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BITS & BYTES: Sol y Canto at Dewey Hall; Scoville Library live storytelling; Berkshire Taconic grant deadlines; BCC nursing program deadline extended

Sol y Canto, an award-winning Pan-Latin ensemble led by singer and bongo player Rosi Amador and guitarist and composer Brian Amador, will perform at Dewey Hall in Sheffield Friday, Feb. 25. Photo courtesy Dewey Hall

Dewey Hall welcomes Sol y Canto as part of its TapRoot Sessions

SHEFFIELD — Through its TapRoot Sessions Women in Roots Series, Dewey Hall seeks to highlight the contribution of women to the traditional music scene, provide performance opportunities for women artists, and inspire future generations of girls and women to participate and lead in the folk community.

As part of this series, the Hall will welcome Sol y Canto, an award-winning Pan-Latin ensemble led by Puerto Rican/Argentine singer and bongo player Rosi Amador and New Mexican guitarist and composer Brian Amador, on Friday, Feb. 25 at 7 pm Featuring Rosi’s crystalline voice and Brian’s lush Spanish guitar and inventive compositions, Sol y Canto is known for making their music accessible to Spanish- and non-Spanish speaking audiences of all ages.

Sol y Canto’s original songs are distinguished by the poetic, often quirky lyrics set in a framework of varied musical styles with surprising twists. Their arrangements of classic and contemporary Latin tunes are fresh and original. With Brian’s commanding, intricate guitar playing, Rosi’s rhythmic drive on cajón and bongos, and liberal use of vocal improvisation, the duo often sounds like a much larger ensemble.

Tickets are $20. This is an indoor event. For the safety of performers and the community, proof of vaccination, ID, and masks are required to attend.


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Scoville Library launches storytelling tradition on first Saturdays

Image courtesy Scoville Library

SALISBURY, Conn. — Every year on Take Your Child to the Library Day (TYCTLD), Saturday, Feb. 5, libraries across the nation open their doors and pull out all the stops to encourage children to visit. This year, Scoville Memorial Library will celebrate this day by welcoming the community to a storytelling event that will kick off the first Saturday of the month storytelling tradition.

On Saturday, Feb. 5 from 11 am–2 pm, people of all ages are invited to gather around the “bonfire” and be transported by the power of good stories. Chris Wiltshire of Flying Deer Nature Center and Lakeville Hose Company’s Assistant Chief Jason Wilson will kick off the outdoor event, guiding and instructing families on how to safely build, maintain, extinguish, and conduct oneself around fire. Karen Sangaline Pillsworth, Storyteller Laureate of Kingston, New York, will follow with stories from her “Basket Full of Stories” collection, and award-winning storyteller Leslie Elias, the artistic director and co-founder of Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children’s Theater, will perform the story “Coyote Shares the Fire.”


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Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation announces winter grant/scholarship deadlines

Image courtesy Berkshire Taconic

SHEFFIELD — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation announces the first round of deadlines for competitive grants and scholarships this year in Berkshire County. Schools, nonprofits, students, and individuals are invited to apply for funding during the winter grants cycle. Apply online at BerkshireTaconic.org/Grants and BerkshireTaconic.org/Scholarships.


Education enrichment funds will award grants for projects that enhance and enrich the educational experience of the students and teachers in area schools. Applications will be accepted from students, teachers, administrators, parents, and members of the community.

The James C. Kapteyn Endowment Fund honors excellence in teaching with a $10,000 prize for study or travel. The successful candidate’s school will also receive a $2,000 grant. Nominations from principals and heads of school are due February 9. Nominees must complete their applications by March 27.


NEW GRANT OPPORTUNITY: Berkshire Taconic has partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development to administer the CARES Act Community Development Block Grant Food Security Program in Berkshire County. Nonprofits working on food security in Berkshire County may apply for grants to support capital expenses used to expand and/or improve the capacity of provision food programs to deliver services and address food in security related to the pandemic. Grants will range up to $200,000. Letters of intent are due February 23. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full application by April 1.

The Crane Family Fund supports environmental nonprofit organizations that propose innovative projects, particularly for programs that connect at-risk and low-income youth to the environment. Grants range up to $4,000. Applications are due February 15.

Berkshire Taconic’s Arts Build community initiative supports innovation among Berkshire County’s nonprofit arts, cultural and community organizations as they work to increase community engagement through the arts. Rapid-response small grants are available to test emerging ideas with a fast turnaround from application to fund disbursement. Grants range up to $7,500. The application process opens on March 1 and will be considered on a rolling basis until all funds are expended.

The Green Pastures Fund supports nonprofit organizations or public entities that encourage or preserve small, community-based agricultural ventures. Grants range up to $3,000. Applications are due March 1.

The James and Robert Hardman Fund for North Adams provides grants for nonprofit groups, community organizations or public agencies that support the residents of North Adams and the communities of Florida and Clarksburg, Massachusetts, and Stamford, Vermont. Applications are due March 1.


Image courtesy Berkshire Taconic

Students who plan to attend an accredited college, university, trade school or graduate program may complete Berkshire Taconic’s common scholarship application to determine their eligibility for all of the foundation’s scholarships. Awards generally range from $1,000–$10,000 and support a variety of academic interests. Some funds offer renewable awards. Applications are due March 15, unless otherwise noted. Apply with the common application at BerkshireTaconic.org/Scholarships.

Scholarships and grants for Berkshire County students that require a separate application process include:

  • The Clayton Chrisman Memorial Fund Award provides grants to juniors and seniors at Mount Everett Regional High School for the costs of projects related to environmental studies. Projects may include travel, special classes, field trips and other related activities. Applications are due March 1.
  • The Sweet Brook Scholarship Fund supports residents of northern Berkshire County (Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesborough, New Ashford, North Adams, Savoy and Williamstown) who are currently working in a health care field and plan to further their health care education and qualifications. If no such eligible candidate applies, the scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school senior for studies in a health-related field. Applications are due March 15.


The Alice and Richard Henriquez Memorial Fund and Youth World Awareness Program provides grants to students ages 14 to 22 for international travel and service. Grants range up to $1,500 for individual applicants; larger grants may be considered for groups. Applications are due Feb. 21.


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Deadline to apply to BCC Nursing Program extended

Photo courtesy BCC

PITTSFIELD — The deadline to apply to Berkshire Community College (BCC)’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program for the fall 2022 semester has been extended to Friday, April 1, 2022. Admissions into the nursing program are based on space availability and follow a competitive process.

The BCC nursing program, which is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, is a sequence of lectures, training skills, laboratory and clinical courses. Graduates are eligible to take the licensing examination to become registered nurses (RNs).

For more information, call 413-236-1636 or visit www.berkshirecc.edu/nursing, where you can schedule a 30-minute informational session with the coordinator of BCC’s Multicultural Center.


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