BTCF Blog | BTCF's Summer Arts Season

BTCF Blog

BTCF's Summer Arts Season

By Justin Burke / June 4, 2021 / News & Announcements
BTCF's Summer Arts Season

As the summer arts and culture season opens to the wider world with a renewed sense of promise, area artists and arts organizations can apply for grants and residents enjoy provocative arts programming in a companion season made possible by generous BTCF donors and partners.

The Martha Boschen Porter Fund supports artists residing in Berkshire, Columbia, northeast Dutchess or northwest Litchfield counties who are emerging in their field or experiencing a significant change of direction in their work. Artists working in all media, such as painters, sculptors, musicians, performers, writers and photographers, are eligible for grants up to $5,000. Applications are due July 15 at BerkshireTaconic.org/Boschen. [Read about Martha Boschen Porter’s life and legacy here.]

The Artist’s Resource Trust (A.R.T.) Fund provides grants to support the creative work of mature (aged 35 and older), mid-career visual artists. Grants are available in painting, sculpture, printmaking or mixed media to artists with financial need in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, as well as Columbia and northeast Dutchess counties in New York. Nonprofit organizations wishing to show, commission or purchase work by such artists may also apply for grants up to $10,000. Applications are due Aug. 15 at BerkshireTaconic.org/ART.

Berkshire Taconic is also among the local sponsors of the 2021 MCLA Institute for the Arts and Humanities Summer Symposium, an annual event that aims to promote equity-centered change on the MCLA campus and in the community. Now in its third year, the four-part event launched virtually on June 1 and is free and open to the public.

Upcoming sessions include Anti-Racist Theatre Work: Responding to "We See You White American Theatre" on June 8. Moderated by BRIDGE’s Gwendolyn VanSant, a panel discussion will feature Dawn Meredith Simmons of The Front Porch Arts Collective, Nicole Brewer of Conscientious Theatre Training and representatives from WAM Theatre and Shakespeare & Company, as well as featured guest Dr. Kimberly Richards from the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond. Panelists will discuss what is required in anti-racism work in theatre and arts, and with arts sponsors and partners.

Responding to Systemic and Collective Trauma with Community Partnerships: Addressing Culture and Community in a Regional Conversation follows on June 15. This session will explore efforts, challenges and opportunities emerging from a new countywide peer learning program, Inclusive Leadership as a Force for Change.

Launched in January, the yearlong program is supporting 60 leaders across a range of sectors in being catalysts for embedding diversity, equity and inclusion within their organizations and companies as a path to increased effectiveness, competitive advantage and mission fulfillment. Representatives from arts organizations participating in the program will be panelists in a session co-facilitated by VanSant, theatre artist Quenna Barrett and Rebecca Martínez of the Center for Performance and Civic Practice. BRIDGE, Berkshire Taconic, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Crane Foundation and Berkshire Bank Foundation are the partners in the leadership program.

The symposium closes on June 17 with INSCAPES, an experiential poetry workshop that will kick off a regional campaign inviting participants to engage with a “call and response” creative prompt about Berkshire County. Select poems will be featured in a short video and on billboards throughout the county this summer.

This final session will be led by Sarah Treadwell of The Mastheads, a BTCF Arts Build Community grantee, and Tessa Kelly, one of the architects behind Pittsfield’s new Westside Riverway Park. An ABC grant helped the park's design team engage community residents in planning and future programming for the park. [Read about the most recent ABC grant recipients here.]

 

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