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Introducing the Berkshire Busk! Staff

Abby Hanna

Zarina Levitsky - Festival Blogger

My name is Zarina Levitsky and I will be your friendly Festival Blogger this summer.

My college application essay was about how freeing it is to dance in the NYC subway with a group of strangers; the international conversation of dance, as well as the unique moment of time wherein all of our lives came to one point. Just improvised dance performance next to a pop cover band: hip-hip, pas-de-bourree, turn, kick, and together.

Why am I telling you this random fact about me? Because I want you to know that this past year I have not danced with strangers, not once. Therefore, I am ready and excited for this summer to bring back those moments in time when the air is sugary, strangers become performers, we sink into our bodies and let the music lead the way.

To put it even more simply, I am eager for the start of Berkshire Busk. I’ve been given the opportunity to chat with and write about the incredible buskers, sponsors, and advisors to give you a little glimpse of what's to come this summer in Great Barrington, MA.

Ari Jewell - Festival Storyteller

My name is Ari Jewell, I am a rising senior at Smith College, and I will be the “Festival Storyteller” of Berkshire Busk! Each Friday, I will be among all of you in downtown Great Barrington. I will meet with our varied performers and audience members, as well as simply sit back and enjoy the evening. My role will be exactly as it sounds: I will tell the stories of community and performance that emerge during these summer nights. As a writer, I am particularly drawn to telling stories of shared experience. I have been a performer for most of my life, and have found that performance is one of the places that shared experiences are quickly created.

Performance moves us, changes us, inspires us — this is universal. As the festival storyteller, I want to find ways to translate that experience to the page. If you are following Berkshire Busk from afar, my weekly posts will clue you in to what’s up in Great Barrington, and invite you to come enjoy with us!

If you are attending the festival like me, I hope that my writing will echo some of what Berkshire Busk is for you. Whatever magic and joy we find at the festival, I hope that we find it together.

Hannah Schiffer - Production Assistant

My name is Hannah Schiffer (Production Assistant) and I am so excited to be involved in Berkshire Busk, which is a truly unique experience with a wonderful group of people! I majored in Theatre Arts and Arts Administration at the University of Fredonia, as well as minoring in dance and dance studio administration. I also attended Naugatuck Valley Community College, where I received degrees in dance and general studies, with a certificate in music composition. Along with Berkshire Busk, I currently work full-time at The Magic Fluke Company in Sheffield, where I make and sell musical instruments including ukuleles, violins, mandolins, banjos, and electric basses. I am also the production manager at the Ancram Opera House in Ancram, NY, which is currently transitioning from a virtual to live theatre for their summer season. You can also find me waiting tables at the Hillsdale House in Hillsdale, NY, or at various performance venues in the area helping out with lighting and sound! I am so glad to have found this opportunity to work with a variety of different musicians and performers in the Berkshires, and am ecstatic that the arts scene in the area is recovering so that we can have live performance again!

Carli Scolforo - Social Media Livestreamer

Hey everyone! I’m Carli Scolforo, and I’m acting as a Production Assistant for Berkshire Busk!, as well as your host for our nightly Instagram Lives from 7-8pm!

I am a Pittsfield native, and my love of live music came early when watching my dad play in local bands around the Berkshires throughout my childhood. From there, my love of theatre emerged in high school and continued on as I worked as a technician/sound designer/audio engineer during my time at Siena College.

I am a fresh graduate as of May of 2021 and I’m so thrilled to share all of the exciting acts - from music to dance and everything in between - with all of you this summer. There’s nothing I have missed more over the course of the pandemic than that magical, unifying experience of a community coming together for a great show, and I can’t wait to bring back that connection by lining the streets of Great Barrington with our talented Buskers.

Even if you can only join us virtually, you can count on me to show you what’s going on downtown every Friday and Saturday on our Instagram @berkshirebusk! See you soon, can't wait to meet you in person!


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