Grand Opening – Samuel Harrison House

June 20, Time tba
Grand Opening – Samuel Harrison House  lev4

at Samuel Harrison House, 82 Third Street, Pittsfield

[by invitation only] The Samuel Harrison Society hosts community residents and funders who were instrumental in restoring and preserving Reverend Harrison’s homestead as a national historic site, a place to teach the values embodied in “his noble life, his enduring beliefs, his extraordinary writings; and to define a chapter in the story of us as a people by providing greater insight into African-American history”. Reverend Harrison was the first pastor of Second Congregational Church in Pittsfield and the first chaplain of the 54th Regiment of African American volunteers who fought in the Civil War.

DownStreet Art Festival Kick-Off – Fantastic Negrito

June 25, 8P
DownStreet Art Festival Kick-Off – Fantastic Negrito   lev4

Main Street @ Holden Street, North Adams
presented by LEV, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Berkshire Cultural Resource Center

Fantastic Negrito

The kick-off of the DownStreet Art Festival features Fantastic Negrito at 8P. The festival, with fun for the whole family, runs from 5-9P.

“Xavier Dphrepaulezz, as Fantastic Negrito is full of punky, bluesy spirit and has a gritty resonance that we reckon a lot of people are going to dig…”– Irish Times

Berkshire native Xavier Dphrepaulezz who performs under the moniker Fantastic Negrito moved with his family to Oakland, California at the age of 12. A bay-area resident, Dphrepaulezz won the National Public Radio (NPR) Tiny Desk Concert Contest in February 2015, beating out more than 7,000 submissions.

Negrito describes his music as “songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music.”

fantasticnegrito.com for more information

African American History Tour at Jacob’s Pillow

July 2, 4P
African American History Tour lev4

at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 358 George Carter Rd, Becket

Norton Owen, Director of Preservation, conducts a historic tour of the Pillow’s grounds, focusing on its Underground Railroad history and on the African and African American artists who contributed to the success of Jacob’s Pillow.

Inside/Out – Williams College Dance Department

July 2, 6:15P
Inside/Out – Williams College Dance Department  lev4

at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 358 George Carter Rd, Becket
presented by LEV, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Williams College
Inside/Out – Williams College Dance Department

Featuring Step, African and contemporary dance. Free.

 

The Blues Project

July 2, 8P
The Blues Project  lev4

at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 358 George Carter Rd, Becket
presented by LEV, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival

Michelle Dorrance is a tap and musical sensation. In The Blues Project, she returns with her company of all-star dancers, featured soloists Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, and stirring, soulful music performed live by renowned folk/blues composer Toshi Reagon and her band BIGLovely. Info/tickets http://jacobspillow.org

Struttin’ with Some Barbecue

July 3, 5P
Struttin’ with Some Barbecue, Free Jazz Concert and Barbecue  lev4

at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Estate and Gardens, 2 Plunkett St, Lenox
presented by LEV,The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Estate and Gardens

Struttin’ with Some Barbecue is a community celebration of community and America being free in the gardens of The Mount, featuring the Wanda Houston Band. Wanda Houston is a professional singer, actress and song stylist who has traveled the stages of the world searching for the perfect song and performance. Her travels brought her to The Berkshires in 2001 where she has continued to “search” in Musical Theatre, Jazz, Gospel, R&B, Blues, Folk and Rock-‘n-Roll. Bring a blanket and picnic basket and sit in the gardens or purchase barbecue and soul food from vendors. There is very limited seating at tables on the terrace.

Pittsfield July 4th Parade

July 4, 10A
Pittsfield July 4th Parade  lev4

North Street, Pittsfield, MA
presented by LEV, Pittsfield July 4th Parade Committee, Office of Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Youth Alive Step Team and Drum Corps

Lift Ev’ry Voice will join with Youth Alive Step Team and Drum Corps to participate in the Pittsfield July 4th Parade. Please join us and be a part of our contingency.

Gateway to Freedom

July 10, 5-6P
Gateway to Freedom

at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 358 George Carter Road,Becket, MA

In this Lift Ev’ry Voice event celebrating Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival’s notable past, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner discusses and signs his latest book, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad.

Hanif Abdurraqib-Willis

July 11, 7P
Hanif Abdurraqib-Willis

Poetry Performance
at Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield
presented by WordXWord Festival
Free

Hanif Abdurraqib-Willis is a poet and writer from Columbus, Ohio. He is the editor of Again I Wait For This To Pull Apart, an anthology forthcoming from Freezeray Press. His work has been published in Radius, Stirring, Muzzle, Vinyl, joINT, Borderline, and other journals. Hanif has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and his poem “Hestia” won the 2014 Capital University poetry prize. His first collection of poems, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, will be released by Button Poetry in 2015.

“I knew that I wanted to see representation in the work, as far as a person of color using popular culture and music to unpack larger fears and anxieties about being black and alive in America. I think it serves as an entry point for people who may otherwise not be willing to dig into those conversations.”

– Willis-Abdurraqib, from an interview with Leslie D. Rose

More info at WordXWord Festival

LEV-Martin Luther King Day of Service & Youth Summit

July 12, 10A – 3P
LEV-Martin Luther King Day of Service & Youth Summit  lev4

Starts and finishes at MCLA Church Street Center Social Hall, North Adams
presented by LEV, Martin Luther King Day Committee, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The LEV-MLK Day of Service & Youth Summit combines projects that benefit the community with an extension of a series of community forums began by the Martin Luther King Day Committee on King Day 2015: “We continue to realize that we must be creative in compelling our youth and really everyone to take a stand for social justice. We hope to use the arts to help us communicate and connect with each other. We look forward to brainstorming with our youth to solve problems and find pathways toward success.” The community forum with public safety and police officers as participants is a public service relevant in today’s America, a “hand’s on” approach to making peace within communities. Facilitator: Thomas Alexander, Student Affairs Officer, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Tentative Schedule

10A – Continental Breakfast/Kick Off at MCLA Church Street Center Social Hall
10:30A – leave for service sites at various locations
12:30P –  Keynote/Community Forum at MCLA Church Street Center Social Hall
2P – Poetry Workshop at MCLA Church Street Center Social Hall

Register Online to Participate in the LEV – MLK Jr Day of Service and Youth Summit

All Youth (and those who support and are ready to listen and learn from youth) are welcome to participate. To join us, register online.