MassDevelopment Launches Commonwealth Places Campaign for Berkshire Lightscapes in Pittsfield

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places Initiative

March 21, 2018


Meggie Quackenbush, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 857-208-2777 (cell)

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Ellie Hammerling, Berkshire Lightscapes, 418-822-8721

Berkshire Lightscapes, PittsfieldMassDevelopment and the Downtown Pittsfield Cultural Association (DPCA), a nonprofit that invests in Pittsfield’s neighborhoods to create a thriving community, today announced a new campaign through the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity and the Commonwealth Places initiative. Berkshire Lightscapes, an initiative launched by DPCA to plan and sequence a series of lightscapes throughout Pittsfield, will use campaign funds to install contemporary, permanent LED lighting that will project on downtown buildings, public spaces, and alleyways. These lightscapes will attract visitors and residents downtown to participate in community events and entertainment and engage with their neighbors. 

“Commonwealth Places helps cities and towns liven overlooked spaces and build pride in their communities,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “The Berkshire Lightscapes project exemplifies those goals by shedding light on places in Pittsfield’s downtown to beautify the area and create a brighter, safer environment.” 

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by May 19 at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate at

“From the beginning, Berkshire Lightscapes envisioned contemporary LED lighting and the ‘energy-giving’ power of light as facilitating the ongoing transformation of the city,” said Berkshire Lightscapes Elie Hammerling. “Berkshire Lightscapes will illuminate the beautiful structures and public spaces of our downtown creating a safe, colorful, and vibrant downtown.”

Commonwealth Places is a collaborative initiative from MassDevelopment and Patronicity that leverages public support for placemaking projects through crowdfunding and a matching grant from MassDevelopment. The program engages residents in the development of strategic projects in their towns and cities. In June 2017, MassDevelopment announced $1 million in funding for the second year of the program, which has supported successful campaigns across the Commonwealth, from Northampton to Hyannis. Communities, nonprofits, and other entities can learn more about these successful projects, donate to ongoing campaigns, and apply at

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2017, MassDevelopment financed or managed 377 projects generating investment of more than $4.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 9,488 jobs and build or rehabilitate 1,863 residential units.