Pittsfield and the Berkshires continue to be a gay welcoming region, though sometimes the GLBTQ community is not too visible. That's why it would be great to come out for the new series of Third Thursdays which - in my view - kicks off "the season" in the Berkshires.
This Thursday, May 21 at THIRD THURSDAY IN PITTSFIELD. the Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition will join other organizations staffing display/information tables in the small park on the west side of North Street near the Regional Transportation Center on Columbus Avenue.
Stop by to say hello, see what’s new, and pick up information for yourself or someone who needs support. And don't stop there. There will be a great deal to see and do all evening long, starting at 5:00. Look at the back of any Third Thursday flyer for a complete rundown.
And if you would like to know a little about the woman behind this great series of events (and she will be the first to tell you that it takes a community to make a great party like this!) you might drop by Berkshire Fine Arts for a profile of Megan Whilden, the Director of Cultural Development for Pittsfield. While you are at BFA you could also look at my Preview and Guide to all things artsy and cultural in the next couple of weeks, plus the humongous plans for a summer of amazing arts happenings in North Adams, titled Down Street Art.
Third Thursday has been a success because it has helped increase Pittsfield business during the event and beyond.
"Every single one of them have benefited, including restaurants," said Downtown Inc. Executive Director Yvonne Pearson. "Third Thursday has also created awareness that (North Street) is a safe place to be."
There will be five more events this year. Live music, street performers, and food and craft vendors join with the established merchants to attract thousands of people every third Thursday from May to October. Not only does it boost the local economy but it also brings all segments of the community together.
There is the big deal Mass MoCA 10th Annivsary Gala Saturday but at $100 a head - and mostly the "in crowd" that goes to such things - but none of my friends will be there. I've attended dozens of these sorts of soirees over the decades and find most of them can be dreadful bores, the usual suspects nattering in little cliques. (Dishes are going to fly over that comment!)
Rather I would choose either the Barrington Stage's "staged reading" of Poolside at the Hotel Bel Air at Stage II, The Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Mahaiwe, or the opening of Faith Healer at the Berkshire Theatre Festival's Unicorn Theatre.
ONE MORE EVENT: TAKE A HIKE!
Friday, May 22. HIKE. 6:30 pm. Meet at Kennedy Park parking lot, West Dugway Road, Lenox (north of the Arcadian Shop). All are welcome.