Real Good for FREE: WordXWord Festival in Pittsfield

Jon Sands
Jon Sands

Simply put, the fifth annual WordXWord Festival celebrates of the power of words.

Dozens of word-workers – authors, poets, storytellers and spoken-word artists – are scheduled to take over downtown Pittsfield this week for a week-long celebration in a wide variety of venues from arts centers to bars to museums and beyond. And admission to all WordXWord events is free.

The festival will be anchored by the week long residency of four dynamic, nationally acclaimed poet/spoken word artists: Jon Sands, Robbie Q Telfer, Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz and Omar Holman. Sands and Telfer will share hosting/emceeing duties for the week-long festival, while Aptowicz and Holman will serve as resident personalities, popping up and chiming in throughout the week’s events. In addition, all four will present their own work as part of the Feature Night and Finale programs.

The festival schedule includes poetry performances and readings by both local and national artists; the popular WXW Poetry Slam; an iPhone Poetry festival-within-a-festival; the Amazing Poetry Race, pitting teams of two against each other as they unravel clues to move from location to location and face a variety of challenges involving words, mental and physical challenges; Feature Night, a gathering spotlighting some of the most significant poets and spoken word artists on the national scene including the four poets-in-residence; the Encyclopedia Show, a variety extravaganza in which artists and experts from multiple disciplines use their talents to present a verbal and musical encyclopedia entry, with the mission to “chafe against logic and proof and find meaning in obfuscation”; and the Grand Finale destined to top last year’s Poetry Olympics in spectacle.

As is the WXW tradition, events will take place in a range of non-traditional venues including the Berkshire Museum, a barber shop, street corners, art galleries and storefronts. In addition to the
performance events the festival will present several writing and performing workshops led by the visiting artists.

GO HERE for the complete schedule of WordXWord events around Pittsfield this week…

New York State Food Festival @ Empire State Plaza, Albany (Wednesday, August 14)
Albany Latin Festival @ Washington Park, Albany (Saturday, August 24)
Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival @ Jennings Landing, Albany (Saturday, September 7)
New Music Festival @ Empire State Plaza, Albany (Saturday, September 7)
Hispanic Heritage Celebration @ Empire State Plaza, Albany (Saturday, September 14)
PearlPalooza @ North Pearl Street, Albany (Saturday, September 28)
Summer at the Plaza @ Empire State Plaza, Albany (various days)
Freedom Park Concerts @ Freedom Park, Scotia (various days through Wednesday, August 28)
Performing Arts at the Common @ Clifton Common, Clifton Park (various days through August 21)
Dana Park Concert Series @ Dana Park, Albany (Mondays through August 26)
The Upper Madison Music Series @ the Elks Lodge lawn, Albany (Mondays through August 19)
Monday Night Concerts in the Park @ Veterans’ Memorial Park, Athol (Mondays through August 26)
Music On Main Street @ the NBT Bank lawn, Canajoharie (Tuesdays through August 13)
Tuesday Nights in Brunswick @ Brunswick Family Community Center, Brunswick (Tuesdays through August 27)
Tuesday Nights in the Park @ Cook Park, Colonie (Tuesdays through August 27)
Music in the Park @ Stony Creek Town Park, Stony Creek (Tuesdays through August 27)
Music in the Park @ Onderdonk Park, East Greenbush (Tuesdays through August 27)
Bolton Landing Free Concerts @ Rogers Memorial Park, Bolton Landing (Tuesdays through August 20)
SCA Summer Concert Series @ the Outdoor Entertainment Center, South Glens Falls (Tuesdays through August 27)
Lake George Arts Project Summer Concerts @ Shepard Park, Lake George (Wednesdays through August 28)
Rockin’ On the River @ Green Island Bridge Parking Lot/Riverfront Park, Troy (Wednesdays through August 28)
Green Island Gazebo Concerts @ Green Island Park, Green Island (Wednesdays through August 28)
Music in the Park @ the North End Firehouse, Rensselaer (Wednesdays through August 14)
Sharon Springs Summer Concert Series @ Chalybeate Park, Sharon Springs (Wednesdays through August 21)
Concerts at Windsor Lake @ Windsor Lake, North Adams (Wednesdays through August 28)
Jazz On Jay @ Jay Street, Schenectady (Thursdays through September 5)
Concerts in the Park @ Wiswall Park, Ballston Spa (Thursdays through August 29)
Schaghticoke Summer Eve Concerts @ Schaghticoke Town Hall lawn, Melrose (Thursdays through August 22)
Music in the Park @ Dutchman’s Landing, Catskill (Thursdays through August 29)
Guilderland Performing Arts Center @ Tawasentha Park, Guilderland (Thursdays through August 22)
Thursday Night Concerts @ the Crossings, Colonie (Thursdays through August 29)
Rhythm On the Riverfront @ Long Dock Park, Beacon (Thursdays through August 22)
Evenings On the Green @ Coeymans Landing Park Gazebo, Coeymans (Thursdays through August 29)
Music On the Lawn @ Castleton Public Library, Castleton-On Hudson (Thursdays through August 22)
Upbeat On the Roof @ Skidmore College’s Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs (Fridays through August 30)
Fridays at the Lake @ Shepard Park, Lake George (Fridays through August 30)
Athens Summer Concert Series @ Riverfront Park, Athens (Fridays through August 30)
Canal Square Summer Concert Series @ Canal Square, Cohoes (Fridays through August 30)
Music at Sunset @ Greenport Town Park, Hudson (Fridays through August 30)
Garage Bands in the Garage @ Albany Public Library, Albany (once a month on Fridays through September 20)
Riverlink Park Summer Concert Series @ Riverlink Park, Amsterdam (Saturdays through August 31)
Powers Park Concert Series @ Powers Park, Troy (Saturdays through August 24)
North Greenbush Summer Concert Series @ North Greenbush Town Office lawn, Wynantskill (Sundays through August 18)

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