|One of the Stillman Farm orchards|
Seems to be more activity this year to do with the arts in this area. I jokingly, with wishful thinking, said to a friend, 'maybe the area will become the art center of Massachusetts.' Right now the claim to that fame is The Cape or The North Shore or Amherst / Northampton region and The Berkshires.Cape Cod, of course is noted for the visual arts although they do have a summer playhouse. Apparently writers go there to contact their muse.
The Berkshires has Moma, Norman Rockwell Museum, Chester Daniel French Museum (sculpture), Jacob's Pillow (dance) and the summer res. of The Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, and Edith Wharton's place The Mount in Lenox. So that's a popular area for New York artists, writers, musicians in the summer.
Naturally, Boston is the cultural center with the Fine Arts, Gardner and Moma Museums plus all the art schools(colleges) and nearby Lincoln has the DeCordova and Concord has claims to the writers of olde-Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott etc. Longfellow used to hang out in Sudbury next door.
The North Shore has Cape Ann, Marblehead and Newburyport-attracting, seascape artists with their fishing ports.
Northampton/ Amherst, which is between Central Mass and the Berkshires, has The Five Colleges; they attract everything there.
We are in the middle and have had to struggle for acknowledgement. People in the east think we are next to New York, well, they think anyone west of route 495 is New York. People in the western area think we are next to the ocean. We are just the glue that holds the two together. Nobody gives a fig about glue unless it fails. The glue wants to be recognized.
So why do I imagine Central Mass could attract the arts? We've got lovely scenery and farms. Lots of farms producing milk, ice cream,cheese of all varieties, wine, maple syrup, meat, fruits and vegetables, sheep and alpaca wool, and derivatives of all these in a craft vein, ie.,finished products like hats and mittens, soap, candles...
A half to three quarters of an hour away is Worcester-the Art Museum, Mechanics Hall, Tower Hill Botanical Gardens and a couple of live theatres.
Live theatres--Barre has one. It's in the geographical center of the state, and Sturbridge has one. Ware has Studio 13, an art teaching facility with live music on weekends. Petersham, Barre and Spencer have art guilds. Brimfield has The Hitchcock Academy where artists can go and paint-they also offer music lessons. All the libraries offer lectures/ workshops.
It just seems this year there is more activity for artists, illustrators, writers and musicians here. We have many, many talented people already plying their trade while living here. I bet most of the general public has no idea of the quiet fame and accomplishments these folks have. Maybe they want it that way.
I have been invited to sign my books at Color fest in North Brookfield on June 20th. That is a collection of artists, writers and musicians to benefit a new land trust in that town. Also in June, in West Brookfield I will be signing and selling my books at the library. In Barre in July I will be giving a talk on agriculture, specifically CSA and reading from my book.
In August I am taking Amtrac to Red Wing, Minnesota to a Boomgaarden family reunion in Kenyon which is where I wrote 'Up In Smoke".