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Bits & Bytes: Simon’s Rock Jazz Ensemble; Hudson Hall Gala; Repair Cafe in Williamstown; Play Reading at Ventfort Hall; Pops Peterson to “Notice Otis”

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The Simon’s Rock Jazz Ensemble will give a concert on May 13

Greater Barrington— Simon’s Rock Jazz Ensemble, led by Professor John Myers, will perform Friday, May 13 at 8 p.m. at the McConnell Theater at the Daniel Arts Center. The ensemble will perform a variety of magnificent standards from the great jazz masters, with plenty of energetic and creative improvisation by its talented members. The program will include pieces by Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Bill Evans, etc., including an original composition by Myers; “At the limit of .edu.” The concert will also feature Allan Dean on trumpet. Dean is professor emeritus of trumpet at the Yale School of Music and special guest artist at Simon’s Rock. John Myers’ compositions have been performed locally by Crescendo Chorus and Winds in the Wilderness. He performs regularly as a guitarist.

Reservations are required and must be made here.

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THE SOCIETY OF OWNERS – Hudson Hall’s Annual Fundraising Gala, May 14 from 6 p.m.

Tickets start at $150 for cocktails (6-7:30 p.m.), $300 for dinner (limited capacity). Proof of vaccination required.

Join local artists in a festive party filled with the best of Hudson Valley art, performance, and farm-to-table food.

The Spring Gala is the biggest fundraiser of the year at Hudson Hall and a crucial source of funding for the year-long program quality and affordable cultural programs and free community events, youth workshops and artist residencies.

Help keep the arts accessible to everyone by purchasing your ticket or making a donation today.

Youth Music Program at Hudson Hall. Photo: David Lee

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Williamstown Repair Café Saturday May 14 at Sheep Hill

Williamstown— Do you have a broken lamp? A holey sock? A torn seam? A necklace with leaky rhinestones? A knife that has ceased to be the sharpest blade in the drawer? Come to the Repair Café, co-sponsored by the South Williamstown Community Association and Williamstown Rural Lands at Sheep Hill, 671 Cold Spring Road (Route 7) Saturday afternoon, May 14, 1-4 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Volunteer “repairers” will include people who can do small electrical repairs (vacuum cleaners, immersion blenders, lamps), wood furniture repair (chairs, benches, picture frames), blade sharpening (knives, scissors, small tools ), costume jewelry repair (replacement rhinestones, new clasps), leather repairs, and our ever-popular menders, knitters, and dressmakers.

Two IT specialists will be available. The BagShare project will have materials and grommet machines to make reusable shopping bags. Come and learn how to make a bag. It’s a great activity for older kids, and it keeps all kinds of feed and sacks of barley out of the landfill.

The Repair Café is free, although donations are accepted. It’s about helping our neighbors and helping our planet.

The concept of Repair Café was born in the Netherlands in 2009. There are now hundreds of them all over the world.

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Reading of ‘Mr. Fullerton, between the sheets’ at Ventfort Hall, May 15

Lenox – Anne Undeland’s new play, ‘Mr. Fullerton, Between the Sheets’ was produced in 2021 by Great Barrington Public Theater and was nominated for four Berkshire Theater Critics Association Awards, including Outstanding New Play. Following a sold-out run at Great Barrington Public Theater in 2021, “Mr. Fullerton” has been picked up by Gloucester Stage for a brand new production this summer! The Berkshire cast, along with director Judy Braha, will be reading at Ventfort Hall on Sunday, May 15 at 7 p.m.

“Mr. Fullerton” takes us to Paris in 1908 and reunites Edith Wharton, her dear friend Henry James, her lover Morton Fullerton and her Irish maid Posy in a hair-raising tale of Wharton’s true midlife romance. A literary and historical banquet of language, gender, mores and mannerisms, “Mr. Fullerton” sparkles with wit while examining class differences and the complexity of human relationships. More than anything, the play makes us fall in love with Edith Wharton, the people in her life, and most importantly, her glorious writing.

Anne Undeland is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Howl Playwrights, The Writers’ Rock and Berkshire Voices. Her work has been featured nationwide with her short ‘The Kiss’ which won Best Play at the Ten Minute Play Festival at the West Side Y and her audio play ‘Adeline’s Gambol’ which was a finalist for the Miller Audio Award. at the Missouri Review. Her full-length play, “Lady Randy”, was produced by WAM Theater and performed at Shakespeare & Co in Lenox in 2019,

Tickets are $25. One must reserve. For reservation call us at (413) 637-3206. Please note that all tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. Proof of vaccination and ID required. The historic mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.

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Otis Historical Commission Presents Cultural Evening

Otis— The Otis Historical Commission and Otis Preservation Trust (OPT) are organizing the fourth Otis Reviews Cultural event of the 2021-22 season series on Thursday, May 19and to 19h. The evening features renowned artist-activist Pops Peterson presenting The creation of a protest artist, a survey of protest art throughout history and modern times, including his own famous works on chuman rights and women’s rights movements. [See photo insets]. The event is in person at Otis Town Hall and via Zoom.

Peterson credits his mother for bringing him to his first protest, a picket line in support of the nonviolent civil rights protests in North Carolina, known as the Greensboro sit-in. The Berkshire-based artist says he feels like he’s been ‘drafted’ into the civil rights community in his later years, due to his diverse and inclusive updates of Norman Rockwell’s iconic works . “I’m here to inspire people and hopefully fight the racism and bigotry that’s coming back in such terrifying ways,” Peterson said. “I lived this story, I didn’t have to learn it. My family participated in local NAACP meetings and events like the March on Washington. You had to do it, you felt your life was at stake.”

One of Peterson’s most recent protest artworks, titled, I am with her, a mural in Pittsfield, Mass., has been heralded as a culturally significant event. It features more than 40 models from Berkshire County – mostly women – who symbolize global protests led by women, including the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C. Peterson called it “the ultimate testament to her craft” when dozens of local people responded to the online notice posted for volunteers to pose in his digital photos, later edited for a canvas.

Peterson is perhaps best known for his award-winning series Reinventing Rockwell which is featured permanently on the Norman Rockwell Museum website. by Peterson Rockwell revisited (2020-2021) has been extended to become the longest solo exhibition in the history of the Norman Rockwell Museum. The artist’s work has received high praise in reviews from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, CBS, NPR and ABC networks.

Pops Peterson reinvents Rockwell
Pops Peterson’s Worship-Golden Rule from his “Re-inventing Rockwell” series

As a speaker on the arts and civil rights, Pops recently participated in the New Pathways Social Justice Conference: Scholarships and Arts in Action, with Angela Davis, as well as a webinar for The New School, a live SRO appearance at the Monterey Public Library and The Foundry. He is most proud to present Free portraits, a survey of activist artists over the decades, in public schools in Pittsfield, Hartford, Connecticut, and New Haven, Connecticut, bringing to young people important stories of civil rights heroes who worked and fought to create the free world they enjoy today.

This event will be accessible live, in person at Otis Town Hall, One North Main Road, Otis, Massachusetts, as well as via Zoom. Donations welcome.

To register for this event, go to https://optin.today or the city website – https://townofotisma.com