Berkshires Beat: Pittsfield Shared Streets and the Mastheads Sidewalk Tour

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Pittsfield Shared Streets and the Mastheads Sidewalk Tour

On Saturday Oct. 24, there will be a sidewalk tour to view poetry created by eight Pittsfield elementary school students, in collaboration with The Mastheads project, which is stenciled on sidewalks in downtown Pittsfield. The project is in conjunction with the City of Pittsfield's shared streets and spaces project. The poets, their parents, Mayor Linda Tyer and members of the Mastheads team are expected to attend.
The group will meet and depart from Otto's Kitchen located at 95 East St at 2 pm.

Clark Art Institute to Feature Work by more than 50 Artists With Disabilities

Community Access to the Arts (CATA) launched an online, multimedia art exhibit in conjunction with its Annual Art Show "I Am a Part of Art" at the Clark Art Institute. The exhibit, on display at the Clark and also available for free at, features more than 50 paintings and drawings by local artists with disabilities, along with video commentary from CATA artists and guest curators, including Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark Art Institute.
A free, online "Meet the Artists" reception will be held on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 4 pm. The half-hour event will feature interviews with CATA artists, curators from the Clark, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the exhibit. 
Attendees may RSVP for the reception at
The virtual component includes behind-the-scenes photos, video commentary from CATA artists, and digital "Art Talks" from guest curators at the Clark Art Institute and Community Access to the Arts. In addition to the virtual exhibit, CATA's Annual Art Show is on view at the Clark Art Institute's Lunder Center at Stone Hill through Oct. 25. 
Each work in the exhibit was created in Community Access to the Arts' year-round workshops serving teens, adults, and elders with disabilities. Works are professionally matted and framed, and all pieces are available for sale, with proceeds providing commissions to the individual artists. The curated exhibit features a wide range of styles, including abstract and representational paintings, drawings, collage, and printmaking in a variety of media including acrylic, tempera, watercolor, pastel, and mixed media.

Hancock Shaker Village Community Day

Hancock Shaker Village will hold a community day Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10 to 4 pm. Admission will be free all day.
Activities include a "Where the Wild Things Are" story walk, artists and craft demonstrations, a scavenger hunt, rope drumming, food, and live music, plus visits with the barnyard animals. Most buildings in the historic village are open for exploration.
There will be a special exhibition "Notes About Home: 60 Years at Hancock Shaker Village." It will be on view in the Visitor Center. The accessible, one-mile Farm and Forest Trail is also open.
Advance reservations are encouraged, but not required; to reserve, visit or call 413.443.0188.

"Edgar Allan Poe: Master of the Macabre" At Ventfort Hall 

Literary historian Rob Velella returns to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum via Zoom for a Halloween virtual event entitled "Edgar Allan Poe: Master of the Macabre." His presentation will take place on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 3:30 pm. 
Velella is an independent literary historian specializing in American literature of the 19th century. He will read several of Poe's works impersonating the writer.
Among them are "Annabel Lee" and one of the author's earlier horror stories, "Ligeia," which will feature some original music by composer Mary Bichner. 
An interactive question and answer period will follow the program. The program is recommended for ages 13 and up.
Tickets for the Velella performance are $20. The performance will be seen via Zoom and can also be watched via Zoom at Ventfort Hall. To view on Zoom register here. Reservations are required.  Masks and strict spacing for seating at Ventfort Hall will be honored due to the coronavirus pandemic. For reservations call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206. 

Live Animal Presentation at the Richmond Free Public Library

The Richmond Free Public Library will host Nature Matters, Inc. on Oct. 24 2020 at 11:00 AM. 
Located in Lee, Nature Matters is home to a diverse collection of animals.  Jen Leahey of Leahey Farm is the founder.  Many of these animals came to Nature Matters because they were unable to survive in the wild due to an injury, or they were born in captivity and have never learned how to fend for themselves.  
Reservations are required. Please call 413-553-7795.
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Andrew Cambi Tapped as Pittsfield's Director of Public Health

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Interim Director of Public Health Andrew Cambi will step in as the permanent director of public health.

The Board of Health unanimously voted Cambi into the position on Wednesday after a public interview. During a recess, he was called to be notified of the decision and accepted the job offer.

Patricia Tremblay, an administrator with Berkshire Health Systems, was also supposed to be interviewed but withdrew.

Debate amongst the board was brief. Members were pleased with his work within the city as a senior sanitarian and interim director as well as his responses to interview questions.

"I had the opportunity to work with him on a couple of different initiatives and I found him to be impressive," Brad Gordon said.

"I think in areas where he may not yet have deep knowledge, he is going to roll up his sleeves and acquire that knowledge and he's professional and seems really committed to the community and really addressing public health issues within the community."

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