Stockbridge, MA, April 26, 2011–As part of its ongoing Four Freedom Forums, Norman Rockwell Museum will present a community dialogue about renewable and sustainable energy on Thursday, May 5, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.. Featured speakers will include Mike Balawender of New England Hay Supply; Stu Besnoff of Alpine Solar Heat and Hot Water; Dicken Crane, President of The Massachusetts Forest Landowners Association, and owner of Dicken Crane Logging; Chris Kilfoyle, President of Berkshire Photovoltaic Services; and James Noel, Manager of Environmental Affairs for Crane & Company. Community conversation at the town hall meeting is free and open to the public.
Mike Balawender operates New England Hay Supply, a full service, family run, hay farm in Cheshire, Massachusetts. Balawnder is part of Hilltown Farmers Bio-Diesel, LLC, a five-farm co-operative that is growing and will soon be pressing sunflower seeds for biodiesel.
Stu Besnoff is the owner of Alpine Solar Heat and Hot Water in Windsor, Massachusetts, and an expert in production of energy off the grid. Besnoff’s home-based company markets evacuated tube solar hot water collectors that can heat domestic hot water and the entire home.
Dicken Crane is the President of The Massachusetts Forest Landowners Association, which works for the conservation of stewardship of trees and forests in the Commonwealth. Crane is a licensed timber harvester and owner of Dicken Crane Logging, Inc., in Dalton, Massachusetts. He is an expert on biomass burned directly in the form of wood, grass, and pellets, for electricity and heat.
Chris Kilfoyle is the President of Berkshire Photovoltaic Services, a solar firm based in Adams, Massachusetts. The company is dedicated to providing durable photovoltaic systems and bringing clean electricity to western Massachusetts. Kilfoyle is an expert of solar energy.
James Noel is the Manager of Environmental Affairs for Crane & Co., a manufacturer of cotton-based paper products, based in Dalton, Massachusetts. Noel is an expert on Crane’s biomass to oil project, as well as the company’s working hydropower facility.
About Norman Rockwell and the New England Town Hall Meeting:
In his January 1941 address to Congress, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt articulated his vision for a postwar world founded on four basic human freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The groundbreaking speech, whose concepts would be incorporated into the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, also caught the attention of artist Norman Rockwell, who was looking for a way to contribute his own talents for the ongoing war effort, and decided he would illustrate Roosevelt’s four freedoms. Finding new ideas for paintings never came easily, but this was a greater challenge. “It was so darned high-blown,” Rockwell said, “Somehow I just couldn’t get my mind around it.” While mulling it over, Rockwell, by chance, attended a town meeting where one man rose among his neighbors and voiced an unpopular view. That night Rockwell awoke with the realization that he could paint the freedoms best from the perspective of his own hometown experiences using everyday, simple scenes such as his own town meeting.