Berkshire Family Fun: March 2018
Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of March. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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, story hours 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 grants from the Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Sandisfield, Washington, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum. 413-743-7121. 67 East Road. Adams, MA.
Abbot School — 56 North Country Road.
Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 W Housatonic St. 413-443-0188
Saturday, March 10, 8pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/EXPERIMENTAL MUSIC
Since its creation in Montreal in 1994 Godspeed You! Black Emperor has been one of the leading acts in the experimental scene. What began as a trio has grown to a collective of up to 14 musicians, creating earth-shaking, awe-inspiring music soundscapes. At times meditative, haunting, dreamlike, chaotic, and explosive, the band uses a variety of field recordings, sampled vocals, and instruments to build their signature post-rock aesthetic. From the beginning, Godspeed You! Black Emperor has been highly political, writing songs about the second Palestinian intifada or ‘uprising’ and including the links between various record labels and the military industrial complex in their liner notes. At this concert at MassMoCA, Godspeed You! Black Emperor will be playing with celebrated Bhutanese musician Tashi Dorji, in what promises to be an enthralling and mind-bending performance. Hunter Center. Mass MoCA. 1040 MassMoCA Way, North Adams, MA ($$)
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.
Thursday, March 1, 4:15pm
Zen buddhism, with its emphasis on simplicity and the pursuit of ’emptiness’ has been a major influence in modern American literature for more than fifty years. In 1954 a group of bohemian poets, artists, and philosophers founded Druid Heights, a small community on the misty slopes of Mount Tamalpais on the Pacific Coast of California, near San Francisco. During the next two decades Druid Heights became a meeting place for some of the most important artists and thinkers in the history of the American counterculture, including Pulitzer prize winning poet Gary Snyder and legendary philosopher Alan Watts. These two writers made an enormous impact on American literature and culture for their attempts to bring Eastern philosophy to Western audiences. Watt’s 1957 The Way of Zen was one of the first books on Buddhism to become popular in the United States and Gary Snyder was immortalised in Kerouac’s seminal Dharma Bums, as the zen sage Japhy Ryder. Join Bernie Rhie, Williams College professor of philosophy, to discuss the impact of Zen on American literature. Wege Auditorium. Williamstown, MA (FREE)
Friday, March 2, 10:15-11:15am
ART STUDIES/NEW PARENTS
Come bring your pre-toddler for a guided gallery tour at the Clark, at this special program designed for new parents and their young children. This program is a great opportunity for new parents to get out of the house and interact with others in a baby-friendly environment. This event can be a way to instil a lifelong love of art and museums in your children. The Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Sunday, March 4, 11am-4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
The free online encyclopedia Wikipedia is so valuable because anyone can edit it and add to the content. As a tool for self-directed learners, Wikipedia is incredibly useful because it is made ‘by the people, for the people.’ In honor of Women’s History Month, the Clark Art Institute is organizing a special ‘edit-a-thon,’ adding content to Wikipedia’s entries on topics related to art and feminism. Instructors will be there to teach would-be editors how to add and edit content on Wikipedia. All you need to do is sign up for a Wikipedia account and bring along a laptop. For more information please visit Clark Art Institute. The Clark Art Institute. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)
Saturday, March 10, 11am-2pm
LOCAL HISTORY/MAPLE SYRUP
Come visit a working sugar house and learn all about the production of maple syrup! As everybody in the region knows, March is maple syrup season. As winter is winding down and the weather gets warmer, sugary maple sap begins to move up from the winter reserves in the roots. By collecting and boiling this sap, New Englanders for countless generations have been able to enjoy one of nature’s sweetest treats. This Maplefest celebration will provide visitors with an opportunity to see how syrup is produced and attend demonstrations of colonial and pre-colonial methods of evaporating sap. And of course, everyone will get to taste some of the delicious syrup. Hopkins Memorial Forest, Rosenburg Center. Williamstown, MA (FREE)
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.
Notchview Reservation 413-684-0148. Route 9. Windsor, MA.
Friday, March 16, 7:30-10pm
OWL PROWL/NATURE STUDIES
Massachusetts is home to eight different species of owl, including the enormous, fearsome Great Horned Owl, also known as the Tiger Owl, to the mysterious and haunting Barn Owl. Long time residents of the area will no doubt have heard owl calls in the forest at night from time to time. The signature “who cooks for you” call of the Barred Owl or the bizarre and off-putting vocalizations of the Screech Owl. Join naturalist Rene Wendell in searching for owls on this moderate nighttime hike. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight, water, and appropriate footwear. The Boulders. Dalton, MA (FREE)
Monday, March 19, 6:30-8pm
The way our physical environment influences our mental and spiritual health is profound indeed. Human communities throughout history have recognized this fact and sought to transform their homes into beautiful and meaningful spaces. The ancient Egyptians believed in the life of the soul after death. Because of this they adorned their tombs with favorite pets, food, and they even built ‘soul houses’ for their spirits to reside in. These elaborate houses, found within tombs, were lavishly decorated and have remained as a physical record of changing Egyptian attitudes toward interior design. If you have a home project that you have been working on or an idea for something that you want to create, this is a perfect event for you: Erica Fay will be discussing DIY interior design and offering tips and strategies for transforming your home. Dalton Free Public Library. 462 Main Street, Dalton, MA (FREE)
Dalton Free Public Library 0 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street.
Saturday, March 17, 9:30am-12pm
TREE IDENTIFICATION/NATURE STUDIES
As local poet Robert Frost wrote in 1922: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.” Frost wrote these lines, from his immortal poem “Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening,” in Shaftsbury, Vermont. But we could easily imagine these beautiful words being written of our own forests. In these few short lines, Frost is able to capture something profound about the power of the forest in winter. It is, of course, a power altogether different from the other seasons. A bare, stark kind of power but one that is present, nevertheless. This tree identification event is all about appreciating the beauty of the forest in winter. Even without their leaves, its possible to identify trees in the colder months. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA ($)
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.
Thursday, March 1, 5:30-9:30pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/MONOPOLY
Most people are probably familiar with the classic board game Monopoly, but did you know that the game was originally derived from another game, developed in 1903 called “The Landlord Game”? This game was designed to demonstrate that economies function better through wealth creation that through the unfettered growth of few powerful corporations. The game’s creator, Elizabeth Magie was a staunch anti-monopolist and was meant to educate people on the inherent risk of private monopolies. Come play Monopoly like never before at this tournament fundraiser, benefiting the Berkshire County Kids Place. Berkshire Hills Country Club. 500 Benedict Road, Pittsfield, MA ($$)
Thursday, March 8, 12-1pm
TREE IDENTIFICATION/NATURE STUDIES
Scientists and researchers are learning more and more about how beneficial it is to be exposed to trees. As it turns out, trees emit certain chemicals that have numerous health benefits. Research shows that these chemical substances can significantly lower blood pressure among other mental and physical health benefits. The benefits of spending time with trees doesn’t only happen in the forest. In urban environments where there are trees, you can experience the same kind of healing. Come spend some time with the trees in downtown Pittsfield and learn about different species with this Tree Walk. 37 North Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Friday, March 9, 8-10pm
Born in the town of Ladysmith, South Africa, Joseph Shabalala had a series of dreams in 1964. In those dreams, Shabalala heard the beautiful harmonies of Isicathamiya music, a 20th century genre, thought to be a mixture of traditional Zulu music with American ragtime music, which became very popular following a series of tours in South Africa in the 1860s. Based on these dreams, Shabalala founded the male choral group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The group entered local Isicathamiya competitions and eventually became so dominant that they were forbidden from entering the competitions. The word ‘mambazo,’ in fact means ‘axe,’ reflecting how the band regularly ‘chopped down’ their competition. After their collaboration with Paul Simon on the groundbreaking 1986 album Graceland, Ladysmith Black Mambazo became known and loved all over the world. The group has one 5 Grammy awards and numerous other awards around the world. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one of the most influence bands in contemporary world music right here in Pittsfield! For more information visit Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Colonial Theatre. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)
Thursday, March 15, 3:30-4:30pm
Legos can be a great way for children to play and express themselves while building developmental skills! They allow children to really explore their curiosity by building nearly whatever they can imagine. Legos also promote hand-eye coordination and encourage children to work with others. By reading the instructions, children can also boost their literacy skills and working on large-scale lego construction projects can teach children how to plan ahead. Come enjoy an afternoon of lego play at the Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Thursday, March 15, 6-7:30pm
Come out to celebrate the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day with dinner and a show at the Early Bird Cabaret! Enjoy an evening of musical entertainment and show tunes, performed by local musical theater veterans. And tuck in to a delicious three-course Irish dinner, featuring soda bread and beef stew. Whitney Center for the Arts. 42 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA ($)
Thursday, March 22, 7pm
THEATER/FIDDLER ON THE ROOF
Did you know that the 1964 Broadway musical “Fiddler on the Roof” is an adaptation of a series of stories that 19th century yiddish novelist Sholem Aleichem wrote about Jewish life in Russia around the turn of the century? Aleichem’s stories follow the life and fortunes of Tevye, the milkman, and his six troublesome daughters. These stories paint a vivid portrait of everyday life in the shtetls, the predominantly Jewish towns and villages found throughout Eastern Europe and Tsarist Russia, many of which dated back to the 13th century. While “Fiddler on the Roof” presents a heavily adapted version of Aleichem’s source material, the spirit of the stories, emphasizing resiliency in the face of adversity, remains a powerful theme. If you have never seen “Fiddler on the Roof” before, get ready to laugh and cry! For more information on this performance of “Fiddler on the Roof,” please visit Fiddler on the Roof. Taconic Theatre. 96 Valentine Road, Pittsfield, MA ($)
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.
Hilltop Orchard — Route 295.
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.
Ashintully Gardens. 413-298-3239. Sodem Road.
West Stockbridge Public Library – 413-232-0300 x308. 21 State Line Road.
Monday, March 5, 7pm
In 1990, only 26 percent of the Chinese population lived in cities. As of 2016, that number has increased to 57 percent. By 2025, it is expected that the number will grow to 70 percent. Needless to say, the rate of urbanization in China is much higher than other parts of the globe. As China and the world move steadily closer to an urbanized humanity, it is important to reflect on the implications of these changes. For a species that has lived the vast majority of its history in natural and rural environments, how will we adapt to the challenges of living in a world of high rise apartment complex and landscapes of endless urban sprawl? Timothy Oakes, professor of Geography and director of the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will be discussing China’s urban growth and larger global trends in this lecture. Bard College at Simon’s Rock. 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
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.
Bidwell House Museum — 413-528-6888. 100 Art School Road.
Otis Library and Museum – 413-269-0109. 48 North Main Road.