This Hudson hip-hop dance program links learning with creativity, building social skills, confidence and
self-esteem through classes and family performances. A collaboration between Hudson Hall, the Department of Youth and Operation Unite NY, it's supported by the Fund for Columbia County. Photo: John Dolan 

Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights 

A Plan for the Future: 
Helping to improve the quality of life and create economic opportunity for all residents is central to our work. Berkshire Taconic has just published a plan that outlines our new strategic priorities for the foundation, developed as a result of our recent community assessment. Learn about our new direction and view a webinar with our board chair, Sarah Stack, and staff.

Engagement through the Arts:  Increasing involvement in the arts and creative process among year-round residents and organizations is the focus of Creative Commonwealth, our new partnership with the Boston-based Barr Foundation. Several elements of this exciting work will launch in coming months, including a new grants program and a partnership with MCLA to bring arts organizations and schools together to develop a blueprint for arts education in Berkshire County. 

Benchmarking Educational Indicators:  Beginning with northeast Dutchess County, BTCF is doing a deep dive around the region to develop a set of key indicators along the educational continuum, from early childhood to adult learning. Guiding this work is Jake Eberwein, a school superintendent and veteran of the Compact for Education, a cross-sector coalition to raise educational attainment in Berkshire County.
Board, Staff and Committee News 
BTCF Funds Gain Committee Members:
 We are pleased to welcome new members to our area fund and education enrichment fund committees, which conduct grantmaking across our four counties. Joining our  committed group of local leaders are: Peter Frank  and Jeff Hunt , both of Hudson, N.Y.  (the Fund for Columbia County); Valerie Schwarz, of North Adams, Mass.  (the James and Robert Hardman Fund);  Ethan  Klepetar, of Becket, Mass.,  and Mark McIlquham, of Dalton, Mass.  (the Central Berkshire Fund).  New members of the Hudson Arts & Humanities Fund are Martha McMaster , of Ghent, and Bridget Smith , a literacy specialist with the school district. Taconic Hills Arts & Humanities Fund welcomes Bronwen Booth and Lindsay Klippel , both of Copake, N.Y., along with student Jadyn Carruthers and high school art teacher Katie Dierke s.

Millerton Looks Ahead:  On April 7, elected officials, members of the school board, and nearly 70 residents gathered for a conversation about the future of northeast Dutchess County hosted by North East Community Center. BTCF President Peter Taylor provided an overview of the region's strengths and assets, and board member Gloria Callen participated on a panel of local leaders.
40 Under Forty: Community Engagement Officer Shela Hidalgo was named one of Berkshire County's "40 Under Forty" at a March 29 event hosted by Berkshire Community College.  
We're Hiring:  Berkshire Taconic is seeking a new director-level staff member to oversee evaluation and learning activities aimed at strengthening strategy development, foundation effectiveness and donor engagement. Learn more
Grants in the News

Reflections on Volunteer Service:  BTCF's Alice & Richard Henriquez Memorial Fund provided one of the grants that sent teen Olivia May and her mother, Mary O'Neill, to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation last summer. Read a thoughtful mother-daughter reflection on volunteering with South Dakota's Lakota community from a recent issue of Main Street magazine. 

Capitol Hill Day:  Members of the BTCF co-funded Northwest Corner Prevention Network traveled to D.C. recently for a rally and meetings with Sens. Murphy and Blumenthal to discuss challenges and successes in substance abuse prevention work locally.
Coming Up

May 22:  Berkshire Nonprofit Awards Breakfast: BTCF is a co-sponsor of this first-ever event celebrating nonprofit staff and board members. Register through event host Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires .

June 4:  Peter Taylor will discuss A Closer Look, our 2017 report, at the Norfolk Foundation in northwest Connecticut. Reservations are required. Contact Emily Bronson to learn more.