Minerva Arts Center throws a party
North Adams Transcript
NORTH ADAMS – Minerva Arts Center celebrated the conclusion of its first year of performances with a birthday bash and fundraiser at Noel Field on Saturday and Sunday.
The celebration, the Everything Under the Sun music and arts festival, featured music from local bands coming from as far as Great Barrington and Albany, N.Y., arts workshops, face painting, a bouncy house and food.
“Minerva has always had a tradition of celebrating birthdays with its alumni,” founder Kathleen O’Mara, said.
The arts center had intended to celebrate its first birthday on a field behind its building at 1288 Massachusetts Ave., but when she went to get permission from the city, someone suggested they have it on Noel Field, she said.
“With that, we decided to have a festival celebrating all different music genres,” she said.
In addition, she hopes to make the celebration and fundraiser an annual event.
Jennifer Howard, who spent 12 years with Minerva Stage, said it’s exciting the arts center has made it through its first year.
“It has been great to catch up with the local Minerva community, as well as people like [Ali Mandelbaum], who I don’t get to see that often in the Berkshires,” she said.
Mandelbaum, who has been in Minerva productions, lives in Los Angeles.
The Minerva Arts Center operates under the artistic director of Minerva Stage, which was founded in 1996 by O’Mara, according to the organization’s website.
Mandelbaum said she came to the festival to support O’Mara and the arts center’s Executive Director Edward Cating because they support so many of the arts.
“I think it’s terrific the center has made it to its first birthday,” Mandelbaum said. ” In this economy, being able to support the performing arts, theater and music is extraordinary,” she said. While the festival attracted supporters and participants of the Minerva Arts Center, it was also attended by community members.
Clarksburg resident Allen Arnold was driving by Noel Field when he noticed the bouncy house.
“I drove right home and got the kids,” he said.
His two children, Emma, 5 and Noah, 2, were having a great time between the bouncy house and face painting, he said.
“Just to get outside and have something to do in town is great,” he said.
Adams resident Rick Gallagher said the city should have more celebrations..
“This is an area that needs things like this, and a lot more of them,” he said.