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Business Briefs: Norman Rockwell Museum ponders expansion; BCC obtains grant for immigrant stories project; festival grant for BTG; new marketing director for Main Street Hospitality; new leadership at CIP Berkshire

The new museum site would house the illustration library and archive, a study gallery with open storage, room for symposia and salon-style convening, and a reading room with enhanced technology for digital engagement and distance learning.

Norman Rockwell Museum initiates feasibility studies for possible expansion

Stockbridge — The Norman Rockwell Museum has announced that it is assessing possibilities for expansion and has initiated feasibility studies to examine various options for meeting its pressing need for more space.

The feasibility studies will consider the possibility of expanding on either the Museum’s present campus in the Glendale neighborhood of Stockbridge or at an off-campus site. One location being considered is the old Stockbridge Town Hall, also known as Proctor Hall, a historic building on Main Street that has been vacant since 2008 when the town moved its offices. If the town hall were to prove feasible, it could mark the return of a Museum presence to Stockbridge’s village center where the Museum originated nearly a half century ago.

Most of the Museum’s scholarly, curatorial, storage, and exhibition activities now occur under cramped conditions in the Museum building. The new site would house the illustration library and archive, a study gallery with open storage, room for symposia and salon-style convening, and a reading room with enhanced technology for digital engagement and distance learning. Space for a curatorial office suite, archival management, processing of digital collections, exhibition preparation, and art storage would also be included, freeing space for more public programs in the present Museum building.

Over the next six to 12 months, the Museum will undertake fundraising feasibility and financial planning studies, evaluate master planning options outlined in recent years by Ann Beha Architects, and give close review to a study on Proctor Hall prepared for the Museum by Schwartz/Silver Architects, with the aim of solidifying a phased expansion plan in about a year.

–E.E.

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BCC begins Berkshire Immigrant Stories project

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College (BCC) has announced that it has garnered a $16,000 grant from Mass Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities for the pilot project Berkshire Immigrant Stories, which will pave the way for a public humanities center at BCC. BCC is one of only three colleges in the Commonwealth chosen to pilot the new initiative.

The Berkshire Immigrant Stories Project will collect and share the stories of recent local immigrants and their children and grandchildren through an online exhibit and archive called “Your Story, Our Story,” developed by the Tenement Museum in New York City.

BCC and partners will offer hands-on help with photographing objects, writing stories and submitting them to the “Your Story, Our Story” online archive. The workshops, which are free and open to the public, will be held in early 2017 on Thursday, Feb. 23, and Thursday, March 2, at 6 p.m. at the Berkshire Athenaeum and at BCC’s Jonathan Edwards Library on Thursday, April 6, at 12:15 p.m. BCC will also host literary events around the theme of immigration including a presentation by author Martin Espada at noon on Friday, April 21, as well as a series of activities and presentations by author Jana Laiz between Thursday, April 20, and Thursday, April 27.

–E.E.

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BTG receives festival grant

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) has announced that its Made in the Berkshires festival – to be held Friday, Nov. 11, through Sunday, Nov. 13, at the Colonial Theatre – has received a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Festivals Program. The Festivals Program is designed to provide funding to help festival programmers meet the needs of producing, promoting, and developing audiences. In the program’s first round, 125 grants of $500 were awarded. Grant recipients will also receive technical support from ArtsBoston in social media and best practices in data collection, allowing for the creation of a framework to deepen the marketing and data collection capacity of festivals across the Commonwealth.

–E.E.

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Main Street Hospitality Group’s new marketing director

Norma Probst.
Norma Probst.

Stockbridge — Main Street Hospitality Group (MSHG) CEO Sarah Eustis has announced the appointment of Norma Probst as MSHG’s new director of marketing.

Probst joins MSHG’s marketing team with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and sales in Berkshire County. Most recently she was director of marketing and sales at Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort. Prior to her work at Cranwell, Probst managed the sales department at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires as the director of sales and led various teams at American Express as a manager, director and, later, consultant. She has served on a number of industry and regional tourism association boards over the years including those of the New England Inns & Resorts Association, Historic Hotels of America, and the Berkshires Visitor Bureau.

–E.E.

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CIP Berkshire names new program director

Dr. Miral Kruh.
Dr. Miral Kruh.

Lee — The College Internship Program (CIP) has announced that Miral Kruh, PsyD, has joined CIP Berkshire to serve as its program director. Kruh comes to CIP with a wealth of experience in working with young adults who have autism and learning differences. Most recently she worked as a New York state-licensed psychologist and director of behavioral health for a large agency in New York, supporting people with autism and a wide variety of learning differences and health support needs. Kruh assumes the position previously held by Lucy Allarie-Gosselin who recently retired.

–E.E.

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