To the editor:
My career in public service has shown me that those who oppose a proposed course of action are often more vocal than those in favor, and the opposition is certainly covered more by the local media. Therefore, let me add my voice to those who support the new vision proposed for the Berkshire Museum by its director and board.
I believe the Berkshire Museum's vision is appropriate for the museum and beneficial to Pittsfield. I also applaud the local politicians who have had the courage to support this vision, a stand that would seem to be unpopular based on the preponderance of letters to the editor and editorials from people in the art world. Let's be real about the funding needed to implement the new direction, and how that funding can be obtained. Individuals cannot and will not provide enough funding to help the Berkshire Museum stay current and relevant.
I spent countless hours in the museum as a child, and my time there fostered a lifelong interest in natural history that led to a life and career dedicated to conservation. Only the Berkshire Museum (and Mass Audubon's Marilyn Flor who came to Pittsfield classrooms on a regular basis for many years) educated me about the natural world. The natural history component of the Berkshire Museum is now somewhat staid and needs updating. The new vision provides an opportunity to do so while creating a dynamic interdisciplinary approach that connects science, history and the arts.
People who support this new vision must speak up and encourage the forging of a new direction that will sustain the institution for the future, be unique to the Berkshire's museum community, be more relevant and engage more residents and visitors in a meaningful way.