Pillow Lab artist residencies; BTCF receives investment; new head of Darrow School; digital marketing seminar; designation for Bills |

Jacob’s Pillow announces Pillow Lab artist residencies

Becket — Jacob’s Pillow has announced this season’s artist residencies offered at the Pillow Lab, its year-round incubator of new work. The annual season of customizable residencies supports U.S.-based and international dance artists during crucial development, research and technical stages of choreography-driven projects. The 2019-20 recipients are Kyle Abraham, Aszure Barton, Brian Brooks, Milka Djordjevich, Alice Gosti, Kinetic Light, Stephanie McKee-Anderson, Aakash Odedra, RUBBERBAND, Didy Veldman and Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre.

Artists and their collaborators receive unrestricted use of the Pillow’s facilities plus free housing; a stipend; professionally filmed video documentation; access to the Pillow’s archives; and funding for an “outside eye,” an editor or dramaturg to provide important feedback.

Choreographers selected for a residency through the Pillow Lab are chosen by Pillow director Pamela Tatge working with her curatorial team. Most residencies culminate with an informal work-in-progress showing as part of the In Process Series. Showings are limited to an intimate, invited audience of Jacob’s Pillow Members and faculty and students from the College Partnership Program, and provide valuable feedback through a structured feedback session.


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BTCF’s Arts Build Community initiative receives $1 million investment

Sheffield — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced a $1 million investment from the Barr Foundation to expand its Arts Build Community initiative, a resident-led effort to increase community engagement through the arts in Berkshire County.

In 2017, BTCF was one of five Massachusetts community foundations to receive $500,000 from Barr to pursue local community engagement strategies. BTCF began by conducting community-based research into barriers to arts participation experienced by lower-income residents and communities of color, including immigrants.

A survey of over 450 residents in Pittsfield’s two highest-poverty neighborhoods highlighted a lack of perceived connection to the arts among residents and barriers related to social discomfort, including not feeling welcome or reflected in cultural content, language access, and scarce family-friendly programs and audience diversity. However, nearly 80% of respondents reported a desire for the arts or creative expression to play a larger role in their lives.

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These findings drove the design of a yearlong learning program for seven arts and culture nonprofits, a new community-led vision for arts education in schools, and a grants program that, by year’s end, will have awarded more than $318,000 to arts- and community-based nonprofits to test new ideas and collaborate on projects that involve diverse residents in the arts.


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Darrow School welcomes Head of School Andrew J. Vadnais

Andrew J. Vadnais speaks at an Oct. 5 ceremony installing him as head of school at the Darrow School in New Lebanon, N.Y. Photo: Brennan/Darrow School

New Lebanon, N.Y. — On Saturday, Oct. 5, Andrew J. Vadnais was honored at an investiture ceremony officially installing him as the 12th head of the Darrow School.

Remarks by senior class student Rianna Young ‘20, faculty member Michael Glovsky, and a performance by the Darrow School Chorus set the stage for the keynote address from Jennifer Cholnoky, vice chair of the board of trustees and parent of two alumni and a current student.

Vadnais is a native of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and a graduate of Williams College. He first arrived at the Darrow School in 1983, serving as a teacher for seven years. He and wife Nancy Lyon moved to Connecticut where he eventually served as head of school at the South Kent School for 15 years. Vadnais rejoined the Darrow community in November 2018 and began his tenure as head of school in July.


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Salisbury Bank to offer digital marketing seminar

Salisbury, Conn. — Salisbury Bank, Scoville Memorial Library and the Entrepreneurial Center of Northwest Connecticut will offer the seminar “Marketing in the Digital Era” Thursday, Oct. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Scoville Memorial Library.

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The two-hour seminar will focus on how small to medium-sized businesses can improve their online visibility. Topics will include improving a website for search engine optimization; understanding search engine marketing and Google Ads; the fundamentals of local search with Google My Business and Apple Maps; and understanding the importance of online reviews from an SEO perspective.

Presenter Lance Leifert of Conquest Consulting holds a degree in engineering and computer science from of the University of Connecticut and taught as an adjunct professor there for over 10 years. He formed Conquest in 1997 as a digital agency and then converted it to an integrated marketing agency in 2015. Under Leifert’s leadership, Conquest has worked with clients such as Hartford HealthCare, Aetna, United Technologies and Midstate Medical Center.

The seminar is free and open to the public. Reservations are suggested, but not required. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Genia Wilson at (860) 453-3496 or [email protected] and type “Marketing” in the subject line.


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Jayne Bills earns Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional designation

Jayne Bills. Photo: Berkshire Money Management

Dalton — Berkshire Money Management has announced that compliance officer Jayne Bills has earned the National Regulatory Service’s Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional designation. The IACCP is a comprehensive program that formalizes and standardizes the knowledge, skills and ethical commitment of investment advisory compliance professionals. Accordingly, designees are charged with helping to both maintain an ethical compliance culture in their firm and advance compliance as a profession.

Coursework for the certification is comprised of 20 two-hour courses that cover topics like the Advisers Act, Ethics, Trading Compliance and more. In addition, Bills completed an ethics commitment and assessment paper, and studied various applicable laws and rules in order to pass a three-hour culminating exam. She also completed two years of required IA compliance experience. In order to maintain the designation, Bills must complete 12 hours of continuing education each year.


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