Now in its third year, the Citizens Academy is a free, 10-week session program designed to help community members understand the operations of local government. And they're currently accepting applications.

The City of Pittsfield's Citizens Academy will begin in late August. Participants will gain awareness on the various functions of city departments within municipal government, tour designated locations, and engage in breakout activities.

Attendees also will learn more about service opportunities available within local government. Scheduled topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Introduction to Municipal Government and Overview of the City of Pittsfield
  • City Clerk and Human Resources
  • Financial and Budget Overview
  • Police Department
  • Department of Public Services and Utilities
  • Fire Department
  • Community Development/Recreation/Business Development
  • Airport
  • Building Department and Health Department
  • Cultural Development and Library

Ten weekly sessions will be held every Wednesday evening between Aug. 25 and Oct. 27. The sessions will be held 6-8 p.m. at various locations throughout the city to be determined. To be eligible for Citizens Academy, applicants must be at least 18, live or work in Pittsfield, and be able to attend each of the 10-week sessions to the best of their ability.

Executive Assistant to Mayor Linda Tyer, Catherine VanBramer, who has spearheaded the academy since its 2018 inception, said:

I am very excited to welcome a new class of participants for the class of 2021. I hope that anyone who wants to learn more about how government operates or wishes to become more engaged with our community applies for this program.

Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate and be publicly recognized for their participation. Program details are available on the city’s website here.

  • To apply online, visit here
  • For applications in Spanish, visit here
  • To apply by mail, please go here
  • Paper copies are also available in the Mayor’s Office within City Hall, 70 Allen St

Applications are due by 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6. For additional information, please contact
VanBramer in the Mayor’s Office at 413-499-9321 or email

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