BITS & BYTES: New exhibit at Bernay Fine Art; Berkshire DA town halls; Global Day for Climate Justice; BCC nabs grant for Disability Resource Center; Bennington Museum expands DEI, sponsors Soul Steps

Bernay Fine Art’s new exhibition, “The Best of Both Worlds”, opens on October 29th with an artist reception the next day. Image: Sandy Litchfield, “Tendency To Rise And Fall,” courtesy of Bernay Fine Art

Bernay Fine Art opens the exhibition “The best of both worlds” on October 30th

Sonya Sklaroff, “Soho Water Tower and Clouds”, courtesy of Bernay Fine Art

LARGE BARRINGTON – Bernay Fine Art’s new exhibition, “The Best of Both Worlds,” explores the beauty of urban and rural landscapes. As our lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic, we have discovered different places to live and work. The townspeople moved to the countryside and many stayed to enjoy the solitude of their surroundings. Others have returned to the sights and sounds of the cities with long walks through Tribeca, Chelsea, Back Bay and SoWa.

In this exhibition, four artists portray both locations through their paintings. Sonya Sklaroff’s urban landscapes evoke a longing for the streets of New York City, while Sandy Litchfield and Olive Ayhen’s create works that combine rural and urban landscapes. Katharine Dufault brings the essence of the Berkshire countryside to canvas.

“The best of both worlds” opens Friday October 29th, with a Reception for the artists Saturday, October 30th. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Bernay Fine Art is located at 296 Main Street in Great Barrington. The autumn times are Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.


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The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office holds “town hall meetings” across the county

PITTSFIELD – The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office is to announce a series of “Town Hall” events across the county to update the agency’s latest judicial reform efforts.

District Attorney Andrea Harrington will give a brief presentation on the state of the judiciary, the Office’s reform efforts, and the draft for security and justice in Berkshire County before opening the Q&A discussion.

The town halls are on Tuesday, October 26th at the Adams Visitor’s Center in Adams at 6:30 PM; Wednesday November 10th at Great Barrington Town Hall at 6pm; and Tuesday November 16 at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield at 6 p.m.

Berkshire prosecutors urge all residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. RSVPs are appreciated via [email protected] but are not required.


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Salisbury Congregational Church hosts round table on Global Climate Justice Day

SALISBURY – At 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 6th (Global Day for Climate Justice), the Green Team of the Congregational Church of Salisbury, UCC, will support a round table discussion on the transition to “net zero” energy consumption. The Green Team has started a project to ensure that the church building’s electricity consumption matches the amount of electricity produced in a given year, including installing solar panels, LED lighting and sensors and converting oil stoves to electric heat pumps. .

Two industry experts will be on hand to discuss solar systems, lighting and electric heat pumps, and there will be a brief overview of the church’s project. All builders, homeowners and other interested persons are invited. At the end of the round table, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss other topics in future sessions.

Join the round table through Zoom. The meeting ID is: 884 8794 5944 and the password: 136032. If you have any questions, please contact the church office at 860-435-2442.


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BCC receives grant from Berkshire Life Foundation for Disability Resource Center

Smart pen photo courtesy of Livescribe

PITTSFIELD – The Berkshire Community College (BCC) Foundation has received a $ 3,950 grant from the Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation to support the college’s Disability Resource Center (DRC). The funds will be used to purchase technical aids, including digital “smart pens” and recorders, for students with proven disabilities.

Nearly 200 students with disabilities enroll at the BCC each year, which is about 15 percent of the total student population. The DRC assists the BCC in meeting the needs of these students and complying with the federal and state mandates designed to help them succeed. Specifically, the DRC coordinates professional course advice, arranges alternative examination services, refers students to local service facilities, assesses learning strengths and weaknesses and identifies alternative access routes for students with physical disabilities.

“The BCC Foundation is grateful to have received a grant from the Berkshire Life Charitable Foundation,” said Shela Levante, director of development at BCC. “The pandemic has disrupted all student learning, and one of the college’s top priorities is making sure all students have the resources they need to thrive. By partnering with Berkshire Life, we can provide our students with the educational support services they need to maximize their potential for academic success. “

Assistive technology can be a tremendous asset for students with disabilities who often struggle with attention, focus, and information processing. Smart pens, for example, encourage independence when taking notes. When the student writes partial notes, the smart pen records audio and uses an infrared camera to synchronize what is written with the audio. After a lecture, the students simply tap a word and the pen is synchronized with the place in the lecture in which the professor discussed the topic.

In addition to the DRC, BCC offers a wide range of support services to support its mission of promoting success in the classroom. These services include transition to college programs, English to Speakers of Other Languages ​​(ESOL) programs, tutorials, a writing center, a TRIO Student Support Services program, and personal advice.


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Bennington Museum receives funding to expand DEI efforts and sponsors Soul Steps

Soul steps. Photo courtesy of the artist

BENNINGTON, Vt. – New York City-based African American dance group Soul Steps gave a great performance on the Merchant’s Park stage in Bennington last June. After the performance, Soul Steps founder Maxine Lyle said, “We saw a need in the city for work that supports black culture … community.”

To achieve this goal, the Bennington Museum volunteered to sponsor their organization so that they could apply for grants to support a winter residence in Bennington. In December, Soul Steps will present a public reading of their new musical in development at the Bennington Performing Arts Center, which explores the race and identity of young black America through the lens of tap dancing.

The Bennington Museum recently received $ 3,000 from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Spark Connecting Community Grant Program and an additional $ 1,000 from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Landmann Family Fund to support this project. These grants are in line with the museum’s commitment to showcasing the diverse stories of the region and expanding its efforts towards diversity, equity and inclusion.

The reading of “STEP SHOW: THE MUSICAL” will take place at the Bennington Performing Arts Center on Saturday, December 11th The museum will post the event on its Facebook events calendar as more details are confirmed. Productions are expensive to manufacture. If you’d like to support Soul Steps on their creative journey, visit the Go Fund Me page for a gift and see examples of their work.


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