2023 ACAC Grantees

The ACAC Grants Committee is a Local Cultural Council (LCC) of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. ACAC’s LCC supports public programs that promote access, education, diversity and excellence in the arts, humanities and interpretative sciences. The Council is committed to funding a diverse cross-section of activities supporting a broad variety of art forms, including ongoing work of individual artists, projects serving specific local populations, and the work of local cultural organizations.

2023 grant recipients

This year’s grant recipients represent many artistic genres including music, dance, theater, and fine art, and their programs aim to raise awareness and understanding for topics including equity, inclusion, social justice, cultural diversity, disabilities, and neurodiversity.

American Sign Language (ASL)
Storytime & Interactive Creativity Workshops
January - August, 2023
Fox Library and/or Arlington Farmers Market (tentative)

The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts (MCA) Watertown Children's Theatre (WCT) ASL Storytime events include an explanation of American Sign Language (ASL) so that audience members can participate with ASL during each storybook presentation. Sessions include creative hands-on art projects that relate to the stories. Programs are videotaped and presented virtually to maximize access. Visit mosesianarts.org/wct/about for additional information.

20th Annual Belmont World Film
Family Festival
January 14 - 22, 2023
Newton | Watertown | Cambridge | Arlington

Belmont World Film’s Family Festival is a must-attend event for families with children ages 3-12, offering some of the world’s top films for children—providing a window into the lives of children around the world—as well as filmmaking workshops that will enrich your children’s lives. This year’s festival featured sixteen exciting film programs and four workshops. Visit belmontworldfilm.org/family-festival for additional information and to learn about next year’s program.

Arlington Jazz Jams
February 5 | March 19 | April 23, 2023 | 4 - 6:30 PM
(additional dates to be announced)
Arlington Center for the Arts (ACA)

Arlington Jazz hosts a series of six, open-to-the-public jazz jam sessions. This series is a wonderful opportunity for local music lovers of all ages who enjoy live music, including student, professional and amateur jazz musicians in Arlington and the surrounding local area. $5-10 donation suggested. Visit arlingtonjazz.org for additional information and session dates.

Looking Bach, Listening Forward
February 26, 2023
Robbins Library

The Friends of the Robbins Library and the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture (ACAC) Grants Committee present international recording artist and guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan in his solo recital Looking Bach, Listening Forward. The concert is an exciting journey of styles and continents through the magic of the guitar. Visit alcguitar.com for additional information.

Creative Music Quartet
Masterclass and Performance
March 24, 2023 | 7:30 - 9:30 PM
Arlington Center for the Arts (ACA)

Featuring John Dalton, Jim Robitaille, Erik Van Dam, and Forbes Graham, this program provides an open forum for Arlington High School students, as well as the general public. The masterclass discussion includes improvisation, composition, and performance, and questions from participants. Following the discussion, the quartet performs a set of music, including originals and free improvisation, to help greater contextualize the topics discussed in the masterclass. Suggested donation: $10 per participant.

World Music Concert Series
Celebrate Diverse Arlington
Spring - Summer 2023
Arlington Parks & Recreation

Organized by Grammy-nominated global jazz percussionist, educator, and composer Tareq Rantisi, the free-to-attend World Music Concert Series has a spatial and social justice focus, bringing diverse world-class artists to underutilized public spaces. The series is intended to be accessible to all people (immunocompromised, disabled, elderly, children, etc). Masks are requested, with free masks co-sponsored by ProjectN95.

Dallin Painting, Birdbath - Autumn
Restoration, Framing, and Unveiling
May - June 2023 (tentative)
Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum

This unsigned, undated painting is one of a series of four studies of garden landscapes from around the Dallin family home at 61 Oakland Ave, Arlington. Following its restoration, framing, and unveiling, this painting will be returned to the Museum’s permanent exhibit. The Dallin Museum is the primary resource for educating residents about the life and legacy of this celebrated artist from Arlington. Few people know that Dallin also painted and exhibited his paintings alongside his sculptures. By restoring this work, visitors gain a deeper understanding of the breadth of Dallin's talent. Visit dallin.org for additional information.

Fired UP!
A Call for Equality and Activism
May 7, 2023 | 4 PM
First Parish Unitarian Universalist

Cantilena, a women’s chorale, presents Fired UP! - A Call for Equality and Activism, a concert that uplifts marginalized voices, demanding equality and the protection of individual rights, especially for women of color and LGBTQ youth. Elinor Armsby, Artistic Director | Kelvyn Koning, Collaborative Pianist. $20 students/seniors, $25 general admission. Visit cantilena.org/concerts for additional information.

Old Time Sing-Along
May 18, 2023
Arlington Senior Center

Singer, yodeler, multi-instrumentalist, Roger Tincknell, performs a 1-hour community music concert entitled Old Time Sing-Along. This festive program includes traditional American folk songs, swing classics from the 1940s, 50s pop, cowboy songs and yodeling. The concert is performed on guitar, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, and harmonica. The audience is encouraged to sing, clap and dance. Song requests are welcome and lyrics will be provided by the artist. Visit rogertincknell.com for additional information.

Just A Minute Festival
Online Film Festival
Streamed at JustAMinute.tv until May 2023

The Just A Minute Festival is an online film festival for productions one minute or less in total run time. The call for submission went out in November and the deadline for submission was the end of 2022. Entries were reviewed and juried by a team of industry professionals and starting January 10th, the top sixty films were streamed at random through the Festival's website: www.JustAMinute.tv. This is a viewers’ choice event. Viewers voted for their favorites through March 2nd. Once the winners are announced, the winning films stream on the site until May 2023.

Arlington Porchfest 2023
Saturday, June 17, 2023 | 12 PM - 6 PM
Front porches, yards, and driveways, town-wide

Presented by the Arlington Center for the Arts (ACA) since 2016, Arlington Porchfest is a free outdoor music festival that showcases the talents of local musicians (rock, classical, folk, world music, jazz, and more) in a town-wide celebration of community. With the event map and schedule, audiences will walk, bike, and drive from one end of town to the other, experiencing a broad range of performances presented in discrete group settings throughout the day. Non-musical performers and exhibitors are welcome. In 2022, the event attracted 8,000+ participants, including 250+ porch hosts and bands. Visit arlingtonporchfest.org for additional information and to register to participate, this year or in the future.

Magnolia Park Music Series
Friends of Magnolia Park
Select weekday evenings, July - September 2023
Magnolia Park, East Arlington

Friends of Magnolia Park continue and expand the Magnolia Park Music Series in East Arlington. A variety of musical acts perform, in genres including brass band, jazz, folk, pop, and children's music, appealing to audiences of all ages. This series brings 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 picnic dinners and after-meal socializing while the musicians provide entertainment. Visit the Friends of Magnolia Park-Arlington MA Facebook group for additional information.

Pop-Up Arabic Dance
Four events, July - September
Public areas including Broadway Plaza and Whittemore Park

Four pop-up Middle Eastern/North African dance performances in public spaces. Two Raqs Sharqi solo performances (oriental dance, “belly dance”) and two focusing on particular folklore inspired styles (Saidi, Baladi, Dabke). Each performance will be distinctive. Goals of this project are to make Middle Eastern/North African dance accessible to the entire community and to offer the minority population of people of Arab background a public performance with songs in their native language, music and dance. Seyyide Sultan has devoted 24 years to studying and performing, and 21 years to teaching and creating choreography. Visit seyyide.com for additional information.

Boston Tap Party
Festival Performance
August 5, 2023
Regent Theatre

Boston Tap Party is a 4-day festival for students ages 10-70, hosted in Somerville by Deborah Mason. The festival includes teaching, networking, and performing.Tap styles include Jazz, Rhythm, and Broadway. The performance features a live band and world-renowned tap dancers, bringing the Greater Boston tap community together for a special evening showcasing student and faculty work. $25 per person. Visit bostontapparty.com for additional information.

Two to Flower
Mid-August to Mid-October 2023
Lexington Community Farm

Get ready to approach art in a different manner. Artist Sandra Mayo is bringing her Two to Flower installation to the farm flower beds. Visitors will be able to make connections between art and nature and participate in bilingual activities in Spanish and English. Visit sandramayo.com for additional information.

Unsettling Massachusetts
September 2023
Menotomy Rocks Park

Unsettling Massachusetts highlights the history and present of indigenous people in Arlington and surrounding areas. Sourcing from interviews, discussions with local native people, the Harvard University Native American Program and other indigenous history scholars, as well as archival work, the project delves into the indigenous history of this place and ongoing struggles of native peoples in Massachusetts. By presenting those in multiple ways: walking tour, map, film projection and film, it makes that history accessible to the public who will hopefully draw connections to their own lives and reconfigure their social justice work in relation to, and in support of, the situation of native people. Mary Jirmanus Saba is a geographer and artist who works across film, text, and performance to explore questions of labor, care and the legacies of colonialism. Visit maryjirmanussaba.net for additional information.

Monumental Gestures
Across Arlington

Monumental Gestures marks public sites where there is record of past harm. Augmented reality prompts generate temporary, ritual activations of the body meant to witness, honor, and imagine repair. Monumental Gestures is a participatory, augmented reality (AR) experience in various spaces around Arlington. Visit heatherkapplow.com for additional information.

The Three Tasks of Elijah: A New Jewish Folktale
A Musical Storytelling Performance
Fall 2023
Robbins Farm Park

Mamaliga Klezmer Band, in collaboration with artist Kiah Raymond and playwright Abigail Weaver, presents The Three Tasks of Elijah: A New Jewish Folktale, a musical storytelling performance. This exciting new work will present the storytelling of an original folktale rooted in Jewish mythology performed alongside a custom-made handcrafted “crankie” (a large storytelling scroll), featuring a musical accompaniment by Mamaliga Klezmer Band. Visit mamaligaband.com for additional information.

Hip Hop Chair Dance for Seniors!
Park Avenue Nursing Home
Brightview Senior Living
Arlington Housing Authority

All aboard the Hip Hop Soul Train Express. We travel through time on the Soul Train and chair dance to Hip Hop and R&B songs. We use creative props to help our journey come to life. Senior participants will leave feeling more limber. Instructor: Rondae Drafts, Ph.D., Executive Director.

Flute, Oboe and Cello Trio Concert
Fall 2023
Calvary Church

Erica Klein, Ashley Addington and Mary Cicconetti are excited to present this trio concert. Repertoire to include works by Bach, Haydn, and contemporary composers.

Stories of People with Disabilities or Neurodiversity
Across Generations and Changing Times
March 15 | April 15 | May 25, 2023

True Story Theater offers interactive public performances. In each in-person or online performance, audience volunteers share an important personal moment on the theme; then four actors and a musician embody what they've heard, bringing the stories to life. We invite stories from people (seniors, adults, youth) with visible, invisible, neurodiverse, physical and/or mental disabilities, and from those who love, care about, and advocate for these issues and people. Visit TrueStoryTheater.com for additional details.

The ACAC Grants Committee 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.
The ACAC Grants Committee will seek applications again in Fall 2023. Information and forms will be available online (www.massculturalcouncil.org) and at the ACAC Grants Committee website.