I think that Williamstown will always be the center of the Williams community. But, a vibrant North Adams, featuring year-round entertainment options, would be a huge boon to the Williams community (particularly for young faculty, college seniors, and recent alums who stick around for a few years). I believe that, between MassMoca and the great old mill buildings that are gradually being rehabilitated into artist studio / lofts, not to mention beautiful setting and a lot of great housing / commercial stock in the downtown area, North Adams has tremendous promise for gradually evolving into a smaller version of Northampton and a northern Berkshire mini-entertainment mecca. I think that the biggest thing missing is a critical mass of social options, outside of MassMoca sponsored events, to draw more young artistic and techologically-oriented people to the area, and keep those who arrive (including young, single MCLA / Williams faculty) from leaving.

This is why stories like this and this are so encouraging.

I hope that the jazz cafe owner aims to have weekend entertainment not just in the summer, but throughout the school year, as I think it could really be a popular venue for people starved for alternative entertainment options in the area. And, I hope the Williams student and faculty community will publicize and patronize efforts like these (including support for revitalizing the Mohawk) that will further promote North Adams’ revitalization. The difference in the town in even the last ten years is pretty amazing.

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