Bidwell House: Unlearning in Order to Learn

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MONTEREY, Mass. — For the 2nd presentation in the Bidwell House's summer history talk series,  Alice Nash explores local indigenous histories.

This lecture with discussion will present the concept of unlearning what we already "know" as the starting point for learning about Indigenous peoples.

According to a press release: 

Alice Nash is Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She holds a PhD in History from Columbia University (1997) and an MA in American and New England Studies from Boston University (1989). Her research interests range from the impact of colonization on family and gender relations in Wabanaki history before 1800 to current topics such as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She has published numerous articles on northeastern Native American history including three in French translation in the Quebec journal Recherches amérindiennes au Québec (RAQ). In 2003–2004, she was awarded the first Fulbright-Université de Montréal Distinguished Chair. During this year, she served on the RAQ editorial board and taught a course on the Deerfield Raid of 1704, connecting New England and New France. Her most recent publication is “Indigenous Peoples of the Americas to 1900,” published in The Routledge Handbook to the History and Society of the Americas (2019), which she co-edited with Olaf Kaltmeier, Josef Raab, Michael Stewart Foley, Stefan Rinke, and Mario Rufer. She is the recipient of four grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019) to serve as director or co-director of Teaching Native American Histories, a Summer Institute for K–12 teachers drawn from a national pool of applicants.

This lecture will be held at the Tyringham Union Church at 128 Main Rd in Tyringham. This will be an in-person lecture, with the option to also watch a livestream via Zoom. All Zoom participants will receive a link to access the lecture 1-2 days in advance. Tickets for Zoom attendance must be purchased in advance but in-person tickets can be purchased at the door. Attendees can register here:

This program is supported in part by grants from the Otis and Sheffield Cultural Councils,  local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Thousands Flock to Designer Showcase Fundraiser at Cassilis Farm

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — More than a thousand visitors toured the decked-out halls of Cassilis Farm last month in support of the affordable housing development.

Construct Inc. held its first Designer Showcase exhibition in the Gilded Age estate throughout June, showcasing over a dozen creatives' work through temporary room transformations themed to "Nature in the Berkshires."  The event supported the nonprofit's effort to convert the property into 11 affordable housing units.

"Part of our real interest in doing this is it really gives folks a chance to have a different picture of what affordable housing can be," Construct's Executive Director Jane Ralph said.

"The stereotypes we all have in our minds are not what it ever really is and this is clearly something very different so it's a great opportunity to restore a house that means so much to so many in this community, and many of those folks have come, for another purpose that's really somewhat in line with some of the things it's been used for in the past."

"It can be done, and done well," Project Manager Nichole Dupont commented.  She was repeatedly told that this was the highlight of the Berkshire summer and said that involved so many people from so many different sectors.

"The designers were exceptional to work with. They fully embraced the theme "Nature in the Berkshires" and brought their creative vision and so much hard work to the showhouse. As the rooms began to take shape in early April, I was floored by the detail, research, and vendor engagement that each brought to the table. The same can be said for the landscape artists and the local artists who displayed their work in the gallery space," she reported.  

"Everyone's feedback throughout the process was invaluable, and they shared resources and elbow grease to put it together beautifully."

More than 100 volunteers helped the showcase come to fruition, and "the whole while, through the cold weather, the seemingly endless pivots, they never lost sight of what the showhouse was about and that Cassilis Farm would eventually be home to Berkshire workers and families."

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