Real World Application


A class in grants and fund raising paid off for one student and a local organization when Halli Chamberlain '09 wrote a grant that brought in $1,000 for the 2009 North Adams Open Studios.

Shortly after she took Professor Lauren O'Neal's arts management class on how to write grants and raise funding, Chamberlain decided to volunteer her time with the aim of securing some funding from the Cultural Council of Northern Berkshire.

"Some of the projects in the class were just hypothetical. Professor O'Neal wanted to give us something real we could develop in class."  As a result, Chamberlain practiced her grant-writing skills by developing old material from a previous Open Studios event.

"I was asked to do the grant narrative. From the past grant narrative and information we talked about in class, I wrote the narrative for the new grant, focusing mainly on the expanded city-wide art celebration and the community involvement," Chamberlain said.

"I had attended previous open studios, which helped. More importantly, I know the camaraderie that accompanies this event.  I had a good ground to stand on, but it was really stepping into something that you practiced. This was the real world application that really counted."

When Chamberlain learned she had been successful in securing the grant for this year's Open Studios event, "I was so excited. I was completely ecstatic when we got it. I saw that my efforts would help so many people. It was a wonderful feeling."

The accomplishment will enhance the arts management major's resume. Immediately following her May graduation, Chamberlain will begin an internship in individual support and special events at Jacob's Pillow, an international dance festival based in Becket, Mass. She will be there through September.

"I'm looking to do a lot of development management in the arts. I'd like to write more grants and special events," she said. "I hope to work anywhere in the arts, but I want to focus on Jacob's Pillow next because my previous experience has been in visual arts and this is performance."

In addition to serving a Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP) internship at the Kolok Gallery in North Adams during the summer of 2008, Chamberlain worked as an intern with Thomas Bernard, who writes grants for MCLA.

She hopes to remain in the Berkshires.

"I think the arts organizations and the cultural institutions in this area are amazing. They're highly concentrated here. It's a wonderful atmosphere to be around and so many people are supportive, too."