2017 Spring Grants


This spring, Berkshire Taconic distributed a total of $378,770 in competitive grants to individuals, school communities and nonprofits in the four-county region it serves. View the list of grant recipients below.



Grants to students ages 14-22 for international travel and service to help promote peace and justice.

Chenoe Renner (South Lee, Mass.), to provide health screenings for women and children in Antigua, Guatemala 
Haiti Plunge, Inc. (Adams, Mass.), for students to finish building a four-room school in Haiti


Supports mid-career visual artists, aged 35 and older, and nonprofit organizations that purchase, exhibit or commission work by regional artists. 


Jaclyn Conley (New Haven, Conn.), to create paintings that reflect moments of political history. She will visit three presidential libraries to access rare photographs that will inspire her paintings. 

Cynthia Davis (Harpswell, Maine), to purchase technology and materials to create four bodies of work on paper. Davis combines collage, textile, drawing and painting with digital creative applications.

Samantha R. Fields (Brockton, Mass.), to attend a three-month residency program at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. During her residency, Fields will create three pieces of sculpture using a combination of textiles and ceramics.    

Matthew Gamber (Somerville, Mass.), to attend an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center in April 2017, and continue his work on a multi-color slide installation about Leopold Godowsky Jr. and Leopold Mannes, co-inventors of Kodachrome film.
Carly Glovinski (Dover, N.H.), to incorporate ceramics into a large-scale installation piece. She will also visit Smithsonian institutions in Washington, D.C., and the Winterthur collection in Newark, Del., to inspire new drawings.
Barbara Hocker (Bolton, Conn.), to create an installation of handmade books that, when placed together, create an image. Hocker combines photographs, prints, ink paint and watercolor on rice paper to produce her books.
Masako Kamiya (Dorchester, Mass.), to attend a summer painting residency at La Porte Peinte, an international arts center in Noyers sur Serein, France. 
Justin F. Kimball (Florence, Mass.), to develop a new photography series.
John K. Lawson (Sheffield, Mass.), to purchase materials to produce new oil paintings. At the end of the year, his work will be on view at the Lauren Clark Fine Art Gallery in Great Barrington, Mass. 
Andrea Mauery (Veazie, Maine), to produce a series of stitched hair sculptures and installations focused on endangered species for an upcoming solo project entitled, Devolve
Maggie Nowinski (Easthampton, Mass.), to produce a limited edition, hand-printed and bound book, and to continue various projects in drawing, printmaking and installation art. 
Jeff Ostergren (New Haven, Conn.), to produce a series of large-scale paintings and totemic sculptures using an experimental palette of materials, including pharmaceuticals, energy drinks, paints and organic materials. 
Kelly C. Popoff (Greenfield, Mass.), to help convert her garage into a painting studio.
Amy Jean Porter (Bethany, Conn.), to develop a book of drawings demonstrating the connection between human culture and the natural world.
Cristi Rinklin (Dorchester, Mass.), to create a series of mid- and large-scale paintings on aluminum, as well as smaller, water-based works on paper. 
Daniela Rivera (Wellesley, Mass.), toward a solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Rivera will create two large-scale pieces using paint and mixed media, as well as a video component. 
Jen Simms (Gill, Mass.), to help purchase an upright tapestry loom that will allow her to create large-scale woven art. 
Allyson Strafella (Hudson, N.Y.), to cover studio expenses and purchase materials for her work. Strafella creates drawings with the repetitive strokes of a typewriter, a style she has developed over the last 23 years.  
Amy Vensel (Newton, Conn.), to attend a four-week artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center. During her residency, Vensel will create new abstract paintings on canvas, and experiment with painting on sustainable materials, including synthetic paper, recyclable fabric and polyester film. 
Michael Zachary (Jamaica Plain, Mass.), to help purchase studio space that will accommodate large-scale aluminum prints. 

Cambridge Arts Council (Cambridge, Mass.), for its first major temporary exhibition of contemporary art in and around the Cambridge Common. The exhibition, on view from May through September, will feature work of sound artist Andy Graydon and conceptual artist Kelly Sherman, both of Cambridge. 
Currier Museum of Art (Manchester, N.H.), to exhibit the work of Soo Sunny Park of Cornish. Park will create a large-scale, site-specific installation using plexiglas and metal materials as part of the museum’s 2017 Contemporary Connections series.
MASS MoCA (North Adams, Mass.), to display the work of six mid-career New England artists in a group exhibition, Explode Every Day: An Inquiry Into the Phenomena of Wonder. The exhibition features artists Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, Tom Friedman, Megan and Murray McMillan, and Chris Taylor. 
SculptureNow (Becket, Mass.), for its annual sculpture exhibition at the Mount in Lenox, Mass. The work of William Carlson of Sandisfield and Robin Tost of Mill River, along with 26 other sculptors, will be on display from June 1 to October 31, 2017.
South Shore Art Center (Cohasset, Mass.), for watercolor artist Lisa Goren to teach elementary school students about her artistic process during a yearlong artist residency. 
University Museum of Contemporary Art (Amherst, Mass.), to help exhibit the sculptural work of Sarah Braman and Josephine Halvorson as part of Crosstown Contemporary Art, an installation of 8 to 10 artists’ work along North Pleasant Street. The exhibition will open in May.
Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, Vt.), to exhibit the work of 10 New England artists.
Waterfall Arts (Belfast, Maine), to exhibit the work of Maine-based artists Anna Hepler and Karen Gelardi, on view in May 2017.


Supports environmental organizations with innovative projects.

Berkshire Botanical Garden (Stockbridge, Mass.), for an agricultural-based youth development program
Mass Audubon (Lenox, Mass.), for an environmental literacy program for third- through sixth-grade students


Supports programs that emphasize excellence, innovation and creativity for students and teachers in the Dover Union Free School District. 

Diane Anttila/Dover Elementary School (Dover Plains, N.Y.), to implement STEM activities
Melissa Cole/Dover Elementary School (Dover Plains, N.Y.), for its community garden
Melissa Cole/Dover Middle School (Dover Plains, N.Y.), to see a Broadway show in New York City
Melissa Earle/Dover High School (Dover Plains, N.Y.), for a school store
Jennifer Lazarow/Dover Elementary School (Dover Plains, N.Y.), to continue the school store
Amy Mehlrose/Dover High School (Dover Plains, N.Y.), to improve the lighting and production of Dover High School's show, "The Dover Daily"
Amy Mehlrose/Dover Union Free School District (Dover Plains, N.Y.), to support the greenhouse
Lisa Ostrander/Dover Union Free School District (Dover Plains, N.Y.), to promote health and fitness using heart rate monitors
Town of Dover Lions Club (Dover, N.Y.), for annual vision screenings for Wingdale Elementary School students


Annual grants to help Columbia County organizations provide programs and services in the arts and culture, education, environment, health and human services. For the 2017 grant cycle, the fund prioritized projects that involve two or more nonprofit a/o governmental organizations working in collaboration to maximize services and better serve Columbia County residents.

Art School of Columbia County (Ghent, N.Y.), to offer eight free art programs to members of Coarc and Camphill Ghent
Claverack Free Library (Claverack, N.Y.), for its bilingual storytelling program
Columbia Opportunities (Hudson, N.Y.), for a four-week nature camp in partnership with Hudson Family Literacy
Hudson Opera House (Hudson, N.Y.), to expand its hip-hop dance program with the Hudson Department of Youth
Kite's Nest (Hudson, N.Y.), for its social justice leadership academy 
Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties (Hudson, N.Y.), to support children with incarcerated family members
North Chatham Free Library (North Chatham, N.Y.), to continue its programs for older adults
Operation Unite, New York (Hudson, N.Y.), for workshops to teach youth how to communicate effectively with their peers and adults
Perfect Ten After School (Hudson, N.Y.), for sex education
Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York (Latham, N.Y.), to provide food for underprivileged children


Taught by a team of Harvard faculty members who specialize in nonprofit management, this intensive six-day program is for nonprofit CEOs, presidents or executive directors who are responsible for shaping the direction, policies and major programs of their organizations. 

George Mercier of Mount Carmel Care Center (Lenox, Mass.)
Dr. Michael Rooke of Northwest Connecticut Community College (Winsted, Conn.) 


Supports programs that emphasize excellence, innovation and creativity for students and teachers in the Ichabod Crane Central School District. 

Art School of Columbia County (Ghent, N.Y.), for a program that connects art with literacy at Ichabod Crane Primary School
Betsy Addison/Ichabod Crane Primary School (Valatie, N.Y.), for a ceramics program
Jaime Eastman/Ichabod Crane Primary School (Valatie, N.Y.), for a puppet show performance of "Jack and the Bean Stalk"
Tracey Gold/Ichabod Crane Middle School (Valatie, N.Y.), for sixth-graders to visit the Albany Institute of History and Art
Jennifer Rickert/Ichabod Crane Middle School (Valatie, N.Y.), for an interdisciplinary unit combining ancient Greek history and myths with performing and visual arts
Karen Vecellio/Ichabod Crane Primary School (Valatie, N.Y.), for professional storyteller Tom Lee to present oral folktales 
Megan Yeats/Ichabod Crane High School (Valatie, N.Y.), for a field trip to see a live opera and visit an art museum in New York City
PS21, Inc. (Chatham, N.Y.), to offer a dance residency to sixth-grade classes at Ichabod Crane Middle School


Supports programs that emphasize excellence, innovation and creativity for students and teachers in the Lanesborough School District. 

Housatonic Valley Association (Cornwall Bridge, Conn.), for a water curriculum for fifth-graders at Lanesborough Elementary School
Samantha Barbarotta/Lanesborough Elementary School (Lanesborough, Mass.), to introduce a dance unit into the curriculum 
Kathy Larson/Lanesborough Elementary School (Lanesborough, Mass.), to create a video promoting exercise for students
Michelle MacDonald/Lanesborough Elementary School (Lanesborough, Mass.), to purchase an Apple TV for art and art history classes
Christine Viall/Lanesborough Elementary School (Lanesborough, Mass.), to purchase two "Buddy Benches," which help students connect with their peers during recess
Marsha Vinette/Lanesborough Elementary School (Lanesborough, Mass.), to purchase an Apple TV for a variety of classes
Jacqueline Widun/Lanesborough Elementary School (Lanesborough, Mass.), to support the school's music program


Supports programs that emphasize excellence, innovation and creativity for students and teachers in the Lenox School District. 

Barrington Stage Company (Pittsfield, Mass.), to offer discounted matinee tickets for students to see "Gaslight (Angel Street)" by Patrick Hamilton
Berkshire Pulse (Housatonic, Mass.), for a two-week dance program for fourth-graders at Morris Elementary School
Harry Burns/Lenox Public Schools (Lenox, Mass.), to create a student-run recording studio
Stephen Conuel/Lenox Memorial Middle & High School (Lenox, Mass.), to support the Open Stage Club for students interested in the arts
Brian Cooper/Lenox Memorial Middle & High School (Lenox, Mass.), for the robotics team
Anne Engelberger/Lenox Memorial Middle & High School (Lenox, Mass.), to offer creative arts opportunities to students with special needs in collaboration with CATA
Matthew Heim/Lenox Memorial Middle & High School (Lenox, Mass.), for students to package and send food to children in developing nations
Alexis Kennedy/Lenox Memorial Middle & High School (Lenox, Mass.), to create a work space for students to spend time after school or during study hall 
Nina Marks/Lenox Memorial Middle & High School (Lenox, Mass.), for the Evergreen Club to purchase cleaning equipment for metal flatware in the cafeteria
Mass Audubon (Lenox, Mass.), to offer a watershed education program to fifth-grade classes at Morris Elementary School
Anna Pettus/Morris Elementary School (Lenox, Mass.), for a unit on Wampanoag Native Americans and the pilgrims


Named in memory of a beloved 2005 graduate of Housatonic Valley Regional High School. One junior at the school receives as much as $25,000 annually toward tuition and other costs to attend the four-year, U.S. college or university of his/her choice, and up to $5,000 for an overseas community service program this summer. 

Taylor Sherwood
(Lakeville, Conn.) 


An intensive training course for executives and board leaders to learn best practices in governance, management and fund development. Led by internationally recognized nonprofit management consultant Simone Joyaux, this team-based program is comprehensive in scope, with five group training sessions, 12 hours of private consultation and a $2,000 implementation grant. 

Child Care of the Berkshires (North Adams, Mass.)
Community Access to the Arts (Great Barrington, Mass.)
Elder Services of Berkshire County (Pittsfield, Mass.)
Greenagers (Great Barrington, Mass.)
High & Mighty Therapeutic Riding and Driving Center (Ghent, N.Y.)
Kent Historical Society (Kent, Conn.)
Wassaic Project (Wassaic, N.Y.)
Women's Support Services (Sharon, Conn.)


To enhance students' appreciation of the environment.

Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies (Millbrook, N.Y.), for a multi-year educational partnership with Webutuck Central School District 


Grants to nonprofits or public entities that improve the quality of life for residents of Red Rock, NY.

Canaan Conservation Club (Chatham, N.Y.), for service upgrades
Columbia Land Conservancy (Chatham, N.Y.), for site improvements at Schor Public Conservation Area
Red Rock Historical Society (East Chatham, N.Y.), for facility upgrades
Red Rock Volunteer Fire Company (East Chatham, N.Y.), for equipment upgrades


Supports programs that emphasize excellence, innovation and creativity for students and teachers in the Richmond Consolidated School.

IS183 Art School of the Berkshires (Stockbridge, Mass.), for its Learning Through the Arts program
Rachel Kanz/Richmond Consolidated School (Richmond, Mass.), for an after school game club; for a field trip to Mass Audubon; for a spoken word poetry unit
Jill Pompi/Richmond Consolidated School (Richmond, Mass.), to purchase books for the school's Literacy Closet
Julia Sabourin/Richmond Consolidated School (Richmond, Mass.), to purchase a document camera
Elizabeth Smith/Richmond Consolidated School (Richmond, Mass.), for a field trip to Boston 
Workshops for Success (Pittsfield, Mass.), for an empathy awareness workshop for elementary school students


Supports programs that emphasize excellence, innovation and creativity for students and teachers in the Pine Plains Central School District.

Katie Bucher/Stissing Mountain High School (Pine Plains, N.Y.), for an SAT prep course
Stephanie Ronca/Pine Plains Central School District (Pine Plains, N.Y.), for Breakout EDU, an enrichment program that requires students to work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles


Grants for projects that support the development of language and literacy for children in pre-k, kindergarten, first, second and third grade in the Webutuck Central School District. 

Rebecca Garrard/Webutuck Elementary School (Amenia, N.Y.), for a literacy workshop for parents; to purchase amplification systems for the classrooms
Jennifer Jaffe/Webutuck Elementary School (Amenia, N.Y.), for materials to help students visualize what they are reading in class
Elizabeth Murphy/Webutuck Central School District (Amenia, N.Y.), for an after school book club
Paige Wagner/Webutuck Elementary School (Amenia, N.Y.), for a technology resource that helps kindergarten students improve their reading skills
Wassaic Project (Wassaic, N.Y.), to produce student-made calendars