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Business Briefs: Mahaiwe to receive NEA grant; Garden Club of America award for Lenox Garden Club; BCC at Framework; Decumanus Green to participate in energy pilot program

The Lenox Garden Club's $10,000 award will be used to launch a nonprofit, teen-run food truck in coordination with Roots Rising.

Mahaiwe receives $10k NEA grant

Great Barrington — National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $10,000 to the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center with Berkshires Jazz Inc. for the presentation of John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey in “Radio Deluxe.” The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

“Jazz is America’s cultural gift to the world, and the support of the NEA helps us tell that story to wider audiences,” said Berkshires Jazz President Edward J. Bride. “Equally important, the history that the Pizzarelli family has in jazz lore is something that must not be lost, and the NEA grant will help us capture and tell much of that story to wider audiences.”

The Mahaiwe and Berkshires Jazz will co-present jazz musicians John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey Saturday, Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. when the duo will record their syndicated American-songbook radio program “Radio Deluxe” live at the Mahaiwe. The show mixes and matches songs in medleys and sequences with a continuing dialogue about life, relationships and popular culture itself.


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Lenox Garden Club receives award from Garden Club of America

Lenox — The Lenox Garden Club has been named as a runner-up for the Garden Club of America’s 2018 Founders Fund Award. The $10,000 award was announced during the GCA’s May 10 annual meeting and will be used to launch a nonprofit, teen-run food truck in coordination with Roots Rising.

The agriculture-based youth development program Roots Rising was conceived and launched by Berkshire Botanical Garden and the Alchemy Initiative. The program pays teenagers ages 14 to 19 to work on farms, in community gardens and in local food pantries. The Founders Fund award will be used toward the purchase of a food truck that will function both as a work site and mobile classroom. Offering ingredients sourced from local farms and prepared by teens, the food truck will enable at-risk youth to gain entrepreneurial, horticultural and culinary skills; increase community access to healthy food; and generate income for wages.


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BCC to move offices to Framework

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College has announced that it will soon establish a presence at the Framework collaborative workspace.

Framework was started in 2017 by a group of local investors and entrepreneurs seeking to provide shared workspace, community and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small businesses.

“Framework’s ethos is closely aligned with the college’s commitment to growing the local economy,” said Jill Sasso Curtis, BCC’s dean of community engagement, education and workforce development. “The exceptional downtown location, in an area of ongoing investment on North Street, offers BCC significantly increased visibility and accessibility. Our presence at Framework will enhance our ability to engage with prospective students as well as local and regional businesses.”

As a result of the completion of a nearly $34 million renovation to portions of the college’s main campus on West Street, BCC’s administrative and educational activities currently housed at the Conte Federal Building will be able to relocate back to the main campus at the expiration of the Conte lease in August 2018.  The college will be active at Framework by late summer.


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Decumanus Green to participate in energy pilot program

Lenox — Decumanus Green has announced its participation in the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ Home MVP pilot program, which aims to increase the energy efficiency of existing homes and serves all full-rate utility customers.

Home MVP will run alongside other utility-sponsored incentives but will be more flexible and adaptable to homes that cannot be served by the utility programs. Participants are also eligible for zero-interest loans for up to $25,000 to pay for the work. Incentives are based on both modeled and actual energy savings. Customers must show their previous year’s utility bills and provide their utility consumption totals for one year after the work has been completed. The data will then be used by DOER to evaluate the actual energy savings generated by the program as a whole. It will also be used to determine part of an additional incentive available to homeowners.

Home MVP is financed by DOER and administered by Clearesult. The work must be done by Decumanus Green or another of the independent contractors selected for the program.



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