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Stories of our connected and rapidly changing region.

Exchange Program Brings Indonesia Closer To New England

July 29, 2019

It takes over a day to fly from the Berkshires in western Massachusetts to Indonesia. With than 250-million inhabitants, Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s most populous nation; it’s also the world’s largest Muslim country. Its nearly 20-thousand tropical islands are home to beaches, mountains, rainforests, and bustling metropolises like Jakarta. Indonesia’s islands may be half a world away from the Berkshire hills. But an Indonesian-born filmmaker living in Berkshire County is finding ways to bring her native home and her adopted home closer together.

How Norman Rockwell’s Relationship With Erik Erikson Influenced His Work

July 29, 2019

In 1953 American illustrator Norman Rockwell moved from Arlington, Vermont, to the small town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, on the Western edge of the Berkshires. While there, Rockwell developed a relationship with a prominent psychotherapist who came to influence the artist’s work. Their relationship is the subject of a new exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum: “Inspired: Norman Rockwell and Erik Erikson.” 

Harvard’s “Vocarium” Offers A Unique Record Of History

July 12, 2019

Imagine a library for voices. A place where you can sit around a table and listen to recordings with friends. That was the Harvard Vocarium. It all started with one man: Frederick Packard. Simply put, Packard loved the spoken word.

Wild Churches Bring Religion Outside

July 10, 2019

In early June, twenty-five pastors and spiritual leaders from across the U.S. and Canada gathered at a retreat center in Wisconsin for the first meeting of the Wild Churches Network. The members of this new alliance span denominations from Mennonite to Catholic, but are united in their mission to bring Christian practice together with environmental stewardship. The founder of this eco-theological movement, Reverend Stephen Blackmer, has a congregation in Canterbury, New Hampshire.

On The Presidential Campaign Trail, New Hampshire PFAS Activists Give—And Get—Attention

July 2, 2019

New Hampshire is at the forefront of a growing debate over PFAS chemical contamination in drinking water. And many of the Democrats campaigning to win the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary are taking notice.

Pull The Plugs: How A Simple Move May Help Plum Island’s Salt Marshes Adapt To Sea Level Rise

July 2, 2019

Walking through the Parker River Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island with wildlife biologist Nancy Pau is to take a tour through the various ways humans have disrupted the saltwater marsh for the last 300-plus years.

The Resilient River: What It’s Like To Paddle Down The Quinnipiac

June 27, 2019

The Quinnipiac River was, historically, one of Connecticut’s most polluted. For decades, nineteenth-century factories and densely populated towns poured sewage and industrial waste into the river.

Bridgeport, Connecticut Students Meditate On Actions

June 27, 2019

If a student gets in trouble at the Curiale School in Bridgeport, the person they would have to answer to is Eric Sigman, the vice principal who handles disciplinary action. In April Sigman introduced Come and Learn Mindfulness, or CALM, program, a meditation and yoga curriculum. He created it to change the school’s standard disciplinary model that involved sending students to his office if they misbehave.

Massachusetts County Sheriffs, State DOC Will Re-Up Contracts With Federal Immigration Officials

June 27, 2019

There’s an ongoing battle over just how much Massachusetts authorities can legally partner with federal immigration officials. A Supreme Judicial Court decision in 2017 appeared to offer some clarity.

Downhill Skateboarders Seek ‘Mellow’ 70 MPH In Western Massachusetts Competition

June 26, 2019

More than 60 downhill skateboarders convened in a quiet western Massachusetts town in June — coming from as far away as Spain, Australia, and Mexico — to compete in the first-ever Whitcomb Summit Downhill.


NEXT is a weekly radio show and podcast hosted by John Dankosky, based at Connecticut Public Radio and powered by the New England News Collaborative.

Our laboratory is all of New England — one of America's oldest places — at a time of change.

Through original reporting and interviews, we ask important questions about the issues we explore: where are we now? How did we get here? And what's next?


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