Charles Neville is playing New Orleans jazz on Edith Wharton’s terrace. Imagine a summer night, while his saxophone lifts its voice and children ran on the grass. A Grammy-winning musician, known around the world, is playing an informal concert in a garden — and he lives here, just a few miles away.
In the Berkshires, many people and communities come together, like springs in the Housatonic. Nurses, community nonprofits, entrepreneurs and activists … Naturalists are hiking. Farmers are raising gotland sheep. We have families here who have worked in the mills for generations, and young locals have left for college and returned to open cafes or design websites.
People have come here from around the world. Families have traveled from Poland or Naples or County Antrim or Aleppo three or four generations ago, and from El Salvador and Ghana and more. And people have lived here, generation to generation, since before the Revolution — since Agrippa Hull and Elizabeth Freeman — and long before that, as Mohican families and Kanien ke’haka and Nipmuc and more lived here between the rivers, and still live here and return here.
Today people live and make and transform here, in many ways. Spoken word poets, bhangra dancers on a college stage, a young theater company singing Fun Home in a tavern — people celebrate who they are.
Marie-Dolma Chophel’s 'Inner Dialog' holds me still as I navigate the new show of contemporary and traditional Tibetan paintings, photographs, sculpture and collage at the Williams College Museum of Art.
Bill Robinson and his son, Steve, work a 200-acre ranch in Becket. Clad in thick rubber boots, jeans and a plaid shirt, Steve was outside working near the stables and looked every bit the part of a cowboy.
A new community of friends is looking for stories like these and encouraging the telling. Tom Truss and Bart Church have helped to found a new affinity group in Great Barrington, Queer Men of the Berkshires. And among their friendly activities, a group is forming to explore the arts.
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