Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Feb 29-March 5, 2008

Friday: Celebrate with Barrington Stage FREE

Last month Barrington Stage Company received the prestigious national Coming Up Taller Award from First Lady Mrs. Laura Bush for their teen Playwright Mentoring Project (PMP). Everyone’s invited to join in celebrating with State Senator Benjamin Downing, Judge Paul Perachi and Massachusetts Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker (pictured left) at Barrington Stage, where you’ll enjoy performance excerpts from the Playwright Mentoring Program, and a party in the lobby afterwards!

Friday, February 29 7pm Barrington Stage 30 Union Street 499-5446 x100 FREE

Click here to find out more about the President's Coming Up Taller awards

Saturday night: Rock the Opera dance party!

Diva Fever hits Pittsfield Saturday at IS183 Art School’s annual Masquerade Ball, Rock the Opera. This benefit dance party blends a rock’n’roll sensibility with operatic indulgence, and features over-the-top decorations, live music from Melodrome, a DJ spinning dance tracks, an open bar, chocolate delectables from Chocolate Springs Café, and much more. Find out why IS183 ’s dance parties are considered the best in the County. Suggested attire: operatic rock regalia. Air guitar optional! 21 and over.

Saturday, March 1 6pm: dinner, 8pm – onward: party Masonic Temple 116 South Street 298-5252 x100 Dinner & dance: $150; dance only: $50

What to wear? Look here for ideas....

Saturday: Free Air Force Big Band Concert

Join the United States Air Force Liberty Big Band for an unforgettable FREE evening of musical entertainment sponsored by the City of Pittsfield and the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival. Expect an exciting program ranging from the traditions of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington, to the contemporary jazz-pop sounds of today. No ticket required.

Saturday, March 1 7pm Reid Middle School 950 North St 499-9348 FREE

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Saturday: Johnny Irion & Sarah Lee Guthrie downtown

Folk music, bluegrass and a little bit of rock n’ roll, mixed with storytelling and humor are on tap at the Common Grounds Coffee House. Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, husband and wife duo, together produce a singularly rich harmony. Guthrie, granddaughter of American folksinger Woody Guthrie and her musician husband sell out concert halls with their unique onstage presence.

Saturday, March 1 7pm United Methodist Church 55 Fenn Street 499-0866 $15
Click here for all things Sarah Lee and Johnny....

Saturday: Berkshire Bateria at Spice

Saturday night warm up and kick up your heels to the Brazilian rhythms of the Berkshire Bateria at Spice Lounge. No cover and lots of fun! And for Cape Verdean reggae dance rhythms, Ras Moon and Monsoon are playing at La Cocina that evening as well!

Berkshire Bateria: Saturday, March 1 8:30pm Spice Lounge 297 North Street 443-1234 FREE
Ras Moon & Monsoon: Saturday, March 1 9pm La Cocina 140 Wahconah Street
499-6363 $5
Click here to see who else is coming to Spice...

Sunday & Monday: Free Film & Writing Workshops

Sunday, join Bob Gray for a free writing workshop: Under Your Nose: Writing the Personal Essay part I, part of the Pittsfield READS! Community Reading Project. Monday evening is the second of three FREE workshops on low budget independent filmmaking with local filmmaker Marc Maurino. This one focuses on nuts and bolts of film production -- running a shoot, recruiting actors and crew, and much more!

Writing workshop: Sunday, March 2 1pm-3:30pm Lichtenstein Center for the Arts 28 Renne Ave. 448-9632 FREE

Filmmaking workshop: Monday, March 3 7-10pm Lichtentein Center for the Arts 28 Renne Ave 499-9348 FREE
There's always more going on each week than we can fit in the newsletter. Check out our online calendar by clicking here.

Sunday: Natalie MacMaster fiddles at the Colonial

Cape Breton's incandescent fiddler tears up the stage with grand, joyful shows filled with everything from ferocious fiddling and high-powered step dancing to fast-paced Celtic raves and heartwarming ballads. Charismatic on stage and with a great sense of humor, MacMaster and her sizzling band captivate audiences with colorful reels and jigs, and dynamically fuse the traditional with bluegrass, world music and pop.

Sunday, March 2 4 pm The Colonial Theatre 111 South Street 997-4444 $22-$45

Click here to read the critics' lavish praise for Natalie's performances...

Sunday: Chocolate Film Feast!

This Sunday, enjoy the film, Like Water for Chocolate, an intoxicating story of love and some exotic cooking in a Mexican village. Joshua Needleman, proprietor of Chocolate Springs Café shares delectable chocolate secrets, then afterwards, dine at Pancho's Mexican Restaurant on a three-course meal, featuring a rich, chocolate mole poblano.

Sunday, March 2 3 pm film: Berkshire Community College Koussevitzky Hall 1350 West Street dinner: Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant 156 North St.
443-7171 $15 film & lecture $25 dinner

Monday: Dinner with Dave Fleming

David Fleming, Executive Director of the Colonial Theatre, discusses ways in which women often serve as the cultural caretakers (and purse-string holders) in the community at the monthly dinner meeting of Berkshire Business & Professional Women. Everyone’s invited! Reservations are required by Friday, February 29th.

Monday, March 3 Aster's Restaurant 1015 South St. 5:30-6pm networking, 6-7:30pm dinner/program 329-6125 $28 dinner & program

Tuesday & Thursday: Two films showing downtown!

The classic film Adam’s Rib, starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, screens Tuesday, introduced by attorney Patrick Gable, and co-sponsored by the Berkshire Law Library and the Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum. Thursday, it’s the new film, The Walker, starring Woody Harrelson, on the Colonial’s big new screen. He plays a well-heeled and popular socialite who serves as confidante, companion, and card partner to some of Washington DC's leading ladies, until things go very wrong. Rated R.

Adam's Rib: Tuesday, March 4 6 pm Berkshire Athenaeum 1 Wendell Avenue FREE
The Walker: Thursday, March 6 6:30PM & 8:45PM The Colonial Theatre 111 South Street 448-8084
Click here to read a review of Paul Schrader's The Walker.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

South Carolina town looks to ours

Sez the headline:
Spartanburg hangs hopes on arts initiative
Planning group using model of Massachusetts town

That would be Pittsfield they are inspired by! To read the whole story, click here.

Pittsfield on the cover of Aperture magazine

Gregory Crewdson's resonant photos of downtown Pittsfield are featured on the cover and insides of the latest issue of Aperture magazine. Click here to read web-exclusive interviews with Gregory and many of his Berkshire cast and crew, including Juliane Hiam and Carl Sprague.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Cultural Pittsfield This Week Feb 22-28, 2008

Friday-Saturday: BCC Players present Urinetown!

The BCC Players present the Berkshire County debut of the hit Broadway musical, Urinetown, by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis. Nominated for ten Tony Awards, and the winner of three, Urinetown combines greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold into one of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years. Time magazine even called it, “better than The Producers!”

Friday & Saturday,
Feb. 22-23 7:30pm Robert Boland Theatre at Berkshire Community College 1350 West Street 499-0886 $10 general admission/$5 students & seniors
Click here to visit the website for Urinetown, complete with critic accolades!

Saturday: Winter carnival day!

The Pittsfield Winter Carnival Family Day is this Saturday at the Controy Pavilion at Burbank Park on beautiful Onota Lake. Meet the Winter Carnival Queen contestants, have your face painted, and enjoy snowshoe races, sled races, ice skating races, horseshoes, golf on ice, an ice fishing derby, snow sculptures, and hay wagon rides.

Saturday, February 23 11am-3pm Burbank Park 499-9370 FREE

Sunday: Free Writing Workshop

Join Vivian Dorsel, editor/publisher of the literary magazine upstreet, for the first of three free writing workshops, part of the Pittsfield READS! Community Reading Project. The first is entitled The Fictional Environment, and if you are a public school teacher and attend all three of the writing workshops at the Lichtenstein, you will receive a certificate for professional development!

Sunday, February 24 1:30pm-5pm Lichtenstein Center for the Arts 28 Renne Ave. 448-9632 Free

Beginning Monday: Clay Sculpture Class

Michel Paul Richard offers a clay sculpture class where students choose to sculpt a face in relief, a 3-dimensional head, a hand or another part of the anatomy. Students will learn about the qualities of working with a terracotta clay body as they learn sculpture techniques. The class is open to both beginning and intermediate students, and is a relaxed and an informative opportunity to learn about sculpture and working with clay.

Mondays, February 25, March 3, 10, 17 1 - 2:30PM Knesset Israel 16 Colt Road 413-442-4360 ex. 15 $25

Tuesday: Talks about art & immigration

Tuesday lunchtime enjoy one of two free talks. At Knesset Israel, Brooke Mead of the Berkshire Immigrant Center talks about the immigrants who are choosing to call Berkshire County their home and how they contribute to the local culture, to the business atmosphere and to the overall economy of Berkshire County. Meanwhile at BCC, Cultural Development Director Megan Whilden and author Phyllis Kerle will talk about the role of the arts in Pittsfield’s revitalization.

Berkshire Immigration: Tuesday, February 26 1pm Congregation Knesset Israel 16 Colt Road 442-4360 ex. 15 Free

Pittsfield Arts: Tuesday, February 26 12:15pm Berkshire Community College 1350 West Street FREE

Click here to visit the website of the Berkshire Immigrant Center.

Wednesday: Monterey Jazz Festival @ The Colonial

The Monterey Jazz Festival, the longest continually-running jazz festival in the world, celebrates its 50th anniversary with a national tour. Maintaining Monterey's tradition of bringing together veteran and younger artists, the show stars the incredible Grammy Award-winning Terence Blanchard (trumpet), jazz legend James Moody (saxophone), Benny Green (piano), Nnenna Freelon (special guest vocalist), Derrick Hodge (bass) and Kendrick Scott (drums).

Wednesday, Feb 27th 8 pm The Colonial Theatre 111 South Street 997-4444 $24-$45

Click here to find out more about the star-studded 50th anniversary tour!

Next Friday: 5th Annual Berkshire Immigrants Day!

The fifth annual Berkshire Immigrants Day celebrates the cultural and social contributions of the immigrants while offering attendees the chance to learn more about immigration, taxation, banking and finances, job opportunities, and social services. The evening will include pro-bono consultations with an immigration attorney and tax specialist, a large variety of food from local ethnic restaurants, and an array of dancing and musical entertainment. The program will be presented in both English and Spanish.

Friday, February 29th 4-8 p.m. First Baptist Church 88 South Street 445-4881 FREE

Thursday-next Sat: Student Musical Variety Show

The Citizens Scholarship Foundation presents its annual multi-high school student musical variety show at Taconic High School to support scholarships provided to college-bound graduating seniors from Pittsfield High School, Taconic High School, and St. Joseph’s High School. This year’s program, entitled, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go,” written and directed by Beverly Krol, will feature performers from all four different high schools in Pittsfield!

Thursday, February 28th -Saturday, March 1st 7:30pm Taconic High School Auditorium 96 Valentine Rd. Advance tickets at Flynn’s Pharmacy, Wood Brothers, Taconic High School or at the door $10/adults and $8/students and seniors.
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Open Call for Artwork for Forty Shades of Green Show (& more studios)

We want YOUR artwork celebrating Ireland's culture & land...

both traditional and out-of-the-box! Pittsfield's legendary biennial open call art show, Forty Shades of Green (named after the song Johnny Cash wrote about Ireland), promises to be as eclectic and inspiring as it was the first time two years ago! We say, it IS easy being green, and hope you'll think so too. Bring original work, ready to hang to the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts Sunday, March 9 between 12 noon to 3pm. And mark your calendars for the reception, featuring traditional live Irish music and dance, on Sunday, March 16, from 12 noon to 2pm!

(Pictured below for your inspiration: Collecting Meteorites at Knowth by Irish artist Sean Hillen)

Click here for more info on the call for artists for Forty Shades of Green

And below is A Soap Bubble, by McDermott & McGough, currently on display at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Click here to visit the Irish Museum of Modern Art for more inspiration!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Eco-friendly snowboard clothing designed in Pittsfield

They're young, they're happening, they just started a company, Miro, that makes organic and eco-friendly duds for skiiers and snowboarders here in Pittsfield. It's DIY creative economy style. More to come! Check out the Berkshire Eagle story on the company's kick-off by clicking here.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

In the Realm of Rumi at the Lichtenstein

Just came across a video on YouTube of a song from the beautiful performance by Euphony Groove at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in downtown Pittsfield. The band plays traditional and contemporary middle eastern music, and the concert was in conjunction with our recent show entitled In the Realm of Rumi, featuring seven contemporary American women artists inspired by Sufism.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: February 1-7, 2008

Friday night: Brooklyn returns to the Berkshires!

Brooklyn music returns to downtown Pittsfield Come this Friday with Scrambler Seequill, an electro pop rock band duo that layers sounds with intricate compositions. They will be performing an acoustic set that will strip the music down to its core of catchy melodies and heartfelt words. BYOB, $5 corkage fee.

Friday, February 1st 9pm Dottie's Coffee Lounge 444 North Street 443-1792 no cover

Check out Scrambler Seequill by clicking here.

Saturday night: Mark Erelli at Common Grounds

This Saturday the wonderful Common Grounds concert series at the First United Methodist Church features Mark Erelli. Says the Washington Post: “Erelli addresses tough issues with the grit of John Hiatt and the melancholy beauty of Ron Sexsmith." And the Boston Globe called his most recent album, “an intimate masterpiece, at once Erelli's prettiest, most personal, and most political recording.” The doors open at 7 p.m. for folks who want to enjoy friendly conversations and desserts. An array of gourmet coffees and teas are for sale as well.

Saturday, February 2 8pm First United Methodist Church 55 Fenn St. 499-0866 $15, with special rates for children

All Mark Erelli, all the time by clicking here.

Saturday night: Mardi Gras at the Colonial!

The Colonial brings you a Mardi Gras party you won't want to miss, featuring banjo virtuoso and New Orleans native Don Vappie leading the eight piece swinging Creole Jazz Serenaders! They’ll celebrate the true spirit of early jazz with music from Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and many others. State Representative Smitty Pignatelli and others will be honored at the event for their volunteer work in New Orleans. And the Crowne Plaza will feature a special Mardi Gras style dinner beforehand!

Saturday, February 2nd 7pm The Colonial Theatre 11 South Street 997-4444 $24-$45

Saturday night: Groundhog Day Dance Party @ SPICE

After their fabulously successful New Year’s Eve dance party in their upstairs ballroom, Spice is bringing downtown another dance party with the inimitable O-TONES, playing hot swing, R&B, and Motown with nightclub seating and free nibbles included. Don’t miss the Groundhog’s Day decorations!

Saturday, February 2nd 8:30pm SPICE 297 North St. 413.443.1234

$15 cover – includes snacks from our Lounge Menu!

Click here to check out the O-Tones.

Sunday afternoon: Film Feasts features Big Night

The Berkshire Museum’s first “Film Feasts,” featuring a food-related film, discussion with food experts, and dinner at a Pittsfield restaurant, will be a screening of Big Night, with guest speaker Francine Segan, author of Movie Menus. Since the film takes place in an Italian restaurant, dinner will be at Trattoria Rustica in Pittsfield afterwards and is a la carte.

Sunday, February 3rd 3pm Berkshire Community College Koussevitzy Theatre 1350 West St. 443-7171, ext. 10 $15 ($10 members) for movie & speaker only

Mondays: Jazz Ensemble class begins

Learn the jazzy side of music from master player and clinician Bill Chapman. Each session includes theory, ear training, solo improve, and ensemble playing. Bill Chapman is a jazz drummer who has performed with The Empire Brass, The Bob Newhart Comedy Tour, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, The Las Vegas Rat Pack Impersonators, and the Hartford Jazz Festival. Jazz Ensemble starts Monday, February 4: beginning students from 4:00-5:00pm; middle to advanced students from 5:00-6:15pm.

Beginning Monday, February 4th 4 pm & 5pm Berkshire Music School 30 Wendell Avenue 442-1411 Tuition for beginners is $150; middle to advanced $200

Wednesdays: Toddler Art Classes

Every Wednesday this month Bisque, Beads & Beyond offers an art and storytelling hour for toddlers and caregivers. This Wednesday it’s The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting your child can put his or her handprint on a heart plate. Next Wednesday, read a story and then create a ceramic and mosaic valentine.

Wednesdays, Feb. 6th, 13th, 27th 1-2pm Bisque, Beads & Beyond 370 Pecks Road for costs, please call 442-9300

Thursday afternoon: Pittsfield READS presents The Natural World

Join Tom Tyning, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and author of the Stokes Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles, for an informative (and always entertaining) talk on the natural world of Berkshire County. The talk is part of the Pittfield READS community bookreading project that focuses on Bill Bryson’s hilarious A Walk in the Woods, which Robert Redford is planning to make into a movie soon!

Thursday, February 7 3:30 pm Berkshire Community College 1350 West St.

Meredith Cochran, 413-448-9632 FREE

Click here for more information on Pittsfield READS!

Thursday night: Edna St. Vincent Millay�s Love Poetry

Peter Bergman, Executive Director of the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society at Steepletop gives a talk and reading of Millay's poetry, showcasing the wide variety of love poetry the Pulitzer Prize winner created during her lifetime. Some emotionally secure, some humorous, some frighteningly intense poems will be heard along with Millay's own voice reading her work.

Thursday, Feb.7 7p.m. Berkshire Athenaeum One Wendell Avenue 499-9480 FREE

Click here to check out the Cultural Pittsfield online calendar and see what other events are coming up!

Thursday night: Celebrate Pittsfield's Culture!

Each year the volunteers who make up the Pittsfield Cultural Council help distribute grassroots grants to art and cultural groups and artists in Pittsfield. Come meet all who received a 2008 Pittsfield Cultural Council Grant at a public reception at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts while enjoying light refreshments and merriment. The Pittsfield Cultural Council is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. RSVPs requested to

Thursday, Feb.7 5:30-7p.m. Lichtenstein Center for the Arts 28 Renne Avenue 499-9348 FREE

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