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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

The People's Pantry Launches First Fundraiser in 23 Years
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
04:30AM / Monday, June 27, 2022

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The People's Pantry has launched its first fundraiser in more than 20 years of operating with a goal of raising $300,000. This money will allow it to feed the community for the rest of 2022.

A drastic increase in need coupled with inflation has led the organization to this venture.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the pantry fed around 500 individuals a month and now it feeds more than 2,000.

Expenses have also dramatically risen, with its operating budget increasing by 500 percent between 2018 and 2021.

"The numbers have just skyrocketed," said Rees Shad, a member of the nonprofit's communications committee..

The Help-Fill-The-Bag

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World Premiere of 'The Equality of Night and Day' at Jacob's Pillow
12:14PM / Friday, June 24, 2022
BECKET, Mass. — Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE returns to Jacob's Pillow in Week 2 of the Dance Festival this year from June 29-July 3.    The company will perform several works, including the world premiere of "The Equality of Night and Day," with noted jazz composer Jason Moran playing live for each performance. Also in Week 2, BODYTRAFFIC will perform on the outdoor Henry J. Leir Stage, and Loni Landon Dance Project featuring Mary Lattimore will perform Solace of Surrender in the Great Lawn Tent on Friday and Saturday.   In addition to live performances, PillowTalks will be offered free of charge in Blake's Barn. Week 2 PillowTalks welcome Festival

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Juvenile Facing Charges in Searles School Fire
04:19PM / Thursday, June 23, 2022
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A teenager will face arson-related charges in connection with a fire this past weekend at the vacant Searles School.   The youth, who is not being identified because he is under 17, will be summonsed to appear in Berkshire County Juvenile Court at a later date.   "Every fire has the potential to hurt someone," said Fire Chief Charles Burger. "We're fortunate that this particular incident didn't grow larger and put the community or the firefighters who serve them at risk."   Great Barrington firefighters responded to 79 Bridge St. just after 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 19, following a 911 call and observed smoke coming

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The 2022 Summer Music Festival Season Begins
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
08:00AM / Wednesday, June 22, 2022
The summer concert season is upon us, and how lucky are we music lovers to be living right here, in the Berkshires, at what can only be described as “Music Heaven!”   With performances easily accessible nearby, a short, pleasant drive, within our contiguous two-state region, concertgoers will have a wide selection of music in a multiplicity of styles to enjoy in venues grand (Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass) or intimate (Taconic Music in southwestern Vermont and Marlboro Music to the east near Brattleboro).   Scanning the upcoming offerings of these and also several other important venues in the region, it looks to be an especially exciting and brilliant summer season of

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The Bidwell Country Fair
03:15PM / Tuesday, June 21, 2022
MONTEREY, Mass. — After a 2-year hiatus, the Bidwell House Museum will bring back the Bidwell Country Fair.   The free community event is on Saturday, June 25 from 12-4 p.m. at the Bidwell House Museum. The event coincides with Monterey celebrating the town's 175th anniversary.    There will be activities for the whole family at the Fair including music, reenactors, artisan demonstrations, crafts, food and more.   On the musical stage, Moonshine Holler and Oakes and Smith will play.   The Butler's Rangers, Loyalist Reenactors, will be at the Museum all afternoon talking about what life was like for those who fought alongside the British during the

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BART Announces Junior Book Awards
11:28AM / Tuesday, June 21, 2022
ADAMS, Mass — Berkshire Arts and Technology (BArT) Charter Public School presented Junior Book Awards during a ceremony on Friday, June 17 at an all-school assembly.   The recipients follow:   The Saint Anselm College Book Award goes to a junior who exercises a capacity for academic achievement and qualities in the areas of civic engagement and social responsibility. This award goes to Josiah Hylton.   The RIT Award is given to a junior or juniors who demonstrate high academic promise. The awardee will receive a waived application fee and a $32,000 scholarship ($8,000 annually) if they are accepted for admission to an RIT BS/BFA program, and enroll full-time in the fall

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Renovated Ted Shawn Theatre Reopens
By Sabrina Damms, iBerkshires Staff
08:36AM / Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Trustees Chairman Christopher Jones talks about the efforts that got Jacob's Pillow to this point.  BECKET, Mass. — Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival celebrated on Saturday the opening of the newly renovated Ted Shawn Theatre, a five-year project to restore the first theater in the nation dedicated to dance.    Built in 1942 as part of founder Ted Shawn's vision for presenting dance, the 80-year-old structure has been in dire need of upgrades to continue to support the dance community.    Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher Jones explained that over the last 80 years, the growth of the Pillow over the Berkshire summers motivated the board to

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Fire Officials Urge Residents to Leave Fireworks to the Professionals
08:03AM / Tuesday, June 14, 2022
STOW, Mass. — Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and State Police Colonel Christopher S. Mason are reminding residents to leave fireworks to the professionals this summer.   Massachusetts fire departments reported more than 900 fires related to illegal fireworks between 2012 and 2021, officials said. In addition to the 43 fire service injuries and $2.1 million in damages attributed to these fires, Massachusetts medical facilities reported 31 severe burn injuries extending to 5 percent or more of the victims' bodies that were caused by illegal fireworks.   "People are injured and property is lost to illegal fireworks every single year in

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'The Shot' To Be Performed At Simon's Rock
12:00PM / Monday, June 13, 2022
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.— Robin Gerber's new play "The Shot" will be performed on stage in the Liebowitz Black Box Theater, located at Bard College at Simon's Rock, from June 16 until June 19.   Tickets and information can be found on the Great Barrington Public Theater website. There will be only five performances.   According to the press release, the play explores the journey of The Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham as she struggles with the inner conflicts, fear, and deep faith in love and duty but persevered to survive and triumph and became a powerful publisher that brought down Richard Nixon's White House making her a model of

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Berkshire Natural Resources Council Receives State Conservation Grant
12:00PM / Monday, June 13, 2022
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The state awarded the Berkshire Natural Resources Council a Landscape Partnership Grant of $1,250,000 grant to conserve 836 acres in Monterey and Tyringham.   The grant will go toward the Mount Hunger Conservation project and the continued forest management of the area, expanding public access for passive recreation, and building climate resilience by adding to a connected conservation corridor of over 14,000 acres.   "Investing in these important projects will make our communities more resilient to climate change, protect critical drinking water supplies, and ensure communities benefit from access to open space," said Gov. Charlie Baker.

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The Universal Harpsichord with Mariken Palmboom
08:12AM / Monday, June 13, 2022
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Berkshire Bach Society concludes its 2021-2022 season on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 4pm with harpsichordist Mariken Palmboom in a concert of harpsichord music from Germany, England, Italy, and France at the New Marlborough Meeting House.   "We have so many harpsichord fans in our audience we thought we'd indulge them by presenting a program dedicated solely to music for the instrument," said Terrill McDade, Interim Executive Director of The Berkshire Bach Society.  "There is such a wide variety of repertoire to choose from. As with the church organ, the harpsichord was truly universal in the Baroque era and it's

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Du Bois Middle Schoolers: 'No More Silence, End Gun Violence'
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
11:59AM / Sunday, June 12, 2022

This was the second rally at the school and was sanctioned by school authorities. 

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Seventh- and eighth-grade students at W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School should be awaiting final grades for the school year and planning for summer. Instead, they have spent the last couple of weeks organizing to take a stand against gun violence.

Two weeks ago, the students walked out of the school in response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 children and two teachers. On Friday, they stood outside of the school with signs reading "Abolish the NRA," "Protect kids NOT guns," and "Our futures are more important than

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