Working Cities Pittsfield Highlighted by Berkshire Eagle

This past week, Berkshire Eagle reporter, Haven Orecchio-Egresitz, spent some time with us at Working Cities Wednesday and part of a Bridges Out of Poverty training at the Four Freedoms Coalition advocacy event, Step Up! Check out some of the excellent coverage below.

April 28, 2018 Four Freedoms Coalition workshops provide avenues to activism 

April 29, 2018 ‘Working City Wednesday’: Pittsfield nonprofits put their heads together to shrink poverty, grow community

April 30, 2018 Our Opinion: Working together to combat poverty

March 28 Working Cities Wednesday

A full house at The Christian Center tackled some interesting projects at March’s Working Cities Wednesday. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be there, we took some Facebook Live video while teams worked out their strategies.

Transforming St. Joseph School into a creative-healing community center
Lead Name: Kristina Cardot (413)464-6485 reformationacad@gmail.com
Summary of Discussion:
• Upcycling, hands on, unconventional, everybody can be involved type of center
• Intergenerational
• A hub to connect, heal, learn, share, and build community

Three things to do before next meeting:
• Get in touch w/ diocese about St. Joseph
• Share crowdrise campaign on Facebook
• Research other sponsors and grants that might match funds
• Research similar ideas in other communities

person standing and speaking
Anaelisa Jacobson presents her pitch to get help with the Harvest of Hope event planned for this fall.

Resources you may need:
• Grant writer
• Connections
• Partners

Harvest of Hope
Lead Name: Anaelisa Jacobson (413)841-0298 manosunidasorg@gmail.com

Summary of Discussion:
• Partnerships to make a more sustainable event
• Cross-sector collaboration around August dance residencies with Jacob’s Pillow

Three things to do before the next meeting:
• Outreach to local partners
• Send partnership info
• Looking at long-term community visions

Resources you may need:
• Sponsorships
• Promotional assistance
• Feet on the ground
• Ways to amplify unheard voices in the community

Pittsfield Pillow Express Bus
Lead Name: Thaisa Giles (610)416-3916 tgiles@jacobspillow.org

Summary of Discussion:
• Surrounded by cultural organizations but kids don’t get the chance to and have the experience
• People are often overloaded with work and other necessities and don’t feel they have time to enjoy themselves. Saturdays can still be full of obligations.
• Purpose of the free bus is to introduce people to Jacobs Pillow and the cultural experiences around them. Want people to have a wonderful time and plant the seed for more.

Three things to do before next meeting:
• Circulate language and get input
• Consider the time frame of the visit, maybe 4 hour commitments are too long

Resources you may need:
• Community resources, word of mouth, bus ambassadors who can provide one on one invitations and steward people’s visits
• Show videos of Jacobs pillow events at community centers to advertise and provide a taste of the different experiences.

LGBTQUIA+ float for the 4th of July parade
Lead Name: Aiyanna Bellefeuille (518) 397-9046 soncerewilliams@gmail.com
Summary of Discussion:
• Compared cost of a float to a walking group and the benefits of both
• Discussed contacts for resources and applications
• How to divide up tasks to make more manageable

Three things to do before next meeting:
• Complete application
• Secure a truck
• Speak with school about the idea of reaching out and including other schools

Resources you may need:
• $50 application fee
• Materials for flags/banners
• People to march

Community Bike Rides
Lead name: Nick Russo (413)841-8425 nrusso93@gmail.com

Summary of Discussion:
• Bike donations in Springfield
• Branding/themes/holidays
• Bike librarian

Three things to do before the next meeting:
• Contact Bob Sherwin
• Get in touch with the library
• Talk to bike shops about donations/outreach

Resources you may need:
• Bikes to borrow
• Channels to advertise, communicate, reach out
• Earth Day ride!

The next Working Cities Wednesday will be held on April 25 from 5:30 -7:00 pm at the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, 165 East St., Pittsfield.