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Who We Are

Bridge Street Friends

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The Bridge Street Friends (BSF) support Mass Humanities as well-informed ambassadors, donors, and volunteers in other capacities, in advancement of the MH mission and goals. They share the belief that we must continually amplify and fund the cause of the public humanities by increasing investments of time, talent, and dollars, as well as grow awareness among the public and decision-makers of Massachusetts.

Named after the street on which Mass Humanities keeps its main office in Northampton—referring to the Calvin Coolidge Bridge, spanning the Connecticut River to Hadley—the Bridge Street Friends provide both support and connections for the delivery of public humanities programming throughout the Commonwealth.


To qualify for membership in the Bridge Street Friends, one must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Be a former member of the Mass Humanities Board of Directors who served at least one full term on the Board, or a former member of the Advisory Board (dissolved in 2021);
  2. Have received a Massachusetts Governor’s Award in the Humanities;
  3. Be a current member of the Mass Humanities Giving Circle, individuals and families who have made donations of cash or property to Mass Humanities valued at $1,000 or more in the past year; OR
  4. Have confirmed a planned gift to Mass Humanities valued at $25,000 or more total.

All who qualify for membership are included in BSF communications unless they inform Mass Humanities or the Bridge Street Friends Committee otherwise. In addition, the Bridge Street Friends Committee may invite others to join, at its discretion. (Details about the Giving Circle and planned giving can be found on the Support page.)

Special Meetings and Events

The Bridge Street Friends will be invited to meet annually in conjunction with the June meeting of the Mass Humanities Board of Directors.

In addition, the BSF will present, sponsor, and/or be invited to attend special events with Mass Humanities throughout the year.

Keeping the Bridge Street Friends Informed

In addition to Mass Humanities newsletters, email announcements, and fundraising appeals, members will receive a quarterly email newsletter and invitations to special events as noted above.

Executive director’s reports to the board of directors:

The Bridge Street Friends Committee

Formed in 2020 in response to a call for volunteers from the membership, the Bridge Street Friends Committee ensures the integrity and ongoing development of the Bridge Street Friends. The committee determines its membership by majority vote. Committee members serve for one-year terms and are eligible for reappointment. One member of the Mass Humanities board (with preference given to one who qualifies as a member of the BSF) serves on the committee as a liaison..

Founding committee members 2020-2021 included Ben Birnbaum, Jim Burke, Al Griggs, Drew Helene (deceased), Susan Leff, Nancy Netzer, Martin Newhouse, Jack Regan, Laura Roberts, and Perry Wu, with Lennie Alickman serving as board liaison.

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