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Berkshires Beat: Mass MoCA Free for Berkshire County Residents Through Jan. 19
01:11PM / Monday, January 08, 2018
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Laurie Anderson's exhibit, incuuding two virtual reality experiences, can be seen at Mass MoCA, where admission is free for Berkshire County residents through Jan. 19.

Free for all

Mass MoCA is opening the doors to its 250,000 square feet of galleries free to all Berkshire County residents (that's everyone who can show proof of residing within a zip code beginning with "012") through Jan. 19. The museum hopes to welcome as many friends and neighbors as possible with its second Free Berkshire County program — the first since its critically hailed and award-winning expansion doubled the space for the museum's visual arts exhibits last May with long-term installations that include James Turrell, Laurie Anderson, Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, Gunnar Schonbeck and Robert Rauschenberg.
Since Mass MoCA’s inception, various campaigns have steered patrons to the galleries free of charge. Mass MoCA's annual Free Day, which typically falls during the winter season, waives admission to all museum-goers, attracting an influx of visitors. This year, Free Day falls on Saturday, Jan. 20.
Building on previous plans that offered free admission, Mass MoCA again extends its Free North Adams program to all Berkshire County residents. Residents residing within zip codes beginning with "012" should bring a government-issued ID or a utility bill with current address (and picture ID) when visiting the museum. Mass MoCA's galleries, located at 87 Marshall St., are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the week, except Tuesdays.


Don't forget

The documentary film "Forgotten Farms" screens at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. in the Congressional Meeting Room South. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass) hosts and a panel discussion follows. Berkshire County Massachusetts filmmakers Dave Simonds (director) and Sarah Gardner (producer) will join Bob Gray from Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives; Cris Coffin from American Farmland Trust & Land for Good; Darryl and Lucinda Williams from Luther Belden Farm, and Lorette Picciano from the Rural Coalition, as they discuss hardships faced by New England's dairy farmers and opportunities for the Farm Bill to improve The viability of New England family farms.

"Forgotten Farms" explores the class divides in New England's farm and food communities. The film profiles conventional dairy farmers and contrasts them with "local" food producers celebrated in more affluent communities, where "farm-to-table," farmers markets and CSAs are popular.

The micro-budget, self-distributed film premiered in June 2016 at The Berkshire Film Festival and has been screened over 65 times to sold-out audiences around the country. It won "Best of Fest" at the New England Indie Fest in Concord, N.H. "Forgotten Farms" will have a broadcast premier on VermontPBS Feb. 8.


Humane camp

Berkshire Humane Society's Humane Education program is now accepting registration for two upcoming sessions of School Break Camp Humane. Designed for children who love animals – and for parents looking to enrich their children's winter and spring breaks – School Break Camp Humane offers unique, hands-on workshops with local professionals that focus on animal behavior, training, and health. Other activities may include field trips, arts and crafts, community service projects, and one-on-one experiences with shelter animals, farm animals and local ecology.

The winter session runs Feb. 19-23 and the spring session runs April 16-20. Tuition is $200 per child for the entire week and covers all supplies and field trip costs, plus a Camp Humane t-shirt. Early drop-off and late pick-up is also available at no additional charge. Arrangements must be made in advance. Registration packets are available in the lobby of the main shelter, located at 214 Barker Road in Pittsfield. Forms may also be downloaded online. Returning campers may refer a friend and get $50 off tuition when that friend registers.


Strengthen the bonds

In a five-week workshop series called Guiding Good Choices, parents will learn how to strengthen their bonds with their children and reduce the risk that their children will use drugs. The five-week program is being offered by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition's nb21 program and The Family Place beginning Tuesday, Jan. 23, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Mary Spitzer Senior Center located at 116 Ashland St., North Adams.

Guiding Good Choices is an interactive program for all parents of children in grades four through eight. In a lively and open atmosphere, parents will learn specific strategies to help their children avoid drug use and other adolescent problem behaviors, and develop into healthy adults. Parents will learn to set clear family guidelines on drugs, as well as learn and practice skills to strengthen family bonds, help their children develop healthy behaviors, and increase children's involvement in the family.

The program is based on research, which has shown that when children are bonded to their parents, school and non-drug-using peers, they are less likely to get involved in drug use or other behavior problems. Most middle school-aged youth choose not to drink alcohol or use marijuana. However according to the 2017 Prevention Needs Assessment, 11 percent of 8th graders in Northern Berkshire County reported using alcohol and marijuana in the last 30 days.

There is no cost to parents. Dinner and childcare are provided. For more information and to register, call Stephanie Puc or Chris Griffin at 413-663-7588.

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