NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The U.S. Small Business Administration will hold a Business Recovery Expo on Thursday, May 6, on the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus.
The event will include a panel discussion with SBA Massachusetts District Director Robert H. Nelson, Mayor Richard J. Alcombright, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce President Michael Supranowicz, and Andre M. Porter, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
The panel will be followed by an exposition; there will be two free workshops on business financing and SBA programs after the expo.
The expo runs from 8:30 to noon on the second floor of Murdock Hall. Seating is limited; RSVP to to P. Edgardo Tarrats, SBA branch manager, at 413-785-0484 or email@example.com
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Art is serious business and one of the best ways to learn locally how to prosper is through the Tricks of the Trade series offered through the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center.
The 4-year-old series concludes the season with three workshops on "How Can You Secure a Residency?" with local artists and directors. The workshops run Tuesday through Thursday, April 13-15, at 6:30 p.m. in three locations.
Local artist and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts professor Melanie Mowinski leads all three sessions. The first, on April 13 at MCLA Gallery 51 on Main Street, will be with Heather Phillips, director of the Contemporary Artist Center at Woodside in Troy, N.Y. The center was founded in North Adams and has nurtured artists over the past two decades.
Artist C. Ryder Cooley is featured April 14 at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield. Cooley is an interdisciplinary artist, performer and musician. She is the creator of "Animalia: Stories of Collapse, Calamity and Departure," an animation, a performance and an illustrated artist book.
Calliope Nicholas, residency director of Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerlitz, N.Y., finishes up the series on April 15 at IS183 Art School in Stockbridge. The Millay Colony offers one-month residencies to visual artists, composers and writers. Nicholas is also director of the Film Columbia Festival in Chatham, N.Y., and producer of an affiliated high school film program.
"We have priced, branded, written about, showed and schmoozed about our work," said Jessica Conzo, BCRC director, of the previous workshops. "Now it is time to find the time and space to be inspired and create new work."
The sessions are free and open to the public with advance registration. For more information or to register, contact Conzo at 413-663-5253.
BCRC is a program of MCLA. The arts program is produced in collaboration with Berkshire Creative, Pittsfield's Office of Cultural Development and IS183 Art School.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshire Visitors Bureau wants to help the local travel industry harness the power of social media. On Thursday, April 8, the organization will host its "Eye on Travel 2010" conference at the Crowne Plaza, with the theme "Social Media Marketing."
The program, which runs from 1 to 5 p.m., includes a keynote by Ethan Zuckerman, senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and sessions on social media as it relates to customer service, how to use social media effectively, and emerging trends. For a full program, click here.
Conference fees are $69 for bureau or area chamber of commerce members; $99 for nonmembers. The registration deadline is Thursday, April 1.
Crane & Co. is setting the bar for the next Berkshire Creative Challenge in hopes of identifying local talent that could be added to its freelance creative resource team.
The 200-year-old Dalton stationary manufacturer and the sole supplier for the nation's folding money is the second company to participate in the challenge. Interprint Inc. took the plunge last year and was so pleased with the results, company officials are considering their own creative program.
The challenge is designed to connect local artists and other creative types with the manufacturers and businesses that fuel the Berkshire economy. This challenge is open to artists, illustrators, designers and copywriters who can create sophisticated art and copy for Crane's stationery collections.
Known as a leader in the stationery category, Crane is an iconic brand that delivers uncompromising quality and classic designs. The brand also creates updated, fresh, modern designs targeted at consumers who are young, artistic, design-savvy and stylish.
Interested creatives should have an understanding of the stationery category and how art translates to stationery products. Art for stationery would include, but not be limited to, motif illustrations, illustrative design, pattern creations, type-driven design (type layout and type as art), and copywriting as art/voice/layout. Working knowledge of printing and production processes will also be helpful. Printing and production processes used by Crane & Co. include engraving, letterpress, thermography, lithography, foiling and die cutting.
Those interested should submit an application to include examples of their work using the guidelines provided. The preliminary examples should help with Crane's assessment of each artist's style as it applies to stationery. Concepts for stationery collections or brand appropriate product lines are also welcome. From these submissions finalists will be chosen.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has awarded the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce with four-star accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community. This is the third time the chamber's received the second-best rating offered by its national counterpart.
"We are thrilled that the Berkshire Chamber has earned a four-star rating for the third consecutive accreditation process," said Michael Supranowicz, president and chief executive officer. "We are one of only two chambers of commerce in Massachusetts and one of seven in the Northeast to have been awarded this rating. This prestigious honor puts the Berkshire Chamber among the top 4 percent of chambers nationwide."
Local chambers are rated accredited, three stars, four stars or five stars. State chambers are recognized as either an "Accredited State Chamber" or "Accredited State Chamber with Distinction." The final determination is made by the Accrediting Board, a committee of U.S. Chamber board members.
"Accreditation validates a chamber as having programs that benefit their local economy and for positively influencing action in their community," said Raymond P. Towle, the U.S. Chamber's executive director of political affairs and federation rlations. "We applaud these organizations for advancing the principles of free enterprise."
This is the only national program that recognizes chambers for their organizational procedures and community involvement. In order to receive accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs and technology. This self-review can take three to six months to complete.
The Berkshire Chamber is the largest organization of its kind in Berkshire County and one of the largest chambers in the state. For more information, visit www.berkshirechamber.com.