.Chris Wadsworth is a busy guy. As a founding member of the Freshgrass Foundation, he has many ideas the Foundation is implementing for this years Festival and beyond. Chris described to us all the initiatives that the Freshgrass Foundation is involved with, including the addition of No Depression, a musical roots music quarterly; Folk Alley, a music streaming service with excellent podcasts and interview segments; the Steve Martin Banjo prize competition and much more. We start our conversation describing the process of adding a second music festival in Bentonville, Arkansas. Additionally, our topics include the Foundation’s work in commissioning new works from artists, also Freshscores, which is live music accompanying a silent film score. This year, the Foundation has commissioned three artists to perform Bluegrass Concertos including Jerry Douglas, Sierra Hull and Corner House. We talk about the concept of the House of Songs; a residency which commits to a cowriting experience debuted at the festival. I’m excited to see what this year’s participants come up with. Additionally, we discuss the Black Legacy Project another new initiative at the Festival appearing on Saturday in the Hunter Center.
Apart from this year’s festival we talk about a new venue initiative called Studio 9 in North Adams adjacent to the Porches; the Wadsworth family hotel project. This futuristic studio experience could result in memorable artist residencies using the cutting edge technology that studio provides. Finally, Chris and I chat about the impact hosting a music festival has on the environment. Chris talk about the Fresh Forest project which plants trees to help offset the carbon footprint of the festival. Sustainability is the focus for all vendors and hospitality involved with Freshgrass 2022 which happens THIS weekend, September 23-25 at North Adams, Mass MOCA.