Community Impact


Creativity Lives On...

Sid Bernard truly loved sharing the joy and thrill of every art project that he and “his” kids created together in the classroom each and every day. A devoted art teacher in the Bristol Public School System for 25 years and for nearly as many summers at Choate-Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT, Sid’s love for teaching was evident. Sid believed in the power of learning as is evidenced by his own educational accomplishments. He received his BFA from Alfred University and his MFA from California’s Claremont College. When his illness forced him to leave the classroom, Sid continued to keep in contact with the teachers and students in the several elementary schools at which he taught, especially at South Side School..

When Sid passed away last January after his long battle with cancer, his spouse, Ed Miller of Litchfield, decided to honor Sid’s memory by establishing the Sid Bernard Memorial Art Scholarship Fund. This is a permanently endowed fund that annually awards a scholarship to a graduating senior from one of Bristol’s two public high schools. After exploring several possible organizations to create and administer the scholarship fund, Ed selected the Main Street Community Foundation for several reasons. In a recent interview with a member of our staff, Ed mentioned specifically that he chose the Foundation because the staff immediately responded to his request this past February for information about the possibility of not only establishing the scholarship fund, but also of making the scholarship a reality by June 2009, something which other agencies had said would probably not be possible. After meeting with Susan Sadecki and Jarre Betts to set guidelines for scholarship applicants, create a formal application, establish a timetable, and choose an interview selection committee, a formal agreement was signed and the first scholarship was awarded in May 2009 to Ashley Cushon, a graduate of Bristol Eastern High School. Ed stated that he was very pleased with the efficiency of the process and the professionalism exhibited by the entire foundation team.

It is Ed’s hope that with this scholarship, future students will follow Sid’s career path and bring the same passion to the teaching of art that so filled Sid’s life with happiness and fulfillment. Ed feels that by establishing this scholarship, the creativity that Sid displayed in the classroom and in his own work as a nationally and internationally-shown ceramicist will live on in perpetuity amongst the children that future graduates of Bristol’s Public School System will teach every day.