Forecast Looks Good For The Fifth 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival
“The spirit of collaboration is alive and well,” says Jen Glockner, director of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development, speaking about the fifth annual 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival slated for Feb. 11-21.
The festival, proposed by Julianne Boyd, artistic director of Barrington Stage, began in 2012 with ten 10-minute plays by 10 playwrights, joined by some other 10-themed events in 10 days. Pittsfield-based artists, audiences and organizations needed an incentive to create, get out of the house and just have some fun during the doldrums of winter.
Each year, 10x10 gets bigger, with more organizations participating. You almost want to take pity on Glockner, who has to keep track of it all. A glance at the calendar of events on the Discover Pittsfield website shows a bar graph gone amuck. The roster truly includes something for everyone: theater, art shows, film series, concerts, comedy and dance, and plenty of kids’ activities, all somehow embracing the theme of ten.
At this point, organizations are knocking on the festival’s door. Several new organizations have come on board, including Sohn Fine Art from Lenox, which is curating iMotif at Hotel on North, an iPhone photography exhibition. The Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market, which now has a winter market, is having Kid 10, a kid-run farmers market, with ten kid-preneurs selling their handmade food products and crafts. IS183 is presenting an exhibition of artwork at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts from K-12th grade regional students who participated in its after-school art program.
But it’s not all kids’ play, not by a long shot. Dottie’s Coffee Lounge, which has always participated in 10x10, has an event planned for nearly every day. Berkshires Jazz has singer Stephanie Nakasian presenting a musical study of 10 great ladies of jazz. Gypsy Layne Cabaret brings its“Naughty on North” show to Hotel on North. And, of course, Barrington Stage’s popular 10x10 New Play Festival is a mainstay. Glockner suggests getting tickets now; the performances usually sell out. The bonfire and fireworks at The Commons are back, too.
“Last year, we had the most people, despite the freezing temperatures,” Glockner says. At this point, it seems like it may be a milder February, all the more reason to check out the website and get your 10x10 plans together.
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