What gives you hope? — #berkshireweekend

What gives you hope? The question is hanging in the window of MCLA’s art lab on Main Street over a post box painted like a mosaic. In the sunlight, the colors look as bright and abstract as stained glass — like the bus stop across the street.

The question is part of a community art project, conversation — an open-ended invitation to get involved. Another handwritten note in the window invites anyone walking by to respond — they’ve signed themselves #fieldnotesonhumanity.

This kind of unexpected play is part of my answer. I take a note pad out of a wooden drawer to offer them a thought. On a sunny morning when I’m walking through town just to see what’s here, coming on something new gives me hope. Curious minds give me hope, and voices asking questions.

Feeling energy around town gives me hope too. I keep finding bright color — deep red tunic at Savvy hive, upcycled hoodies at Wallasauce, a wall of free banned books at Installation Space, a galaxy of new worlds at the Bear and Bee Bookshop, a turquoise blue woman spreading her wings on the overpass.

The local couple who kept Chingon taco truck going through the pandemic have opened their Casita restaurant in the Mass MoCA courtyard. The Hoosic River Revival folks will open community conversations on the river at the end of the month. We have momentum.

A turquoise and lapis blue woman spreads her wings on the overpass in Egyptian artist Alaa Awad's mural in North Adams.
Photo by Kate Abbott

A turquoise and lapis blue woman spreads her wings on the overpass in Egyptian artist Alaa Awad's mural in North Adams.

Events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Beer mugs stand on a wooden counter by a softly lit window.
Feb 21 2024 @ 3:30 pm
Hot Plate Brewing Co. will celebrate the 10×10 Festival with 10 small batches of beer — today with bingo to benefit Roots Rising and the Pittsfield Farmers Market.
Microphone. Courtesy photo (Creative Commons) by Ernest Duffoo.
Feb 21 2024 @ 7:00 pm
Dewey Hall holds storytelling events with a group discussion exploring themes, similarities and contrasts within the stories as a whole
A microphone waits in golden light. Creative Commons courtesy photo.
Feb 21 2024 @ 7:00 pm
The Egremont Barn welcomes all comers to perform on the tavern stage for a night of acoustic music in a friendly space.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

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BTW Berkshires