NORTH ADAMS — The city and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center could, with enough public support, receive grant funding for a 10-week concert series at the newly renovated Colegrove Park next year.
The Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, which operates under the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, has submitted one of 40 proposals to the national nonprofit Levitt Pavilions for a free concert series. Through its Levitt AMP Grant Awards, the nonprofit will fund 15 different cities' concert series in 2016 with up to $25,000 in matching funds.
But to be eligible for the funding, the North Adams proposal needs to be voted into the top 25 on the group's website, levittamp.org. From the to 25 vote-getting proposals, the nonprofit will choose the 15 winners. Voting lasts from now until Nov. 30.
The North Adams plans call for weekly concerts from August to October at a park, designed to complement the recent renovation of Colegrove Park Elementary School and the city's current slate of seasonal events, such as the concert series at Windsor Lake. The Levitt AMP concerts at Colegrove Park would be scheduled a bit later in the season to allow MCLA students the opportunity to participate.
With the voting process so vital to the proposal's future, the city, BCRC, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, and the North Adams Chamber of Commerce are asking area residents to sign up on the nonprofits' website and support music at Colegrove. Competition will be tough, as cities with up to 400,000 residents are eligible to participate.
"We've been happy that we've sort of been staying in the top 10," said Jennifer Crowell, BCRC's director, in a statement.
The concerts would take place at the bottom of the Colegrove Park, with a planned bandshell around the musicians near the bottom of the hill; concertgoers would sit on the hillside.
"Levitt Amp's mission is to transform underutilized public spaces. Colegrove Park has been underutilized for the last 60 years, and is ideally situated to launch a new concert series in North Adams," said Theresa Miller, director of corporate and foundation relations at MCLA.
Mayor Richard Alcombright said he hopes that the city can find private donors to build a small acoustical shell for musical performances at the site.
"Probably in the next month or six weeks I'm going to start to feel out and see how we might be able to raise money for what I call a half-shell," Alcombright said.
The mayor hopes Colegrove Park could become a space for small theatrical performances, concerts, and even outdoor movies.
"I would love to see that park utilized as the downtown's backyard," he said.