NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city's first Figment festival is taking shape for April 30 at Windsor Lake. The event will be all-volunteer, family friendly, participatory and free.
The organizers are currently calling for artist proposals for the one-day event; the deadline is March 6. Artists and volunteers can find out more about the event at northadams.figmentproject.org.
Launched in 2007 with a one-day immersive event on New York's Governors Island, the platform for participatory art has grown to involve hundreds of communities across the country with events ranging from one to several days.
Krystal Henriquez, an MCLA arts management student who is organizing the festival, gave the Windsor Lake Recreation Commission an update on the plans last week.
"I can really feel it coming together," said Henriquez, who volunteered at Figment Boston last year.
She stressed that the North Adams event will have the same core values as past Figment festivals, based on ideas of "decommodification," "leave no trace" and "participatory."
There will be no vendors but those attending are encouraged to bring food for a potluck picnic on the grounds at Fish Pond. There will be no alcohol or smoking allowed.
The event will run from 2 until 9:30 p.m., with a "Figment After Dark" beginning at 7:30.
"I want to have that distinction because some installations may not be used at night," she said.
She's also working with Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on installations, cleanup and vans. MCLA's community service day is April 30 and the college has committed to helping with installing projects that morning. Henriquez anticipates clearing the site completely by 5 p.m. on Sunday, "leaving no trace."
"We've been working with Makers Mill," she said. "They've been really great they've donated materials to us."
The organizers are also reaching to local schools with Clarksburg already on board.
Henriquez said she is still looking for lights and a stage. Mayor Richard Alcombright said options could be asking a local business about borrowing a flatbed as well as the city's consideration of acquiring its own portable stage for the upcoming Levitt Amp Music Series.
He and the commissioners also were concerned about noise levels but Henriquez said they would work to alleviate any concerns and noted the festival would end at 9:30 p.m.
"There's so much MCLA involvement but it's really about getting the more community participation," she said. "I can't wait to have this at Windsor Lake."
The commissioners also heard from Erik Carlson of Dalton, a disc golf enthusiast who is working on plans for a course at Windsor Lake with the commission and mayor's permission.
He showed a short video to the mayor and said volunteers would do the minor clearing and maintaining of the wooded course.
"It's minimal maintenance depending on the course," he said. "The only thing you see is a basket, it's not an eyesore."
Installing the baskets and poles are the hardest part, and would require digging or, better, an augur.
Commissioner William St. Pierre, who did not attend, has asked for the specs and materials list to give to McCann Technical School to price out.
Carlson estimates the metal baskets would be about $300 or so, and believes that local families or businesses might be interested in sponsoring them. He showed several images with brands or logos on the baskets.
He touted the friendly atmosphere of disc golf courses and how they attract enthusiasts from around a region.
"There's a study that vandalism decreases where there are courses because there are people there more often and they're taking care of it," he said, adding that MCLA students might be very interested.
"I think it would be awesome for the school to make a course that's right there," he said.
In other business:
• Administrative Officer Michael Canales said the three-year phragmite removal plan hit a snag because of the mild weather. The tall plants were treated in the fall and were to be cut to the ice line this winter, except the ice hasn't been strong enough to hold the equipment. The contracted company will continue with what it can do, he said.
• The commission discussed the possibility of upgrading electrical for the campsites. It was suggested to determine the cost of electricity for a seasonal site and average it out to be incorporated into the daily cost of a campsite. Upgrading the infrastructure would be a significant project. The commission will get cost estimates for consideration for 2017.
• Commissioner Nancy Bullett said Williams College students are interesting in marking the trails around the lake but a topographical will be required to ensure they don't stray onto private lands.
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