Our scholarships are a pathway to opportunity for students like Caitlin Gelineau, who is pursuing a nursing degree at Berkshire Community College with support from the Rhoda Rubin Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund. High school seniors may apply for scholarships by March 15 with our new common application. Photo: John Dolan
Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights
Educational Attainment: We are proud to provide funding for the newly launched Talking is Teaching initiative in Columbia County. The campaign provides parents and caregivers with the inspiration and tools to talk, read and sing more with young children to boost early literacy and encourage lifelong learning. Talking is Teaching is a national program of Too Small to Fail, the early childhood initiative of the Clinton Foundation. This local effort is led by Columbia Opportunities and Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood as part of BTCF's Early Literacy and Learning Network, a multi-year initiative to increase early literacy funded by an anonymous donor couple with deep ties to Columbia County. Read more in our blog.
Economic Opportunity: A group of emerging entrepreneurs
is currently participating in
EforAll Berkshire County's yearlong accelerator program to receive training, mentorship and access to an extended professional network as they build their diverse businesses. EforAll has a focus on inclusive economic growth and a group of committed local funders, including Berkshire Taconic. The inaugural class is: Erin Laundry of Bottomless Bricks; Kaitlyn Pierce of Binka Bear; Brooke Bridges of Building Bridges; Valerie Chisom of Berkshire Learning; Curtis Mraz of Smoke & Honey Collective; Peydon Twing of PJT Screen Printing; Sarah Trudgeon and Chris Schlegel of the Mastheads; and Mindy Miraglia of Berkshire Camino Hostels. EforAll's next pitch contestwill be held on Feb. 5 in North Adams, giving residents the opportunity to share their ideas for new startups, receive feedback and compete for funding.
Community Engagement: Our Arts Build Community initiative awarded $200,000 in grants last year to support innovation among Berkshire County's nonprofit arts, cultural and community organizations as they work to increase community engagement through the arts, especially among lower-income residents, communities of color, youth and immigrants. Our second year of grantmaking begins next month with a round of small grants with quick turnaround that allow recipients to test emerging ideas. The application process opens on March 2. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until all funds are expended.
Board, Staff & Committee News
Committee Member: Seth Masters has joined our Investment Committee as a community advisor. He was the chief investment officer at AllianceBernstein for more than 20 years, and he is an advisor for financial planning companies Wealth Technologies and Marstone.
Conference Speaker: Tim Wilmot, BTCF's director of strategy, evaluation and learning, will co-present a session called "Community Foundations Learning for Equity and Impact" at the CFUnited Conference this April in Detroit. The conference is one of the largest gatherings of community foundation professionals in the country.
Artist Interview: Martha Boschen Porter Fund grantee John Gordon Gauld discussed his art and techniques with WAMC. His egg tempera and oil paintings are on view at the Berkshire Botanical Garden through Feb. 7.
Teacher Raises Funds: Music teacher Eric Wiener led the charge to raise funds for a new sound system at Webutuck High School, and he reached his goal with support from the Northeast Dutchess Fund. Read his story in the Millerton News.
Sculpture Exhibit: John Belardo of Pine Plains recently installed a kiln in his studio thanks to an A.R.T. Fund grant. His large-scale terra-cotta sculptures are on display in a solo exhibitionat St. Thomas Aquinas College's Azarian McCullough Gallery through Feb. 19.
Film Series: Images Cinema, with support from the Fund for Williamstown, is celebrating women's activism and advocacy through its 20th Century Women film series. Up next is "Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed" on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. The series runs through May.