Shire City Sanctuary is a property development project right in the heart of Pittsfield MA. My hubby and I bought the breathtakingly beautiful, gigantic old brick church and rectory back in 2006. At the time we were looking for a home for my 40-person production company that manufactured blankets, rugs, and clothing from recycled textiles.
Since then our lives have morphed and changed and our building has found refocus. Artists’ studios, a collaborative screen-printing shop, a gallery, and commercial kitchen (in the works!) are all located on 5500 sq ft the lower level. Upstairs events are hosted in the stained glass window filled, gold leaf decked, 38ft ceilinged nave. Pews have been reconfigured to move within the space and architectural atrocities added over the years have been removed to bring the sacred space back to its origin.
Shire City Sanctuary hosts several annual Shindies*.
Our Holiday Shindy grew out of my production company’s studio sale that gained momentum every year since its inception in 1989. Initially the event’s purpose was to offer local clientele an opportunity to learn of my environmental passion and buy my wares. At the time my business was focused on 350 domestic and international wholesale accounts, none were especially local.
In mid-April we host our Earthday Shindy focused on bringing awareness to all manner of environmentalisms – from local farm products, crafty upcyclers, and vintage clothing, to gardening tools, books, green building alternatives and energy conservation information, Something for everyone to learn and take home. Live music, food, and performance all weekend long.
* shin·dy [shin-dee]
noun, plural shin·dies. Informal. 1. a rumpus. 2. a shindig.