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BERKSHIRE COUNTY, Mass. – The five designated cultural districts of Berkshire County announce the 2021 ArtWeek Berkshires, a festival celebrating the arts throughout the county with creative events from September 16-26, 2021. Applications are now available at http://bit.ly/ArtWeekBerkshires.
Featured events may be submitted by individual artists, informal groups, non-profit organizations, or businesses. The deadline to submit an ArtWeek Berkshires event is August 6th, after which inclusion in promotional efforts cannot be guaranteed. Applications received by the August 6th deadline receive extra visibility via press outreach and marketing materials. There is no fee to submit an event, and all are welcome to participate.
ArtWeek Berkshires is inspired by a former statewide ArtWeek festival, which has been discontinued. Despite the cancellation of the Massachusetts event, cultural districts in Berkshire County agreed to move forward with modified 2021 plans. The Downtown Great Barrington Cultural District, Lenox Cultural District, North Adams Cultural District, Upstreet Cultural District in Pittsfield, and Williamstown Cultural District, as well as Art Lenox are collaborating on spotlighting Berkshire County’s local creative economy, cultural treasures, and artistic assets. Through this year’s festival, local partners will work together to spotlight Berkshire County’s local creative economy, cultural treasures, and artistic assets.
ArtWeek events are encouraged to be interactive or offer behind-the-scenes access to arts, culture, and the creative process. Events may also take the form of exhibits, performances, or virtual presentations. Events may be presented free of charge or include a ticket or admission price. Open Studios will be a key element of ArtWeek Berkshires, allowing individual artists to share their process and invite the public into their work space, either in person or virtually.
Those considering submitting an event to the 2021 festival lineup will receive considerable free local promotion. “If you have something in mind that would be a good fit for ArtWeek, this is a great way to get a lot of extra attention. Each district will make use of our social media accounts, websites, and e-newsletters to reach multiple audiences – at no cost to the event hosts,” said Chris Rembold, Assistant Town Manager and Director of Planning and Community Development in Great Barrington, and staff liaison for the Downtown Great Barrington Cultural District, which received its designation in 2018. “The more events we can include, the more appealing this festival will be to residents, visitors, and second-home owners.”
Plans are underway for partners to coordinate their promotion of ArtWeek in order to encourage participation in the festival and build excitement around ArtWeek as a great time to visit the Berkshires. 1Berkshire will support the festival with a range of promotional activities including an ArtWeek Berkshires landing page at https://berkshires.org/artweek-berkshires/. The group of cultural districts will cross-promote activity using their own social media accounts and other methods of promotion.
“As the youngest cultural district in the Berkshires, this provides us with a great opportunity to begin collaborating with fellow districts,” said Jenn Nacht, co-chair of the Lenox Cultural District which was formed in 2019. “Connecting with surrounding districts is a key element of our strategic plan.”
The cultural districts are ready to support event hosts within the region as they develop their proposals. “We are excited to work with a wide range of organizations, groups and artists in our area who will be presenting events during ArtWeek 2021,” said Arthur De Bow, Cultural District Coordinator in North Adams. “The more we can help promote the amazing things that will be happening throughout the Berkshires, the more exciting this festival will be to all the residents and visitors.”
In 2019, the last occurrence of this type of festival, venues in the Berkshires offered nearly 30 events during ArtWeek. “We believe that number will grow based on the enthusiasm we’re seeing for ways to get out and enjoy cultural events after the pandemic,” said Jen Glockner, Director of Cultural Development in Pittsfield and coordinator of the Upstreet Cultural District.
For more information on ArtWeek, visit https://berkshires.org/plan-your-trip/artweek-berkshires/
About 1Berkshire (www.1berkshire.com)
1Berkshire is a county-wide organization focused on economic development and promotion of the region as a preferred place to visit, to live, and to grow a business. It provides programs that connect businesses with each other and with potential customers and works to develop future leaders and support entrepreneurs.
About Downtown Great Barrington Cultural District (www.gbculturaldistrict.org)
The Downtown Great Barrington Cultural District is home to a dynamic, concentrated group of locally owned and operated businesses with something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking world-class performing arts, a farm-to-table meal, free family activities, or a uniquely curated shopping experience, Great Barrington has what you’re looking for.
About Lenox Cultural District (www.lenox.org/lenox-cultural-district/)
The Lenox Cultural District was established in 2019, in recognition of our unique blend of small town charm with world class culture and arts. Downtown Lenox has a high concentration of galleries, all within walking distance of each other. A full cultural experience in Lenox includes sampling our rich selection of restaurants and shops.
About North Adams Cultural District (www.explorenorthadams.com/item/north-adams-downtown-cultural-district/)
The North Adams Cultural District (NACD) is a center of cultural, artistic and economic activity nestled in the heart of downtown. Its goals are to advance tourism, historic preservation, business and job development by amplifying the thriving creative community that is uniquely North Adams.
About Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District (www.cityofpittsfield.org/departments/arts_and_culture/)
Downtown Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District is the lively arts and entertainment hub of the Berkshires. Enjoy art, theatre, dining, music, film, shopping, spoken word and more within a mile section of the heart of the Berkshires. Go to discoverpittsfield.com for more information.
About Williamstown Cultural District (www.williamstownchamber.com/)
The Williamstown Cultural District highlights world-renowned visual & performing arts, academic & cultural attractions, and local artists. Nestled in the northwest corner of Massachusetts, the town is a unique mix of extraordinary art, theatre, ideas, history, and nature.