Great Barrington — Railroad Street Youth Project (RSYP) will host the Berkshire Community Youth Art Gallery opening on Saturday, July 18 from noon to 4 p.m. The exhibit will be on display at the RSYP center at 60 Bridge St. The event began as a proposal to the RSYP’s Youth Operational Board by Austen Dupont and Warren Pond III, who recruited other local young artists to take part in a show that gives youth opportunities to explore their artistic values and display their works for the community.

Featured artists include Charlotte Anstett, 18; Emily Curtis, 18; Maia Stanton, 14; and Warren Pond III, 21. Light refreshments will be offered. Contact the Railroad Street Youth Project for more information at (413) 528-2475.

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Railroad Street Youth Project Celebrates 15 Years at Generation Block Party, May 31, 2015

smitty kiana jacob laugh






GREAT BARRINGTON — Austen Dupont turned his life around thanks to the Railroad Street Youth Project.

The 18-year-old’s initial involvement with RSYP was through mandated community service in 2012. He quickly became one of the organization’s more active members, giving him direction and purpose.

On Saturday Dupont graduates from Mount Everett Regional School and in the fall plans to study business management at Westfield State University.

The Sheffield teenager credits RSYP for helping him get a high school diploma.

“I would have dropped out instead,” he said.

Dupont was among more than 30 young people RSYP honored during its inaugural Generation Block Party Sunday afternoon at it’s Bridge Street home next to Memorial Field.

RSYP Executive Director Ananda Timpane cited Dupont among the dozens of young people who bring a take-charge attitude to the youth empowerment group that serves events 700 to 800 Southern Berkshire 14 to 25-year-olds every year.

In particular, Timpane cited the work of the 16-member Youth Operational Board that raises $3,000 of it’s annual $10,000 budget.

“They will do dances, dodgeball, projects and other activities that engage youth,” she said.

Sunday’s block party also doubled as a 15th anniversary celebration for a nonprofit that originated on Railroad Street, relocating nearly seven years ago to the Schneider Youth Building on Bridge Street.

About 100 youth and adults mingled, played games and enjoyed a pig roast prepared by Zee Vassos, chef at The Kitchen on the Commons in Lenox.

Awards and pig roast aside, the gathering was sort of an open house for the community, according to Timpane.

Read the rest here!


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Fermentation in South County

20150324__p_EAG-L-FOOD-FERMENT~1_500Michelle Kaplan, one of our constituents and a fierce advocate for food justice, was written about in The Berkshire Eagle this week!
Michelle has hosted many workshops at Railroad Street Youth Project over the years, teaching Berkshire youth how to ferment vegetables and make sustainable, healthy food choices.
Read the article here and check our events page and our Facebook for upcoming workshops!

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Kiana Estime at “A Celebration of W.E.B. Du Bois in His Own Words”

Du-Bois-Readings-Drew-1024x986Kiana Estime, one of our constituents, attended “A Celebration of W.E.B. Du Bois in His Own Words”  at the library on Feb. 28, a week after what would have been the Great Barrington native’s 147th birthday, sponsored by The W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site, the Great Barrington Historical Society and the Mason Library. 
There, Kiana read a piece of Du Bois’ from the introduction to Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil called “Credo”.
Read more about the event here.

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