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Berkshires Beat: Norman Rockwell Museum Presents 'Reimagining The Four Freedoms'
11:40AM / Monday, March 13, 2017
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Emily Bini, Freedom of Education, 2017. Mixed media. Grade 9, Guilderland High School.

Freedom reigns: For the second year, Norman Rockwell Museum is teaming up with New York's Capital Area Art Supervisors to present a unique exhibition of student artwork exploring what freedom means in the 21st century. "Reimagining The Four Freedoms is on view at Norman Rockwell Museum from March 18 through April 9."

"Reimagining The Four Freedoms" will display around 125 original artworks, created in a variety of mediums, by high school students from the Capital District of New York State. Works from students enrolled in Studio in Art classes in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady County will be on view. Each work will relate to a freedom most important to the individual student. Participating school districts include: Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Bethlehem, East Greenbush, Guilderland, Mohonasen, Niskayuna, North Colonie, Scotia-Glenville, and Shenendehowa.

A special closing reception for the artists and public will be held on Sunday, April 9, from 2 to 4 p.m.



Nominations sought: The Scarborough Salomon Flynt Community Service Award Committee is accepting nominations for its second annual award. The Scarborough Salomon Flynt Award is a result of the merger of the Faith R. Scarborough Award and the Williamstown Community Chest Volunteer of the Year Award.

The award recognizes a person's, persons' or civic group's demonstrated dedication, excellence and integrity to community service in order to make Williamstown a better place. Nominators should provide a narrative of accomplishments in support of their nominee. With many wonderful people nominated in a given year, much of the committee's decision making is based on the substance of the reasons given for the nomination and provides the content of the award recipient’s certificate. The committee will select a citizen who has demonstrated integrity, excellence, and dedication in community service.

The award will be presented at town meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16, at 7 p.m., at Williamstown Elementary School. The deadline for nominations is April 21. Nominations should be submitted via the nomination form on the Williamstown Community Chest’s website. Nomination forms will also be available on the table in the Town Hall lobby and can be emailed to the town moderator or submitted in a sealed envelope to the town manager's office.



 

Yummy fundraiser: The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Berkshire County hosted its third annual Cupcake Wars fundraiser on Feb. 2 at the ITAM Lodge in Pittsfield. The event began with a delicious Italian dinner prepared by UNICO of Pittsfield, which really hit the spot for the 230 attendees. Following dinner, three judges were picked at random from the audience to sample the unique confections prepared by the following six bakers and bakeries vying for the best cupcake in various categories: Gimme Some Sugar, Cakewalk Bakery and Cafe, Linda's Pastries, Harvest Barn Bakery, Simply Sweet, Berkshire Pathways and Sarah's Cheesecake & Cafe.

The winners were: Best Tasting, Simply Sweet; Most Creative, Sarah's Cheesecake & Cafe; and Best Presentation, Cakewalk Bakery and Cafe. Gimme Some Sugar won in the People’s Choice category, which was voted on by event attendees. Capping off the evening was an auction of a dozen cupcakes from each baker. A variety of raffles were also held throughout the evening.

Approximately $9,000 was raised through the event, with all funds supporting individuals and families impacted by mental illness throughout Berkshire County, Mass. The event’s sponsors included The Austen Riggs Center, The Brien Center, Gould Farm, ServiceNet, BerkshireFlyer.com, South Bay Community Services, Greylock Federal Credit Union and WBRK.



Compute this: A group of Williams College students has received a $5,200 grant from Google to support a mentorship program with area schools intended to help teach computer science. The grant was awarded as part of igniteCS, a Google initiative that seeks to enable undergraduate students to provide computer science mentorship programs in their local communities.

The students have partnered with Mount Greylock High School in Williamstown to begin a mentoring program targeted toward ninth-graders, but open to all high school students. The students say they chose high school students for the program since Williams already has mentoring programs in computer science at local middle and elementary schools. A student who has developed an interest in computer science in elementary or middle school will now be able to continue working with a mentor in high school.

The program will hold two sessions a week – one at Mount Greylock and the other at the computer labs at Williams. The program intends to promote diversity in technology by reaching out to female students and students of color. After piloting the program at Mount Greylock, the Williams students plan to expand it to other area high schools. The program will be offered free to mentees, including transportation to and from Williams College for computer lab sessions.



Educating adults: Berkshire Community College's South County Center is offering a new program for adults ages 24 and older who are interested in attending BCC and who have no or some college experience. The Adult College Experience (ACE) program is designed to provide prospective adult students with a roadmap to navigate the college system ─ complete with tools and resources that will facilitate their seamless transition to higher education.

The free program includes three sessions to be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23 (learn about admissions and financial aid and hear from a panel of current students and alumni; Thursday, April 6 (take a skills assessment and meet with an adviser); and Thursday, April 13 (register for upcoming classes and learn about college resources).

Participants who attend all three sessions will be entered to win a voucher for a free three-credit class. An optional fourth session, to be held on Thursday, March 30, will offer hands-on help with the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid as well as other specialized student support workshops. To register (required by March 20), go online. For more information, contact Julie Hannum at 413-236-5201 or jhannum@berkshirecc.edu. All sessions will be held at BCC's South County Center is located at 343 Main St. in Great Barrington.

 

Funding deadline: The Fund for Williamstown, a fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, has a March 15 deadline to submit a letter of intent for 2017 applications. The fund invites applications for innovative projects and services that benefit residents of Williamstown and help create a vibrant community responsive to diverse needs and voices.

Individuals, nonprofit organizations, community organizations and public agencies may send a one-page letter briefly outlining their project to grants@berkshiretaconic.org. Applicants will learn the status of their proposals by March 20, and those who are successful will be invited to submit a full application by April 1. An advisory committee of local residents will review each letter and full application, and will award grants based on the merit and innovation of the proposed project or service, its impact on the organization or community and the ability of the applicant to carry out the project.
 
In 2016, the fund awarded a total of $16,300 to 10 nonprofit organizations, including grants to support Community Access to the Arts for CATA at the Clark, Girl Scout Troop 12940 for a Buddy Bench at the Williamstown Elementary School, Higher Ground for technology equipment for Highland Woods, Hoosac Harvest for subsidized CSA shares for Williamstown residents and the Williamstown Historical Museum for technology upgrades at their new headquarters.
 

 

Funding deadline, two: Berkshire United Way is seeking proposals for community investment from prospective funded partners. Its community impact request for proposal (RFP) addressing the funding period from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2019, in early childhood development and positive youth development, is now available online. For details, visit www.berkshireunitedway.org/apply-funding.

All online applications, narrative and performance measures must be submitted by midnight on Sunday, March 26. All financial documentation must be submitted by midnight on Sunday, March 19. Financial documentation includes:

* Most recent Financial Audit, all written communications from auditor including

* Management Letter comments and reports on internal control deficiencies (or review level financials statements if the Organization is not audited by an independent auditor)

* Most recent Form 990

* Program Budget – via EXCEL template on Application Narrative.

 

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