2014 January

Wednesday, February 19th and 26th, 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Mocha Maya's, 47 Bridge Street, Shelburne

What DON'T you know about your business and your customers -- and how is that holding you back? This two-workshop series teaches you how to use surveys to find out what you need to know to make the right decisions and get your business where you want it to go! In this workshop, you'll learn how to:

• Design clear, effective surveys
• Use tools to make survey creation and survey taking easier
• Get customers to answer your surveys
• Analyze survey results and identify trends, problems and opportunities

By the end of the first workshop, each participant will have created an online survey that can be used immediately to start gathering customer data. In the second workshop, we'll analyze real results from your customers, offer ideas for the next step forward, and brainstorm about using surveys to facilitate inter-business cooperation.

To register call the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association (GSFABA) at 413-625-2526 or email Registration s $10 for GSFABA members and $20 for non-members.

A Charlemont resident since 2000, Mary Malmros is a product guru for SurfMerchants LLC, a Boston-based software company. Founded in 1999, SurfMerchants is the world's leading provider of mystery shopping software. In its new Presto product line (PrestoMetrics LLC), SurfMerchants has leveraged its expertise in survey software, data analysis and reporting to create a powerful and easy-to-use mobile survey tool.

Welcome Dr. Brain Bloomfield

On behalf the board of trustees, it is with great pleasure that I introduce Dr. Brian Bloomfield as The Academy’s permanent head of school, effective July 1, 2014.

Our search attracted over 75 applicants, and three exceptional individuals were brought to campus for final interviews. I was inspired by the involvement of current parents, parents of alums, community members, faculty, staff, and trustees during these visits. And I am extremely grateful for the skill and hard work of the search committee. Please join me in thanking them for leading such a thorough, transparent, and participatory process.

Brian is currently serving as the head of school and chief academic and financial advisor for Nova Classical Academy, a K-12 public charter school in St. Paul, MN. Prior to this role, he was a teacher and administrator at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD. Brian received his B.A. from Oberlin College, and both his M.A. in English and PhD in Education, with a specialty in Organizational Leadership, at the University of Maryland. The board is inspired by Brian -- his intellectual depth,
his calm and sure presence as an educator, his immediate understanding of the school, his commitment to classical education, and his great rapport with the students.


A Message to the Community from Dr. Brian Bloomfield

I was drawn to The Academy immediately because of its clear emphasis on personal expression paired with classical values. The opportunity to continue working in the classical tradition—especially in a context of educating and valuing the whole child—was just about irresistible. Learning liberally and from the greatest voices in the western canon promises not only personal liberty from the bonds of ignorance, but a strong sense of responsibility for individuals to participate in and improve their
community. This ideal—which happens to be The Academy’s mission—greatly moved me. This was a school I wanted to see.

All of this was still an abstraction until I visited the school in December. Once I stepped foot onto campus, I was in love, and mostly because everyone I met was so excited about The Academy. In my meeting with students, they spoke enthusiastically about Academy rituals like morning meeting and yearly trips. They expressed appreciation for the feeling of belonging that the Academy community provides. My time with the faculty was filled with meaningful dia­logue but also a good deal of
laughter. Their collegiality and dedication to the school’s ideals and a feeling of teamwork was striking. During the town hall meeting, parents asked me tough questions that showed just how passionately committed they are to The Academy’s future. The Board posed serious and thoughtful questions, united in the belief that the school must have a kindred spirit to move forward that which began at the school’s founding. They made it clear that they were seeking someone to shepherd their vision. And as if that weren’t enough, I also had more fun than I would have thought possible during an interview. Somehow The Academy felt familiar to me and I found myself wanting to be part of a place that inspired the incredible school spirit which everyone exuded.

I am honored to be invited to help lead the Academy. I look for­ward to learning more about the school, its people and its traditions: all those elements which make it so unique and so valued. My task, in partnership with you all, is to foster and grow these wonderful strengths and build an assured and robust future for the school. I am thrilled to become a member of the Academy family, lead this wonderful community, and love it as much as everyone who is already a part of it.


Transition Plan

Dave Chalfant will lead a committee of faculty, students, and parents to provide practical and logistical support for Brian and his wife, Jill. The committee will focus on school and community culture, organize welcome events, and will give Brian a background on significant Academy traditions, events, and activities.

Nell Todd and Brian will be in regular contact over the next several months. Brian hopes to come to campus three times between now and July for in-person meetings. Nell’s focus will be to make sure Brian is fully prepared to take over the operations of the school by July 1st. Nell will continue her work on many of the longer-term planning efforts the board has asked her to do.

Cornelia Reid, the chair of the board’s governance committee, will be responsible for integrating Brian into the board.

We stand at the beginning of a significant new chapter in The Academy’s history. I am grateful to all for your spirit of warmth and dedication as we welcome Brian and Jill into our community.

Please contact me directly with any questions.


David Epstein ‘87

Chair, Board of Trustees

Jeff Smith - A 2nd Generation Sweep

The Berkshire Brush is a certified, licensed and insured chimney cleaning business that has been in west county for 3-years. Owner Jeff Smith is a 2nd generation sweep who grew up in small family owned and operated hearth business. His mother and father opened the business out of the back pages of Mother Earth magazine during the fuel shortages of the seventies as a way to help people save on home heating costs. Wood stove sales and service went hand in hand so his father began to seek out knowledgable chimney sweep professionals.

The complete lack of skilled chimney sweeps in America had a small dedicated group of chimney sweeps combine their resources together to form the National Chimney Sweep Guild as a way for sweeps to share sweeping skills and techniques as well as wood burning knowledge. In its early day this members of this committed crew imported tool, techniques, and knowledge by traveling back and forth to Europe. The national guild eventually spun off into smaller regional and state guilds before eventually creating the first and longest running chimney sweep accreditation program of which my father is one of the first hundred chimney sweeps certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Tip to share… Have a certified sweep clean and inspect your chimney annually. it is essential to learn how to properly season. Use a stove thermometer and learn how to burn firewood for safe clean burning.

Interesting information…. Historically the presence of a Chimney Sweep is good luck. It is exceptional good luck to see a sweep on your wedding day. I am also an ordained minister and perform wedding ceremony's or will gladly be present at a wedding in the off season.

If you would like to learn more …. Please visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America @ or the National Chimney Sweep Guild page @

For more information visit:

The Arms Library Association Presents...

The Arms Library Association has a treat for anyone who loves history, PBS, the Roosevelt Family or Ken Burns. Mr. Burns will be on stage in Shelburne Falls on February 12th to preview his upcoming documentary The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.
This is a fundraising event to raise $750,000 plus for the first phase of a multi-year project to restore the historic Pratt Memorial Library Building home of the Arms Library.

Mr. Burns’s new seven-part, 14-hour documentary about the Roosevelts will air September 2014 on PBS. The film tells the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics. The series marks the first time their individual stories have been woven into a single narrative.

Mr. Burns will show clips from the documentary and reveal what went into the making of it and others of his famed productions.
There will be a Q&A following the preview.

Tickets for the screening, which starts at 7:00 PM, are $25 each for seating at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls. The Arms Library Association will also host a reception at 6:00 PM for Mr. Burns prior to the event. Tickets are $100 each for this special opportunity to meet Mr. Burns and learn about the library restoration, and may be purchased only at the Library.

Tickets for the screening can be purchased at a variety of outlets. Contact the Arms Library Association at or call 413-625-0306 to reserve tickets. You can also purchase tickets at the Library, Mocha Maya’s Café, Boswell’s Books and People's United Bank in Shelburne Falls, as well as World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield, Hardware & Supply and Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, Broadside Bookshop in Northampton, and in Amherst at the Amherst Books.

February 13, 2014

We are very excited to announce that we are finally in our permanent home! Please join us for an Open House celebrationat 5 Mechanic Street, Shelburne Falls on February 13 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. 

Meet the staff & FLT board members while you tour our new efficient space that makes our conservation efforts stronger than ever!  Ribbon cutting ceremony at 6pm.  Light refreshments will be served. 

Junior Duck Stamp Exhibit

As part of a national tour, the MassWildlife’s “Conservation through the Arts” program will have on display 70 award winning original pieces of art.  Come view the exhibit in our new gallery space, meet some of the young artists and celebrate conservation through their eyes!

RSVP 413.625.9151 or

More information

Become a Friend and Supporter of the Arts

The Mohawk Trail Regional High School Music Department is pleased to announce that we will be presenting the “The Wizard of Oz” in March. This is a very special event that will bring together elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as members of our community. Our goal is to provide students with a strong, progressive theater program to enhance their academic experience.

Mohawk has had a rich tradition of producing musicals for over 35 years, and I am excited to be continuing that tradition. As a Mohawk student I performed in the musicals throughout my high school years, and the experience inspired me to pursue a career in the arts. Now I am honored to be directing this year’s musical production, which brings together students from all of our school system’s elementary schools as well as middle and high school students, and I would like to provide them with the positive theatrical experience that I had.

Nearly one hundred students are involved in the cast and crew of this production, which is scheduled for March 7, 8 and 9, 2014. As you can imagine, there are many costs associated with producing a musical of this scale, from the pit orchestra to costumes, sets, and lighting. We are reaching out to local businesses and members of our community to supplement the funds already budgeted for this production. I am writing to invite you to consider contributing to the Mohawk All-School Musical
Program in one of the following ways:

Platinum Baton $500 - $1,000
Gold Baton $250-$499
Silver Baton $100-$249
Bronze Baton $50-$99
Friend Up to $49

Our community has a long-standing history of being a generous friend and supporter of the arts. Your gift to the Mohawk All-School Musical will help to support our musical program. By becoming a sponsor at the Platinum or Gold level, your business will be entitled to submit an advertisement to be printed in our program and will receive a pair of complimentary tickets. Those who donate at the Silver, Bronze and Friend level will be listed in the program.

If you can donate, please make the check out to Mohawk Trail Regional School with “musical” in the memo line. Please mail your check to the following address:

Mohawk Trail Regional High School
Att: Shelley Roberts
26 Ashfield Road
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

Please feel free to contact me via email or phone. I will be more than happy to address any questions you may have. On behalf of the Mohawk All-School Musical, thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Shelley A. Roberts
Director/Producer All-School Musical
(413) 834-2135

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