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BWLI Students and Committee

DownStreet Art kicks off June 25

MCLA sponsors major summer series


06/17/2009

Following the extraordinary success of last year's DownStreet Art program, MCLA, along with the City of North Adams, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (NBCC) and Scarafoni Realty once again will present DownStreet Art.

This year's event will be nearly doubled in size and scale, with 27 galleries, museums and other arts destinations participating, including 13 new galleries to open on Thursday, June 25, beginning at 6 p.m.

DownStreet Art, a public art project of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, is designed to revitalize downtown North Adams, harnessing existing arts organizations and events, and transforming vacant and open spaces into arts destinations.  

MCLA's Gallery 51 joins in the celebration with a free opening reception for Threaded, a presentation of unconventional textiles that straddle the fine line between craft and art. Threaded, which also opens at 6 p.m. June 25, features works made from fabric, yarn, and thread.

Gallery 51 is at 51 Main Street in North Adams, in the center of the DownStreet Art scene.

"This program defines North Adams as a cultural haven, driving tourists and community members downtown," said Jonathan Secor, director of special programming at MCLA. "Last year, DownStreet Art brought 15,000 visitors to downtown North Adams. Businesses felt the impact, both in attendance as well as in sales. Our goal is to increase those numbers."

"North Adams is an arts destination - not only because it is the home of MASS MoCA, but because of the scope of art in the downtown," Secor added.

This year's DownStreet Art will kick off at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 25, with the opening of nine new galleries. In addition to performances to take place throughout the downtown that evening, a number of area restaurants and cafés will be open late and feature menu specials in honor of the program's launch.

"DownStreet Art Thursdays" will be held the last Thursday of each month, when all of the galleries will be open late. These events will include the opening of new exhibitions, dance performances, meet and greet gatherings with the artists and other festivities.

A major component of the program is the DownStreet Art map. New to this year's publication is a calendar of performing arts and citywide events. According to Secor, more than 20,000 copies of the map and calendar will be printed and distributed to MASS MoCA visitors and those staying in North Adams hotels, motels and inns.

DownStreet Art will run through Oct. 18. The program is made possible through the generous support of its lead partner, Greylock Federal Credit Union. Additional support is being provided by: The City of North Adams, Berkshire Bank, Edward Jones, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, Scarafoni Realty, Adams Co-Operative Bank, Papyri and The Porches Inn.

For more information visit www.mcla.edu/bcrc.