To the editor:\

I feel sad when I think of some aspects of the proposed change at the Berkshire Museum. I didn't grow up in the Berkshires but I have become attached to the building, the large and majestic rooms, and many of the beautiful paintings. It's a special privilege to visit a local museum that is a combination of warm, welcoming, and family-friendly, and that has such a surprisingly impressive collection of art.\

However, I believe that the new vision is, in a sense, revolutionary — a symbol of what the community (and America) can become if we are open to it. \

The museum is sacrificing some incredibly valuable paintings — made by white men a long time ago, in order to bring even more valuable educational programming to an increasingly diverse population. Much of that population is struggling to survive, can see wonderful paintings by dead white men in Stockbridge and Williamstown, and needs a dedicated mission-based nonprofit organization to provide it with robust 21st century educational opportunities. \

I think about the difference that a stimulating, innovative museum could make in the life of a child who might otherwise not be exposed to how fascinating and glorious learning can be. I think about that child growing up with this seed of curiosity planted, amidst the chaos of daily life. And I think, despite the year we've had and the disillusionment I have felt about humanity, the Berkshire Museum is willing to transform itself in a way that shows true care and commitment to the whole of its community. I think how I am happy to live in a place like this. \

Jayme Kurland, \