Barrington Stage Company continues to support the amplification of Black Community voices in the Berkshires, including two local talent shows and performances by funk band Brownskin, “Heart of A Black Man” and interactive storytelling with the cast of The Supadupa Kid!

Pittsfield, MA – Barrington Stage Company, as part of its Black Voices Matter initiative, is sponsoring the annual “Celebration of Black Voices,” a four-day festival from August 11 through 14 on Pittsfield’s West Side, with free events celebrating the local Black community through artistic engagement. Reconnect with the community, get some delicious food, register to vote and so much more!

The festival will take place in an outdoor pavilion at the Polish Community Club (55 Linden Street) Seating is limited, and reservations are strongly encouraged: https://secure.barringtonstageco.org/overview/celebration

“Celebration of Black Voices is important because it creates a platform for local Black Community Members to connect and rebuild “community” through the arts, said Sharron Frazier-McClain. “We not only recognize the need for ownership over your creativity but also the support needed to amplify marginalized voices. Celebration of Black Voices has been instrumental in not only creating opportunities for local artists to perform and showcase their talent but also creates employment opportunities for local community members. Celebration of Black Voices is creating a pipeline for BIPOC community members into Barrington Stage Company.”

“Celebration of Black Voices” seeks to live up to its name by showcasing a mix of professional artists and local talent. This festival will provide a joyful space for exploring, amplifying, and celebrating Black voices in our community.

“Celebration of Black Voices” is sponsored by The Feigenbaum Foundation, sponsored in part by The Tartell Family, Lee Bank Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Community involvement is a key element to this series of events, and there are ample opportunities for everyone to participate. From residents who are looking to get in touch with their inner “Amanda Gorman” for the poetry slam, to those who want to flex their performance skills in the talent show, to those who want to volunteer their time to help things run smoothly, this festival seeks to break down barriers and create one community through the arts.

Among the events are a local youth talent showcase (ages 16-21) and an adult talent show (ages 22+ with a top prize of $500).

For more details about “Celebration of Black Voices” contact Sharron Frazier- McClain at 413-997-6118 or at sfraziermcclain@barringtonstageco.org.

Festival details:

Thursday, August 11 – Sunday, August 14, 2022 The Tartell Family Outdoor Stage Outdoors at the Polish Community Club,

At Linden and Center Streets, Pittsfield, MA

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE TO EVERYONE

Thursday, August 11 at 6:00-7:30pm

Kickoff — The Brownskin Band will open the festival, performing their own high-energy version of their favorite soul, funk and R&B songs. (An exciting evening of music and dance by the phenomenal band from Syracuse, NY. They exemplify what it truly means to CELEBRATE!)

Friday, August 12 at 11:00am

Supadupa Storytelling Hour — An event for the entire family.

Interactive storytelling event for young people and families. Inspired by the book The Supadupa Kid by Ty Allen Jackson. Features a performance by the cast of Barrington Stage’s Youth Theatre production. All children will leave with a special gift.

Friday, August 12 at 6:00pm

“Our WestSide Story, Real Stories of WestSide Residents: Past, Present, and Future” Poetry/Story Slam. Come out and hear local residents using poetry and storytelling as a vehicle to give a glimpse into who and what shapes Pittsfield’s WestSide Neighborhood and why residents are proud to call this place home.

Saturday, August 13 at 1:00pm

Youth/Young Adult Showcase (ages 16-21). Come out and Celebrate some of our Berkshire County hidden gems. This showcase is an evening of performances by local youth and young adults who also participated in a Performance Enhancement Boot Camp with Musical Director Gary Mitchell Jr. Directed by H. “Herukhuti” Sharif Williams.

Saturday, August 13 at 6:00pm

West Side Takes the Stage: Take 3 — a local talent show for adults ages 18 and older.

Adult Talent Show. Come out and support our Local Performers/Artists as they compete for cash prizes in our 3rd Annual Adult Talent Show.

Sunday, August 14 at 1:00pm

Joyful Noise — gospel concert featuring local choirs and gospel singers, hosted by Price Memorial AME Zion Church. Enjoy an afternoon of gospel music with the Celebration of Black Voices Community Choir. Members from a number of local Black churches will join voices during a Gospel Music Workshop, and this culminating performance event is one that you definitely will not want to miss!”

Sunday, August 14 at 6:00pm

Heart of A Black Man — Celebratory performance piece created by Black male members of our local community. A powerful expression of artistry that shares the joy, fears and triumphs of the lived experiences of Black men in the Berkshires. Directed by H. “Herukhuti” Sharif Williams.

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