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