'Power of Faith' by artist Isha Nelson, who will open a summer pop-up gallery Saturday, July 21, in Great Barrington. Image courtesy Heard Strategy

Business Briefs: Summer pop-up gallery; Dr. Alsdorf joins CHP; Massachusetts Nonprofit Network issues census report; Salisbury Bank awards scholarships

Artist Isha Nelson to open summer pop-up gallery

Great Barrington — Berkshire artist Isha Nelson will open a pop-up summer gallery at 25 Railroad St. that will celebrate the transformative and healing powers of nature intertwined with art. An opening night​ ​event will be held at the gallery Saturday, July 21, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Nelson’s gallery features a variety of her personal works “inspired by Mother Nature and her emotional responses to the realms of the mystical and unknown.” ​Working in Venetian techniques utilizing glass, aqueous solutions and colorants​, she draws much of her inspiration from viewing sunsets and oceans, plus other direct experiences with nature.

After mastering the craft of Venetian plaster and developing her love of murano glass techniques in Florence, Italy, Nelson put on her first show in 2012 and opened the Isha Nelson Gallery, hosting various artists each month. In 2015, Nelson’s brother-in-law was diagnosed with Stage 3 multiple myeloma and she accompanied him to CHIPSA Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, where she donated her time, art, and talents for nearly two years, filling the environment with her paintings on glass and colorful faux-painted walls while holding art therapy classes for patients.

The opening event is free and all are welcome. For more information, contact (413) 329-7218  or isha@ishanelsongallery.com.


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Dr. Stephen A. Alsdorf joins Community Health Programs

Dr. Stephen A. Alsdorf. Photo courtesy Community Health Programs

Great Barrington — Dr. Stephen A. Alsdorf has joined the primary care staff at Community Health Programs.

Most recently a physician with Family Practice Associates in Pittsfield, Alsdorf cares for children, teens and adults. He has special interests in sports medicine, preventive and wellness care, chronic disease management, and mind-body medicine.

He is a 2002 graduate of the UMass Medical School and completed his internship and residency at the Boston University Family Medicine program, Boston Medical Center and Codman Square Health Center. He earned his undergraduate degree with magna cum laude honors at Carleton College, and earned a diploma in pre-medical studies at Harvard University Extension School. Alsdorf is a member of the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians and the Medical Executive Committee of Berkshire Medical Center, where he is also on staff. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.


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Image courtesy Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network issues report on critical 2020 census

Boston — The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network has released its latest edition of Commonwealth Insights, “Everyone Counts: The Importance of the 2020 Census to Massachusetts Nonprofits.” The report, featuring interviews from four experts in their fields, examines the unprecedented challenges presented by the upcoming census, what is at stake for Massachusetts, and the role that nonprofits can play to ensure a fair and accurate census count.

The report focuses in particular on the all-digital nature of the upcoming census, “hard-to-count” communities in Massachusetts and ongoing funding challenges, all of which could hamper the collection of accurate data. Experts define “hard-to-count” communities as those without reliable internet access, those with immigrants and limited English-proficient residents, those with large numbers of young children, and other low-income communities that face significant barriers to participating in the census.

“An accurate Census count will support one of our key messages, that investing in immigrants is essential,” said Brooke Mead, executive director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center in Pittsfield, in the report. “If we can’t prove there are enough immigrants in the Berkshires (even though I know there are), it would be harder to make that argument, and could mean less assistance.”

The report highlights actions that Massachusetts nonprofits can take now to engage in the 2020 census, including adding census education and outreach to their public education and communications plans, advocating for full funding to the census, opposing the inclusion of a citizenship question, and joining efforts such as Complete Count Committees that are already working on census outreach strategy.

Although the 2020 census has a unique set of challenges, the experts assert that nonprofits are uniquely poised to be crucial partners in collaborations and cross-sector partnerships directed at ensuring that all individuals and communities are counted.


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The recipients of Salisbury Bank’s 2018 scholarship awards. From left: Alejandro Sarmiento, Brittany Strauss, Claire Norman, Ella Hampson, Finnbarr Chebatoris, Jada Wilson, Lexus Pattershall, Morgan Gott and Rebekah Turner. Not pictured: Autumn Rose Lennon. Photo courtesy Salisbury Bank

Salisbury Bank announces scholarship award program recipients

Lakeville, Conn. — Salisbury Bank has announced the recipients of its 2018 Annual Scholarship Program. The bank created the program in 2009 to assist students who have a proven financial need and who are already making a difference in their communities. Ten scholarships in the amount of $2,500 were awarded to assist eligible students seeking a college degree in a variety of programs.

The recipients are high-achieving students who possess a variety of interests, have demonstrated leadership experience, displayed consistent community involvement, and strive to make the world a better place. The 2018 recipients include Finnbarr Chebatoris and Morgan Gott of Mount Everett Regional School in Sheffield, Massachusetts; Alejandro Sarmiento of the Hotchkiss School; Jada Wilson of Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village; Autumn Rose Lennon of Beacon High School in Beacon, New York; Brittany Strauss of New Paltz High School in New Paltz, New York; Claire Norman of Stissing Mountain Junior/Senior High School in Pine Plains, New York; Ella Hampson of Cheshire Academy in Cheshire, Connecticut; Lexus Pattershall of Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park, New York; and Rebekah Turner of Newburgh Free Academy in Newburgh, New York.

Applicants were evaluated according to a 100-point system that takes into account financial need, academic achievement, community service, volunteerism and leadership. The top scorers were interviewed by the bank’s scholarship selection committee. A celebratory event was held June 27 in Lakeville in honor of the recipients’ accomplishments.