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MassDevelopment

Cultural Facilities Fund Grant Helps Berkshire Music School Assess Mechanical Systems

February 17, 2012


Contacts:
Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
Greg Liakos, Mass. Cultural Council, (617) 727-3668 x343
Tracy Wilson, Berkshire Music School, 413-442-1411

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have provided a $5,000 systems replacement plan matching grant from the Cultural Facilities Fund to Berkshire Music School in Pittsfield, which provides quality music education to the greater Berkshire community. The School will use the grant to undertake a 20-year capital needs assessment of its facility – a historic 1875 home and carriage barn in downtown Pittsfield – and mechanical systems.

“MassDevelopment is pleased to help the Berkshire Music School assess the needs of its historic home in the Commonwealth's western-most Gateway City,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones.

Founded in 1940 as the Pittsfield Community Music School, Berkshire Music School has 40 faculty members and eight full and part-time staff serving about 450 students annually. The School is an important gateway to other area cultural institutions such as Tanglewood, Barrington Stage Company, and The Colonial Theatre. Berkshire Music School also attracts about 18,000 people a year to downtown Pittsfield, creating a boon for downtown businesses.

“The Board of Trustees at the Berkshire Music School was thrilled to be awarded this grant,” said Berkshire Music School Executive Director Tracy Wilson. “We view it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to undertake a professional long-range capital assessment. The resulting Systems Replacement Plan will demonstrate to the greater Berkshire community our commitment to preserving our historic property in a prime downtown Pittsfield location.”

MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council administer the Cultural Facilities Fund, an initiative of the Commonwealth to increase public and private investment in cultural facilities throughout the state. Created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2006, the Fund offers capital grants, feasibility and technical assistance grants, and systems replacement grants for eligible nonprofits engaged in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. The Fund has awarded more than $44 million in grants to more than 200 cultural organizations across Massachusetts. For more information, visit the MassDevelopment and Massachusetts Cultural Council websites.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2011, MassDevelopment financed or managed more than 300 projects generating investment of $3.8 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 10,000 jobs (2,547 permanent and 8,129 construction), and build or rehabilitate more than 1,000 residential units.