The Clinton Community Library was awarded New York state's prestigious Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award for 2018. It was recognized for its Optimistic Aging program, which encourages seniors to stay active and healthy. The program is funded by BTCF's Northeast Dutchess Fund. Photo: John Dolan   
Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights 
Arts Build Community: The Arts Build Community initiative, BTCF's partnership with the Barr Foundation to increase community engagement through the arts and creative sector, is building momentum in 2019. Informed by resident-led research, we are working with Berkshire County arts and culture nonprofits to address barriers to participation in the arts, experiment with new approaches and foster resource-sharing through the launch of an intensive yearlong training program and a new grantmaking program. We're also committed to expanding arts education and engaging like-minded donors on ways to strengthen the vitality of cultural organizations around the county.
Grassroots Entrepreneurship: As part of our strategic priority to increase economic opportunity in our region, BTCF and other partners convened business leaders, elected officials, government agencies, funders and other interested parties on Jan. 23 and 24 to learn more about a program that aims to increase the rate and success of entrepreneurship in Massachusetts, particularly among low-income and under-represented communities. 
Reflections on Kapteyn Prize: We are sharing a series of inspiring and emotional video interviews with past recipients of the Kapteyn Prize, which celebrates the outstanding work of high school teachers in our region by awarding them $10,000 for study or travel. Kari Giordano, Southern Berkshire Regional School District's art curriculum leader and a past Kapteyn winner, produced the series. Principals and chief administrators may nominate an educator for the 2019 prize by Feb. 9.  
Board, Staff & Committee News 
New Committee Members: We are pleased to welcome five new members to the advisory committee for the William J. & Margery S. Barrett Fund, which is focused on improving the quality of life for residents in Adams, Cheshire and Savoy. They are: Dawn Canales, Dianne Cutillo and Howard Wineberg of Adams; Gwen DeBlois of Savoy; and Darlene Rodowicz of Cheshire. We thank Thomas Douglas, Pamela Duval and David Desmarais for their years of service on the committee.    
New Staff Member: Kelly Sweet has joined our team as community engagement officer for philanthropic services to advance our strategic priorities and enhance our donor and community relationships. Email Kelly or call her at 413.429.8418.  
We're Hiring: We seek two full-time team members: a vice president of finance and administration to serve as a key senior staff leader, and an administrative manager to support office operations and our president, senior staff and board of directors. Learn more 
Grants in the News

Job Skills & School Enrichment: The Register-Star has highlighted the good work of grantees in Columbia County. With assistance from a Fund for Columbia County grant, Hudson Hall recently completed its pilot phase for a workforce development training program that provided young adults with job skills training and work experience. Also, the Chatham Education Foundation awarded more than $25,000 to 22 projects that enrich the educational experience of students and teachers in the Chatham Central School District.
KentPresents Awards: KentPresents, an ideas festival that was held for four years in northwest Litchfield County, awarded grants in 2018 to two Berkshire Taconic funds: the Jane Lloyd Fund, which supports the basic needs of cancer patients and their families in the Northwest Corner, and the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund, which offers emergency assistance for residents in economic distress. Learn more in The Lakeville Journal.

Supporting College Students: Berkshire Taconic's Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund awarded Northwestern Connecticut Community College a $5,000 grant to help students in northwest Litchfield County face unexpected expenses that challenge their ability to continue their studies. Learn more in the Register Citizen. 
Coming Up
Instruments for Young Musicians: The Kids Need Music program supplies instruments for students in the Hudson City School District with support from the Hudson Schools Arts and Humanities Fund. The program is hosting a classical concert at the Hudson Library on Saturday, March 2, at 3 p.m. to raise funds for instruments that will be used in the Hudson City School Band and the after-school string orchestra. 
Benefit Concert & Dance: As part of an annual tradition, the Harlem Line Band will perform at the White Hart Inn in Salisbury, Conn., on Saturday, March 23, from 8:30 to 11 p.m. to benefit the Jane Lloyd Fund . Admission is $15 at the door.