BITS & BYTES: pop-up dance party in Pittsfield; “Beat the Streets” basketball; Opening of the GB public theatre; Lineup of Pittsfield Parade, Chesterwood sculpture show

Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. and Inside! presents Indepen-DANCE by Boxxa Vine!

PITTSFIELD — Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. will present Boxxa Vine’s Indepen-DANCE on Friday, July 1 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Persip Park, 175 North Street. Boxxa Vine will host a pop-up dance party at Persip Park. She will DJ and perform hourly, moving and grooving to start the 4th of July weekend. There will be giveaways, performances, music and more!

Hourly schedule:

00:00-00:30 Dance party and meeting with Boxxa Vine

00:30-00:45 Mini show with games and gifts

00:45-00:00 Boxxa is on break, BRB!

Boxxa Vine is a Pittsfield-based drag queen and costume designer with a flair for the dramatic and the theatrical. She is a self-taught seamstress who has worked on pieces that have appeared locally, across the country, and on shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, and The View. She is also a six-time pageant titleholder (Miss Gay: Western MA, Boston, Central NY, Camp Capital NY, and Berkshire). She spends most of her free time trying to organize exciting new drag racing events in the Berkshires through her company Out of the Boxxa Productions.

Boxxa Vine is a board member of the Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition and director of entertainment for Berkshire Pride. You can see what she does next on or follow her on Facebook or Instagram (@BoxxaVine).

– A J

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One-day basketball tournament to kick off youth basketball league

PITTSFIELD — Beat the Streets, a local youth basketball league, will host its second annual basketball league July 2-August 13. The league will kick off the summer with a basketball tournament at Dorothy Amos Park this Saturday July 2. The event will feature live music, entertainment, concessions, food and community vendors, and a police presence.

Photo courtesy of Beat the Streets.

The league has two age groups, 14-17 and 18-30, and is open to all genders. It will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, at 6 p.m.

“Beat the Streets” will provide jerseys for all teams, referees for all games and trophies for league winners and MVPs. The league is sponsored by the Berkshire County branch of the NAACP, Hilltown Veterinary Clinic, Premium Waters Inc, 18Degrees and Beauty Local. For more information, contact Dashine Moore at

– A J

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Pittsfield Parade announces car show and string orchestra performances

The Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade will host a car show on July 3 for the benefit of the annual parade. Of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a variety of cars will grace downtown Pittsfield and compete for prizes. A 50-50 raffle will benefit the parade and concessions will be available on site.

Admission to a vehicle is free but donations to the Parade are suggested. Admission is free for visitors. Vehicles will be parked in the McKay Street parking lot at Depot Street, and visitor parking will be in the McKay Street garage.

Car enthusiasts will help create a diverse, colorful and unique spectacle for car enthusiasts. In addition, two dozen cars will take part in the July 4 parade.

The Pittsfield Parade Committee also announced that Philadelphia’s Greater Kensington String Band will participate in this year’s 4th of July parade. In addition, the group of about twenty musicians will give a concert of 6-7:30 p.m. July 3 at the First United Methodist Church in Pittsfield.

The Greater Kensington String Band has always been a crowd favorite and can be seen from the streets ahead with their bright and colorful costumes, exciting entertainment and great music. Although they may have committee members pulling their hair out with their long breaks, they draw crowds into their show along the way. The Greater Kensington String Band is one of more than a dozen units that make up the non-profit Philadelphia Mummers String Band.

Tickets for the July 3 concert will be $10 at the door and seating is limited. Proceeds will go to the parade committee.

– A J

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Leave your fears here opens at the Great Barrington Public Theater

Great Barrington G Public Theater’s four-track Solo Fest 2022 ends with Leave your fears here, a memoir written and performed by accomplished stage and film actor James Morrison. In a touching performance, the actor recounts his 10-year-old son Seamus’ brain cancer diagnosis from treatment to cure. The piece is a poetic expression of the power of hope and triumph in the darkest hours. Leave your fears here has been on stage since From June 30 to July 10 at the Public Theater.

When Seamus suddenly faced physical frailties and a life-threatening diagnosis, Morrison, his wife and family had to deal with a devastating reality while simultaneously navigating daunting medical processes. They found themselves transcended by Seamus’ courage, brightness and ability to deal with his harrowing experiences with strength, humor and a poetic nature.

Directed by Robert Egan, Leave your fears here was developed and first staged at the multi-award winning Ojai Playwrights Conference, where Egan has served as Artistic Director since 2002.

Audiences will recognize James Morrison from 24, Law and Order SVU, The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Twin Peaks: The Return and other series and movies.

Leave your fears here will be presented ten times only, June 30-July 10, Thursday-Sunday, 7:30pm and 3pm, at the Liebowitz Black Box Theatre, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 84 Alford Rd, Great Barrington, MA 01230. Tickets are encouraged and can be purchased from the Great Barrington Public Theater website.

Theater fans can also look forward to two more upcoming performances at the Great Barrington Public Theatre. Public Speaking 101opening July 14th, is an all-new comedy starring a stellar cast of Berkshire actors. The play tells the story of a neurotic amateur actress who leads her community theater class to compete in her county’s first annual public speaking competition.

The things that I know to be true will open on August 4, and tells a story of family love, truth and bonding. GB Public presents the East Coast premiere of this new play that exemplifies the power of transformative theatre. Judy Braha, who helmed GB Public’s 2021 hit Mr Fullerton, will lead.

– A J

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Chesterwood Announces 44th Annual Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition

STOCKBRIDGE — The 44th annual exhibition of contemporary outdoor sculpture at Chesterwood, a historic artist’s retreat, will open July 1. Elemental Matters: The Sculpture of Jonathan Prince will feature 12 large-scale works spread across the Chesterwood landscape.

Chesterwood guest curator Cassandra Sohn, director of Sohn Fine Art, was drawn to how Prince’s metal works are often mistaken for wood, stone or liquid. “Although monumental in structure, rooted in geometry and made of metal, Prince’s sculpture possesses an innate vulnerability. They are a meditation in both process and concept.

Prince, based in Southfield, MA, is known for pushing the boundaries of how materials behave, as well as pushing the boundaries of what the human hand can accomplish. The artist’s monumental sculptures made from steel and stone explore the human connection between our inner and outer selves. The holder of a doctorate from Columbia University and the founder of several technology companies, Prince’s works are uniquely influenced by his background in science, technology and medicine.

Elemental Matters will also feature the launch of a purpose-built artwork for the Metaverse, a digital simulation viewable by visitors via mobile augmented reality (AR). Designed with his team at Berkshire House, a creative center founded by Prince in 2020, the sculpture embodies many of the characteristics recognizable to Prince’s physical sculpture, but will be an entirely virtual experience.

The entire Jonathan Prince sculpture is for sale, with some donated directly to Chesterwood to further its mission of supporting contemporary artists.

A free artists’ reception will be held on Friday, July 29 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The exhibition will be on view until October 24, Thursday through Monday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Entry to Chesterwood is by ticket only. Tickets for grounds-only tours or guided building tours can be booked online or on arrival. Special tours of Elemental Matters: The Sculpture of Jonathan Prince will be announced in July on

Chesterwood is notably one of the first places in the United States to present large-scale works in an outdoor setting. Since 1978, Chesterwood has exhibited sculptures by over 600 emerging and established artists. Prominent art curators, historians and gallery directors have traditionally been appointed to curate and curate the outdoor sculpture exhibition in conjunction with Chesterwood staff. Chesterwood, a National Trust for Historic Preservation site, is the former summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French.

– A J

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