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Berkshire Museum

TLC #53: Word × Word and Fiction Of Now

Fiction Of Now

Poetry in the age of post-truth

"Fiction Of Now" takes place at the Berkshire Museum October 6 at 8:00 p.m.; graphic courtesy WordXWord.
“Fiction Of Now” takes place at the Berkshire Museum October 6 at 8:00 p.m.; graphic courtesy WordXWord.

Pittsfield, Mass.—WordXWord presents Fiction of Now, a program of work by poets spanning a wide range of ages and styles, October 6, 8P at the Berkshire Museum 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. The performance will take place in the physical context of Berkshire Museum’s Morgan Bulkeley: Nature Culture Clash, a career retrospective of the artist’s work. Admission is free.

Fiction of Now

Poetry in the Age of Post-Truth

 

Friday, October 6, 8:00 p.m.
Berkshire Museum
39 South Street, Pittsfield
Free

For Fiction of Now, WordXWord has challenged poets to create and present original work that in some way resonates with the questions raised by Mr Bulkeley’s work, or more broadly, work that addresses the absurdity of life in a post truth age. Poets are free to address this challenge as they see fit or from whatever direction they choose. The result is likely to be a wild ride.

"Politics of Identity / Poetry of Inclusion & Exclusion" happens November 12 at Gallery 51 in North Adams; graphic courtesy WordXWord.
“Politics of Identity / Poetry of Inclusion & Exclusion” happens November 12 at Gallery 51 in North Adams; graphic courtesy WordXWord.

 

 

 

 

Given the range of poetic styles represented, and the challenge presented, the audience is advised to expect the unexpected! Parents are cautioned that this program may contain explicit material.

 

For more information about WordXWord, visit wXw365.org. For more information about Morgan Bulkeley: Nature Culture Clash, BerkshireMuseum.org.

Outspoken—WordXWord Youth Poetry Festival Where Youth Speak For Themselves

Mariah Barber; courtesy of WordXWord.
Mariah Barber; courtesy of WordXWord.

Community news submitted to us by folks who thought you’d like to know!

Pittsfield, Mass. — The second annual Outspoken Youth Poetry Festival will take place April 28–30, 2017 in the Upstreet Cultural District of Pittsfield, MA. The festival is a combination of workshops and performances, including the festival finale to be presented at the Berkshire Museum, Sunday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m. The Finale is free and open to the public.

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Will Call Episode #55.8, BONUS: No FAKE Art Parties at 10X10! Just Real Ones.

"Country Road," by Robert Watroba; photo courtesy Berkshire Art Association
"Country Road," by Robert Watroba; photo courtesy Berkshire Art Association


We speak in this micro-cast with Danielle Steinmann, president of the Berkshire Art Association, and Sara Clement, a photographer who is one of the many artists who have contributed to this much anticipated tradition of the 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival.

"Stained Glass Windows," by Sara Clement; image courtesy Berkshire Art Association.
“Stained Glass Windows,” by Sara Clement; image courtesy Berkshire Art Association.

“Winter’s Wings,” by Julie Street; photo courtesy Berkshire Art Association.Berkshire Art Association is at it again! Artists from the Berkshires and beyond are contributing 10×10 inch original works of art to be given away for just $25 each during the 10×10 RAP (Real Art Party) at the Berkshire Museum on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

"Winter's Wings," by Julie Street; photo courtesy Berkshire Art Association.

A $25 ARTtix guarantees the buyer to a work of art to take home the night of the party. ARTtix may be purchased starting February 11th at the Berkshire Museum admissions desk through the night of the 10×10 RAP (or until tickets sell out).

The doors open at 6 pm and the drawing begins at 7pm sharp! Tickets will be chosen in a random order and the bearer will be able to choose any work of art that is still on the wall. Admission for the evening is free.

"Birdhouses," by Geoffrey Coelho; image courtesy Berkshire Art Association.
“Birdhouses,” by Geoffrey Coelho; image courtesy Berkshire Art Association.

The art show and party will benefit Berkshire County through BAA Fellowships for college art students, art field trip awards to Berkshire high school art departments, and free admission for art students to the Berkshire Museum.

The 10×10 RAP is a collaboration of the Berkshire Art Association, Storefront Artist Project and Berkshire Museum. The 10×10 RAP is being presented as part of the Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival coordinated by the City of Pittsfield’s Department of Cultural Development and sponsored by Berkshire Gas.

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Will Call #47 — Governor Slashes Arts Funding, Part 2 with Van Shields of the Berkshire Museum

Governor Baker's veto hacks approximately fifty five percent from the FY2017 budget of the Massachusetts Cultural Council
Governor Baker’s veto hacks approximately fifty five percent from the FY2017 budget of the Massachusetts Cultural Council

Governor Charlie Baker issued a budget veto on July 8 that would slash funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) by more than half. The cut would exceed the value of MCC’s two largest grant programs, reducing state cultural funding to levels not seen since 1994.

In this episode, we speak with Van Shields, executive director of the Berkshire Museum, about some of the ways that programs supported by the MCC have had an impact on the lives of residents across the county and state. Shields points out the now universally understood link between early exposure to the arts and educational and personal achievement.

Van W. Shields, Director of The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass. (submitted photo)
Van W. Shields, Director of The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass. (submitted photo)

Governor Charlie Baker issued a budget veto July 8 that would slash funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) by more than half. The cut would exceed the value of MCC’s two largest grant programs, reducing state cultural funding to levels not seen since 1994.

Read the MCC’s Fiscal 2017 Budget request, with a detailed breakdown of expenitures.

On July 1, the Legislature approved a state budget for FY17 that included $14 million in funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences via MCC. The veto would reduce that by $7.7 million, to $6.5 million. That funding level would put Massachusetts in league with states such as Nebraska and South Dakota in per capita support for arts and culture. The proposed cut of $7.7 million was included in a larger set of $256 million in vetoes.

“If it stands, this budget would cut many of our core grant programs to the bone,” said MCC Executive Director Anita Walker, “and likely force us to eliminate some programs entirely. It would cost jobs in our nonprofits, choke off revenue from cultural tourism, and close arts education opportunities for thousands of kids in schools and youth programs across the state.”

[gview file=”https://www.greylockglass.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/FY17_MCC_Budget_Proposal.pdf”]

MCC’s two largest grant programs are its Cultural Investment Portfolio, providing core operating support for 384 nonprofits, at $4.6 million in the last fiscal year; and $3 million for 329 Local Cultural Councils, which support more than 6,000 public programs statewide.

MCC will work with MASSCreative, Mass Humanities, the Mass Artists Leaders Coalition, and advocates statewide to encourage members of the House and Senate to override the veto when they consider responses to the Governor’s actions this week. Stay tuned for updates as the process unfolds.

Van Shields, Executive Director Berkshire Museum

Van Shields was appointed the Executive Director of the Berkshire Museum in September 2011. Since arriving, the Museum has completed a $2.4 million in facility improvements and launched several new initiatives including the WeeMuse early childhood education program, Learner’s Lab and BeMuse series for adult and family audiences, and increased collaboration with area cultural institutions. In 2013 the Museum became the ninth New England organization to join the Smithsonian Affiliations program.

Before coming to the Berkshires, he was the founding CEO of the Culture & Heritage Museums, created in 1997 by a consolidation of three cultural institutions serving the greater Charlotte, North Carolina metropolitan region. In 2009, the Culture & Heritage Museums created the Main Street Children’s Museum to focus on early learners. Prior to his time in the Carolinas, he spent seven years at New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image and his experience includes stints in small business and serving as an Air Force officer.

He has served on the boards of numerous organizations from planning to social services, tourism, economic development, media, and the arts. He currently serves on several local governing and advisory boards including Berkshire Visitors Bureau, 1 Berkshire Strategic Alliance, Downtown Pittsfield, Inc., Berkshares, and Pittsfield Promise, among others.

He and his wife the artist Peggy Rivers live Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council

MCC is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences to improve the quality of life for Massachusetts residents and contribute to the vitality of our communities. MCC pursues this mission through grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.

MCC’s FY16 budget is $15.7 million, which includes a $14 million state appropriation and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. MCC also runs the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) in partnership with MassDevelopment. CFF is supported separately via the state’s capital budget.

About the Berkshire Museum

Berkshire Museum offers a unique array of exhibitions, activities, and attractions for visitors of all ages. From fine art and ancient objects to fossils; from an aquarium of native and exotic creatures to Spark!Lab and the Feigenbaum Hall of Innovation, the Berkshire Museum is a community museum: a place where everyone, from toddlers to elders, can learn, play, explore, innovate, and be engaged. Founded in 1903, the Museum integrates art, history, and natural science in a wide range of programs and exhibitions that inspire educational connections between the disciplines.

Finding Raven: Art and Stories of the Northwest Coast is on view through October 30. Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies is on view through August 28. Living on Earth: The Work of Robert Hite, a solo show of sculpture and photography co-presented by the Berkshire Museum and Hancock Shaker Village, is on view at both venues through October 30. Little Cinema is open year-round.

Berkshire Museum is located at 39 South Street in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and is open every day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 on Sunday. For information on the many programs and events happening every week, visit www.berkshiremuseum.org or call 413.443.7171.

In addition to their website, you can follow Berkshire Museum on Facebook and Twitter.

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Will Call #46 — Governor Slashes Arts Funding, Part 1 with Matt Wilson of MASSCreative

Governor Baker's veto hacks approximately fifty five percent from the FY2017 budget of the Massachusetts Cultural Council
Governor Baker’s veto hacks approximately fifty five percent from the FY2017 budget of the Massachusetts Cultural Council

Governor Charlie Baker issued a budget veto on July 8 that would slash funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) by more than half. The cut would exceed the value of MCC’s two largest grant programs, reducing state cultural funding to levels not seen since 1994.

In this episode, we speak with Matt Wilson, exectuive director of MASSCreative, about the precarious fate of arts, culture, science, and humanities programs across the state. Wilson points out impacts of the arts on communities way beyond the aesthetic. Programs supported by the MCC have been shown to fuel the economy, reverse urban blight, and provide alternatives to self-destructive behaviors for youth.

Former Governor. Deval Patrick (left) with MASSCreative executive director Matt Wilson on July 06, 2014 at Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield announcing that he would allocate $15 million to the state’s Cultural Facilities Fund (photo courtesty mass-creative.org).
Former Governor. Deval Patrick (left) with MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson on July 06, 2014 at Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield announcing that he would allocate $15 million to the state’s Cultural Facilities Fund (photo courtesty MASSCreative via mass-creative.org).

Governor Charlie Baker issued a budget veto July 8 that would slash funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) by more than half. The cut would exceed the value of MCC’s two largest grant programs, reducing state cultural funding to levels not seen since 1994.

Read the MCC’s Fiscal 2017 Budget request, with a detailed breakdown of expenitures.

[gview file=”https://www.greylockglass.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/FY17_MCC_Budget_Proposal.pdf”]

On July 1, the Legislature approved a state budget for FY17 that included $14 million in funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences via MCC. The veto would reduce that by $7.7 million, to $6.5 million. That funding level would put Massachusetts in league with states such as Nebraska and South Dakota in per capita support for arts and culture. The proposed cut of $7.7 million was included in a larger set of $256 million in vetoes.

“If it stands, this budget would cut many of our core grant programs to the bone,” said MCC Executive Director Anita Walker, “and likely force us to eliminate some programs entirely. It would cost jobs in our nonprofits, choke off revenue from cultural tourism, and close arts education opportunities for thousands of kids in schools and youth programs across the state.”

MCC’s two largest grant programs are its Cultural Investment Portfolio, providing core operating support for 384 nonprofits, at $4.6 million in the last fiscal year; and $3 million for 329 Local Cultural Councils, which support more than 6,000 public programs statewide.

MCC will work with MASSCreative, Mass Humanities, the Mass Artists Leaders Coalition, and advocates statewide to encourage members of the House and Senate to override the veto when they consider responses to the Governor’s actions this week. Stay tuned for updates as the process unfolds.

Matthew Wilson, MASSCreative Executive Director

Hired as MASSCreative’s first Executive Director in March of 2012, Matt directs the advocacy campaigns and organizational development for the organization. For 30 years, he has run campaigns and organized volunteers and communities for the public interest on a local, state, national level.

In 2011, Wilson directed environmentalist and social entrepreneur Bob Massie’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. Previously he coordinated Health Care for All’s campaign to monitor the takeover of the nonprofit Caritas Hospitals by a for profit private equity firm.

As the National Director of the field staff for MoveOn.org from 2005-2006, Matt helped develop and implement the strategy behind MoveOn.org’s successful 2006 Call for Change, which recruited and trained more than 100,000 volunteers in 60 swing Congressional and Senate districts.

As the Founder and Director of Toxics Action Center from 1989 to 2005, Wilson assisted more than 300 neighborhood groups address toxic pollution issues in their communities. He grew the organization from one staffer working in Massachusetts to a New England-wide organization with 11 staff.

Wilson graduated from Dartmouth College in 1983 and also earned a Masters of Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2008.

About the Massachusetts Cultural Council

MCC is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and sciences to improve the quality of life for Massachusetts residents and contribute to the vitality of our communities. MCC pursues this mission through grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists.

MCC’s FY16 budget is $15.7 million, which includes a $14 million state appropriation and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. MCC also runs the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) in partnership with MassDevelopment. CFF is supported separately via the state’s capital budget.

About MASSCreative

MASSCreative works with creative leaders, working artists, arts educators and arts and cultural supporters to empower creative organizations and the public with a powerful voice to advocate for the resources and attention necessary to build vibrant, connected, and creative communities. In addition to their website, you can find them on Twitter and Facebook

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Women and Their Olive Trees – a Story of Coexistence and Shared Society

The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires to host Israeli Jewish and Arab women artists in an exhibit of the Olive Tree Project, a story of coexistence and shared society at the Berkshire Museum.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, in partnership with the Berkshire Museum, will present a community exhibition of Women and Their Olive Trees. The exhibition will be on view at the Berkshire Museum on Monday and Tuesday, June 6 and 7, with an opening reception on June 6 from 5 to 7 p.m.  The reception is free and open to the public.

The exhibition represents the art of 40 Israeli women from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds – including Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Circassian – who through their love of art have created an environment of tolerance, friendship, and sharing.

Olive trees as symbol and subject

Olive tree Exhibit PosterOlive trees are the subject of the exhibition, and the uniqueness, personality, and perspective of each artist is reflected in the 25 oil paintings on view. The women painted together, sharing their life experiences and cultures to create unique and symbolic pieces of art while building relationships that have transformed their perceptions of each other.

Four of the artists, two Jewish and two Muslim, will accompany the exhibit, which has been on tour throughout Europe. This past March, it opened at the United Nations at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The exhibit is part of the Olive Tree Project, a year-long art program of the WIZO Afula Community Center that draws women artists from the Northern Israeli cities of Afula and Nazareth and the surrounding Arab villages.

“Just as each tree is different from the other, human beings are different, too, and the olive tree is an inspiration”, says Guila Cohen, one of four artists who will travel with the exhibition and meet with the community while in the Berkshires.

“It was important to me to make a connection though art and painting, and to find women artists who wanted to have open dialogue, to connect with and to learn from each other.” This is the message of coexistence that Mrs. Sheila Dvor Casdi, curator of the exhibition, wanted to carry through when she and Daniel Benn, director of WIZO Community Center of Afula, first conceived of the project in 2013.

The Olive Tree Project is one of a number of living bridge programs planned in the Berkshires as part of the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires’ newly established partnership with the Afula-Gilboa region of Northern Israel. As part of Jewish Agency for Israel’s Partnership 2gether Peoplehood Platform, the Berkshires joins more than 450 global Jewish communities that are linked with 46 city-to-city and region-to-region partnerships in Israel.

The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires mobilizes the local Jewish community to care for those in need, and nurtures and sustains Jewish life across the Berkshires, in Israel, and around the world. For more information, visit jewishberkshires.org or call (413) 442-4360.

For more information about the Olive Tree Project:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=9&v=E5gYhD0Y0SM

Will Call #37 — Festival of Trees at the Berkshire Museum

The Festival of Trees, 2015: Westward Ho, Ho, Ho! is a rich tapestry of all aspects of life in the Old West, including the near extinction of the American bison; photo and manipulation by Jason Velazquez.
The Festival of Trees, 2015: Westward Ho, Ho, Ho! is a rich tapestry of all aspects of life in the Old West, including the near extinction of the American bison; photo and manipulation by Jason Velazquez.
Wander the dusty (soon to be snowy) streets of an Old West town right on the lawn of the Berkshire Museum; photo by Jason Velazquez.
Wander the dusty (soon to be snowy) streets of an Old West town right on the lawn of the Berkshire Museum; photo by Jason Velazquez.

 

It’s a grand celebration of the American West with the Festival of Trees 2015: Westward Ho Ho Ho! on view to the public from Saturday, November 14, 2015, through Sunday, January 3, 2016.

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