"Our cultural organizations are a critical component of the regional economy and identity," said Jennifer Dowley, president of Berkshire Taconic. "We are committed to helping ensure that these institutions not only survive these difficult economic times, but thrive."
Through the Berkshires Audience Initiative (BAI), 27 area arts groups are jointly discussing marketing and common audiences, modeled after similar collaborative programs in a dozen cities across the United States.
Berkshire Taconic engaged ArtsBoston, a Boston-based nonprofit arts service organization, to manage BAI.
The second initiative is the Berkshire Taconic Capitalization Initiative through which the community foundation hopes to help both individual arts organizations and the network develop appropriate and effective financial structures and stability. It hosted "Bright Spots and Balance Sheets," a symposium at the Berkshire Museum in April.
"One of our priorities is to advance capitalization principles among arts funders and arts organizations," said Regina Smith, senior program officer from The Kresge Foundation. "Of the 15 capacity building grants awarded, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation is the only partner to engage arts funders, board members, and arts professionals in a conversation on capitalization, and to invest its own resources for arts organizations to test capitalization principles."
A Toolkit for Integrating Child Health Services into Community Early Childhood Initiatives, which can be downloaded for free on CHDI's website, provides performance benchmarks, data sources, survey drafts, a template for creating an inventory of available services as well as evaluation methods and interpretation guides to identify a community's health resource strengths and weaknesses.
The Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, a nonprofit organization, is the primary beneficiary and operating arm of The Children's Fund of Connecticut, a public charitable foundation dedicated to ensuring that disadvantaged children in Connecticut have access to and make use of a comprehensive, effective, community-based health and mental health care system.
For more information or for a printed copy of the Toolkit: Cindy Langer, (860) 679-1538, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connecticut to measure rate of civic participation
Connecticut is joining a growing list of states taking their own temperatures regarding the civic participation of their residents.
Secretary of State Denise Merrill and Everyday Democracy announced they have joined 16 other states, the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), and several other partners to create national, state, and city Civic Health Index reports. Merrill and Everyday Democracy report they have convened more than 40 community, civic, media, education, government, and philanthropic leaders and organizations to be part of a Civic Health Project Advisory Group.
The Connecticut Civic Health Index Report is expected to look at civic participation rates along demographic indicators such as gender, age, and race and ethnicity, and via such activities as:
serving in community and civic groups and associations
contacting public officials
working with neighbors in addressing local problems
participating in elections
serving on state boards and commissions
using the internet to learn about and participate in issue discussions
But, the study contends, technology has excellent potential to:
Help diagnose and address individual educational needs.
Equip students with the knowledge and skills valued by employers and not typically measured in achievement tests.
Provide an active experience for students.
The report provides portraits of student-centered models where technology has been successfully integrated, such as High Tech High, a network of K-12 charter schools in the San Diego area that utilize technology to document and assess student learning through digital portfolios; and Quest to Learn, a New York public school that uses a video game-based curriculum.
Arts Council featuring Greater Hartford's teen artists
From July 28 through August 9, the Greater Hartford Arts Council is showcasing the results of 67 teen students apprenticed to Master Teaching Artists through the 2011 Neighborhood Studios summer program. There will be six public exhibitions to present the students' final work in jazz, theatre, film, dance and more.
Sa Ilalim Ng Dagat - Under the Sea at Charter Oak Cultural Center (Spectrum in Motion's Instruments of Culture Dance Ensemble), July 28 & August 4 at 6 pm
Evolution at the Amistad Center at the Wadsworth Athenaeum (SNAP! Photography Studio), August 4 at 5 pm
The Tempest at Hartford Stage (Breakdancing Shakespeare), August 8 at 6 & 8:30 pm
Up from Slavery at Artists Collective (Youth Jazz Orchestra and Performing Dance Ensemble), August 9-11 at 6:30 pm
Eye on Video at Real Art Ways (Digital Film Production), August 9 at 5:30 pm.
The Arts Council partners with the Amistad Center for Art & Culture, Artists Collective, Charter Oak Cultural Center, Hartford Stage, and Real Art Ways. Neighborhood Studios apprentices receive hands-on arts instruction from master teaching artists, career skills training workshops through a partnership with Hartford Public Library, and are paid a weekly stipend.
Program organizers note that more than 75% of New Haven students qualified for free and reduced price school meals in 2010, but only one in four received meals through the federally funded Summer Food Service Program last summer. Federal funds pay for the cost of the program.
The Ossen Foundation awards Windham Hospital $64,000 for cancer care
The Jeffrey P. Ossen Foundation recently awarded $64,000 to establish a Cancer Coordinator position at Windham Hospital. Beth Cheney, APRN, has been appointed to the new position and she will be responsible for coordinating cancer care at Windham and with partner organizations within Hartford HealthCare. She will also oversee early detection and prevention activities including the development of a survivorship program, cancer navigator program and community outreach activities.
Jeffrey Ossen, who lost his battle with cancer in 2007, provided the largest gift to Windham Hospital's $8.5 million emergency room expansion project and the Emergency Center that now bears his name.
For more information: Heather Tindall, Windham Hospital, (860) 456-6942.
BERTRAM "BERT" SCOTT, president of U.S. Commercial Markets at CIGNA, has been named this year's community campaign chair for the United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut . Scott is responsible for all U.S. products, marketing, underwriting, national accounts, and various segments for the regional, individual select and senior markets. He has been at CIGNA since 2010, and has worked in insurance for nearly 40 years. Scott has been involved with the United Way since the 1970s.
The United Way, which serves a 40-town region in the Greater Hartford area from Enfield to Marlborough, and New Britain to Willimantic, said the campaign raised $25.7 million last year. The 87th annual campaign will begin on September 7.
JUANITA JAMES of Stamford has been chosen as the new president and CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation, starting October 3. Current President SUSAN M. ROSS announced in February she was stepping down after 15 years.
James' background includes 37 years of corporate experience, most recently at Pitney Bowes Inc., where she served as chief marketing and communications officer responsible for brand management, media and analyst relations, and corporate citizenship and philanthropy. She previously held leadership positions at Time Warner, Inc., and Bertelsmann, Inc.
She is also deeply engaged in nonprofit leadership. She is a director for Reading Is Fundamental, trustee of Lesley University, and trustee emerita of Princeton University. In Stamford, she is a member of Childcare Learning Centers' Leadership Council, a director of Curtain Call, and has held leadership roles for the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Stamford Symphony, and Ferguson Library. She is an ordained elder and deacon of First Presbyterian Church in Stamford.
James holds a master's degree in business policy from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree in romance languages from Princeton University.
THOMAS S. QUINN of Salisbury, CT has joined Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's 20-member board of directors. Quinn is an investment adviser with more than 30 years of experience in banking, investment management, and commercial property. He is the former global head of Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) of UBS Wealth Management and Business Banking; founder of TS Quinn Associates, LLC; and a longtime senior manager at JP Morgan. He is a trustee of the Hotchkiss School and a former member of the National Real Estate Advisory Board of the Nature Conservancy.
DAVID I. NEWTON of New Haven and TODD D. SHEPARD of West Hartford, have been selected to serve on the board of directors of the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health).
David I. Newton is president and founder of Elm Advisors, LLC. Established in 2007, Elm Advisors specializes in real estate and facilities services for not for profit institutions. He currently serves as trustee and member on a number of boards, including: president of the Committee of Trustees of Hopkins School, Long Wharf Theatre, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Elm Shakespeare Company and Project Access. Previously, Newton was the associate vice president and director of University Properties at Yale University and co-founder and president the Facilities Resource Management Company.
Todd D. Shepard is a financial planner and financial services representative with New England Financial Group, LLC. He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Saxton B. Little Free Library, and serves on the strategic planning and planned giving committees. He also serves on the Hartford County Estate and Business Planning Council, and the Financial Planning Association, where he once served as president and chairman. Prior to leaving management to focus more on the needs of his business and personal clients, Shepard served as the investment specialist for the New England Financial Group for 20 years.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy appointed Connecticut Council for Philanthropy Board Member YVETTE MELENDEZ to the Board of Regents for Higher Education. The board oversees four regional state universities, the community college system, and Charter Oak State College.
Meléndez, from South Glastonbury, is Vice President of Government and Community Alliances for Hartford Healthcare and Hartford Hospital. She has more than 30 years of experience developing public policy in education, human services, and public health at the state level. Before her current position, she was Chief of Staff and Chief Administrative Officer for the Connecticut State University System.
Her experience also includes roles at the State Department of Education, where she led Connecticut's entry into the charter school movement; as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Health and Addiction Services (now the Department of Public Health); and as Chief of Staff for the Department of Income Maintenance (now the Department of Social Services), where she was part of the state's initial efforts to desegregate Connecticut schools. Meléndez is also a trustee of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
At the 11th Annual Butterfly Breakfast last month, Danbury Youth Services honored SHEILA PERRIN and the Ridgefield-based Perrin Family Foundation for more than 15 years of support and technical assistance for DYS counseling and youth leadership programs.