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Joseph Delisle's 'A Bird With Two Babies' is part of the 'Making Waves' display at the Good Purpose Gallery in Lee.

Berkshires Beat: CATA Artists 'Making Waves' at Good Purpose Gallery

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Mike Fazos's 'Sun Tornado' is part of the 'Making Waves' display at the Good Purpose Gallery in Lee.

'Making Waves'

Community Access to the Arts presents "Making Waves," an exhibit of artwork by CATA artists with disabilities at the Good Purpose Gallery in Lee. The exhibit opens Feb. 27 and features paintings by CATA artists who use the innovative Artistic Realization Technologies (A.R.T.) technique to create their work. A free, public art opening will be held on Feb. 28 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. with many of the artists in attendance.

Artistic Realization Technologies is an adaptive painting technique developed by artist Tim Lefens that gives full artistic control to people with profound physical disabilities. Through this technique, artists use a laser pointer and the aid of a trained art "tracker" to create stunning, original works of art. Since 2005, CATA has provided hundreds of A.R.T. workshops, allowing dozens of artists to transcend their physical limitations and reveal their creative spirits.

"Making Waves" runs from Feb. 27 through April 16 at Good Purpose Gallery at 40 Main St. in Lee. The exhibit includes work by 13 CATA artists with disabilities from Berkshire County Arc (BCArc), Berkshire Family & Individual Resources (BFAIR), and Columbia County Arc (Coarc). The paintings, each in acrylic on canvas, range widely in stylistic expression and scale of size.

All works in the exhibit are professionally matted, framed and available for sale, with proceeds supporting commissions for individual artists. This event is part of CATA's "Art on Tour" program, where original works of art created by CATA artists travel throughout the year to museums, galleries, community centers, and other venues in Berkshire County.


Art sought

Tyler Lab @ 730 community room is a blank canvas.

The City of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development, in collaboration with the Transformative Development Initiative, is looking for art to support the Tyler Street Lab @730 Pop-up Lab, a four-month pop-up that creates a community space out of an underutilized storefront. The Tyler Lab @ 730 is led by a group of core collaborators who facilitate new programs and services to the neighborhood through a variety of programs. Find out more on the Facebook page.

This call has two challenges that are being presented. Artists should include a statement that responds to a specific challenge. Cultural Development and TDI are looking for ideas that reflect the eclectic nature of Tyler Street and the surrounding Morningside neighborhood.

The first challenge is the Tyler Street Lab Storefront Configuration Challenge:  This call is to create a unique configuration for the storefront/community room. This challenge is an opportunity to reconfigure a large open room so that multiple users can hold programming in the space. Submissions must be movable, foldable, or stackable.

The second challenge is the Tyler Lab Community Art Installation Challenge. In this challenge, organizers are looking for creative ideas that engage the community in the creation of art. Ideas should facilitate interaction between community members or engage them in the creation of art. Art installations of any kind are being sought.

Artists should register by emailing their name, email and phone number. Interested parties should include a detailed color sketch, an artist statement, and example(s) of prior work by email by Monday, Feb. 25, at 5 p.m. There will be a stipend of up to $850, not including supplies, to the award winning designs. One award-winning submission will be selected from each challenge.


Literacy Volunteers sought

The Literacy Network of South Berkshire is seeking new volunteer tutors to work with adult learners in Berkshire County. LitNet's mission is to transform the lives of adult learners, both immigrant and U.S.-born, through the power of literacy, education, and advocacy. its flexible, personalized approach to tutoring enables adult learners to succeed in their jobs, support their families, and engage with their local communities.

On Monday, Feb. 25, LitNet will begin its winter session of New Tutor Training in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). This three-part series will introduce volunteers to the organization's mission and will offer comprehensive strategies for working with adult English Language Learners.  Each session will run from 4 to 6 p.m. and will take place at the Lee Library, 100 Main Street, Lee, on Feb. 25, Thursday, Feb. 28, and Tuesday, March 5.

No prior teaching experience is necessary. Volunteer requirements include: curiosity, compassion, patience, and a willingness to help your neighbors in this community. Ongoing training and support for tutors is provided. To register for LitNet’s New Tutor Training series, visit the website or call 413-243-0471.


BArT Shadow Days

The Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School is hosting Shadow Days at the school, located at 1 Commercial St., for families interested in enrolling at BArT next year. Shadow Days in grades six through 10 have been scheduled for the following times:

Grade Six: Tuesday, Feb. 26, from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and 1:20-3:50 p.m. and Thursday, Feb. 28, from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and 1:20-3:50 p.m.    

Grades Seven and Eight: Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and 1:20 to 3:50 p.m.
Grades Nine and 10: Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 1:20 to 3:50 p.m.

Shadow Days provide students with an opportunity to experience part of the school day alongside current BArT students. While guest students participate in BArT's classes, parents and guardians are invited to tour the School. Preregistration is required and can be completed by contacting the Enrollment Team at BArT via email. BArT is currently accepting enrollment applications in grades six through 10 for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year.


WAM auditions

WAM Theatre will hold Equity principal auditions for its 2019 season on March 1 and 2. Auditions will be hosted by Talya Kingston, associate artistic director, and Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven.

WAM Theatre's 2019 season includes two full productions ("Lady Randy" in April-May, and "Pipeline" in October-November) and two rehearsed play readings ("Native Gardens" May 3-4, and "Paradise" Nov. 1-2). All these performances will take place at Shakespeare & Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox. WAM Theatre is casting for its fall production of "Pipeline" by Dominique Morisseau, as well as for two Fresh Takes play readings. WAM Theatre works under an AEA Small Professional Theatre Contract. For the Fresh Takes Play Readings, WAM uses the AEA Staged Reading Contract.   

Auditions are Friday, March 1, from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 22, from 1 to 9 p.m. by appointment online at 56 Church St. in Lenox. E-mail Talya Kingston, at to set up an appointment before Feb. 26. Actors should preepare a one- to two-minute contemporary monologue and may also be asked to read sides.


SEE Fund grants

The SEE Fund board has awarded more than $25,000 to projects and activities at Mount Greylock Regional School for the current school year. These grants, ranging from $200 to over $2,500, were awarded to 17 different programs. The programs allow for the continuation of intellectual, creative, and athletic endeavors beyond the classroom at Mount Greylock. The board received 21 applications from students, teachers, and community members.

Recipients this year ranged from speakers, covering topics from social media to immigration policy, to mindfulness classes, and a program promoting inclusion through sports: Mount Greylock Track & Field (new electronic timing system); Mount Greylock Wellness  (wall-mounted timer for fitness room); Mount Greylock Peer Team (student health video messages); Mount Greylock Nordic Team (grooming equipment for ski trails); Dungeons and Dragons Club; Junior Classical League (tactile enrichment); Mount Greylock PTO Speaker Cindy Pierce; author visit with Ali Benjamin; author and speaker Ty Allen Jackson ("Race and My Truth"); Stephen Dankner Lecture Series and performance; Mt. Greylock Robotics Club; Politics and Political Action speaker, Anthony Bellmon, Class of 2008, Co-Founder of Millennials in Action and Congressional Aide; Increasing Mindfulness at Mount Greylock; Mount Greylock Book Club; Manchester Hot Glass field trip; and PALS (Promoting Acceptance and Learning through Sports).

In addition to these programs, the SEE Fund will also set aside funds to help subsidize the cost of busing and fee waivers for a number of field trips. The SEE Fund (an endowed fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation) was established in 1996  by a group of parents and donors who were inspired by the community’s involvement in a school fundraising effort.

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CHP Physician Leads Resolution Declaring Health Care 'Basic Human Right'

LEE, Mass. — The Massachusetts Medical Society has adopted a resolution first introduced in 2017 by Dr. Michael Kaplan, who works at CHP Lee Family Practice and is a longtime advocate for health care justice.

The resolution reads: "The Massachusetts Medical Society asserts that enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, in all its dimensions, including health care, is a basic human right. The provision of health care services, as well as optimizing the social determinants of health is an ethical obligation of a civilized society.

Dr. Kaplan is a family medicine physician who is also certified in geriatric medicine. His commitment to health care advocacy is evident through his work at CHP and in his roles as an officer of the Berkshire District Chapter of the Massachusetts Medical Society and as a member of the MMS Legislative Committee. He is also vice chair of the Single Payer Member Interest Group of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The MMS is an influential organization representing 25,000 Massachusetts physicians and students and bringing a strong voice to matters that have an impact on patients and health care providers. Its resolution reflects similar positions of the AAFP, the World Health Organization and the United Nations, and the Constitutions of many nations that provide universal health care to their citizens.

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