Berkshire Museum Announces New Chief Engagement Officer

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Berkshire Museum welcomes Bridget Rigas as its new chief engagement officer.

Rigas has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising, donor engagement and management of cultural and educational organizations, most recently as the director of development at Mass MoCA. Her experience also includes serving on several community boards and committees, where she has gained expertise on strategic planning, organizational assessment and community engagement.

"This is a key time for the Berkshire Museum," Rigas said. "The museum's commitment and promise to Pittsfield, Berkshire County, and the region is stronger than ever, and I am happy to have the opportunity to work with the board, staff, and community. We are excited to dig in and work together to ensure that Zenas Crane's vision for the museum remains a window to the world for students and visitors. As a new resident of Pittsfield, I am also eager to learn more about the county's most diverse and dynamic city."

As chief engagement officer, Rigas will be a member of the leadership team, and responsible for all aspects of fund development, including the annual fund, membership, grants and sponsorships, special events, capital campaigns, and other initiatives. She will also oversee communications and community engagement.


As director of development at Mass MoCA, Rigas led a development team that raised up to $4 million annually and was part of a team that raised $30 million from private support toward the renovation of Mass MoCA's B6: Robert W. Wilson Building. She has worked with several other not for profits and cultural organizations, including Glimmerglass Festival, Farmers' Museum, Museum of the Earth, BTI at Cornell University, and Wharton Studio Museum.

Bridget received her M.A. in museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

"We are excited to hire quality, experienced staff to key leadership positions that build upon our current, talented team. We all are committed to keeping the Berkshire Museum a vital resource that serves our community by bringing together art, science, and history through the museum's extraordinary collection," said Elizabeth McGraw, president of the Board of Trustees.

Rigas takes over for Nina Garlington, who is now serving as the chief of staff. Garlington just finished one of the museum's most successful fundraising years with strong support via its annual fund, grants and sponsorships, and membership programs, as well as a record-breaking 2018 summer gala. Over her almost seven-year tenure, Garlington has strengthened and expanded these programs to cumulatively raise over $6.2 million for annual operating support.


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Miss Hall's School Graduates 60 Students

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Sixty students, including sixteen from Berkshire County and nearby communities, graduated on Sunday, May 31, during Miss Hall’s School's 2020 graduation.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program this year was held online, with students and their families from around the globe joining via Zoom. The event, which was also live-streamed, included remarks from Board of Trustees President Nancy Gustafson Ault, MHS Class of 1973; Head of School Julia Heaton; Senior Class President Ria Kedia of Pittsfield; and School President Ayla Wallace of York, Pa. Actress Jayne Atkinson, selected by the class as its speaker, sent special words of wisdom to the seniors.

Among the Class of 2020 graduates are the following local students: Ella Biancolo of Pittsfield; Emily Carmel of Pittsfield; Hannah Chrzanowski of Dalton; Maya Creamer, of Pittsfield; Angela Guachione of Pittsfield; Meredith Hall of Adams; Olivia Irion of Washington; Ria Kedia of Pittsfield; Lanna Knoll of Great Barrington; Emma Kotelnicki of Dalton; Isabelle Lapierre of Dalton; Soleil Laurin of Pittsfield; Jenna Maces of Pittsfield; Téa Mazzeo of Pittsfield; Kathryn Sirois of Stockbridge; and Charlotte Smith of New Marlborough.

The following awards were also bestowed on members of the Class of 2020:

• Joseph F. Buerger Memorial School Spirit Cup: Emily Carmel of Pittsfield

• Margaret Witherspoon Award: Ayla Wallace of York, Pa.

• Christine Fuller Holland ’33 Service Prize: Bingqi Wang of Jinan, Shandong, China

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