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ArtCountry Announces Summer Initiative Linking Five Institutions


This summer, five major cultural institutions in and around northern Berkshire County are offering visitors a unique deal.

As the ArtCountry initiative continues into its second year, the collaboration between cultural institutions has only deepened.

“It is a five-partner consortium. There is four museums, the MassMoca, the Williams College Museum of Art, the Clark Art Institute, the Bennington Museum, plus the Williamstown Theater Festival, which is acting mainly during the summer," said Olivier Meslay, director of the Clark Art Institute. “It started as a way to be identified as a place, and beyond even the borders of Massachusetts there was sort of a unity around culture in a very small area which is extremely densely populated with cultural wealth.”

This season, ArtCountry is offering visitors a new way to experience the region and its offerings.

“The ArtCountry summer pass, which is a ticket that actually enables a person to come to any of the museums. It also gives the consumer a 20 percent discount to a ticket on the main stage of the Williamstown Theatre Festival, as well as a 20 percent discount at the gift shop at the Williams College Museum of Art, for which of course admission is free," said Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival. “One thing that this organization of cultural institutions is keenly aware of is when we can convert our visitors from day trippers to people who are spending nights and time in the region, the economic impact of those customers is six times what it would be. So we’re really encouraging people to come, to slow down, to take their time, to make this region a multi-day destination and to enjoy all of the incredible offerings on our stages, on our walls, and everywhere in-between.”

“All of the museums agree that when you buy a ticket- a single admission to the museum- you get a two day pass," said Robert Wolterstorff, director of the Bennington Museum. “We are not doing coordinated planning of our programs behind the scenes yet, we may move in that direction, but the interesting thing is that when we present them there are these resonances, maybe coincidental. We see that we’re all working on things that connect together.”

Lisa Dorin, interim director of the Williams College Museum of Art, also sees the unspoken connections.

“One of those I would say is really a focus on artists who really have broken new ground and are forging their own paths, from the Clark’s show of trailblazing women in Paris and MassMoca’s Taryn Simon literally breaking ground to create a cold hole in the middle of the galleries to the work of Jessica Park at Bennington and all the brand new plays that are debuting at Williamstown Theater Festival," she said. "And then at WCMA too we will be presenting the pioneering work of Jacob’s Pillow founder Ted Shawn and visionary modern dancer Ruth St. Dennis.”

For more information on ArtCountry, click here.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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