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All-inclusive schools – Breaking down institutional barriers

Paula Lima Jones (photo above) is getting her colleagues to think about their work in different ways. As the first Dean of Equity and Inclusion at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, the bulk of her work begins with a simple, albeit often unrecognized, fact: Every single day, students enter institutions neither designed nor intended for… Read More

Aging in the Berkshires

A little-known movement with a large-scale mission—to create a community that is more livable for people of all ages, especially the older population—has been making great strides across the county. The name says it all: Age Friendly Berkshires. And its purpose is to change the culture around aging and to show how we can… Read More

Ten Minutes with Austen Riggs Center’s Medical Director/CEO – Talking about Mental Health

Dr. Eric Plakun came to the Berkshires to train in psychoanalysis, and it has turned into “a 41-year residency,” as he puts it. Today, he heads the world-class mental health treatment facility on Main Street in the village of Stockbridge. Every morning before work, he bike rides or cross-country skis. “You can’t have a bad… Read More

A Stone’s Throw Away – Curling finds its footing

As the seasons change, as the state of water turns from liquid to solid, the state of mind of a few dozen cold-hardy Berkshirites becomes lulled and lured by thoughts of granite stones, broomsticks, and a vocabulary requiring its own glossary of terms. This happens to people like Mark Fischetti of Lenox, a science journalist.… Read More

WAM Theatre and Multicultural BRIDGE join forces to unhinge racism

Part of Kristen van Ginhoven’s personality is to challenge the status quo. As co-founder and artistic director of WAM Theatre (Where Arts and Activism Meet), she spent the last decade creating opportunity for women and girls. Today, she is at the helm of an organization poised to engage the power of art in dismantling systems… Read More

HiLo Music Club is setting the stage for touring bands

After 120 years, the building at 55 Union Street in North Adams is making some noise in its new life as the HiLo Music Club, a mid-level venue aiming to attract a range of touring bands that typically bypass the Berkshires. The club, situated on the first floor, features a custom bar with a… Read More

Meat Shares – more and more local farms are selling their meats direct

On a crisp morning, bacon is frying. It is the season for sweet herbed sausage to go with scrambled eggs. In the fall, animals raised over the summer become a part of the harvest at local farms. And many of those same farms are finding new ways to offer them. Farmers markets move into winter… Read More

Chihuahua Cheer – Therapy dogs reduce stress and anxiety for hospital patients

Bill Capasse and his teacup chihuahua Amie have near-celebrity status at Fairview Hospital. The pair is a trained and certified therapy dog team—the telltale sign is Amie’s tiny red Velcro vest—and they make the weekly trip from Ashley Falls to Great Barrington to visit with patients at the 25-bed hospital where Capasse was born. “I… Read More

Berkshire Blend – Pot growing combines sunlight, soil, and passion

On a late-summer evening at 5:15, people mingle under a canopy of trees as daylight begins to fade. They stand in line to enter a wooden A-frame building with “Theory Wellness” emblazoned in brushed aluminum, the lettering large enough to be seen from the street. The parking lot is abuzz. The vintage Triumph convertible with… Read More

The Art of It – Sparrow

Like many artists, Alissa Siegal’s paintings hang in numerous galleries, private homes, corporate collections, and universities, but her art has also appeared in the movies, notably The Bounty Hunter and Something Borrowed. “I am constantly experimenting and evolving my style and subject matter—everything from my life shows up in my work,” says Siegal. “I… Read More