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Weekend Outlook: First Friday, Fundraisers and 'Billy Budd'

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff
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Several events will take place in the Berkshires this weekend, including First Friday festivities, spring walks, comedy, and more.
 
Editor's Pick 
 
First Friday 
Downtown North Adams 
Time: 5 to 11 p.m. 
 
It's mud season (somewhere under this snow!), and this month's first Friday is themed "Down & Dirty." The event will feature exhibits, mud thumb wrestling, downtown cleanup, films, dancing, and more. 
 
Information here
 
Friday
 
'Jazz Visions II' Opening Reception
Hotel on North, Pittsfield
Time: 5 p.m. 
 
In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, the hotel will kick off its new display, "Jazz Visions ll," with an open reception. The art within the display is by local artist Marguerite Bride
 
The work will by on display in the Lobby Gallery during the months of April and May. More information here
 
Marathon Reading 
Hot Plate Brewing Co., Pittsfield
Time: Noon
 
The Berkshire County Historical Society will have a marathon read of Herman Melville's book "Billy Budd, Sailor" to kick off its monthlong celebration of the centennial of the novella's publication. 
 
To commemorate the occasion, Hot Plate Brewing's created an English IPA, appropriately named "Handsome Sailor."
 
The event is free but a $5 donation is appreciated. Information here
 
Research and Academic Program Lecture
The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown 
Time: 5:30 p.m. 
 
University of Michigan Associate professor Anna Watkins Fisher will examine how artistic resistance in the twenty-first-century common period disrupts and transforms opinions in ways that reinforce powerful systems. More information here
 
Beer & Wine Tasting
Bounti-Fare, Adams
Time: 6 to 9 p.m.
 
Enjoy craft beers and wines paired with food that complements the beverages. Proceeds benefit the Adams Lions Club community service initiatives. 
 
Tickets $25 in advance; $30 at the door. Available from Adams Lions members or here.
 
Saturday 
 
Spring Fling Craft Fair
Hoosac Valley High School, Cheshire
Time: 9 to 3 p.m. 
 
Hoosac Valley Middle School  Parent Teacher Group is having a craft fair. Information here
 
Berkshire Art Center's Annual Fundraiser
The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield 
Time: 5:30 p.m. 
 
There will be a fundraiser to benefit Berkshire Art Center, formerly IS183 Art School. The event will feature a dance party from 7 to 11 p.m. and a cocktail party and silent auction starting at 5:30 p.m. 
 
For $35, participants get general admission to the dance party, which will feature performances by local drag queen, Bella Santarella, and music by DJ BFG.
 
For $125, participants will have access to the dance party and cocktail party, which will include a first look at the Berkshire Theater Group's silent auction. 
 
Costumes are encouraged. Berkshire Art Center's website has costume ideas, updates, and more. More information here
 
'Eclipses: What Are They?' 
Milne Public Library, Williamstown
Time: 11 a.m.
 
Williams College astronomy students will give a slideshow about eclipses for a general audience in advance of Monday's eclipse. A limited number of eclipse glasses will be available for attendees.
 
Free and open to the public. More information here
 
Spring Fling Decades Night 
North Adams Elks 487
Time: 8 to 11 p.m. 
 
The event will feature music from the 1970s to the early 2000s, a finger food buffet, a dance contest, and decade-themed outfit contests, both of which have prizes. 
 
There is a $10.00 cover at the door. More information here
 
Karaoke at the VFW Post 996
VFW Post 996 North Adams
Time: 9 p.m. until midnight 
 
Sing your heart out with the V.F.W. for a chance to win $30. More information here
 
Trivia Night 
BArT Charter Public School, Adams
Time: 6 p.m. 
 
Support the school's college preparatory program with a trivia night, BART's largest fundraising event of the year. 
 
Teams of one to six players gather to compete in classrooms in subjects such as science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, and BArThropology. More information here
 
Beer and Doughnut Pairing 
Shire Donuts, Dalton 
Time: 11 a.m. 
 
Shire Beer Co. will be at Shire Donuts to pair their craft beer with the donuts. More information here
 
Comedy @ Bright Ideas Brewing
Bright Ideas Brewing, North Adams
 
Laugh over a drink at Bright Ideas, located on the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts campus. 
 
Comedian Matt Vita will headline the event, which will also feature an act by Bri Morrison. 
 
The last three shows sold out. Tickets cost $15. More information here
 
Opening Up with Spring Walk
Mount Greylock Visitors Center, Lanesborough
Time: 1 to 3 p.m. 
 
Join Jean Beebe for a moderate one- to two-mile walk. The walk will feature mindful breathing, nature connection, and meditation skills. Space is limited. Call 413-499-4262 to register. More information here
 
Annual Live Out Loud Conference
MCLA campus, North Adams
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
The annual conference is now in its 10th year and is designed to build community in the Berkshires and strengthen understanding and advocacy of the LGBTQIA-plus population.
 
Includes panel discussions, resource fair, clothing exchange and lunch. Attendance is free. Register here.
 
Sunday 
 
First Sunday Free Clark 
The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown
Time: 1 to 4 p.m. 
 
The Clark Art offers free admission to the galleries, special exhibitions, and activities. This First Friday theme is "Paper Play."
 
The event will feature tours of the museum's permanent and temporary exhibits. Visitors will also have a chance to make a pop-up book or a decorative object to take home and take on   woven paper activities. 
 
Throughout the afternoon, multidisciplinary artist Sunny Allis welcomes visitors to co-create an immersive, large-scale paper city installation in the lower level of the Clark Center. 
 
More information here

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North Adams High School Athletes Place Flags on Veterans Graves

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Raegan Keil, daughter of VSO Mitchell Keil, participates in placing the American Flag on veterans' graves. The first flag she placed was in the marker of Michael Kline, her grandfather.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Athletes from Drury High School and McCann Technical School gave up the rare free Saturday morning to place flags on veterans graves in Southview Cemetery.
 
"I was very humbled when I saw the cars coming in, and I actually had to go over to the corner and put my sunglasses down and hide my tears, because it was very, very humbling to see everybody show up," said Travys Rivers, the city's veterans grave officer.
 
Rivers, a firefighter and veteran, said he sent out the "bat signal" and called John Moore of Drury and Robin Finnegan of McCann to see if any of the sports teams were free.
 
River said he was unsure what to expect, knowing many student athletes likely had games or practice. But come Saturday morning, around 100 students showed up with coaches and high school athletics administration. 
 
"I am amazed by these kids. They gave up a Saturday morning. They could have slept in if they didn't have practice or whatever," Rivers said. "They did not have to do this but instead came down and busted their butts."
 
Northern Berkshire Veterans Service Officer Mitchell Keil added that he often hears that the youth do not participate in civic activities. He said Saturday proves the opposite.
 
"As a veteran, it is heartwarming to see this type of participation from today's youth and encouraging for the future of the community. They may not understand the impact their involvement has on those that see them in action or those family members that visit a departed loved one's grave and see them continuously honored," he said. "Our city has a large group of individuals that are dedicated to honoring those veterans that have passed. This long tradition is in good hands, and as we move forward I encourage all to take part in the pursuit of honoring our veterans daily."
 
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