Poet Tyree Daye of North Carolina has completed a residency made possible by BTCF's Amy Clampitt Fund. Daye was focused on his second book during a six-month stay at Clampitt's former home. His debut collection, "River Hymns," won the 2017 American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize. Photo: John Dolan 
Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights 
NEDCorps Expansion:  For more than 10 years, the Northeast Dutchess Fund's NEDCorps program  has connected low-income residents to resources that can help them avert emergencies and meet their basic needs. Thanks to an expanded partnership with the Carson Family Charitable Trust, NEDCorps will increase its impact in 2019. The enhanced program will continue helping residents access services and supporting the region's growing immigrant community. It will also include a new focus on the critical transition from school to work for high school students in northeast Dutchess County's districts.
Grants to Promote Economic Opportunity: Community Development Collaborations, a special grant program of BTCF's HousingUs initiative, has awarded $39,000 in grants to five organizations. They will support projects and activities that promote community development and town center vitality in our four-county region.
Scholarships Awarded: Thanks to the generosity of area donors and the hard work of volunteer committees, Berkshire Taconic awarded more than 200 scholarships this year to students in Berkshire, Columbia, northwest Litchfield and northeast Dutchess counties. We received over 325 applications, which is an increase of 40 percent from 2017, and nearly 20 students earned multiple scholarships. The awards range from $1,000 to $25,000 annually. View our 2019 scholarship deadlines

Faces of Philanthropy: Our latest publication, Portraits of Generosity, celebrates some of the many inspiring donors who are giving back to their communities in partnership with Berkshire Taconic. Read the digital version.
Board, Staff & Committee News 
Eagle Fund Billboards: The Eagle Fund committee secured space for two billboards that share the fund's message of helping students soar in the Southern Berkshire Regional School District. The ads were created by Kari Giordano, the district's art curriculum leader and a past Kapteyn Award winner, with the help of a student intern. Look for the billboards on Route 7 in Great Barrington and Sheffield (next to Berkshire Taconic's office).  

Opportunity Zones Discussion: BTCF President Peter Taylor moderated a Dec. 5 panel on ways to strengthen low-income areas in Berkshire County by utilizing new tax incentives in state-designated Opportunity Zones to spur private investment. Panelists included Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, Tim Burke of Mill Town Capital, Perri Petricca of Unistress Corporation and Jay Anderson of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank and Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation.  

Board Meeting: At its last meeting of the year, the Berkshire Taconic board of directors approved the foundation's 2019 operating plan and hosted a holiday reception for board members, alumni board members and other partners at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge.
Grants in the News

Groceries Hit the Road:  Rolling Grocer 19 , a mobile market that is making fresh, local food available to Columbia County residents as part of BTCF's Fresh and Healthy Food for All initiative, was featured in this month's issue of The Valley Table magazine.  
Supporting Seniors: The Clinton Community Library has received a $4,500 grant from the Northeast Dutchess Fund to support Optimistic Aging, a wellness and learning program that helps seniors keep their brains and bodies active and healthy. Components of the program are outlined in the Register-Star.
Arts Education: Lisa Donovan, who is a professor in the fine and performing arts department at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, joined a podcast hosted by the Mass Cultural Council to discuss efforts that are underway to create a regional, rural model for collaboration between arts educators and cultural institutions. Berkshire Taconic is a partner in this work.
Breaking Box Office Records: WAM Theatre donated $7,500 of the proceeds from its production of "Ann" to the Denise Kaley Fund, which supports the day-to-day living expenses of Berkshire women who are living with cancer and have financial need. The donation was highlighted last month in the Berkshire Record.  
Coming Up
Closed for Holidays: Berkshire Taconic's office will be closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, and New Year's Day, Jan. 1
End-of-Year Giving: The last business day of the year to make a charitable gift is Monday, Dec. 31. We will be open until 5 p.m. Learn more about ways to give on our website, or call us at 413.229.0370.