WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have provided a $250,000 grant to the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute.
The Clark is using grant funds to continue its campus expansion program, including work to renovate the existing museum building, which adds 2,200 square feet of new gallery space and provides upgraded safety, lighting, and HVAC systems for the building.
A 2012 study by the Economic Development Research Group of Boston anticipated that upon its completion, the full campus expansion project will enhance tourism growth in the Berkshires region; generate annual business sales in Berkshire County of $7 million; increase state tax revenues by $323,000 annually; and spur creation of about 90 jobs throughout the county to support a broader visitor base.
“The Clark is a priceless cultural resource for the Berkshires, and this expansion will continue its impact as an economic driver for western Massachusetts,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We are pleased to provide this grant so the museum may expand its educational reach by improving its facilities.”
The Clark’s overall campus expansion project includes construction of a new 42,560-square-foot visitor center; renovation and upgrades to the Museum Building (opened in 1955) and the Manton Research Center (opened in 1973); an extensive new landscape design and stormwater management system that greatly enhances sustainability and stewardship of the Clark’s lands; demolition of outdated facilities and construction of a new state-of-the-art physical plant; and construction of the Stone Hill Center (2008), which added gallery space, a public meeting facility and studio space, and provided office and laboratory space for the Williamstown Art Conservation Center.
The Clark will open its new facilities on July 4.
“We greatly appreciate the support provided by MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts Cultural Council and consider them to be valued partners in the effort to sustain a vibrant arts community in the Berkshires,” said Michael Conforti, director of the Clark. "These funds are critical to our ability to complete the project and are an investment that will benefit our community and the Commonwealth for generations to come."