In the slide show above are snaps showing the 10×10 RAP Show at the Berkshire Museum, Albany Poet Night at the Y Bar, WAM Opening and CLosing with Alchemy Initiative, and live performance images from the Barrington Stage New Play Festival. Thanks to Laura Roudabush at Barrington Stage and Megan Whilden of Cultural Pittsfield for helping me round them up.
The 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival Brought More People than ever to Pittsfield
by Larry Murray
Pittsfield, MA: February will go down in the weather books as a historic winter in Pittsfield, not because of the snow, but for the relative lack of it. The scarcity helped double the participation over 2012. Taking place from February 14 to 24 2013, this years Festival, as in 2012, found that the weather was kind, with only light precipitation on three days, not enough to keep people home.
With similar weather in both years, what led to the dramatic increase in people making their way downtown has to have been the vibrant word of mouth recommendations from the previous year, and a particularly dynamic mix of art, dance, film, music, theatre, comedy for 2013. It enticed more than 6,500 patrons to downtown Pittsfield to experience more than 75 performances, events and art exhibits.
Foremost among the events was the 10×10 New Play Festival at Barrington Stage Company which was pretty much a sellout for its entire run, and found New York City based websites such as Broadway World (for which I write) seeking out reviews and commentary to keep its readers informed of the innovations taking place in the Berkshires.
Spearheaded by Barrington Stage Company and the City of Pittsfield, the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival significantly expanded its size and geography in 2013 to include more programming in venues throughout the city’s newly designated Upstreet Cultural District.
This year’s festival lineup of more than six dozen events – 60% more offerings than in 2012 – showcased over 480 local artists who participated live or had their work featured in this year’s festival. In total, more than 300 new works were created specifically for the 10×10 festival.
Mayor Dan Bianchi
Mayor Daniel Bianchi attended a number of 10X10 events, and hosted the Teen Ten Art Show in Pittsfield’s City Hall, He stated “The 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival is a wonderful example of the great things that can happen when the city partners with local businesses, arts organizations, artists and youth to create an affordable, fun winter celebration of creativity that also benefits our local economy. Special thanks to Barrington Stage Company for founding this new winter arts festival and for all they have done to make it so successful.”
And now it is official – the 3nd Annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival dates have been set. Save February 13-23, 2014 on your calendar for another round of winter fun.