The northern Berkshire START initiative (now known as artSTART) was established to unite communities by identifying, recognizing, promoting, enhancing and preserving art and culture in the northern Berkshires. artSTART was steered by a committee of volunteers from cultural organization, businesses, human service organizations, educational institutions and the community at large. artSTART’s goal was to ensure that culture continues to be broadly defined while being respectful and attentive to specific cultural form and opinions.
The artSTART Web site, launched in June 2006, was developed over the course of a couple of years with the generous support of Melchiori Technologies who developed the database and Boxcar Media who designed the site. The Web site has been handed over to the newly formed Berkshire Culture Resource Center to maintain and develop.
The Berkshire Cultural Resource Center–a collaborative project of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and the City of North Adams–provides the regional arts community training, resources, access, and marketing support to artists, arts managers, arts scholars, and arts-related entrepreneurs. The center, formed in spring 2006, administers the Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP), an innovative program for early career arts managers that connects them with professional experience, training, mentorship and supervision delivered by established professionals. The center also serves as a clearinghouse of information for working artists about resources available in the community, from materials to studio space to exhibition venues to social marketing.
The Berkshire Cultural Resource Center is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council through the John and Abigail Adams Arts Program.