Letter to the Editor: Reader comments on interview with Jess Sweeney

To the editor: 

I wanted to comment on something Jess Sweeney said in her recent Greylock Glass interview. It is something I have been struggling to articulate myself for a long time, and she nailed it in an insightful and intelligent way.

I am not a native, but I chose to settle here seven years ago, and am proud to call North Adams my home. My husband is North Adams born and bred, and we both cherish this place as our forever home. 

As Sweeney pointed out, MASS MoCA is often perceived as “other” by many North Adams citizens. But it is full of blue collar workers   who want the same things as any community member, such as inclusion, and economic growth. 

In fact, the majority of people who work at, yes, the factory, are part of our working poor — including myself. 

MASS MoCA is part of the very fabric of North Adams, but it is NOT an invading behemoth that has come to take over. It is, among many other things, an employer. One who employs our neighbors, friends, and family members. It is US. 

North Adams has always been, and probably always will be, a company town. Even though the company has changed, the particular dynamic remains, and it’s up to us residents and our leaders to navigate that together. 

And I believe we can! 

Sweeney’s levelheaded insight and clarity of perception across all facets of our city is exactly what we need. 

Her proactivity, compassion, and above all, her vision, give me hope.

Sincerely,

Misa Chappell

Artist, Common Folk curator, and MASS MoCA Gallery Attendant 

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