Thursday, December 17, 2009

Community Kwanzaa Celebration

Sunday, December 27th, the community is invited to The Masonic Temple @ 116 South Street for the fourth annual Community Kwanzaa Celebration. This year, three awards will be given to outstanding women of color who have each greatly helped the community! The dinner features a traditional Kwanzaa ceremony with Youth Alive Step Dance & Drum Line along with last years favorites, The Women of Joy Gospel Quartet. Support the community by attending what promises to be a festive occasion!

For more information please contact Nakeida Bethel-Smith at 413-464-9645 or Shirley Edgerton at (413) 841-8770.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shop Local & Creative at the Handmade Holiday Festival!

Crispina & Friends
Handmade Holiday Festival!
Friday-Sunday, December 4-6, 2009
The Alchemy Initiative
40 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA

Portrait of the former Notre Dame Church by Diane Firtell.

Celebrate the holidays and support the creativity of your local community this weekend, December 4-6, 2009 at Crispina & Friends' Handmade Holiday Festival in the beautiful former Notre Dame Church (now home to the groundbreaking Alchemy Initiative) in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Holiday wreath by Crispina ffrench.

The Handmade Holiday Festival opens with a special preview party on Friday, December 4 to benefit the Alchemy Initiative, dedicated to sustainable arts and community. Tickets are $25 at the door, and the first 50 attendees receive a free goodie bag filled with wonderful handmade gifts, coupons and surprises galore.

The evening preview party runs from 5pm to 8pm and also includes live music, body painting, hula hooping, mulled wine, delicious nibbles, henna tattoos and first dibs on the incredile array of beautiful and unique gifts.

Peace on Earth cut paper design by Noelle Horsfield.

Be the first to shop on Friday evening or come on Saturday, December 5, from 10am to 6pm and Sunday, December 6, from 12 noon to 4pm to enjoy a festive holiday atmosphere and great shopping from a select group of forty of the best local and regional artisans, including locally grown Christmas trees and holiday greenery, beautiful jewelry by Saskia Larraz, Angela Gerhard & Lisa Anderson...

Gold lotus on a chain by Lisa Anderson.

handcrafted knives by John Manikowski, as seen in Berkshire Living,

beautiful pottery by Daniel Bellow, Nancy Magnussen and Lorimer Burns

Teapot by Daniel Bellow.

and much more include Dolphin Studios' legendary hand silkscreened calendars; delicous home goods from Minc House; hula hoops from Hooping Harmony; twig furnishings for indoor and out from Hey Cut it Out; locally designed & made comfy & stylish yoga clothing from Ancient Languages; lovely leather accessories by Liz Olney; strange & wonderful recycled goods by Moe O'Hara and other delights from your friends & neighbors.

Recycled board game notebook by Recycle Moe.

“Wait until you see the unusual, handmade treasures we will be showcasing! From handmade knives to tins of the Berkshire’s tastiest artisan-made holiday cookies… And of course my recycled sweater concoctions will be available for purchase in a setting designed to bring honest to goodness cheer to the season,” says Crispina ffrench. Pittsfield's Youth Alive Step Dance & Drum Line group will be selling handmade wrapping paper and wrapping gifts as a fundraiser for their group as well.

The Handmade Holiday Festival is located at 40 Melville Street in downtown Pittsfield in the beautiful interior of the former Notre Dame Church, now home to the Alchemy Initiative. An donation of $2 is requested on Saturday & Sunday, with all proceeds going to the Alchemy Initiative's programs. There's lots of free parking next to the Church and across the street, and don't forget the horse and wagon rides for the whole family! 12-4pm Saturday & Sunday.

See you there! For more info read the Berkshire Eagle's front page story on the Handmade Holiday Festival here, call 413-236-9600 or visit

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The 65th annual Pittsfield Halloween Parade!

After 65 years, we have a terrific annual tradition and parade that involves hundreds and hundreds of school children decked out in Halloween finery, high school marching bands, fire trucks, terrific floats by the schools, the Sheriff's Department and local businesses, and much more. Highly recommended! The parade is Friday, October 30, at 7pm, kicking off at the corner of North and Fenn Streets and continuing down to historic Wahconah Park, all in downtown Pittsfield in western Massachusetts.

Here's a spooky fun video of the 2007 parade by artist Douglass Truth...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 17th 3rd Thursday

Pittsfield's second to last 3rd Thursday of the year will be making a splash on North Street as we celebrating water! Events will include live music from Pittsfield natives Hector on Stilts as well as fire dancers, a Brazilian rythym group, and a jazz band called the Unfulfilled Desires. A 5:30 water balloon toss will take place at the Dunham mall while the Berkshire Museum is open late and free for Berkshire residents.
The Ferrin Gallery will be showing a preview of the abstract works of Pittsfield's own Joe Goodman and altered post cards by Lucy Feller. Jae's Spice will host Dj BFG while Club Groove will have Throwback thursday featuring an 80's and 90's inspired lineup.
All attending this month's 3rd Thursday is urged to wear a water inspired costume as there will be a Crowne-Plaza hosted costume contest!
September's 3rd Thursday will be loads of fun and promises to be enjoyable for attendees of all ages.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lichtenstein Center for the Arts hosts "Jump In!"

"Jump In!", a visual celebration of water in our landscape will open Friday, September 4th in Pittsfield's Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. The event will be free of charge and will boast pieces from over 20 artists including sculptors, painters, photographers, and more. Food will be provided by the nearby Brix Wine Bar.

The show will be on display through October 31 and is a feast for the senses as the gallery will be filled with the sound of Annea Lockwood's A Sound Map of the Housatonic River. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5pm, and admission is free. The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts is located at 28 Renne Avenue in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

We encourage all attendees to create an aquatic or otherwise water related haiku as you enter the gallery as a part of a community poetry project. The opening is shaping up to be one of great beauty and is looking more spectacular as we pass through the week. We hope that many arrive on Friday night in order to view the pieces provided and enjoy an evening of sound, taste, and beauty.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pittsfield's 2009 Ethnic Fair

Bagpiper plays at the opening ceremony.

Ethnic Fair 2009!

On Sunday, August 2nd, people gathered on the first two blocks of North Street to celebrate and recognize the many vibrant cultures that make up our community through music, dance, food, drink and craft from around the world. On the main stage, the Ethnic Fair kicked off with a fantastic welcome and opening ceremony, followed by the Albany Ballet. Check out some pictures below!

Albany Ballet Dancer

Group Shot of some Albany Dancers.

Despite the drizzle, hundreds of people came out to North Street with their umbrellas to enjoy the variety of different music and food. Akwaaba African Drum and Dance Ensemble filled the streets with great beats along with Gaia Roots, a group that combines movement with drumming. Mark IV Polka Orchestra got everyone on to their feet and dancing to the tunes.

Even dogs enjoy the Ethnic Fair.

Crowd favorite, La Fogata had a booth selling their delicious Colombian Food. Even though the Polish Picnic was just a couple of weeks ago, the Polish National Alliance booth always had a line of people anxiously awaiting some more Polish food. Flavours, a Malaysian and Asian restaurant that will soon be located at 75 North Street, sold tasty chicken satay, crispy spring rolls and somosas. Guido's Fresh Marketplace sold delightful fresh fruit, health chilled beverages and healthy frozen fruit. Even the Dancing Vegan came out to celebrate.

Perfomer doing his thing.

The Ethnic Fair would not be possible without the support and hard work of Downtown Inc. and the City of Pittsfield, especially the Office of Cultural Development, the Mayor's Office, and the Police, Fire, Health, Public Works and Building Maintenance Departments. Thanks also to all the businesses who provide in-kind support, including Allied Waste, Tailored Events, Compuworks, the Pittsfield Pipers, Legacy Banks, Scarfoni Associates, and more.

If you are interested in being a vendor or volunteer for next year's Ethnic Fair, send your contact information to:
Pittsfield Ethnic Fair
P.O. Box 725
Pittsfield, MA 01202
or and

Lastly, special thanks to Craig Swinson for providing the photographs for this blog post.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pittsfield Contemporary Opening!

Pittsfield Contemporary Show Opens!

On Saturday, July 25th, over 150 people gathered to view and celebrate the many talented artists in Pittsfield. Check out some pictures from this event!

Jay Elling and Hucklberry DelSignore discussing their work.

Returning artists, Mike Carty and Jazu Stine admire the show.

People mingling and enjoying that art.

Many many thinks to Brix Wine Bar and Bistro for donating some amazing food platters and wine. Guests enjoyed watermelon and feta skewers, fresh vegetables, shrimp, a variety of different cheeses, a large selection of fine wines and much more.

Click here to visit Brix's website.

This exhibit is on display till August 29th at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts located at 28 Renne Avenue in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday 12-5pm. Come and check it out!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Celebrate summer tomorrow at the July 16th 3rd.Thursdays, Pittsfield’s award-winning free monthly downtown after-hours festival! From 5pm to 8pm and well beyond, downtown Pittsfield’s streets will be filled with performers, vendors, families, and fun. Celebrate Motown's 50th birthday, enjoy delicious treats from around the world, check out new artwork & locally made craft, and shop some GREAT summer sales. There's plenty of parking in garages and parking lots ALL around downtown. And afterwards there's loads of theatre, two film screenings, live music, a dance party, a poetry slam & much more to enjoy into the evening!

The Palace Park Beach returns!

It was such a hit last year, we brought it back! Don't miss the Palace Park Beach on North Street between Fenn & Eagle Street. There's beach toys, plenty of sand to play in, and even a real live lifeguard! The mysterious Silver Swimmers will return and you might even see some pirates walking around downtown...

Magic, Music, Dancing & More for the Whole Family!

Berkshire favorite Terry A La Berry (pictured left) performs family-friendly tropical favorites at the Palace Park Beach. Down the street at Sottile Park, up-and-coming magician John Nesbitt performs tricks to entertain and astonish. Chapters Bookstore offers free face painting and welcomes special bunny guest Max from the Max and Ruby Books. Don’t miss a sneak preview onstage of Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre production of High School Musical 2 at 5pm at Persip Park. Plus you can see the whole production on 3rd.Thursdays at 7:30pm at St. Joseph’s High School gym, at the very special preview price of just $8. The B-Boys from Rhythms Dance Center will be breakdancing at the corner of North and Maplewood Streets.

Colleen Quinn, Teapots, Pittsfield Art Show preview & more!

The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts showcases works by artists in the fifth annual Pittsfield Art Show , downtown Pittsfield's terrific outdoor juried art fair being held this weekend, July 18th & 19th. The Ferrin Gallery exhibits two shows: Teapots: Interpretations, a group show of teapots, objects & still lifes featuring the classic form of the teapot, and (DE)CONSTRUCTIONS, a solo exhibition of new works by Michael Zelehoski. A block away the beautiful new Berkshire Community College Art Gallery in the Intermodal Center hosts an opening for a solo show by Colleen Quinn, while the 429 Gallery within Museum Facsimiles features new work by Berkshire artist Diane Firtell. The Gallery hosts an opening reception for new paintings and photography by Ellen Joffe, Matt Tucker & Claudia Schuster.

Music Up & Down the Street

The 3rd.Thursday’s Main Stage will be at Persip Park and features a sneak preview from the cast of Barrington Stage’s High School Musical II. Beginning at 5:30pm enjoy the lively beat of MarkaMusic, a world music group with members from throughout South America, followed by Albany favorites Solid Smoke (they've opened for War, the Spinners, Chick Corea & more) playing the best of Motown in honor of Motown’s 50th anniversary this year! Things get tropical in front of St. Joseph Church with The Berkshire Bateria, a 3rd.Thursday’s crowd favorite. This band will be taking over the lawn with their wild Brazilian drum beats. Unfulfilled Desires can be heard on the street at the Crowne Plaza hotel and the Pittsfield Brew Works is hosting singer-songwriter Jack Waldheim.

Summer Sales Galore!

North Street’s unique locally-owned businesses will be open late for your browsing pleasure, & several are kicking off special summer sales at this week’s 3rd.Thursdays, including Museum Facsimiles, featuring a special summer sale on hand letter-pressed cards, frames and unique gifts; Paul Rich & Sons’ legendary summer tent sale with terrific prices on beautiful home furnishings; and a sidewalk sample sale of the Ancient Languages collection of locally designed and created yoga wear. Also open late for your shopping pleasure are Studio Addict; Berkshire Masquerade; Aerus-Electrolux; and RGile Engravers.

Further down North Street you’ll find Ordinary Cycles; Pasko Frame and Gift; Rebel Sound Records, featuring alternative music on CD and vinyl; RJ Stohr’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, which will be offering 50% off almost everything in the store for one day only; and Chapters Bookstore, featuring a live DJ playing lots of Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffett and artwork by Suzanne Goudreau and Dave Sekac.

Great Food at Local Restaurants!

Travel the world in downtown Pittsfield's restaurants including Brix Wine Bar & Bistro; Hot Harry’s, the Highland Restaurant, Pittsfield Brew Works; Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant, Bagels Too, Jae’s Spice, the Press Box, Mary’s Carrot Cake Café; Mission Bar & Tapas, Dottie’s Coffee Lounge & the newly remodeled Lantern Bar & Grill. Enjoy a meal, an appetizer or just a glass of wine in Trattoria Rustica’s secluded outdoor garden patio.

Tasty Treats & Varied Vendors

In addition, street vendors will be selling a wide variety of food & goods to enjoy as you walk around the streets and enjoy all that 3rd.Thursdays has to offer. Corrine’s offers Greek specialties at Palace Park, the Civitan Club will be grilling hotdogs and hamburgs at Persip Park, Brix Wine Bar will be making crepes on the street; and La Fogata, Zucchini’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Krispy Kones, SoCo Creamery, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, the Dancing Vegan, and more will be selling a variety of delicious treats.

The Berkshire Made Artisan Market features the best Berkshire craft artists around selling locally made jewelry, pottery, handbags and more in front of the YMCA on North Street. Pittsfield Rye and Berkshire Mountain Bakery will also be offering freshly made, locally baked goods to take home and enjoy along with other Farmers Market vendors!

The Fun Continues into the Night

After 3rd.Thursdays, there is plenty to enjoy! Barrington Stage offers three different productions: the thriller, Sleuth, and the musical, High School Musical 2. Dance the night away at a DJ dance party at Jae’s Spice or enjoy live music from pirate descendent Mia Dyson at Mission Bar & Tapas, and more at Rebel Sound Records & Pittsfield Brew Works. Catch the last screening of Jim Jarmusch’s latest film, Loss of Control, at 8pm at the Little Cinema in the Berkshire Museum, or a screening of the award-winning City Farmers documentary at the Alchemy Initiative to benefit their urban farming initiative. And four time national slam poet champion Taylor Mali hosts a poetry slam at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts!

Upcoming 3rd Thursdays

Sponsored by Berkshire Bank, the August 20th’s 3rd.Thursdays celebrates the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and the era of peace and lovebeads. The September 17th 3rd.Thursdays’ theme is Jump In! sponsored by the Housatonic River Museum and brings back 3rd.Thursdays favorites Hector on Stilts, all the way from New York City. Lastly, the Quality Printing Company sponsors the final 3rd.Thursdays of the year on October 15, celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival with a free performance by the Industrial Jazz Group, all the way from the West Coast.

Click here for more information about 3rd Thursday!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The 2nd Annual Pittsfield Contemporary Group Show

Paul Graubard Mask 1

Beginning July 25th, 14 of Pittsfield’s finest artists will invade the walls of the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts for the 2nd annual Pittsfield Contemporary Exhibition, a juried show of artists that live or work in Pittsfield. This year's jurors were Art in America contributing editor Carol Diehl, Kathleen Gilrain, executive director of NYC arts organization Smack-Mellon, and Maria Mingalone, Director of Interpretation at the Berkshire Museum. The show kicks off with an opening reception on July 25th, from 5 to 7pm and will run until August 29.

Jay Elling & Huckleberry DelSignore Untitled

This year’s show will correspond with the launch of PITTSFIELDCONTEMPORARY.COM, a dynamic arts marketing collaborative effort from Pittsfield’s premier contemporary art venues, including Ferrin Gallery, Berkshire Museum, Storefront Artist Project, the Lichtenstein Center forthe Arts, Gallery, Artscape, the Pittsfield Art Show, and the BCC Art Gallery.

Michael McKay Hansaviertel (cyanotype)

This year’s exhibit features twelve new artists, including photographer Nick Atlas; Autumn Doyle, a musician and photographer with striking self-portraits; Sydney Flint, a student at Massachusetts College of Art with wildlife inspired etchings; Eric Korenman, a photographer that specializes in buildings and landscapes; Paul Graubard, who presents colorful paintings inspired from childhood fantasies; Jay Tobin, a painter and retired firefighter; Eduardo Villanes, a native Peruvian with paintings of wild animals, Jay Elling and Huckleberry DelSignore, founders of Pittsfield’s bike church, Copperworks; as well as Colleen Surprise Jones, Michael McKay, and Monika Pizzichemi. Mike Carty, a spray paint graffiti artist, and Jazu Stine, local photographer, sculptor, and chef, both return to the Pittsfield Contemporary line-up this year.

Sydney Flint
The Shortest Distance Between Two Points

This exhibition is sponsored by Brix Wine Bar, which will provide catering and refreshments for the opening reception on July 25th. For more information about the event, call 413-499-9348 or email

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pottery Classes at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts!

Pottery Classes at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts!

Join Jim Horsford for an instructional six-week pottery class starting Wednesday, July 1st! Learn the ins and outs of pottery and go home with some great pieces of art work! Class dates are:

July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and August 5

Many times to chose from:

Here is an outline of the classes:

1. First class:
Students wedge two pieces of clay and step by step we throw two small pots: a mug and a bowl.

2. Second class:
We continue throwing and make three more pots.

3. Third class:
Now that we have five pots that have been kept moist in plastic and we trim the bottoms of this work.

4. Fourth Week:
Its back to throwing, and we make three larger pots.

5. Week five:
Work from week four is trimmed, handles are made for mugs and pitchers, clay can be added to the exterior of work or textures can be carved into the surface of work.

6. Week six:
Each student will have six to eight pots that they will glaze.
About a week after glazing, students from all classes will return for a pick-up celebration.

For more information, check out Jim’s website!

Workshops with Crispina ffrench!

Workshops with Crispina ffrench!

Crispina ffrench hosts workshops through November on a variety of different textile topics. I had the pleasure of attending her first workshop: Flower Making! In this workshop, Crispina showed her students how to take bits of fabric and turn them into dazzling flower arrangements. Using a couple of different techniques, many different types of flowers can be created. One great thing about the workshop was the amount of your own creativity that you can put into making the flowers. Even Crispina is looking for new ways of creating flowers. The possibilities are really endless.

Listed below are other workshops taught by Crispina that you can attend:

Potholder Rugs
July 22, 23 & 24

Sweater Making
August 25, 26 & 27

Blanket/Scarf Making
October 3, 4 & 5

Sweater Making at Kripalu
October 25, 26, 27 & 28

Ragamuffin Making
Novermber 6, 7 & 8

Workshops run from 10-4:30pm, cost is $150 per day (includes lunch, all tools and materials). Students can attend for one, two, or all three days and will end each day with a finished piece. To register or find information please visit her website send her an email

I encourage you to take a look at these great opportunities to learn more about the art of textile design!

New Artscape Instillation!

New Artscape Instillation!

Come and check out the newly installed Artscape sculpture on the First Street Commons! Karl Saliter of Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut designed this piece, entitled “Making Money.” The artist describes it as a glimpse into the efforts and energy put into the physical creation of paper money. Saliter writes, “the hundred of welds which hold this piece together mirror the widespread beliefs in money, which grant it value.”

This instillation was made possible through the Art + Industry grant awarded to the Office of Cultural Development. Art + Industry celebrates innovative works of outdoor public art that focus on early industries in the Upper Housatonic Valley, which encompasses central and south Berkshire County in western Massachusetts and northern Litchfield County in Connecticut.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Revving up the online Pittsfield Artist Registry!

The Office of Cultural Development in Pittsfield is revving up their online visual, literary and performing artist registry. We want to showcase you! If you live or make art in Pittsfield, we invite you to send us information about you and your work. We are requesting your contact information that you would like to make public – i.e. phone and/or email, several digital images of your work, a short paragraph about your work, and links to your website or webpages (if applicable). This information will be featured on the City of Pittsfield’s website to increase your exposure as an artist! All information should be sent to

Click here to find out more about the Pittsfield Artist Registry.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cultural Pittsfield This Week: June 4-11

Come check out the awesome events that are going on in Pittsfield this week! On Thursday, dance your heart out at Jae's Spice. On Friday, the Colonial is hosting The Producers and Rebel Sound Records have invited some punk rock bands to rock out. Saturday, you could enjoy some new art by Julio Granda at Bagels Too or go to an American Defenders game. To get yourself through the upcoming week, check out preview nights of the world Premiere of Freud's Last Session next Wednesday and Thursday!

For a more information about these events and others, click here!

Friday, May 15, 2009

3rd.Thursdays returns May 21st to Downtown Pittsfield!

On Thursday, May 21, the streets and sidewalks of downtown Pittsfield will fill with live music, street performers, food and craft vendors and thousands of people as 3rd.Thursdays returns for its third year. The free monthly downtown afterhours event, whose lead sponsors are the City of Pittsfield and Berkshire Living magazine, attracts as many as 10,000 people each month to downtown Pittsfield on the third Thursdays between May and October, from 5pm to 8pm and well beyond.
Greylock Federal Credit Union is the lead sponsor of May’s 3rd.Thursdays, whose theme is Celebrating Youth, and there will be youth performances, art exhibits and events galore. 3rd.Thursday’s 3rd birthday will be celebrated with a gigantic birthday cake custom made by Mary McGinnis of Mary’s Carrot Cake Café and served to one and all on Union Street beginning at 5:30pm. (Union Street will be closed to traffic for one-half block from North Street to Northrup Alley from 1pm to 9pm.) Union Street is also home to the brand new Gallery, which will be celebrating its grand opening on 3rd.Thursdays with new art, refreshments, and live music by Vicki True beginning at 8pm.

The Artabout Stage will also be on Union Street and will feature a bevy of youth performers, including Irish Idol Liam Geddes, who will be performing Saturday night at Barrington Stage, Youth Alive Step Dance & Drum Line, Terpsichore Dance School students, a youth drum circle, the Conte Community School chorus, and more. 3rd.Thursday’s unofficial house band, the Berkshire Bateria, bring their zesty Brazilian rhythms back to North Street on the St. Joseph Church lawn, along with routines by the Catholic Youth Center cheerleaders and Rhythms’ B-Boys dancers.

There will be magic and cabaret at Sottile Park, featuring Johnny Mystic and the Berkshire Music School's Cabaret-to-Go troupe. Dottie’s Coffee Lounge features music savant Evan Randall along with a chocolate fountain of youth by Pooja’s Petals. Rebel Sounds Records back room hosts an all ages alt music concert featuring the return of Berkshire-Brooklynites Ten Minute Turns, Art Decade, and other bands, beginning at 7pm. The sophisticated sounds of Lurid Details, a new Latin jazz band featuring some of the Berkshires’ best jazz musicians, including Jeff Link, Charlie Tokarz, and Fran Curley, can be heard on North Street in front of Hot Harry’s, and the mysterious Berkshire Morris Men will show up in the most surprising places to welcome spring and summer to the Berkshires with their distinctive British folk dance.

The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts is hosting the opening reception for the annual Art in Our Schools exhibit, featuring creative work by middle and high school students from Pittsfield’s public schools. In addition, the winners of the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival’s poster contest for high school students will be announced and a selection of the entries will be on display. A block away the beautiful new Berkshire Community College Art Gallery in the Intermodal Center hosts an opening for a show of work by BCC art students, as well as featuring culinary delights by BCC cooking students.

And get a sneak preview of Ferrin Gallery’s latest show: FRESH, a group exhibition of works in all media, including artists new to the gallery and new works by current gallery artists. The show features an installation called re.sound: a collaborative, experimental, site-specific work of sound-based, borderline performance, installation art by Michael Boroniec and Brian Sweener. Both Pittsfield natives and current residents, they are some of the growing number of artists who have chosen to set up a studio in Pittsfield during the past two years, and are fueling the energetic scene among the creative talent involved in the region's theater, music and art community emerging in Pittsfield, the "Brooklyn" of the Berkshires.

Berkshire County arts organizations will be featured at an outdoor Summer Arts Fair at Palace Park (in front of the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts) showcasing their many offerings for youth and families during the summer months, including classes, workshops, and camps. Participating organizations include Berkshire Museum, Barrington Stage Company, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Berkshire Music School, Rock On Band Camp, Norman Rockwell Museum, Bisque, Beads, and Beyond, Clothespin Puppets, Nutshell Playhouse, Storefront Artist Project and more.

The City’s Community Development and Police Departments are sponsoring a bike rodeo to be held on Melville Street near North Street (Melville Street will be partially closed from North Street to North Pearl Street.) Bring your bike for a free tuneup and safety check! The YMCA will hold an open house featuring open swim, gym games and our new Sports Wall. The Piston Poppers will be out in force showcasing their vintage cars on North Street for your enjoyment, and down the street at the Common you’ll find the annual Memorial Day Weekend Carnival.

The May 3rd.Thursdays will debut the Berkshire Made Artisan Market, featuring the best Berkshire craft artists around selling locally made jewelry, pottery, handbags and more in front of the YMCA on North Street. Browse the best of local artisans right on North Street.North Street’s unique locally-owned businesses will be open late for your browsing pleasure, including Museum Facsimiles, featuring hand letter-pressed cards, frames and unique gifts; Studio Addict, featuring exquisite clothing and a Pilates studio; Berkshire Masquerade with all your costuming needs and a terrific party room; Aerus-Electrolux’s vacuum cleaners and one-of-a-kind gifts at RGile Engravers.

Further down North Street you’ll find Ordinary Cycles with all your bicycling needs; Pasko Gift and Frame; Paul Rich & Sons Fine Home Furnishings; the Ancient Languages collection of locally designed and created yoga wear; Rebel Sound Records, featuring alternative music on CD and vinyl; RJ Stohr’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, which will be offering 50% off almost everything in the store for one day only; and Chapters Bookstore, featuring a live DJ, free face painting, 20% off all audiobooks, and magazines for every taste.

Participating downtown restaurants that will be open late for your dining pleasure include Brix Wine Bar & Bistro; Hot Harry’s, the Highland Restaurant, Pittsfield Brew Works; Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant, Bagels Too, Jae’s Spice, the Press Box, Mary’s Carrot Cake Café; Mission Bar & Tapas, Dottie’s Coffee Lounge and the Lantern Bar & Grill. In addition, street vendors will be selling a wide variety of food to enjoy as you walk around the streets and enjoy all that 3rd.Thursdays has to offer.

The next 3rd.Thursdays will be held June 18, in concert with the City of Pittsfield’s first Green Expo, with the theme, “It’s Easy Being Green.” The Electric Junkyard Gamelan, a world music group that plays instruments made out of recycled objects, will perform on the main stage. July 16th’s 3rd.Thursdays will once again feature the very popular North Street Beach at Palace Park, and the Motown sounds of Solid Smoke, among other performers. August 20th’s 3rd.Thursdays celebrates the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and the era of peace and lovebeads, and is sponsored by Berkshire Bank. The September 17th 3rd.Thursdays’ has an all things aquatic theme, sponsored by the Housatonic River Museum, and brings back 3rd.Thursdays favorites Hector on Stilts, all the way from New York City. And Quality Printing Company sponsors the final 3 rd.Thursdays of the year on October 15, celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival with a free performance by the Industrial Jazz Group, all the way from the West Coast.

3rd.Thursdays are a free downtown festival held on the third Thursday of every month from May through October in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 3rd.Thursdays is made possible by the support of downtown Pittsfield’s business and arts organization partners, and the following generous sponsors: Berkshire Living Magazine, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Berkshire Bank, Quality Printing Company, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Pittsfield Tourism Commission, and Downtown Inc.

For more information on participating in 3rd.Thursdays as a volunteer, sponsor, performer or vendor, please contact the City of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development at 413.499.9348 or Full event schedules and maps for each 3rd.Thursdays will be distributed at 3rd.Thursdays, and are also posted online at and sent to subscribers to the Cultural Pittsfield This Week email list. The email newsletter is free and can be subscribed to by visiting

Thursday, May 7, 2009

John Stritch Poster Sale

The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts is home to many artists in Pittsfield. Few people may actually know this, but above and below the gallery located on the main floor there are many art studios housing the work of painters, photographers, and mixed media artists. Stationed in the basement of the gallery, John Stritch keeps an archive of all of his posters and artistic pieces. With over 50 years of art under his belt, Stritch has a lot to offer. On Saturday, June 6th from 1pm to 4pm, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts will host a John Stritch Poster Sale showing all of Pittsfield what Stritch has developed over the years.

John Stritch uses a specific art style to produce his poster called silk screening. Similar to stenciling, silk screening uses a fine mesh that outlines the printable area. Stritch has produced posters for Tanglewood, the Josh Billings Run Around, Jacob’s Pillow and other Berkshire institutions. Most recently, his work has been featured in The Press Box as well as Pittsfield Brew Works. Back in March 2007, the Lichtenstein celebrated 50 years of his art by showcasing him in a solo show featuring his work throughout the years.

Even at 84 years of age, John Stritch still has much to show. With tons of work to sale and a personality that no one can help but love, this poster sale is sure to be a good one.

Saturday, June 6 @ 1pm-4pm

Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Avenue

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

DreamArt Classes

Dreams can sometimes be hard to grasp. Occurring in the subconscious, most images that appear in a dream require much thought and interpretation before they can even be fully understood. Some dreams are beautiful and presents the dreamer with images that they could possibly never imagine during a conscious state. Other dreams maybe frightening but may help to create a much-needed awareness. With so much happening during someone’s slumber, it could be extremely difficult to articulate any of the thoughts, emotions, or images that were perceived.

Kellie Meisl is a dream specialist. In fact, she offers classes that assist people in articulating their dreams through what she likes to call, “DreamArt.” Meisl is an artist and a teacher who uses shamanic practices to understand dreams more clearly. By creating art derived from dreams, a further understanding can be made.

Kellie Meisl takes control of the subconscious and provides instruction for bringing artistic dreams to life. By instructing people in her methods of identifying and dissecting dreams, beautiful art can be made. Her uses of Dream Theme and Dream Reflection helps to allow people to not only comprehend their dreams but also to articulate it to others.

Sessions are as follows:

Session 1~ Working With Our Dreams: Guidelines & Dream Reflections, Dream Journaling, Identifying Our Dream Themes & Mapping Our Dreams

Session 2~ Honoring Our Dreams: Dream Reflections, Learning to Revisit our Dreams, Learning to Place Dream Intentions

Session 3~ Creating Our Dreams: Dream Scribble Exercise, Dream Art Project

Session 4~ Acting Our Dreams: Dream Sculpting, Understanding Our Dream Metaphors

Session 5~ Sharing Our Dreams: Paired Intuitive Sharing, Working With Our Dream Guides

Session 6~ Our Personal Dream Journey: Creating a Personal Dream Spiral Line, Holding a Dream Ritual

Session 7~ Growing Our Dreams: Planting a Dream Seed, Growing a Community Dream

Session 8~ Manifesting Our Dreams: Making a Plan for our Dreams to Take Flight, Healing With Spiritual Light, Wrapping Each Other In a Dream

May 6 – June 24
Wednesdays @ 6pm

$15 per class
$100 for all 8 weeks

Classes are held at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Avenue

Contact Kellie at 413-329-4021 or, with any questions you have or if you are interested in taking a class.

For more information about Kellie Meisl and her methods, click here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Call to Artists! Public Art Exhibition in Downtown Pittsfield

Submissions are being accepted for the 2009-2010 Artscape Exhibition in downtown Pittsfield! Pittsfield is the largest city in culturally rich Berkshire County in western Massachusetts, attracting several million visitors and second home owners each year.Artscape is an annual outdoor exhibition of public art. Each piece selected will be displayed in downtown Pittsfield for one year and will receive a $1,000 honorarium. Artscape is open to all artists, nationally and internationally. We look forward to receiving YOUR submission!

The deadline to enter a submission is June 30, 2009.

For more information visit:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Youth Alive on to Perform on BET

Strength. Power. Precision. Speed. Style. These are the words that come to mind when someone hears the name “Youth Alive.” It’s almost hard to believe that such a recognizable and successful team is composed of such a young cast. Since 1996, The Youth Alive Step Team has been family to many teenagers and younger children of the Pittsfield community. Founded by Akilah Edgerton and directed by her mother, Shirley Edgerton, this step team has helped further develop Pittsfield as a community. Currently in its 13th year of operations, Youth Alive has made a name for itself by performing at venues such as Jacob’s Pillow, Williams College, MCLA, the State House in Boston, and at Coney Island in New York City. As the team continues to impress at each performance, opportunity presents itself once more.

Spreading their energy and good spirits, Youth Alive will soon be taking another trip to New York City to perform at BET’s 106 & Park. They are scheduled to perform on June 24th at the Wild Out Wednesdays competition where two teams from across the U.S. battle it out for recognition. However, that’s not the only thing that Youth Alive is looking to accomplish by heading into to this televised encounter. In fact, this city’s very own step team has dreams of representing Pittsfield on a grand scale in order to broadcast to all of America what Pittsfield has to offer.

Youth Alive is requesting that everyone be a part of this breakthrough event and tune into BET on Wednesday, June 24th from 6pm to 8pm. Support those who represent us and vote!

Follow the links below to view some of Youth Alive's performances.

Friday, April 24, 2009

BAA Fellowship Show 2009

Every month, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts presents a new show to the Pittsfield community that everyone could enjoy. This month is no different— The Berkshire Art Association Fellowship Show is an annual exhibit that recognizes college-level achievement in art. This show gives students the chance to showcase their talents and earn cash awards. This year, the BAA awarded eleven students with the opportunity to put their work on display here at the Lichtenstein.

The BAA Fellowship Show could best be described as vivid in color, bright, and imaginative. Each of the eleven students brings something completely different to the gallery. Along the beautiful white walls of the Lichtenstein, each painting, photo, textile, and sculpture pops right off of the wall forcing viewers to take notice without being so visually overpowering. Indeed, the exhibit is aesthetically pleasing and stimulates the eye quite possibly more than any other exhibit has within the past four months.

The art throughout the show varies on so many different levels. With eleven participating artists come eleven different art styles. Pieces vary in shape, size, color, and overall appearance. Quickly glancing at the wall, there are deep and vivid hues of red, blues, and greens. To mention only one piece would not do the exhibit as a whole justice because each painting, photo, textile, and sculpture work as a whole to create an overall feel of aesthetic pleasure. This show is definitely something that every art enthusiast should personally experience.

This year’s featured artists are listed below:

Beverly Acha, Williams College
Medium: encaustic and monoprints

Claire Briguglio, Macalester College
Medium: silkscreen

Nicole Campanale, Tyler School of Art
Medium: textiles

Merritt Fletcher, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Medium: painting

Elena Gil-Chang, Williams College
Medium: prints and painting

Maya Lama, Williams College
Medium: painting

Beth Links, Williams College
Medium: textile sculpture

Silvia Juliana Mantilla Ortiz, Williams College
Medium: digital and mixed media

Omar Mendez, Williams College
Medium: painting

Kristen Parker, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Medium: photography

Sofia Torres, Williams College
Medium: digital photography

April 18 - May 16 | 12noon-5pm | Wednesdays - Saturdays | Lichtenstein Center for the Arts | 28 Renne Avenue | 499-9348

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cultural Pittsfield Television!

Written by MCLA student B-HIP intern, Jamal Ahamad

The City of Pittsfield is the central hub of culture for the Berkshire County. With a plethora of galleries, restaurants, and other venues in its downtown area, this city really does deserve massive recognition. With the establishment of the Office of Cultural Development, the City of Pittsfield has seen nothing but bustling activity and continues to do so under the benevolent diligence of its director, Megan Whilden. Her innovativeness has brought upon such great new features to Pittsfield including The Cultural Pittsfield Newsletter, the Jazz Festival, and Third Thursdays. Now, to add on to those elements of success, Whilden and her staff of dedicated Pittsfield residents have started their very own television show. With the assistances of Pittsfield Community Television (PCTV), the Office of Cultural Development releases Cultural Pittsfield Television (CPTV).

“CPTV on PCTV,” as it is referred to amongst the staff of the Cultural Development team, is the manifestation of the almost overwhelming Pittsfield occurrences. This new television show is designed to inform members of the Pittsfield community and Berkshire County of the vast amount of events and happenings throughout Pittsfield. As a result, CPTV acts as a correspondent to the Cultural Pittsfield This Week. Both are designed to inform, however the major difference here and beneficial aspect of each is the ability to attract and reach different audiences while having the ability to cover different yet related material.

The staff of the Office of Cultural Development along with committed volunteers from the Pittsfield community comes together to form the operating staff of CPTV. Each member fulfills an important role and plays a crucial part in producing the show. The show is made up of Producer, Megan Whilden; Director, Ryan Weightman; Co-hosts, Mary Domenichelli and Javier Dominguez; and current cameraman, Jamal Ahamad. Each show follows a basic structure in which there is welcoming commentary from the Co-hosts followed by a prerecorded video segment complete with voiceovers, afterwards the Co-hosts will make a brief commentary and then interview a featured guests, subsequent to that interview, another video segment will play followed by updates and closing commentary.

CPTV is scheduled to premiere on Friday, April 17 at 3pm. Following the premier, the show will air Friday nights at 6pm, Saturday nights at 7pm, and Sundays at both noon and 7pm. For more information, visit and click on CityLink Show Search at the bottom of the page and look for Cultural Pittsfield TV.

Stay up to date with Pittsfield by tuning into CPTV on PCTV!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Berkshire Fools Festival 2009

The Berkshire Fool's Festival marked the 33rd anniversary of the Greasepaint Treaty of 1976, signed in Pittsfield, which marked the end of the Clown Wars, the catastrophic conflict between clowns and mimes that began in the 1960s.

The Fools Festival brought together artists, organizations and businesses in a multi-media, multi-venue, always surprising celebration with more than a dozen exciting events that took place from April 1-5. The festival included theatre, music, art exhibitions and activities that were engaging for all ages.

To start off the festival, the Office of Cultural Development pulled a city-wide prank on the citizens of Pittsfield by releasing a Cultural Pittsfield This Week newsletter that was presented as the very last. The newsletter stated:

Pittsfield's Office of Cultural Development has been diligent in informing citizens about the many fun Pittsfield events that occur every day via Cultural Pittsfield This Week. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing number of cultural activities has led to the newsletter's downfall. City Hall's IT department has informed us that we have overwhelmed available memory space on the shared server. There is no longer room to store the dozens of new events and activities happening each week in Pittsfield. Therefore Cultural Pittsfield This Week will no longer be published until further notice. "

Surprisingly, no one noticed the little note at the bottom of the newsletter informing readers that all of this was a joke and performed in the good spirit of April Fools. The city went into a frenzy. The Office of Cultural Development received both very concerned and angry phone calls, e-mails, and in one case, a disgruntle letter to the Mayor! Even the IT Department down at City Hall took this joke to heart. Indeed, the staff of the Office of Cultural Development has something to be proud of; a successful city-wide prank is definitely something that is hard to accomplish.

As for the actual festival, many members of the Pittsfield community enjoyed themselves despite the rain by attending various events. Throughout the five day event, there were special gallery exhibits, lectures, plays, and parties. With events like these, every day in Pittsfield must be a good day!