Arlington Cultural Council is thrilled to announce 17 grantees for 2017! The total awarded was $12,300, ACC’s full allotment from Massachusetts Cultural Council, the state agency that funds us and 328 other Local Cultural Councils.


Arlington Center for the Arts

  • Arlington Porchfest- June 2017 at front porches & lawns in Arlington

Porchfest is an outdoor community music festival, where local bands play on porches in a day-long celebration of music and community. Last year, the Arlington Center for the Arts produced the first Arlington Porchfest as an experiment and it was a resounding success, with 120 bands playing on 50 porches. Music included bluegrass, folk, classical, rock & roll, jazz & blues, world music & more. Above all, Arlington Porchfest was a community celebration, with neighbors out and about, walking, biking, following a printed map, or just following their ears, meeting neighbors, and making musical discoveries around each corner. This year, the aim is to build an infrastructure to sustain Porchfest as an annual event on Arlington’s cultural calendar.

Porchfest is presented by the Arlington Center for the Arts, which produces other major community arts events, including Open Studios and Shakespeare in the Park. Co-producer Bruce Hoppe is an organizational management consultant, jazz drummer and member the Arlington band Spy Pond Groove. Hoppe has produced a major music series for Steinway in Boston. Porchfest participation is open to all – last year’s line-up included first-time performers, long-time pros, and everything in between.


Arlington Children’s Theatre

  • ACT’s Summer Season 2017 Actor Financial Aid– August 3-6, 2017, The Regent Theatre

Arlington Children’s Theatre produces (9) full-length plays every year, with the cost of participation changing from production to production. In August 2017, ACT will produce (2) musical productions and the cost of participation is ($250) per show. ACT understands not all actors will be able to pay the participation fee, and we offer a financial aid program to cover the cost of the registration fee. The project is for the financial aid program for ACT’s August productions. The grant money will be used to assist Arlington child actors in need of financial assistant to participate in the production.

Matthew Lundeen will direct the production of Mary Poppins, and has worked with ACT for over 10 years. Mr. Lundeen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Performance, and a Master’s Degree in Education. The production will also include choreographer and Arlington resident, Jaimie Joseph, as well as music director and Arlington music teacher James Ham. Aspects of the production will be led by up to 100 parent volunteers working on sets, costumes and more.




Arlington Commission on the Arts and Culture

  • Pathways-April thru June on the Minuteman Bike Path in Arlington

ACAC and Arlington Public Art will collaborate to commission 2 artists to create temporary public artwork along the Minuteman Bike Path between Swan Place & Linwood Street in spring of 2017. This will support the Town’s application (to the MCC) to establish a designated cultural district stretching from East Arlington to Arlington Center. An MCC guideline for designation is a walkable route with cultural opportunities or assets. Developing an ongoing program of public art along this scenic bike path will offer an alternative bike & pedestrian friendly connective corridor – enhancing travel between Arlington Center & E Arlington – and a new outdoor exhibition venue.

2 town organizations focused on supporting & expanding the arts & culture will lead the project in consultation – at all phases – with the town’s Bike Advisory Committee. APA has a strong track record in public art & will enlist Cecily Miller, leader of E Arlington Story Project, as project director. ACAC is a leader in shaping a new cultural district. Artists are C. Ravaschiere & M. Moss, a highly regarded collaborative team, & Adria Arch, an accomplished painter & leading public art activist.


Belmont World Film

  • Belmont World Film Family Festival– January 13-16, 2017 Regent Theater, Arlington, Studio Cinema, Belmont & Brattle Theater, Cambridge
  • A talk and autograph signing by Wallace & Gromit’s Creative Director Merlin Crossingham following a screening of WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT Friday, January 13, 7:00 PM Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington

Fifteen programs of animated and live action short and feature length film programs from countries around the world, geared toward children age 3-12 and their parents during Martin Luther King Day weekend; many films espouse his values and ideals The highlight is two model making and animation workshops led by the creative director of Aardman; Merlin Crossingham, Creative Director at Aardman Animation (creators of WALLACE AND GROMIT and CHICKEN RUN), will speak and sign autographs after a screening of the Wallace and Gromit film THE CURSE OF THE WERE RABBIT and two Oscar-winning Aardman shorts on opening night at the Regent Theater. He will also lead two model making and animation workshops on Saturday at the Belmont Media Center that will hold 40 attendees each (for a total of 80). He will also answer questions and sign autographs. As always, many of the films are based on children’s books to help reinforce a love of books and reading. One of these programs will be completely in Spanish to reinforce Spanish literacy. $1 discount offered to anyone who brings at least one child’s winter coat to donate to Cradles to Crayons.



  • Concert – Sunday, May 7, 2017 UU Church of Arlington, 630 Massachusetts Avenue

Cantilena will be performing a spring concert entitled “Radiant Sister” on May 7, 2017. For this concert, Cantilena is featuring a newly commissioned work by Ellen Gilson Voth. The work is based s a poem by Eleanor White called “Of a Sun She Can Remember” about Helen Keller’ remembering the sun after learning the “word” for water. It is part of their mission to commission and perform unique

works for the treble voice, and it will be a special opportunity for residents of Arlington to hear this new work.

Cantilena provides high quality performances of music. Their 2017 Spring concert will focus on contemporary classical music that has never been performed or is rarely performed.


Creek River String Band-

  • Concert at the Old Schwamb Mill

Creek River String Band (CRSB) will perform a public concert (TBA)with the dual purpose of (a) providing the general public with a live musical performance while, (b) simultaneously helping the Old Schwamb Mill, a valuable non-profit, to attract newcomers to one of its events, resulting in greater public exposure, new members, donations, and possibly new volunteers.

CRSB specializes in Americana and has been performing as a sextet in New England for over six years. Performances have included many community-based events such as town concerts, farmers’ markets, Earth Day festivals, and benefits for numerous worthy non-profits and causes. Our members are all accomplished professional musicians, and one in particular, Kara Kulpa, has a degree in Music Therapy and works regularly with local schoolchildren


Nayda A. Cuevas-

  • Pop Up art show- Puerto Rico and the United States March 11, 2017 Art Lounge 1346 Mass Ave Arlington

Immigration is an immediate issue in the United States and with it comes discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping. As a means of negotiating alienation and the absence of familiar people and places I turned to the arts to explore my identity. Pop Up Art Show Puerto Rico and the History of its relationship with the United States will be an all day event. It will aim to extend dialogue and educate participants about Puerto Rico and its relationship with the United States in two ways. First, through Family engaging art activities where children and parents can create art while learning about Puerto Rico and its rich culture. Second with an evening event including an artist talk by Nayda Cuevas and music by Berklee College Latino graduate.

Nayda A. Cuevas holds an MFA Graduate, Lesley University College of Art and Design, and a BFA from Stetson University. Singer Song writer and performer, Ms Cuevas graduated from Berklee college of Music and performs locally throughout the Boston area, New York and Puerto Rico.


Delvena Theatre Company

  • Truly Eleanor- Performance at Robbins Library (TBA)

Eleanor Roosevelt was so remarkable that she was called First Lady of the World. In this 3-person, live performance, Eleanor shares some of her most private and meaningful moments – her lonely childhood; her joyous courtship/marriage with her fifth cousin, Franklin; her devastation at Franklin’s love affair with her social secretary; her resolve to make him president after his polio diagnosis; her involvement in his presidency; and her eventual triumph at the United Nations. “Eleanor” takes a candid look at our greatest First Lady’s courage and at her great contributions to human rights and liberty for all. The cast will open up for discussion of the subject matter after the performance.

Lynne Moulton, has 30+ years acting experience, received her acting training at Trinity Rep Conservatory and performed in many theatrical productions in New England and London, England. Joseph Zamparelli, a graduate of Boston Collegeand Circle of Square Theatre, is a professional actor, director and producer Fran Baron received her acting training with Karen Shepard, appearing in many productions in the New England area and is also a playwright, producer and theatre manager.


Claudia Donnet– LCC Application Summary

  • Middle Eastern Dance Performance in Spring (TBA) at the Arlington Center for the Arts

Sarab-Mirage Dance Company, under the direction of Seyyide Sultan, will present a staged dance performance consisting of dances of the Middle East. Performers will be about 6 dancers members of the company, Seyyide as the first dancer and to include another professional guest dancer. The group dances presented are choreographed by Seyyide..

The director of the company, Seyyide, is a firm believer in art as a way to bridge different cultures. The dancers’ ethnicities are diverse, representing this and other continents, while the dance that will be presented is rooted in the traditions and folklore of Arabic countries, with emphasis in Egypt and Lebanon. The exposure of our community to art from other countries should foster understanding and a celebration of cultural diversity.


Dan Fox

  • 6th Annual Arlington Jazz Festival-April 17-30 at various Arlington venues

The Arlington Jazz Festival, previously the A-Town Jazz Festival, is going into its 6th season and has grown into one of Arlington’s signature annual events. For 2017 it will expand to cover 4 days, at a variety of venues and will include free and ticketed events featuring professional musicians, as well as adult amateurs and students from AHS.

As the director of Morningside Studios, Dan Fox has 10 years of experience in connecting community members to music through performance. This will be the 3rd award from the Arlington Arts Council. Last year, he received a grant to support the A-Town Brass Band with a very successful performance as part of the annual Jazz Festival.


Marc Gurton

  • Día de los Muertos artist residency- October at 29 4-6pm at Forest Gallery

13FOREST Gallery seeks local artists to participate in a residency resulting in the construction of a window installation at 13FOREST, timed to coincide with National Hispanic Heritage Month and Capitol Square’s annual celebration of Day of the Dead . Día de los Muertos is celebrated throughout Mexico and beyond with traditions that honor departed loved ones in a number of lively, colorful ways. This project endeavors to highlight the cultural significance of Hispanic artists and histories, which are often underrepresented in Boston-area communities. 13FOREST will design and implement programming around the selected artist(s) and his/her work, to further emphasize the public learning/engagement component of this residency.

13FOREST Gallery recognizes that a canonical approach to art & history leaves many problematic gaps. This project addresses one such gap: the underrepresentation of Hispanic artists & their work. The Día de los Muertos project will allow Boston area, and especially Arlington, residents to encounter art that celebrates this dynamic holiday and the traditions associated with it. This project will transform an already-existing community event into a broader learning experience for the public.



Steve Henderson –

  • Mabel and Jerry – a play February 13, 2017 at 1:00 p.m Arlington Council on Aging

Actress Jaime Taber and Steve Henderson will deliver a live 45 minute performance for seniors, guests, COA Members and volunteers , at no cost. This original performance is a hilarious, warm and exciting love story. Think- Romeo and Juliet meet Burns and Allen. Jerry and Mabel are two hysterically comical people with a lust for life, determined to find excitement, humor and especially love anyway they can.

Mr. Henderson is the writer & plays “Jerry” in the piece. He is an award-winning playwright (R. Lehan Award 2004, CTA 2002, 1998) with work performed in professional theater & published in Geriatric Nursing and by the UMASS Renaissance Center. He has a BA in playwriting., is an award winning, professional actor with 40+ years stage experience. Jaime Taber is a talented actor with professional & community acting experience.


Laura A. Kiesel

  • Writing for Survival “Where I Come From and Where I am Going” – expressive writing sessions at Young Adult Vocational Program in Arlington Heights and Wayside Youth’s STEP program in Arlington Center this Winter and early Spring


Laura Kiesel will offer one-on-one expressive writing coaching sessions and a few small workshops to young adults participating in Wayside Youth’s STEPS program and the Young Adult Vocational Program, both of which are located in Arlington. These coaching sessions will focus on the broad topic of transitioning from adolescence to young adulthood. Participants will create poems, essays, and fiction. She will then collate these works and make them available in an online journal and limited print edition that will be available at select venues throughout the town.

Ms. Kiesel holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and journalism. As an undergraduate, she worked for several years as a Freshman Composition tutor. Since relocating to the Boston area in 2009, she has taught writing workshops for adults, adolescents and upper elementary school children. As a freelance writer, her articles and essays have appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera America, Salon, Washington Post, Narratively, The Manifest Station, Modern Loss and many other publications.


Andrea Nicolay

  • Arlington Author Salons- quarterly at the Kickstand Café

Organized by a group of community and literary-minded Arlington residents and employees, the Arlington Author Salon hosts a free quarterly literary event on a Thursday evening at Kickstand Café. Each event features three different local authors (from Arlington and surrounding towns) around a specific, varying theme. The authors read and discuss their work and provide time for Q&A with the audience. Local bookseller The Book Rack conducts sales of the authors’ books for those who wish to purchase them. Each presentation includes an innovative use of props—slides, music, dance, etc.—to make for a fuller experience. Works presented include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, journalism, etc. Each of these events draws a crowd of 70-100 people.

The project is run by a group of professionals with long-term involvement in the literary arts. Presenters are established writers with strong credentials such as published books and established portfolios of articles in major media outlets. Many are also professors or writing instructors. In addition to Andrea Nicolay (Arlington’s Director of Libraries) and Maura Deedy (Assistant Director), committed planners who have been involved since the project’s inception include Arlington residents Anjali Mitter Duva (author), Whitney Scharer (former marketing director of Grub Street Writers), and Amy Yelin (journalist), as well as Lexington resident Marjan Kamali (author).


Old Schwamb Mill-

  • Musical Storytelling Programs Saturday, September 30

At the Old Schwamb Mill’s Annual Fall Open House, members of the Arlington area community have the opportunity to enjoy the many varied aspects of the Mill-Museum in appreciation of its history as the oldest continuously-operating mill site in the United States. Named to the National Register of Historic Places, the Mill offers visitors a look inside the 1860s-era building, which houses the same equipment that is used today to create unique hand-turned wooden oval picture frames. The Open House will feature continuous Mill Tours, featuring the Mill’s Wood Turner David W. Graf.

2:00–3:30 p.m., Music by The Seasmoke Trio

3:30–5:00 p.m. Opening Reception for the Fall Art Exhibit, featuring artists from the Kittery Point Art Association

Increasingly, the Old Schwamb Mill is becoming known as a center for culture. In addition to our core purpose as a 19th century woodworking museum that still produces fine picture frames, we also offer tours, talks, art exhibits and music. They have developed a loyal following made up of both Arlington-wide residents as well as members of surrounding communities. Their Open Houses and special events typically offer a rich mix of picture frame making demonstrations, art and music.


Powers Music School-

  • Musical Storytelling Programs in Arlington February 11 Robbins Library and March 18, 2017 Arlington Center for the Arts

Music has the unique ability to enhance the rhythmic nature of language and imprint these patterns on the brain. At a Musical Storytelling Program, professional musicians present a children’s book using familiar and new music to deliver a memorable and exciting performance to young children. Our goal is to promote literacy through education, participation, and exposure. This season Powers Music School is excited to add a second concert in Arlington, returning to Robbins Library and also Arlington Center for the Arts with two books by Doreen Cronin: “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type” and “Click, Clack, Surprise!” which was

released earlier this year. These concerts are a part of our seven concert series in Belmont, Arlington, and Watertown

Musical Story performers are Powers faculty members and esteemed educators. Helen Clapp Stevenson, narrator, has been an arts leader for more than 20 years and Vanessa Schukis, vocalist, has over 30 years experience in opera, musical theater, and teaching, and is also published. Yas Ishibashi, pianist/vocalist, is a highly trained early childhood teacher and Todd Brunel, clarinetist and saxophonist, holds a Master of Music. They have both performed and recorded throughout Boston and the world.


True Story Theater

  • Protecting our loved ones- Spring (TBA) at Robbins library community room & AYCC Room

True Story Theater is planning four events on how to recognize and address abuse in intimate relationships: one for teenagers, one for parents of teens, one for adults, and one for elderly and their caretakers. In True Story Theater performances, audience volunteers tell important moments from their lives. Four actors and a musician then bring their stories to life through dialogue, movement, music, and metaphor. Audience members often get new insights, cry, laugh, and bond. Post-show workshops will then help people take action.

This project builds on similar performance+workshops they have done for Arlington’s First Step domestic violence group and Elder Abuse Task Force.

True Story Theater has performed in Arlington since 2001. In recent years, the highly trained ensemble of 22 artists has worked extensively in partnership with Arlington town committees to bring to life the experiences of local seniors, people with disabilities, environmental activists, LGBTQ+ youth, and more. In the past 12 months alone, the company has done 65 performances and 22 workshops. This project continues important community work began on issues of domestic abuse..


For the first time, the Mass. Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency that funds all Local CC’s, launched an online grant application on September 1 for the 2016-17 grant cycle. ONLY ONLINE APPLICATIONS will be ACCEPTED by the ARLINGTON CULTURAL COUNCIL! PLEASE NOTE WELL, and plan ahead. All supplemental materials should be uploaded to the grant website, as instructed: See more by clicking on “Guidelines and Sample Application” tab.

Proposals to the ACC for community-oriented arts, humanities and science programs are due by 11:59:59 pm, Monday, October 17. Read the rest of this entry »

(Boston, MA) – The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) today approved a spending plan for the coming year that will invest more than $12 million in grants to nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, education & youth programs, and working artists across the Commonwealth.
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Starting on September 1st, grant recipient hopefuls may begin to submit applications for an Arlington Cultural Council grant. Proposals to the ACC for community-oriented arts, humanities, and science programs are due by 5 pm, Monday, October 17, 2016 postmark deadline.

A Grant information session for those with questions or help with draft proposals will be held on Tuesday September 20th 7-8:30 pm, at the Arlington Senior Center lower level, 27 Maple Street, Arlington. Read the rest of this entry »

Due to the inclement weather, An Evening of Arts & Culture has been postponed to April 5, from 6-7:30 pm. It will take place at Arlington Center for the Arts at 41 Foster Street.

Stay warm!

The Arlington Cultural Council invites you to An Evening of Arts & Culture.

ACC Reception Postcard

MONDAY | APRIL 4, 2016 | 6PM
Lyons Hearing Room | Arlington Town Hall | Arlington, MA 02476
An evening to:
  • Honor the 2016 Arlington Cultural Council grant recipients
  • Find out more about events we are supporting this calendar year through our grants
  • Celebrate our town’s growing arts and cultural scene during this vibrant evening
Please join this year’s current grant recipients, members of the Arlington Cultural Council and other supporters of the arts and culture here in town. Light refreshments will be served and there will be a brief program at 6:30pm.


Karin Blum and Merli V. Guerra, Co-Chairs of Arlington Cultural Council (ACC), have announced the award of seventeen grants totaling $12,200, for cultural programs in Arlington (ranging from $200 to $1,500, with an average grant of $717). Grantees were chosen from twenty-seven 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 2016,” say Co-chairs Merli V. Guerra and Karin Blum.

The 2016 grant recipients, listed below, represent a wide range of arts: music, visual, film, and literature.

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Arlington Cultural Council (ACC) is accepting grant applications for 2015-16 Grant Cycle!

Deadline: October 15, 2015

For Grant Guidelines and Application Forms:
ACC GL 2015-16 _9.3.15;

There are also 2 sample applications that you can use as examples of how to write your application.   in addition to our standard sample grant application we’ve added the 2014 grant application for the Luminarium project which won the MCC’s Gold Star Award.   You can find them here.

Fillable Word doc application:

Hard copies are available at Robbins Library, Arlington Center for the Arts, Arlington Town Hall Selectmen’s Office, and at Arlington Cultural Council’s booth at Town Day, Saturday, September 12.

If you would like to learn more about the grant application process, please join us at our Grant Information Workshop: Wednesday, September 16, 7-8:30, Arlington Senior Center, 27 Maple Street, Lower Level.

We look forward to reading your proposals!


The Folk Arts Center of New England is sponsoring a Family Folk Dance, near the playground at Robbins Farm Park, on Sunday July 19th, 2pm to 4pm (weather permitting). The rain date will be August 2nd. It will be an expanded version of a successful dance held last summer at the same location. Professional folk musicians will be providing traditional dance music from around the world. Beginners and children are welcome at this free participatory dance.International and American folk dances will all be taught by Marcie Van Cleave, a renowned folk dance educator, who makes folk dancing great fun for all ages. Marcie has been teaching Folk Dancing every Friday night, from Sept through June, for many years at the Park Ave. Congregational Church in Arlington Heights.If you’re not sure you want to dance, stop by to watch, and enjoy the live world music. For possible weather cancellation, call 781-438-4389 or check the  Folk Arts Center Facebook Page after noon on the day of the dance.

This dance is supported in part by a grant from the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

July 8, 2015

Contact: Gregory Liakos, Communications Director, 617-858-2720

Legislature Votes to Increase MCC Funding by $2 Million

(Boston, MA) – The state Legislature approved a budget today that increases annual funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) by $2 million.

The budget allocates $14 million for MCC’s core grants and services for fiscal year 2016. If signed by the Governor, the budget will allow the agency to increase its investment in nonprofit cultural organizations, local cultural councils, creative youth development, and artists. It would be the largest allocation since fiscal year 2002, when state funding for the arts, humanities, and sciences through MCC was just over $19 million.

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