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