Valerie Lenis of Lakeville is the ninth recipient of the $105,000 Margaret Derwin scholarship. The Housatonic Valley Regional High School junior will receive $25,000 annually toward college tuition and other costs, and $5,000 for an overseas enrichment program in the Dominican Republic. The fund also awarded $5,000 to Lily Bibro of Salisbury for a community service trip to Costa Rica. Read more in our blog. Photo: John Dolan   
Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights 
Harvard Business School Scholarships: As part of our work to strengthen the resources of local nonprofits, we awarded scholarships to nonprofit leaders to attend executive education programs at Harvard Business School. Rich Weisenflue, CEO of Berkshire Family and Individual Resources, is currently participating in Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations. Ilana Steinhauer, executive director of Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires, and Margaret Keller, executive director of Community Access to the Arts, will attend the intensive one-week Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management course in July.   
Board Leadership Seminar: Board members from more than 30 regional nonprofits attended our first Board Leadership Seminar in Lakeville this month to learn how to make smart fundraising decisions with nationally respected consultant and author Gayle L. Gifford. Save the date for our second seminar on Oct. 11 at Columbia-Greene Community College, where Kenya Rutland will lead a discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion.   
Amy Clampitt Residency: Jessica Piazza is the 26th recipient of the Amy Clampitt residency, which provides poets and literary scholars with the time and opportunity to focus exclusively on their work at Clampitt's former home near Lenox. Jessica is keeping busy as she enters the final month of her six-month stay: She is writing a collection of poetry and her first novel, planning for local readings on June 18 and June 28, and is featured in the June issue of Berkshire Magazine. Read more in our blog. 
Board, Staff & Committee News 
New Committee Members: We are pleased to welcome new members to our education advisory committees. For our education enrichment funds, which support projects that enhance and enrich the educational experience in our region's school districts, new committee members are: Adrien Conklin (Sustaining Education Enrichment and Development Fund for the Pine Plains Central School District); Susan Ebitz (Farmington River Initiative for Regional Excellence for the Farmington River Regional School District); and Nancy Rauscher (Gateway Fund for North Adams Public Schools). For our scholarship funds, new committee members are: Tanya Kalischer (Berkshire County Scholarship Committee, which oversees the awards for multiple scholarships); Jane Waters and Shannon Vollmer (Northeast Dutchess Scholarship Fund); Sarah Byrne (Honorable James P. Dohoney Scholarship Fund); and Jeffrey Welch (James C. Kapteyn Prize). In addition, Meg Downey joined the committee of the Martha Boschen Porter Fund, a source of grants for local artists. 
New Senior Staff Member: Joseph R. Baker has joined our team as vice president of finance and administration. He has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit finance, investments, fundraising and development of community initiatives. He previously served as vice president of finance and chief financial officer at Fairfield County's Community Foundation, and director of finance and administration at the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. Email Joseph or call 413.229.0370 x112.   
Staff Join Nonprofit Boards: Amy Taylor, community engagement officer for education, has joined the board of trustees for the Berkshire Community Land Trust, which owns land in Berkshire County to ensure permanent access, control, affordability and stewardship. Communications Officer Darryl Gangloff now sits on the board of the Friends of the Irondale Schoolhouse, a group dedicated to preserving the historic 1858 one-room schoolhouse in Millerton for the benefit of the community.
Grants in the News
Arts Build Community: The work of two grantees of our Arts Build Community initiative were highlighted in the news this month. In Pittsfield, the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area used grant money to involve the immigrant community in planning a block party to kick off construction of the West Side Riverway Park. The Berkshire Eagle reported on the event. In Great Barrington, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is welcoming underserved audiences to live performances and addressing transportation barriers. Executive Director Beryl Jolly outlined the organization's plans in an interview with WAMC. 
Housing Solutions: The North East Community Center and Hudson River Housing led a discussion on the housing needs of a rural workforce in Millerton last month with support from our Community Development Collaborations initiative. A few weeks later, the two organizations renewed their partnership for a meeting to advance housing solutions in northeastern Dutchess County. This coalition will meet again at the Pine Plains Free Library on Wednesday, June 5, at 5:30 p.m. Read more in The Millerton News    
Access to Exercise for Seniors: Thanks to a grant from the Fund for Columbia County, the Roeliff Jansen Community Library has extended its balance exercise class for seniors through the end of the year. Details are in the Register-Star
Coming Up
North Canaan Community Hub: With support from our Community Development Collaborations grantmaking initiative, the North Canaan Community Hub will celebrate its grand opening in the Colonial Theater at 27 Railroad St. on Friday, May 31, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. For three months, the hub will engage the community at the venue through displays, programs and a social gathering space. Email the organizers for more information on the hub's schedule.  
Honoring Nonprofits:  Nonprofit Awareness Day: A Celebration of Nonprofit Excellence, a statewide holiday honoring the contributions of nonprofits in Massachusetts, will be celebrated on June 3. Massachusetts Nonprofit Network will host a gathering at the State House. In Berkshire County, Toole Insurance is offering an educational networking event for nonprofits at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox.  
Fund for Williamstown Gathering: The Fund for Williamstown will celebrate the generous donors and grant recipients who are working to make Williamstown a more vibrant, healthy and enjoyable place to live at its annual gathering on Thursday, June 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the town's Taconic Golf Club. Email Kelly Sweet to RSVP by June 12.