mass moca

Building 6 (Robert W. Wilson Building) at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

Mass MoCA in North Adams will double in size Sunday with the opening of Building 6.

JOE WARDWELL - HELLO AMERICA: 40 HITS FROM THE 50 STATES at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

  This Sunday, May 28th, MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA will open Building 6 - the Robert W. Wilson Building, to the public. This beyond-grand-opening doubles the vast museum’s exhibition space and features long-term exhibitions and collaborations with global leaders in contemporary art.

In this audio tour, MASS MoCA Curator Denise Markonish tells us about work by Barbara Ernst Prey, Louise Bourgeois, Metabolic Studio/Optics Division, Robert Rauschenberg, Dawn DeDeaux, Lonnie Holley, Laurie Anderson, Gunnar Schonbeck, Mary Lum, Janice Kerbel, and James Turrell; Allie Foradas describes work by Jenny Holzer, and James Wardwell tells us about "Hello America: 40 Hits from the 50 States." 

MASS MoCA's daylong celebration to mark the opening of Building 6 - the Robert W. Wilson Building - including welcoming remarks from museum director Joseph Thompson; a Nick Cave Soundsuit performance, Brooklyn United Marching Band and CAKE in concert on Joe’s Field.

Building 6 (Robert W. Wilson Building) at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

MASS MoCA opens its newly renovated Building 6 this Sunday, giving the North Adams Campus – catch this - more gallery space than any other contemporary art museum in the country. The campus has always been big in scale and rambling. Now, we get more of a great thing.

Building 6 adds 105-Thousand square feet of gallery space – consisting of three floors of galleries, production studios, virtual reality galleries, event and performance space.

An all-day celebration will celebrate the grand opening for the new building, which will showcase installations by art-world stars such as Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, and James Turrell. Museum director Joe Thompson is here to tell us more. 

Formed as a somewhat antagonistic answer to grunge, CAKE bounded onto the scene in the mid-nineties with songs like “Rock n’Roll Lifestyle,” “The Distance,” and a perhaps unexpectedly effective cover of Gloria Gaynor’s disco hit, “I Will Survive.”

In their 20+ years, John McCrea and company -- including signature trumpeting by Vince DiFiore -- have released 6 albums and toured all over the world.

They are playing two shows in our region over Memorial Day Weekend. First at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY on Friday, May 26 and then at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA on Sunday, May 28.

Sol Lewitt Installation at Mass MOCA

The five leading cultural organizations in the northern Berkshires have teamed up to help drive awareness and increase economic development and tourism in Western Massachusetts.

MASS MoCA Kicks Off High Mud Comedy Festival

Mar 31, 2017

MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts kicks off its High Mud Comedy Festival tonight with local and touring comedians, beer tasting and comical museum tours.  

Photograph of a portion of Tanja Hollander's "Are You Really My Friend?" at MASS MoCA
MASS MoCA's Instagram


  How often do you get a friend request on Facebook from someone whose name you don’t recognize? You have mutual friends. You check those names -- and then you aren’t sure exactly who some of those people are either - or how you know them. Imagine telling someone 15 years ago that you have friends you don’t know -- and not in that “a stranger is a just a friend you haven’t met yet” optimistic way.

Tanja Hollander’s new exhibition Are You Really My Friend? is currently on view at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA. The show explores, through portraits and paraphernalia, what friendship means to Tanja and what friendship means today - in the age of social media and easy surface relationships. She set out to connect with and photograph her 626 Facebook friends.

I spoke with Tanja and curator Denise Markonish at the museum recently and began by asking Tanja when and where she had the idea for the project.

Nick Cave "Until" at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke


  Nick Cave is an American fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist. He is best known for his Soundsuits: wearable fabric sculptures that are bright, whimsical, and otherworldly.

In his new work, “Until,” Cave uses MASS MoCA’s football field-sized space to create his largest installation to date, made up of thousands of found objects and millions of beads, which will make viewers feel as if they have entered a sensory tapestry, like stepping directly inside the belly of one of his iconic Soundsuits.

For the piece Nick Cave and his curators and assistants have gathered 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 1 crocodile; 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys -- and so much more.

We visited MASS MoCA during the installation of “Until” - which opened on October 15th and will be on view in North Adams, MA through early September of next year.

Nick Cave and curator Denise Markonish lead us through the exhibition.

  Tomorrow at 8pm, film composer and singer-songwriter Peter Salett and illustrator Michael Arthur will be at MASS MoCA in North Adams to perform Suite for the Summer Rain and Dance of the Yellow Leaf --two related song-cycles that will be accentuated and elevated through a collaboration of the artists that melds the live music performance with live illustration projected behind the band.

Rana Santacruz
Erin Patrice O'Brien


  Rana Santacruz, a Mexican musician and bandleader who lives in Brooklyn -- his music is a kind of Mexican bluegrass, Irish mariachi, folk alternativo mash-up.

Rana Santacruz and his band will play the FreshGrass Festival at MASS MoCA this Saturday.

Lau At FreshGrass

Sep 15, 2016

  Lau is a British folk band from both Scotland and England, formed in 2005. They are playing at The FreshGrass Festival at MASS MoCA on Saturday.

The trio is Kris Drever, Martin Green, and Aidan O'Rourke. Lau are fearless innovators a lauded band that never stands still. They are creating some of the best music being made anywhere in any genre. Vocalist and guitar player Kris Drever joins us.

FreshGrass At MASS MoCA

Sep 15, 2016

  FreshGrass is MASS MoCA’s three-day festival of bluegrass and roots music. This year’s festival is this weekend - September 16-18 in North Adams, Massachusetts.

FreshGrass is a family-friendly festival, brimming with bright talent on four stages, and also in MASS MoCA’s galleries, brick-lined courtyards, and grassy field. It is produced in partnership by MASS MoCA, the FreshGrass Foundation, and No Depression.

This year’s line-up of world-class talent includes Glen Hansard, Rosanne Cash, Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Aoife O’Donovan, and many more.

Here with a preview and to point out other highlights we welcome Chris Wadsworth, FreshGrass Founder and Producer and Publisher of No Depression and Jodi Joseph, MASS MoCA’s Director of Communications. 

Jennifer Trainer Thompson was announced as the next CEO of Hancock Shaker Village Wednesday.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The new leader of Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield is someone who has been involved in the region’s cultural realm for quite some time.

  With eleven No. 1 country singles since 1981, Rosanne Cash is a veritable country music icon. She comes to FreshGrass at MASS MoCA this weekend – on Sunday afternoon - joined by her husband John Leventhal, with whom she co-wrote her GRAMMY award-winning album The River & The Thread.

The record is a self-described “mini-travelogue of the South, and of the soul,” based on a series of road trips the two took together. It travels through centuries of American history and weaves together tidbits of family lore into an “exquisitely profound” whole.

Nick Cave's "Until" is set to open October 15 at MASS MoCA.
Facebook: Nike Cave - Visual Artist

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art announced Wednesday what pieces of art will fill its galleries and who will take over its stages this fall.

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood
Sarah LaDuke

  We begin our broadcast from Tanglewood with a check-in on Berkshire headlines with our man from the Berkshire Eagle, Kevin Moran. Kevin is the regional Vice President of News for New England Newspapers.

  Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

This is a picture of a guitar
Flickr

Dolly Parton, one of country music’s all-time superstars, is performing in Berkshire County today — kicking off the Tanglewood summer season. The area is known for its rural landscape and feel, typically a hotbed for country music. But, the region’s country scene is a mixed bag.

  There's a new beer in town! 

Bright Ideas Brewing is a new craft-brewery on the grounds of MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and they are holding a grand opening celebration on June 19th from 2 to 7pm. It will feature an afternoon of live music featuring L.A. Americana Soul from Freddy & Francine and bluegrass from Burlington's Old Sky

We took a road-tript to Bright Ideas and spoke with Director of MASS MoCA, Joe Thompson; co-founders of Bright Ideas, Orion Howard and Eric Kerns; and brewer, Chris Post. 


  On June 11th, acclaimed and well-loved alt-rock band, The National, are playing a concert in Joe’s Field at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA that will benefit the museum and the Hawthorne Valley Association in New York’s Hudson River Valley. This concert is the band’s only date in the northeast this year.

 

The Ohio-raised, Brooklyn-based band, which consists of vocalist Matt Berninger, plus two pairs of brothers: Aaron Dessner (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott Devendorf (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums), have landed on every “best of” list in print.

The Dessners recently created, curated and produced Day of the Dead -- a compilation  featuring 59 Grateful Dead covers performed by a slew of incredible musicians including - but not limited to - Flaming Lips, Bruce Hornsby, Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo, Jenny Lewis, Perfume Genius, Vijay Iyer, Lucius, and Bela Fleck. Bob Weir even appears on the album performing both with Wilco and with The National.

Aaron Dessner joins us to talk about the concert and the new compilation.

Formed in the early 90s, alternative rock band Luna will be playing tonight at Mass MOCA in North Adams. The band, led by guitarist and singer Dean Wareham, is touring again after breaking up in 2005.

This is flyer for MASS MoCA's Summer 2016 season
Jim Levulis / WAMC

A number of Northern Berkshire cultural organizations are previewing their upcoming summer seasons in North Adams Wednesday.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

With its large gallery spaces, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams has made a name for itself with enormous art displays since its 1999 founding. But it has increasingly been focused on the performing arts of late.

  Taylor Mac is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer who is currently creating a 24-hour durational concert called, “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.”

6 hours of the project, representing the six decades between 1836 and 1896, will be performed at MASS MoCA in North Adams Massachusetts this Saturday, April 9th from 4 to 10pm. Audience members are encouraged to come and going during the performance.

Taylor Mac was recently name-checked in a New York Magazine article about why New York Theater is thriving and The New York Times said “Fabulousness can come in many forms, and Taylor Mac seems intent on assuming each and every one of them.”

Comedian Dave Hill
Mindy Tucker

  This Friday and Saturday the inaugural High Mud Comedy Festival comes to MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and will feature acclaimed national comedians and local stand-up heroes.

Tig Notaro headlines the festival which will also feature Ophira Eisenberg, Sean Patton, and the MASS MoCA return of our guest, comedian, writer, musician, actor, radio host, and man-about-town -- Dave Hill.

Dave Hill fast facts: he hosts The Goddamn Dave Hill Show on WFMU and contributes to This American Life. His band, Valley Lodge, tours globally and performs the theme song for HBO’s Last Week Tonight. He often competes - if that’s the word for it - on @midnight on Comedy Central. His first book is entitled Tasteful Nudes (St. Martin's Griffin) and his upcoming book is Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (Blue Rider Press). His first comedy album came out last June on aspecialthing records and is called Let Me Turn You On.

Early 2016 At MASS MoCA

Jan 13, 2016

  We feel very lucky to have MASS MoCA in our region and to have such a good relationship with the incredible visual and live arts presentation venue. 

MASS MoCA's Managing Director of Performing Arts,  Sue Killam, and Director of Communications, Jodi Joseph join us with a preview of upcoming exhibitions, concerts, residencies, and more.

This is a picture of a BMW parked outside MASS MoCA
Jim Levulis / WAMC

MASS MoCA in North Adams is taking part in a unique global art initiative driven by a controversial Chinese artist. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis pieces it together.

  Songwriter Stephin Merritt has been called “the Cole Porter of his generation” by TimeOut New York. His work includes the Magnetic Fields masterpiece 69 Love Songs and two dozen albums under four different band names besides.

He’s the author of the book 101 Two-Letter Words – which was illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist, Roz Chast.

He will be at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA this Saturday, November 21st at 8pm, playing 26 songs pulled from Merritt's repertoire, played in alphabetical order with Magnetic Fields bandmate and cellist Sam Davol.

  The Sundance Institute Theatre Lab will present an evening of work-in-progress musical theater in MASS MoCA’s Club B10 tomorrow, November 14, at 8pm.

The Sundance Institute’s renowned Theatre Program has produced and molded many future Broadway and Off-Broadway hits through their incubation process. This is the 5th year they’ve partnered with MASS MoCA.

This year they will present 3 in-progress musicals including a new work from Adam Guetel and Craig Lucas.

The Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist and Obie Award-winning playwright creators of Light in the Piazza re-team to reimagine a story that tells of a love affair between two average Americans, torpedoed by alcoholism.

Adam Guetel joins us now along with Philip Himberg is the producing artistic director of Sundance Institute Theatre Program.

  The Williamstown Film Festival is now in its 17th year, but this year’s festival will reflect some major changes. The festival is complete with new faces, a new name, and new programming focus.

The festival runs from October 15-18. Now called: WFF presents: Wind-Up Fest. It is a nonfiction festival with documentary film as its core. Other forms of nonfiction will be in conversation with documentaries, including long-form journalism, radio podcasts, photography, and social practice art.

The festival’s new artistic director Paul Sturtz, new managing director Sandra Thomas (the former executive director of Images Cinema) and board Member Joe Finnegan join us.

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