Ali Herrmann of Lenox received grants from the Martha Boschen Porter Fund and A.R.T. Fund last year to work on mixed media pieces that will be featured in upcoming exhibits. Martha Boschen Porter Fund applications are due July 15. The A.R.T. Fund deadline is Aug. 1. Photo: John Dolan    
COVID-19 Regional Response  
Over the past three months, the coronavirus pandemic has taken a devastating toll. The challenges are widespread and unprecedented, with inequities exposed at the individual, community and systems levels. Yet in a region known for its generosity, we have worked across sectors to mobilize over $3 million so far to nonprofits and small businesses in the four counties we serve. In partnership with coalitions of business, nonprofit, government and local leaders, our emergency funds have rapidly moved resources to trusted agencies that have experience supporting communities in crisis. Our Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund has provided grants for food, rent, utilities, medical bills and other critical needs for residents impacted by the pandemic. And in Columbia County, our Business Continuity Fund has helped distressed small businesses defray costs related to operating or reopening.   
We will continue awarding grants as funding is available. In addition, we are working with community foundations and funders in all of our counties to better understand the capacity-building resources nonprofits will require as they seek to recover from the crisis.
Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights 
Economic Opportunity: Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County, our partnership to help drive inclusive economic growth, has been continuing its programming virtually. In April, a tight-knit group of entrepreneurs celebrated their participation in EforAll's inaugural accelerator program. Last month, residents shared their ideas for new startups during an online pitch contest, and cash prizes were awarded to Emily Joy Seamstress, Olsen Farm CSA, Cricket Creek Farm, and Erika Bailey of Bailey's Bakery. Twenty area businesses recently completed a two-week pilot program with Team R3SET to build and enhance their digital marketing. EforAll quickly created this new learning experience with funding from Berkshire Taconic, Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation and Greylock Federal Credit Union. Coming up: another virtual pitch contest is scheduled for July 22, and entrepreneurs can apply to attend classes and meet mentors as part of this fall's online business cohort. 
Scholarship Impact: In the midst of this pandemic, the volunteer committees of our 50+ scholarship funds have met virtually to award scholarships to young students throughout our region. While full details of this year's scholarship program will follow, we celebrate the work of the Honorable James P. Dohoney Scholarship. The committee significantly increased its awards this year to provide up to $8,000 to four graduating seniors of southern Berkshire high schools to make a meaningful impact on their educational goals. 
Board, Staff & Committee News 
Clampitt Centennial: The Amy Clampitt Fund advisory committee hosted a virtual poetry reading on June 15 to celebrate what would have been the late poet's 100th birthday. Committee members, friends, family and former participants of the fund's residency program shared a selection of Amy's poems and discussed her legacy. "I am specifically grateful to have worked in her house because she's the patron saint of those of us who only found our groove after trying a lot of different things. To ride her tailwind was a really great time for me," said Patrick Donnelly, who spent six months as a poet in residence in Amy's house near Lenox in 2018.  
New Board Members: Two new members were elected to the BTCF board this month. Peter Frank of Hudson is a set designer and prop stylist, and his editorial work has appeared in magazines like Martha Stewart Living, House Beautiful and Elle Decor. Jane Iredale founded Iredale Cosmetics in Great Barrington and served as its chief executive officer for 26 years. We thank outgoing board members Ellen Kennedy, Thomas Quinn, Sarah Stack and Michael Wynn for their years of leadership.  
New Committee Member: Brooke Mead, the former executive director of Berkshire Immigrant Center, has joined the New World Fund's advisory committee. The fund supports nonprofits that provide services to recent immigrants to the Berkshires and offers scholarships for new immigrants who are pursuing a degree at Berkshire Community College.   
Baker Joins Board: BTCF Vice President of Finance and Administration Joseph Baker now sits on the board of Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, an association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good.   
New Staff Members: Philanthropic Services Associate Jennifer Lilienthal and Finance Associate Tabitha Wolfe joined our team prior to the pandemic to support the daily operations of the foundation. Email Jennifer or Tabitha
Grants in the News
Pop-Up Soup Kitchen: With support from the Columbia County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, a group of individuals and organizations quickly launched the Columbia County Recovery Kitchen in Hudson to address the significant increase in demand for food created by the pandemic. The Columbia Paper covers how the kitchen was created in less than a month.  
Letter to the Editor: Northwest Corner Fund Chair Henry Putzel III wrote a letter to The Lakeville Journal to thank donors who have contributed to our Emergency Response Fund, which has distributed nearly $116,000 throughout northwest Litchfield County to help our neighbors in crisis and to offer assistance to vital nonprofits.  
Library Reopens: A grant from the Northeast Dutchess Fund helped the NorthEast-Millerton Library purchase and install equipment for the safety of its staff and patrons, as well as expand its virtual services. With the fund's support, the library reopened to the public last week. Read more in The Millerton News.    
Diaper Project: The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County awarded two grants to the Berkshire Community Diaper Project to ensure that parents have access to diapers during this health crisis. Learn about their work in the Berkshire Eagle
Coming Up
Wholesome Groceries: Rolling Grocer 19 in Hudson will reopen to the public for in-store shopping on Tuesday, June 30. The store, which launched with support from our Fresh and Healthy Food for All initiative, gives residents access to wholesome, local food that is made affordable by tiered pricing based on income. View curbside pick-up and delivery options on the Rolling Grocer 19 website.         
Virtual Farmers Market: Following the suspension of the outdoor season of the Pittsfield Farmers Market, Roots Rising will continue to offer its virtual farmers market through Nov. 14. The virtual market is supported by the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County.   
Online Art Events: Grantees and cohort members of our Arts Build Community initiative are hosting digital offerings. Jacob's Pillow will launch its first-ever Virtual Festival July 7 to Aug. 29. Video collections from the 1930s to today and multimedia essays are also available on their website. Tina Packer, founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, is exploring Shakespeare's plays through a different lens on Thursdays through July 9.