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Business Briefs: Cultural Facilities Fund grant for CATA; Rock Shark wearable art; Qomunicate Publishing at Berkshire Pride; business start-up seminar; BCC invites public comment

Comedian/producer and Berkshires native McQueen Adams recently launched, a website of wearable art featuring the Rock Shark boulder.

Community Access to the Arts receives Cultural Facilities Fund grant

Great Barrington — Community Access to the Arts has been awarded a $200,000 Cultural Facilities Fund capital grant, the largest grant award level this year, from MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

The grant supports CATA’s purchase and renovation of a new facility at 420 Stockbridge Road to establish a permanent home for the organization, one that is fully accessible and allows CATA to continue growing innovative arts programs for people with disabilities. The award is one of 64 capital grants awarded statewide by CFF. Other 2019 awardees in the Berkshires include MASS MoCA, Hancock Shaker Village, Norman Rockwell Museum and Chesterwood.

Said CATA executive director Margaret Keller: “This exciting grant from the Cultural Facilities Fund comes at a pivotal moment in CATA’s history, on the heels of our work to dramatically expand the number of artists with disabilities we are serving in our community. Our beautiful and accessible new home will give CATA artists the space they deserve to nurture their creative talents. To be funded at the highest level possible by the CFF is so significant for CATA and an important stamp of approval for us as we launch our first major facilities project and our first-ever capital campaign.”

In addition to the capital grant, the CFF also awarded CATA a $7,000 Systems Replacement Plan grant to support long-term planning for the new facility.


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Wearable art line highlight’s Richmond’s Rock Shark

Rock Shark wearable art. Photo courtesy

Berkshire County — Comedian/producer and Berkshires native McQueen Adams recently launched, a website of wearable art featuring the Rock Shark boulder located on Lenox Road in Richmond. Adams’ inspiration for designing the wearable art, with original artwork by Shay Swindlehurst, and launching the site goes back to his childhood and a desire to showcase one of the area’s famous landmarks.

Of his motivation to launch the site, Adams said: “Basically I wanted to create a shirt that symbolized the Berkshires. Something people saw and automatically knew what it was. That shark has captured my imagination ever since I was a little kid growing up in the Berkshires. I would ask my parents to stop the car so I could ask the shark questions. Where did you come from? What is your name? I spent endless nights imagining how he ended up on the hill. Where he came from, why he stayed …”


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Qommunicate Publishing to set up tent at Berkshire Pride

Curry and Sage Kalmus of Qommunicate Publishing at Albany Pride on June 9. Photo courtesy Qommunity Media

Pittsfield — Becket-based LGBTQ+ publisher Qommunicate Publishing will set up a tent at the third annual Berkshire Pride Festival Saturday, June 15, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Pittsfield Common, 100 First St. Beneath a purple and pink banner, Qommunicate will sell all six of its currently available book titles, which are themed anthologies containing work by and/or about LGBTQ+ people and lives. The company will also take preorders of upcoming releases and provide information about submitting work for inclusion in future anthologies.

Qommunity Media, parent company of the Qommunicate Publishing imprint, was founded in 2015 by husbands Curry and Sage Kalmus with the launch of Qommunity: The Queer Social Network, which accumulated over 1,500 members from around the world before closing at the start of 2019.


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Salisbury Bank to offer seminar on starting a business

Great Barrington — Salisbury Bank will offer a seminar on starting a business Wednesday, June 19, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Community Health Programs.

Seminar participants will discuss the steps necessary to start a small business including why to own a business, start-up requirements, and researching the market and preparing projections for income and expenses.

Presenter Nancy Shulman was born and raised in Pittsfield. She graduated from Miss Hall’s School, earned a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University, a Master of Business Administration from the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management and a Master of Science in internet strategy management from Marlboro College. In addition to being a senior business advisor with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center for eight years, she started and owned four small businesses, one of which is still active.

Reservations are suggested, but not required. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Genia Wilson at (860) 453-3496 or email and type “Start a Business” in the subject line.


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BCC invites public comment during its college-wide accreditation

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit from Sunday, Oct. 20, through Wednesday, Oct. 23, by a team representing the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

BCC has been accredited by the Commission since 1964 and was last reviewed in 2009. Its accreditation by the Association encompasses the entire institution. For the past year and a half, BCC has been engaged in a process of self-study, addressing the Commission’s standards for accreditation. An evaluation team will visit the institution to gather evidence that the self-study is thorough and accurate. The team will recommend to the Commission a continuing status for the institution. Following a review process, the Commission itself will take the final action.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the institution to or:

Public Comment on Berkshire Community College
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education New England Association of Schools and Colleges
3 Burlington Woods Drive, Suite 100
Burlington, MA 01803-4514

Public comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution. The Commission cannot settle disputes between individuals and institutions, whether those involve faculty, students, administrators or members of other groups. Comments will not be treated as confidential and must include the name, address and telephone number of the person providing the comments.

Public comments must be received by Wednesday, Oct. 23. The Commission cannot guarantee that comments received after that date will be considered.



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