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The Columbia Land Conservancy has received a grant that will aid in the protection of the Thompson-Finch Farm in Ancram, N.Y. (see item below). Photo courtesy Thompson-Finch Farm

Bits & Bytes: Shake & Co. partners with EBT Card to Culture; grant for Columbia Land conservancy; new staff at CDC; Sheffield Cultural Council seeks proposals; Norman Rockwell Museum gains board members

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By Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 Trade and Commerce

Shakespeare & Company to participate in EBT Card to Culture program

Lenox — Shakespeare & Company has announced its participation in the Baker-Polito administration’s EBT Card to Culture program, which provides free or discounted admission to more than 100 nonprofit arts, history and science venues across Massachusetts. Discounted tickets for EBT cardholders can be reserved over the phone, online and in person at the box office. Cardholders will be required to show their cards when picking up tickets, and processing fees will be waived.

Other Berkshire-area organizations participating in the program include Aston Magna Music Festival, Berkshire Museum, Berkshire Pulse, Berkshire Theatre Group, Chesterwood, Clark Art Institute, Flying Cloud Institute, Hancock Shaker Village, Images Cinema, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Mass Audubon, MASS MoCA, the Mount and Norman Rockwell Museum.

An online list of participating organizations and their respective discounts is available.


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Columbia Land Conservancy receives grant

Don and Marnie MacLean of Thompson-Finch Farm. Photo courtesy Thompson-Finch Farm

Chatham, N.Y. — The Columbia Land Conservancy has announced its receipt of $103,000 in funds from the 1772 Foundation and the Land Trust Alliance to protect Thompson-Finch Farm in Ancram, one of the largest and oldest you-pick strawberry operations in the northeast.

In order to protect the land they have farmed for decades, farmers Don and Marnie MacLean temporarily secured it with a loan from Equity Trust. Equity Trust, CLC and partners launched a fundraising campaign in June to achieve a solution for the farm’s protection. Including this most recent grant award, the effort has now raised approximately $830,000 from foundations, project partners and more than 200 individual donors. If successful, the campaign will enable CLC to own the farmland and lease it to current and future farmers in a long-term secure arrangement while the farmers will be able to build equity through ownership of infrastructure. A small public trail leading to the banks of the Roeliff Jansen Kill is planned for the property along with educational programming.


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CDC of South Berkshire welcomes new staff

Emmalyn Gaertner. Photo courtesy Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire

Great Barrington — The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire has announced the addition of Emmalyn Gaertner as a full-time staff member.

Gaertner is a Berkshire native originally from Becket. After graduating from high school, she spent the next ten years living and studying in Washington, D.C.; New Mexico; Texas; Chile; and Spain. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and Spanish from American University in Washington, D.C.; worked in the education department at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and teaches yoga. She moved back to the Berkshires with her husband to raise their family and buy a house in Great Barrington.


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Sheffield Cultural Council seeks proposals

Sheffield — The Sheffield Cultural Council is accepting applications for grants for 2018 that support projects bringing music, art, theater, interpretive sciences and special educational experiences to Sheffield residents of all ages. Organizations, schools and individuals may apply. All grant applications must be filed electronically and are due no later than Monday, Oct. 16.

In 2017, the Sheffield Cultural Council supported 40 enrichment programs including music performances for Sheffield in Celebration, scholarships for IS183 Art School of the Berkshires and support for Shakespeare & Company’s Fall Festival of Shakespeare in addition to programs put on by the Sheffield Senior Center, the Bushnell-Sage Library, the Sheffield Land Trust and Dewey Hall.


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Norman Rockwell Museum gains board members

Douglas Clark. Photo courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum

Stockbridge — The Norman Rockwell Museum welcomed new members Douglas Clark, Audrey Friedner, Ramelle Pulitzer and Ron Walter to its board of trustees during the museum’s annual meeting on Sept. 15.

Audrey Friedner. Photo courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum

Clark, of Saratoga, California, is managing partner of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Since joining the firm in May 1993 as a litigator, he has focused primarily on securities litigation. In addition to serving as managing partner of WSGR, Clark has also chaired the firm’s compensation committee and served as a member of other committees. He previously joined NRM’s national council in 2016 with his wife, Ruth Ann McNees.

Friedner, of Stockbridge, taught in the Great Neck Public Schools of Long Island, New York, until her retirement in 1999. She and her husband, Ralph, both previously served on NRM’s national council. She is involved with various organizations near her home in Florida and in the Berkshires, including Hevreh of Southern Berkshire. Friedner earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at New York University and a doctorate in education at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

Ramelle Pulitzer. Photo courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum

Pulitzer has served as executive director for an artists’ organization, taught art appreciation at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina and was the owner of an art gallery featuring North Carolina artists. She is the founder of custom tour company New View Tours. Pulitzer earned her bachelor’s degree in history and art from Pitzer College in Claremont, California, and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She and her husband, Michael, a national council member, live in Stockbridge, where she also serves as a docent at NRM.

Ron Walter. Photo courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum

Walter began his career as an assistant professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later served the city of New York in several capacities. In 1978 he went to work for Citigroup where he spent the remainder of his career until retiring as managing director in 2007. Walter is an active volunteer and serves as board vice chair for Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield and treasurer at the Abraham Fund Initiatives. He and his wife, Marilyn, both previously served on NRM’s national council. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at MIT and an additional master’s degree at Harvard Chan School of Public Health in Boston. He lives in New York City and Great Barrington.


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