Business Briefs: Lenox seeks cultural district designation; Jewish Women’s Foundation grants; new Barrington Stage board member; William Pitt Sotheby’s names brokerage manager; BTCF grant deadlines
Lenox to seek cultural district designation
Lenox — Town officials, Lenox Cultural Council representatives and the Lenox Chamber of Commerce are working toward earning an official designation as a cultural district from the Mass Cultural Council.
As a first step, representatives from Lenox cultural establishments and businesses are invited to a public information session Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 5:30 p.m. at Lenox Town Hall, 6 Walker St. The meeting will provide stakeholders with information about what the cultural district distinction would mean for the town and how it would benefit businesses, residents and visitors alike.
Since 2011, MCC has formally recognized towns and cities that have thriving arts, humanities and science institutions, allowing those organizations to enhance their visitor and resident experiences while positioning communities to better capitalize on these distinct resources. There are currently four communities in Berkshire County with cultural district designations: Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District; Williamstown; North Adams; and Great Barrington, which earned its designation this year. A cultural district must be a walkable, compact area centered on existing amenities, but the benefits of the designation extend beyond formal downtown borders to include the surrounding neighborhoods and communities.
After input is collected during the community meeting and via an online survey, the plan will be reviewed by the board of selectmen, which must give formal approval to apply for district designation. The initiative is being undertaken with the help of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission’s Shared Economic Planner program.
For more information, contact land use director and town planner Gwen Miller at (413) 637-5500 x1203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Jewish Women’s Foundation awards $32,000 in grants
Pittsfield — The Jewish Women’s Foundation of Berkshire County has announced the recipients of its grants for 2018. Dedicated to “tikkun olam,” the Jewish concept of repairing the world, JWF has awarded $32,000 to help combat food insecurity and provide support services for children and families in need.
Of the 29 applicants this year, 14 were awarded grants between $1,000 and $3,100. Almost 50 percent of the funds will go to programs concerned with increasing the availability and access of food for Berkshire residents: Alchemy Initiative’s Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market, Berkshire Hills Regional School District, Backyard Bounty of the Berkshires, Congregation Beth Israel, Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Berkshire Grown and North Berkshire Interfaith Action Initiative. The remaining funds will provide support services for children and families in need: Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires, Christian Center of Pittsfield, Railroad Street Youth Project, Berkshire Immigrant Center, Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, Community Health Programs and Berkshire Community Diaper Project.
Foundation members contribute a minimum of $500 to the foundation each year and are offered the opportunity to serve on an advisory grant committee that decides how the funds are distributed. Besides the funds awarded through its grant-application process, JWF funds other community programs such as the Jewish Transportation Network, the Berkshire Medical Center Care Navigation, Jewish camp scholarships, and Berkshire Fuel Assistance Program.
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Tartell joins Barrington Stage board of trustees
Pittsfield — Barrington Stage Company has welcomed Jodi Tartell to its board of trustees.
Tartell received her undergraduate degree from Tulane University and her Master of Business Administration from Fordham University. She previously worked in the financial sector with several large Wall Street firms and was a market maker for Nasdaq composite-listed securities. She has also worked in the real estate industry, helping to develop commercial and residential projects including affordable housing, and is the owner/broker of Compass Realty Properties LLC. As part of her advocacy, she has been a longtime patron for numerous charitable organizations, including those concerning health, education and the arts.
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William Pitt Sotheby’s names Donnelly as Berkshire County brokerages manager
Great Barrington — William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty has announced that Tim Donnelly has assumed the role of brokerage manager for its Berkshire County brokerages in Great Barrington and Lenox. Donnelly previously served for nearly three years in the position of assistant brokerage manager for the Berkshires as well as Litchfield County in Connecticut.
In addition to his involvement in the firm’s sales growth, Donnelly has also played a key role in strategic expansion efforts, including the opening of the Lenox brokerage and relocating to a larger office in Great Barrington in 2017. In Litchfield County, Donnelly helped with the recent move of the firm’s Lakeville office to a more prominent location in Salisbury. He will remain involved in this region as co-manager in Salisbury alongside Litchfield County brokerage manager Kristine Newell. Before stepping into management, Donnelly consistently ranked as a top producing agent in the Berkshires. Donnelly places an important emphasis on giving back to the Berkshires community. He recently entered the Berkshires offices into a “Battle of the Bartenders” charity competition, which the company won. All proceeds raised during the benefit were given to Construct. Inc.
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BTCF announces final round of 2018 grant deadlines
Sheffield — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced the final round of deadlines for competitive grants in 2018. Regional nonprofits, schools and individuals are invited to apply for funding. An online application process exists for all grants.
The Berkshire Environmental Endowment Fund supports projects that focus on improving water quality and protecting the community’s natural resources. Applicants must be able to match the grant in cash or in-kind services. Applications are due Sunday, Sept. 30.
The Community Development Collaborations initiative supports projects that will promote and strengthen the conditions for economic opportunity, town center development and affordable housing. It will provide one-year grants of up to $10,000 for nonprofits, community organizations, public agencies and town committees to plan and implement outreach activities that will help improve the economic well-being of residents and/or sustain town centers as commercial and civic hubs. Emails of intent will be accepted through Tuesday, Oct. 2.
The Central Berkshire Fund supports nonprofits, public agencies and community organizations serving the residents of Becket, Cummington, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington and Windsor. Applications are due Wednesday, Oct. 10.
For nonprofits and individuals
The Wassermann-Streit Y’diyah Memorial Fund supports projects about Judaism that aim to dispel religious prejudice, bias and intolerance. Applications are due Thursday, Nov. 1.
Four education-enrichment funds will award grants for projects that enhance and enrich the educational experience of the students and teachers in Berkshire County schools:
- Berkshire Hills Fund for Excellence for the Berkshire Hills Regional School District (applications due Monday, Oct. 1);
- SEE Fund for Mount Greylock Regional School (applications due Saturday, Oct. 6);
- Seven Towns’ Education Enrichment Program for the Central Berkshire Regional School District (applications due Wednesday, Oct. 10); and
- Williamstown Elementary School Endowment Fund (applications due Friday, Oct. 19).