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!