The 413: 10X10 Real Art Party, live music and Mardi Gras fun fill out Berkshire weekend

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Happy last weekend of February, dear readers!

The sun has been shining and springtime is in sight, but there are plenty of joys to still be found in winter, like night skiing and snowshoe hikes, and plenty of live performance to liven up the nights.

Here's our weekly sampler of what's coming up:

TONIGHT

- Berkshire Art Association's annual 10x10 RAP (Real Art Party) returns from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield. Get your $25 ARTtix while they last, which guarantees you go home with a 10-by-10-inch original work. Tickets will be chosen in a random order and the bearer will be able to choose any work of art that is still on the wall. Admission to the party is free, and the drawing begins at 7 p.m. sharp. All proceed benefit the BAA Fellowships fund to support college art students, art field trip awards to Berkshire high school art departments, and free admission for art students to the Berkshire Museum.

- Following the 10x10 RAP, check out Berkshire Museum's "PechaKucha Night: The Berkshire Arts." Hear from area artists about their processes and see their art pieces. Presentations include: "Sean McCusker: Painting in Layers," "Shaun Kaminoff: Photography," "Into the Ever-Dream: Installations and other Werke by Autumn Ni Dubhghaill," "Tina Cardot: Out of the ashes ... the birth of The Funky Phoenix," and "Daniel Bellow: Pottery."

- The Whiskey Jack String Band (banjo player Andy Lundeen, Molly Peterson on guitar and clarinet, and mandolin playing guitarist Ryan Williams) takes over the Down County Social Club starting at 8 p.m., beneath the Stagecoach Tavern, 864 South Undermountain Road (Route 41), Sheffield. There's a suggested donation of $10 to support the band.

- Berkshire Theatre Group's On The Stage Series presents American musical troubadour Jeffrey Foucault, with special guest, Zak Trojano, at 7:30 p.m., at The Colonial Theatre, 111 South St., Pittsfield. Tickets are $25 general admission.

FRIDAY

- If you don't make Thursday night's festivities, you can head back to the Berkshire Museum for the "Back in Time Bash!" Starting at 7 p.m., this party is presented with Berkshire Young Professionals, who have planned an evening of karaoke, dancing with DJ BFG, food, a photo booth, indoor lawn games (cornhole toss and giant Jenga) and more. Feel free to dress old timey or futuristic, or come as your present self. Tickets are $10 for BYP members, $15 general admission, and there's a cash bar. Tickets can be purchased online at http://1berkshire.com/event/byp-back-time-bash.

- Party promoters MAD Crew will be throwing a Mardi Gras party, starting at 8 p.m., at The Skyline, 405 South Main St., (Route 7), Lanesborough. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 day of, with Mardi Gras colors or masquerade attire. Music will be mixed by DUDEnGUY, Tru Sounds, Sticky D, Three III, and Valdee. Go to Facebook or wantickets.com for details.

SATURDAY

- After the 10x10 Fireworks show (5:45 p.m.) at The Common on First Street in Pittsfield, check out the 10x10 Comedy Show at Dottie's Coffee Lounge, 444 North St., starting at 7 p.m. Seating is limited and dinner options will be offered, so get there earlier if you want to make a night of it. This year's headliner is Mike Lebovitz (NBC's "Last Comic Standing") and guests comedians from the Berkshires will appear, along with the Ragliacci Rags, with some dinner hour music. Tickets for the show are $10 in advance at the cafe, or $15 at the door the night of.

- Alternatively, at 7 p.m., The Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Ave., in Pittsfield plays host to some verbal fireworks, and the Women's Invitational Poetry Slam. Poets from Albany, Amherst, Worcester as well as the Berkshires will compete, including host Melissa Quirk Cairns with Amani Olugbala, Olivia McKee, Elizag, Mariah Barber, Grace Rossman, Natalia Whalen, Ashley Wonder, A.T. Halaby, and guests. No cover, but there will be a cash bar.


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