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Free Community Day @ MASS MoCA

February 13, 2010
Cultural Events

MASS MoCA welcomes new and old friends to visit the galleries free of charge on Saturday, February 13, 2010, from 11 AM - 8 PM. In addition to complimentary gallery admission, MASS MoCA is offering a full day of activities and tours. Free tours will leave from the lobby every 30 minutes starting at 11:30. Visitors can also win prizes by competing in an Ikea furniture assembling contest, watch a hip hop dance demo, take pictures in the MASS MoCA photobooth, visit Kidspace to view exhibitions and make their own art, listen to local musicians in the café, and enjoy complimentary cake and free ice cream samples from Lickety Split.

In the evening, Afro Cuban Hip Hop drummer and band leader Pedrito Martinez, will keep the dance floor packed in the Hunter Center starting at 8 PM with a rocking dance party to cap off Community Free Day. Tickets for the dance party are $15 for adults in advance and $19 on the day of the show. Student tickets are $10 and tickets for children 12 and under are free. Dance instruction will be provided by Jacob's Pillow Dance. The dance party is sponsored by Amtrak.

"On this special community day, we hope to encourage new visitors to give us a try, to welcome back old friends, and to thank our neighbors for their continued support. We're particularly grateful to Amtrak for its support of this community event." said Joseph C. Thompson, MASS MoCA director. "While the LeWitt Retrospective has been open for over a year and thousands have visited, we know there are many who have yet to visit this landmark exhibition which has been compared in importance to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and was chosen by Time magazine as the best exhibition of the year. We've recently opened Iņigo Manglano-Ovalle's mysterious Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With which sparks serious questions about what it would be like to live in a glass house."

Other activities

Inspired by Guy Ben-Ner's video installation, Treehouse Kit, in which the artist as a modern-day Crusoe shows how to create useful items from a tree made of wooden furniture parts, MASS MoCA will hold a furniture assembly tournament. Competitors will be given a simple side table and timed as to how quickly they can assemble it. At 4 pm the fastest competitors will go head-to-head and assemble a more complex piece from a kit.

Hip hop dancers will offer demonstrations several times during the day. If the weather permits visitors will be encouraged to create their own snow sculptures under the upside down trees.

Art-making and more

In addition to the galleries, Kidspace will be open free of charge with art-making activities from noon until 5 PM. The current Kidspace exhibition, You Art What You Eat - termed "a bon-bon of a show" by The Boston Globe - features the work of five artists who use food as their medium.

Other art-making stations will be located in Building 5 where there will be coloring sheets of LeWitt wall drawings as well as a station where the young (and the young at heart) can make their own noisemakers inspired by the Afro Cuban instruments Pedrito Martinez will use in the evening for the dance party.

Anyone needing a breather can visit Club B-10 on the third floor, which will be open from 11 AM - 4 PM with a continuous screening of the very popular Fischl & Weiss video The Way Things Work.

Lickety Split to Offer Ice Cream Tasting and cake

Lickety Split in the MASS MoCA lobby will be open all day for meals and snacks and offering free tastings of Herrell's ice cream at 1, 2, and 3 PM. At 1 PM, Lickety Split will offer tastings of MoCA Heathbar Crunch; 2 PM features Blueberry Blazer, a new flavor created in honor of MCLA; and, in keeping with the college theme, at 3 PM it's Purple Cow in honor of neighboring Williams college. In addition, periodically throughout the day, in honor of MASS MoCA's 10 years, complimentary slices of Lickety Split's delicious carrot cake will be available.

Dance Party Closes the Day

Pedrito Martinez, a young percussionist and vocalist and an alumnus of the stellar Latin fusion band Yerba Buena, draws upon his deep Afro-Cuban roots and other influences of the African Diaspora to profess his love for and devotion to the musical legacy of the Motherland. Born and raised in Cuba, Martinez began performing at the age of 11 and over his career has had the unique opportunity to work with numerous Afro-Cuban groups such as Yoruba Andabo, Obba Ilu, Tata Guines, Changuito, Anga and many others. After travel to Costa Rica, France, Spain, and the Canary Islands, Martinez came to the United States in July 1998 after performing with saxophonist Jane Bunnett at the Canadian Jazz Festival in Toronto.

In September 2000, Pedrito won first place in the Thelonious Monk Institute's Afro/Latin Jazz Hand Drum competition at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. This honor led to several more high-profile projects, including work with Nelson Gonzalez, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Robby Ameen, Paquito D'Rivera, Giovanni Hidalgo, Patato, and Candido Camero, among many others. He also performed in the motion picture Calle 54, as well as other television works.

Doors to the dance party will open at 7 P.M. for those who would like to grab some dinner or a drink before the party starts. Beverage and bar service will be open at that time, and Lickety Split will offer a range of dinner selections. Dance instruction, arranged by Jacob's Pillow, will begin at 8 PM for those who want to learn the latest moves.

The public is invited FREE to the galleries and all tours and activities in the galleries from 11 AM - 8 PM on February 13. Tickets for the Afro Cuban Hip Hop Dance Party are $15 for adults in advance and $19 day of show. Student tickets are $10 and kids under 12 will be admitted FREE. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams, open from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. Wednesday through Monday. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased on line at www.massmoca.org.

MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA is an independent 501c(3) whose operations and programming are funded through admissions and commercial lease revenue, corporate and foundation grants, and individual philanthropy. Except for an initial construction grant from the Commonwealth, and competitive program and operations grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MASS MoCA is privately funded: 90% of annual operating revenues are from earned revenues, membership support, and private gifts and grants.


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