Writers Residency

Housatonic Heritage, Arrowhead, and City of Pittsfield: Mastheads 2016

In Motion: Pittsfield is part of a larger concept (addressing NEA’s OurTown program outcome: “Livability: American communities are strengthened through the arts.”) and is centered on the design and installation of five mobile, “pop-up,” writers’ studios in the City of Pittsfield. The studios are based around the community of five American authors who lived and/or produced work in Pittsfield in the mid-19th Century: Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Oliver Wendell Holmes.MastheadsA

In a partnership between the City of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development, Berkshire Historical Society, the WordXWord Festival and the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area (Housatonic Heritage), In Motion: Pittsfield seeks to create mobile artist studios, present the inauguration of a writers’ residency program in Pittsfield, and to fund up to five artists per season to live and produce new written work in the city, each paired with one of the mobile studios.

The design of the five studios will be related to the five original authors whom they represent, and the ability the re-position them across the cityscape will create a new dynamic between the literary history of the city and the production of contemporary works here.

The introduction of five physical markers across the city landscape will initially create a physical symbol, and sense of curiosity, raising awareness of Pittsfield’s role in the development of American literature. Linking the past and the present through contemporary writers in the city will bring the city’s heritage squarely into the 21st century by providing access to the literary arts for all through the residency program and associated public events, and contributing to the ongoing cultural revitalization of our community.

More updates to this exciting program soon!