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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.

Mahaiwe Announces 'Rhapsody in Black' Virtual Play

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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.
 
"LeLand Gantt's exploration of racism, identity and self-image exemplifies the power of art as a catalyst for personal transformation and community dialogue. Whether the experience of being perceived as ‘The Other' is familiar or eye-opening, understanding its impact is essential for all," said Clinton Church Restoration Interim Executive Director Eugenie Sills. 
 
The March 14 post-show conversation will be moderated by Frances Jones-Sneed, professor emeritus at MCLA and chair of Clinton Church Restoration's Council of Scholars. She will be joined by Gantt, Howard University junior Olivia Nda, and African American Studies teacher Jamal Ahamad. Building on the themes of "Rhapsody in Black," this online discussion will explore different points of view regarding the arts as a vehicle for approaching issues of race relations in the 21st century and across generations. 
 
To register see mahaiwe.org

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Berkshire Agricultural Gives $10,000 Grant To Greenagers

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass — Berkshire Agricultural Ventures' (BAV) announces a $10,000 grant to Berkshire-based nonprofit, Greenagers. 
 
The grant will both support Greenagers' second year of apprenticeships ($2,800) at their farm at April Hill Conservation and Conservation Center as well as offset the cost of a pilot year of Greenagers Helping Farm Hands project ($7,200). 
 
"We are happy to be supporting Greenagers training the next generation of farmers through their apprenticeship at April Hil. We also see a big win/win getting young adults working for Greenagers exposed to a variety of farms through the Helping Hands Program, all while giving the farmers the extra hands needed for big projects," Dan Carr, outreach and technical assistance coordinator at BAV said.
 
Specifically, this grant will help Greenagers apprentices learn how to re-engage the agricultural land at April Hill Farm from pasture and hay production to a diversified farm that will include tree nuts, tree and vine fruits, vegetables, beef, lamb, duck eggs, chicken eggs, conservation nursery stock, pollinator habitat, and honey.
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