iBerkshires.com  reports O-Positive Festival is set to kick off on Friday with two days of music, performance, art and health care.
"O-Positive is a cultural and wellness organization that supports the health of under-insured artists musicians," explained Ashley Strazzinski, artistic director, to the Public Arts Commission last week. "So artists will paint murals and host workshops, have different happenings and musicians will perform in exchange for wellness services at a clinic at Mass MoCA. There's going to be a health-care expo that's tied in with the farmers market that's for the community."
The concept of providing cultural entertainment in trade for medical services came to fruition with the first O-Positive Festival in Kingston, N.Y., in 2010. That original festival has grown and expanded into Poughkeepsie and The Bronx, N.Y., Chicago, Petaluma, Calif., Haverhill and, this year, into North Adams.
Saturday includes an all-day open mic and, outside, Go Doc Go's The Box at Bright Ideas Brewing; an installation at Roots Teen Center; Petros Chrisostomou's digital photography installation "Still Alive/Still Here" at the Design Lab on Main Street; Erica Barreto's Creativity Capsule workshop at Roots Teen Center; and more performances at night at the Elks Lodge and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
Wellness activities include the farmers market and health expo at The Green at 85 Main from 9 to 1; yoga at Colegrove Park from 9 to 10; learning to run at UNO Community Center from 10 to 11; getting strong from 10 to 11 at Miner Combat; and healthy relationships from 2 to 3 at the Ashland Street Project Space.