Adams Theater Surpasses $80,000 Fundraising Goal

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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Yina Moore, founder and director of the Adams Theater, said nearly 300 people attended the concert and the community open house that preceded it earlier in the day. Provided Photo by Greg Nesbit

ADAMS, Mass. — After nearly three months of fundraising and a benefit concert Friday, the Adams Theater has surpassed its $80,000 crowdfunding goal as work on revitalizing the building continues.

The theater had been running the fundraiser since August, reaching a final total of $81,854, including $65,144 donated via online fundraising and $16,710 in offline donations. Yina Moore, founder and director of the Adams Theater, said nearly 300 people attended the concert and the community open house that preceded it earlier in the day. 

"It was heartwarming to see so many people coming together from all over Berkshire County, despite the rain, during a holiday weekend in November," Moore said in a press release. "The downtown parking lots were full, Firehouse Cafe was full, and people were hanging out at Amory Court outside of the theater. I see this as a reinforcing sign that the Adams Theater has the potential to reinvigorate downtown Adams and establish a supportive local audience."

The theater hosted piano group Two Piano Journey for the benefit concert. The mother and son team, Michelle Chen Kuo and Christopher Kuo, is currently touring to raise money for philanthropic and charitable organizations.

"Thank you Two Piano Journey for using your incredible talents and dedication to elevate our work," the theater's Facebook page posted on Sunday, announcing the fundraiser had overtaken the $80,000 goal.

In addition to local interest from the fundraiser, the theater has attracted interest and financial investment from the state. Last month, the theater received an $800,000 grant from the state's Underutilized Properties Program, which will fund several upgrades, including electrical upgrades, HVAC improvements, a new roof and an accessible new floor.

Despite renovation work planned to take up much of next year, Moore has said there are still plans for several events and other programming throughout 2023.

"As we continue work on the theater, I want to provide other opportunities for people to visit and see this project progressing," said Moore. "I want community members to be able to see how their support is helping us reach our goals, and continue to draw people to Adams’ downtown."

 


Tags: crowdsource,   theater,   

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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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