Berkshire Choral International plans final summer in Sheffield
Sheffield — Berkshire Choral International, a nonprofit educational organization that provides amateur singers with professional-level choral immersion experiences, has announced that 2017 will be its final summer in its Berkshires location.
In an effort to increase both its national and international presences, BCI will bid farewell to its Sheffield home of 35 years this summer, closing out its Berkshires presence with two sessions scheduled to take place during the weeks beginning Monday, July 9, and Monday, July 16. During their farewell weeks in Sheffield, choristers will study under two renowned conductors and be accompanied by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra: Kent Tritle will lead choristers during the first farewell week as they prepare to perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, and Tom Hall will join BCI for his eighth season to lead a performance of Verdi’s Requiem, BCI’s final show in the Berkshires.
BCI’s president and CEO Debi Kennedy gave the following statement: “Berkshire Choral International is thriving and we have great things planned for the post-Sheffield era. Many of our local audience members may not realize it but, since 1990, we’ve been performing in other national and international venues such as England, Italy, Hungary, California and Rhode Island. BCI will still be headquartered in the Berkshires and we intend to keep a strong presence in the New England area for our choristers and patrons who have been so supportive for the last 36 years. Looking ahead, we are already finalizing our 2018 locations and we remain passionate about bringing accomplished amateur singers the experience of a professional choral performance.”
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Berkshire Theatre Group receives grant from Enterprise Holdings Foundation
Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group has announced its receipt of a $2,500 grant from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. The grant will underwrite tickets for families and children to BTG’s 2017 holiday production.
The foundation is the philanthropic arm of Enterprise Holdings, which operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands. Started in 1982 by company founder Jack Taylor, the foundation has contributed more than $266 million to thousands of local nonprofits focused on community improvement, education and environmental stewardship.
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Lenox Education Enrichment Foundation awards grants to 11 projects
Lenox — Board members of the Lenox Education Enrichment Foundation recently convened to review a record number of grant applications from community members including educators, students and local organizations. After a thorough process to assess application criteria such as excellence, impact and ability/feasibility, 11 grant recipients were selected:
- Student matinees of Barrington Stage Company’s “Gaslight (Angel Street).”
- Berkshire Pulse’s in-school intro to dance program, including workshops in hip-hop & Afro-Caribbean dance.
- Community Access to the Arts: providing additional creative arts opportunities to students with severe special needs.
- Lenox Flatware Initiative: an Evergreen Club initiative raising awareness of carbon footprint reduction
- Lenox High School Open Stage Club: a student-operated performing arts venue providing a space for creative expression and collaboration through music, spoken word poetry and everything in between.
- Lenox Memorial Middle and High School library maker space: a space dedicated to learning through exploration, construction and play.
- Mass Audubon/Housatonic Watershed education program: classroom lessons and outdoor field experiences combined to provide life and earth science concepts to elementary school students.
- Plimoth Plantation in-school classroom: educating students on the daily life of the Wampanoag Native Americans and the pilgrims.
- Robotics Club: students will design and engineer a robot that will compete against other teams at state, regional and national levels.
- Stop Hunger Now: a volunteer opportunity for students to prepare 10,000 meals to be shipped to children in third-world countries.
- Student-run recording studio: a devoted space for students to write, mix, record and produce original music tracks, podcasts and voiceovers.
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HAHS gains program manager
Stockbridge — The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Valerie Balint as the new program manager of its Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program based at Chesterwood. The HAHS program manager is a new, full-time position with a three-year tenure. Balint will be responsible for implementing a new strategic plan and overseeing internal and external communications for the program.
Balint most recently served as interim director of collections and research for the Olana Partnership in Hudson, New York. Prior to joining Olana in 2000, Balint worked at the Frelinghuysen Morris Foundation and at Chesterwood on special curatorial projects. From 1992 to 1995, she was the New York state coordinator for Save Outdoor Sculpture!, a national project of the Smithsonian American Art Museum documenting public sculpture in the United States. Balint also served on the editorial board of Columbia Heritage Magazine and is co-vice president of Hudson Hall.
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Pittsfield Cultural Council announces grant recipients
Pittsfield — The Pittsfield Cultural Council has announced grants to be awarded to local artists and cultural organizations in 2017.
“We are happy to announce that this year we have offered funding to 37 local artists and cultural organizations,” said PCC member Nancy Ringer. “We are particularly excited to see the ways in which community groups are using the arts to inspire positive change in this city through youth programs, outreach efforts, free and diverse public performances, and other events and activities. Our goal is to support those projects that offer substantial public benefit for the residents of Pittsfield, and the range and breadth of projects that we’re seeing is tremendous.”
Grants totaling more than $26,000 will be awarded to those bringing culture and the arts to Pittsfield. The grants are part of the council’s annual grants program funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
PCC will seek grant applications again in the fall. A full list of recipients can be accessed on PCC’s website via the “Funding List” tab.