s First Friday in October Art Walk to feature live music and open studios

PITTSFIELD – The next Pittsfield First Fridays Artswalk will take place Friday October 1 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and include new indoor art exhibitions and Indoors Out! Music on the North. New for October, visitors can download the Downtown Pittsfield app to take a virtual walking tour of art and music.

From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. will be presenting free outdoor performances as part of Indoors Out! Music on the 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 the musical trio The Midnight Anthem, will perform at the Marketplace Cafe 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., until November 28. The exhibition features works by Peg Dotchin, Jesse Tobin McCauley and Ilene Spiewak.

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

MCLA Pittsfield, 66 Allen Street, will host an Ian Mosher art exhibition until October 31. The exhibition will feature works of art centered around themes of traditional and legendary monsters, as well as unique visions that cross the artist’s mind. The result is a collection that is a tribute to Halloween.

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

The Koussevitzky Art Gallery at the main campus of Berkshire Community College, 1350 West Street, will host a closing reception for Nicole Irene Art’s “Endanger Your Complacency by Tempting Pieces in Cosmic Sauce”. Enjoy free refreshments, meet the artist, and purchase limited edition prints.

All art exhibitions are presented at participating venues throughout the month. For more information on First Fridays Artswalk and to view a list and map of all participating artists and locations, visit the First Fridays Artswalk website.


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Sheffield Historical Society Presents Free Outdoor Exhibition “The Mohican Journey”

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

This interactive multimedia exhibition traces the history of the Muhheconneok, the “people of the waters who are never still”. From their ancestral lands in the Berkshires, to their current home in Wisconsin, their journey is told through their perspective.

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

The exhibit includes videos and recordings that Mount Everett Art Department teacher Stephanie Graham recorded this summer on a road trip following the path the Mohicans took when they left. their ancestral lands westward to their present homelands in Wisconsin. She has recorded many tribal members and took photos and videos of life today and artifacts from the Tribal Cultural Center that reveal what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries.


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Berkshire Bounty announces date for October food drive

Berkshire Bounty Logo NEWGREATER BARRINGTON – Berkshire Bounty’s monthly mobile food drive will take place Tuesday, October 5 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

There are still many families in the community who continue to face food insecurity. The data suggests it will get worse before it gets better. Berkshire Bounty always needs the support of community members to help those in need. Berkshire Bounty will continue to plan the collection of canned and / or packaged goods for distribution to the growing food insecure population in South County via The People’s Pantry in Great Barrington and Otis Food Pantry in Otis.

Berkshire Bounty volunteers will be visiting donors’ homes on Tuesday, October 5 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Donors are asked to leave their food donations at their door by 9:00 a.m. If the food is not there, the volunteer driver will knock on your door or call you when they arrive. Donors can also drop off items at Hevreh or the People’s Pantry during these same hours.

Please consider a) the donation of canned and / or packaged food; b) drive to collect donations at the homes of food donors; and / or c) help unload drivers’ cars while they deliver food to the People’s Pantry on mobile food drive day. If you would like to participate, please email Berkshire Bounty at and tell them you would like to do so. Please also include your mailing address, email address, and best phone number.

The most popular foods are hearty soups, pasta sauce and cereals (preferably low in sugar). If you are donating from your own pantry, please check the expiration dates.


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Virtual Fall 2021 Poetry at Bennington series starts September 29

Justin Phillip Reed. Photo courtesy of Bennington College

BENNINGTON, Vermont. – Poetry at Bennington, a short-term residency program that brings established and emerging poets to Bennington College for public readings and close work with students, has announced its lineup of featured poets for fall 2021.

This fall, in line with public health best practice, all Poetry at Bennington readings will be featured remotely on Zoom. All events take place Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and are free, open to the public, and can be viewed and shared from the Poetry at Bennington webpage.

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

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

Ladan Osman. Photo courtesy of Bennington College

At Wednesday October 27, Sandra Lim and Ladan Osman will read 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 the most beautiful 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.

At Wednesday November 10, Camille Dungy and Deborah Landau will read their poetry. Dungy is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan, 2017) and Smith Blue (Southern Illinois University Press, 2011), finalist for the William Carlos Williams Prize of the Poetry Society of America. Landau is the author of four books 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), finalist of 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. A recipient of scholarships from the Japan / U.S. Friendship Commission, Guggenheim Foundation, Howard Foundation, and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, she is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rutgers University in Newark.


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New Marlborough Cultural Council accepts grant applications for 2022

NEW MARLBOROUGH – The New Marlborough Cultural Council (NMCC), part of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, accepts grant proposals for 2022. The deadline for submitting an application is October 15, 2021. Nonprofit organizations, schools and individuals can apply for grants that support cultural activities that benefit the residents of New Marlborough. Applications for programs or activities in the arts, humanities, sciences, history and environment are all welcome.

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

  • Apps offered by residents of New Marlborough
  • Apps that directly benefit New Marlborough residents
  • Applications in which creative work is provided by residents of New Marlborough
  • Applications for events or creative work taking place 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, President, at



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