Friday, March 24, 2017

Cultural Council Grant Winners for Maynard and Stow

Earlier this week I had a post about the awards ceremony for the Cultural Council grant winners. Tim Hess (AKA Mr. H.) was kind enough to provide me with a list of all the recipients. Here they are:

Maynard Cultural Council Grant Recipients
Class of 2016 – 2017

Toni Ostrow, David Blodgett and Dan Villani
The Hip Swayers

For Untold Voices
Catroina Baker

For Origami Goldfish Art
Lisa Corfman

For his Civil Disobedience Lyceum Lecture
Jay DiPrima

For the Seagull Cinderella Parade
Donna Dodson
For Many Hands Working Together
Catherine Evans

for Down by the River
First Connections

For his travelling music series, Rollin’ on The River
Richard Maida

For the Summer Concert Series
The Maynard Community Band

Here for the Market is
Victoria Mangus

for a Summer Concert in the Park
Maynard Public Library

For Water Spirits Part One; Mill Town
Pamela Newton

For the River Mill and Moon Festival
Seth Wonkka

Stow Cultural Council Grant Recipients
Class of 2016 – 2017
For 2016/2017 Concert Series
Acton Community Chorus

For Concert by the Solstice Sackbuts
Alan Johnson

For The Children’s Garden
Ed Morgan

For 82nd Regional Exhibition of Art & Craft
Fitchburg Art Museum

For Scottish Country Dancing
Gregor Trinkaus-Randall

For Community Artistic Engagement
Hudson Area Arts Alliance d/b/a River’s Edge Arts Alliance

For Minecraft Madness!
Jim Manning

For Lake Boon Water Carnival Music Boat
Lake Boon Association

For SpringFest Silent Movie
Lewis Halprin

For An Interactive Sculpture at Frogpond Farm
& Plein Air Poetry Chapbook 2017/03/18
Linda Hoffman

For Spinning History; Heroines on the Home Front
MarIlyn Zavorski

For Maynard Honeybee Meadow
Melissa Ljosa 

For Nashoba Symphonic Band
Nashoba Friends of Music

For Summer Reading Program and Special Events
Randall Library

For 2017 Arts Buffet Festival
Rosanne Peterson

For Sounds of Stow 2016-2017 Concert Season
Sounds of Stow

For Hale Middle School 7th and 8th Band Music in the Parks Festival
Stow Friends of Music

For Especially for Me
The Discovery Museums

For Expressive Arts Therapy Programs
The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden

Congratulations to all the winners! Good luck getting all your projects done. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Needed: Seriously Creative Thinkers for the Community School

I hate writing about bad news in Maynard, and this is bad news. But hopefully there is someone out there with the creative genius to help solve the problem.

The Union Congregational Church has been the home of Maynard's Community School for over forty years, and they are in a bit of trouble. The church is for sale, and the beloved preschool will have to leave by June 30th of this year.

It seemed that they might have a solution, but the deal fell through. Now they find they're back to the drawing board.

Here's the letter that I got:
"The Board of the Community School  is reaching out to the Maynard community to get everyone to put on their thinking caps on how we can maintain this critical community service for the families in our community. We have been located in downtown Maynard for over 40 years but we are going to lose our space as of June 30, 2017.  We thought we had a new space secured but it just fell through. We are now asking everyone to spread the word and be creative in thinking about a new space for us. We would love to stay in Maynard but are open to moving to a neighboring community if it is still very close to Maynard. 

If you don't know about the Community School, we are a non-profit half-day preschool program that is dedicated to providing high quality child care for all children. My daughter attended and it transformed her from a very shy 3 year old to a confident and caring 5 year old. This is our website if you want to find out more. 

Ideas should be sent to the school director, Sally Jackson,, or 978.897.9708"

My daughter also attended the Community School. She loved it there. They weren't trying to do too much—it was just right. We really loved that it was right here in downtown Maynard, and after picking my girl at noon, we'd often go over to one of the cafés, get some lunch, and talk about how to make our community even better. 

Obviously, any space would have to be ready to use by September, so timing is essential. Is there something we're not thinking of?

The photo is from their Facebook page. 

Here's What You Might Have Missed Last Night!

Last night both the Stow and Maynard Cultural Councils had their awards ceremony. This isn't the norm. Typically, artists apply for the Councils' grants, and if they get them, they get notice in the mail and that's the end of it, no fanfare, no pats on the back, no excitement. And people don't even get to hear about who won and why.

Last year, the Maynard Cultural Council decided that it wasn't enough. First, they reached out to make sure that artists were even aware of the grants—so many of us had no clue that our ideas would even qualify for a grant. Second, they wanted the awarding of the grants to be a big deal and to highlight all the great creative talent that we have in the area.

The awards ceremony for 2016 was the first attempt at making it into an event. It was held at 6 Bridges Gallery. I wasn't able to be there, but I heard it was a good start. This year, they really took it up a notch by both joining with the Stow Cultural Council and by getting an amazing venue. Steve Trumble, owner of the Fine Arts Theatre, loaned his space, giving the event a perfect setting, with its velvet curtains and the Chinese Empress and Emperor looking on.

Many people came out dressed to the nines. Small appetizers and the availability of beer and wine made for a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. The night was full of happy artists and live music, with several people taking to dancing in the aisles. One of the highlights was when the three award-receiving bands (Workingman's Band, The Hip Swayers, and Seth Wonka's band) got up and together played the Youngbloods "Get Together".

Everyone knows that our arts culture and our local restaurant scene go hand in hand, and somebody on the Council was very smart in recognizing the symbiotic relationship. Some local restaurant owners were asked to participate (along with some other locals) by handing out the awards.

Awards were given for so many different kinds of local projects. I wish I had a list of them. If I get one, I will add it here. I was honored to be asked to give an award, and I was also on a couple of teams that were recipients of awards.

I expect that the event will continue to grow in talent and popularity as we go forward. So when you see notice of the Cultural Council Awards Ceremony happening, look through your party clothes and mark your calendars! March it the perfect time for a party!