BITS & BYTES: New dance work at WCMA; DA forum; bat program at SML; donut eating contest; Healey endorses Harrington; streamlined SNAP application – theberkshireedge.com

On Saturday, August 13 at Hilltop Orchards, 10 contestants will compete to be the 2022 “No Crumb Left Behind” Cider Donut Eating Champion.
Kriyol Dance! Collective debuts new work at WCMA
WILLIAMSTOWN – On Thursday, August 4 at 5:30 p.m. Kriyol Dance! Collective (KDC) will debut a new, original work titled Rasin San Bout (“Endless Roots” in Haitian Creole) at the Williams College Museum of Art. The piece will explore ideas of immigration, migration politics, and acculturation as critical factors influencing the health of Caribbean immigrant communities, in particular Haitian immigrants.
KDC is a collective of artist-leaders working to advocate for the unapologetic voices of Black arts through collaborative community organizing and performance-based intervention. KDC uses dance, music, and spoken word as a tool for the preservation of Black diasporic culture and Haitian culture.
At the core of their work, KDC seeks to investigate the question: what does it mean to be well? Rasin San Bout poses this question of wellness in relation to the health of Caribbean immigrant communities, in particular Haitian immigrants. Haitian immigrants make up what may be the bulk of the immigrant population in KDC’s rapidly gentrifying hometown of Flatbush, Brooklyn. Throughout this performance, themes of immigration, migration politics, displacement, mobility, acculturation, cultural identity, and solidarity emerge to shape an immersive dance journey.
Following the performance, a reception will be held on the WCMA Patio. Galleries will remain open until 8 p.m.
— A.J.
* * *
What a Difference a DA Makes Forum 
PITTSFIELD – The NAACP, Berkshire County Branch, the League of Women Voters of Central Berkshire County, League of Women Voters of Williamstown, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (ACLUM) will host a special forum What a Difference A DA Makes at their next general meeting this evening, Wednesday, August 3 at 6 p.m. via Zoom.
What a Difference A DA Makes is an ACLU of Massachusetts (ACLUM) campaign is a public education initiative in Massachusetts that seeks to highlight the key role that the Commonwealth’s district attorneys play in determining the effectiveness and fairness of the criminal legal system. The forum also seeks to inform and educate Massachusetts residents so they are more aware and engaged in their local district attorney elections.

Through public education campaigns like Know Your Sheriff and What a Difference a DA Makes the ACLUM hopes to educate and empower community members in Massachusetts to demand safer communities and a more just criminal legal system.
Following the presentation, those in attendance will be able to ask questions to the two candidates running for Berkshire County District Attorney Tim Shugrue, and incumbent District Attorney Andrea Harrington.
This event is free and open to all, but all attendees, including NAACP Berkshire County Branch members, must register via Zoom for the link, which can be found on the NAACP’s website at naacpberkshires.org/berkshire-county-elections-2022.  For more information, visit naacpberkshires.org. For more information on the What a Difference a DA Makes education campaign visit aclum.org
— A.J.
* * *
Bat Program held at Scoville Memorial Library
Join us in the Buttons Garden at Scoville Memorial Library (SML) to hear wildlife biologist Devaughn Fraser, a specialist in bats, discuss the flying mammals that roost in the attics of SML and the Academy Building — and live throughout this region. The talk will be held at SML at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 4.
At approximately 7:45 the group will take the short walk to the Academy Building at Academy Street & RT 44, where Fraser will instruct attendees on how to conduct a count of bats.  At the end of the count period, approximately 8:30, results will be recorded.
The event is open to all ages, and both SML and the Academy Building will be open if restrooms are needed. Attendees are welcome to bring your lawn chairs, bug spray, and flashlights.
Rain Date: Saturday August 6th, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.. (if it rains on the rain date, the talk will be held inside at the Wardell Room, without a bat count.)
Registration is suggested, and can be done at this link.Walk-ins are also welcome.
— A.J.
* * *
Hilltop Orchards First Annual Cider Donut Eating Contest
RICHMOND – What says summer in the Berkshires more than a picnic table, family and friends, and 10 people chowing down for 10 minutes on Hilltop Orchards’ renowned cider donuts?
On Saturday, August 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Hilltop Orchards in Richmond, Massachusetts, 10 contestants will compete to be the 2022 “No Crumb Left Behind” Cider Donut Eating Champion. The contestants will have 10 minutes to eat as many cider donuts as possible. The winner will receive bragging rights for a year AND a dozen free cider donuts every month. They’ll also have their photo hung on our farm store wall.
Entrants must be 21 and older and apply by August 4. Only 10 final contestants will be chosen from all the entrants (with 2 alternatives). Names will be announced on Hilltop Orchards’ Facebook page on August 5 at 6:30pm.
Apply here: https://www.hilltoporchards.com/cider-donut-eating-contest-form
Everyone is welcome to watch. Spectators are encouraged to come early and enjoy Johnny Mash cider tastings and Furnace Brook Winery tastings. All tastings come with a cool Blue Q tea towel.
Hilltop Orchards is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Learn more at hilltoporchards.com.
— A.J.
* * *
Maura Healey Endorses District Attorney Andrea Harrington for Re-Election
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington has been endorsed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Harrington, who was first elected DA in 2018, has a platform that prioritizes tackling violent crime, protecting victims, supporting community, and increasing transparency.
Healey said, “Andrea is a tremendous public servant for Berkshire County.  She has a real commitment to equity, justice, and public safety that we need right now.  She’s been a great partner to me in my work as Attorney General.  She’s tackled violent crime, lifted up and protected victims and survivors, and worked to make our criminal justice system fairer for all.  I’m proud to endorse her today and look forward to partnering with her in the years ahead.”

District Attorney Harrington is running for re-election.  The Democratic Party Primary is Tuesday, September 6.  In 2018, Andrea Harrington became the first woman elected as Berkshire District Attorney. Thanks to the support of a progressive grassroots movement, more people voted for Andrea in the 2018 general election than have ever voted for any Berkshire District Attorney candidate ever.
Harrington has practiced in the area of criminal law for over fifteen years. She graduated from the University of Washington and earned a Juris Doctor from American University Washington College of Law in 2003.
Those interested in learning more about DA Harrington’s platform can visit andreaharringtonforda.com.
— A.J.
* * *
Baker-Polito Administration Launches Common Application for MassHealth and Food Benefits
BOSTON – On July 28, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that residents can now easily initiate a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application when applying for or renewing their MassHealth benefits online. This option will streamline the process to apply for SNAP benefits while residents are already submitting information needed to determine their healthcare eligibility benefits.
Through this option, when members opt in through the application or renewal process, MassHealth will securely transmit applicant information to the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) to initiate a resident’s SNAP application. DTA will then reach out to the individual to capture any additional required information needed to complete the SNAP application. This streamlined process will create an opportunity to reduce the gap between those on MassHealth and those potentially eligible for SNAP (known as the “SNAP gap”) among current MassHealth members.
This new application/renewal option builds on the work the Administration has done to streamline benefit program applications and connect potentially eligible residents with critical benefits and services. This new option is also part of the Administration’s efforts to improve food security since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
— A.J.
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Stockbridge Sinfonia Presents 50th Anniversary Season Concert
August 14, 2022 @ 06:00 pm – 08:00 pm
Berkshire Opera Festival Presents: Don Giovanni
August 20, 2022, August 23, 2022, August 26, 2022
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