By Gail Burns
Happy Spring! Gail Burns here, with my first monthly column for The Greylock Independent on arts-related happenings in the region. These are my personal picks from the ocean of events out there. If you want me to know about something you have going on, send it to email@example.com.
WALK THE LABYRINTH: Once again the First Congregational Church of Williamstown hosts the 36-foot portable canvas Labyrinth in their Fellowship Hall from March 30-April 3 from 9 am-8 pm. All are welcome to stop by, take off your shoes, and do a silent walking meditation.
LOCAL HISTORY: On April 11 from 9:30 am-12:30 pm the last in the series of Living History Workdays to restore an antique horse-drawn work sled will take place at Sheep Hill. And on April 18 at 11 am learn how the settlement of West Hoosuck became incorporated as the town of Williamstown in a talk by Pat Leach at the Williamstown Historical Museum.
POETRY: During the dead of winter the Berkshire Fine Arts web site sponsored a contest challenging local poets to write about elevators. Twenty-six poets posted 33 elevator poems and MCLA English Professor Mark Miller was the judge. When all was said and done, I won first place, North Adams poet Stephen Rifkin took second, with Astrid Heimer of Adams coming in third. We will celebrate our grand accomplishments at the Spectrum Playhouse in Lee on April 10 from 7:30-10:30 pm. Please join us!
Come to MCLA’s Gallery 51 on April 22 at 6 pm to hear original poems by Williams students, local high school students, and MCLA alumni, at the Sekou Sundiata Evening of Spoken Word & Poetry hosted by Craig Harris.
DANCE: At the ’62 Center Choreographer-in-Residence Ronald K. Brown and his dance company Evidence perform April 2 at 7 pm in the Dance Studio. Sankofa takes the MainStage April 10-11 at 8 pm, followed by Nothin’ but Cuties, the student directed hip-hop dance group, April 17 & 18 at 8 pm, and finally the contemporary dance ensemble CoDa performs “The Body Unbound” April 24 & 25 at 8 pm in the Adams Memorial Theatre. Keigwin & Company comes to MASS MoCA on April 11 & 12.
THEATRE: I am massively excited that MCLA is bringing the legendary Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornés–a leading figure of the Off-Off-Broadway movement of the 1960s–to campus to perform “Mud” & “The Successful Life of 3” in Venable Theatre April 22-24 at 8 pm and April 25 at 2 & 8 pm.
On April 16 from 5-8 pm actor/writers Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen from The Debate Society turn big paintings into tiny plays in an object-inspired extravaganza at the WCMA.
CULINARY ARTS: On April 7 at 6 pm join culinary historian Susan Rossi-Wilcox and Darra Goldstein, Founding Editor of “Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture,” at the WCMA as they read between the lines of the illustrated recipes in “Wild Raspberries,” the cookbook Andy Warhol produced with socialite Suzie Frankfurt, mocking the post-war desire to cultivate a European lifestyle through food. Drinks and mingling follow.
TEACUPS: On April 19 The Clark is all about Northampton artist Molly Hatch, author of the new book “A Teacup Collection: Paintings of Porcelain Treasures.” Hatch was given exclusive access to Sterling Clark’s largely unviewed 300-piece collection to create her illustrations. The day starts with a special tea and treats in Café 7 at 1:30 pm; followed by a book talk with Hatch and Curator Kathleen Morris in West Pavilion at 3 pm, with book signing at 4 pm.
BOOK SALE: The highlight of my April is always the Friends of Milne Public Library Annual Book Sale in the gym and cafeteria of the Williamstown Elementary School from 9 am-6 pm on April 24 and from 9 am-4 pm on April 25. When my sons were young we used to volunteer at the book sale during vacation week. Back then it was the Smith College Book Sale and held at the First Congregational Church. Boy, do I feel old!