Will Call #30 — In Motion: Pittsfield Reviving Berkshire Literature

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Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson are reviving the literary legacy of Pittsfield through architectural design.

Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson, the two architects designing the writing studios for the In Motion: Pittsfield writing residency program; photo courtesy Tessa Kelly.

Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson, the two architects designing the writing studios for the In Motion: Pittsfield writing residency program; photo courtesy Tessa Kelly.

We talk to Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson, two architects who are designing five writers studios for the writing residency program component of Pittsfield’s In Motion: Pittsfield initiative. The writing residency program plans to place its first residents in the summer of 2016. The studios are based on five prominent Pittsfield authors who wrote in the area between 1840 and 1860: Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Henry David Thoreau.

Kelly and Parkinson are both Berkshire natives: Kelly was born and raised in Pittsfield, and graduated from Williams College in 2007; Parkinson was born in North Adams and grew up in Williamstown, then graduated from Amherst in 2007. Both are ecstatic about the opportunity to practice their trade on a subject so close to home.

You can see the designs for the studios in the exhibition The Mastheads, which is on public display at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts from November 6th to November 28th, then by appointment in December.

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Several preliminary studio designs for the In Motion: Pittsfield initiative. Photo Courtesy of City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development.

 

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A model incorporating the ladders that are a distinctive element of the Thoreau studio. Photo courtesy of City of Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development.

 

 

In Motion: Pittsfield is a city-wide initiative to preserve the literary community of Pittsfield by creating new works and opportunities for literary engagement in the community. From the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development’s press release:

In Motion: Pittsfield will feature programs and events at the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival and several Pittsfield cultural organizations including Arrowhead, the Berkshire Museum, the Berkshire Athenaeum with possible programming at the Colonial Theatre and Barrington Stage Company as well.

The writing residency program has received a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the Our Town program.

 

This episode features the song “Coach” from Andromeda4.

Andromeda4. From left to right: Íma Jonsdottir, Evan Harlan, Adam Larrabee, and Andrew Blickenderfer.

Andromeda4. From left to right: Íma Jonsdottir, Evan Harlan, Adam Larrabee, and Andrew Blickenderfer.

Andromeda4 was comprised of Evan Harlan on accordion, Andrew Blickenderfer on acoustic bass, Íma Jonsdottir on violin, and Adam Larrabee on banjo, guitar and mandolin.

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