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New Public Art Project Brings Young Pittsfield Voices To Downtown Redesign

"I Am So Quiet Like Fish." is painted on a sidewalk
Tessa Kelly
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A poem from a Pittsfield student on a city sidewalk.

As Pittsfield, Massachusetts carries out a project to make its downtown corridor more pedestrian and biker friendly, a new art project will bring the voices of local students to city streets. 

In a collaboration between the city and the Mastheads – an ongoing arts-based program in Pittsfield – miniature parks installed outside of downtown restaurants on North Street will be paired with poetry from students.  Director Tessa Kelly says the group has painted the sidewalks between the buildings and the new “parklets.”

“And then to apply a line of text written by an elementary school poet in the Mastheads poetry in schools program, from Morningside and Conte – so these are 2nd through 5th graders,” she told WAMC.

The project is part of a $240,000 Shared Streets grant Pittsfield recieved from Massachusetts in part to improve livability during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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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