Pittsfield 10×10 Winter Festival blends the arts with open spaces

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Parachute over winter lake in Mass

Charlie Hover flies a powered parachute over Pontoosuc Lake in Pittsfield, Mass., Monday, Dec. 23, 2019. (Ben Garver/The Berkshire Eagle via AP)

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With an emphasis on outdoor recreation, the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival returns for its ninth anniversary. Named for the city of Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District, the community celebration presents music, art, theater, dance, games, and fireworks from February 13 to 23 in the heart of the Berkshires.

Combining the arts and the outdoors feels right in Pittsfield. Also known as the 10×10 Winter Arts Festival, the event features 65 events in 20 different venues that highlight the artists, actors, musicians, playwrights, and performers that keep the local arts scene thriving.

Almost two-thirds of Massachusetts residents participate in outdoor recreation each year, and Pittsfield’s arts festival aligns with this theme. Outdoor enthusiasts, tourists and locals alike, share in the natural resources and open space programs that buoy the economy.

The ice dragon that Peter Vacchina and Robert Markey will sculpt on February 19 at the Berkshire Museum neatly symbolizes the thematic union between outdoor winter sports and local artists.

The 10-day-long event, named for the Upstreet Cultural District, features a dense schedule of attractions and kicks off with several first-day events:

  • The Ten Spot Sculpture Show opening reception at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts;
  • The Getting to Yes, a collaborative women’s suffrage exhibit at the Berkshire Athenaeum;
  • Masthead’s Lit Party at Methuselah, a literary gathering at a local gastropub;
  • “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and A Prayer” performed at the Whitney Center for the Arts;
  • Preview of the 10X10 New Play Festival, consisting of 10-minute-long plays by 10 playwrights at Barrington Stage Co.;
  • $10 tubing at Bousquet Mountain; and
  • Sunset stroll at Fred Garner Park.

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