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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Great Barrington Appoints New Libraries Director
12:00PM / Saturday, January 20, 2024
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The town has appointed Dawn Jardine as the new director of the Great Barrington Libraries.   A free reception is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 20, 5-7 p.m. at Mason Library, to welcome Jardine and to showcase recent improvements to Mason's 1913 reading room.   The public is invited and refreshments will be served.   Jardine has worked in public libraries since 2012, most recently as interim library manager in Catskill, N.Y. She joined the Red Hook, N.Y., public library in 2012, first as a library assistant and then moving up the ranks to become library director, a role she held from 2016-2023. The Red Hook and Catskill libraries had

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It's Showtime For The Guthrie Center Instrument Lending Library
By Kim McMann,
05:00AM / Friday, January 19, 2024

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — George Laye, founder of the instrument loan program at the Guthrie Center, was inspired to create the "Check it Out" musical instrument loan library after taking a stroll down memory lane.

Laye said he was thinking about his mother participating in an orchestra as a young woman, and then he recalled years later discovering her long-forgotten violin in the attic.  It occurred to him that there were probably musical instruments in many attics, storing songs meant to be played. 

"People buy their children instruments and after a few months, they decide it's not for them," he said. "Eventually, those

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Construct Receives $2M for Renovation of Cassilis Farm in New Marlborough
10:34AM / Thursday, January 18, 2024
NEW MARLBOROUGH, Mass – Construct, a nonprofit provider of affordable housing and support services in the Southern Berkshires, has received over $2 million in funding from Federal Home Loan Bank Boston's (FHLB) Affordable Housing Competitive Funding Program, in partnership with Greylock Federal Credit Union.   This award is a step toward providing New Marlborough with its first affordable housing units. The money will help Construct create 11 new apartments at Cassilis Farm, a Gilded Age estate set on eight acres. Two additional single-family houses on the property will be funded privately, providing more immediate homes for New Marlborough's essential workers.   FHL

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Jacob's Pillow Welcomes Associate Artistic Director
11:19AM / Wednesday, January 17, 2024
BECKET, Mass. — Jacob's Pillow announced that Kim Chan will join the organization's curatorial and leadership team as Associate Artistic Director, an enhanced full-time staff position that begins January 22.    In this role, Chan will oversee several administrative departments at the organization, with a program portfolio encompassing archives and preservation, audience engagement, community engagement, in-person performances, artist residencies, and The School at Jacob's Pillow.   Chan will also serve on the curatorial team at Jacob's Pillow, identifying artists to perform at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (which will celebrate its 92nd season in

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Great Barrington Sets Budget Planning Sessions
08:00AM / Wednesday, January 17, 2024
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Finance Committee and Selectboard have set a series of joint meetings to develop the FY 2025 town budget. Meetings will be held in person and online, starting Feb. 6.   The public is encouraged to become informed about the municipal spending plan that will be presented to voters at the Annual Town Meeting in May.   The first three meetings will review budgets for specific departments, so town residents can join whichever evening includes topics of interest.   Joint meetings are scheduled for: Tuesday, Feb.6, 6:00 PM Wednesday, Feb. 7, 6:00 PM Tuesday, Feb.13, 6:00 PM  Wednesday, Feb.14, 6:00 PM A final public hearing to vote on

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Guthrie Center Free Instrument Lending Program
03:17PM / Tuesday, January 16, 2024
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Guthrie Center "Check it Out" musical instrument loan library is designed to serve people of all ages and all instrument experience levels in Berkshire County.   The collection offers a variety of instruments from strings to drums to electric keyboards. People can borrow for up to 30 days free of charge.    "Musical instruments should be played, not displayed," said George Laye, Guthrie Center director of development and founder/director of the instrument loan program. "We are excited to imagine that future Beethovens or Beatles might emerge from our program and not fall through the cracks. Whether a beginner or

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Berkshire Organizations, Schools Awarded Mass Cultural Council Grants
08:53AM / Tuesday, January 16, 2024
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Mass Cultural Council announced the 299 recipients of the Fiscal Year 2024 STARS Residencies grants.    This $1,502,450 investment will place teaching artists, scientists, and humanists, into schools, bringing cultural enrichment to more than 32,000 Massachusetts students.   "Connecting young people to creativity and a broad range of cultural experiences helps students develop essential skills that set them up for future success," said Michael J. Bobbitt, Executive Director, Mass Cultural Council. "The academic enrichment provided through STARS does exactly that by challenging students in new ways and encouraging them to tap into their

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Berkshire Bach Society Names Artistic Director
11:14PM / Friday, January 12, 2024
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Eugene Drucker—violinist, author, educator, composer, and founding member of the  Emerson String Quartet—has been named Artistic Director of The Berkshire Bach Society, the 34-year-old arts organization that presents live performances of Baroque music by world-class musicians in the Berkshires and surrounding areas.   Mr. Drucker is a longtime member of the Berkshire Bach Ensemble and director of the BBS Bach at New Year's concert series. As Artistic Director, he will help spearhead new programming and performance opportunities.   "We are thrilled that Eugene Drucker is stepping into this new position at The Berkshire Bach

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Holiday Hours: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
02:02PM / Friday, January 12, 2024

The Rev. King waves to the hundreds of thousands gathered on the Washington Mall in 1963 when he gave the 'I Have a Dream' speech.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is being celebrated Monday, Jan. 15. It is a federal holiday to commemorate the birthday of the civil rights activist born Jan. 15, 1929. It is observed on the third Monday in January.

King, a Baptist minister, led the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s by espousing nonviolent protest. His best-known address, the "I Have a Dream" speech, was given in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to a crowd of 250,000 who participated in the March on Washington. The 1964 Nobel Prize winner was

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Simon's Rock Food Pantry Accepting Donations
10:45AM / Monday, January 08, 2024
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. —  Simon's Rock has officially opened an on-campus food pantry, the Rocker Pantry, for students who may be experiencing food insecurity or simply need extra assistance.   However, the Rocker Pantry is open to all students. The Rocker Pantry also provides necessary cold-weather gear, clothing, hygiene products, and various household supplies.   The Rocker Pantry is accepting donations on campus. Local community members can find donation boxes at the Kilpatrick Athletic Center   At the moment, the Rocker Pantry is seeking the following donations: Nonperishable food items  Financial gifts     "Food insecurity on

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Berkshire Waldorf School Waives All General and Financial Aid Application Fees
08:00AM / Sunday, January 07, 2024
STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — Berkshire Waldorf High School has waived all application and financial aid fees to apply for enrollment in the private secondary school.    "We want to ensure that anyone who wants to be considered for application can do so without worry about cost. Over 80 percent of our students' families receive financial aid. We don't want the application fees to be an impediment for future families to consider enrolling in the high school," said Teresa O'Brient, BWHS Board Chair and owner of Williams & Sons Country Store on Main Street in Stockbridge.   "We value a diverse student population, with teenagers from all

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Berkshire South Regional Community Center New Board Of Trustees
12:32PM / Friday, January 05, 2024
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Berkshire South Regional Community Center announced on Jan. 1, 2024, Erica Jaffe is joining the Board of Trustees as the Board Chair.    Jaffe is stepping in for Barbara Manring who has served as the acting Interim Chair for the last two years. Other newly appointed officers include Tony Scott, Second Vice Chair, and Jaclyn Sinay, Clerk. Ethel Patterson is also returning to the BSRCC Board after a two-year hiatus.   Erica Jaffe, a full-time Housatonic resident, brings over 15 years of branding and marketing experience through her work at New York-based creative agencies including BrandFire, 100 Mile Group, and MGX Lab. Most recently, Jaffe

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