Arts & Cultural Showcase Connects Community to Each Other
Previously in our series spotlighting arts-based community organizations, we featured Easthampton City Arts+ and Turners Falls RiverCulture, both of which support a community’s cultural identify. Across western Massachusetts, many communities have become havens for artists of all kinds. The area is chock-full of painters, photographers, sculptors, potters, performers, and other creative types, their work saturating our communities with artistic expression in a wide variety of mediums. Connecting these artists and their work to the the rest of the community are arts organizations, which serve as valuable resources for connecting families with events and community-based learning opportunities.
This month, our focus moves to the Berkshires, where the city of Pittsfield’s 3rd Thursdays is about to kick off its 9th season of arts- and culture-based community events. A project of the city’s Office of Cultural Development, 3rd Thursdays celebrate all that the city has to offer, combing art, performance, food, and local culture to create exciting and engaging events that bring community members together in the heart of the city to learn and connect.
Over the course of its nearly decade-long presence in the Berkshires, 3rd Thursdays has brought a wide array of community-based learning opportunities to downtown Pittsfield. This year’s season brings a fresh and revitalized version of 3rd Thursdays, offering families even more ways to connect and engage to the cultural vibrancy of their community. This year’s 3rd Thursdays will feature three distinct sections within Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District (encompassing a section of North Street). Titled Create, Relax, and Play, each of the three sections if filled with opportunities to explore local culture and community resources.
Visitors to a 3rd Thursday event can expect to see work from local artists, hear live music from local musicians, collaborate with other visitors to create art installations, learn about community organizations and resources, engage in chalk-fueled creative free play, watch performers of all kinds entertain audiences big and small, and munch on food from local farms, restaurants, and food trucks. The wide variety of activities and learning opportunities offered within the 3rd Thursdays series makes the events accessible to all members of the community.
Additionally, the neighborhood in which 3rd Thursdays take place is filled with recent additions, including new businesses, a visitors center, and the recently restored Persip Park. 3rd Thursdays’ updated offerings pair well with the recent updates made to the North Street neighborhood, and the events help to draw community members into this neighborhood, providing opportunities for community growth. Not only does 3rd Thursdays celebrate the local arts scene, it presents such celebrations in a way that allows the community to be strengthened as well.