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'The Many Faces of North Adams' opens on Thursday at MCLA Gallery 51.
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The students did the research and created the works of art that display what they learned.
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Visitors will be asked to share their thoughts as well.

E3 Academy Exhibit Looks Social, Civil Rights Issues

By Ashlynn MarciliBerkshires Intern
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. ー The E3 Academy will be opening an interactive exhibition that covers social and civil  rights issues in connection to the community of North Adams. 
 
"The Many Faces of North Adams" opens on Thursday, May 3, with a reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the MCLA Design Lab, 49 Main St. It runs through May 29.
 
The E3 Academy, which stands for Effort, Employability and Essential skills and knowledge, is a competency-based program of Drury High School. The program features a non-traditional classroom setup using service-learning projects for students at risk of leaving school.
 
Through the work on this service learning project, students developed a variety of academic skills, including research, writing, critical thinking, graphing, and functions. 
 
The exhibit uses the concept of quilting to bring together the history of the Civil Rights movement, the students' experiences and the invitation for viewers to share their own thoughts. 
 
"It weaves together the community, who we are, who they are," said school adjustment counselor Abby Reifsnyder, who heads the academy.
 
Some of the pieces include a paper "quilt" highlighting local diversity; writings and photographs of special places in North Adams threaded together; a cloth quilt featuring the students with spots for viewers to add their own thoughts; and graphs and charts reflecting demographic data about the city.
 
"When we were studying the Civil Rights Movement, I was interested in learning how strong people can be to stand up and speak when they see something is wrong," said senior Tieray Moore. Senior Emily Rivers wrote she "liked learning about photography from Joe Manning. He made it personal."
 
Joe Manning is a local historiographer from Florence who has been helping the students of E3 prepare their photography pieces for the exhibit. 

Tags: art exhibit,   art gallery,   E3 Academy,   

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North Adams Gets $600K Grant to Make Brayton Access Safer

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A nearly $600,000 state grant is going to make it safer for children to cross from Brayton Hill Apartments to Brayton School. 
 
The city was recently awarded $598,255 through the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program to make infrastructure improvements at the entrance to the Northern Berkshire Family YMCA and install sidewalks in the area of the school. The City Council accepted the grant on Tuesday. 
 
"This grant is an incredible opportunity for the Brayton Elementary School neighborhood and will help support pedestrian and bike safety," said Barbara Malkas, superintendent of North Adams Public Schools. "The end result of the project will facilitate behaviors that promote health and wellness in a world that can be focused on our electronic devices. We're thrilled to be a recipient of this grant and the positive effects it will have on the children and families in our community."
 
The steep driveway into the parking lot of the YMCA, which is attached to the school, and a problematic crosswalk were a focus of the City Council earlier this year. No one is sure when the crosswalk was first painted but it's never been in compliance because it doesn't run between sidewalks but rather cuts across Brickyard Court between a dirt pathway through private land and the corner of the driveway. There is also a visibility factor because of the incline of both the road and the driveway.
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