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Downstreet Art Wraps Up Most Successful Season to Date With Fright Night On Oct. 31

10/25/2013

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) DownStreet Art is leading the way as "North Adams is being remade by the commerce of culture," according to a Sunday, Oct. 20, front page Boston Globe article.

In 2013, DownStreet Art, a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), had its most successful season to date with more visitors and greater sales, and an occupancy rate on Main Street that has not been seen since the 1980s, said Jonathan Secor, BCRC director.

Attendance for DownStreet Art activities, openings, DownStreet Art Thursdays and daily gallery visitations were up 20 percent from last year, adding up to nearly 16,000 for the summer and fall. 

For the final celebration of the season, DownStreet Art will hold a "Fright Night" on Thursday, Oct. 31. 

"As always it is on the last Thursday of the month, and as always there will be exhibition openings up and down Main Street and performances throughout downtown North Adams," Secor said. "Having this day fall on Halloween was just too much fun to ignore.

"In addition to art and music, there will be haunted trolley rides, adult trick-or-treating, the largest pumpkin carving event the City has seen, a zombie pub crawl, haunted photo booths, face painting, puppets roaming the streets and firewalkers," he said. "DownStreet becomes Fright Street as we celebrate Halloween to its fullest."

Gallery exhibitions are the heart of all DownStreet Art Thursdays, and this one is no exception, Secor said. 

Exhibition openings include the appropriately themed "Re-Wilderment: Passing Through the Veil between the Worlds," featuring the work of Sarah Falkner, Ryder Cooley and Shannon Taggart.  This mixed-media show explores themes of ritual, witchcraft and mediumistic practices. 

Also opening that evening will be "Datum Chronicle" at the PRESS Gallery, which will feature the work of Tara O'Brian; a new solo exhibition at the Adams Community Bank of the work of Julia Morgan-Leamon; the North Adams Open Studio Show at Gallery 107 showcasing the work of over a dozen artists; and a new exhibition at the Transcript Gallery featuring the work of North Adam's own Gillian Jones.

Holden Street will be closed for the evening, and will be the site of the giant pumpkin jack-o-lantern carving.  Hundreds of pumpkins were donated by local nurseries and supermarkets, to be carved by one and all on-site on the who attend.  With guidance from MCLA's Arts and Crafts Club, the goal is to have hundreds of lit jack-o-lanterns by sundown.

As part of the "Halloween Concert: Music Macabre" taking place at 8 p.m. at Branch Gallery at 18 Holden St., starting at 5p.m. there will be haunted photo booths, face painting and trick or treat stations.

The North Adams Prom Committee, best known for their standing-room-only events at the Elks Club, are organizing a city wide Zombie Pub Crawl.

The evening will be capped off with performances by the Dust Bowl Faeries and the "dream pop" band Shana Falana.

DownStreet Art is a project of MCLA's Berkshire Culture Resource Center, partnering with the City of North Adams, Develop North Adams, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Orbit Visual Graphic Design.

The program is made possible through lead sponsorship support provided by Excelsior and Greylock Federal Credit Union. Additional support is provided by: Brewhaha!, Sushi House, China Buffet, Berkshire Emporium and Antiques, Mediterra, I Got Goodies, Eagle St. Music, Shear Madness Salon, Bark-N-Cat, Shima, Verizon Wireless Zone, Public eat+drink, The Hub, Freight Yard Restaurant and Pub, MASS MoCA, The Party Place, and Persnickety Toys.

An initiative of MCLA's BCRC, DownStreet Art is a public art project designed to revitalize downtown North Adams. By harnessing existing art organizations and events and transforming vacant and open spaces into art destinations, DownStreet Art defines North Adams as a cultural haven, driving tourists and community members.

For more information about DownStreet Art events and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, go to www.downstreetart.org and www.mcla.edu/bcrc .

For downloadable photos, go to www.flickr.com/photos/bcrc/sets/72157636907316063 .