Film artists get props on

Wednesday September 26, 2012

The Berkshire Visitors Bureau may want to consider hiring Douglas Trumbull: The visual effects artist got the Berkshires a nod this month when featured in a article titled "Hollywood in the Berkshires" by Todd Longwell published earlier this month (

The article also gives nods to Berkshire-based visual effects supervisor Jeff Kleiser and his wife, Diana Walczak, of Synthespian Studios, and John Nugent of Pittsfield's Sandbox FX who has worked on "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "Night at the Museum."

Another Berkshire resident, Lauren Ambrose, appeared on television and movie screens this month.

The Great Barrington resident starred as Susan Wheeler in a thriller television mini-series "Coma," which came out in early September.

She's also in a comedic film "Sleepwalk with Me," a winner of a 2012 Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival. The film opens Friday and runs through Oct. 4 at Images Cinema in Williamstown, and will be shown Oct. 6-8 at the Berkshire Museum's Little Cinema in Pittsfield.

Nonprofits have a tough row to hoe these days when it comes to finding volunteers, a fact that makes Jan Hartford's record in Richmond all the more remarkable.

Awarded the Charles and Mary Kusik Citizenship Award at a town gathering on Sept. 15, Hartford has, over the years, given hours of her time to PTO, Community Health, Girl Scouts and 4-H, plus several terms on the School Committee.

Hartford was also a full-time teacher at the Richmond Consolidated School for a number of years, pretty much proving that if you want something done, ask a busy person. These days, she's concentrating on the Richmond Free Public Library and the Anita Chapman Scholarship Committee.

The Richmond gathering on Sept. 15, held at the scenic Ratcliff property on March Hare Road, was sponsored by two groups of Richmond volunteers: the Richmond Land Trust and the Richmond Historical Society.

Jamie Morrison, the head men's basketball coach at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, has begun work as the director of Native Tribal Scholars, a program of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, the Northern American Center of Boston, and University of Massachusetts at Boston.

While the new position is full time, Morrison will continue as the men's head basketball coach for MCLA, working for the college on a part-time basis.

Run with a grant through the Office of Indian Education in Washington, D.C., Morrison said that the Native Tribal Scholars Program is similar to Upward Board and UMass-Boston's Urban Scholars Program. It takes high school-aged youth who are Native American and prepares them for college.

"We're charged with getting our cohort of youth to all graduate from high school, to enroll in college and to graduate from college," Morrison said.

Prior to coming to MCLA, Morrison worked at the Urban Indian Center in Boston, and for five years, he was employed at an all-Native American institution, Haskell University in Lawrence, Kan.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers. Visit the County Fare blog at


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