March Working Cities Wednesday

Did you miss last month’s Working Cities Wednesday at First United Methodist Church? Check out the projects starting up with your neighbors and join in. And make sure you join us Wednesday, April 24 at Second Congregational Church 50 Onota St. at 5:30 pm for your next pitch.

Topic: Tyler St Lab  ideas:
Leader: Mariam Orengo, Phone: 413 310 8944


  • This is a space that will help grow our multicultural space 
  • Makerspace in lower level is emerging as a workshop space 
  • Space for renewed creativity 
  • Self-sustaining aspect of this project 

Three things to do before the next meeting 

  • Attract more volunteers 
  • Look for funding sources/grants 
  • Letters of support for donations 
  • Donation days in multicultural establishments (La Fogata, Dottie’s) 

Resources you may need:

  • Snacks for kids 
  • Water 
  • Fruit 
  • More volunteers 
  • Creation of an internet marketplace 

Topic: Day of remembrance for victims of trauma 

Leader: Kathi Riley, 413 822 2292

Next meeting date: May 2 at 6:30 pm, Misty Moonlight Diner  


  • Storytelling from loved ones 
  • Candle lit ceremony 
  • The goal of this project- humanity outpour- doing it for those who haven’t had this kind of love. 
  • Multicultural languages and poems 

Three things to do before the next meeting 

  • Pursue the lady making teddy bears out of loved ones’ clothing 
  • Already looking for dates for the event, looking at June 
  • Set dates for meeting to discuss more planning 

Resources you may need 

  • Parks (The Common) permit process 
  • Places for events 
  • Music (DJ/Emcee) 
  • Sponsors and funding 
  • Intention, tagline, lead-up activities 

February Working Cities Wednesday

More than 30 people braved a snow storm noting, “this is my favorite meeting of the month,” to attend February’s Working Cities Wednesday at The Christian Center. They had such a good time, they were still chatting at 7:45 pm, well after the meeting ended. What it is about this meeting that keeps people coming back? “The positive energy” and “seeing everyone again,” really makes a difference.

The following pitches were discussed at the meeting. If you would like to get involved in any of them, please contact the pitch lead or us here at Working Cities Pittsfield.

Topic: Jacobs’s Pillow Bus
Lead: Thasia Giles
Summary of discussion:

  • Explore transportation options, seeking accessible bus
  • City of Pittsfield United Cerebral Palsy
  • Relationships- people to people- work with groups for organizing each weekend, with families

Three things to do before the next meeting

  • Schedule video showings at the Christian Center Library
  • Contact Senior Center as a pickup spot
  • Elliot looking into RSVP group
  • Highlight “Picnics at the Pillow”

Resources you may need:

  • Ginny looking into United Cerebral Palsy contacts.
  • Look into including Becket in the route.
  • Create a “Pillow Playlist”

Topic: City government education workshops

Lead: Alisa Costa, 413-442-0003
Summary of discussion:

  • Wanting to engage people in the advocacy process leading up to elections to understand the importance of voting in local elections. Where do you get stuck with city and state government?
  • Need for family education for getting various services
  • Why is it so complicated to do anything- housing, health insurance, online job applications?
  • What are our rights as tenants, resident, homeowner etc?
  • Not understanding city vs state vs fed
  • Evenings work best for this type of workshop series

Three things to do before the next meeting:

  • Pitch again at next WCW
  • Lay out marketing strategy – identify possible locations for workshops.
  • Need to ask more people to help guide curriculum.

Resources we might need:

  • Input from residents
  • A location for workshops

Topic: Summer Program
Lead: Debbie Vall, 413 443 2828
Summary of discussion:

  • Create project-based learning focused on leadership and career readiness
  • Arts based programs partnering with Berkshire Taconic Fund grants, RAPID, open Friday, Barrington Stage

Three things to do before the next meeting:\

  • Apply our RAPID grant- plan what art programs
  • Find out who many kids 21st Century can take
  • Josh will write up his plan and share with group

Resources you may need:

  • Kas- grant writer
  • Guest judges to rate kids’ projects

Topic: Addressing impact of community violence
Lead: Kathi Riley, 413 822 2292
Next meeting date: 3rd week of March at Brien in Chris’ office during day if possible.

Summary of discussion:

  • Ideas include creating a memorial in a community
  • Don’t forget to include all people who participated in or experienced the violence
  • Root causes/overdose/families of perpetrators

Three things to do before the next meeting:

  • Create mural for those who have passed away

Resources you may need:

  • Pittsfield Prospers music (Joshua)
  • Funding
  • Common/space, summer, Brien Center recovery