Topia Arts Center has been presenting contemporary music, circus arts, dance, film, theater, and new media since 2005 in the raw Arts Center space, at Cafe Topia (its Park Street storefront) on the Armory Court (the open air public space the Arts Center doors open out onto) and beyond.
Topia Arts Center has a wonderful history of world class performers and continues to provide innovative performing arts and educational programming to the Northern Berkshire Community and beyond. Arts and education programming began with performances and fundraisers in the renovated Café Topia and at Plunkett Elementary School’s auditorium where Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden performed a reading of a Tony Kushner play revised by the playwright for Topia Arts Center. Performances in the café took place year round while performances in the raw theater space took place in the early Fall, late Spring and Summer.
Circus arts ensemble, Nimble Arts, performed a breath-taking acrobatic show in 2005 for the After 40 Years grand opening of the theater to the public.
Following the Business Plan for Topia Arts Center prepared by Duncan Webb who wrote the book on “Running Theaters” our “Made in The Berkshires” film festival included a lecture series with Diane Perlman of The Matrix, Doug Trumble of 2001, A Space Odyssey among others. Topia also raised funds in New York City with Avenue Q Swings with stars from Broadway and Opera Diva Lauren Flanigan. The CD is on iTunes and generates a small portion of royalties for the Arts Center’s operating expenses.
Between 2005 and 2014 Topia has developed relationships with users of the theater such as Youth Center, Inc, Berkshire Dance Theatre, Minerva Stage, CATA and has hosted many cultural events as was the recommendation in the Webb Management business plan with most of the programming in response to community requests. African storytelling, 365 plays by a Pulitzer prize winner Susan-Lori Parks, live music from international artists such Razia Said from Madagascar, circus arts with former members of Cirque Du Soleil and Ringling Brothers, an award winning Fringe Festival play from New York City, the Rocky Horror Show by Minerva Stage, The Apology of Socrates, Red Room with Main Street Stage, The Goddess Festival with Berkshire Dance Theatre and 5 years of Lil’Topia workshops for kids , art exhibits by CATA, Community Access To the Arts, a 40 foot art exhibit by Ven Voisey called “VoicePaper”. BArT Charter School also held a “sold out” student production of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, and a live concert with Tao Rodriquez Seeger. The annual World Jazz Festival atop Mt Greylock at Bascom Lodge. Live Swing Music and Dance at the Adams Visitor’s Center all summer long each Sunday.