Business Briefs: Forest Springs groundbreaking; Entry to Entrepreneurship showcase; ArtCountry consortium; planned giving seminar; media prize call for entries

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By Tuesday, Apr 11 Trade and Commerce
Retired Lee Bank CEO David Bruce teaches a lesson in community banking to students in BerkShares Inc's Entry to Entrepreneurship program. Students will present their business plans to the public on Wednesday, April 12, at Dewey Hall in Sheffield (see item below).

Construct to hold groundbreaking ceremony for Forest Springs

A rendering of Forest Springs. Image courtesy Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire

A rendering of Forest Springs. Image courtesy Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire

Great Barrington — Construct Inc. will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, April 18, at 11 a.m. for Forest Springs, its 11-unit rental housing community, at 316 State Rd. Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, will be the honored guest and a reception will immediately follow the ceremony.

Construct purchased the Forest Springs site in 2012. The new, three-building complex will comprise four one-bedroom units, five two-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units. Two of the units are ADA accessible and two are modified for those with sensory impairment. Designed with energy efficiency in mind, the buildings will have 95 percent efficient heating systems, be oriented for solar gain and are designed for future photovoltaic installations. Landscaped with native plants, evergreens and fruit trees, the site will include a community garden and a safe playing area for children. Housing priority for some units will be given to households coming out of homelessness and those living with mental health or development disabilities.

Forest Springs is expected to be complete in the spring of 2018.

–E.E.

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BerkShares to hold Entry to Entrepreneurship showcase

Sheffield — BerkShares Inc. invites the community to experience and participate in “community-supported entrepreneurship” as students from its Entry to Entrepreneurship program present their business plans to the public Wednesday, April 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Dewey Hall.

Entry to Entrepreneurship is a business education experience designed for local young people. Following a curriculum co-developed by BerkShares and the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center’s Berkshire Regional Office, students are taught by guest speakers each week and mentored by members of the community.

BerkShares will award each student 200 BerkShares in seed money. After the presentations, audience members will be invited to ask questions of the students and join a conversation about business opportunities in the Berkshires. Business plans from this year’s program, along with those generated by past students, will be available online.

All are welcome and refreshments will be provided. The event is free but donations are welcome to help fund the future development of the program.

For more information, contact BerkShares at (413) 528-1737 or info@berkshares.org.

–E.E.

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Organizations form ArtCountry consortium

North Adams — The directors of five leading cultural organizations have launched a new initiative to drive awareness, increase tourism and encourage economic development by focusing on the cultural resources unique to the area.

The ArtCountry consortium includes MASS MoCA, the Clark Art Institute, the Williams College Museum of Art, the Bennington Museum and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Launched in March, the consortium will highlight the assets of the region through collaborative programming, joint ticket offers and a unified approach to attracting visitors.

Among other endeavors, the organizations will offer a four-way museum ticket this summer, providing discounted admission to the Clark, MASS MoCA, and the Bennington Museum and offering a 20 percent discount in the WCMA museum store. The ticket represents a 20 percent savings and is valid throughout the year.

–E.E.

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BTCF, NPC to hold planned giving seminar

Ellen Estes.

Ellen Estes.

Virginia Stanton Smith.

Virginia Stanton Smith.

Great Barrington — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires will hold a workshop geared toward nonprofit executive directors, development staff and board members titled “Planned Giving Basics: What Every Nonprofit Should Know,” on Thursday, April 20, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Saint James Place. Led by planned giving consultant Ellen Estes of Estes Associates and attorney Virginia Stanton Smith of Smith Green & Gold LLP, the training will explore the various elements of planned giving, including how to launch a planned giving program, identify prospects for planned giving, discuss giving options, and build personal relationships with donors and prospects.

The cost of the workshop is $40. Light food and beverages will be provided. For more information, contact BTCF at (413) 229-0370.

–E.E.

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Austen Riggs calls for media prize entries

Stockbridge — The Austen Riggs Center has announced a call for entries for its 2017 Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media.

The Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media recognizes a select group of professional journalists, writers and media professionals who create exemplary work that contributes to the public’s understanding of mental health issues.

The prize is a recognition that carries an award of $3,000 and is presented in conjunction with Austen Riggs’s annual fall conference. It is juried by a committee of Riggs clinicians and trustees who will consider the work of candidates nominated by their peers as well as unsolicited nominations.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, May 1.  For more information, contact Janet Hiser at (413) 931-5333 or Janet.Hiser@austenriggs.net.

–E.E.


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