Press Releases from Our Members

The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire Progresses on 100 Bridge Street Project Application Submitted for Final Funding

The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire (CDCSB) recently submitted a funding application to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for the property the CDC owns at 100 Bridge Street. If awarded, these funds will provide the final financing needed to build 45 new affordable rental units, Bentley Apartments, and remediate the entire 8-acre site along the Housatonic River in downtown Great Barrington.


“We applied for the final funds in February,” said CDCSB’s executive director, Tim Geller. “The DHCD funding will announce these extremely competitive funding awards in July.”


CDCSB submitted the funding application in partnership with Berkshire Housing Development Corporation, the projects co-sponsor, Dietz and Company Architects, Inc. in Springfield, MA, and MBL Housing and Development in Amherst, MA. The funding application included construction drawings that are 90% complete. When funded, the work will be put out to bid to regional contractors. In 2017 the 100 Bridge Street project was awarded a $123,000 Berkshire Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund Grant from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission which completes the funds necessary for the clean-up of the property.


The Bentley Apartment complex represents phase one of CDCSB’s ongoing plans to create much needed affordable homes and a center for economic growth in Great Barrington. The new units include one, two, and three-bedroom apartments for families with incomes of up to $48,000, offering rental apartments at significantly lower than market-rates.


The plan’s attractive New England style apartments have been recently redesigned to better fit the style and aesthetic of the neighborhood, while plans for an elegant riverfront park will showcase the desirable downtown natural space.


When addressing the recent redirection of State MassWorks funds by the Town of Great Barrington from Bridge Street to Railroad Street, CDCSB Executive Director, Tim Geller, says “This was a smart and utilitarian decision by the town and one that has zero impact on the development progress with Bentley Apartments. The portions of the MassWorks grant that directly support the affordable housing component of the site remain in place. We are optimistic in our application to DHCD and look forward to the progress of this important development and the positive impact it will have on the town.”


CDCSB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating job opportunities, promoting economic development, and building low-moderate income housing in south Berkshire County. In collaboration with other like-minded organizations, the CDCSB has built over 60 housing units and leveraged over $16 million in private and public funding.


As a nonprofit organization, CDCSB actively seeks ongoing support for its housing projects, community outreach and education, and job creation in South Berkshire.  To make a donation or for further information about CDCSB, please visit or call 413-528-7788.


The Clark Art Institute’s summer season kicks off Saturday, June 9 with the opening of two exhibitions rooted in late nineteenth-century France. Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 recognizes the accomplishments of an international group of women who, despite gender-based restrictions, continued to advance their art. The Art of Iron: Objects from the Musée Le Secq des Tournelles, Rouen, Normandy celebrates the beauty of old wrought iron collected largely during the late nineteenth century, a period of rapid modernization in France and Europe.

“While both of these exhibitions are geographically centered in France, what’s most interesting is the stories they tell of artists and art forms that have been underappreciated for too long,” said Olivier Meslay, the Felda and Dena Hardymon Director of the Clark. “Women Artists in Paris shows us an exceptional selection of paintings by artists whose talent was equal to their male counterparts, but who rarely received the same recognition. The Art of Iron celebrates the splendid craftsmanship and great beauty of objects that, at one time, were central to architectural and commercial interests throughout Europe. Sadly, industrial progress and changing tastes literally consigned much of this work to scrap heaps. Thanks to the efforts of passionate collectors, we are able to introduce the work of past generations of skilled artisans to contemporary audiences.”

Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900

June 9–September 3

Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 examines a key chapter in the history of art during which an international group of women artists overcame gender-based restrictions to make remarkable creative strides, taking important steps in the fight for a more egalitarian art world.

During the mid-nineteenth century, Paris was the center of the art world, luring painters from around the globe to its academies, museums, salons, and galleries. Scores of women traveled to the French capital to further their training and bolster their careers, yet despite the city’s many professional opportunities, gender norms remained strikingly conservative. Women were not allowed to attend the École des Beaux-Arts—the country’s most important art academy—until 1897. Barred from this prestigious institution, women sought out alternative venues and opportunities—attending private academies, exhibiting independently, and forming their own organizations, such as the influential Union des Femmes Peintres et Sculpteurs created in 1881.

Featuring more than seventy paintings drawn from prominent collections across the United States and abroad, this exhibition presents renowned artists such as Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, and Rosa Bonheur as well as lesser known but equally remarkable peers, including Anna Ancher, Lilla Cabot Perry, and Paula Modersohn-Becker. The exhibition includes moving portraits and self-portraits of artists, intimate depictions of daily life, sweeping landscapes, and dramatic historical scenes.

“At this moment in time, it is more important than ever to recognize the achievements of women,” said Esther Bell, the Clark’s Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Senior Curator. “This exhibition is a celebration of the extraordinary talent of a multinational group of women artists that deserve their rightful place in the canon of art history.”

Rona Easton joins board of Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire

The Community Development Corporation of South Berkshire (CDCSB) announces the addition of Rona Easton of New Marlborough, MA, to its Board of Directors.

Ms. Easton is a licensed practicing architect who has worked and lived across the globe, and now resides in the Berkshires. She was born in Scotland, spent years in Europe, Hong Kong and New York, before moving to New Marlborough in 2014. Since moving here she has volunteered her services to the community, working with the Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity on their first high-performance new homes, and is a member of the New Marlborough Conservation Commission, overseeing developments under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act.

“Rona brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly in architecture and conservation,” said CDCSB Executive Director, Tim Geller. “She has a clear passion for responsible development that will be invaluable to the CDC.”

CDCSB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating job opportunities, promoting economic development, and building low-moderate income housing in south Berkshire County. In collaboration with other like-minded organizations, the CDCSB has built over 60 housing units and leveraged over $16 million in private and public funding.

As a nonprofit organization, CDCSB actively seeks support for its many ongoing projects and programs. To make a donation or for further information about CDCSB, please visit or call 413-528-7788.


Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires Receives Massachusetts Dental Society Foundation Grant

The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Foundation recently awarded “Expanding Access to Dental Care” grants to five organizations in Massachusetts. The goal of the grants is to improve the oral health of residents of the Commonwealth by supporting sustainable programs that improve access to dental care.

Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Berkshires in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, received a $25,000 grant to enable the organization to hire a part-time dentist for its dental program to supplement the work of its volunteers. The addition of a part-time dentist on staff will allow VIM to treat an additional 75 to 100 patients each year.

VIM Berkshires provides access to free, comprehensive health care for those in the Berkshire region who are income-qualified and uninsured or underinsured. Dental services were among the first offerings of VIM following its opening in 2004. VIM’s services are provided by volunteer clinicians – including dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants – who are supported by a small paid staff. Services range from routine cleaning to complicated tooth extractions, bridges and full dentures.

“Relying on both retired and still-practicing dentists, VIM has worked valiantly to keep up with an increase in patient numbers,” said VIM Berkshires Dental Director Dr. William Hayhurst. “This funding for a new part-time dentist will help VIM continue to meet its commitment to provide free care for qualified individuals. This commitment is vital to the oral health of hundreds of residents in the region.”

In the fiscal year ending June 2017, VIM Berkshires provided more than $500,000 in free dental services to more than 550 members of the community, an increase of more than 30 percent over the prior year. With an increasing number of veterans without dental insurance who are coming to VIM, an increasing number of patients over 65 who have no dental insurance, and the general aging of the area’s population, VIM expects this trend will continue.

“Because of the generosity of MDS members and their desire to support an active Foundation, we are able to assist organizations like VIM Berkshires in their efforts to improve the overall health of many Massachusetts residents who ordinarily might not receive care,” said MDS Foundation Chair Dr. Robert Lewando. “It is our hope that our Foundation will continue to grow so we can help sponsor additional services that will most benefit communities in need.”

BCC Workshops Focus on Small Business and Nonprofits

Berkshire Community College’s (BCC) spring slate of workshops continue at its South County Center on Main Street in Great Barrington with classes tailored to the needs of small businesses and nonprofits.

  • Michael Cohen, marketing consultant, is offering a new workshop, Human Marketing in the Digital Age, on Thursdays, March 1 – April 5 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.  New technologies have given consumers a platform for publishing, networking, and organizing. User-generated content and conversation are now driving public perception while empowering individuals and consumers. This has created unprecedented business opportunities for individuals (versus corporations). This course will provide participants with a fundamental education in traditional and modern marketing strategies and tactics that can be applied to building their own brands or in service to other companies. Cost of this 12-hour training is $120.
  • Back by popular demand, Dawn Stanyon of Professionality Consulting is slated to present Social Media Hacks on Wednesday, March 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, offered in collaboration with the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires. Stanyon will guide participants in developing a social media system for your business that works for you and conveys your brand, that doesn’t take up all of your time, and gets people in the door. Cost is $35.
  • Facebook for Business: Visibility + People = Profit led by technology consultant, Amy Chin, is slated for March 6 & 8 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at a cost of $45.  92% of people searching social media find local businesses on Facebook. Learn how to set up or improve your Public Fan Page, create events, questionnaires, make promotions and contests, and more. Participants should have basic Facebook knowledge and a current Facebook profile.
  • Chin is also scheduled to offer Introduction to Social Media on March 20 & 22 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.  After defining social media and social networking, participants will understand seven popular social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube, learning what they do, the differences and reasons for each and how to integrate them to boost your business or just connect with others on the Internet. Cost is $45.

For more information about BCC’s full schedule of offerings and online registration, visit or call 413-236-5202.


The Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) is seeking new volunteer tutors to work with adult learners in Berkshire County.  No prior teaching experience is necessary.  Volunteer requirements include: curiosity, compassion, patience, and a willingness to help your neighbors in this community.  Ongoing training and support for tutors is provided.

On Tuesday, March 6, LitNet will welcome Mike Farma, High School Equivalency Specialist from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for a new workshop, “Understanding the High School Equivalency Certification Process in Massachusetts.”  Mr. Farma will provide an introduction to the HiSET and the GED– the two high school equivalency tests offered to adult students in Massachusetts.  He will also discuss how the registration and testing process works and give tips for how students can make an informed decision about which test to take.  Current and prospective tutors, as well as current high-school-equivalency students, are encouraged to attend.

On Tuesday, April 24, LitNet will begin its spring session of New Tutor Training.  This three-part series will introduce volunteers to the organization’s mission and will offer comprehensive strategies for working with adult English Language Learners.  Each session will run for two hours and will take place at the Lee Library, 100 Main Street, Lee, MA: Tuesday, April 24 at 4pm, Thursday April 26 at 3:30pm, and Monday, April 30 at 4pm.

LitNet has been offering free, one-on-one tutoring sessions for adults since 1991. LitNet’s flexible, personalized approach to tutoring enables adult learners to succeed in their jobs, support their families, and engage with their local communities. The organization began by teaching reading skills, and LitNet quickly expanded its curriculum with lessons in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), citizenship test preparation, and adult basic education to better serve the large population of immigrants who live and work in the Berkshires.

LitNet’s work is guided by four core values: 1) We believe everyone has a right to an education. 2) We believe in the power of literacy to transform lives. 3) We believe challenges in life and learning should be met with patience and flexibility. 4) We believe a connected community is a stronger community.

To learn more about these workshops, to volunteer, or to obtain a one-on-one tutor from LitNet, please visit or call 413-243-0471.


Look Who’s Popped Up in the Berkshires !

The  Old  Inn  On  The  Green  and  its  Sister  Property,

The  Southfield  Store,  Will  Pop-Up  at  Jacob’s  Pillow

in  Becket,  MA  This  Summer

The Massachusetts Berkshires … (February 17, 2018)   Long known in this region for creative, farm-to-table American cuisine, The Old Inn On The Green will operate a pop-up restaurant under a classic summer tent at Jacob’s Pillow, the internationally acclaimed dance venue located in Becket, Massachusetts. The partnership with the restaurant was recently announced by Pamela Tatge, Director of Jacob’s Pillow.

“We are excited to partner with local favorite Old Inn On The Green and bring dining options of the highest caliber to our audiences all summer,” she said.

The Old Inn On The Green at The Pillow, as the pop-up will be called, will provide dinner and full bar service for up to 100 diners, during a 10-week season that runs from June 20 through August 26.

Dinner will be served Wednesday through Saturday from 5 to 9 PM. Sunday Brunch will be served from 11 AM to 2 PM. Executive Chef is Peter Platt of The Old Inn On The Green. Chef de Cuisine is Matthew Sweitzer. Reservations are strongly suggested, and are available exclusively via

Typical plates:

* Duck Confit Baos (steamed buns) with Pickled Lemon-Blueberry Relish

* Lettuce Wrap with Shrimp, Carrots and Corn in mint-green pea pesto

* Falafel Salad with Grilled Summer Vegetables

* Kale & Ricotta Dumplings with Corn Ragu

* Grilled Rib Eye with Onion Bordelais

* Mushroom Chicken Ballantine

Typical brunch items:

* Eggs Benedicts: Seafood, Beef, Vegetable, Smoked Salmon

* French Rolled Omelets: Ham/Artichoke, Asparagus/Chevre

* Crispy Trout Caesar

* Banana Bread Sandwich

* Baklava French Toast with honeyed apples

* Crepe Gateau with roasted fruit

In addition to AAA 4-star fine dining in a forested setting, Jacob’s Pillow will offer two additional culinary options on its 220-acre campus during the 2018 season. Both will be operated by The Southfield Store, sister property of The Old Inn On The Green.

The Southfield Store at The Pillow will offer casual dining, with a menu featuring lighter fare that can be enjoyed on its shady patio, or wrapped for takeout and eaten picnic-style anywhere on The Pillow grounds.  Hours of operation will be Wednesday through Friday from 4:30 PM to 11 PM … Saturdays from noon to midnight … Sundays from noon to 5 PM

Typical Southfield Store offerings:

* Heirloom Tomato Salad with baby arugula and burrata

* Porchetta with roasted peppers on ciabatta

* Smoked Turkey, Avocado & Cheddar on multigrain toast

* Braised Beef Brisket with sweet n’ sour cabbage on ciabatta

The Southfield Coffee Bar will be a fast service counter with a menu of coffee and espresso drinks, hot and cold teas and other beverages (lemonade, shakes), for sipping before or after the show.  Open Wednesday through Friday 2 PM to 9:30 PM … Sundays from noon to 5 PM.

The Old Inn On The Green’s acclaimed pastry chef, Amanda Perrault, will provide imaginative, house-baked sweets for all three spots and meal segments.

Typical desserts include:

* Coconut Macaroon Tart

* Buttermilk Panna Cotta

* Flourless Chocolate Cake

* Chocolate Lavender Pot de Creme

* Raspberry Bars



The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires is launching an annual awards program to recognize people who work tirelessly in the nonprofit sector to serve the Berkshire community. In partnership with The Berkshire Eagle, the NPC will present the first Berkshire Nonprofit Awards breakfast on Tuesday, May 22, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Country Club of Pittsfield.

Liana Toscanini, founder of the Nonprofit Center, believes many who work in the nonprofit sector go unrecognized for their accomplishments and commitment to their organizations and the community.

“This event is long overdue,” said Toscanini, “especially in our county where nonprofits are a huge economic driver and contribute so much to the quality of our lives.”

Nominations are being solicited from across the Berkshires in seven categories:  Executive Leadership, Board Member, Super Staffer, Unsung Hero, Volunteer, Rising Star and Lifetime Achievement. Finalists and winners will be selected by a committee of business leaders. The nomination form will be available online at February 1st. The deadline for submissions is March 31.

The NPC is currently seeking sponsors for this celebratory event. To date, major support comes from The Berkshire Eagle with additional support from Berkshire Bank as well as Adelson & Co., Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and Lee Bank. Founded in 2016, the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires serves as a clearinghouse for information, helping nonprofits connect, learn and grow. The NPC has over 70 members. For more information visit

1Berkshire is Now Accepting Nominations for the Esther Quinn Award

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Esther Quinn Award. This award is now in its 19th year and last year, for the first time ever, 1Berkshire gave the award to not one, but two deserving women: Denise Richardello of MCLA and Linda Gaspardi Febles of MountainOne. If you would like to be considered or know of someone who should be, please apply at Nominations will be accepted until March 23, 2018.

Esther Quinn, for whom this award is named, was an advocate for volunteerism and active with many organizations throughout the Berkshires. She was a member of the Berkshire County Board of Realtors for more than twenty years and was the top Century 21 agent in all of Western Massachusetts several times. Her help in bringing people together to strengthen and serve the community, to which she gave much of her spare time, was evident in her efforts throughout the region. We are pleased to be able to give out this award each year to a local recipient who embodies all the qualities that Quinn held so dear and worked so tirelessly for.

The award will be given out at our Good News Business Salute at Berkshire Hills Country Club on April 18th at 7:30 am. To join us for the award ceremony please purchase your tickets at

Award-winning Berkshire Baby Box Announces Dessert Auction; Area Residents Are Invited to Sign Up to Participate

The award-winning nonprofit Berkshire Baby Box announced their inaugural Mother’s Day weekend fundraiser Sweet Berkshire, which is a dessert auction and community event. The event will be held on Saturday, May 12, 2018, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Country Club of Pittsfield, located at 639 South Street.  It will include live entertainment, light brunch fare, and abundant good cheer!

Sweet Berkshire promises to be a unique event, and residents from the Berkshire community are now invited to sign up to participate as an exhibitor.  Exhibitors will be folks who want to honor a beloved family member or dear friend with an exhibit, which includes a biographical display, a dessert to auction off and the recipe for that dessert which will become part of a keepsake cookbook.  The cookbook will feature dessert recipes, as well as biographies and photographs of honored loved ones and will become part of our collective history.

For a fee of $30, exhibitors will have a space to display their dessert while sharing their loved ones’ history with photos and biographical memorabilia. Exhibitors needn’t be expert bakers; if desired, they can (or event hosts will) designate a guest baker to prepare the dessert to be auctioned off in support of Berkshire Baby Box, a free county-wide program that promotes mother and infant well-being for all new Berkshire families.

Event guests will have the opportunity to visit with and learn about their neighbors and bid on (and hopefully win!) a special dessert to bring home in time for Mother’s Day.  Guest entrance fee on May 12th will be $5.00.

Berkshire Baby Box Board President Hinda Bodinger expressed great enthusiasm for the event, saying, “My goal and expectation are that Sweet Berkshire will become an anticipated annual tradition, with opportunities to recognize people who are part of the fabric of Berkshire County.”

Inspired by the successful program in Finland that began 80 years ago, Berkshire Baby Box was founded here in early 2016. Since its introduction, over 1,000 baby boxes have been given out and every family in the county who is expecting a newborn is eligible. Each box, with its firm mattress and fitted sheet, provides the baby with a safe sleeping space and is filled with essentials for newborns and moms.

In recognition of the significant impact the new non-profit has made, Berkshire Baby Box received the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s 2017 Excellence Award in the Small Nonprofit Category. Hinda Bodinger was named one of Berkshire Magazine’s “Berkshire 25 – Most Dedicated, Most Creative, Most Influential” in 2017.

The primary mission of Berkshire Baby Box is to celebrate new families in the Berkshires, and the boxes are given out at workshops where parents receive education, support and vital connections to one another and to area resources as they transition into parenthood.

Also, you may want to visit the Sweet Berkshire Dessert Tree at the Berkshire Museum’s annual Festival of Trees in Pittsfield, beginning November 18, 2017 through January 1, 2018.

To exhibit at Sweet Berkshire or for additional information, please contact Jessica Provenz, Secretary, Berkshire Baby Box via email at or call Berkshire Baby Box Office:  413-591-8029   Sweet Berkshire forms and information will also be found on