Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $140,000 to Columbia County Nonprofits

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation Awards $140,000 to Columbia County Nonprofits

Sheffield, Mass. — The Fund for Columbia County and the Quailwood Fund, two area funds of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, have announced the 2019 recipients of the funds’ community impact, senior services and other annual grants. Together, the funds awarded 26 grants totaling $140,419.

Eleven nonprofits received community impact grants for nonprofit collaborations with the potential for far-reaching results:

  • Chatham Area Recreation Project: $5,000 for the Crellin Community Park Summer Program, to underwrite scholarships for 25 to 30 low-income children and expand the camp’s gardening and athletic components.
  • Columbia Opportunities: $5,000 for Reading by the Lake, a six-week, collaborative program focused on reading and literacy for children ages 5 through 8.
  • Friends of Clermont: $1,000 for a History Comics Club with the Hudson Blue Hawk Nation Afterschool Program that brings the area’s rich history alive and inspires interest in writing and art among students at Hudson’s Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School.   
  • Hudson Area Library: $3,500 for High Five! Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, Playing with Your Child, an early literacy program for high-poverty families developed by the Public Library Association.
  • Hudson Hall: $5,000 for Hudson Hall Fall/Winter Walk Workshops and Performance, a series of free dance, singing, drumming and circus skills programs for at-risk youth that culminates in public performances.
  • The Hudson Literacy Fund: $3,900 for the Hudson Literacy Fund and the Hudson Writers Workshop, supporting 11th and 12th graders to develop original writing for a juried competition, as well as college and scholarship applications.
  • Kite's Nest: $10,000 for Social Justice Leadership Academy (SJLA), a collaboration of over a dozen organizations that boosts school engagement and completion, and builds leadership and professional skills of 25 teen participants in a yearlong program.                    
  • Mental Health of Columbia and Greene Counties (with Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood): $5,000 for the Jail Mural Project, which will bring together children of incarcerated parents, their parents and caregivers, along with members of law enforcement  and artists, to design and complete a mural in the visiting room of the Columbia County Jail.
  • Operation Unite: $2,500 for Art on the River, an intergenerational experience for 25 youth and 10 senior citizens to build community and explore the Hudson River through the medium of photography.
  • Perfect Ten After School: $7,500 for T-Zone, a resource center for teen girls that combines therapy, practical support and health education designed to remove social and emotional barriers to leading successful adult lives.
  • Roving Actors Repertory Ensemble: $2,500 to produce theater, murder mysteries and live music at an affordable price in partnership with the Copake Grange.  

For the first time, the Fund for Columbia County dedicated a portion of its grantmaking to projects that create a lasting and positive impact on older residents, with a particular emphasis on low-income residents. Grantees are:

  • Columbia County Habitat for Humanity: $7,950 for A Brush with Kindness, which mobilizes volunteers to complete repair and improvement projects for low-income seniors aging at home.
  • Columbia County Office for the Aging: $5,000 to produce and distribute countywide a "Safe at Home" resource booklet listing all available programs and services for seniors.
  • Hillsdale Safe at Home Committee: $3,275 for Safe at Home, a project that includes a survey of needs, social events and a workshop for seniors and their caregivers to connect them to one another and the network of local nonprofit, government and health care supports.
  • Hudson Area Library: $2,500 for Dance at the Armory, a series of dance classes and socials reminiscent of balls and swing dances held in the Hudson Armory from the 1940s to the 1960s.
  • Neighbors of Northern Columbia County: $6,914 for Neighbors of Northern Columbia County, a self-help membership group for seniors and others with special needs who are aging in place.
  • New Lebanon Library: $4,400 for Virtual Reality for Senior Citizens, which will use emerging technology applications on science, history and travel to stimulate memory, conversation and learning among seniors, with assistance from high school students.  
  • North Chatham Free Library: $1,310 for an expansion of Enhancing Life Increasing Knowledge to serve still-working or recently retired seniors, with a focus on making the retirement years creative and vibrant.
  • Roeliff Jansen Community Library: $5,000 for Keeping Older Adults Active in Mind and Body, a weekly balance and stretch class in a welcoming, social environment.

In addition, the fund’s committee designated $15,000 for BTCF’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor initiative, which provides one-time grants to residents in crisis, and $5,000 to the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, which offers seminars and scholarships to executive leadership programs to nonprofit boards and staff.

Generous acts by several Columbia County residents have expanded the Fund for Columbia County’s grantmaking reach. A one-time gift from BTCF fundholders Alice Corbin and the late Norma Edsall supported the grants focused on seniors, while a substantial bequest established by the late Louise McCord nearly doubled the fund’s overall grantmaking capacity each year.

The Quailwood Fund, established by the late John Schor to support residents of Red Rock, N.Y., awarded  a total of $33,170 to Canaan Conservation Club ($4,500 for restoration of the pavilion on the clubhouse grounds); Red Rock Historical Society ($4,700 for roof cleaning and porch repair); Red Rock Volunteer Fire Company ($11,970 for the building fund); and Columbia Land Conservancy ($12,000 for improvements at Schor Public Conservation Area).






EforAllPartners

From left: 1Berkshire President and CEO Jonathan Butler, Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation Board President Jay Anderson, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, EforAll CEO David Parker, and Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation President Peter Taylor.

About Hammertown
About Hammertown
Hammertown Barn Event Committee
Back Row: Lael Locke, Hila Richardson, co-chair Gloria Callen, Patricia Jean, Amy Gold
Middle Row: Susan Hillel, Katherine Martucci, Wendy Curtis, Palmer Irving, Beth Ledy
Front row: Diana Hurley, Joan Osofsky, co-chair Sally Berg
About Chatham
About Chatham
Photo of Chatham Middle School by John Dolan.
About Ellsworth Kelly
About Ellsworth Kelly
Ellsworth Kelly. Photo (c) Jack Shear
About Construct Inc
About Construct Inc
Construct, Inc’s Cultivate Community Project was supported by BTCF’s South Berkshire County Fund.
About Elders Services Meals on Wheels
About Elders Services Meals on Wheels
Elders Services Meals on Wheels Program supported by the William J. and Margery S. Barrett Fund for Adams, Cheshire and Savoy.
About Summer Sundays
About Summer Sundays
Summer Sundays at Six Street Festival supported by the Fund for Williamstown.
About Northeast Community Center
About Northeast Community Center
The Northeast Community Center is supported by BTCF’s Northeast Dutchess Fund.
About Teen Theatre
About Teen Theatre
The Teen Theatre Project at the Hudson Opera House supported by the Fund for Columbia County.
About UNITY
About UNITY
The UNITY Youth Leadership Program: youth receive training on leadership development - including communication, conflict resolution, diversity, planning and decision making is supported by the Robert and James Hardman Fund.
About Great Barrington
About Great Barrington
The Great Barrington Land Conservancy restores the Housatonic River Walk with help from BTCF’s Berkshire Environmental Endowment Fund.
About Mary-Ellen
About Mary-Ellen
Mary-Ellen’s artwork involves reusing and reconfiguring natural manmade materials. She was awarded BTCF’s Tupelo Award.
WillHutnick

Will Hutnick of Wassaic, N.Y., received a Martha Boschen Porter Fund grant last year to create large works of art on canvas and paper, as well as sculptures. He said this new body of work, which has been exhibited locally and at venues in Chicago and Brooklyn, would not have been possible without the support of the grant. Regional artists in all media may apply for the Martha Boschen Porter Fund by July 15. Photo: John Dolan