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Tricks of the Trade: Culture-Making 
Engaging with the community while also helping your career!

NOVEMBER: Arts in Education
How can I use my skills as an artist to teach the community? 

There are many valuable and varied opportunities for artists in local education. Artists can give back to communities by becoming educators for art, music, and theater in K-12 school systems and universities. This workshop will provide you with knowledge on the vast amount of opportunities available and which ones can benefit you and the community.  


November 8th, 6:30pm: MCLA Gallery 51
Local Experts and Institutions

Guest Speakers/Panelists: 
Moderator- Hope Sullivan, Executive Director of IS183 Art School
Diane Daily, Education Program Manager of Massachusetts Cultural Council
Laura Thompson, Director of Exhibitions and Education of Kidspace at MASS MoCA and Assistant Professor of Art History at MCLA 
Kevin Coleman, Direcotr of Education, Shakespeare and Company 
November 9th, 6:30pm: Ferrin Gallery 
Local Artists and Experiences

Guest Speakers/Panelists:
Moderator- Lisa Donovan, Director of Creative Arts in Learning, Lesley University
Yura Adams, IS183 Art School Educator 
Jaime Choquette, Drury High School Music Educator 
Greg Scheckler, Associate Professor of Visual Arts at MCLA

November 10th, 6:30pm: IS183 Art School 
Public School Enrichment and Educating

Guest Speakers/Panelists: 
Moderator- Hope Sullivan, Executive Director of IS183 Art School
Robin Brickman, Professional Artist and Workshop Leader for Art and Science Programs
Lucie Castaldo, Program Coordinator IS183 Art School
Elizabeth Baker, 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Coordinator  



DECEMBER: Reuse of Spaces for Creative Purposes

What are some of the benefits of reusing public spaces for creative initiatives?

It can be very rewarding for an artist or professional to renovate and reuse non-traditional public space. Berkshire County is scattered with empty factory buildings, storefronts, churches, etc. that could potentially become a great studio, gallery, or performing arts space. In this workshop, we will discuss how reusing public spaces can improve a community and contribute in changing the perception of art and art communities.

December 6th, 6:30pm: MCLA Gallery 51
Reuse of Private Space: Existing Opportunities and Possibilities

Guest Speakers/Panelists: 
Moderator- Jonathan Secor, Director of Berkshire Cultural Resource Center 
Phil Sellers, Art About Town Artist
Diane Sullivan, Visual Artist 
Sharon Carson, Visual Artist
Cathy Deely, Producer of "Made in the USA at Pete's Motors", trustee at Berkshire Creative and 1Berkshire, and visiting MCLA Lecturer for Arts Marketing
Ven Voisey, Visual Artist, Gallery Manager at MCLA Gallery 51

December 7th, 6:30pm: Ferrin Gallery 
Reuse of Sacred Spaces

Guest Speakers/Panelists: 
Moderator- Leslie Ferrin, Co-Owner and Director of Ferrin Gallery
Heather Johanson, Executive Director of the Contemporary Artists Center 
John Johanson, Project Manager of the Contemporary Artists Center
Edward Cating, Executive Director of the Minerva Arts Center
David Carver, Real Estate Developer for Scarafoni Associates
Jessica Conzo, Director and Co-Founder Alchemy Initiative
December 8th, 6:30pm: IS183 Art School 
Artist Lecture and Discussion

Moderator- Hope Sullivan, Executive Director of IS183 Art School 
Michael Oatman, Visual Artist exhibited at MASS MoCA 



JANUARY: Creative Residencies Based in Communities

What are some opportunities for residencies and how can I be successful?

There is a spectrum of possibilities in Berkshire County for residencies as an entry-point into a community. There are inter-generational and inter-population related projects involving children, adolescents, and the elderly as well as other demographics. This workshop will provide you with the tools and knowledge to pursue these opportunities and be successful reaching out to different audiences.

Download seminars' handout here. (pdf)
~Includes tips on residencies, deadlines, local and national opportunities~

January 10th, 6:30pm: MCLA Gallery 51
Local Opportunities

Guest Speakers/Panelists:
Moderator- Valeria Federici, Berkshire Cultural Resource Center
Sandra Burton, Lipp Family Director of Dance at Williams College
Peter Dudek, Artistic Director Bascom Lodge
Jannie Jadow, Shakespeare in the Courts 

January 11th, 6:30pm: Ferrin Gallery
National and International Opportunities

Guest Speakers/Panelists:
Moderator- Leslie Ferrin, Co-Owner and Director of Ferrin Gallery
Adam Short, Development and Program Manager of Alliance of Artists Communities
Sean Caroll, Artist Residencies of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

January 12th, 6:30pm: IS183 Art School
How to Restructure Your Application

Guest Speakers/Panelists:
Melanie Mowinski, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at MCLA 
Danielle Steinmann, Associate Director of Interpretation & Public Programs, Hancock Shaker Village


FEBRUARY: Integration of Art and Community 
How can you effectively reach out and collaborate with the community through art? 

In these open-forum workshops, participants will discuss how to establish the connection between artist and community. Facilitating this relationship requires us to discuss identity, history, and the audiences we're engaging with. This is an open discussion where local artists and creative professionals in the audience are invited to speak about their struggles and success.

February 7th, 7:00pm: MCLA Gallery 51
(please note time changed)
Round-Table Discussion Part I: Art, Community, and Local Politics of the Northern Berkshire

-Richard J. Alcombright, Mayor of North Adams
-Nancy Bullet, North Adams City Councilor
-Alan Marden, North Adams City Councilor
-Keith Bona, North Adams City Councilor
-David Bond, North Adams City Councilor
-Christine Dobbert, Florida Town Administrator
-Veronica Bosley, Director of North Adams Office of Tourism 

February 8th, 6:30pm: Ferrin Gallery 
Round-Table Discussion Part II: Art, Community, and Local Politics of Pittsfield

- Hosted by Helena Fruscio, Massachusetts Creative Economy Industry Director
-Dan Bianchi, Mayor of Pittsfield
-Ben Dowing, State Senator
-Tricia Farley-Bouvier, State Representative
-John Krol, City Councilor of Pittsfield

Read about this session on iBerkshire

February 9th, 6:30pm: IS183 Art School 
Round-Table Discussion Part III: Art, Community

Guest Speakers/Panelists: 
-Susan Cross, Curator MASS MoCA
-Kate Merrigan, UNITY Program Coordinator of Northern Berkshire Community Colation
-Sandra Newman, Founder and Executive Director of Community Access to the Arts
-Megan Whilden, Director of Cultural Development for Pittsfield (moderator)


MARCH: Political Art
How can I enact social activism in a community through my art? 

Art is a very powerful tool to encourage social activism and political awareness in a community. We will discuss different ways artists nationally and locally have used art as social empowerment. Guest speakers will participate in discussions about local political art and how to successfully create your own. 

March 6th, 6:30pm: MCLA Gallery 51 

Samita Sinha - A presentation and conversation on "The America Project"

Samita Sinha is an artist, composer, and vocalist whose work spans a range of genres, scenes, and contexts, moving from contemporary/ experimental art spaces to jazz clubs, traditional home concert settings to theaters and into varied communities as she brings people of diverse backgrounds together to create new public rituals. 

Samita was one of the performers and vocalists in  Sekou Sundiata's "the 51st (dream) state", presented across America including at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in 2006, and has  been working closely on MAPP's America Project community programs, leading community sings and was the key artist advisor on the creation of the The People's Potlucks series for the Summer of 2011. Samita curated last year's WeDaPeoples Cabaret and led a community chorus project in Alabama through the Coleman Center for the Arts.

The evening will beging with a screening of  "Finding the 51st (dream) State"(30 minutes)

More info on Samita Sinha 

This presentation and conversation is supported by The America Project, a program of MAPP International Productions with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Nathan Cummings Foundation.

About The America Project
Artist, educator and activist Sekou Sundiata (1948-2007) created The America Project as a means to bring together creative process and public engagement in service to imagination, civiic dialogue and critical citizenship. The America Project informed and culminated in his 2006 performance, the 51st (dream) state.  Today, MAPP International Productions carries forward The America Project, by developing and supporting artist-driven initiative that empower people from many walks of life to explore the powerful connection between their citizenship and their creative voices.

More info on MAPP

March 7th, 6:30pm: Ferrin Gallery 

Reverend Billy

Revend Billy will preach on the Occupy Movement, as well as his current "Fear of Banking" activist tour with his Church of Earthaljua.  

There will be a Q & A after the sermon.

Reverend Billy (Bill Talen) has staged experimental plays, published essays and poems in Philadelphia, New York and California. At Life On the Water, a theater in San Francisco's Fort Mason Theater, Talen presented artists such as Spalding Gray, Mabou Mines, David Cale, B. D. Wong, Holly Hughes, William Yellow Robe, the Red Eye Collective, Reno, John Trudeau, and Danny Glover reciting the works of Langston Hughes.  This experience in producing led him to the confessional monologue.  After studying with the cleric Reverend Sidney Lanier, Talen invented "a new kind of American preacher." 

Talen moved to New York City in 1994, where the experimental preacher began his career with the other sidewalk preachers on Times Square. Specializing in exorcisms of sweatshop companies, and opposing the Disneyfication of the neighborhood, he set up his portable pulpit at the door of the Mouse.  Soon, "moral soap operas," also called "Retail Interventions" were staged inside the chain stores, principally Disney, the GAP, Nike, and Starbucks.  The preacher was soon accompanied by singers, and began staging whole "Worships" in the tradition of ritual-based interactive plays of the day such as Tony and Tina's Wedding, Late-Nite Catechism, Blue Man Group and de la Guarda.  The Reverend's developing theology became the "Church of Stop Shopping," founded on a resistance to consumerism and a defense of independent shops, community gardens and local economies.

The Reverend and Choir have toured in Europe, Africa, South America and throughout North America. William Talen has won the OBIE Award, The Dramalogue Award, The Historic Districts Council's Preservation Award (for leading demonstrations to save Manhattan's Poe House) and has been jailed more than 50 times.

March 8th, 6:30pm: IS 183 Art School 

Roundtable with 
Joshua Field
Bill Shein
Trish Gorman
Emily Breunig
Rev. Billy

"Occupy" - a round table conversation on the current state of the Occupy Movement, Locally, Nationally and Internationally, in particular the role of art and activism in the movement.

Discussion will be led by North Adams based artist/art teacherJoshua Field.  Joshua was active in the Occupy Wall Street Movement, designing and printing "I Am the 99%" T-shirts and posters.  Joining Joshua in guiding the conversation will be local activist Bill Shein, who was one of the organizers behind the Occupy the Berkshires Movement in Great Barrington and is currently running for state office, Trish Gorman North Adams based activist and organizer of the Occupy Northern Berkshires Movement, Emily Breunig young artist and activist who has been heavily involved with the Occupy Wall Street Movement and Rev. Billy who has been traveling the world for the last year staging actions as part of the Occupy Movement world wide.


APRIL: Environmental Art 
What are some local environmental issues and how can I effect change through my art? 

Berkshire County has a plethora of environmental and ecological issues that are untapped resources of artistic-social change. In this workshop, you can learn of the many opportunities available here as well as how to navigate the process of creating your own local environmental art.

April 10th, 6:30pm: MCLA Gallery 51
River Art (Controversy, Restoration, and Engineering)

Guest Speakers/Panelists: 
- Valeria Federici, Program Coordinator of Berkshire Cultural Resource Center
- Lisa Bassi, Hoosic River Revival Coalition
- John Case, Riverworks
- Nancy Goldbeger, Professor Emerita, The Fielding University
- Dennis Regan, Housatonic Valley Association
- Elena Traister, Coordinator of the Environmental Studies Program at MCLA

Nancy Goldberger is a psychologist, artist, and an educational, art, political, and  environmental activist. She has lived part-time (since 1970) and now lives full-time in the Berkshires. Over these years she has been a board member of a number of significant Berkshire organizations: Berkshire Country Day School, Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts, Housatonic Valley Art League (formerly Sheffield Art League), and the Elizabeth Freeman Center in Pittsfield.  She was one of the founders (with Eugenie Sills) of the 51% Solution, a 2002 non-partisan Berkshire women's political action committee. She was one of the spearheads and director of 2004 Housatonic River Summer, a collaboration of more than 30 non-profit art and conservancy organizations in their celebration of the past and future of the Housatonic River.

Hoosic River Revival Coalition
The goal of the Hoosic River Revival Coalition is to maintain adequate flood control, but to simultaneously reconnect the river to our city, to make it an attribute for recreation, economic development, and community building.
Hoosic River Revival Coalition here

Housatonic Vallery Association 
The Housatonic Valley Association, founded in 1941, works to conserve the natural character and environmental health of our communities by protecting and restoring the lands and waters of the Housatonic Watershed for this and future generations.More info on the 

For more than 20 years, Riverworks has invited professional artists, students and members of the community to unleash their imaginations in works that respond to the Hoosic River environment.  


April 11th, 6:30pm: Ferrin Gallery 
Artist Lecture/Discussion

- Valeria Federici, Program Coordinator of Berkshire Cultural Resource Center
- Jane Philbrick, Visual Artist

Philbrick recently was an artist fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, MIT. She focused her three-year residency on the research and production of "Everything Trembles." Her past projects include collaborations with researchers and engineers at the Center for Spoken Language Understanding, Oregon Graduate Institute and at Honeywell Fire Solutions Group in Clintonville, Conn.

From 2008 to 2009, Philbrick was the inaugural international fellow at Location One in New York. In Sweden, she presented two large-scale, mixed-media installations at the Wanås Foundation, in 2006. She is a visiting professor at the Valand School of Fine Art in Gothenburg, Sweden. 

Read more about her presentation here

More info on Jane Philbrick here


April 12th, 6:30pm: IS183 Art School 
Opportunities for Environmental Residencies

Guest Speakers/Panelists: 
- Hope Sullivan: Director of IS183
- Brad Tuggle, Residency Program Coordinator iPark
- Krista DeNio, Director EARTHDANCE

I-Park is a 450-acre woodland retreat in rural East Haddam, Connecticut. The property consists of ponds, hills, streams, stone outcroppings, sheer cliffs, wild fields, a new growth forest, and it is bisected by the Eight Mile River. I-Park aspires to take these natural gifts and create a special space where the important work being done by solitary individuals in their artistic and intellectual pursuits is encouraged and celebrated - a living, three-dimensional environment/community uniquely conducive to the creative process.
More info on The iPark Foundation here

Earthdance is an artist-run workshop, residency, and retreat center located in the Berkshire hills of Western Massachusetts.  We provide a dynamic mix of dance, somatic, and interdisciplinary arts training, with a focus on sustainable living, social justice, and community.

More info on EARTHDANCE here


MAY 9th (Wednesday) @6:30pm: Maya Gallery : 49 Main Street

Open discussion with:

-Meri Jenkins, Program Manager for the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Adams Arts Program
-Elysian McNiff, NEFA Public Art Projects
-Jeremy Gaucher, Public Art Administrator for Cambridge Arts Council

Meri Jenkins is the program manager of the Cultural Economic Development program, an initiative of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the state arts agency, and oversees the John and Abigail Adams Arts Program. The program fosters the use of cultural assets in economic development efforts throughout the Commonwealth. She was formerly the principal manager of Business in the Arts South in the U.K. BiAS develops relationships between the commercial and cultural sectors through programs designed to affect mutual benefit and to strengthen understanding between the two sectors.

With over 25 years of experience in the cultural sector, she has a thorough acquaintance with the challenges of the nonprofit cultural sector, both in the United States and in the United Kingdom. A through line in all her work has been to reach under-served populations. She believes that government support, be it federal, state or local, for cultural organizations is an investment that enables access for all, improves quality of life, allows for economic growth, and has far reaching consequences for the well-being of a community.

Jeremy Gaucher has more than 10 years of experience presenting innovative art and administering non-profit organizations in a number of capacities. Mr. Gaucher is currently the Public Art Administrator for the Cambridge Arts Council, administering the city's Percent for Art program, CAC Gallery, and Public Art Youth Council.

From 2001 to 2008, in San Diego, Gaucher served as artistic director of Sushi Performance & Visual Art, executive director of the city's cutting-edge Sledgehammer Theatre, as general manager for the San Diego Performing Arts League, and as the volunteer association manager for California Arts Advocates, the statewide lobbying organization.

Mr. Gaucher graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in Arts Administration. After studying at Scoula Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy, he worked in membership and marketing at the Smith College Museum of Art. He gained intensive experience presenting performing arts as assistant to the director of performing arts at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA).

More info on MCC -

More info on NEFA -

More info on Cambridge Arts Council -


Tricks of the Trade is a program of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, in partnership with IS 183 Art School in Stockbridge and Ferrin Gallery in Pittsfield.

Sponsored by Appelbaum-Kahn Foundation, Excelsior, and Massachusetts Cultural Council.