Berkshire Family Fun: May 2016

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
May 2016

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of May. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:

Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Monterey, North Berkshire, Pittsfield, Washington, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


North Berkshire

Adams | Cheshire | Florida | Hancock | Lanesborough | Monterey | North Adams | Williamstown | Windsor

Central Berkshire | South Berkshire

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Support Hilltown Families!

ADAMS

Friday, May 13, 10am-11am
FOLKLORE/LITERACY
The word “fairy,” comes from the old French “faerie,” meaning “enchantment.” Fairies appear frequently in English folklore. These tiny, magical creatures continue to enchant children in stories today. Families are invited to the Adams Free Library for a Fairy Storytime with fairy-themed art activities. Call The Family Center at 413-664-4821 for more information. 92 Park Street, Adams, MA. (FREE)

Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum. 413-743-7121. 67 East Road. Adams, MA.

CHESHIRE

FLORIDA

Abbot School — 56 North Country Road.

HANCOCK

Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 W Housatonic St. 413-443-0188

LANESBOROUGH

Junior Firefighter Academy: The Lanesborough Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a Junior Firefighter Academy on Saturday, May 7, to prepare the next generation of first responders to protect our communities. This full day of firefighting activities is designed to excite and empower Junior Firefighters and Fire Explorers by providing opportunities to learn about local fire, rescue, and emergency medical services in a safe, controlled, educational, and fun way. The Junior Fire Academy will help our local teens to find out more about firefighting, gain skills such as teamwork and leadership and learn the value of volunteerism and community service. The Academy runs from 7 am until 6 pm. — Lanesborough Fire is an all-volunteer department, consisting of a Chief, 3 Deputies, 5 Officers, and 45 firefighters; 14 of whom are EMTs. These people are members of the dedicated team known as the Lanesborough Fire Department. Each one of them is a volunteer. They sacrifice their time, sometimes more for the community.  Contact: Deputy Fire Chief Butch Garrity, Lanesborough Fire Department. 413-684-4405. ButchGarrity@gmail.com

Saturday, May 28, 11am
NATURAL HISTORY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Learn about New England’s natural history on this moderate, 1.8 mile hike at Mount Greylock. The hike leader will show you the thumbprint of a lightening strike, and explain how the Department of Conservation and Recreation gauges the health of forests. Meet at the Visitors’ Center. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 29, 11am
FITNESS/FORAGING
This session of outdoor games at Mount Greylock will have participants foraging for food while eluding capture from a predator! “Robin Versus Hawk” is the perfect game for energetic people who want to learn by doing. This game requires at least three players. Meet at the Visitors’ Center. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Bascom Lodge 413-743-1591. 30 Rockwell Road.
Lanesborough Library — 413-499-5981. 83 North Main Street.
Mt. Greylock — 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road.

MONTEREY

Bidwell House Museum – 413-528-6888. 100 Art School Road.
Ashintully — 413-298-3239. Sodom Road

NORTH ADAMS

Wednesday, May 4, 11am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
North Adams residents: One of the world’s premier centers for making and showing the best modern art is right in your backyard, and today it’s free. See something new in one of the temporary exhibitions or revisit your favorite permanent works at MASS MoCA on the 4th of the month, when it’s free for 01247 residents. Bring an official ID or utility bill with your address on it. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 17, 5:30-6:30pm
MOMS’ NIGHT OUT/YOGA
Yoga practice provides physical benefits like pain reduction, strength, and flexibility, as well as mental benefits such as decreased stress. Parents could benefit immensely from opportunities to relax in healthy ways, like practicing yoga. This gentle yoga session is a perfect introduction to regular practice. To register call 413-664-4821. The Haskins Center Gym. 210 State Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 19, 4pm-8:45pm
ART STUDIES/PARTICIPATORY THEATER
Technological innovations are constantly opening up new opportunities for experimental artwork. This participatory art and sound installation at MASS MoCA will take gallery visitors on a choreographed journey through the museum. Each visitor will receive a cell phone and a pair of headphones. Participants will feel like they are on their own private, guided tour, while at the same time they are experiencing the event as a group through movement. This installation was created by French duo Projet In Situ. Departures take place every 15 minutes and the performance will last approximately 70 minutes. You can purchase tickets by calling 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA WAY. North Adams, MA. (Members <$. Non Members $)

Friday, May 20, 4pm-8:45pm
ART STUDIES/PARTICIPATORY THEATER
Technological innovations are constantly opening up new opportunities for experimental artwork. This participatory art and sound installation at MASS MoCA will take gallery visitors on a choreographed journey through the museum. Each visitor will receive a cell phone and a pair of headphones. Participants will feel like they are on their own private, guided tour, while at the same time experiencing the event as a group through movement. This installation was created by French duo Projet In Situ. Departures take place every 15 minutes and the performance will last approximately 70 minutes. You can purchase tickets by calling 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA WAY. North Adams, MA. (Members <$. Non Members $)

Friday, May 20, 6pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/FITNESS
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is an opportunity to celebrate survivors, remembers those who are no longer with us, and fight for a cure. You are invited to contribute to the 11th annual Relay For Life of Northern Berkshire by running, donating, or cheering on the runners at the Noel Field Athletics Complex. 290 State Street, North Adams, MA. (DONATION/VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 28, 10am-4pm
TRANSPORTATION HISTORY/INFRASTRUCTURE
Starting on May 28th, the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum will be offering train rides on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00, 11:30, 1:30 and 3:00. See the Berkshires and experience a vintage 1955 Rail Diesel Car. An interest in trains can be a launching point for learning about engineering as well as history. Trains will also operate on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day. 413-637-2210. 98 Crowley Avenue. North Adams MA. ($. Under 12 <$. Under four FREE)

Monday, May 30, 10am-4pm
TRANSPORTATION HISTORY/INFRASTRUCTURE
The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum will now be offering train rides on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00, 11:30, 1:30 and 3:00. See the Berkshires and experience a vintage 1955 Rail Diesel Car. An interest in trains can be a launching point for learning about engineering as well as history. Trains will also operate on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Columbus Day. 413-637-2210. 98 Crowley Avenue. North Adams MA. ($. Under 12 <$. Under four FREE)

North Adams Farmers’ Market 413-664-6180. St. Anthony Drive & Route 8.
Western Gateway Heritage State Park 413-663-6312. 115 State Street.
North Adams Public Library 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street.
MASS MoCA 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way.
Haskins Community Center 413-664-4821. 210 State Street.
Natural Bridge State Park — 413-663-6392. McCauley Road..

WILLIAMSTOWN

Sunday, May 1, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Every first Sunday of the month, The Clark Art Institute offers free admission! The Clark Art Institute, located in north Berkshire County, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. On this free admission day, visitors can enjoy an outdoor percussion performance, gallery talks, Irish folk music, floral arrangement demonstrations, and special flower-themed crafts! 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, May 1, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/FOLK MUSIC
You can hear established and emerging singer-songwriters in this free performance at Williams College. Well-established folk artist Dar Williams draws on a long-standing folk tradition of writing songs about social justice. Bernice Lewis has been touring for more than three decades, and has worked over the past four years with Williams College student (class of 2016) Lucy Davis. You can hear all three of them perform in Goodrich Hall. 413-597-3131. 880 Main Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 3, 4pm
HISTORY/CARTOGRAPHY
Like fine art, ancient maps attract avid collectors as well as thieves. In his 2014 book, The Map Thief, author Michael Blanding tells the story of once-reputable map dealer E. Forbes Smiley. His book delves into the history of New World cartography as well as modern obsession and attachment to rare objects. You can hear him discuss his book at Williams College, and ask questions in the post-presentation discussion. This talk will take place in the Sawyer Library Archives Chapin Instruction Room 452. 26 Hopkins Hall Drive, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 7, 11am-3pm
FIBER ARTS/NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE
The Sheep to Shawl festival provides opportunities for learning about sheep shearing, sheep herding, and fiber art techniques. Viewing sheep shearing demonstrations done with traditional tools gives attendees the chance to learn about New England history. The Green Mountain Weavers & Spinners Guild will demonstrate techniques such as carding, spinning, weaving, and rug-hooking. Children and adults will have the chance to learn some of these techniques through fiber crafts. Local art and food will be available for purchase. The festival will take place at Sheep Hill on Route 7 approximately one mile south of the Williamstown rotary. Look for the sign on the west side of the road. 413-458-2494.Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, May 10, 5:30pm
ART STUDIES
People who work with art, including art historians, art librarians, gallery owners and collectors, have a wide range of knowledge beyond appreciation of beauty. An unidentified, anonymous work of art is a puzzle to solve, requiring research techniques to determine the medium, time period, fiscal value, and possibly the creator of the work. Conservation and restoration are other facets of art history. Julia Silverman, Williams College Student (class of 2016) has worked to research and conserve three eighteenth-century engraved horns. These works are part of the Historic Deerfield collection. She will be discussing her work at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill on the Clark Art Institute’s campus. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 11, 7pm-9pm
FILM STUDIES
Images Cinema is a non-profit movie theater which showcases works which have had a significant impact on the art of filmmaking. Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing (rated R) had a strong impact on film as well as the national dialogue surrounding race. The film received universal acclaim and won many awards for directing, acting, and best picture. Screening this film can get viewers thinking about how race relations have and have not changed in this country, and how modern films depict these issues. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Saturday, May 14, 8:30am-1pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/VOLUNTEER
Kids grow out of clothing so quickly, buying their clothing can put a strain on parents’ finances. You can help other parents, and support the Williamstown Elementary School PTO, by donating your clothing or time to their Children’s Clothing Sale. If you wish to donate gently used clothing such as items sportswear, swimwear, costumes, or shoes in sizes 0(infants) – 16 (teens), or maternity wear, please drop them off in donation bins in the front lobby of the school. If you want to help run the sale, please email wesclothingsale@gmail.com. Otherwise, come shop for gently used clothing at great prices! Everyone wins. The sale will take place in the the Williamstown Elementary School Cafeteria. 413- 458-5707. 115 Church Street, Williamstown, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Sunday, May 15, 12:30pm
FILM STUDIES/CULTURE STUDIES
Screening foreign films is an entertaining way to gain insight into a culture different from your own. The animated drama Only Yesterday was the highest grossing film in Japan when it was released in 1991. This animated film was targeted to adults, rather than children, but with its PG rating and animated style children may also be interested in seeing it. Only Yesterday tells the story of 27-year-old Taeko as she wrestles with her career and romantic life, with frequent flashbacks to her childhood in the late 1960s and 1970s. This film is being screened at Images Cinema as part of a foreign film series. All ages are welcome. 413-458-1039. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Sunday, May 15, 10am-5pm
LITERACY/ART STUDIES
One way to learn about art is by experiencing it- visiting galleries or making art yourself. Art textbooks and catalogues of artwork allow you to continue your learning outside of the gallery or the studio. The Clark Art Institute is hosting a book sale, where you can find books about artists, art history, architecture, photography, gardening, decorative arts, and other illustrated topics. There will be books available for all ages and artistic tastes. At 3pm, the museum will host a talk from their Interim Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, Lara Yeager-Crasselt. She will discuss her book, Michael Sweerts (1618–1664): Shaping the Artist and the Academy in Rome and Brussels. You’re invited to attend the talk and the book sale, for a multi-faceted learning experience. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE/SALE)

Monday May 16, 2pm
ART STUDIES/ELDER CARE
The Clark Art Institute invites persons with dementia and their caregivers to a free gallery talk! Groups are welcome as well as pairs. The Clark, which is both an art museum and a center for research and education, is closed on Mondays, providing a safe and private atmosphere for this tour. Specially trained docents will guide participants in an open-ended conversation about art. Through this program, the museum staff seek to encourage self-expression and a positive social experience for people with dementia and the people who love and care for them. 413-458-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 16, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/CULTURE STUDIES
Screening foreign films is an entertaining way to gain insight into a culture different from your own. The animated drama Only Yesterday was the highest grossing film in Japan when it was released in 1991. This animated film was targeted to adults, rather than children, but with its PG rating and animated style children may also be interested in seeing it. Only Yesterday tells the story of 27-year-old Taeko as she wrestles with her career and romantic life, with frequent flashbacks to her childhood in the late 1960s and 1970s. This film is being screened at Images Cinema as part of a foreign film series. All ages are welcome. 413-458-1039. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Milne Public Library 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street.
Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road.
Clark Art Institute 413-458-2303. 225 South Street.
Images Cinema. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street.
Sweet Brook Farm — 413-884-4246. 580 Oblong Road.
Williams College Museum of Art — 413-597-2376. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive.
Williamstown Youth Center — 413-458-5925. 270 Cole Avenue.

WINDSOR

Saturday, May 7, 10am-1pm
ECOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Do you enjoy the puzzle of identifying species of trees and plants, including wild edible plants? Come to this moderate, three mile hike to learn about the species which thrive in the high elevation Spruce-Fir forests of the Berkshires. Expand your knowledge of plant life as you discover the defining characteristics of blue bead lilly, painted and red trillium, trout lily, wild leeks and more. Directions will be sent upon registration. Email aimee@gaiaroots.com for more information and to register. Berkshire county, (FREE)

Notchview Reservation 413-684-0148. Route 9. Windsor, MA.

Suggest Event


Central Berkshire

Becket | Dalton | Hinsdale | Lee | Lenox | Peru | Pittsfield | Richmond | Stockbridge | Tyringham | Washington | West Stockbridge

North Berkshire | South Berkshire

Donate Now

Support Hilltown Families!

BECKET

DALTON

Saturday, May 7, 9am-11:30am
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/WALK
The Walk for Massachusetts Children is a fundraising event which supports the overarching goal of getting adults and families to volunteer their time in order to support a child in their community. The ten day walk covers 136 miles and 26 towns. The walks raise money for family centers, child bereavement centers, and support systems for homeless children. On Saturday, May 7, the walk will begin in Dalton and end in Pittsfield. For more information, visit the Walk for MA Children website. You are invited to participate for all or some of the day. Please register by emailing scranewalks@gmail.com. 413-265-8217. Dalton Community Center. Main Street, Dalton, MA. (VOLUNTEER/DONATION)

Dalton Free Public Library 0 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street.

Crane Museum of Papermaking — Visit the Crane Museum of Papermaking to learn about the history of papermaking at Crane since the early 1800’s. Located on the banks of the Housatonic River, the building itself is a museum! This is a great opportunity to learn about local history. The museum is open weekdays from 1-5pm. — 413-684-2600. 30 South Street. (FREE)

HINSDALE

LEE

Saturday, May 7, 9am-12pm
VOLUNTEER/SUSTAINABILITY
Do you want to help clean up your community and encourage recycling? Participate in Lee’s first annual Greener Gateway Cleanup day! Participants will pick up trash, and have a celebration at the gazebo. To volunteer or for more information, contact Valerie at valerie4748@gmail.com. Lee, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 7, 11am-12pm
FAMILY THEATER
Kids are natural explorers, having new experiences every day. It is no surprise that many children would be enchanted by stories of pirates, exploring unknown lands and miles of sea. Pirates! is an adventure tale full of mysteries and riddles for children and adults to solve. With puppets, music, masks and more, actors will perform this tale for audience members of all ages at The Spectrum Playhouse. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street, Lee MA. (DONATION)

Spectrum Playhouse – 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street.
South Berkshire Kids – 413-464-5095. 100 Main Street.
Lee Library – 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street.

LENOX

Sunday, May 1, 9am-4pm
ORNITHOLOGY/ZOOLOGY
With Spring in the air, you may find yourself wondering about bird calls and sounds. What is the purpose of the sounds they make? How come some birds just seem to vocalize simple chirps while others have elaborate, melodious songs? Bird songs evolve socially, and although species sing the same song, dialects develop regionally. “Bird language” is a term referring to the combined chirps, songs, and behaviors which allow birds to communicate with each other. Humans can learn these cues too! This workshop at the Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries and Flying Deer Nature Center will teach participants about bird language through storytelling, lecture, slideshows, outdoor activities and field exercises. There will be activities for adults and teens, as well as a separate day of activities for kids ages six through twelve. 413-637-0320. 472 W Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, May 1, 3:30pm
HISTORY/GAMES
Want to learn about 19th century life by playing a fun dice game? Bunco was a popular game originating in San Francisco during the 1850’s Gold Rush, and was played up until about the 1920s. There has been a Bunco revival going on since the 1980s. You’re invited to the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum to learn about the game, and play! Please register by April 30th by calling 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($)

Wednesday, May 4, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Do you love to watch birds? Can you name some of the species that are frequently found visiting backyard birdfeeders? Would you like to know more, or to simply enjoy some time connecting to nature? Bird watching is a wonderful way to get outdoors early in the morning while the world is especially peaceful. Jonathan Pierce, caretaker of the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, runs this weekly bird walk for beginning and advanced birders. Learn new bird species as you explore the sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 4, 9am-4pm
NATURE STUDIES
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’s trails cover forests, meadows, and wetlands, allowing visitors to enjoy scenic views and learn about local wildlife. Berkshire residents can enjoy free admission on the first Wednesday of the month! Registration is not required. Please bring valid ID. 413-637-0320. 472 W Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 7, 9:30am-12pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Are wildflowers popping up in your yard or neighborhood? Do you know what kind of plants they are? You can discover signs of spring on a leisurely walk at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Walk leaders will teach you about the natural history of the land and explain how to identify several plants. Then, participants will gather for tea and do some light research on any plants the group could not identify. Bring a hand lens if you have one. All ages are welcome; this event is best suited for children five and up. 413- 637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (<$. Children FREE)

Tuesday, May 17, 1pm-3pm
FIBER ARTS
Do you enjoy fiber arts such as knitting or felting? Come to the Lenox Community Center and learn to make decorative spheres or bowls out of yarn, twine, and paper. These can be used as table centerpieces, hung from ceilings, given as gifts, you name it! This relatively simple craft should make for a relaxing learning experience. 413-637-5530. 65 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 18, 7pm-8:30pm
ZOOLOGY/ECOLOGY
Beavers have a remarkable impact on their habitat, as other animals are attracted to the ponds beavers create. Beavers help keep drinking water safe and increase biodiversity. Come to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to learn more about their habits and the history of beavers in North America. Beavers have spent 7 million years in this region, and many reintroduction efforts have taken place to improve declining beaver populations.This event is suitable for children three to twelve years old and their caregivers. Dress for the outdoors in long pants, long sleeves, and a hat. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. ($ Adult <$ Child <$ Members)

Saturday, May 28, 10am-3pm
LITERACY/FITNESS
Story walks combine two very healthy activities for families: reading and exercise. This year the Lenox Library has chosen The Ugly Vegetables for its annual story walk. Grab a map from the library and find the pages of this beloved picture book enlarged and posted around town. The first page of the book will begin your journey at the Roche Reading park and the final page can be found in the Children’s Room of the library. There will also be live readings of the book at 11am and 12pm at the library. For those who are interested in utilizing story walks as a resource (for example, teachers, child care providers, and homeschool parents) the Pittsfield Public Library has story walk books you can borrow! 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 28, 10am-3pm
PLACEMAKING/CULINARY ARTS/HORTICULTURE
You may think of rhubarb as a simple side vegetable, but at the Lenox Rhubarb Festival you’ll see this ingredient used in pies, chili, and even beverages! Learn by example by purchasing a rhubarb recipe booklet and fresh local rhubarb. There will also be rhubarb plants available, and advice from local experts, for those who want to learn how to grow the plant on their own. Lenox Library. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Sunday, May 29, 4pm
STEM/HISTORY OF SCIENCE
In Steven Weinberg’s lecture, “To Explain The World,” he will relay ancient and medieval models of the world and explain the limitations of these theories. Out of attempts to explain observable phenomenon such as the movement of planets and tides, science eventually emerged. Learn about history and science at the same time, at the Lenox Library. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Lenox Library — 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street.
Lenox Historical Society — Main Street.
The Mount – 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street.
Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
– 472 West Mountain Road.
Shakespeare and Company – 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street.
Ventfort Hall – 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street.

PERU

PITTSFIELD

Sunday, May 1, 2pm
FILM STUDIES/HOLOCAUST STUDIES
The film Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers tells the story of Warsaw women who risked their lives to save thousands of Jewish children during World War II. Filmmakers use interviews, rare archival footage, family photographs to capture this courageous tale. You can attend a free screening at the Berkshire Museum and participate in a post-show discussion. 413-443-7171 ext. 360. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 7, 10:30am
LOCAL HISTORY/ABOLITIONISM
Ben Z. Rose, the author of the book Mother of Freedom: Mum Bett and the Roots of Abolitionism will be the first speaker in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College’s annual Distinguished Speakers Series. Mr. Rose will discuss the life of the Berkshires’ Mum Bett, who later changed her name to Elizabeth Freeman, the first black enslaved person to gain her freedom in a court of law based on the principle of general equality. Her case, tried by two attorneys eighty years before the Civil War, set in motion a sequence of events that would bring an end to slavery in New England. 413-236-2190. K-111 lecture hall, Koussevitsky Arts Center on Berkshire Community College. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA (>$)

Saturday, May 7, 11am-11pm
FOOD CULTURE/PLACEMAKING
In the April 2016 issue of Time magazine, Chef Roy Choi was named one of the top 100 most influential people, in part because he helped bring food trucks into the mainstream and made high quality food available on his trucks. The mobility of food trucks make it possible to easily provide many different options for attendees of food fairs. Pittsfield’s 3rd annual Food Truck Rodeo will feature Lebanese, Latin American, classic American food, and more. There will be children’s activities and proceeds will support The Giving Garden. Come to Shire City Sanctuary to take part in the cultural movement of food truck dining. 40 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, May 7, 11am-11pm
SUSTAINABILITY/PLACEMAKING
Climate change is a global problem, but climate action can be achieved successfully on a local level. Berkshire County boasts a growing climate action network including 350Mass Berkshires and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT). “Living the Change,” Climate Action and Sustainability Fair at The Shire City Sanctuary, gives community members a chance to learn more about these efforts and become actively involved. Presentations will cover topics such as community-building, sustainable economy, local activism, solar energy, and more. Child care will be available during presentations. There will be movies, dancing, and plenty of activities for children throughout the day. A full schedule can be found on the 350Mass Berkshires and Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) websites. For more information call 413-329- 3514. 40 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 7, 7pm; Sunday, May 8, 7pm; Monday, May 9, 1:30pm and 7pm
FILM STUDIES/ZOOLOGY
This screening of family-friendly, short animated films at the Berkshire Museum allows children and adults to learn about art, film, biology, and natural history. Filmmakers and journalists capture science and natural history with paper-puppet animation techniques. The screening is free with regular museum admission. Be sure to check out the ArtZoo exhibit for further learning about animals and art! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($. Under 18 <$. Under 3 FREE)

Friday, May 13, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Identifying birds by their calls is a great introduction to both nature studies and music theory. Do you know what a “major third” sounds like? This is an interval of two whole steps on a major scale, and it is used by the white-throated sparrow in one of their two main bird songs. You don’t have to know anything about music to identify birds by their calls, however. You just have to learn what sounds to listen for. Noreen Mole and Jonathan Pierce will teach you about the appearance and sounds of wood warblers and other birds in this hike around the Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Spring is a great time to learn about migrating birds. Beginners are welcome. This program is best suited for adults. Bring binoculars. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 11am-4pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/PLANT AND SOIL SCIENCE
Invasive plant species thrive and spread to a degree that they begin to do harm to the biodiversity of their habitats. These species can be harmful to human health as they dominate an ecosystem in a dangerous way. Hardy Kiwi is a local invasive species which kills all other vegetation as it spreads. You can help remove Hardy Kiwi from the area around Burbank Park. Volunteers will meet at the boat launch. 413-429-6416. Lakeway Drive, Pittsfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Friday, May 20, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
You can bird watch year-round, but Spring and Fall are the best times to learn about migrating birds. Jonathan Pierce, Pleasant Valley Caretaker and Hoffman Bird Club Leader, will help participants identify newly arrived wood-warblers during this guided nature walk. These birds are small, but many of them are bright and colorful, making them relatively easy to spot. Learn about local ecology while enjoying a walk around the Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Please bring binoculars. Beginners are welcome, no registration needed. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 20, 7pm-11pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/DANCE LESSONS
Want to learn how to swing dance without committing to a series of expensive lessons? The Shire City Sanctuary Rhythm Club will provide lessons for beginners from 7-8. Advanced dancers are welcome to arrive at 8pm to dance along to live jazz music by The Lucky 5. All ages welcome! 413-236-9600. 40 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Monday, May 30, 9am
PARADE & CEREMONY
Hosted by the Berkshire Veterans Coalition, Pittsfield Memorial Day Parade will consist of a parade departing from City Hall and ending at the Pittsfield Cemetery. The day’s event also includes high school marching bands, scout troupes, color & honor guards, city officials and an intergenerational audience! 413-443-5133. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Monday, May 30, 8pm
WORLD PREMIER/MUSICAL
The exciting new musical Presto Change-O features a star-studded cast that includes Tony Award winner Michael Rupert (Broadway’s Falsettos, On The Town), Tony Award nominee Jarrod Spector (Broadway’s Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Tony Award nominee Barbara Walsh (Broadway’s Company), Jenni Barber (Broadway’s Wicked), Bob Walton (Broadway’s 42nd Street), and Lenny Wolpe (Broadway’s The Drowsy Chaperone, Wicked). Presto Change-O tells the story of three generations of magicians who find themselves under one roof for the first time in years. When the grandfather causes real magic to happen, they must confront their past mistakes and re-examine what it means to be a family. The show is presented by the Barrington Stage Company and performances will be held on the St. Germain Stage. 413-236-8888. 36 Linden Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

The Berkshire Athenaeum 413-499-4809. 1 Wendell Avenue.
Berkshire Humane Society 413-447-7878. 214 Barker Road.
Berkshire Lyric Theatre – 413-499-0258
Berkshire Museum – 413-443-7171 x10. 39 South Street.
Berkshire Music School — 413-442-1411. 30 Wendell Ave.
Colonial Theatre — 413-298-5576. 111 South Street.
Downtown Pittsfield Farmers’ Market. First Street.
First Friday Artswalk — Downtown.
Hancock Shaker Village – 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street.
Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. 413-442-1793. 780 Holmes Road.

RICHMOND

Hilltop Orchard — Route 295.

STOCKBRIDGE

Tuesday, May 10, 6:30pm
FILM STUDIES/LITERACY/HISTORY
Self-doubt is a common emotion for writers, even successful, professional writers. Sion Dayson overcame her insecurity as a writer in an usual way, living for three months in the former home of Jack Kerouac. At this screening of the documentary short, Haunting the Kerouac House, you will learn about literary history and the creative process. Sion Dayson, as well as the film’s director Frederic Monpierre, will be present during the screening and will discuss their collaborative work. Come to the Stockbridge Library to meet them and learn about their work. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 14, 10am-1pm
SKILLSHARING/LOCAL HISTORY
Do you ever have fires in your fireplace or backyard? How do you start them? Fire-building used to be a necessary and common skill. Come to The Mission House to learn how to build a fire without matches. The workshop leader will demonstrate tools and techniques used by Native Americans and white settlers living in the Berkshires. This workshop is appropriate for children ages 6 and up, with an adult. Call 413-298-3239, ext. 3013 to register. 19 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Saturday, May 14, 1pm-4pm
ART HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
This Family Day at the Norman Rockwell Museum celebrates the 100th anniversary of Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post cover, “Boy With Baby Carriage.” You and your family can see outdoor sculptures based on the image, listen to storytelling, hear gallery talks and enjoy refreshments. From 2pm to 4pm visitors are invited to draw in the galleries and on the lawn. To continue learning and engaging with Rockwell’s iconic artwork after you leave the museum, you can participate in a photo contest. To enter, follow the Norman Rockwell Museum on social media and post a photo of someone you know in a baby carriage using the hashtag #100yearoldbaby. A winning photo will be picked at random and will receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card and a Family Membership to the Norman Rockwell Museum. Full details can be found on the museum’s website. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road, Stockbridge, MA. (Adults $. Children 6-18 <$. Children under 3 and museum members FREE)

Sunday, May 15, 4pm
LITERACY/PHILOSOPHY
Philosophers use logic and rhetorical skills to argue in favor of their views on the universe, usually doing so in the written form. Studying philosophy can leave the student with more questions than answers as various philosophers argue opposing viewpoints. Daniel Klein’s book, Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It: Wisdom of the Great Philosophers on How to Live, provides humorous insight into this process while also providing a crash course in the history of philosophy. Join Klein at the Stockbridge Public Library as he discusses his book and signs copies. 413- 298-5501. 46 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 18, 10am-5pm
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Norman Rockwell was an American painter and illustrator, best known for his Saturday Evening Post covers and his series of paintings, the Four Freedoms. The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge hosts the world’s largest collection of original Norman Rockwell artwork, providing local residents with a resource for learning about art and American history. In celebration of International Art Museum Day, you can visit the museum for free on Wednesday May 18th! 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 19, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/LITERACY
Comparing books with their film adaptations is one way of analyzing the advantages of either medium. Books give the reader ample opportunity to explore the internal thoughts of a character or many characters, whereas films can only achieve this through narration. Films, on the other hand, can pair visual elements with dialogue and music. It isn’t fair to expect a film to exactly mirror the book it is based on, or elicit the same reactions and emotions in the audience. The Stockbridge Public Library is encouraging people to think about film adaptations with this screening of the 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Rated G). Copies of the Truman Capote novella this film is based on will be available to check out through the library. The screening will take place in the Austen Riggs Center’s Medical Office Building. 413- 298-5501. 25 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 28, 10am-5pm
HISTORY/SCULPTURE
Chesterwood, a National Historic Landmark and museum of Daniel Chester’s work, opens for the season on May 28th. Daniel Chester is considered America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments and best known for the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. Come explore Chester’s summer home and the grounds, and learn about local and national history through the life of a man who sought to preserve historical figures in his art. 413- 298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. NTHP members, military, and children 17 and under <$. Grounds-only admission <$)

Monday, May 30, 11am-2pm
MEMORIAL DAY PARADE/COMMUNITY PICNIC
Stockbridge Memorial Day parade host a cemetery ceremonies, parade, memorial program, and a community potluck picnic. Day begins at 11am at the Town Hall and ends on the Town Green with a town picnic around 1pm. 413-644-3590. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, May 31, 6:30pm
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT/LOCAL HISTORY
You can meet and engage in important dialogues with local members of the Mohican nation by attending the Stockbridge Library Association’s Annual Meeting. This meeting will feature representatives from the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Nation. These representatives will relay the story of Stockbridge, which was founded as “Indian town” in the 1730s. For more information call 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Berkshire Botanical Garden 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road.
Chesterwood — 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road
Norman Rockwell Museum – 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183.
The Stockbridge Library, Museum, and Archives – 413-298-5501. 18 Main Street.

TYRINGHAM

Ashintully Gardens. 413-298-3239. Sodem Road.

WASHINGTON

WEST STOCKBRIDGE

West Stockbridge Public Library – 413-232-0300 x308. 21 State Line Road.

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South Berkshire

Alford | Great Barrington | Housatonic | Monterey | New Marlborough | Sheffield

North Berkshire | Central Berkshire

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ALFORD

GREAT BARRINGTON

Friday, May 6, 7pm-9pm
COMMUNITY MUSIC/PERCUSSION
Hand drums and other percussion instruments are perfect for highly inclusive music sessions. Playing drums does not require any melodic knowledge, just rhythm. All are invited to a community drum and dance night at Berkcirque. Bring hand drums if you have them. 413-429-4215. 115 Gas House Lane, Great Barrington, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, May 7, 3pm-6pm
CIRCUS ARTS
Circus acts require the ability to engage a crowd through performance, while executing physical strength, balance, and teamwork. Berkcirque provides people of all ages with the opportunity to practice these skills. Come to their Jubilee! Showcase of student work to support them and find out what they’re all about. There will be food, and a raffle with amazing prizes including free classes and workshops. 413-429-4215. 115 Gas House Lane, Great Barrington, MA. (<$)

Sunday, May 15, 1:30pm
THEATER/HISTORY
Tony award winning play, The Audience, is an enthralling story of British politics and history. London’s National Theatre’s performance stars Helen Miren as Queen Elizabeth II, and delves into the highly secretive meetings between the Queen and each of her twelve Prime Ministers. Come to the Castle Street Café at 1:30pm for a pre-broadcast Harney Tea tasting, or arrive at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center at 3pm just for the broadcast. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA. (<$ for Tea. $ for Broadcast. $$ for both.)

Monday, May 30, 11am
MEMORIAL DAY PARADE
Great Barrington Memorial Day parade begins at the corner of Cottage &  Main Streets and end at the  Town Hall. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, May 31, 9:30am-11am
INTERGENERATIONAL HORTICULTURE
Children under five and their caregivers are invited to participate in a garden playgroup, sponsored by the Trustees of Reservations. Your kids can learn about locally grown vegetables. Interacting with healthy foods in fun ways with help them form positive associations with these foods. Children and their caregivers will gain the knowledge and skills to start their own gardens at home. Babies are also welcome. Groups will take place at Monument Mountain every Tuesday until June 28 2016. Registration is recommended. 413-298-3239. Great Barrington, MA. (<$)

Berkshire South Regional Community Center — 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road.
Great Barrington Historical Society — South Main Street.
The Guthrie Center — 413-644-9288. 2 Van Deusenville Road.
Great Barrington Riverwalk — Church and River Streets.
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center — 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street.
Mason Library — 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street.
South Berkshire Kids – 413-464-5095. 444 Old Stockbridge Road.

HOUSATONIC

Wednesday, May 18, 6:30pm-8pm
WRITING
Muriel Rukeyser once posed this challenge: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” The Powder Keg Sessions is a women’s writing workshop at the Ramsdell library, where women come together to share their truths. The workshops are run by Suzi Banks Baum, an author, artist, and mother who teaches classes on nurturing the habit of daily writing. Come see what writing can do for you, and what your writing can do for others. 413- 274-3738. 1087 Main Street, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 18, 7pm-8pm
FILM STUDIES/HISTORY
The creation of art, whether it be music, visual art, writing, or something else, helps artists add meaning and purpose to their lives. At the end of World War II, thousands of secretly created artworks were found in concentration camps. These artworks provide historians with a new perspective and understanding of life in the camps. The 2015 film Because I Was a Painter (Not Rated) explores these artworks through interviews with surviving artists. You can attend a free screening of the film at the Ramsdell library. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Monday, May 30, 9am
MEMORIAL DAY PARADE
Housatonic Memorial Day parade begins at the fire station and end at the cemetery on VanDeusenville Road . Housatonic, MA (FREE)

Project Native – 413-274-3433. 342 North Plain Road.
Ramsdell Library – 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street.

MONTEREY

Bidwell House Museum — 413-528-6888. 100 Art School Road.

NEW MARLBOROUGH

Cookson State Forest — Hotchkiss Road.
New Marlborough Library — 413-664-0104. 1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road.

OTIS

Saturday, May 28, 9am-3pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Want to shop for new furniture, clothes, local crafts and more while supporting your neighbors? Participate in the Otis Cultural Council’s tag sale! Spring is a great time to sell or donate unwanted items in a cycle of collaborative consumption. For more information call 413-269-4008. Otis Ridge parking center. 159 Monterey Road. Otis, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Otis Library and Museum – 413-269-0109. 48 North Main Road.

SANDISFIELD

SHEFFIELD

Sunday, May 8, 9am-11am
NATURE STUDIES/GUIDED HIKE
Nature lovers of all ages are invited to Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary Through the Seasons, Spring edition. Participants will look for newly budding Spring flowers and other plant growth. You will have the chance to explore a variety of natural spaces including farm fields, forests, swamps, and abandoned lime quarries. 413-637-0320. 568 Silver Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, May 8, 2pm-4pm
MOTHER’S DAY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Don’t just buy flowers for mom on mother’s day, learn to identify them! On this special Mother’s Day guided walk around Bartholomew’s Cobble, attendees will get to see and learn about a variety of wildflowers. A naturalist will educate participants about the rare species which thrive at the cobble, and why. 413-298-3239×3013. 117 Cooper Hill Road, Sheffield, MA. (Member <$ Non member $)

Saturday, May 14, 7am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED HIKE
Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary’s “Through the Seasons” programs encourage nature lovers to visit the sanctuary and observe seasonal changes. This morning bird walk offers the chance to look and listen for migrating birds. 413-637-0320. 568 Silver Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Bushnell-Sage Library – 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street.
Bartholomew’s Cobble – 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road.
Sheffield Historical Society. 413-229-2694. 91 Main St.

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