williamstown

  The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2016 Season, the 62nd Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company and second under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield gets underway June 28th.   

The season runs through August 21st with a Main Stage lineup that includes: Tennessee Williams’ Tony Award-winning play The Rose Tattoo featuring Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei; the world premiere of Boo Killebrew’s comedy Romance Novels For Dummies and closes with the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter.

The Nikos Stage season kicks-off June 29 with the world premiere of Cost of Living, directed by Obie Award winner Jo Bonney; and also includes the world premiere sci-fi comedy thriller The Chinese Room by Michael West; the world premiere musical Poster Boy and closes out the summer with the American premiere of And No More Shall We Part featuring Tony and Emmy Award nominee Alfred Molina and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek.

  The current major exhibition at Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA is An Eye for Excellence: Twenty Years of Collecting.

Sterling and Francine Clark began collecting art strictly for pleasure, but their discernment met with international recognition when they opened the Clark Art Institute in 1955. Sixty years later, the exhibition An Eye for Excellence: Twenty Years of Collecting reveals the remarkable story of how the Clark’s collection has grown and become stronger over the past two decades through the museum’s vision and the support of its generous donors. An Eye for Excellence is on view October 25, 2015 through April 10, 2016.

We visited the museum recently and took a tour of the exhibition with Kathleen Morris, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at The Clark.

  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.

  Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist's Mother) by James McNeill Whistler is one of the most renowned works of art by an American artist. It is considered by many to be the most important American painting not on American soil.

Better known as Whistler’s Mother, the painting has been owned by the French state since 1891 and is in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, presents the painting as the centerpiece of an exhibition on view at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill through September 27th.

Jay Clark, The Clark’s Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs takes us on a tour of the exhibition.

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An ambitious redevelopment project getting started in North Adams is expected to create a bridge between the city and neighboring Williamstown.

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The Williamstown Select Board has decided to bring a Williams College graduate back to the area as the next town manager.

  Tomorrow at 11 a.m., Images Cinema in Williamstown, MA will present a screening of the 1982 Rankin and Bass animated film - The Last Unicorn.

It tells the story of The Unicorn, believing she is the last of her kind, leaving the forest where she lives in an attempt to find others. Along the way she is kidnapped by Mommy Fortuna, freed by the bumbling magician, Schmendrick - and then re-imprisoned by him when he turns her into a human in an effort to save her. Adored by everyone she meets including the brave and sad Molly Grue, the miserable King Haggard and his adopted son, the valiant Prince Lir - she must fight The Red Bull and return home.

The screenplay is by Peter S. Beagle based on his 1968 novel of the same name. Peter has been touring with the film for a few years, meeting fans and being celebrated for his most celebrated work. The Last Unicorn has also been adapted into a beautiful graphic novel.

The film boasts the voice talents of Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, Christopher Lee and music by Jimmy Webb, performed by America. The Last Unicorn is one of those pedestal films for fantasy fans and 80s kids.

Peter Beagle will introduce the film tomorrow in Williamstown and participate in a Q&A and signing afterward.

    The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute started as a rural refuge to house the Clarks’ substantial Art Collection. In 1955, the museum was opened to the public and became one of the premiere art institutions in the Berkshires.

In addition to its many remarkable collections and natural setting, the Clark is also home to extensive research and academic programs, including a significant research library. In this segment, we want to focus on the museum’s permanent collection. And it is impressive. To share just how impressive, we welcome - Richard Rand - the Clark’s Senior Curator and Curator of Paintings and Sculpture.

Courtesy Clark Art Institute, ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto

  On arriving at The Clark, many visitors are surprised by the depth and variety of art available at this museum in the Northern Berkshires. In addition to an impressive collection of the works of Impressionist painters, the Clark boasts work from the Renaissance up through modern times.

In addition to their collections, director Michael Conforti has made it a priority to develop the research and academic wings of the Clark’s activities. Partly as a result of his efforts, the Clark boasts one of the most accessible and extensive art libraries in Massachusetts.

Director Michael Conforti joins us today to talk about the Clark, and all that it has to offer.

  

  The Williamstown Film Festival was founded in 1998 to fill a cultural gap in a part of Massachusetts known for its world-class museums, theater, music, and dance – the Berkshires. Because film seemed the missing link in an artistically rich region, some two dozen local residents and graduates of Williams College felt strongly that a film festival could bridge the gap.

Now in its 16th year, The Williamstown Film Festival will present films, parties, and panels November 5th through the 9th in Williamstown and North Adams, MA.

Here to tell us more are Williamstown Film Festival director Steve Lawson and Program Consultant, Sandra Thomas.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

At its meeting Tuesday night, the North Adams City Council joined five other Berkshire County communities in passing resolutions that call for a full-service hospital in the region. 

Helene Armet / Facebook: Images Cinema

Images Cinema in Williamstown, Massachusetts recently announced it has landed a new executive director who has worked in the film business for 30 years, most recently in Los Angeles. Having spent time in San Francisco and Minneapolis, Doug Jones most recently served as associate director of programming at the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis spoke with Jones who takes over in September. 

Helene Armet / Facebook: Images Cinema

Images Cinema in Williamstown, Massachusetts has landed a new executive director who has worked in the film business for 30 years, most recently in Los Angeles.

  The Sterling and Francine Clark Institute in Williamstown re-opened on the Fourth of July after being closed since March for a major construction project over a decade in the making.

The Clark houses a noted collection of 18th and 19th century artwork. The $145 million project includes a new building, another building rebuilt and a complete rethinking of the Clark’s 140-acre campus, with three new reflecting pools, 2 miles of hiking paths and more than 1,000 new trees.

And then there is the amazing art. To tell us more we welcome Clark Director Michael Conforti and senior curator Richard Rand.

http://destinationwilliamstown.org/

A new website aims to provide potential tourists a one-stop shop for all they need to know about what’s happening in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

The Destination Williamstown website took less than a year to go live. Barbara McLucas is one of a handful of residents who met on a porch in July 2013 and decided it was time to better showcase their town online.

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Already considered so by many, Williamstown, Massachusetts is looking to be officially designated as a cultural destination.

Home to The Clark Art Institute, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Williams College Museum of Art and other attractions, the northern Berkshire town is not home to one of the 19 officially designated cultural districts in the commonwealth. Fran Lapidus set out to change this.

    The duo Honeyhoney - Ben Jaffe and Suzanne Santo - is playing two shows in the region next weekend.

On April 11th they’ll play a benefit concert for Arts Programs at Mt. Greylock Regional High School where Ben attended and graduated from as a mediocre student (his words). For that show, they’ll play WITH Mt. Grelock’s high school band.

They are also playing a Billsville House Concert at the Elks Lodge in North Adams, MA on April 12th.

The Williamstown Film Festival's 15th season will run October 30th through November 3rd. On the schedule: 30 films (many of them premieres) more than a half-dozen parties, and events at MASS MoCA, Williams College, the Clark Art Institute, and Images Cinema.

To tell us more we welcome Steve Lawson - the executive director of the Williamstown Festival and Joe Finnegan, President of the WFF Board and Sandra Thomas of Images Cinema.

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The selectboard of Williamstown recently voted to allow the town to pursue a Cultural District Designation from the state of Massachusetts designed to promote economic development through the arts.

On Wednesday evening, the Williamstown selectboard gave the go-ahead for town residents to seek out a Cultural District Designation from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The designation is not a monetary award but includes signage and serves as a badge of honor in recognition of community efforts to promote the arts and humanities.

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The Board of Selectmen in Williamstown has given town manager Peter Fohlin the authorization to sign off on a $6.1 million grant for the town to acquire and close a mobile home park partially destroyed in 2011 by Tropical Storm Irene.

Fohlin said that before Williamstown can accept the FEMA grant which would be used specifically to remove housing from the Spruces Mobile Home Park, the town will have to negotiate a transfer of ownership and operation of the park from current owners Morgan Management.

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A recently released report provides a deeper look into the housing needs of one small Berkshire County community.

Williamstown’s Affordable Housing Committee recently commissioned a study on the housing needs of the community by housing and development consultant, John Ryan. 

Lucas Willard / WAMC

More than 750 voters filled the gymnasium of the Mount Greylock Regional High School on Wednesday, with many expecting to vote on articles that would determine the future use for properties currently under conservation restriction.

One article was included as the result of a citizen’s petition, which sought to place a permanent restriction on the 30.5-acre parcel of land known as the Lowry Property, and a nearby 140-acre parcel known as the Burbank Property.

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Residents of Williamstown, Massachusetts tonight will vote for or against opening a portion of conservation-restricted for development. The land is being considered as a potential site for new affordable housing units.

Williamstown has received a $6 million Hazard Mitigation Grant from FEMA to purchase and demolish the Spruces Mobile Home Park and build replacement affordable housing for residents at another area in town. Most of the homes in the Spruces were destroyed by flooding in 2011 by Tropical Storm Irene.

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A Berkshire town has received more than $6 million in federal funds to assist in relocating residents of a mobile home park  torn apart by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, but there’s still much debate within the community on how the town should move forward with relocation plans.

Owners of a mobile home park in Williamstown, Massachusetts that was heavily damaged in Tropical Storm Irene last year have agreed to drop a lawsuit against the town. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard has more…

According to Williamstown Town Manager Peter Fohlin, the owners of the Spruces Mobile Home Park Morgan Management have dropped a Motion of Injunctive Relief against the town.