north adams

North Adams, Massachusetts City Council President Keith Bona will enter his 10th term with his successful re-election bid Tuesday. He’ll return to the chambers alongside five other incumbents, two former councilors, and one newcomer in an election that saw only about a quarter of the city’s registered voters go to the polls. Bona spoke to WAMC about the council’s makeup heading in to 2020, its relationship with Mayor Tom Bernard as he enters his second term, and what big ticket items are on the horizon.

Garnering almost 1,800 of the 2,100 votes cast in Tuesday’s North Adams, Massachusetts mayoral election, Tom Bernard has coasted to a second term over challenger Rachel Branch. Bernard spoke today with WAMC about the victory, and what he hopes to accomplish in his next two years at the helm of Northern Berkshire County’s largest community.

A voting machine

After months of campaigning, debating, and rallies, the Pittsfield mayoral election is down to its final hours.

A voting machine

Voters will pick two Berkshire County mayors on Tuesday.

Trenton Doyle Hancock and Frank Oz at MASS MoCA
Sarah LaDuke

It is the final two weeks to visit and inhabit artist Trenton Doyle Hancock’s world of characters seen in drawings, paintings, and installations at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. Hancock has transformed his childhood love of comic books, toys, and superhero culture into his own creation myth. That mythology and the multimedia iterations that it has sparked are on display in the exhibition "Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass." The exhibition is curated at MASS MoCA by Denise Markonish.

Hancock tells the story of the Mounds protected by Torpedo Boy, and their enemies, the Vegans. These narratives explore good and evil, authority, race, moral relativism, and religion, all while creating a truly unique body of visual art.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Community activist Rachel Branch is the sole challenger to North Adams, Massachusetts Mayor Tom Bernard, who is seeking a second term in November. Branch’s family has a long political history in the city. She says her step great-great grandfather was its first mayor, her great uncle held the seat in the 1920s, and her father was city council president. Branch sat down with WAMC to talk about why she’s running, what issues are close to her heart, and her personal history in northern Berkshire County’s largest community.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Mark Barden’s son Daniel was 7 when he lost his life in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting. Barden was in Berkshire County on Monday with state Attorney General Maura Healey, speaking with students about Sandy Hook Promise, the nonprofit he co-founded in 2013. It offers violence prevention and mental health training programs. Barden spoke with WAMC about the nonprofit’s collaboration with the attorney general, as well as what it’s like to speak with students about what they experience in the school system.

FreshGrass At MASS MoCA

Sep 19, 2019

This year’s FreshGrass Music Festival takes place this Friday through Sunday in North Adams, Massachusetts. The festival is produced in partnership by MASS MoCA, the FreshGrass Foundation, and No Depression and is a family-friendly festival, featuring established, acclaimed, and new talent on four stages and in MASS MoCA’s galleries.

The line-up includes Mavis Staples, Greensky Bluegrass, Steep Canyon Rangers, Calexico and Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird, Sam Amidon, Amy Helm, Alison, Brown, The Mammals, Tony Trischka and Bruce Molsky, Johnny Irion & Friends, Jade Bird, The Gibson Brothers, Tinariwen, inaugural Artist-in-Residence Aoife O’Donovan, and more!

We are joined by MASS MoCA’s Performing Arts Director Sue Killam and Communications Director Jodi Joseph.

The Dirt Farmer Festival 2019 will have shows at Levon Helm Studios on September 6 and 7, bringing Dirt Farmer Fest artists, food, and craft vendors to Woodstock for two great nights! Amy Helm – Levon’s daughter – joins us this morning to tell us more.

Amy Helm will also be at FreshGrass at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA on Friday, September 20.

The official seal of the North Adams Police Department.
North Adams Police Department

The victim of a vandalism incident in North Adams, which she and others say was racially motivated, says it’s not the first time she and her family have experienced such abuse. 

With municipal elections coming this fall, the six city councilors running for reelection in North Adams, Massachusetts are touting their accomplishments.

The city of North Adams, Massachusetts is preparing cooling stations for this weekend’s heat.

A uniformed police officer sits behind a desk with blue curtains behind him
Josh Landes / WAMC

North Adams Police Chief Jason Wood is now two months into his job as top cop in the second-largest community in Berkshire County. He recently sat down with WAMC to discuss his priorities, police body cameras, and the department’s current staffing levels.

The city council in North Adams, Massachusetts voted to approve its fiscal year 2020 budget Tuesday night, but one cut prompted protest.

Established in 2010 - the Solid Sound Festival kicks off at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts on Friday evening. The art and music festival is curated by Chicago-based rock band, Wilco, and features an eclectic line-up of music, art, comedy, food, and family activities.

John Stirratt has been Wilco’s bassist since the band was founded in 1994. He’ll be on hand at Solid Sound to play with Wilco, and his other band, The Autumn Defense will play an acoustic set with strings on Sunday in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center. Stirratt is also one partner responsible for Tourists, a new motor-lodge in North Adams.

A large crowd watches a brightly lit festival stage at night

North Adams, Massachusetts is preparing for an influx of visitors for this weekend’s Solid Sound festival at MASS MoCA.

The North Adams, Massachusetts city council has put off a final vote on the 2020 budget. 

The mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts says he’ll run for re-election this fall.

In 2017, MASS MoCA became the largest museum for contemporary art in the world, but just three decades before, its vast brick buildings were the abandoned remains of a shuttered factory.

Jennifer Trainer's new documentary film, “Museum Town” tells that story.

“Museum Town” shows how a small rural Massachusetts town went from economic collapse to art mecca. “Museum Town” will be the closing night film for this year’s Berkshire International Film Festival, screening at 7 p.m. on June 2 at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

An early and longtime director of development and public relations for MASS MoCA, Jennifer Trainer is now the President & CEO and Hancock Shaker Village. “Museum Town” is her first movie.

The NORAD Mill's lobby sign has a list of businesses on each floor of the building
Josh Landes / WAMC

A major mill redevelopment project in North Adams, Massachusetts continues to expand.

Joe Donahue and Annie Lennox at MASS MoCA
Jodi Joseph

Many people know Annie Lennox as the voice who has sold over 83 million records both as a solo artist and as one half of The Eurythmics, an Oscar and Grammy award winning artist and a tireless activist. Now, at Mass MoCA, she presents: "Annie Lennox: 'Now I Let You Go...,'" an exhibition comprised of hundreds of artifacts culled from her personal collection of memorabilia, found objects, and personal effects accrued throughout her lifetime and revealed within a large earthen mound.

The exhibition — part material diary, part art installation — is accompanied by a printed "field guide" in which Lennox annotates many of the objects on display; identifying the objects and adding recollections, personal stories, and provenance.

'Now I Let You Go…' opens June 1 at MASS MoCA as part of the museum’s 20th Anniversary celebration.

Between two congratulatory signs, a uniformed man speaks at a podium in front of four uniformed officers carrying flags while a child on the edge of the stage looks up at him
Josh Landes / WAMC

The new police chief of North Adams, Massachusetts, was officially sworn in this afternoon.

In North Adams, Massachusetts, budget season is underway. First-term mayor Tom Bernard just checked off a major decision for the year with the appointment of Jason Wood as the city’s new police chief earlier this month. Now, Bernard has presented a more than $44 million budget to the city council finance subcommittee. Bernard spoke with WAMC about the spending plan’s focus and the ongoing challenge of downtown revitalization.

MASS MoCA clock tower sunset
Paul Gallo

MASS MoCA is holding holding a summerlong birthday celebration to mark its 20th year with performances, installations, and the return of the Solid Sound Festival.

Headlining the birthday bash on May 25 will be Annie Lennox in a sold-out gig. Capturing MASS MoCA’s energy and spirit of embracing music and art in all forms, the 20th birthday party spreads across the museum campus — from Marshall Street to the interior courtyards and galleries — encompassing new exhibitions, wild versions of your favorite games, terrific music by performers from both near and far, great food and a world of fun.

Star attractions for the rest of summer include Solid Sound, The Pretenders, Annie Lennox, Maggie Rogers and Laurie Anderson – just to name a few. We hear all about it now with Director of Communications Jodi Joseph and Director of Performing Arts Sue Killam.

Two men stand in an office with wood paneled walls.
Josh Landes / WAMC

Lieutenant Jason Wood of the North Adams Police Department has been appointed the city’s new police chief.

North Adams, Massachusetts, has a new police chief.

The mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts, says the city’s search for a new police chief is narrowing down.

The official seal of the North Adams Police Department.
North Adams Police Department

While it searches for a new police chief, North Adams, Massachusetts has designated the department’s official number two.

Josh Landes / WAMC

The mayor of North Adams says his city is strong and getting stronger.

With snow predicted for tonight, the mayor of North Adams is delaying his State of the City address until Thursday.