Josh Landes | WAMC

Josh Landes

Berkshire Bureau Chief

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. 

Ways to Connect

A tent with signs in front of a large brick complex
Josh Landes / WAMC

After months of closure, North Adams, Massachusetts art museum MASS MoCA is reopening its doors to visitors Saturday.

An image that says "Berkshire County Outdoor Recreation Plan 2020"
Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and Mill Town Capital

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission and private investment group Mill Town Capital have released a new plan to develop the region’s outdoor recreation resources. It comes at a time when many of us are turning to outdoor recreation to get through the pandemic.

The Berkshire County town of Cheshire, Massachusetts is a bedroom community of about 600 people some 10 miles north of the county seat, Pittsfield. WAMC spoke with Town Administrator Ed St. John to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic downturn has impacted one of the region’s smallest municipalities.

Joe Kennedy
Josh Landes / WAMC

Democratic Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy is taking his U.S. Senate campaign to Western Massachusetts today.

Airbnb says that its Berkshire County hosts saw rental incomes almost double for the 4th of July weekend compared to 2019.

Brad Gordon is the Executive Director and staff attorney for the Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority. In 2019, he described the region’s housing situation as in crisis. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on the economy, Gordon says the situation could only intensity. He spoke with WAMC.

The seal of the the city of North Adams, Massachusetts
North Adams

Berkshire County’s second city – North Adams – will see one of its biggest draws, sprawling contemporary art museum MASS MoCA, reopen on Saturday. The museum has been shuttered since March because of the pandemic, which is impacting many aspects of life in northern Berkshire County. WAMC spoke with Mayor Tom Bernard about how the city is preparing, as well as how North Adams is weathering the pandemic and planning its 2021 operating budget.

The Pittsfield Fire Department Logo
City of Pittsfield

A fire in Pittsfield, Massachusetts left a woman dead Monday night.

A black square that reads "Nothing surprises." sits on the floor in a hardware store
Tessa Kelly / The Mastheads

A Berkshire County art project that combines writing, architecture, and public spaces has a new season underway this month.

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health's endorsement of the end of life options bill
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

A bill that would give the terminally ill the option of ending their own lives medically is making its way through the Massachusetts legislature.

The Pittsfield Community Television logo
Pittsfield Community Television

A new documentary by Pittsfield Community Television traces the Massachusetts city’s 4th of July parade back to the turn of the 19th century.

A black man in a suit sits for a portrait
George Kendall Warren / National Archives and Records Administration

Readings of Frederick Douglass’s “The Meaning Of The Fourth Of July For The Negro” are planned in the Berkshires this weekend.

An aerial photo of a building complex set on a wooded hillside
Douglas Mason / MASS MoCA

Three Berkshire County museums plan to reopen next weekend.

Jacob's Pillow - All Styles Dance Battle 2018
Christopher Duggan / Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival

Becket, Massachusetts dance center Jacob’s Pillow has announced the full schedule for its virtual summer festival.

The Berkshire County Sheriff's Office logo, a gold star with the office's name on it and the state seal in the middle
Berkshire County Sheriff's Office

The longest-serving sheriff in Berkshire County history died last week, leaving a complicated legacy.

Shakespeare & Company

Lenox, Massachusetts theater group Shakespeare & Company has announced furloughs for most of its staff.

Two white women sit at a wooden table in a book-lined room.
Josh Landes / WAMC

In June, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed with Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington that judges can extend pre-trial holdings on defendants who are deemed to pose a risk to their communities. The issue clarifies one of the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, with all jury trials suspended until at least September. WAMC spoke to Harrington about why she advocated for the expanded ability for pre-trial holdings.

A white woman smiles
Massachusetts Cultural Council

Anita Walker has stepped down after 13 years as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The state agency doles out state and federal funding to non-profit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and individuals artists throughout the commonwealth. Walker spoke with WAMC about her career, from taking up the role in 2007 to how cultural work has changed over her tenure.

A white woman in a blue suit smiles while looking off to the right of the image
Williams College

Williams College President Maud Mandel says the liberal arts college in northwest Massachusetts will reopen its doors this fall. The school sent more than 2,000 undergrads home in March to finish the spring semester remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WAMC spoke with Mandel to find out more about how Williams plans to safely carry out classes and student life under the threat of a second wave.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

This spring, Berkshire County’s largest community adopted a Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan. Ricardo Morales, Pittsfield’s Commissioner of Public Utilities, spoke with WAMC about the document, which sets out decades of plans for how the municipality handles refuse.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council has accepted a $170 million budget for fiscal year 2021.

A crowd of people stand in a park surrounded by a rotary with a blue-green truck in the foreground
Josh Landes / WAMC

Emails obtained by WAMC News have shone a light on how officials all the way from Pittsfield, Massachusetts to the federal level reacted to the Black Lives Matters protests that sprung up in May in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. WAMC spoke with Police Chief Michael Wynn about what he learned from the protests, and why he referred to city councilors as “insane” when they pushed back against a narrative that Antifa agitators were coming to the Berkshires.

A screenshot of a Zoom meeting
Josh Landes / WAMC

The Pittsfield, Massachusetts City Council has shot down a motion to cut health insurance for elected officials making less than $15,000 a year.

A man stands on a podium below an American flag before a parking lot full of cars with seated people on a grassy strip behind him
Josh Landes / WAMC

The town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts voted to approve its proposed 2021 budget Monday night despite efforts to cut the police department.

The Pittsfield city seal
The City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

A hub for non-profit community groups in Pittsfield, Massachusetts will reopen next month.

Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative logo
Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative

While Massachusetts is reporting a decrease in opioid-related overdose deaths statewide in 2019, the western half of the state is still seeing those numbers rise. Jennifer Kimball of the Berkshire Opioid Addiction Prevention Collaborative says there are difficulties in tracking overdose deaths in smaller communities. She spoke with WAMC Berkshire Bureau Chief Josh Landes about why rural portions of the state struggle more than urban areas, and how better data collection can inform efforts to prevent the state’s 2,000 yearly deaths from opioid-related incidents.

Tonight’s annual town meeting in Great Barrington, Massachusetts will have a unique format: drive-in style.

A stone building with a colonnade lit by lights sits in front of a brick churck and a street lamp
Josh Landes / WAMC

In a 6-4 vote, the Pittsfield, Massachusetts city council voted to send the proposed 2021 school department budget back to committee.

An Asian-American man in a suit smiles and holds a microphone
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia

Holyoke, Massachusetts Mayor Alex Morse’s Congressional campaign has been endorsed by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

A black man with a face mask on, a hat, and an NAACP sign kneels in a sun-dappled grassy park surrounded by other masked people
Josh Landes / WAMC

The head of the Berkshire County Chapter of the NAACP wants to see Juneteenth celebrated as a national holiday.

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