Stockbridge- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) and State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox) announce today that IS183 Art School of the Berkshires has been awarded an emergency grant from the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund in the amount of $15,000. The Fund is administered by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, William F. Galvin.
“IS183’s commitment to the historic preservation of Citizens Hall will ensure its availability to serve future students as well as the community of Stockbridge for generations,” said Downing. “I am so pleased that the Secretary was able to grant these emergency funds to assist with these critical repairs. I look forward to the complete restoration of this community treasure.”
The IS183 Art School operates out of Citizens Hall (circa 1870), one of the oldest public buildings in the village of Interlaken in Stockbridge and is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This emergency grant, combined with private funds, will assist IS183 in completing critical repair to the mansard roof of historic Citizens Hall including carpentry repairs to the decaying decorative eaves and window surrounds, repair to existing windows, replacement of flashings and installation of new roof shingles. The entire exterior restoration project is expected to be complete in the 2008 construction season.
“The completion of the restoration project at IS183 will allow the art school to continue to carry out its great work in the historic landmark it has called home for many years,” said Pignatelli. “It is critical that the Commonwealth continues to invest in our cultural economy and IS183 is a perfect example of the artistic talent so widespread in the Berkshires.”
Executive Director Hope Sullivan said of this emergency assistance, “The support of Senator Downing and Representative Pignatelli has really made a difference for IS183 and the success of our campaign. With this grant the end is in sight for completing the critical repairs to the school’s historic building and laying the groundwork for future improvements. The timing couldn’t be better in the construction season- work is actually starting on the South side of the mansard next week. I’m thrilled!”
Since 1991, IS183 Art School has provided fine arts and crafts instruction in Central and Southern Berkshire County. Through high-quality studio-based programming, IS183 enriches the lives of the community and offers hands-on experience in the visual arts to all residents regardless of age, ability or means. Citizens Hall accommodates a range of media including painting, jewelry-making, ceramics, collage, fiber arts, printmaking, photography and sculpture. This past year, IS183 has welcomed over 2,500 children, teens and adults to its studios, lectures and events.