Update: This event was postponed until Friday, July 17.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Pittsfield has been hosting a First Fridays Artswalk for nearly a decade. But the event designed to bring people downtown to mingle has been put on hold for during the novel coronavirus panedemic.
Instead, a citywide Drive Walk Bike by Art Show is scheduled for this Friday.
Organizer and artist Jesse Tobin McCauley believes the pandemic should not stand in the way of art or people's ability to experience art.
"These have been confining, hard, scary times and art can help you forget and make you smile and just bring happiness to all," she said.
With many of the summer activities canceled because of the pandemic, McCauley was looking for creative ways to bring people together.
She said a friend of hers sent her an article about a drive-by art show taking place on Long Island, N.Y.
"I just knew we needed to do this in Pittsfield," she said. "The First Fridays Artswalk had been put on hold due to COVID-19 but art was still being created in the Pittsfield."
The show was supposed to be held on the first Friday in July but rain delayed it to this week, which isn't looking much better. Should there be rain on Friday evening, the event will be postponed to Friday, July 17.
Forty installations have been placed throughout the city in front yards, on houses, and on billboards. Starting Friday at 4, residents are encouraged to drive, bike, or walk through the city to see what their neighbors have created.
"Art uplifts the spirit. We all need that now," McCauley said. "Disconnect from your devices, get outside, and experience art. You might not even know that your neighbor is an artist."
She created a Facebook page and put out an all-call to Pittsfield artists. Those with yard space made their own installations and those who didn’t were paired with a host.
"Artists in hard times and good are always creating and we've been doing it alone in our homes and need to get it out for all to see," she said. "We need to reconnect with our neighbors."
She said Cultural Pittsfield helped them get the word out.
"It's important to organize events like this to bring people together even from afar to enjoy all of the art that the region has to offer," Pittsfield Cultural Director Jennifer Glockner said. "And again to lift people's spirits."
McCauley said people can expect to see a little bit of everything.
"The range is vast," she said. "Abstract, landscape, graffiti, sculpture, photography. You can see some examples on the Facebook event."
Glockner encouraged all residents to participate.
"We encourage people to participate because it will make you happy and you may learn something new about a particular artist or person that you didn't know about before," she said.
The event wraps up at 8. A map of all the installations can be found here.
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Pittsfield City Council to Discuss Homeless Solutions
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The City Council on Tuesday sent a group of petitions regarding the city's homeless population to the subcommittee on Public Health and Safety.
The three petitions ask officials to consider measures to safeguard the homeless and begin a conversation about homelessness within the city limits.
"I am glad we are having this discussion, and I look forward to hearing it," Councilor at Large Peter White said. "This has been an issue here for a long time and having people live in the park is not a long terms solution."
Late into the six-hour meeting Tuesday, councilors came to the agreement that although Connell is spending much of his time quarantining out of state, his primary residence is still in Pittsfield.
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