Gallery 107 To Host Month-Long Festival, "Imagining North Adams"
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Gallery 107 will present "Imaging North Adams," a festival that aims to generate, collect and promote ideas to re-think about the space we live in, beginning on Thursday, Aug. 30.
"Imagining North Adams" will kick off with the unveiling of "A Model City" at 5 p.m., and a reception for "Picturing North Adams" at 6 p.m. the same evening. The festival's first "Show and Tell" event will take place in the gallery from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. that night.
The events, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by DownStreet Art.
Through an art exhibit, a conference and participatory activities, "Imagining North Adams" invites visitors to see the City as the canvas for our daily lives. Activities include many "firsts," including New England's first Tactical Urbanism Summit, which will take place during the festival, and the Northeast's first "Curbside Chat," by Charles Marohn, the director of the nationwide organization, Strong Towns.
The Tactical Urbanism Summit and the talk by Marohn will further the festival's goal of supplying local residents with tools and strategies that enable individuals and local governments to build more prosperous futures for their neighborhoods and their towns.
Festival organizer Jennifer Krouse said, "Most of us don't realize the extent to which we can influence our city's prospects by making changes to the built environment. Even details like street width can influence the safety of a child's walk to school or the success of local retail."
The festival will include a selection of one-time events and three ongoing components: "A Model City," an interactive model of North Adams by James Rojas; "Picturing North Adams," an exhibit of art curated by Jaye Fox of studio21south; and the "Project Lodge," a resource center dedicated to local place-making efforts.
Through "Project Lodge," individuals and neighborhood groups will have a chance to consult volunteer urban planners on specific issues pertaining to their neighborhoods.
Other festival events include a series of "Show and Tell" talks by area residents who have unique perspectives on the city of North Adams; the Strong Towns "Curbside Chat"; and the Tactical Urbanism Summit, a day-long exposition of projects that apply inventiveness, community spirit, and an experimental mindset to the shaping of public spaces.
Mike Lydon, curator of the Tactical Urbanism Summit, said, "This country has thousands of towns just like North Adams, towns that have a wealth of history and a true sense of place. However, decades of policies have undermined their vibrancy. 'Imagining North Adams' presents a wonderful opportunity to share what a different future might be like and formulate that vision in collaboration with all who participate. It's very exciting, because the festival's grassroots, vision-to-action approach can be replicated all over this country."
"Imagining North Adams" runs from Aug 30 through Sept. 22 in Gallery 107, at 107 Main St. in North Adams. The gallery will be open Wed-Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sun., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, 413-297-3163, or go to http://www.downstreetart.org/ and http://www.imaginingnorthadams.org.