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Business Briefs: Restoration grant for Shays’ Rebellion monument; Davis joins Mill Renaissance LLC; Red Lion Inn artist residency; Cultural Facilities Fund grant for CATA; new community outreach counselor for BCC

Davis will report directly to principal developer Jeffrey N. Cohen on projects including a $70 million revitalization of the historic Eagle Mill in Lee and the revitalization of the Spinning Mill, a 225,000-square-foot mill in Adams.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy grant will restore Shays’ Rebellion monument

Sheffield — The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has awarded the Appalachian Mountain Club Berkshire Chapter’s Appalachian Trail Management Committee a $1,275 grant to restore the Shays’ Rebellion monument, which marks the site of the last battle of Shays’ Rebellion Feb. 27, 1787.

The grant will fund the cleaning and preservation of the rough marble monument, which is located on the Appalachian Trail corridor on South Egremont Road. The work is being done by Slavco Sokolovski, the principal of Historical Restoration Services LLC of Cambridge.

The cleaning agents being used are gentle and require repeated applications. All of the materials used contain natural materials and no acids exist in the fluids. An overnight poultice application will be wrapped with plastic and tape. Following this step, final washing and rinsing will be performed using a low-pressure sprayer. Lastly, the blackened lettering will be freshened up to restore visibility of the message.


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Davis joins Mill Renaissance as director of development

Leigh Davis. Photo: David Scribner

Great Barrington — Leigh Davis has been appointed director of development of Mill Renaissance LLC. Davis will be responsible for overseeing real estate operations including project acquisition, financing, leasing, property management and development. She will report directly to principal developer Jeffrey N. Cohen on projects including a $70 million revitalization of the historic Eagle Mill in Lee and the revitalization of the Spinning Mill, a 225,000-square-foot mill in Adams.

Before joining Mill Renaissance LLC, Davis was marketing director of New England Newspapers Inc. in Pittsfield. Prior to that, she was marketing manager of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and was also an elected member of the Great Barrington Finance Committee. She is a graduate of Ithaca College; holds a Master of Arts degree from the National University of Ireland; and was a tenured professor at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, also in Ireland. Davis comes from a family tradition of housing and economic development as her late father, Lloyd Davis, was a longtime senior advisor to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She resides in Great Barrington with her three children.


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Red Lion Inn, IS183 to partner for artist residency

‘Sofa,’ Bill Wright, 2017. Image courtesy IS183 Art School of the Berkshires

Stockbridge — The Red Lion Inn has announced that is has partnered with IS183 Art School of the Berkshires for its second annual summer artist residency, which invites artists to interpret and express the inn’s spirit through their work.

The 2018 artist in residence is Bill Wright of Pittsfield, a photographer and active local citizen. For the entirety of the residency, which will run from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Wright will be creating work using the Red Lion Inn spaces as his studio and inspiration. Events surrounding the residency will consist of artist talks, a closing reception over Labor Day weekend, and an exhibition following Wright’s residency.

“I love the idea of playing with light and long exposure to show the ghostly past and present, while having the opportunity to gain access to the beautiful history and explore what the walls will say,” said Wright.

Bill Wright was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and graduated from the Colorado Art Institute in 2000. After working in the commercial photography industry for a decade, he embarked on a monumental artistic project on American Veterans that became “Vets.” Other projects include “Papermakers,” a portrait series of the employees of Crane Paper Company; and ongoing projects such as “The Answer is Never the Answer” and “Chefs & Farmers.” He shares his time between personal art projects and other commissioned work and his work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the U.S. Wright, who is also a member of IS183’s faculty, is involved in the improving the quality of life in the Berkshires through cultural, political and social engagement.


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Community Access to the Arts receives Cultural Facilities Fund grant

Great Barrington — Community Access to the Arts has been awarded its first-ever Cultural Facilities Fund grant from MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The $26,000 award allows CATA to define options for expansion and to assess long-term facilities needs. Other 2018 awardees in the Berkshires include Jacob’s Pillow, Shakespeare & Company, the Clark Art Institute and the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Since 1993, CATA has brought over 20,000 arts workshops to more than 2,000 people with disabilities throughout Berkshire County. The CFF grant will allow CATA to plan for the expansion of its facilities in order to grow programming for a greater population of people with disabilities.


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BCC hires community outreach counselor

Karen Ruiz León. Photo courtesy Berkshire Community College

Pittsfield — Berkshire Community College has announced that Karen Ruiz León has joined it as the community outreach counselor for enrollment services.

The community outreach counselor works as part of the enrollment services staff in meeting comprehensive recruitment goals, while providing on-campus support for students with an emphasis on immigrant, bilingual and international students, and students of color.

Ruiz León, who lives in North Adams, previously worked at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where she was the advancement communications and engagement associate, and also played a part of many of MCLA’s diversity initiatives. Ruiz León has a background in diversity as well as multilingual abilities.



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