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Mass MoCA Extending Hours for Packed 15th Season

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
09:00PM / Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Director Joseph Thompson announces some of the upcoming events at Mass MoCA.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts is cutting prices, extending hours and scheduling a summer full of music and exhibits designed to attract visitors — and keep them here longer.

Museum officials on Wednesday revealed a season that kicks off on Memorial Day with a 15th anniversary party and includes Beck performing on June 24 and the Fresh Grass music festival capping off the summer.

The packed schedule also includes Roomful of Teeth and regulars Bang on a Can, a pop color sculpture park by Franz West, Teresita Fernández "dramatically scaled" up "As Above So Below" and and 80 three-legged stools sporting Christopher Chiappa's "riotous paintings" in "Stasis Horror."

Director of Communications Jodi Joseph said Mass MoCA will extend summer hours in order to keep visitors in the Berkshires longer.

"We know that there will be a lot of visitors here and a lot of excitement in the Northern Berkshires," Joseph said.

The museum will operate Sunday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.  

"It will give people an extra hour to be in the galleries, and it will encourage people to extend their stay and give them one more reason to come to the Berkshires and stay longer," Joseph said.

She added that visitors who purchase their tickets before the museum opens — between 9:30 and 10 a.m. — will save close to 40 percent on their tickets. She said this will to entice people to "start their Berkshire art adventure with Mass MoCA."

In addition to getting people in the museum earlier, Joseph said museum will be extending Beer Garden hours in attempt to attract people to the North Adams night life.

"It's a nice way for people to wind up their trip to Mass MoCA and have a refreshing beverage before we send them back out on the town for dinner and to find their hotel," she said. "We want to extend their stay in the Berkshires."

The Beer Garden will be open Thursday through Friday starting at 5 p.m.

Joseph also mentioned cuts in ticket prices for performing arts at the museum. There will be a 25 percent discount on tickets for those who purchase them early and a $5 ticket price for members.

"We just want to fill the house all summer long and bring people to North Adams," Joseph said. "We want them to spend more money in your restaurants and stay longer here in town."

In addition to hour extensions and price cuts, Susan Killam, managing director for parts and film, discussed summer performances at Mass MoCA and their impact on the community.

She said the Bang on a Can music festival and musicians will be more involved in the community.

"They [musicians] will have regular daily gallery recitals, and they will be in the community having a great time and picking up music whenever they can," Killam said. "They will be here all day long, but they still can't stop at the end of the night so they often have to find places to play more music."

That includes the annual free concert at Windsor Lake on July 30 at 7 p.m.

"It is an incredible community event, and it is free," she said. "It's at Windsor Lake, and it is beautiful."

Director Joseph Thompson introduced the party that will help kick off the season. This Memorial Day will mark Mass MoCA's 15th birthday and the museum will hold a campus wide party with exhibit openings, auctions, food, performances and a dance party.  

"It's going to be more barbecue than gala, with cheap beer, but with plenty to go around," he said.

He said the party will be a reunion and past Mass MoCA employees and performers will be invited. The party is May 24 and starts at 4 p.m. General admission will be $30 and member's admission will be $15.

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