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An ice-skating workshop with Jacob's Pillow Dance helps kick off the 10x10 Festival on Feb. 15.

10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival Runs Feb. 15-25 in Pittsfield

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City of Pittsfield's Upstreet Cultural District presents the seventh annual 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival, featuring a lively array of music, art, theater, dance, film, play, fireworks and more, from Feb. 15-25.

Organized by the city of Pittsfield's Office of Cultural Development and Barrington Stage Company, the festival features 66 events in 12 different venues, highlighting dozens of artists, actors, musicians, playwrights and performers.  

The 10X10 Festival kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 15, with five events: "IS183 Art School Kids Create Show: A Learning Through Arts Showcase" exhibit featuring artwork from every student artist in the LTA program; "10x10 Turning Points," a collaborative exhibit between the Berkshire Historical Society and the Berkshire Athenaeum; the first preview night of Barrington Stage's 10X10 New Play Festival; The Mastheads Lit Party, with 10 writers and thinkers reading historical poems written by local authors along with some original work; and an ice-skating workshop with Jacob's Pillow Dance, in conjunction with their Jacob's Pillow Pop-Up performance.    

"As we all know, the frigid temperatures and gray skies of the winter season can be challenging. While it's tempting to stay indoors, the 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival is a good reason to venture out in Pittsfield. The festival, in its seventh year, features an array of theater, dance, poetry and music for the whole family. I encourage everyone to come out and have a good time," Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer said.

IS183's Learning Through Arts Showcase features its after-school program that brings professional teaching artists directly to Berkshire County's K-12th grade classrooms, transforming the program sites into art studios and sharing their passion for the visual arts through dynamic mixed-media projects. This is the only time that the work from all of the schools (nine elementary, middle and high schools across the Berkshires) is highlighted in one space.

For the first time ever, Berkshire United Way's early childhood coalition, Pittsfield Promise, is partnering with the 10x10 Festival to present 10X The Fun at the Common and the Zion Lutheran Church for two hours leading up to the fireworks. The free, community-wide 10 Minutes of Fireworks, sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union, returns to the Common on First Street on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. (dusk).    

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival joins the 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival once again this year with a Pillow Pop-Up featuring Montreal-based Le Patin Libre, pioneers of ice-skating as a new artistic discipline. Their work "Vertical Influences" draws from the movement vocabularies of hip-hop, b-boying, dance theater and ice-skating.  Jacob's Pillow will also host an ice-skating workshop.

"The 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival is a great example of collaboration between art and cultural organizations from Pittsfield and beyond," said Jen Glockner, the director of cultural development for the City of Pittsfield.  "Each year continues to bring new and exciting partners, increasing the breadth of the Festival."

The Berkshire Museum will be hopping throughout the 10x10 Festival with daily 10 Days of Play events featuring collaborations with the Berkshire Music School and Hancock Shaker Village.  The always popular Berkshire Art Association Real Art Party will take place at the Berkshire Museum, as will the Berkshires Jazz 10, By George performance and WordXWord's 10 New Voices.
Berkshire Theatre Group's Colonial Theatre will host two events: "Mutts Gone Nuts," a dog thrill show like no other, and "Billy Bud in the Bread Box."

The Berkshire Athenaeum and the Berkshire Historical Society are joining forces once again for 10x10 Turning Points, a photography exhibit presenting the history of Pittsfield divided into 10 time periods.

Other returning highlights of the festival include: Barrington Stage Company's popular 10x10 New Play Festival, featuring 10 new 10-minute plays; Dance Ten, a performance showcase of 10 community dance groups and schools from throughout the Berkshires; Berkshire Running Center's 1-10 mile group runs and Berkshire International Film Festival Shorts at the Beacon Cinema.

This year there are a variety of family-friendly free or low-cost daytime activities, perfect for a week when many schools are on vacation. They include daily adventure play at the Berkshire Museum, including a free community night and collaborations with the Berkshire Music School and Hancock Shaker Village, performances at the Colonial Theatre, an ice-skating workshop and performance with Jacob's Pillow at the Boys and Girls Club, the 10x The Fun family event followed by a winter fireworks extravaganza at the Common and the Dance Ten performance showcase.

Performances and events will take place every day during the festival. For a day-by-day calendar and more information, click here.  For regular updates to the Festival, like the 10x10 Upstreet Festival on Facebook or Twitter.

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