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Sue Bush
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$40K Grant Benefits MCLA Initiative

12:00AM / Friday, February 17, 2006

North Adams - The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, in collaboration with the City of North Adams and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to develop the Berkshire Center for Resource Development in the Arts in downtown North Adams. The initiative, entitled Project Infinite Capacity, will be housed at Gallery 51, MCLA's downtown North Adams art gallery.

The funding comes from the Massachusetts Cultural Council's John and Abigail Adams Arts Program for Cultural Economic Development, which this year supported 34 projects throughout the state.

"Arts and culture can contribute significantly to successful economic development efforts," said Mary Kelley, the MCC's executive director. "These grants allow us to work in partnership with community leaders, cultural organizations, and businesses to create jobs, attract new investment, and expand cultural opportunities for the people of Massachusetts."

MCLA President Mary Grant thanked the Massachusetts Cultural Council as well as the Berkshire Legislative Delegation for their help in securing the funds for the Berkshire Center for the Resource Development in the arts.

"It is so important to build upon the cultural economy in
Berkshire County," Grant said. "It is fitting that this Resource Center will be located in one of the largest cultural destinations in New England and that it is being housed at the four-year public college where learning and culture go hand-in-hand."

"This has been the effort of many individuals and organizations throughout this county, and the grant is the result of lots of hard work," Grant said. "We look forward to working with everyone on making this a great success."

The Center will serve as a coordinating hub where strategies for
capitalizing on existing tourism are planned and executed and where new businesses and non-profits can receive help they need to get started and grow. The Center will be a source of one-stop shopping where young artists and others can be linked to training, support and workers, be showcased on a cultural website and benefit from promotional campaigns.

The Center will be under the direction of MCLA's Jonathan Secor and staffed by a full-time project coordinator who will utilize area talent such as MCLA faculty, local real estate developers and entrepreneurs along with market and design specialists from MoCA among others.


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