NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Storey Publishing is slated to host Berkshire Creative Economy Council's next Creative Challenge competition.
The Creative Challenge seeks to connect Berkshire manufacturers and businesses to local designers, engineers and creative workers with the aim of stimulating innovative research and development for existing and/or new product line. The Creative Challenge was born from “Design It Here, Make It Here”; an initiative outlined in the 2007 Berkshire Creative Economy Report, which suggested developing a campaign to explore the interest in and capacity for manufacturers in the county to take on the production of “creative products.”
Storey, located in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art building, publishes nonfiction books on a range of do-it-yourself topics, from gardening, cooking, knitting and other crafts to backyard building, animal care, small-scale farming, brewing and winemaking, woodworking, nature, personal care and home improvement.
According to Berkshire Creative's website, the publisher is looking for "actionable" new book ideas that provide practical information and encourage personal independence in harmony with the environment. The book ideas need to relate to Storey’s publishing categories.
Eligible ideas may be for books the winner would be qualified to write him or herself, or that could be written by another person. In the former case, if Storey decides to publish the book, the company would contract directly with the winner in a standard author-publisher contract. In the latter case, if the publisher identifies an author and develops the book idea, Storey would pay the winner a book development fee of $500.
Applicants of all ages, backgrounds and training are encouraged to submit ideas. Applicants must live, work or go to school in Berkshire County. To apply, submit a resume and a short application on berkshirecreative.org. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on Feb. 7. Selected participants will be invited to Storey for a tour on Feb. 23, and will have the opportunity to submit their book ideas.
Storey will be the fourth Berkshire organization to host a Creative Challenge, and will join past hosts Pittsfield-based Décor Printer, Interprint, Dalton-based Paper Manufacturer, Crane & Co, and most recently the MASS MoCA stores.
“Our past Creative Challenges have been incredibly successful for both the businesses and participants,” said Berkshire Creative Director Helena Fruscio in a statement. “We are so excited to build upon this trajectory and connect more local creative workers with local creative businesses."
“Storey is extremely pleased to be partnering with Bershire Creative on this challenge”, said Pam Art of Storey Publishing, “We know that the Berkshires are full of people that can contribute to our publishing program. We already have over two dozen book authors from Berkshire County and we work with several dozen more as freelance editors, artists, designers and photographers. We look forward to seeing what new ideas emerge from this challenge!”
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — It turns out the term "co-working" might not mean what you think.
Berkshire Creative sent us an email announcing an upcoming Co-Working Community Discussion, which it's holding in partnership with Cultural Pittsfield this Thursday, May 27, at the Lichenstein Center for the Arts. In this case, co-working means sharing a workspace with someone who does not work for the same organization as you. According to Berkshire Creative, examples of co-workers include work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Such individuals might seek a shared workspace with someone else.
The event runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Scott Tillitt of BEAHIVE in Beacon, N.Y., will speak about the BEAHIVE co-working space and set the stage for an open, group discussion on co-working in the Berkshires.
It's an interesting idea... imagine an artist, computer programmer, inventor and gossip columnist working in one room.
In any case, if you're interested in learning more, contact Helena Fruscio, director of Berkshire Creative at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-822-8324 or Megan Whilden, director of Cultural Development, Pittsfield at email@example.com or 413-499-9348.
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.