An illustration of how the mural will look on Eagle Street using Google Maps.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The downtown will be getting a spray of flowers on Eagle Street this June.
Six flowers — each in a rainbow color and representing a Massachusetts wildflower — will be painted on Eagle Street by volunteers.
The Public Arts Commission on Monday approved the street mural that will be part of the next First Friday event in June to mark Pride Month.
The Rainbow Street Crossings proposal was presented by Andrew Fitch, an organizer of the monthly downtown event. He had initially approached the commission for support at its last meeting, which was given.
The mural will be painted on the street next to the mobile parklet that was put in place for the season on Monday morning.
"I put out a limited request for proposals, just people I've talked to, to kind of get it done quickly," he said. "And I reached out to about seven different key individuals, some of whom are members of the LGBTQIA-plus community."
Of the submissions, Fitch brought forward four that seemed suitable for the space and easy to implement.
In addition to the flowers, one concept was the word "love" with each letter done in a pattern of rainbow colors that one commissioner thought looked like a Sol Lewitt drawing. The other two were the rainbow colors with the silhouette of an eagle on it and colorful mountains reflecting the Berkshire hills.
Fitch leaned toward the graphic design of the "love" image as his favorite.
"Honestly, this one excited me the most but I'm certainly open to feedback," he said. "It was just so bright and interesting."
Chair Anna Farrington thought it would be easiest to replicate with paint rollers and would have the most traffic calming effect.
Speaking of the flowers, Commissioner Emily Johnson imagined they would "feel a bit more loose, where you're hand drawing the flowers whereas like, the 'love seems' a little bit more precise."
The commissioners weren't sure at first how to proceed, noting they had approved concepts but not chosen a particular artwork.
In two rounds of voting, they chose first the "love" and flowers as their top choices feeling the designs would best suit the space and be visually identifiable to drivers. Then, though love had seemed to be the favorite from the beginning, they unanimously chose the flowers — and seemed a little surprised they had.
Farrington abstained from voting as the flowers and two other submissions were her designs but Mayor Jennifer Macksey, who was in attendance, voiced her support for the flowers.
Fitch said the next steps were to get paint and volunteers. The plan is to paint the mural as soon as the street closes before the June First Friday event.
The mayor asked if chalk had been considered because the city is still having internal discussions about the use of paint on the roadways. Fitch and Harrington said the goal was to have the mural survive the summer with the potential for it to be refreshed each spring. They noted that the mural would not interfere with any traffic markings on Eagle (the City Council had passed on painted crosswalks last year over concerns they could affect state or federal funding).
The commission also agreed to the mayor's request to put out a call for submissions for a mural on the concrete retaining wall at Western Gateway Heritage State Park.
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North Adams Mayor's Fitness Challenge June 2023
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Mayor's Fitness Challenge (MFC) is back for the month of June, calling on the community to make a conscientious effort at healthier habits by participating in this community-wide fitness challenge.
This will be the 7th Annual MFC for North Adams.
Community members of all ages are encouraged to register and participate either as individuals or as part of a team, to wrack up points for the chance to earn prizes at the conclusion of the challenge. Participants will be working to build and track points by eating fruits and vegetables, drinking water, and participating in physical activity. There are also daily challenges for points.
Registration will be held on Thursday, June 1, and Friday June 2, 2023. nbCC will be tabling in front of the office, located at 61 Main Street, North Adams, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
on June 1, registering participants and handing out tracking packets and t-shirts. On June 2, members of the nbCC team will begin the day at 7:30 a.m. at the kick-off of the Eagle Street Coffee Date series, signing participants up while they enjoy free coffee and baked goods hosted by Mayor Macksey and the City of North Adams.
The Coalition team will also be registering participants during June's First Friday festivities which will include the Mayor's Fitness Challenge Kick-off. The theme of June's First Friday is "Proud of Progress" and will include the painting of a new street mural, exhibition openings, live music and business specials.
The MFC kick-off event will include registration, free games, demonstrations from various local MFC partners, information tables, and activities located either on Main Street or Eagle Street. Some examples of activities include a gong bath at the Terra Nova Church space on Main Street, a bike rodeo on Eagle Street, and free smoothies hosted by the First Baptist Church youth group. Mayor Macksey will be out and about and plans to demonstrate some sparring with Gail Grandchamp. Registration for MFC will be available from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Just look for the nbCC tables and MFC shirts! T-shirts are in limited supply and will be first come, first served.
Weekly events in this year's challenge include outdoor yoga classes, lawn games at Windsor Lake, the downtown bike around, and weekly hikes in places like the Cascades, Tannery Falls, Sunset Rock Trail, and Natural Bridge State Park. Additionally, several local fitness studios will be offering deals of membership, free classes, and other incentives to participate.
The challenge runs throughout the month of June. The final day to track points will be Monday, June 26, and all participants must turn in their tracking packets by 6:00 p.m. that afternoon. There will be a Wrap Party at Windsor Lake, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. where the individual and team winners will be announced and receive their prizes. There will be live music from the band Pandemic Relief, lawn games and everyone is encouraged to bring a picnic dinner. Snacks will also be available for purchase from the BFAIR concession stand.
This event has been organized by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, the North Adams Mayor's Fitness Challenge Planning Team, and the City of North Adams. The full calendar of MFC Events can be found below, online at nbccoalition.org calendar page, or on the back of the MFC points tracker that every participant receives. For daily updates or weather announcements, participants can follow the nbCC facebook or instagram accounts.
2023 MFC Schedule
Week 1 | June 1-3 |Registration & Kick-off
6/1 | 8:30a.m. - 6p.m. | nbCC Office, 61 Main Street, North Adams - Register teams/individuals & pick up your MFC packets and t-shirts
6/2 | 7:30 - 9:00a.m. | Eagle St. - Register during the Eagle Street Coffee Date kick-off sponsored by Mayor Macksey and the City.
5:00-8:00 p.m. | Eagle St. - Register during First Friday and enjoy MFC kick-off events and activities!
6/3 | 9a.m.-1p.m. | Shop at the North Adams Farmers Market.
9:30-11a.m. | Help the River St. Community Gardening Group
11:30a.m. | Walk w/ Mayor Macksey at Natural Bridge (Transportation available)
2:00p.m. | ROOTs Teen Center/nbCC Bike Collective Build a Bike Workshop | 206 Ashland St.
Week 2 | June 4 - 10th
6/4 - 10:00a.m. | Basketball games | Noel Field Courts, 310 State St.
7:15p.m. | Relaxation Yoga | North Adams Yoga, 26 Holden St.
6/5 - 3:30-5:30p.m. | Bike Collective Workshop hours | 206 Ashland St.
5:30p.m. | Downtown Bike Around | 206 Ashland St.
6/6 - 12:00-1:00p.m. | BHS: Top 10 Most Powerful Lifestyle Interventions | UNO Center, 157 River St.
5:00p.m. | Tick Talk w/ CHP | UNO Center, 157 River St.
6/7 - 5:30p.m. | Evening at Windsor Lake: Intro to Disk Golf, live music, pack a picnic | Windsor Lake, Kemp Ave & Bradley St.