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Marchetti was joined by Cultural Development Director Jen Glockner on his biweekly television show for the announcement.

Marchetti Combines Third Thursday, Artswalk in New Downtown Event

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mayor Peter Marchetti is holding true to his administration's slogan "Be bold or go home” by combining two beloved downtown events.
 
"I think we have to start celebrating what we're doing and shouting from the mountaintop of what we're doing. So this event will give people the opportunity to come back downtown to see the downtown,” he said.
 
"We have probably said a few times ‘Hey, the Marchetti administration is going to be about be bold or go home,' We're going to make some bold changes. We're going to try to bring people to the downtown. I'm sure we're probably going to disgruntle a few folks in the process but hey, you can't make change happen without doing something different along the way.”
 
On Monday, it was announced that the "First Fridays at Five” events will begin in May, taking cues from Third Thursdays and First Fridays Art Walks.  The city, Downtown Pittsfield, Inc., and the Downtown Pittsfield Cultural Association have joined forces to create five evenings of live music, art, food, shopping, and entertainment throughout the spring and summer.
 
Marchetti was joined by Cultural Development Director Jen Glockner on his biweekly television show for the announcement.
 
"Obviously, it will be the first Friday of the month May through September is the concept,” Glockner said.
 
"We will be closing a portion of North Street. We will be working with the businesses. We will be working with the arts and cultural world to create this most amazing event and everyone will want to come to downtown Pittsfield on the first Friday of the month and beyond.”
 
This season, the community will see live bands on the city stage at Park Square, art making, an LGBTQ+ Pride celebration, an event with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI,) and the Berkshire United Way 100th Anniversary Celebration.  There is also a potential collaboration with the Pittsfield Parade Committee for performances at the July event.
 
More details will be announced during a press conference in April.
 
Glockner felt there would be a ripple effect where people want to spend every Friday downtown— not just on the day of First Fridays at Five.
 
"We are just ready for a va va va-voom moment of this is it,” she said.
 
Marchetti explained that folks will be encouraged to utilize the entire downtown such as stopping for a drink or dinner at restaurants along the corridor.
 
The mayor explained that there have been multiple conversations about Third Thursday and the need to bring it back to North Street after it was moved to The Common post-pandemic.
 
"And then all of a sudden it was like, you know, can we just do something different?” he said. "Love Third Thursday. Third Thursday, I think, has served the community well, but I think anytime you're getting to the point where you're doing the 14th or 15th annual of something it's kind of like we know it, we do it.”
 
Once the creative juices started to flow, Marchetti had the idea to combine two well-loved events to create a new concept and put more resources into it, hoping to liven up the downtown.
 
One Pittsfield, his program on Pittsfield Community Television, was hosted this week at the Lichtenstein Center for The Arts on Renne Ave., the home of the city's Office of Cultural Development.  The building was donated to the city by arts philanthropist Kitty Lichtenstein and houses nine resident artists.
 
"This is your building, residents of Pittsfield,” Glockner said. "I mean, we really want you to come and experience it and all the shows that are here and if you work for an organization that might need a place to host educational gatherings, then we are here for that. We want you to come explore.”
 
Marchetti pointed out that the office has a small budget and does not impact tax dollars.  Depending on the year, grant revenue ranges from $15,000 to $150,000.
 
"The general fund is not used for events or programming out of this office,” Glockner added, explaining that the office receives support from places like the Massachusettes Cultural Council, local organizations, and local companies.
 
The National Endowment for the Arts is currently funding a cultural plan for the city.
 
The dates of First Fridays at Five are May 3, June 7, July 5, August 2, and September 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. in Downtown Pittsfield. A portion of North Street will be closed during the event.  Season sponsors include the Feigenbaum Foundation; Mill Town Foundation, MountainOne, and the Pittsfield Cultural Council.
 
For information about taking part in this event, contact Jen Glockner at jglockner@cityofpittsfield.org.
 
 
 
 
 

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Pittsfield Woman Dies After Being Rescued From Structure Fire

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The woman who was rescued when her home caught fire on Monday has died. 
 
The Berkshire District Attorney's Office confirmed on Tuesday that Susan Steenstrup, 67, died after she was pulled from the blaze at 1 Marlboro Drive. The cause of death has not been confirmed.
 
Steenstrup was found on the second-floor by firefighters who responded to the blaze at about 6:45 p.m. She was taken by County Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center. 
 
The two-story, 1930s home is coned off and shows signs of the emergency response such as a broken front window where crews entered to rescue Steenstrup. The fire was reported to have spread from the kitchen and a cause has not yet been determined.
 
Steenstrup was the only occupant at the time. The home had been in her family since at least the 1960s. 
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