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Once complete, The concert space will have multi-directional seating around the performance, in addition to 20 dining tables with additional seating.

Adams Theater Making Final Preparations for Benefit Concert

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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The concert is part of a fundraising effort by the theater, which it launched in August. As of Nov. 3, it has raised over $58,000 of its $80,000 goal online and $14,000 more in offline donations.

ADAMS, Mass. — Final preparations are being made inside of Adams Theater as it prepares for an upcoming benefit concert by the piano group Two Piano Journey on Nov. 11. 

 

The mother and son team, Michelle Chen Kuo and Christopher Kuo, is currently touring to raise money for philanthropic and charitable organizations. The duo has raised $1,456,000 for its partners since 2016.

 

Once complete, The concert space will have multi-directional seating around the performance, in addition to 20 dining tables with additional seating. 

 

"I think the biggest surprise is people aren't going to know where they want to sit until the day of," said Yina Moore, founder and director of the Adams Theater. "I think it's part intentional, in a way, that we want to show people the possibility of seating varieties in this space." 

 

The concert is part of a fundraising effort by the theater, which it launched in August. As of Nov. 3, it has raised over $58,000 of its $80,000 goal online and $14,000 more in offline donations. 

 

In addition to the concert, the theater will host a community open house from 5 to 7 p.m. on the day, where food and other refreshments will be available. Moore said the open house allows people to learn more about the theater, regardless of their specific artistic interests. 

 

"That is to make this experience more accessible for everyone, whether they purchased a ticket or did not purchase a ticket," Moore said. "If a piano performance is their thing or is not their thing, it's meant to be inclusive ... I hope to see more people, more young people and people from out of Adams, from other communities, to hear about this and just turn up."  

 

Last week, the theater received an $800,000 grant from the state's Underutilized Properties Program, which will finance electrical upgrades, HVAC, a new roof and an accessible new floor. Despite renovation work taking up much of next year, Moore said there are still plans for several events and other programming throughout 2023. 

 

"I don't want to tell too much because it's still in planning right now, but we would love to pause every six months of the way and showcase what has been developed, what has been done and what's next yet to come," she said. "And let the future audience become part of that journey."

 

To provide direction and insight on future programming as upgrades continue, the theater has established an Artistic Advisory Board. Its members are are Carolyn Brooks; Reggie Carter; Stacy Cochran; George LeMaitre & Pat Fietta; Jodi Joseph; Susan Killam; Matti Kovler; Chris Kuo; Melissa Silverstein; Nana Simopoulous & Caryn Heilman; David Tochterman; and Joe Wheaton.

 


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North County Communities Close to Hiring Shared HR Director

By Brian Rhodes

ADAMS, Mass. — The town is close to picking a candidate for a grant-funded human resources director, which will split time between Adams, North Adams and Williamstown. 

 

The Board of Selectmen's Personnel Sub-committee met on Monday to discuss the position and several other personnel matters. In March, the three communities received a $100,000 grant from the state's Community Compact Cabinet Efficiency and Regionalization program to fund the position

 

Town Administrator Jay Green said two candidates were interviewed for the job, with expectations to make a formal offer to one of them soon, pending final approval from officials in North Adams. 

 

"It's going to be a large undertaking for whoever is in the job. But I think, at the end of the day, we will provide the communities with somebody paying attention to this stuff," Green said. "... I think a lot of the retention and recruitment issues; all three communities have those issues. So all three communities are looking forward to having the person to be able to work on that." 

 

Green said each of the three communities has specific needs that a human resources director will provide. For Adams, he explained that keeping the town's human resources policies up to date is a significant need. 

 

"This person will work for us directly, and they will be a resource for us," Green said. The three communities, he explained, have to keep the position funded until at least Fiscal Year 2024. 

 

In other business, the group discussed preliminary job descriptions for an assistant Treasurer/Collector and assistant Town Accountant. These positions would replace the current financial assistant titles and would be a title and job description change rather than a personnel change. 

 

"We have too many high-level people doing too low-level work because we're not staffed enough in that level," Green said, noting the town expects the title changes to be ready to begin the next fiscal year. "A lot of those positions have been eliminated over the years. The work doesn't go away, but the work just gets kicked up." 

 

Town Accountant Crystal Wojcik said the new titles would allow the people in those positions to have more training opportunities and take on more responsibilities for the town. One example she gave is a conference from the state's Municipal Accountants and Auditors Association, which Financial Assistant Ashley Satko cannot currently attend. 

 

"I can go to that, but Ashley can't because her title is not Assistant Town Accountant," she said. "You either have to be a Town Accountant or an Assistant Town Accountant. I believe the same rules go for the treasurer's association." 

 

Another new position the group discussed was assistant director of Community Development. Rebecca Furgeson, the current program manager for the department, would take on the new role. 

 

"[Rebecca] has a very unique skill set with project management that I can't replicate. And she has capacity to take on additional work," said Community Development Director Eammon Coughlin. "We've had incredibly good luck with grants over the past year. I think we've gotten basically everything we've apply for it, and so there's a need to have a good set of eyes and sound judgment in terms of managing those projects." 

 

The committee also discussed the part-time administrative assistant for Inspectional Services. Green said he is hopeful the position could eventually become full-time, but budget considerations do not currently allow it.  

 

  • The committee discussed a potential code of conduct for town employees and others involved in town business. Board Vice-chair Christine Hoyt said she researched conduct policies for other communities and wants to do more work to update those policies in Adams. 

 

"I'd like to explore this more and come forward with a code of conduct that is all-encompassing," she said. "... We hold our employees to a standard, but we haven't necessarily put a standard of conduct in place for elected officials for the public." 

 

Green said the current provisions for the town only apply to town employees, not elected or other officials.

 

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