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.

Opal Ensemble will present a concert intersecting music and the wintery photography of Arlington resident Anne Black. The Arlington All-Town Brass Band (Dan Fox) is a group led by two professional musicians that will be open to Arlington residents who play percussion and wind instruments. From India to Walden Pond (Yogi Shridhare) will connect Indian devotional music with the philosophy of Robert Henry Thoreau through reading and performance.  Music to Cure MS is a charity concert to support the Accelerated Cure Project. The Creek River String Band (Lawrence Rogovin) will present live American roots music in Arlington. Old Schwamb Mill will offer music and more at its Spring Open House. Powers Music School will present a musical storytelling program for children at the Arlington Center for the Arts.

Arlington Public Art plans to launch a series of pop up art events in East Arlington as well as hold a juried competition for public art proposals, of which three artists will be commissioned to develop public art. Arlington Center for the Arts presents an opportunity for local LGBTQ+ teens to create a public mural at the Arlington Food Pantry.  Arlington Historical Society will mount an exhibition that connects the objects in the Jason Russell House with domestic life in pre-industrial Arlington. Cyrus-Dallin Art Museum will produce new interpretive materials to create more engaging experiences for visitors. Belmont World Film will present a family film festival at the Regent Theater in Arlington.

Tap & Blues (Stefanie Weber) will present a tap performance in collaboration with a blues musician.  Dance Caliente (Raul Nieves) will share a ballroom dance program at the Arlington Senior Center.

Robbins Library will continue to present the wildly popular Arlington Author Salon series, celebrating local published authors. Pamela Powell will offer memoir writing workshops to local schoolchildren. The Marble Collection will engage teen artists and writers in the Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts.

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. For the past two years, projects funded through the Arlington Cultural Council have received a Gold Star Award, which annually recognizes 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 on the ACC websites: https://arlingtonculturalcouncil.wordpress.com. ACC’s email address is arlingtonculturalcouncil@gmail.com and its Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/ArlingtonCulturalCouncil.

Statewide, more than $2 million are distributed by local cultural councils each year. Grants will support an enormous range of grass-roots activities: concerts, exhibitions, radio and video productions, field trips for schoolchildren, after-school youth programs, writing workshops, historical preservation efforts, lectures, First Night celebrations, nature and science education programs for families and town festivals. Nearly half of LCC funds support educational activities for young people.

The Arlington Cultural Council will seek applications again in Fall 2016. Information and forms will be available online (www.massculturalcouncil.org) and at the ACC website. The application deadline is October 15.