Arlington Cultural Council (ACC) has announced the award of 19 grants totaling $16,071 for cultural programs in Arlington. Each grant ranges from $250 to $1,500, with an average grant of $845. Grantees were chosen from 41 competitive applications.
“We are continuously impressed by the caliber of projects presented to our council. This year’s grant recipients are equally exceptional, and we look forward to watching their performances, programs, and events unfold throughout 2020,” says Chair Kimberley Harding.
The ACC is part of a network of Local Cultural Councils (LCC) serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community. model community arts, humanities and science projects funded by the LCCs across the state.
Decisions about which activities to support are made at the community level by a board of municipally appointed volunteers. Current members’ names can be found here, on the ACC website.
The 2020 grant recipients, listed below, represent a wide range of arts: music, visual, film, and literature.
- Todd Brunel: Vortex Concert Series: Welcome to the Vortex, where modern and improvised music meet.The Vortex Series will present great modern music from the 20th and 21st centuries that bridge the gap between contemporary classical music, jazz and contemporary improvisation. Their first concert will take place on May 15 at 7:30 at St John’s Episcopal Church and will include works by Robert Muczynski, Rebecca Clarke, Jerome Kern, Paul Walter Furst, Eric Dolphy, Louis Sklavis and a new music ensemble of performing composers, led by clarinetist Todd Brunel. Featuring: pianist Jennifer Fox, violist Dimitar Petkov, cellist Junko Fujiwara, drummer Eric Rosenthal and flautist/ composer Gretchen Hedrick.
- Music to Cure MS: Music to Cure MS – opera, songs, chamber music – is an annual concert raising funds for the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting international researchers seeking a solution to this progressively crippling, incurable disease.
The October 2020 program will be our 18th annual concert. they feature professional-level classical musicians performing works by composers from Bach to Verdi, from Mozart to Massenet, from Schubert to Vaughn Williams to Gilbert and Sullivan. Audience members will be asked to donate as generously as they can. Refreshments will be sold, and a silent auction will be held, selling gift certificates or items donated by local merchants. This provides publicity for their supporting merchants, for the artists, for classical music, and for the Accelerated Cure Project.
- Robins Library: Arlington Author Salon: Organized by a group of community and literary-minded Arlington residents and employees, the Salon hosts free quarterly literary events on a specific, varying theme, on each of the 4 Thursday evenings at Kickstand Café. Each event features three distinct local authors (from Arlington and surrounding towns) who read from and discuss their work, and provide Q&A with the audience (usually 70-100 people). Their books are available for purchase on site from local vendor The Book Rack. For a fuller artistic experience, each presentation includes an innovative use of props—slides, music, dance — to complement the work. Featured genres include fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism.
- The Kalliope Reed Quintet: The Kalliope Reed Quintet will begin their 2020 season with a free holiday concert at the Arlington Unitarian Universalist Church on January 4, 2020 at 7pm. This live chamber music performance – which will feature excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker alongside other similar and contrasting works for reed quintet – brings life into the community and brings us together which is especially important during the winter when the weather is cold, the days are short, and stress may be high from the holiday season.
- Ben Rudnick and Friends: Ben Rudnick and Friends will perform at the Menotomy Rocks Park in Arlington on September 12, 2020. This local band plays familiar takes on well known and loved tunes the likes of Charlie and the MTA and Here Comes The Sun and also play songs from their extensive original catalog. It should be a fantastic day at the park full of music, neighbors, and families.
- Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture: Live Arts Arlington: Live Arts Arlington is an initiative designed to put live performance and creation in the path of the broadest swath of Arlingtonians. A curated group of 10-20 artists, across all art forms, will be invited to activate accessible public spaces for two-hour periods. The program will be regularly scheduled in specific places in the Heights, Capitol Square, and Arlington Center, across 6-8 weeks in May and June 2020. ACAC provides signage, technical support and a volunteer site host. The 2019 pilot engaged over 1,000 participants and included Egyptian dance, puppetry, classical, jazz and popular music performance, portraiture, and basket weaving.
- Andrew Buckley: Stephano: The True Story of Shakespeare’s Shipwreck: For the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower, Hit and Run History will present “Stephano: The True Story of Shakespeare’s Shipwreck”. This one-hour documentary follows the story of Stephen Hopkins, the only Mayflower passenger who had been to the New World before, and the inspiration for William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The documentary traces Hopkins’ beginnings in Hampshire, his shipwreck on Bermuda and death sentence for mutiny, commutation and service at Jamestown, his return to England with Pocahontas, and his ultimate voyage as leader of the Strangers amidst the Separatists bound for New England in 1620. A free public screening at Robbins Library will be held on April, 23, 2020.
- Arlington Center for the Arts: Artist Survival Series: The Arlington Center for the Arts is presenting a new installment of their successful Artist Survival Series for winter 2020. This series of artist professional development workshops provides vital resources and best practices for artists to successfully present, promote, and sell their work. This year, their series features three workshops including Business Tips for Artists, Selling Your Artwork Online, and Framing Your Artwork. Each of these workshops presents local, emerging, and professional artists with a range of topics that are integral in developing and sustaining a professional practice as an artist. Each of these one-time workshops will be presented at a subsidized tuition, to ensure that these resources are accessible and not cost-prohibitive to individuals who do not have resources to put towards professional development
- Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture, Community Engagement Committee: PATHWAYS: Artist in Residence: Arlington Public Art will bring artist Michelle Lougee for a 9-month residency (January – September 2020) to create a site-specific installation along the Minuteman Bikeway as part of PATHWAYS. Lougee crochets recycled plastic bags into organic forms inspired by coral reefs and microscope organisms. Inspired by the successful participatory installation entitled “Ripple” by Adria Arch, the ACAC will seek to engage the Arlington Knitting Brigade and other community craftivists to fabricate elements for the installation. Free public workshops will be held at the Fox Library, the Senior Center, public schools and other community locations in order to reach a diverse cross section of the community. Lougee’s work will celebrate Arlington’s characteristic volunteer activism, environmental stewardship, and community spirit.
- Roger Tincknell: Beatles and Beyond: Roger Tincknell will present a program of pop, folk, country and classic rock songs from the 1960s and 70s at the Older Americans’ Lunch, organized by the Arlington Seniors Association on May 21, 2020. Beginning with the Beatles performance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the program will include songs from many of their later albums. Songs from other “British Invasion” artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Hollies, The Animals, Petula Clark, Herman’s Hermits, etc., may be included. American groups & singer/songwriters as varied as the Righteous Brothers, Emmy Lou Harris, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Carol King, Simon and Garfunkel, and James Taylor, may also be included. The program will be performed on guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, harmonica and Latin percussion. The audience will be invited to sing, dance, and play Latin percussion instruments.
- Philharmonic Society of Arlington: Almost-Spring Concert – An Afternoon of Overlooked Classics and New Music: On March 8, 2020 the Arlington-Belmont Chorale and Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus, under the musical direction of Barry Singer, will perform a selection of works including Nänie, Op. 82, by Johannes Brahms, Requiem für Mignon, Op. 98b, by Robert Schumann as well as a new work, Space/Time Synthesis by Arlington native and French Horn player, Morgan Jackson. The performance will take place at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington. Tickets: General $20; Seniors $15; Students $10; Age 17 and under free.
- Restoration and Unveiling of Cyrus Dallin Painting: The Cyrus Dallin French landscape painting c. 1890, entitled “Village Road, Auvers-sur-Oise,” will be restored, framed and publicly unveiled at an event at the Cyrus Dallin Museum in the late Spring at which time the historical significance of the piece will be discussed.
- Tagore’s Love Letters to Mother Earth – Songs of Harmony: A musical concert will take place on April 11, 2020 at the Robbins Library featuring song compositions on the beauty, preservation and love of nature by the late 19th century Nobel Laureate Indian poet, philosopher, activist, painter and environmentalist Rabindranath Tagore. Vocalist and recording artist Maitreyee Chakraborty will be accompanied by Koushik Chakraborty, Ayon Baumalllik, and Mona Roy playing a variety of Indian instruments. Translations will be provided, and a question and answer period will follow the performance.
- Dan Fox: 2020 Arlington Jazz Concert Series: Arlingtonjazz.org, which produces the Arlington Jazz Festival, will present a year-round series of concerts and workshops that feature musicians deserving of wider recognition. The shows will be presented at Town Tavern (201 Massachusetts Ave.). Scheduled so far are
- Leo Blanco Trio – S. American pianist and Berklee professor ( 2/29/20)
- Witness Fireboy Matlou – S. African pianist (3/14//20)
- Guillermo Nojechowicz and El Eco – Arlington resident and drummer from Argentina (4/4/20)
- Imagine 5 – w/ Arl. resident Bertram Lehmann ( 5/1 /20)
- Two fall dates TBD.
- Delvaney Theatre: Bon Appetit Julia!: A live performance featuring two actresses, Bon Appetit, Julia! is a sequel to Delvena Theatre Company’s ever-popular Meet Julia Child! show. Set in the 1980’s, the show will focus on an insight into the beloved chef, Julia Child’s, life at that time. There will be much audience participation and an original The Way To Cook program. Julia will be demonstrating her culinary skills, with real ingredients, and encouraging help from the audience. Julia being Julia! An interactive, fun show! The cast will open up after the show for discussion regarding Julia Child. The performance will take place at the Robbins Library on Nov. 5, 2020.
- Craft Ensemble: Craft Ensemble plays music from the Women Composers’ Festival: The Craft Ensemble, a Boston-area-based chamber music group, will be the Ensemble-in-Residence at the 2020 Women Composers’ Festival at the University of Hartford. They will premier two new works, one by Composer-in-Residence Melika Fitzhugh, and one by the winner of the festival’s call for scores competition. For their inaugural performance on the Concerts at the Reading Room Series at the Robbins Library, the Crafties will present the brand new music they took home from the Festival, as well as the iconic String Quartet by Ruth Crawford Seeger and the meditative Source Code, based on African American Spiritual Music, by Jessie Montgomery, a childhood friend of Craft violist Amelia Hollander Ames. Craft Ensemble’s calendar, bio and video clips can be found at www.craftensemble.org
- Belmont World Film’s 17th Annual Family Festival: Thirteen animated and live action short and feature length film programs from around the world with simultaneous English translation for subtitled films during Martin Luther King, Jr Day weekend. Highlights include: the US premieres of ZOG and THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE based on the books by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler (THE GRUFFALO) and featuring the voices of such stars as Dame Diana Rigg, Oscar winner Sally Hawkins, and Kit Harrington (GAME OF THRONES); the New England premiere of BINTI (about a spunky 12 year-old vlogger and her father, a refugee from Congo, living in Belgium); a program based on books by Mo Willems; films connected to the legacy of Dr. King. Artist-in-residence Cinzia Angelini (MINIONS, ABOMINABLE) conducts workshops and gives talks. In negotiation: live and interactive versions of THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR by Eric Carle. Most films are based on children’s books. The Festival runs from January 17-20, 2020 at multiple locations.
- Especially For Me (Discovery Museum): The Discovery Museum’s Especially for Me (EFM) program series offers 25 free annual events to families with children on the autism spectrum, who are deaf/hard of hearing, or who have a visual impairment. Tailored to the unique needs of these audiences, EFM makes museum visits easier and more rewarding through, multi-sensory experiences for children such as music therapy, nature scavenger hunts, and therapy dog visits. Meanwhile, adults have the opportunity to network with others facing similar challenges.
- Magnolia Park Summer Concert Series: The goal of the project is to continue the tradition of a summer concert series in Magnolia Park in East Arlington. Magnolia Park is a popular gathering place for neighborhood families, and its proximity to the bike path and public transportation have also made it a destination park in the area. In this, its third year, the series will bring the community together to listen to music in a lovely outdoor setting, with concerts held at a time that invites friends and families to gather for a picnic dinner and after-meal socializing while the musicians provide entertainment. We hope to present a variety of acts, in genres such as brass band, jazz, pop, folk, country and a cappella, that will appeal to audiences of all ages. Approximately eight performances will be planned for Tuesdays beginning in May, 5:30 – 7:30 PM, with rain dates scheduled for Thursdays of the same week.
The Arlington Cultural Council will seek applications again in Fall 2020. Information and forms will be available online. The application deadline is October 15, 2020.