Business Briefs: Mahaiwe, Norman Rockwell Museum receive Cultural Facilities Fund grants; new development director for Berkshire Children and Families; Berkshire Theatre Group receives grant; Berkshire Agricultural Ventures earns nonprofit status

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By Wednesday, Jun 7 Trade and Commerce
The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington and the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. (See item below.)

Mahaiwe, Norman Rockwell Museum receive Cultural Facilities Fund grants

Berkshire County — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington and the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge have announced that they have received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund.

The Mahaiwe was awarded received a $65,000 grant to replace its sound consoles, refurbish the Ed Jaffe Promenade lobby, and add more LED lighting throughout the theater. NRM will put its grant toward upgrading its fire security system and wiring as well as making numerous improvements in the galleries and other public spaces. The grant also supports needed repairs to Norman Rockwell’s studio.

Over $100 million in CFF awards since 2007 have supported 772 building projects across the state in the nonprofit arts, sciences, and humanities with total development costs of $2.6 billion. Over 10 years, CFF-funded projects have supported 8,512 full-time jobs and $492 million in wages; employed 23,778 architects, engineers, contractors and construction workers; and created 2,092 new permanent jobs.


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Berkshire Children and Families gains new development director

Bethany Kirchmann

Bethany Kirchmann

Pittsfield — Berkshire Children and Families has announced it has hired Bethany Kirchmann as director of development. Kirchmann brings with her a decade of experience in fundraising and organizational advancement as well as a passion for her community. Prior to joining BCF, she gained extensive experience in fundraising for the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center and Barrington Stage Company.

Kirchmann holds a B.S. in arts management from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. She is currently on Pittsfield’s Artscape committee and has served on the boards of Berkshire Young Professionals and the Berkshire Initiative for Growth.


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Berkshire Theatre Group receives grant

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group has announced its receipt of a prestigious $45,000 grant from the New York City-based Shubert Foundation, which provides grant support to theatres throughout the country. The foundation was established in 1945 by Lee and J.J. Shubert in memory of their brother Sam, and is the sole shareholder of the Shubert Organization Inc., which currently owns and operates 21 theatres.


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Berkshire Agricultural Ventures earns nonprofit status

Great Barrington — Berkshire Agricultural Ventures has announced that it has earned official 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. BAV’s mission is to support farm and food business development and viability in the Berkshire region by offering access to technical assistance and nimble financing including low interest loans, grants and other professional resources.

BAV co-founder, and board member Neil Chrisman is a Berkshire-area resident, entrepreneur and longstanding board member for other local nonprofits. The organization’s newly appointed executive director is Cynthia Pansing, former CEO of food and sustainable agriculture consulting firm Changing Tastes.

BAV plans to support farm and food businesses in the Berkshires, neighboring Hudson Valley in New York State, northwest Connecticut and other surrounding areas. Originally launched in 2011 as a new venture of the Carrot Project, BAV became a program of Berkshire Grown and remained one until May 2017 with the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation providing fiscal support. By supporting existing farm and food business infrastructure and working to increase financial support, BAV hopes to help open up new markets and increase business revenue for farmers and food entrepreneurs.


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