July 16, 2018
 
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Gets $125K for 2018 Season

March 30, 2018 — The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, a Great Barrington nonprofit that presents performing arts, film, educational, and family programs, this week announced it received grants totaling $125,000 to support its 2018 season, youth programs, and capital projects.

The Feigenbaum Foundation provided $50,000, half of which will enable local schoolchildren to attend live performances, and $5,000 of which will support the theater’s youth ticket discount program. The remaining $20,000 will fund facility repairs and upgrades that are part of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Cultural Facilities Fund matching grant program.

In addition, Berkshire Bank made a three-year commitment to season sponsorship at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, with a total value of $75,000. The funds will help underwrite education programming and provide operational support.

“We are thrilled and grateful for this significant support from the Feigenbaum Foundation and Berkshire Bank,” said Mahaiwe Executive Director Beryl Jolly. “These community-focused grants will support our youth, local residents, and help maintain the historic Mahaiwe Theater.”

The Berkshire Bank commitment will support Mahaiwe’s annual youth Hip Hop Program with Open Thought Productions, which offers students from three local schools the chance to work with acclaimed Hip Hop artists from New York City in a residency in their own schools and then the chance to perform together onstage at the Mahaiwe each November.

The bank has been a supporter of the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center since the theater’s restoration in 2005, and the theater’s lobby is named the Berkshire Bank Lobby in appreciation of this corporate commitment.

The Fitzpatrick Trust and several individual donors have also contributed funds toward the Mahaiwe’s one-to-one match of its $65,000 Cultural Facilities Fund grant.

The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, which provides year-round programs, was established as a nonprofit in 2002, but traces its origins to 1904 when the Mahaiwe Theater was built. "Mahaiwe” (pronounced Muh-HAY-We) means “the place downstream” from the Housatonic River and is derived from the Berkshires’ original Mahican settlers.

In 1995, the theater gained protection under the formation of Great Barrington’s Downtown Historic District. In 2003, the theater, which seats 700, began a $9 million restoration, completed two years later.

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