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News and events in South Berkshire, Mass.

Hancock Shaker Village Improves Internship Program With Donation
04:02PM / Thursday, February 25, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A grant from the Feigenbaum Foundation will allow Hancock Shaker Village to offer paid internships for up to ten people during the 2021 season.    Launched in 2017, the Village's internship program engages undergraduate students in a living history museum and farm to develop professional skills and connect to career opportunities. In addition to the gift from the Foundation, an anonymous donor in 2020 supported the creation of onsite intern housing, thereby also providing interns the option to live on campus beginning in the summer of 2021.    "We are grateful for the Feigenbaum Foundation's generosity and long-standing commitment

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Effective Monday, a Little More of State's Economy to Open Up
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:40PM / Thursday, February 25, 2021
SALEM, Mass. — Massachusetts' reopening plan is going back to the future.   On Thursday, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that on Monday, March 1, the commonwealth will shift to Step 2 of Phase 3 of its COVID-19 reopening plan.   That means that indoor performance venues like theaters will be allowed to reopen with a 50 percent capacity limit, as will museums, fitness centers and libraries. Other restrictions also will be lifted, including a ban on restaurants hosting musical performances.   Actually, those restrictions will be RE-lifted. The commonwealth already was in Step 2 of Phase 3 until a post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases forced state officials to move

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Feigenbaum Grant Helps Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Improve Accessibility
08:09AM / Thursday, February 25, 2021
Lenox, Mass. — With a gift from the Feigenbaum Foundation, Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary's Opening Doors to Nature capital campaign is within $50,000 of its $1,125,000 goal.   The $100,000 grant will help improve Pleasant Valley's accessibility, allowing the  wildlife sanctuary in Lenox to welcome a broader and more diverse audience for outdoor recreation and creative nature-based education programs.   Opening Doors to Nature supports construction of an addition to the sanctuary's 18th-century program barn that includes accessible visitor amenities and outdoor learning spaces.   The new building will open this spring and allow Pleasant Valley to

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Berkshires Gets Limited Vaccine Doses; Named 'High-Efficiency Collaborative'
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
03:12PM / Wednesday, February 24, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — COVID-19 vaccine shipments expected early last week were delayed because of inclement weather and were smaller than expected, leaving Berkshire County shorthanded. And a "very limited" amount of vaccines was available for appointment first-dose slots on Wednesday.     "This week, Massachusetts received 139,000 doses," Mayor Linda Tyer said to the City Council on Tuesday. "That's it, we have a million potential new residents who are eligible, but for the week we received 139,000 doses."   Public Health Program Manager Laura Kittross said there is limited access everywhere and doesn't expect this to be an

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BCC offering Virtual Massage Therapy Information session
12:44PM / Wednesday, February 24, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. Berkshire Community College (BCC) is offering a Virtual Massage Therapy Information session on Wednesday, March 3 at 4:00 PM.   Information sessions provide an opportunity for prospective and accepted Massage Therapy students to learn more about the Massage Therapy program, admissions process, financial aid process/due dates, immunization/medical requirements, CORI/SORI clearance, and the part-time evening/Saturday program pathway.   For more information, or to register for this Virtual Massage Therapy Information session, contact Judy Gawron, Program Coordinator and Professor in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program, at jgawron@berkshirecc.edu or by calling

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EforAll Seeking Applicants for 'Digital Business Survival Course'
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
12:12PM / Wednesday, February 24, 2021
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All Berkshire County is collaborating with R3SET Studios to run a free online "Digital Business Survival Course" to help small businesses improve their online marketing.    "With all of the many restrictions on business during the pandemic, having a robust web presence, sales and outreach are truly mission-critical," said EforAll Director Deborah Gallant. "If your business was limping along with a sub-par web marketing approach before all this, it became a much higher priority to get this all in order."   This five-week course runs from March 12 to April 16.   Gallant said EforAll, a nonprofit

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State Wants Students Back in the Classroom in April
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:33PM / Tuesday, February 23, 2021
BOSTON — Public school students are expected to be back in the classroom by April.    Gov. Charlie Baker and Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Jeffrey Riley on Tuesday outlined a phased-in process that will begin with elementary students.    "There's no substitute for in-person learning, especially for kids in elementary school," the governor said at his daily briefing. "Our administration's been clear for months that the best place for kids is in the classroom and today Commissioner Riley started a process, working with the board of Elementary and Secondary Education, to get more kids back into the classroom full time by

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Lenox Cultural Council Awards Local Grants
12:14PM / Tuesday, February 23, 2021
LENOX, Mass. — State Representative Smitty Pignatelli and Arlene D. Schiff, chair of the Lenox Cultural Council, announced the award of 26 grants totaling $12,600, for cultural programs in Berkshire County.   "It's the local volunteers who really make this system work," said Smitty Pignatelli. "They make limited resources go as far as possible, and they make the tough decisions about which projects should be supported. Thanks to them, the arts, sciences, and humanities are part of people's everyday lives in every community across the state."   Grants have been awarded to the following programs: Arts in Recovery for Youth; Berkshire Bach Society;

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Mahaiwe Adds We Banjo 3 Virtual Concert to Programming Schedule
09:38AM / Tuesday, February 23, 2021
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is adding a virtual concert performed by the band We Banjo 3 to its programming schedule, streamed from Pearse Lyons Distillery in Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday, March 13 at 5pm.   Tickets purchased through the Mahaiwe benefit it in part.    "The fact that this show will happen over St. Patrick's Day weekend is just an added bonus," said Mahaiwe Executive Director Janis Martinson. "We would be excited to present We Banjo 3  at any time of year, because of their close harmonies, infectious beats, stunning precision, and just-plain-danceable songs.  These award-recognized musicians

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MCLA To Open Registration for Summer Sessions
04:01PM / Monday, February 22, 2021
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Registration for MCLA's three summer sessions will open March 1, 2021, and the majority of summer classes will be taught online this year.     Summer classes at MCLA offers summer classes for MCLA undergraduate and graduate students; students from other colleges; high school students; college graduates interested in Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Education (MEd) courses; or community members and others seeking courses.    Summer sessions schedule  Session A: May 24-July 2  Session B: June 21-July 30  Session C: July 6-August 13  MCLA's Division of Graduate and Continuing Education

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Veteran Spotlight: Marine Lt. Dominick Sondrini
By Wayne Soares, Special to iBerkshires
04:11PM / Sunday, February 21, 2021

Lt. Dominick Sondrini with family. DALTON, Mass. — Dominick Sondrini served his country in the Marine Corps for four years as a lieutenant.    Growing up in Dalton, he attended the former St. Joseph's in Pittsfield and Wahconah Regional High School. After graduating from Western New England College, he was sent by the Marines to Quantico, Va., for Officer Candidate School, where he also completed the demanding Infantry Officer Course.    "Getting through these felt like a massive accomplishment — the drill instructors, some were mean, some were funny. There's so much yelling but I found lots of elements funny," he remembered, and

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IS183 Adjusting to Digital Platform, Welcomes New Faculty Artists
By Brittany Polito, iBerkshires Staff
10:33AM / Sunday, February 21, 2021

Artist and speaker Pops Peterson, seen with students in this file photo, his hosting a scholarship fundraiser to help children attend IS183 Art School.

STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — A well-known Stockbridge art school quickly pivoted to digital learning at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with success and is now welcoming three new faculty artists to its talent pool.

"It's been full of changes, and full of innovation, and definitely challenges," Executive Director Lucie Castaldo said in regards to the historical year. "Virtual programming is going great, better than any of us expected because we really had no idea."

Since last April, IS183 Art School has had 648

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