ADAMS -- North County residents may have noticed a theme when window shopping this month.
Local businesses from Pittsfield to North Adams are displaying chairs painted by local artists that will be auctioned to raise money for Adams' Youth Center Inc.
Interactive: Map of chair locations
The uniquely-decorated, one-of-a-kind chairs will be sold on Oct. 20 at the Bounti-Fare Restaurant in Adams. The live auction will begin at 2 p.m. and is open to the public free of charge.
Photo Gallery: The Great Chair Auction
All proceeds from the sales will go to the Youth Center, which provides a variety of after-school and summer activities for kids in Adams, Cheshire and Savoy.
Most chairs will come with a story by the artist -- to be read the day of the auction -- explaining his or her work.
The Great Chair Auction project, as Youth Center Inc. calls it, began in full this summer.
"The community donated chairs and then artists picked them up," said Sonia DiSanti, director of Youth Center Inc.
The artists all put their own unique spin on their chairs. Weeks later, they returned the finished product at an artist's reception.
Since the reception, local businesses across the area have offered their space to display the chairs. DiSanti said she and the rest of the project's committee knocked on doors to ask for the help.
Many businesses not only took in chairs, but offered to match the final auction price of the chairs they are displaying as a donation to the Youth Center.
People have probably
Those banking at Greylock Federal Credit Union in North Adams have seen Melanie St. Pierre's "Ewe Sit Here" chair.
It is even possible to sit on "Cloud Nine," on display at Desperados Mexican Restaurant in North Adams.
"It's going to be a fun day,' DiSanti said of the auction. "The artists really stepped up."
DiSanti said fundraising has taken on a new level of importance since Adams received a federal grant earlier this month to repair the vacant Adams Memorial Middle School building's roof.
The Youth Center had been in negotiations with the town to lease part of the middle school, which closed in 2011, but much-needed repairs to the building stalled talks. Now, with funding for a roof replacement in place, the Youth Center hopes to expand its offerings to the community.
While no deal has been finalized, Town Administrator Jonathan Butler has said the town is on solid ground with its potential tenants.
DiSanti said that the bigger space will likely come at a higher price to the Youth Center.
"We're in pretty desperate need of the space," DiSanti said.
According to DiSanti, the new middle school space would include a gymnasium and an auditorium. Additionally, the Youth Center would not need to rely on the gymnasium at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
"It's going to be great for us and for the community," DiSanti said.
The Youth Center is also looking at branching into some adult programs, DiSanti said.
The Youth Center currently serves about 50 children per day during the week.
It offers a wide range of activities from cooking classes to swim lessons.
"It's a safe place for kids to be after school hours," DiSanti said. "We're here to be good role models."
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