Guest Column: Berkshire Museum's New Vision Ensures Future

By Berkshire Museum Board of TrusteesGuest Column
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This is a letter to the greater community from the Board of Trustees of the Berkshire Museum.
 
The Berkshire Museum has been a staple of the community since opening our doors in 1903.
 
It is therefore natural that many members of the Berkshire community have expressed both support for and concerns about the sale of certain works of art.
 
The museum's Board of Trustees wanted to take this opportunity to share our views of the future and long-term goals that will ensure that our cherished institution will be able to enrich our community for at least another century. The reality is that our museum is facing a set of financial challenges that we must address, which requires making some difficult, and clearly, emotion-provoking decisions.
 
Importantly, our mission is unwavering. No matter what the future holds, the Berkshire Museum is focused on bringing people together for experiences that spark creativity and innovative thinking by making inspiring educational connections through art, history and natural science.
 
Our New Vision
The new Berkshire Museum will break down traditional boundaries and explore the intersection between disparate disciplines. Our goal is to inspire curiosity and wonder — essential tools for learning, creativity and innovation. We will achieve this by integrating objects from the museum's collection with cutting-edge technologies, new interpretive techniques, and a fresh perspective that aims to extract contemporary relevance from historical artifacts. We will transform static museum galleries into active teaching laboratories — nurturing a 21st century learning experience — and we will extend our leadership position as the region's authority on science and natural history.
 
Advancing Community
We have been an integral member of the Berkshire community, helping our neighbors address critical issues pertaining to improving literacy, fostering early childhood development and kindergarten readiness, and offering activities during out-of- school time, boosting STEAM learning, and more. We are a leader in providing educational experiences through our school partnerships, which have reached nearly 29,000 school children in the last year. Continuing and deepening these partnerships and investing in the region and our children — our next generation of leaders — is a critical outcome for our New Vision Plan.
 
The museum's New Vision Plan aims to build a modern lasting institution that contributes to the future of learning as well as Pittsfield's ongoing renaissance. We will continue to provide a contemporary view of the Berkshires, inspire local and global citizens, and present a diverse range of content.
 
A beacon of culture and learning, founder Zenas Crane's "window on the world" will open a little wider.
 
The Berkshire Museum looks forward to paving the way forward and to the future of culture, learning, and community in Pittsfield and the greater Berkshire region.
 
To learn more about our New Vision plan, visit www.berkshiremuseum.org/newvision.

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