Festivals, modern art and funky exhibitions housed in old factory buildings are part of the revitalization of this former industrial center.
This small Berkshires town of North Adams is a big attraction for art lovers who come to appreciate its regeneration. Investigate street art and small independent galleries, as well as a large center for contemporary visual and performing arts.
Once an industrial hub, North Adams now buzzes with cultural activity. Explore the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts, also known as MASS MoCA, a vast complex of 26 former factory buildings now dedicated to art, music, film, dance and theater. Spread over 13 acres (5 hectares), the institution showcases breathtaking works of large proportions that wouldn’t fit in more conventional galleries.
Find more art outside the famous museum. Discover many murals painted on walls in the surrounding streets, plus exhibits by students and faculty at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). See these works and art from international and national artists at Gallery 51, which hosts several exhibitions annually.
Attend cultural events year-round as part of MCLA Presents! Catch world-renowned and local artists at activities ranging from music festivals on the college grounds to poetry readings and theatrical events downtown. On the last Thursday of each month during the DownStreet Art festival many of the local art galleries, venues and restaurants stay open late. The festival runs from late June through mid-October. See works from local and national artists and speak with artists and curators.
The town celebrates its past as a major industrial center at Western Gateway Heritage State Park. Learn about the Hoosac Tunnel, a railroad tunnel running through the Hoosac Mountains, linking Massachusetts to Albany. Watch a documentary detailing the tunnel’s history and experiment with a vintage floor scale used for weighing heavy loads. Check the schedule for concerts, lectures and other park events.
North Adams is a 50 mile (80 Kilometer) drive east of Albany. Buses connect it to Albany and to other major towns and cities in the region. If you want to explore the countryside and smaller towns, rent a car. With its trendy cafés, galleries and energetic atmosphere, North Adams is an ideal cultural getaway.