Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in Sheffield, one of the 14 members of the new Massachusetts Community Foundations Partnership. Photo courtesy Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

Business Briefs: Community foundations partnership; Puciloski honored; ‘We Believe’ at Salisbury Bank; Hawthorne Valley expansion; Baldwin joins Sharon Playhouse

Community foundations announce new partnership to support nonprofits in the wake of COVID-19

Boston — A statewide coalition of community foundations has announced the formation of a new partnership designed to help stabilize, strengthen and advance the social sector in communities across the Commonwealth.

The Massachusetts Community Foundations Partnership is made up of 14 community foundations across Massachusetts. Formed in the wake of COVID-19, the partnership will connect community foundations to strengthen the Massachusetts nonprofit sector to achieve greater impact, work collectively to lead on common challenges facing communities, and improve the effectiveness of community foundations and their collective missions.

As part of its early work, the partnership has co-funded a virtual series of technical assistance and capacity-building programs for nonprofit staff and board leaders. The educational programs will address topics such as strategic planning, fundraising and financial management as well as racial justice, diversity, equity and inclusion work. The program series is based on the needs and interest expressed by more than 1,100 nonprofit professionals in a survey this summer. In addition to training, nonprofit participants will have the opportunity to network with their peers, to troubleshoot common issues and to exchange best practices. The first programs are scheduled for November 2020, and additional programs are being formulated that will be held throughout 2021.

The partnership is working closely with Philanthropy Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network in order to coordinate programming and ensure access to a wide nonprofit audience.


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Puciloski honored by Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire

Peter Puciloski Esq. Photo courtesy Lazan Glover and Puciloski LLP

Great Barrington — Peter Puciloski Esq. of Lazan Glover and Puciloski LLP was recently honored by the Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire for his “dedication, expertise, and steady leadership” as board president of CDCSB. Puciloski served as board president for CDCSB and was on its board for 13 years.

Said Puciloski: “I believe in the mission of CDCSB — to create a healthy, diverse, and sustainable community in south Berkshire County. I was honored to share my law and business expertise to help this important organization.”


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Salisbury Bank’s ‘We Believe’ program to distribute toys to children

Lakeville, Conn. — Salisbury Bank is continuing its tradition of distributing toys to children in need via its “We Believe” program. Those who would like to participate in the program may drop off new, unwrapped gifts at any of Salisbury Bank’s 14 locations by Friday, Dec. 11. Gift ideas include but are not limited to sports equipment, books, board games, hand-held electronic games, backpacks, building sets, craft kits, purses, cosmetics and gift cards to local retailers.


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Hawthorne Valley Farm expands vegetable production with installation of greenhouses

The new greenhouse at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, N.Y. Photo courtesy Hawthorne Valley Association

Ghent, N.Y. — Hawthorne Valley Farm is adding four greenhouses to its vegetable growing operation to meet the demand for fresh, biodynamic produce. Two greenhouses were installed in late October, with an additional two being put up this November by HVF’s farm team. The purchase of these greenhouses was made possible through the generosity of donors.

One of the greenhouses will be used as a permanent propagation house for both summer and winter crops. The remaining three greenhouses will house summer crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and basil. The added capacity will enable HVF to increase production and round out labor needs throughout the year.

The two already-constructed greenhouses stand in the farm’s Corner Garden along Route 21C. For the winter months, the farm has donated use of the spaces to Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School in order to provide more space for the school to continue offering in-person learning as the weather grows colder.

The site work and construction of the remaining two greenhouses will begin later this month.


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Sharon Playhouse welcomes Michael K. Baldwin as director of education/associate artistic director

Michael K. Baldwin. Photo courtesy Sharon Playhouse

Sharon, Conn. — Sharon Playhouse has announced that Michael K. Baldwin has joined its staff as director of education/associate artistic director.

In his position, Baldwin will guide all new and existing educational programming, including off-season classes, summer youth theater and community outreach while ensuring equity, cultural awareness and sensitivity. He will also collaborate with and support the artistic and managing directors with season planning and operations.

A native of Salisbury, Baldwin received a bachelor’s degree in theater and sociology from Skidmore College and a master’s degree in education from the City College of New York. He taught drama at the Brearley School in Manhattan for seven years, and has also taught at Hunter College High School, Skidmore College, Acting Manitou Theater Camp, TADA! Youth Theater, the Falls Village Children’s Theater and others. Baldwin first performed on the Sharon Playhouse stage when he was 10 years old, playing Billy in the world premiere of Joyce Carol Oates’ “The Woman Who Laughed” starring Lucie Arnaz. He has performed throughout the country, including playing Tony Whitcomb in “Shear Madness” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Notary in “The Barber of Seville” directed by Bartlett Sher at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.