Great Barrington's New Police Chief to Participate In 'Virtual Coffee'

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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police Chief Paul Storti will be a guest at the February "Virtual Coffee with the Town Manager," via Zoom. 
 
The meeting takes place Wednesday, Feb.3, at 10 a.m.
 
The informal monthly coffee event, hosted by Town Manager Mark Pruhenski, is open to the public. Meeting information and the meeting link can be accessed on the town website calendar. For security purposes a password is required to join the meeting.
 
"I am planning a series of small-group meetings in the coming months to hear from town residents, business people and community groups, and this is a good way to start the conversations," said Storti.
 
The monthly virtual coffees are a means of meeting and talk with townspeople about a variety of town topics. The talks have led to some local initiatives such as the installation of hand-sanitizing stations and crosswalk safety improvements downtown.
 
"It's been convenient and easy for people to participate, since they can join from their home or office," said Pruhenski. "It's also a good way for neighbors to meet each other and connect."
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Mahaiwe Announces 'Rhapsody in Black' Virtual Play

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.— The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is presenting the virtual play "Rhapsody in Black" at mahaiwe.org from Monday, March 8 through Sunday, March 14, followed by a community conversation on Zoom, Sunday, March 14 at 7pm. 
 
Both programs are free, presented in partnership with Clinton Church Restoration, and sponsored by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's Bridging Divides, Healing Communities Grant. 
 
"Through their Bridging Divides, Healing Communities grants, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation is making it possible for the Mahaiwe to offer this program free to our entire community. LeLand Gantt has an important story to tell, and I hope that those who watch the play will also join the discussion," said Mahaiwe Executive Director Janis Martinson. 
 
Written and performed by LeLand Gantt and developed at NYC's Actors Studio with Estelle Parsons, "Rhapsody in Black" is a one-man show that explores LeLand's personal journey to understanding and confronting racism in America. The play follows his life story—from an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of McKeesport, Penn., to teenage experiments with crime and drugs to scholastic achievement and an acting career that lands adult LeLand in situations where he is virtually the only African-American in the room. How he manages to cope with the various psychological effects of consistently being marked The Other is recounted in remarkable and moving detail, sure to leave lasting impressions.
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