Jennifer Glockner, director of the City of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development, is a part of our extended family in downtown Pittsfield. This awesome mom of twin 9-year-old boys has served as director of Cultural Development since the summer of 2014 and, as such, serves as an Ex-Officio board member of Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. Jen and her staff are not only responsible for 3rd Thursdays and the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival, they are also collaborators and supporters of all things downtown!
The Office of Cultural Development is part of the City of Pittsfield and located within the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts at 28 Renne Avenue. In addition to 3rd Thursdays and the 10×10, Jen and full-time Administrative Assistant, Shiobbean Lemme, are charged with managing and essentially acting as landlords for the nine working artist studios also housed at the Lichtenstein. The art gallery on the first level of the building rotates monthly, and Jen and Shiobbean are also charged with curating and promoting a twelve-month visual art season at their venue.
Jen let us in on the shows in the gallery for the rest of 2018. April will feature the Berkshire Art Association Fellowship Show, May – “Art in Our Schools”, June – Berkshire Immigrant Stories with Berkshire Community College, July – CATA’s annual art exhibit “I Am a Part of Art”, August – Sean McCusker solo exhibition, September – IS183 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes exhibition, October and November – Berkshire Art Association Biennial Juried Exhibition, and December – the Wreath Art Auction.
New details about 3rd Thursdays, held May through September in downtown Pittsfield, have also been announced. The theme for the May 17th 3rd Thursday will be “Youth” and Kids 4 Harmony will perform. The June 21st theme will be “Health”, and on July 19th, The City of Pittsfield will team up with Berkshire Community College and Berkshire Immigrant Stories for a theme of “World Culture”. The August 16th 3rd Thursday will feature the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow (“a collaborative band that brings together 5 Massachusetts singer-songwriters in the vein of Americana, rock and roots-folk music”), and the September 20th 3rd Thursday will conclude the 2018 season with the 8th annual “Walk a Mile” event. During each 3rd Thursday, the section of North Street from West Street to Linden Street will be closed to vehicular traffic, and the street will be filled with live music and performances, a variety of local food, vendors, and community activities.
Recently, the Office of Cultural Development partnering with Barrington Stage Company, concluded another successful 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival in downtown Pittsfield, featuring 66 events at 12 different venues in its seventh year.
Besides all of that, “we are basically the office of collaboration”, says Jen. She makes electronic meetings happen all the time, connecting artists, cultural organizations, event organizers and creative businesses in Pittsfield and beyond. “We support, promote and initiate cultural activity in Pittsfield to benefit our citizens, our quality of life and our local economy.”
For fun, we asked Jen what is one of her favorite places in Pittsfield.
“Dottie’s Coffee Lounge… sitting in the window having a latte, getting random stuff done, and meeting people by chance”. Again, making connections.
Jen, truly a proud Pittsfield resident, took my question a step further and offered her “Tour Packages” for friends visiting her over the summer.
Jen’s “Tour Package A”:
Spend time outside at the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market on the Common. I would let the kids play on the playground and in the Splash Pad while the adults would go shopping at the Market. I would definitely pick up some Assembly Coffee Roasters’ Coffee while there to take home. Then, I would take the whole family to the Berkshire Museum for some family fun. At night, we would go to a performance at Barrington Stage Company or the Colonial Theatre. “Our hidden gems are our beautiful lakes”. We have a boat, so we would end the day on Onota Lake!
Jen’s “Tour Package B”:
Get a babysitter for the kids and pick from a varied choice of restaurants and international foods. I might get to Methuselah Bar and Lounge early in the evening to enjoy dinner and a cocktail or go to Eat on North on a beautiful night when the windows are open and have their delicious oysters!
By Contributor Kimberly Cortes-Gritman
Images courtesy of Jennifer Glockner and the Office of Cultural Development