Business Briefs: National Dance Presenters’ Forum; Berkshire Bank donates to CDCSB; Fitch Ratings upgrades Kimball Farms; Berkshire United Way community investments
Jacob’s Pillow to host National Dance Presenters’ Forum
Becket — Jacob’s Pillow will host the 2019 National Dance Presenters’ Forum Wednesday, July 10, through Saturday, July 14. Developed in collaboration with key partners from across the U.S., the forum is designed to be a catalytic opportunity for early career dance presenters. On the occasion of the 2019 forum, Jacob’s Pillow will host National Endowment for the Arts acting Chair Mary Anne Carter.
Jacob’s Pillow has worked closely with national and regional partners to develop a curriculum for the program that provides 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 United States.
The forum planning committee selected 15 emerging dance presenters with diverse backgrounds as curators, cultural organizers, and service providers to artists and audiences. The forum will take the shape of a learning cohort, wherein participants, facilitators, presenters and virtual panelists will interrogate and contribute perspectives on the evolving state of 21st-century dance presenting.
Attending the forum will be Chavi Bansal, Pao Arts Center; Boston; Ellen Chenoweth, Columbia College Chicago Dance Center, Chicago, Illinois; Malakhi RL Eason II, Omaha Performing Arts, Omaha, Nebraska; Gillian Jones, Edmonds Center for the Arts, Edmonds, Washington; Napoleon Wesley Gladney, Chapman University Musco Center for the Arts, Orange, California; Liliana G. Gomez Vargas, Phoenix Center for the Arts, Phoenix, Arizona; Liza Wade Green, NC State LIVE, Raleigh, North Carolina; Sarah Greenbaum, Dance Place; Washington, D.C.; Kelsey Halliday Johnson, SPACE, Portland, Maine; Erin Johnson, Velocity Dance Center, Seattle, Washington; Yonca Karakilic, College of the Holy Cross Arts Transcending Borders program, Worcester; Brett Wellman Messenger, Live Arts at the Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey; Sruthi Mohan, Tat Tvam Asi, Austin, Texas; Theresa Remick, Page Theatre, Winona, Minnesota; and Paul Wilborn, St. Petersburg College Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, Florida.
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Berkshire Bank grants $10,000 to CDCSB
Great Barrington — The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire has announced that the Berkshire Bank Foundation has made a $10,000 grant to the CDCSB, funding its work building low-moderate income housing and creating jobs in the Berkshires. This grant will support organization’s staffing and general fund in support of its work helping families and individuals in the southern Berkshire region.
“We are so pleased to support the work of the CDCSB, which aligns with our priorities and directly serves families in need the South Berkshire community. We look for programs that don’t simply address the issues, but create real change. Education and community/economic development are two of our Foundation’s focus areas, as is serving the needs of low-income individuals,” said Lori Gazzillo Kiely, vice president and director of the Berkshire Bank Foundation.
The CDCSB executive director Tim Geller expressed his gratitude for the foundation’s continued support of affordable housing: “Access to affordable housing affects every aspect of our community by improving financial stability and providing a safe and stable environment for families and school children. Berkshire Bank’s commitment and leadership is helping us provide family housing, employee housing for businesses, and will provide our youth with the opportunity to live and work here.”
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Fitch upgrades Kimball Farms’ rating
Investors use the company’s ratings as a guide as to which investments will not default and subsequently yield a solid return. Along with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, Fitch is one of the top three credit rating agencies in the world. The upgrade reflects Kimball Farms’ continued liquidity growth and debt moderation, all of which compare favorably to Fitch’s A category medians.
Berkshire Healthcare President Bill Jones commented: “We are thrilled that Kimball Farms CLCC has received this improved rating from Fitch and are proud of our staff and leadership who have established a consistent track record of excellence in everything they do.” He added, “This reinforces Berkshire Healthcare’s commitment to providing a broad range of quality senior living care options in our community.
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Berkshire United Way announces community investments for fiscal year 2020
Pittsfield — The Berkshire United Way has announced $1,250,000 in community investments for July 2019, which will support 42 Berkshire County health, human service and education programs provided by 28 organizations, an increase of $60,000 from the current year.
Said Karen Vogel, Berkshire United Way’s director of community impact, “This year we wanted to send a message to the community: We welcome new, innovative approaches to address the complex issues families face.” Of the grantees for this two-year cycle, 11 are new programs, the majority of which were developed through the work of coalitions convened by Berkshire United Way.
A new grantee with a successful multi-sector collaboration Berkshire United Way is helping to expand is the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, whose comprehensive anti-bias, anti-bullying program, piloted this past year through the support of the Berkshire County Superintendents’ Roundtable, can now be implemented in 16 middle and high schools.
Continued Vogel: “During the past two years we have expanded our work in early education and youth development to include economic prosperity, focused on getting unemployed and underemployed adults into the workforce and preparing youth and young adults for careers, with the goal of reducing the number of households making less than $75,000. We are closely aligned with the work of the MassHire Berkshire Skills Cabinet Blueprint for workforce development.” Eight evidence-based programs will be supported in the economic prosperity category.
Over 4,000 individuals and businesses contributed to Berkshire United Way’s campaign this year.