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October 26, 2021
New ED; Funds for Arts; $2.5M Renovation; Weapons Screening

September 21, 2021 —Cummings Foundation appoints Joyce Vyriotes as executive director. Enchanted Circle receives $50K for arts integration training. Willie Ross School for the Deaf completes $2.5M renovation, expansion; Boch Center now using touchless weapons detection screening.

Cummings Foundation Appoints Joyce Vyriotes as Executive Director

Joyce Vyriotes

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, which annually grants tens of millions of dollars to Massachusetts nonprofits, last week announced that it appointed Joyce Vyriotes as its new executive director, effective October 1.

She succeeds Joel Swets, who is retiring after holding the post for 15 years.

Cummings Foundation co-founder Bill Cummings said, “Joyce has been one of the chief architects of our major annual grant-making initiative, which has grown to award $25 million each year and involve about 150 community volunteers.”

In addition to her responsibilities within the foundation, she serves as director of communications and marketing, as well as a member of the executive committee for Cummings Properties, a commercial real estate firm.

“It has been incredibly rewarding, enlightening, and just plain fun to be part of an organization that infuses philanthropy with an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Vyriotes. “I’m excited to continue working with greater Boston nonprofits, the foundation’s generous volunteers, and my Cummings colleagues to benefit local communities.”

Enchanted Circle Receives $50K for Arts Integration Training

Enchanted Circle, a multi-service arts organization dedicated to engaging, enhancing, and inspiring learning through the arts, recently announced it received $50,000 from the state to develop courses and symposia, as well as provide scholarships for educators participating in Enchanted Circle’s Institute for Arts Integration, in partnership with Mount Holyoke College.

State Senator John C. Velis said, "Enchanted Circle does an incredible job of making the arts accessible throughout our communities and truly has a lasting impact on so many students. This funding will help expand their training and programming so that even more individuals will be able to develop these creative skills and critical ways of thinking.”

Priscilla Kane Hellweg, executive/artistic director of Enchanted Circle, said, “Arts in education is essential for developing the whole child, helping youth find their voice, and learn to trust their ideas. Just think of how many more students will experience the joy in learning when we train more teachers in our culturally resonant and creatively engaging methods.”

Willie Ross School for the Deaf Completes $2.5M Renovation, Expansion

Willie Ross School for the Deaf, a Longmeadow nonprofit that provides education and support services, last week held a grand re-opening of its renovated and expanded administration building, a two-year, $2.5 million project undertaken to accommodate growing needs and programming,

The undertaking added a second story to the administration building, which features new space for interpreters, an updated audiology center, a redesigned main entrance, improved wheelchair access, new space for the school’s work study program and upgraded administrative technology.

Boch Center Now Using Touchless Weapons Detection Screening

The Boch Center, a leading nonprofit performing arts institutions based in Boston, last week announced it is now using a touchless weapons detection screening system in connection with its reopening last Saturday for the first time since closing in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The screening solution from Evolv Technology uses advanced sensors and artificial intelligence to detect weapons at venue entrances while providing visitors with a touchless, friction-free experience. Patrons are no longer forced to wait in long lines at metal detectors, or experience invasive bag checks, wands or pat downs by security personnel, the organization said.

Eric Nell, director of theater operations and security, said, “As the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, our patrons want a touchless experience. At the same time, they want to have peace of mind that we are providing them with the safest possible environment to gather.”

The system can screen up to 3,600 people an hour, which is 10 times faster than traditional checkpoint systems. It uses a combination of sensors, screens and cameras combined with an AI-enabled software architecture to immediately distinguish between a gun and innocuous objects, such as a smartphone, according to Evolv Technology.

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