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Former BCRC program coordinator returns as director

04/22/15

C:\fakepath\Jen Crowell crop.jpgIt had been only a year since Jennifer Crowell left her position as program coordinator at the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), but when she saw that MCLA was looking for a new BCRC director, she couldn’t resist the pull to return.

At the time, Crowell was Williamstown Theatre Festival’s marketing and development associate, a position she loved. However, “I could not pass up the opportunity to work with the students at MCLA once again. Every time I saw a student that I had worked with, or a MCLA faculty or staff member, I realized how much I missed the community there, and the community of North Adams.”

Crowell, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in a multi-field major of music, history and sociology from St. Lawrence in University Canton, N.Y., said she most missed working with the students, and their energy and enthusiasm to learn.

BCRC’s programming – which includes MCLA Gallery 51, MCLA Presents!, the Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP), Tricks of the Trade, Assets for Artists and DownStreet Art – also drew her back.

“These are such incredible programs that enrich and enliven this community, and I look forward to pushing them ahead and encouraging further engagement,” Crowell said.

In addition to creating, coordinating and growing cultural programming that connects the communities which surround North Adams, Crowell will work closely with MCLA’s academic departments, and most particularly with the Fine and Performing Arts (FPA) Department and the arts management major.

Inspiring young interns, students and others to work in the arts is one of Crowell’s passions. It was the promise of this opportunity that originally attracted her to the BCRC in 2013. As she begins in her new position, her previous experience with the organization as its program director is a definite advantage.

“It’s great to come back and know how the programs work, and to have experienced them all not too long ago. There's a great staff down here and these are great programs,” Crowell said. “I’m happy to be able to jump right in and get to work.”

At the top of her to-do list are two major summer programs, as BCRC readies for the next round of arts management interns participating in B-HIP and also DownStreet Art, a public art project designed to revitalize downtown North Adams through arts events and the transformation of vacant and open spaces into art destinations.

Crowell said the skills she brought to the Williamstown Theatre Festival – organization, a love for teaching and learning, a passion for bringing the arts into the community, and management –also are strengths she brings to her new job at BCRC.

“I'm ready and excited to make this organization and its programs the best and most efficient they can be,” she said. “It is an exciting time to come back to North Adams, and I look forward to what the future holds for BCRC.”

For more information, about MCLA’s BCRC, go to www.mcla.edu/bcrc.