The Massachusetts Cultural Council Cultural Facilities Fund (CFF) recently awarded $84,000 to Berkshire Pulse to make its third floor dance studios accessible to every member of the community. Together with a lead gift from the Jane & Jack Fitzpatrick Trust, and generous gifts from the Feigenbaum Foundation and The Great Barrington CPA Fund, Berkshire Pulse has all the funds necessary to proceed with the project.
Founded in 2005, Berkshire Pulse is a nonprofit dance and performing arts education center located in a renovated mill in downtown Housatonic, MA. Its mission is to build and strengthen community life through diverse and accessible programming in performing, movement and creative arts.
Founder Bettina Montano believes a community arts organization must have universal accessibility. Said Montano, “Our beautifully renovated and welcoming state-of-the-art facility can only be reached by those who are undaunted by and able to climb the two flights of stairs that take you to our front door. Correcting this issue will make us fully code compliant and improve the Pulse experience for everyone.”
“Berkshire Pulse is working to ensure that every person in the community has equal access to our studios and classes,” said Diane Pearlman, Berkshire Pulse Board Chair. “This includes students with disabilities, dancers from Community Access to the Arts, and elderly students who regularly attend therapeutic movement classes.”
Mass Development and Massachusetts Cultural Council jointly administer the Cultural Facilities Fund. Berkshire Pulse is one of 61 grant recipients across the Commonwealth. In addition to installing the elevator, Berkshire Pulse will make additional accessibility and site improvements to the parking area, entry vestibule and downstairs access leading to the elevator. The total cost of the project is $214,000.