Well hello there,

What a wild time it’s been since I started at Berkshire Creative just one month ago!  Between arranging and rearranging office furniture, each week is jam packed with meetings, event planning, press conferences, budgeting, and networking, all with the goal of bringing YOU, the Berkshire creative economy, the most effective connections, programs, and resources available to guide and grow your work.

Communicating with YOU is foremost in our mission.  Regretfully, our regular communications slipped during the past few weeks, as I got up and running in my new role.  Expect to hear lots more – and lots more frequently – from Berkshire Creative as we move forward from here.  Make sure you “Like” our Facebook business page – we’re about to max out our friends page, and will cease to use it very soon.

When he doesn’t have my desk in his hands, Shao Chia, our B-HIP intern who is here from Singapore, is dutifully updating the “Jobs” and “Opportunities” sections of our website.  With another hat tip to Shao, the website is once again a dynamic place for you to find out what’s happening in (and recently who is singing the praises of – sometimes literally!) the creative economy in the Berkshires.  Be sure not to miss what James Taylor and Yo-Yo Ma each had to say about the region in The Berkshire Eagle and New York Times respectively.  The links are on the “News” section of the website, and in our most recent e-newsletter.

It seems there is always something new and exciting in the works in these hills!  I’ve already had a number of people stop in to our offices at Central Station in Pittsfield.  The office is open from Monday through Friday from 9-5 at 66 Allen Street (right next door to Pittsfield City Hall).  If you have ideas for or concerns about the creative economy, please be in touch to set up a time to come in and chat.  Last week I heard from a fine furniture craftsman who is beginning the hard work of marketing his high-end creations.  Prior to that, I’ve had two proposals from people who want Berkshire Creative (and Berkshire creatives!) to be involved in some new retail environments in the county.  Expect to hear more on some of these projects in the very near future.

During the next few months, we will be giving our still-popular and effective SPARK! events a real shot in the arm. First we’ll SPARK! at Mass MoCA on August 16.  For the past two summers, the museum has opened a beer garden in the courtyard between its museum lobby and Sol LeWitt building.  The beer garden is open on Thursday evenings and around most performing arts events.  This year’s beer garden was erected as part of the Oh, Canada exhibition that has taken over the first floor of the museum galleries, and features an A-Frame building built inside of one of the previously dormant old mill buildings in the very center of the museum campus.  It might be the coolest place to meet people and drink cold beer in the whole county this summer!  …But don’t let Daniel Osman hear me say that, because on September 26, we’ll make our way up to The Dream Away Lodge in Becket which epitomizes Berkshire-cool year-round. Who knows what we’ll find while milling about and making connections at the fire pit, on the porch, in the music room, through the garden, or while walking the woodland labyrinth.  The Dream Away’s expansive, gorgeous grounds are rivaled only by its fantastic menu, which is – like The Dream Away itself – equal parts upscale-exotic and down-home-comfort. Come for SPARK! and stay for dinner.

I’m thrilled to bring SPARK! to Mass MoCA and The Dream Away.  These two destinations offer a delicious taste of the very wide range of businesses at the heart of the Berkshire creative economy.  At these newly improved editions of our signature event, we will hear from people at both organizations talk about what it takes to create and maintain a thriving creative economy business.   So mark your calendars!

In the meantime, do be sure to keep in touch with us on the web and via social media.  We want to keep the creative economy working for YOU in the Berkshires.

Shine on,