Shifting perceptions of an annual Arts Festival

(Photo contributed) Visitors and artists pose for a photo in front of selected paintings.

GREAT BARRINGTON — Richard Rothbard is changing the perception on what an arts festival is.

Rather than a line of porta-potties, outdoor tents and booths stacking the streets without flair, Rothbard’s Berkshire Arts Festival is nestled in Butternut Ski Resort’s mountain with a special twist he said.

This year, the festival is styled in a local environment that gives children the freedom to run around without traffic nearby, for parents to shop and for young artists to find their muse through professional artists.

For the last 18 years, the Berkshire Arts Festival has found its home in Great Barrington, taking place this year from July 5 to 7.

Although a juried selection of 175 artists will display their artworks in neatly designed booths to set up shop for the public, not everyone is looking to buy, he says, after 40 years organizing art festivals.

“It’s a place to be inspired,” Rothbard said. “A family gathering place.”

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