Poet Dan Albergotti of South Carolina is the 28th recipient of the Amy Clampitt residency. He is currently focused on his work during a six-month stay at Clampitt’s former home near Lenox. "It is the greatest blessing," he said. "I have written more new poems than I have in the past four years combined." Photo: John Dolan
Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights 

Northeast Dutchess Grants: For nearly 20 years, Berkshire Taconic's Northeast Dutchess Fund has awarded grants to nonprofits that improve the quality of life for residents of northeast Dutchess County. To assist these vital organizations in responding to the pandemic, the fund's committee awarded $90,000 to 13 nonprofits for unrestricted general operating support. Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley co-funded eight of these grants, doubling the amount these organizations received. The Northeast Dutchess Fund's NEDCorps 2.0 program also awarded $25,000 to four nonprofits that will develop new programs or expand services for immigrants living in northeast Dutchess.

Nonprofit Support in Changing Times: The nonprofit sector is facing acute challenges in these changing times. In response, we have joined coalitions with community foundations and other funders in northwest Litchfield County, the mid-Hudson region and across Massachusetts to help these vital organizations recover and rebuild. In Massachusetts, we are part of a group that is offering free technical assistance and capacity-building programs for nonprofits throughout the state. The topics of these programs, which focus on fundraising and strategy, were identified as key challenges facing organizations through a recent survey of over 1,000 nonprofits conducted in conjunction with Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. 

Scholarship Awards: With support from our generous communities, our regional scholarship program awarded $650,000 in 2020 to deserving young people from dozens of area schools, providing them with a pathway toward greater opportunity. "While certainly not the start to my college career that I envisioned, I am determined to make the best of remote learning," said Olivia Oligny-Leggett of Valatie, who received the Dr. Luis A. Jacome Scholarship to pursue her medical degree at Dickinson College. "The road ahead is a long one, and I do not wish for any delays in pursuit of my dreams. Thank you for believing in me.”

Grants for Artists: The Martha Boschen Porter Fund awarded nearly $60,000 to 12 emerging artists or artists experiencing a significant change of direction in their work. Grantees throughout our region are focused on nonfiction writing, mixed media, music, photography, dance, sculpture and theater. A grant to the Millay Colony in Austerlitz will fund half the cost of a month-long residency for two of the recipients to advance their art in a supportive residential environment.
Board, Staff & Committee News 

Education Enrichment: The chairs of our education enrichment fund committees have met with school leaders throughout our region to discuss how to enhance and enrich the educational experience of students and teachers in these uncertain times. They are identifying continuous challenges in technology as many classrooms focus on remote work. Projects and programs that support social-emotional learning and a sense of belonging for students will be prioritized in this year's grantmaking.

Acting Locally: BTCF board member Suzette Brooks Masters wrote a blog post this week emphasizing that trusted community partners, influencers and conveners at the local level can foster cohesion, de-escalate polarization and help our communities come together following the presidential election. She refers to a recent Berkshire Eagle editorial as a model for a path forward.

Alumni Board Meeting: Nearly 20 board and alumni board members convened virtually this week to connect with friends and colleagues, and learn more about Berkshire Taconic's COVID-19 emergency response.
Grants in the News

Program for Women with Cancer: A new coaching program for Berkshire women with cancer is funded by the Denise Kaley Fund. The Berkshire Eagle explains how the program helps participants work through problems and create new ways of living to keep them healthy in body, mind and spirit. 

Adopt-A-Family Needs Assistance: Adopt-A-Family in Millerton received a grant from the Northeast Dutchess Fund earlier this year to support the nonprofit's operations. This week's Millerton News features a cover story and editorial highlighting that the organization needs more funding to provide children and families with gift cards for the holidays.

Virtual Theater: WAM Theatre's first-ever digital production of "ROE" was streamed online this month with support from our Arts Build Community initiative. More than 1,800 people viewed the play, and WAM donated a portion of the box office proceeds to three nonprofits. Read more in Broadway World

Internship for Student: The Frances Kelsey Young Photographers Fund awarded Housatonic Valley Regional High School student Joseph Brennan a paid eight-week internship to work at the Sharon Historical Society and Museum. The announcement is in the Danbury News Times.

Job Search Help: The Hudson Area Library and the Roeliff Jansen Community Library are offering virtual one-on-one job search programs thanks to a grant from the Fund for Columbia County. Learn more in the Register-Star
Coming Up

Online Event for Businesses: EforAll Berkshire County is hosting a webinar to help small business owners boost traffic to their websites on Nov. 16 at 4 p.m. 

Grantee Art Exhibit: A site-specific paper installation by Lenox artist Ali Herrmann is on display at the Stationery Factory in Dalton through Nov. 19. The project was supported by the Martha Boschen Porter Fund.

Preventing Substance Abuse: The Northwest Corner Prevention Network meets virtually on the second Tuesday of every month at 10:30 a.m. The local group of volunteers combats substance abuse in northwest Litchfield County with support from the Northwest Corner Fund.