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Shakespeare & Company is inviting qualified entities, including real estate or other business and property development firms and nonprofits, to propose ideas to further develop the company's campus 33-acre property in Lenox. (Courtesy Shakespeare & Company)

Biz Briefs: Shakespeare & Company Seeks Property Proposals for Lenox Campus

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S&Co. Property Collaboration

Shakespeare & Company is inviting qualified entities, including real estate or other business and property development firms and nonprofits, to propose ideas to further develop the company's campus 33-acre property in Lenox. For more than four decades, Shakespeare & Company has been one of the premiere cultural attractions of Berkshire County, and a globally recognized landmark for theatrical performance, arts education, and professional training. This new project represents a unique opportunity to collaborate directly with the Company.  

Qualified entities are asked to provide an initial statement of interest to demonstrate how the campus, located within walking distance of the town of Lenox’s historic center, can be activated as a shared-use property that addresses the company's ongoing mission and priorities and maximizes the use of any available or undeveloped land, to enhance the ways in which Shakespeare & Company can further contribute to the region's growth. A full proposal will be requested later in the year. To read the full Request for Statements of Interest, click here.

All statements of interest will be reviewed and chosen by Shakespeare & Company’s Property Committee. Formed in 2017 as part of an organization-wide Strategic Planning Process, the Property Committee examines how the property can best address the needs of the company and the interests of the community. The committee includes trustees Scott Rubinow (chair), Sandy Bourgeois, George Camarda, Nancy Feldman, Anita Heller, Claudia Perles and Suzanne Werner, as well as members of the company's senior leadership.

 

Co-op Cash for Class Program

Wild Oats Market, a cooperatively owned natural foods grocery store, bakery and cafe in Williamstown, has kicked off its third annual Co-op Cash for Class program designed to raise money for local schools. To participate in the program, schools must register online. They can then download a customizable flyer to share with parents and students encouraging them to enroll.

It is even easier for parents to participate. Families simply register online and designate up to two schools. As soon as they sign up, they will immediately begin to earn points each time they shop at the co-op. There are no receipts to deal with and every purchase counts. The more families that participate and shop, the more money local schools will earn.

The money will be distributed at the end of the program, which runs through May 1, 2020 and will be based on the number of points accrued by participating families. The funds can be used to support the arts, sports programs, technology – in any way the participating schools see fit. During the first two years, the co-op has distributed $1,250 to area schools.

 

Sock drive

In order to help to provide clean new socks for the homeless, Big Y will be collecting socks in all of their pharmacy locations from Sept. 12-Oct. 2. As part of their Sock-tember drive, they are encouraging customers to donate new, in-package socks for the homeless in the local community. In addition, Big Y will donate a pair of socks to a local shelter for every flu shot given in one of their 33 pharmacies during the "Sock-tember" program. Flu shot details can be found online. www.bigy.com.

Socks are also available for purchase in these stores so customers who aren't getting flu shots could add to the donations. Last year Big Y pharmacies administered 4,030 flu shots and more than 2,000 additional pair of socks were donated. Overall, more than 6,000 pairs of socks were distributed to the homeless.

 

50-Plus Job Fair

MassHire Berkshire Career Center, in collaboration with, Elder Services of Berkshire County Inc. and Age Friendly Berkshires are hosting their second annual 50 Plus Job Fair on Monday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Berkshire Athenaeum. The companies and organizations joining the fair are age-friendly or thinking about developing a multi-generational workforce and will meet job seekers to discuss their employment opportunities. The targeted job seekers who are looking for full-time or part-time work will be able to use their age and experience to their advantage. For a complete list of participating businesses/organizations, visit the website.


MassHire will offer special events in honor of older workers during the month of September for National Employ Older Workers Week (last full week of September).  All workshops and events are free of charge and held at the Career Center located at 160 North St., third Floor, in Pittsfield. Workshops include: Job Club – Topic: 50 Plus Job Fair Tips, Monday, Sept. 16, 1 p.m.; Resume Tips for 50 Plus, Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m.;  and Interview Tips for 50 Plus, Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m.

According to MassHire Berkshire Career Center's database, between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, 63 percent of job seekers coming through the Career Center were 46 years of age or older.  Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states Berkshire County unemployment rate is at 3.50 percent, compared to 3.60 percent last month and 4.10 percent last year. This shows that there are many potential 50 Plus employees seeking full or part time employment that we can connect to businesses with job openings.

 

Red Cross honor

BFAIR (Berkshire Family & Individual Resources) has been recognized by the American Red Cross as one of its "premier blood partners" for 2019, a prestigious honor, for its support of the community and national blood supply. Last year, BFAIR helped the Red Cross collect blood donations as part of its deep-rooted commitment to help save lives of patients facing illnesses and injuries in this community and across the country.  Since 2013 BFAIR has held 18 blood drives and collected 511 pints of blood which had the potential to save 1,533 lives.

Every day, volunteer blood and platelet donors across the country are needed to help save lives. Blood and platelets are needed for accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease, according to the Red Cross.

The next BFAIR Blood Drive is scheduled for Feb. 14, 2020, from noon to 5 p.m. at the BFAIR Administrative Offices at 771 South Church St., North Adams. Appointment scheduling will be available as February nears closer. Donors of all blood types are needed. Blood is a perishable product that can only come from volunteer blood donors.

 

Women and nonprofits

The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires is hosting a workshop and networking session geared toward women looking to make a career change or find a new role in the nonprofit sector. The event takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn in Pittsfield. The cost is $35. Register for this and other workshops online or call 413-645-3151.

For those seeking an experience that provides both personal satisfaction and professional development, nonprofit board service provides hands-on leadership involvement, skill-building, and growth of personal networks. Workshop topics include typical board structure, responsibilities of a board member, and how to determine the right organizational match by researching board job descriptions and bylaws, current member composition, and meeting attendance expectations. This program will also benefit nonprofit leaders looking to strengthen their board recruitment and on-boarding practices.

Instructor Stephanie Lawrence is a nonprofit sector career (re)entry adviser and philanthropic sector consultant. The Founder and Principal of Cause After A Pause, she provides advising services and strategies for those who are relaunching after a career pause or pivoting into the nonprofit sector.

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Squeeze, Benatar, Reba, Berkshire Ramblers Spark Labor Day Weekend Finales

By Grace LichtensteinGuest Column

For the Labor Day weekend, Tanglewood welcomes pop and country stars, the Guthrie Center offers local folkies, Mass MoCA throws a dance party and the Egremont Barn jumps with hip-hop.

Tanglewood

Now that the Boston Symphony Orchestra has finished its summer season, Tanglewood revs up for stars from the rock and country worlds in its Popular Artists Series.

Squeeze, the British rockers who first began recording in the 1970s, is at the Shed on Thursday night, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. The lineup of band members may have changed over the years, but the current crew surely will do such hits as "Tempted" and "Hourglass."

Two enduring women rock stars take the Shed stage separately on Friday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. for a double-barreled shot of female energy. Pat Benatar and songwriting, guitar-playing husband Neil Giraldo celebrate their 40th anniversary of working together, way beyond "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Melissa Etheridge (and her unmistakably husky voice) rounds out the bill.

On Saturday Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. Slide guitar wizard Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals top the bill, along with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. Finally, the great Reba McEntire commands the Shed on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 3:30 p.m. Note the special time for Reba's show, which should be a fitting finale to a fine season.

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