LENOX, Mass. — The Boston Pops has canceled its spring season and the Boston Symphony Orchestra's return to its summer home at Tanglewood is yet unknown.
The Pops' spring season from mid-May to June was to have celebrated Keith Lockhart's 25th anniversary season has been postponed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
BSO officials say they are in daily conversations to assess the advisability of proceeding with upcoming programming over the next few months, including the 2020 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular and the 2020 Tanglewood season, in connection with the spread of COVID-19.
The cancellation of the upcoming season is the first time an entire season of the famed ensemble has been canceled since 1890; that year, there were no Boston Pops concerts because the managers at the time were unable to procure a liquor license.
"The cancellation of the 2020 Boston Pops season represents a sad day for all of us who cherish and work for this beloved institution, including Keith Lockhart, who we were looking forward to honoring on the occasion of his 25th anniversary season this spring," said President and CEO Mark Volpe. "In response to these extraordinary times of COVID-19, we are keenly aware of our responsibility to do everything we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our patrons, staff, and musicians.
"Though these are difficult times, we are wholeheartedly committed to keeping our focus on the future when the Boston Pops can return to what it has done best since its founding in 1885 — presenting its audiences an extraordinary array of musical styles and fun-filled entertainment in the singular setting and acoustics of world-famous Symphony Hall."
A decision on the Tanglewood season is expected in mid-May based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, as well as in close consultation with the commonwealth of Massachusetts and city of Boston.
Updates will be done through press announcements and periodic messaging at www.bso.org and on the orchestra's social media channels once the decisions are made in May.
Because of the financial impact of concert cancellations on the orchestra, the nonprofit organization is asking patrons, whenever possible, to consider donating their tickets back and receiving a receipt for a tax-deductible donation equal to the total ticket value. Otherwise, the Pops is also offering a credit toward a future performance or a refund for the value of the tickets purchased.
For further information, contact the Customer Service Department at email@example.com or call 617-266-1200. Symphony Charge (617-266-1200), the Boston Pops ticketing sales office, will remain open during this period of concert cancellations. The Symphony Hall box offices is closed for walk-up sales at this time.
All performances scheduled for this spring in Boston and the Berkshires have also been canceled for the month of May. The Tanglewood Learning Institute's summer schedule is still proceeding as planned at this point. The Berkshire Choral International's performance that was scheduled to take place on June 6 in Ozawa Hall is being postponed until 2021.
The "Boston Pops at Home" online initiative, to be released in early May, will be modeled in part on a previously announced (and still available) online initiative, "BSO at Home" — a wide variety of audio and video options made available to the symphony's music community at www.bso.org/athome.
The BSO also is presenting a special video stream of "Concert for Our City: Now Streaming For All," a 70-minute performance available to a worldwide audience via YouTube at www.bso.org/athome through May 19. "Concert for Our City" was video recorded during a full-capacity live performance at Symphony Hall on Feb. 16.
This 2020 Boston Pops season cancellation announcement follows previous concert cancellation announcements regarding the seven last weeks of the BSO's 2019-20 season.
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Berkshire Immigrant Center Celebrates National Immigrant Heritage Month
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Beginning June 1, the Berkshire Immigrant Center invites the community to honor the more than 10,000 immigrants in the Berkshires and by joining the annual observance of national Immigrant Heritage Month and helping to launch a $10,000 fundraising campaign for the center.
"During Immigrant Heritage Month, we proudly honor the many ways immigrants make the Berkshires a better place," said BIC Executive Director Michelle Lopez. "This year we are especially grateful for the hundreds of foreign-born doctors, medical technicians, nurses and staff who are caring for people at Berkshire Medical Center, Fairview Hospital, and nursing homes, and for local immigrants who are essential workers at our grocery stores, restaurants and farms."
Since March 20, BIC has raised more than $70,000 for a COVID-19 Relief Fund. Through this fund, BIC has helped more than 140 clients and their families pay for basic needs like rent and utilities.
"We know that so many local people are hurting, both our clients and our supporters, yet even during this crisis people are asking us how they can help," Lopez said.
While 100 percent of emergency relief has been passed through to clients, donations to the Immigrant Heritage Month Campaign help ensure that BIC can serve the local immigrant community in crisis and beyond, including helping immigrants become US citizens. In this year of the U.S. Census count, BIC has also worked diligently to make sure that immigrants are counted and that Berkshire communities thus receive every dollar of federal aid that they should get.
Tax-deductible donations of any amount are welcome online. Contributions can also be made by check made out to Berkshire Immigrant Center and mailed to BIC, 67 East Street, Pittsfield MA 01201.
The center remains the only program in Berkshire County that focuses exclusively on meeting the unique challenges of a continuously growing immigrant and refugee population. In 2018 BIC was named "Best Small Nonprofit" in the state by Massachusetts Nonprofit Network.
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