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Business Briefs: Flying Deer Nature Center’s new home; Jacob’s Pillow dance presenters forum; new dentist at CHP; Lenox Cultural Council grants; Miss Hall’s School appoints director of advancement

The National Dance Presenters Forum was first established at Jacob’s Pillow in August 1996 and was held annually through 2006.

Flying Deer Nature Center receives gift of new headquarters

New Lebanon, N.Y. — Flying Deer Nature Center has announced that, as of Jan. 11, it has taken ownership of 122 Daley Rd. in East Chatham, a property that includes a 4,200-square-foot home and 164 acres, a gift from Jeanne and David Laskin. Through an agreement with the Columbia County Land Conservancy, the land will be conserved in perpetuity.

FDNC has been operating on land belonging to the Abode of the Message retreat center, where most of its homeschool, summer camp, coming-of-age and adult programs have been located over the past 20 years of operation. The demand for programs has built steadily and the Abode’s facilities were no longer meeting FDNC’s needs.

In late 2017, FDNC announced the launch of its first capital campaign, with a goal of raising $226,000 by the end of August, to pay for necessary infrastructural improvements to 122 Daley Rd., such as a parking lot, graded driveway, offices and a new trail building. The campaign also includes the creation of a David Laskin scholarship fund to support participation opportunities for as diverse a population as possible. To date, nearly $130,000 has been raised in the campaign.


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Jacob’s Pillow to reinstate dance presenters forum

Becket — Jacob’s Pillow has announced the return of the National Dance Presenters Forum at Jacob’s Pillow, organized with key partners in response to field-wide demand and in support of the Pillow’s commitment to facilitate and host discourses in dance development. The National Dance Presenters Forum was first established at Jacob’s Pillow in August 1996 and was held annually through 2006. The forum was recognized for its impact on the professional development of performing arts presenters, and the national growth and interest in the presentation and touring of dance.

This five-day leadership development conference for 15 presenters from across the U.S. will be held Wednesday, July 11, through Sunday, July 15. Jacob’s Pillow is working closely with national and regional partners to develop the curriculum for the program. The forum will provide a platform to discuss critical issues facing the dance field, strengthen curatorial practice in dance, explore collaborative strategies to support choreographic development, learn about and share audience engagement strategies, strengthen professional networks, and bolster support for dance across the country.

Participants will be identified and invited by the forum’s planning committee, which will prioritize participation by presenters new to dance as organizations or as individuals, as well as nontraditional dance presenters. The committee will strive to seek varied geographic representation and be inclusive of historically under-represented and marginalized communities. Room and board, participation costs and tickets to festival performances for those invited to attend will be fully subsidized.


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Community Health Programs welcomes new dentist

Dr. Datty Sahyouni. Photo courtesy Community Health Programs

Great Barrington — Community Health Programs welcomes Datty Sahyouni, DDS, to its dental practice network.

Most recently a practicing dentist in Illinois and Michigan, Dr. Sahyouni completed her residency at Berkshire Medical Center’s dentistry residency program in 2008. She was chief dental resident at BMC from 2007-2008. One of the top three graduates in her class at the Tishreen University dentistry school in Lattakia, Syria, Sahyouni also completed a three-year residency in orthodontics at Dr. Abdul Qadir Mahloul Hospital in Damascus. She worked in private dental and orthodontic practices in her home country from 1999-2004. Sahyouni will join the dental practice teams at Great Barrington Family Dental Center and Pittsfield Neighborhood Dental Center.


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Lenox Cultural Council awards grants

Lenox — Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, and Lenox Cultural Council Chair Derrick Holt have announced the awards of 20 grants totaling $4,579 for cultural programs in Berkshire County.

Grants have been awarded to Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre Program; Berkshire County Historical Society’s Writing at Arrowhead; Berkshire Lyric Theatre; Berkshire Music School’s Painted Piano Project; Berkshire Pulse’s Intro to Dance in-school program; Cantilena Chamber Choir’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day concert; Children’s Songs and Singing Games by Roger Tincknell; Community Health ProgramsPleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary field trip; From Jazz to Hip Hop by MUSIC; Intergeneration/Cross Cultural Chorus; Intergenerational Playshop: Cabin Fever by Jeanne Bassis; IS183 Art School of the Berkshires’ scholarship program; Learn Ukulele with Julie by Julie Stepanek; Mass Audubon Berkshire Sanctuaries’ bird walks at Pleasant Valley; Nutshell Playhouse; Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park; Shakespeare & Company’s 2018 Fall Festival of Shakespeare; the Marble Collection; WAM Theatre; and West Stockbridge Chamber Players.

Decisions about which activities to support are made at the community level by a board of municipally appointed volunteers. Lenox residents who would like to help shape the arts programs in Lenox and the surrounding area may contact Arlene D. Schiff at


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Miss Hall’s School appoints director of advancement

Merritt Colaizzi. Photo courtesy Miss Hall’s School

Pittsfield — Miss Hall’s School has announced that Merritt Colaizzi of Williamstown has been appointed its new director of advancement.

In her new role, Colaizzi will manage all aspects of the Miss Hall’s development office with responsibilities for the school’s campaign, major gifts and planned giving programs, annual fund, and alumnae and parent engagement. She will also work closely with the MHS board of trustees and campaign volunteer leadership, and will serve as a vital member of the school’s leadership team, reporting to Head of School Julia Heaton.

Colaizzi most recently served as director of development at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown. She previously held leadership positions at SmartBrief Inc. in Washington, D.C., and Streetmail Inc. in North Adams. Additionally, she played critical roles in the Williams College leadership studies program and in the Hartford, Connecticut-based Trinity College’s cultural programs in Italy. The graduate of all-girl K–12 education at the Ellis School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Colaizzi earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from Trinity College and a master’s degree from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.



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