Event Calendar for The Berkshires and Litchfield County

Salisbury, CT–Book Talk & Signing with Author & Historian Tom Shachtman @ Gunn Memorial Library and Museum
Feb 27 @ 6:30 pm

Historian & Author Tom Shachtman will offer a visual presentation & signing on his most recent publication, The Founding Fortunes. The Founding Fortunes reveals the ways in which a dozen notable Revolutionaries deeply affected the finances and birth of the new country while making and losing their fortunes and provides a riveting history of economic patriotism that still resonates today. In addition to nuanced views of the well-known wealthy financiers such as Robert Morris and John Hancock, and of the less wealthy but influential Alexander Hamilton, The Founding Fortunes offers insight into the contributions of those often overlooked by popular history: Henry Laurens, the plantation owner who replaced Hancock as President of Congress; pioneering businessmen William Bingham, Jeremiah Wadsworth, and Stephen Girard; privateer magnate Elias Hasket Derby; and Hamilton’s successors at Treasury, Oliver Wolcott, Jr. and Albert Gallatin. The Founders dealt with tariffs, taxes on the wealthy, the national debt, regional disparities, the census as it affected finances, and how much of what America needs should be manufactured at home in ways that remain startlingly relevant and insightful.

TOM SHACHTMAN has written or co-authored more than 35 books, as well as documentaries for ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and BBC, and has taught at New York University and lectured at Harvard, Stanford, Georgia Tech, the Smithsonian, and the Library of Congress.

Stockbridge, MA–Charlotte Bacon Ripley Sorenson, Author of Charlotte’s Way: A Woman’s Path Through Changing Times @ Stockbridge Library
Mar 7 @ 4:00 pm

The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives, is pleased to welcome author Charlotte Bacon Ripley Sorenson to its Speaker Series,

In Charlotte’s Way: A Woman’s Path Through Changing Times, Charlotte Bacon Ripley Sorenson describes her 80-year life journey as a witness to and participant in the enormous cultural and technological changes that have impacted society in general and women in particular during her lifetime. From the pre-television era to the era of artificial intelligence; from a time when professional choices for women were severely limited to a time when women leaders are found in all professions, Charlotte’s story is at once uniquely her own and very much all of ours. Joyfully open to adventure and diverse cultures and drawing from her experience living and traveling widely both in Europe and in Asia, Charlotte skillfully interweaves family anecdotes and spiritual and philosophical reflections with social, political, and historical facts and observations.

Salisbury, CT–Special Presentation and Book Release Preview: “The Alchemy of Us” presented by author Dr. Ainissa Ramirez @ Scoville Memorial Library
Mar 14 @ 4:00 pm

Cosponsored by Oblong Books & Music
In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips—and reveals how they shaped the human experience. Ramirez tells the stories of the woman who sold time, the inventor who inspired Edison, and the hotheaded undertaker whose invention pointed the way to the computer. She describes, among other things, how our pursuit of precision in timepieces changed how we sleep; how the railroad helped commercialize Christmas; how the necessary brevity of the telegram influenced Hemingway’s writing style; and how a young chemist exposed the use of Polaroid’s cameras to create passbooks to track black citizens in apartheid South Africa. These fascinating and inspiring stories offer new perspectives on our relationships with technologies.

Ainissa Ramirez is a materials scientist and sought-after public speaker and science communicator. A Brown and Stanford graduate, she has worked as a research scientist at Bell Labs and held academic positions at Yale University and MIT. She has written for Time, Scientific American, the American Scientist, and Forbes, and makes regular appearances on PBS’s SciTech Now.

Lenox, MA–Writers in the House: A Conversation with our 2020 Writers-in-Residence @ The Mount, Edith Wharton's Home
Mar 18 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

A discussion with The Mount’s 2020 Writers-in-Residence: Sue Miller, Patricia Park, and Dayna Tortorici

Novelist and Guggenheim fellow Sue Miller, Fullbright scholar and writer Patricia Park, and n+1 editor-in-chief and debut novelist Dayna Tortorici will discuss their past and present work, their careers, and their experience writing in the home of Edith Wharton. They will also touch on the legacy of Edith Wharton and her continuing influence on women writers. Moderated by Elissa Altman,

Salisbury, CT–White Hart Speaker Series: The Earth Is In Her Hands by Jennifer Jewell with Marta McDowell & Margaret Roach @ Salisbury Memorial Library
Mar 19 @ 6:00 pm

The Earth in Her Hands is a beautiful and empowering book by Jennifer Jewell—host of public radio’s award-winning program and podcast Cultivating Place—that introduces us to 75 extraordinary women working in the world of plants, including co-presenters this evening, Margaret Roach & Marta McDowell.

Working in wide-reaching fields that include botany, floral design, landscape architecture, farming, herbalism, and food justice, these influencers are creating change from the ground up. Profiled women include flower farmer Erin Benzakein; co director of Soul Fire Farm Leah Penniman; plantswoman Flora Grubb; edible and cultural landscape designer Leslie Bennett; Caribbean-American writer and gardener Jamaica Kincaid; soil scientist Elaine Ingham; landscape designer Ariella Chezar; floral designer Amy Merrick, and many more. Rich with personal stories and insights, Jewell’s portraits reveal a devotion that transcends age, locale, and background, reminding us of the profound role of green growing things in our world—and our lives.


Lenox, MA–Music and Medicine with Concetta Tomaino @ The Mount, Edith Wharton's Home
Mar 29 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

COST:$20, includes light refreshment

This is a program presented by Close Encounters with Music at The Mount. Close collaborator of Dr. Oliver Sacks, author of the breakthrough book Awakenings (made into a movie starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams), Concetta Tomaino has done groundbreaking research on the uses of music in the neurological rehabilitation of patients living with the effects of autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as stroke and trauma. She is executive director of the Institute for Music and Neurological Function and a faculty member at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Her work has been featured in A Matter of Dignity by Andrew Potok, The Mozart Effect by Don Campbell, Sounds of Healing by Mitchell Gaynor and Age Protectors (Rodale Press) and covered on the BBC and CBS News. She is the recipient of numerous awards, most notably the Award of Accomplishment from Music Therapists for Peace at the UN; the Touchstone Award from Women in Music, and the Zella Bronfman Butler Award for “outstanding work on behalf of individuals with physical, developmental or learning disabilities.”

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC stands at the intersection of music, art, and the vast richness of Western culture. Entertaining, erudite, lively commentary puts the composers and their times in perspective to enrich and enlighten your concert experience.

Lenox, MA–Launch Celebration: Girls Right the World @ The Mount, Edith Wharton's Home
May 17 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm



Join us to celebrate the launch of the fourth issue of Girls Right the World, an international online literary and art journal that publishes work by girls worldwide. Created and edited by students from Miss Hall’s School, Girls Right the World promotes diversity of culture and expression to a robust and growing global audience. This student-led program will include a panel discussion with the student-editors featuring selected works from the issue. Please register in advance for this free event.

Issue four is edited by Muhiim Ali, Hazel Grallert, Jiho Shin and Paige Wright under the guidance of Miss Hall’s English teacher Emily Pulfer-Terino