Look Ahead, Pittsfield: Love, ice and the Upstreet Arts Festival

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Cultural Pittsfield's 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival sweeps the city this week, bringing with it an influx of Valentine's Day date night opportunities.

The eighth annual event features art and performances at venues throughout downtown, beginning Thursday and ending Feb. 24. It's organized by city and by Barrington Stage.

This year, artists will get the winter party started with ice sculptures on Wednesday. Keep an eye out for glistening artwork in progress near Berkshire Museum, Palace Park and Hotel on North.

Other festival highlights include:

The Hartford-based hip-hop dance collective 860 MVMNT is scheduled to bring its street dance to the stage 6 p.m. Friday at the Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires. This pop-up by Jacob's Pillow is free and open to the public.

The Berkshire Historical Society and library staff are hosting a cultural history lesson as part of the festival. The event explores the city's history through its neighborhoods, tracking shifts in ethnic communities, landmarks and churches. That happens 9 a.m. Thursday at the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Find more festival events at discoverpittsfield.com.

On the city side

The Pittsfield Fire Department will dedicate its new fire engine this week to former Deputy Chief Michael Polidoro, who retired two years ago after being diagnosed with ALS. One of Polidoro's last big projects was leading the push for the new engine.

The City Council meets on Tuesday, though the agenda looks a little light. Still, councilors will be asked to approve a new wave of cost of living increases for city employees, and that measure could see some resistance.

A new Pittsfield Emergency Recovery Committee is slated for a first meeting 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Berkshire Athenaeum. The group aims to serve people suddenly displaced by emergencies like fires and floods. More than a dozen community offices and organizations are coming together to form the committee.

Got neighborhood improvement ideas? There will be a public input session 5:30 p.m. Monday in the community room of Morningside Community School. The city's Department of Community Development looks to hear from residents on issues of housing rehabilitation, public facilities, demolition of vacant buildings, sidewalk reconstruction and job opportunities in order to form its budget priorities.

Have an urge for face time with the police? Coffee with a Cop happens 10:15 a.m. Thursday at the Christian Center.

A new mural will be unveiled 4 p.m. Monday in the children's section of the Berkshire Athenaeum. The art is inspired by local author Ty Allan Jackson's book, "When I Close My Eyes."

What's up in Pittsfield? Tell me via email at adrane@berkshireeagle.com, @amandadrane on Twitter, and 413-496-6296.

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