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Hampton Terrace Innkeeper Blog: Deals and Things to Do in Lenox and the Berkshires

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Pecha Kucha hits the Berkshires

  
  
  

The Berkshire Museum brings Pecha Kucha, a worldwide sensation, to Pittsfield (just a bit down the road from here) on March 8.

But what IS Pecha Kucha? From the Berkshire Museum website:

PechaKucha“The first Pecha Kucha event in the Berkshires will be held at Berkshire Museum. Part of a world-wide movement started in Japan in 2003, Pecha Kucha is a series of presentations, each one comprising twenty slides shown for twenty seconds." The Berkshires event will focus on celebrating creativity in all its various guises.

From Berkshire On Stage (Thank you Larry).

“Presentations over the years at other Pecha Kucha Nights have included everything from design collaboratives, photography projects, family vacations, favorite foods, music, sports, and fashion; with the youngest presenter at five years old (about her artwork), and the oldest at sixty-nine (about her cake creations).”

And the rest of the web is ripe with sites where you can learn more, see more, hear more…and get inspired, perhaps, to create your own presentation? You can practice them on us here at the Inn! More links:

The official Pecha Kucha site: http://www.pecha-kucha.org/
Some sample presentations: http://www.pecha-kucha.org/presentations/
And why not a little Wikipedia enrichment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pecha_Kucha

As of January 29th, 2012, 469 Pecha Kucha nights had been held worldwide. Soon to be 470! The event starts at 7 p.m. and general admission is $5.

So what would your presentation be about? Your creative portfolio? A family vacation? An invention that everyone told you is crazy, but you think might work anyway? A survey of beloved family pets? Your grandmother’s guide to life? A home renovation project? A comedic presentation of embarrassing exes (who live in other cities and won’t be there to defend themselves)?

Let those creative ideas percolate…and stay with us for the environment to inspire them! If you're coming for the event, you can take advantage of our Mid-Week Special.

Norman Rockwell, an American Classic in the Berkshires

  
  
  

If any American artist couldfill an entire museum dedicated to only their work, of course it would be Norman Rockwell. The man produced 322 original covers for the Saturday Evening Post and that was just one chapter within his epic body of work.

The Norman Rockwell Museum was created with the help of the artist himself. He was a resident of Stockbridge and while he was still living, he allowed his work to begin to be collected for the purpose of establishing the museum.

The familiarity of Rockwell’s work is undeniable, but here’s a few things you may not have already known about him (thank you Wikipedia):

  • He was married three times, twice to teachers – apparently he had a type!
  • Some very famous names own original Rockwells – including George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
  • He received his first paid illustration job at the age of 18.

You can learn more about this great American artist at the museum. It houses not only his drawings and paintings, but his supplies and tools of his trade as well. Collections of work by other artists come through too…as well as special events, workshops and more.

Their online shop of some of Rockwell’s favorite prints is also worth a virtual visit.

Another fun link for the browsing is the slideshow of popular images from the museum collection.

It is a rare treat to be able to enjoy an artist’s work in a setting that they themselves had a hand in the creation of…don’t miss the chance!

NormanRockwell

Midwinter Comic Relief

  
  
  

“Before the world was populated by soap operas and reality shows, not to mention thousands of blogs, tweets and op-ed columns, intellectual discourse was mostly a face-to-face affair.” – Larry Murray, Berkshire On Stage (a great source of information on all things stageworthy in the Berkshires).

That’s just the thing. Indeed, before there were soap operas…there were the plays of Moliere. Clever, devilish, hilarious and over the top, Molière was a playwright with a mission: to make as much fun of hypocrisy, arrogance, and aristocracy as possible and oh…did he make fun. And his brand of fun wasn’t just fun in the 17th century, it’s still fun now!

Two Berkshire theater groups, Shakespeare & Co. and Williamstown Theatre Festival, celebrate hilarity this winter with two different Molière scripts: The Learned Ladies and The Misanthrope.

Shakespeare & Co.’s The Learned Ladies runs until March 25. It’s chock full of love, and the brutal but funny journey to the decision as to which part of the brain you allow to determine love’s course. Will it be the logical part, or the warm, squishy part? Seems a timely dilemma for the month of love, n’est-ce pas? A dilemma made timeless through Molière’s humor…

The Misanthrope will be presented as a reading on February 27th, at the Clark Institute, as a fundraiser for Higher Ground, an organization dedicated to disaster relief in the Berkshires in the wake of Hurricane Irene. As with all things Molière, The Misanthrope skewers human behavior in allegedly polite society, and with brutal comedy. When Alceste, the central character vows to tell nothing but the truth at all times…well, I’m sure you can imagine how well that works out for him! A suggested donation of $10 gets you an evening of hijinks and, as a bonus, that same $10 supports good work in the Berkshires.

Two great plays, one great playwright. Two reasons to come visit the Berkshires and stay with us at Hampton Terrace.

Moliere TheMisanthrope

The Berkshires do winter right…

  
  
  
Here in New England, we have mastered the art of entertaining one’s self in the winter time. In heavily be-snowed seasons, it’s critical to get out, get moving, and stay warm while you’re doing it. It’s a gift, really, the beautiful, white winter and the creativity it prompts.

While we’re less heavily be-snowed than usual this winter, there have still been some great days to enjoy the outdoors (or frankly, enjoy the indoors with a cup of hot cocoa, if that’s what you prefer!). There’s downhill skiing of course, but downhill isn’t the only game in town. Any cross country fans in the audience? You’re in luck…there are lovely cross-country and snow-shoeing trails very near us in the Berkshires.

The Western Mass Cross Country Ski Area Association is a terrific resource for those who love to enjoy the magic of the countryside on skis. Their site links to information about seven ski areas, events, has a map laying out the location of each area, and more. There are options for skiers of all levels, trails designed by award-winning trail designers…something for a whole family, or just for the two of you.

Need to information about local weather? Obviously you can use internet sources for gauging the snow levels during your visit, but we’re also happy to answer any questions you may have from the ground level. We want your stay to be as fun as possible and we’re in the business of making sure you have what you need to make that happen. Call us anytime at 800-203-0656.

10 x 10 On North Winter Arts Festival will inspire and surprise you…

  
  
  

Neighboring Pittsfield is putting the “s” in arts by including a rich selection of digestable, modern, accessible art forms in their midwinter festival (Feb. 16-26), designed to provoke, inspire and entertain. Plays, songwriting, poetry, visual art, film, dance and more forms will be explored, reinvented and deconstructed by the Berkshires’ unusually rich community of creative people.

To truly really capture this winter arts festival in a few words is no simple task though, so we’ll give you some highlights that speak for themselves:

See ten characters played by one actor within ten minutes, thanks to the Berkshire Actors Theater and their mission to produce actor-driven pieces.

The Beacon Cinema and the Berkshire International Film Festival present a Berkshires’ first: the Smartphone Film Festival. Oh yes…films created on smart phones.

Let the history of burlesque seduce you, through a performance by Ms. Karen Lee and poet Marc Zegan. It’s more than just the tease...it’s a rich chapter in American musical performance history.

A variety of visual arts collections are featured for the festival but perhaps the most intriguing is TEN SPOT, presented by the Lichtenstien Center for the Arts. TEN SPOT features the work of Berkshire artists and the pieces – are mounted on billboards throughout the Berkshires! Billboard driving tour, anyone?

If an interactive experience is what you seek: Known Unknowns is a wild variety show melding the pub quiz and sketch comedy – at the New Stage Performing Arts Center.

Learn more, much more about the festival here - don’t miss the local business specials there at the event website, including food specials. And, don't forget about our mid-week special and romantic weekend getaway special, which should make it a no-brainer for you to come and enjoy the festival!

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Mass MoCA

  
  
  

In the category of “indoor fun” (no snickers please) may we nominate: Mass MoCA, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Mass MoCA is another destination with something for grownups, something for kids and of course something for those who have perhaps not yet decided which category they fit into (it’s cool, no pressure). It’s a unique arts destination because it includes galleries/visual arts, workshops, and performance (music, theater, dance, film, video, film with live music, dance parties…yes, dance parties…and more) rather than focusing on only one type of art.

Their “This Week At Mass MoCA” link makes it easy to find out what’s happening once you’re here but their site is chock full o’ information to help you plan a trip.

This link to their current visual art exhibits gives you a feel for the textures, themes, and landscapes both literal and figurative that are currently under exploration.

Into cinema? “The Loving Story” the story of an interracial couple that lived in Virginia in the 1960s (and how they changed history) is slated for February 15th.

For those with mini-me in tow – don’t miss their Kidspace activities and exhibits. Art making activities fall on Fridays through Sundays and during school vacations (planting that seed...) and keep small hands busy. Their current Kidspace exhibit is called “Under The Sea”…it features artist-created sea creatures and landscapes made from a variety of materials mundane and unusual…and some recycled.

Mass MoCA’s offerings are diverse and mostly indoor escape from the winter cold.

MassMOCA JOrgImmendorff

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