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Writers' Studios in Pittsfield Launches Crowdfunding Campaign

January 18, 2017

$50,000 goal to win matching grant through MassDevelopmentā€™s Commonwealth Places Initiative


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

Jonathan Berk, Patronicity, 617-750-6008

Tessa M. Kelly, 413-281-8023

MassDevelopment and the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area today announced a new campaign through the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity and the Commonwealth Places initiative. The Mastheads writers-in-residence project will use funds to build five writing studios in Pittsfield that will serve as physical markers of the city’s rich literary history and provide venues for writers and local residents to work and visit. Each of the studios will be named after an author who worked in the city, including Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. The Mastheads project will launch in July 2017, and its goal is to preserve Pittsfield’s literary legacy.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $50,000 by March 17, 2017, at midnight, the project will win a matching grant with funds from MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places program. Learn more and donate at

“The creation of these life-size writing studios honors a rich and internationally renowned literary legacy of American renaissance authors who produced exceptional work right here in Pittsfield – Melville, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Longfellow, and Holmes,” said Pittsfield Mayor Linda M. Tyer. “The Mastheads Project is innovative, creative, and represents the kind of artistry that we welcome in our city.”

“The Mastheads initiative capitalizes on Pittsfield’s vibrant creative history by providing welcoming spaces for residents and writers to practice their craft and engage with the written word,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “MassDevelopment is proud to help preserve the city’s literary legacy through this creative crowdfunding campaign.”

Commonwealth Places is a collaborative effort 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. The program has supported successful campaigns across the Commonwealth, from Maynard 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 FY2016, MassDevelopment financed or managed 352 projects generating investment of more than $4 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create about 8,200 jobs and build or rehabilitate about 4,200 residential units.